Dec 05, 2022  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
    
Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Women’s Studies Program


Director: Hiram Perez;

Steering Committee: Sole Anatroneb (Italian), Anne Branckyb (French and Francophone Studies), Paulina Bren (International Studies), Mita Choudhury (History), Colleen Ballerino Cohenb (Anthropology), Leslie C. Dunn (English), Kathleen Gemmill (English), Diane Harriforda (Sociology), Susan Hiner (French and Francophone Studies), Jean M. Kaneb (English), Elena Elías Krell (Women’s Studies), Molly McGlennen (English), Lydia Murdochb (History), Hiram Perez (English), Peipei Qiuab (Chinese and Japanese), Jeffrey Schneider (German Studies), Kirsten Wesselhoefta (Religion), Eva Woods Peiró (Hispanic Studies);

Participating Faculty: Abigail A. Baird (Psychology), Rodica Diaconescu Blumenfeld (Italian), Anne Branckyb (French and Francophone Studies), Lisa Brawley (Urban Studies), Paulina Bren (International Studies), Light Carruyob (Sociology), Mita Choudhury (History), Colleen Ballerino Cohenb (Anthropology), Lisa Gail Collinsab (Art), Darlene Deporto (Sociology), Eve Dunbar (English), Kelli Duncanb (Biology), Leslie C. Dunn (English), Rebecca Edwards (History), Dara Greenwood (Psychology), Maria Hantzopoulos (Education), Diane Harriforda (Sociology), Kathleen Harta (French and Francophone Studies), Susan Hiner (French and Francophone Studies), Jean M. Kaneb (English), Elena Elías Krell (Women’s Studies), Kathryn Libin (Music), Molly S. McGlennen (English), Taneisha Meansa (Political Science), Mootacem Mhiri (Africana Studies), Seungsook Moon (Sociology), Jannay Morrow (Psychology), Lydia Murdochb (History), Uma Narayan (Philosophy), Barbara A. Olsen (Greek and Roman Studies), Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebertab (Hispanic Studies), Hiram Perez (English), Nancy Pokrywkaa (Biology), Peipei Qiuab (Chinese and Japanese), Claire Sagana (Political Science), Jeffrey Schneider (German Studies), Jill S. Schneidermana (Earth Science), Vinay Swamyab (French and Francophone Studies), Jasmine Syedullaha (Africana Studies), Silke von der Emde (German), Denise A. Walen (Drama), Kirsten Wesselhoefta (Religion), Kimberly Williams Brown (Education), Eva Woods Peiró (Hispanic Studies), Susan Zlotnickab (English).

On leave 2021/22, first semester

On leave 2021/22, second semester

ab On leave 2021/22

Programs

Major

Correlate Sequence in Women’s Studies

Approved Courses

Courses

Women’s Studies: I. Introductory

  •  

    WMST 110 - Gender, Social Problems and Social Change


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as  AMST 110  and SOCI 110 ) This course introduces students to a variety of social problems using insights from political science, sociology, and gender studies. We begin with an exploration of the sociological perspective, and how social problems are defined as such. We then examine the general issues of inequalities based on economic and employment status, racial and ethnic identity, and gender and sexual orientation. We apply these categories of analysis to problems facing the educational system and the criminal justice system. As we examine specific issues, we discuss political processes, social movements, and individual actions that people have used to address these problems. Eve Dunbar and Eileen Leonard.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    This class is taught at the Taconic Correctional Facility for Women to a combined class of Vassar and Taconic students.

    One 3-hour period.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 130 - Introduction to Women’s Studies

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    Multidisciplinary study of the scholarship on women, with an introduction to feminist theory and methodology. Includes contemporary and historical experiences of women in private and public spaces. Examination of how the concept of women has been constructed in literature, science, the media, and other institutions, with attention to the way the construction intersects with nationality, race, class, and sexuality. Sole Anatrone, Paulina Bren, Jean Kane, Elena Elias Krell.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 160 - Issues in Feminism


    1 unit(s)
    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS

Women’s Studies: II. Intermediate

  •  

    WMST 201 - Introduction to Queer Studies

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    This course offers an introduction to queer theories and methodologies as a form of inquiry that emerged out of and alongside feminism, LGBT liberation movements and AIDS activism. In addition to exploring the experiences of LBGTQ individuals and communities in a global context, the course focuses on the historical emergence of a variety of sexual and gender identities as well as the political strategies they pursued. Special attention is paid to the way sexuality intersects with gender, nationality, race, class, and dis/ability. 

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 203 - Women in Greek and Roman History and Myth

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as GRST 203 ) Greek and Roman literary and historical accounts abound with vividly drawn women such as Helen, Antigone, Medea, Livia, and Agrippina, the mother of Nero. But how representative were such figures of the daily lives of women throughout Greek and Roman antiquity? This course investigates the images and realities of women in the ancient Greek and Roman world, from the Greek Late Bronze Age (c. 1200 BCE) to the Roman Empire (up to the III c. CE) by juxtaposing evidence from literature, historical sources, and archaeological material. Throughout, the course examines the complex ways in which ancient women interacted with the institutions of the state, the family, religion, and the arts.  Barbara Olsen.

    Two 75-minute periods.

  •  

    WMST 205 - Arab Women Writers

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as AFRS 205 ) This course examines a selection of literary works by modern and contemporary Arab women writers in English translation. We will read fiction, poetry, autobiographies, short stories, and critical scholarship by and about Arab women, from North Africa and the Middle East, in order to develop a critical understanding of the social, political, and cultural context(s) of these writings, and to form an enlightened opinion about the issues and concerns raised by Arab women writers throughout the Twentieth Century, at different historical junctures, and in different locations. Our class discussions will focus-among other themes-on: (1) Arab women writers and feminism. (2) Arab Women and Islamism. (3) Arab women and the West. (4) Arab Nationalism(s), Arab Modernity(s), and Arab women. (5) Arab Women writing in the Diaspora: hyphenated identities and different routes of homecoming. The authors to be read include Assia Djebar (Algeria); Fatima Mernissi (Morocco); Nawal Sadaawi (Egypt); Hanan Al-Shaykh (Lebanon); and Sahar Khalifeh (Palestine); and many others. Mootacem Mhiri.

    Two 75-minute periods.

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    WMST 206 - Gender Issues in Economics

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as ECON 206 ) An analysis of gender in education, earnings, employment and the division of labor within the household. Topics include a study occupational segregation, discrimination, the role of “protective legislation” in the history of labor law, and effects of changes in the labor market of the U.S. We also study the economics of marriage, divorce, and fertility. A comparative study of gender roles in other parts of the world is the final topic in the course. Sarah Pearlman.

    Prerequisite(s): ECON 102 .

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 210 - Domestic Violence

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as SOCI 210 ) This course provides a general overview of the prevalence and dynamics of domestic violence in the United States and its effects on battered women. We examine the role of the Battered Women’s Movement in both the development of societal awareness about domestic violence and in the initiation of legal sanctions against it. We also explore and discuss, both from a historical and present day perspective, ways in which our culture covertly and overtly condones the abuse of women by their intimate partners. Darlene DePorto.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 214 - Transnational Perspectives on Women and Work


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as LALS 214  and SOCI 214 ) This class is a theoretical and empirical exploration of women’s paid and unpaid labor. We examine how women’s experiences as workers — across space, place, and time — interact with larger economic structures, historical moments, and narratives about womanhood. We pay particular attention to the ways in which race, class, gender, sexuality and citizenship intersect and shape not only women’s relationships to work and family, but to other women workers (at times very differently geopolitically situated). We are attentive to the construction of women workers, the work itself, and the meanings women give to production, reproduction, and the global economy. Light Carruyo.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2020/21.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 218 - Literature, Gender, and Sexuality

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)


    (Same as ENGL 218 ) Topic for 2021/22b: Gender, Sexuality, Disability. This course is an introduction to disability studies, with a focus on the difference(s) that gender makes, both in cultural imaginings of disability and in the lives of disabled people. We explore the key concepts that are common to gender studies and disability studies, including, language, the body, representation, social construction, intersectionality, and activism. We use a multidisciplinary lens to examine how social, cultural, and institutional structures shape the experiences of disabled people and how societal perceptions of disability produce social inequality. Throughout the course we pay particular attention to how disability, gender, and sexuality intersect with other categories of identity, including race and class. We give special emphasis to the ways in which disabled writers, artists, performers, and activists have challenged ableist stereotypes and stigma, reclaiming disability as a source of identity and pride.

      Leslie Dunn.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS

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    WMST 221 - Captive Genders and Methods of Survival


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as AFRS 221 ) From Celia the Slave (1855) to CeCe McDonald (2011) cis, queer, and trans women (particularly of color) have been deemed unruly, deviant, and criminalized for defending themselves against gendered violence. With no selves to defend in the face of the law, how do these subjects seek justice when their survival is routinely “rewarded” with both legal and extralegal forms of punishment? While critiques of the criminal justice system often center the mechanisms of the system itself, this course is concerned with the testaments of survivors, their protocols of survival, namely the feminist, trans, and queer-of-color ethics, activisms, and intellectual histories that resist gender violence, criminalization, and punishment. This course centers histories, testimony, poetry, art, music, and social theory including activists accounts from Harriet Jacobs, Ida B. Wells, Angela Davis, Sylvia Rivera, Dean Spade, Miss Major, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and others. Jasmine Syedullah.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 222 - Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Islamic Spaces


    1 unit(s)


    (Same as RELI 222 ) This course explores the relationship between Islam, gender, and sexuality through a focus on space. The course is organized through six key spaces that have formed gendered bodies in Islamic contexts and diasporas: the home, the mosque, the baths (hammam), the school, the public square, and the interior soul. As we move through each of these spaces, we explore how sexual difference, gender, sexuality, and religious practice take on different shapes in different settings, and at different life stages. We read canonical works of Muslim feminist thought, as well as the classical sources they engage with. We pay attention to gender diversity in the classical traditions and contemporary Islamic contexts, coming-of-age and other life stages, and to the role of gender and sexuality in mystical relationship with the divine. Kirsten Wesselhoeft.

     

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

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    WMST 230 - European Women’s Cinema


    1 unit(s)


    (Same as FILM 230 ) This course examines contemporary European culture and history through film; various critical theories (feminist, queer, post-colonial), are studied and applied to films, through selected readings and other relevant resources. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the purpose of this course is to provide critical models for interpreting social and cultural constructions of meaning. We consider the ways in which images of women and the concept of “woman” are invested with culturally and historically specific meanings that intersect with other categories of difference/identity such as: class, sexual orientation, excess, war, and the state. Essential to the discussion of difference will be the analysis of the cultural and linguistic differences introduced by the otherness of film itself, and of the specific films we study. Cinematic interpretive skills are developed through visual and linguistic exercises, group projects, and film-making. Film directors may include: Lina Wertmüller, Liliana Cavani, Margarethe von Trotta, Monika Treut, Ulrike Öttinger, Claire Denis, Coline Serreau, Céline Sciamma, Gurinder Chadha, Ngozi Onwurah. Rodica Blumenfeld.

    Prerequisite(s): WMST 130  preferable but not obligatory. 

     

     

    Open to Sophomores and above.

    Two 75-minute periods plus outside screenings.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

  •  

    WMST 231 - Women Making Music


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as MUSI 231 ) A study of women’s involvement in Western and non-Western musical cultures. Drawing on recent work in feminist musicology and ethnomusicology, the course studies a wide range of music created by women, both past and present. It explores such topics as musical instruments and gender, voice and embodiment, access to training and performance opportunities, and representations of women musicians in art and literature. Elias Krell.

    Prerequisite(s): One unit in Music, or Women’s Studies, or permission of the instructor.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

  •  

    WMST 235 - Introduction to German Cultural Studies

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    Topic for 2021/2022b: The German Invention of Sexuality. (Same as GERM 235 ) Does sexuality have a history? How have the ways we think about, talk about, and act on sexual desire and sexual identity changed over time? And what roles did the German-speaking world play in this development? In this course we investigate the origins of our modern understanding of sexuality in German-speaking culture. As individuals began to see their sexual desires as an expression of their inner self in the nineteenth century, sex emerged as a scientific field of study, a theme for literary experimentation, and a cause for political activism. This heady mix of the personal, the social, and the political revolutionized the way we think (about) sex. Terms such as “homosexual,” “heterosexual,” and “transexual,” fetish, and S&M can be traced back to German-speaking thinkers, activists, and writers. After examining the origins, we also probe the dissemination, reception, and adaptation of this knowledge across time, nation, culture, race, and class, using a variety of literary texts, documents, images, and films. All readings and discussions in English. Domenic DeSocio.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 240 - Gender and the Digital

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as MEDS 240 ) In this course we explore how the gendered body is represented, consumed and (dis)embodied through digital media. Beginning with an interrogation of our colonized modes of media consumption we acknowledge the first coders and digital laborers, specifically the work of Women of Color, Cisgender women and Queer pioneers. Turning to media processes and interfaces we examine how gender, race and class are transversally present in the digital divide, media-making, algorithms, surveillance, revenge porn, social media, cyberbullying and gaming. Challenging assumptions about the analog and cyberspace, we study constructions of avatars, hackers, cyborgs and androids in contemporary mainstream films and television series. We end by analyzing the future of gender in a post-media, post-human era, on the cusp of the singularity. Assignments offer students opportunities to theorize gender and the digital through writing and multi-media projects. Eva Woods.

    Prerequisite(s): WMST 130 .

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 241 - Topics in the Constructions of Gender

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as MEDS 241 )  Topic for 2021/22b: Gender and Race in Animated Disney Film. The Disney industry has had a global impact on the circulation of masculinities and femininities in the post-war Fordist and then post-Fordist late capitalist eras. Generating a proliferation of ideas of gender that contradict and embolden one another, Disney films provide an ideal case study for examining the centrality of gender and sexuality to imperialism and the imbrication of identity and power. While remaining mostly staunchly heteronormative despite other media industries becoming more inclusive of queer relationships, DisneyTM can be read “queerly,” as this course explores. We examine not only the films themselves, but also at the historical moments in which they were created, and the corporations that shaped them. The goal of the course is to give you ways to approach texts that ask not to be seen critically and also to learn how to mine normative texts for their queer and anti-racist potential. We look at the Disney Corporation’s efforts to portray itself as innocuous and “timeless,” and then use that information to think about the aspects of Disney’s films that have implications for our understanding of the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, class, disability, nation, and imperialism.  Elena Elias Krell.

    May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 245 - Making Waves: Topics in Feminist Activism


    1 unit(s)
    Prerequisite(s): WMST 130  or permission of the instructor.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 247 - Eighteenth-Century British Novels

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    Readings vary but include worlds by such novelists as Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, and Austen.

    Topic for 2021/22a: Miss Behavior: Transgressive Women in 18th-Century British Fiction. (Same as ENGL 247 ) The focus of this course is eighteenth-century English fiction that features “girls gone wild,” women who violate the stringent social codes dictating their behavior in this period. We read a range of critical texts—some contemporary to us, and others contemporary to the 18th-century writers on our syllabus—to learn what constituted “misbehavior” for women, and who was making the rules. Conduct books, educational treatises, periodical literature, pamphlets and political writings give us a cultural context, and prepare us to examine how fiction writers were reflecting and reshaping codes of conduct for their own social, political and artistic ends. Because the act of writing itself often constituted misbehavior for eighteenth-century women, texts by women differ considerably from those by men with regard to topics, style and genre. In the first half of the course, we see male authors diversely imagining female cross-dressers, “female husbands” (a contemporary term for women who sought to partner with other women), prostitutes, witches, sadists and pleasure-seekers. In the second half, we see women writers working in two literary modes—the gothic, and the novel of manners—to respond to oppressive societal concerns about femininity and modesty. Students leave this course not only with a strong sense of the cultural history of female comportment in eighteenth-century England, but also having looked closely at how these pervasive social codes interacted with literary form to shape the fiction of the period. Katie Gemmill.

    This course satisfies one of the two pre-1800 requirements and the REGS requirement for the English major.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 250 - Feminist Theory

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as PHIL 250 ) The central purpose of the course is to understand a variety of theoretical perspectives in feminism - including liberal, radical, socialist, psychoanalytic and postmodern perspectives. We explore how each of these feminist perspectives is indebted to more ‘mainstream’ theoretical frameworks (for example, to liberal political theory, Marxism, and psychoanalysis). We also examine the ways in which each version of feminist theory raises new questions and challenges for these ‘mainstream’ theories. We attempt to understand the theoretical resources that each of these perspectives provides the projects of feminism, how they highlight different aspects of women’s oppression and offer a variety of different solutions. We look at the ways in which issues of race, class and sexuality figure in various theoretical feminist perspectives and consider the divergent takes that different theoretical perspectives offer on issues such as domestic violence, pornography, housework and childcare, economic equality, and respect for cultural differences. We try to get clearer on a variety of complex concepts important to feminism - such as rights, equality, choice, essentialism, cultural appropriation and intersectionality. Uma Narayan.

    Prerequisite(s): One unit of Philosophy or Women’s Studies.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 251 - Global Feminism

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as INTL 251 ) Women have long been the silent figure at the center of debates on nation-building; the object to be saved in the event of catastrophe, pillaged in the event of war, exalted in the efforts to populate and nourish the nation. This course takes as its premise the intersections between key terms “migration,” “citizenship” and “feminism” and looks at ways women and gender nonconforming people work against this objectification to make themselves heard and form community in new spaces. Through a study of literature, film and theoretical texts, we explore the ways communities and activist groups are shaped and influenced by feminist networks across the globe, and the ways individuals define themselves in relation to concepts of feminism and nationhood. Close readings of personal and fictional narratives that center on gender and migration are paired with material on the relevant socio-political and historical contexts, in an effort to encourage critical reflection on how certain discourses surrounding both migration and feminism are racialized and gendered. We look at the consequences of repeating or ignoring those ideological underpinnings, as well as ways people are working against these norms. We consider fictional narratives, testimonials and media coverage as we follow the journeys of people traveling through Africa and Central America, across the Mediterranean through the Middle East and Asia in no small part because of current rising tensions and real peril surrounding these highly trafficked migratory thoroughfares. We pair analysis of cultural material with a body of theoretical work aimed at providing students with a toolbox of global feminist scholarship. Uma Narayan.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 260 - Sex & Reproduction in 19th Century United States: Before Margaret Sanger

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as HIST 260 ) Focusing on the United States from roughly 1800 to 1900, this course explores sex and reproduction and their relationship to broader transformations in society, politics, and women’s rights. Among the issues considered are birth patterns on the frontier and in the slave South; industrialization, urbanization, and falling fertility; the rise of sex radicalism; and the emergence of “heterosexual” and “homosexual” as categories of identity. The course examines public scandals, such as the infamous Beecher-Tilton adultery trial, and the controversy over education and women’s health that was prompted by the opening of Vassar College. The course ends by tracing the complex impact of the Comstock law (1873) and the emergence of a modern movement for birth control. Rebecca Edwards.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 262 - Native American Women

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as AMST 262 ) In an effort to subjugate indigenous nations, colonizing and Christianizing enterprises in the Americas included the implicit understanding that subduing Native American women through rape and murder maintained imperial hierarchies of gender and power; this was necessary to eradicate Native people’s traditional egalitarian societies and uphold the colonial agenda. Needless to say, Native women’s stories and histories have been inaccurately portrayed, often tainted with nostalgia and delivered through a lens of western patriarchy and discourses of domination. Through class readings and writing assignments, discussions and films, this course examines Native women’s lives by considering the intersections of gender and race through indigenous frameworks. We expose Native women’s various cultural worldviews in order to reveal and assess the importance of indigenous women’s voices to national and global issues such as sexual violence, environmentalism, and health. The class also takes into consideration the shortcomings of western feminisms in relation to the realities of Native women and Native people’s sovereignty in general. Areas of particular importance to this course are indigenous women’s urban experience, Haudenosaunee influence on early U.S. suffragists, indigenous women in the creative arts, third-gender/two-spiritedness, and Native women’s traditional and contemporary roles as cultural carriers. Molly McGlennen.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 269 - Gender and African American History


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as AFRS 269  and HIST 269 ) Using primary documents and secondary sources, this course explores African American history through the lens of gender, sexuality, and family. Themes might include the transition from slavery to freedom; women’s labor (paid and unpaid) in the workforce, family, and community; and African American women’s struggles for equality. Among the topics to be considered are Black Freedom movements and feminist / womanist movements since Emancipation, giving special attention to intersectionalities of race and gender, and to histories of African American LBGTQ+ experiences. Shelby Pumphrey

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 270 - Gender and Social Space


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as GEOG 270  and URBS 270 ) This course explores the ways in which gender informs the spatial organization of daily life; the interrelation of gender and key spatial forms and practices such as the home, the city, the hotel, migration, shopping, community activism, and walking at night. It draws on feminist theoretical work from diverse fields such as geography, architecture, anthropology and urban studies not only to begin to map the gendered divisions of the social world but also to understand gender itself as a spatial practice. Lisa Brawley.

    Prerequisite(s): One of the following: URBS 100 , GEOG 102 , or WMST 130 , or permission of the instructor.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

  •  

    WMST 271 - Hello, Dear Enemy: Mounting an Exhibition of Picture Books on Experiences of War and Displacement

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as EDUC 271 INTL 271  ,LALS 271  and MEDS 271  )  At a time when the world is witnessing the largest displacement of people since WWII, due in significant measure to armed conflict, this course examines select case studies (both past and present) of armed conflict and their consequences for children. Journalists, photographers and writers of young adult literature have done much to raise awareness about children and armed conflict, and to treat them in such a way that audiences develop understanding, empathy, and solidarity with children affected by armed conflict. A principal aim of the course is to study the topics of war and displacement, journalism and photography, and young adult literature, and then to mount an exhibition in the Collaboratory of photographs and books that will travel to area schools and libraries, where Vassar students serve as docents. Our work is enriched by study of human rights statutes and policy pertaining to children affected by armed conflict, as well as by interaction with visiting artists and educators. Tracey Holland.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 272 - Feminist Thought and Politics: Sex, Gender, Matter


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as POLI 272 ) Since its beginnings, feminism has radically transformed the very foundations of politics, forcing us to rethink values and ideals as fundamental as freedom and equality. It has challenged former understandings of fundamental political concepts like power, and the distinction between the private and public spheres, as well as the personal and the political. Feminist theory is also incredibly creative and prolific in terms of its production of new concepts (e.g., gender). In this course we interrogate high-stakes questions such as: Are masculinity and femininity, men and women, heterosexual and homosexual, transsexual and cys-gender, the human and the nonhuman, contingent or universal categories? Are these categories empowering, alienating, both? Are racialized, sexed, gender, intersecting identities the necessary foundations for political action, or do they hinder the valuation of difference? What does feminist theory teach us about less apparently related issues like terrorism, colonialism, or environmental crisis? Claire Sagan.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 277 - Feminist Approaches to Science and Technology


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as STS 277 ) In this course students examine the intersections of science and technology with the categories of gender, race, class, and sexuality. We explore the ways that science and technology help to construct these socio-cultural categories and how the constructions play out in society. Examples come from the history of science and technology, concerns about gender identity, health care, environmentalism, and equal opportunity in education and careers. Throughout the course, we ask how the social institution and power of science itself is affected by social categories. We also investigate alternative approaches to the construction of knowledge. Jill Schneiderman.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 278 - Women’s History of Latin America

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as HIST 278  and LALS 278 ) This course explores the history of Latin America by centering women. Beginning with examples in the ancient Americas and continuing through the colonial and national periods, this course explores how the ideas, representations, experiences, and actions of women have shaped Latin American history. Class materials draw from a range of academic, literary, and primary sources, and class discussions cover topics such as: women in Aztec and other ancient societies; “La Malinche” and women of the Conquest; witchcraft and women in colonial religion; Sor Juana, Gabriela Mistral, and women of Latin American literature; women and 20th-c. activism; and indigenous women in Latin America today.  Accordingly, this course addresses the questions: what cultural, economic, and political conditions have shaped how women in Latin America experienced the world? How have women had agency in shaping the meaning of Latin America?  And what is at stake for Latin American women today in debates over issues such as economic development, migration, and human rights? Daniel Mendiola

    Two 2-hour periods.

    Course Format: CLS
  •  

    WMST 279 - Rethinking Gender in an Educational Context

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)


    (Same as EDUC 279 )  This course uses a feminist lens to examine the social and cultural context of education, the structure of schools and classrooms, and the process of teaching and learning. Issues of gender are inherently tied a variety of identities and subjectivities in ways that intersect and interlock. These intersecting and interlocking identities include, but are not limited to: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, socioeconomic class, and citizenship status. How does that impact immigrant and undocumented youth? Using a variety of methods including reflective self- inquiry the course will answer the following questions:

    1. How do dichotomous understandings of gender shape students’ experiences in schools?

    2. How is gender experienced differently depending on other intersecting identities? Are all “women” the same and do they experience gender oppression in the same ways?

    3. How do schools and curriculum address issues of gender?

    4. What is the relationship between gender, democracy and education?

    5. What role do teachers play in identity development in schools?

    6. How do schools begin to address violence against particular students (LGBTQ, Black students, Latino students and other students from underrepresented groups)? Kimberly Williams Brown.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: CLS

  •  

    WMST 290 - Community-Engaged Learning

    Semester Offered: Fall or Spring
    0.5 to 1 unit(s)
    Prerequisite(s): For fieldwork: 2 units of work in Women’s Studies or from the list of Approved Courses.

    Permission of the director is required for all independent work.

    Course Format: INT
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    WMST 297 - Reading Courses

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)


    Topic for 297.01/51: Queer Theory. The program.

    Topic for 297.02/52: Lesbian Sex and Politics in the United States. The program.

    Topic for 297.03/53: Constructing American Masculinities. The program.

    Topic for 297.04/54: Women and Sport. The program.

    Course Format: OTH

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    WMST 298 - Independent Study

    Semester Offered: Fall or Spring
    0.5 to 1 unit(s)
    Prerequisite(s): For independent study: 2 units of work in Women’s Studies or from the list of Approved Courses.

    Permission of the director is required for all independent work.

    Course Format: OTH

Women’s Studies: III. Advanced

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    WMST 301 - Senior Thesis or Project Intensive

    Semester Offered: Fall
    0.5 .5 unit(s)
    A 1-unit thesis or project written in two semesters. Elena Krell

    Yearlong course 301-WMST 302 .

    One 2-hour period.

    Course Format: INT
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    WMST 302 - Senior Thesis or Project Intensive

    Semester Offered: Spring
    0.5 .5 unit(s)
    A 1-unit thesis or project written in two semesters. Elena Krell

    Yearlong course WMST 301 -302.

    Course Format: INT
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    WMST 317 - Women, Crime, and Punishment


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as SOCI 317 ) This course begins with a comparative analysis of the involvement of men and women in crime in the United States and explanations offered for the striking variability. It proceeds by examining the exceptionally high rate of imprisonment for women in the U.S., the demographics of those who are imprisoned, the crimes they are convicted of, and the conditions under which they are confined. It deals with such issues as substance abuse problems, violence against women, medical care in prison, prison programming and efforts at rehabilitation, legal rights of inmates, and family issues, particularly the care of the children of incarcerated women. It also examines prison friendships, families, and sexualities, and post-release. The course ends with a consideration of the possibilities of a fundamental change in the current US system of crime and punishment specifically regarding women. Eileen Leonard.

    One 2-hour period.

    Not offered in 2020/21.

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    WMST 321 - Feminism, Knowledge, Practice

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as LALS 321  and SOCI 321 ) How do feminist politics inform how research, pedagogy, and social action are approached? Can feminist anti-racist praxis and insights into issues of race, power and knowledge, intersecting inequalities, and human agency change the way we understand and represent the social world? We discuss several qualitative approaches used by feminists to document the social world (e.g. ethnography, discourse analysis, oral history). Additionally, we explore and engage with contemplative practices such as mediation, engaged listening, and creative-visualization. Our goal is to develop an understanding of the relationship between power, knowledge and action and to collectively envision healing forms of critical social inquiry. Light Carruyo.

    One 2-hour period.

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    WMST 322 - The Afro-Indo-Anglo Caribbean: Education, Feminism, Indigeneity and Migration

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as AFRS 322  and EDUC 322 ) The Caribbean is a diverse and complex place. This course specifically focuses on the Afro-Anglo Caribbean with few exceptions such as Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The focus on these mostly Afro and Indo Caribbean spaces is important for procuring knowledge that has existed and continue to emerge from this region but that have been marginal in the U.S. academy. Although we cover the Caribbean broadly, the course focuses on a variety of approaches taken by scholars, activists and the government to understand this complex terrain. We read novels, feminist texts, historical documents, sociological studies and other scholarly and popular work to gain a better understanding of this vast and diverse territory. Popular works include poetry, dancehall music, calypso music, short stories and plays. This class provides you with a dynamic introduction to the Afro-Anglo Caribbean region. Kimberly Williams Brown.

    One 3-hour period.

    Course Format: CLS
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    WMST 352 - Studies in Romanticism

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as  ENGL 352 ) In this advanced seminar, we address this underdeveloped area of scholarly research through our reading of primary and secondary texts, our class discussion, and our critical research projects. Reading theory and criticism from Romanticism studies and adjacent scholarly fields, we ask ourselves—what is queer about this literary-historical moment that has not yet been accounted for? Our goal is to redefine the boundaries of queer Romanticism—beyond a simplistic search for queer characters in the primary texts—to include broader theoretical categories such as queer affect and queer temporality, among others. We focus primarily on the poetry of the period, but also attend to some prose genres, including the diary and the essay. 

    Topic for 2020/21b: What’s Queer About Romanticism?  Why is it that the most influential and ambitious work in queer studies has rarely emerged from the field of Romanticism? As Michael O’Rourke and David Collings rightly note, “We have had [scholarly studies called] Queering the Middle AgesQueering the RenaissanceVictorian Sexual Dissidence, and Queering the Moderns—but no Queering the Romantics.” Accounting for this critical gap, Richard Sha argues that the Romantic period has been mischaracterized as a “seemingly asexual zone between eighteenth-century edenic ‘liberated’ sexuality…and the repressive sexology of the Victorians.” In reality, this relatively brief cultural moment in England produced a diverse range of queer figures, both historical and literary: from Anne Lister, whose diary records hundreds of pages in code about her sexual relationships with women, to the Ladies of Llangollen, who openly cohabited with the support of English high society, to the myth of the modern vampire, a deeply sexualized and often queer figure. Given the richness of the terrain, then, why are queer studies lagging behind in Romantic circles? Katie Gemmill.

    One 2-hour period.

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    WMST 355 - Childhood and Children in Nineteenth-Century Britain

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as HIST 355  and VICT 355 )  This course examines both the social constructions of childhood and the lived experiences of children in imperial and domestic Britain during the long nineteenth century. We analyze new ideals of childhood arising at the beginning of this period and explore how these ideals—of childhood innocence and dependence, for example—applied to the experiences of actual children in vastly different ways. Thus, a main theme of the course is how age categories intersect with racial, class, gender, and national identities. Topics include the relationships between children and adults, child labor, sexuality, gender, education, welfare, and the ways in which ideals of childhood upheld imperialism.  The course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of childhood; we examine a variety of primary sources ranging from parliamentary reports and memoirs to photographs and children’s literature. Lydia Murdoch.

    One 2-hour period.

    Course Format: CLS
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    WMST 360 - Religion, Sex, and the Modern State


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as RELI 360 ) This course examines the intertwined regulation of religion and sexuality by modern states through six case studies from around the world: Nigeria, France, Norway, Iran, Uganda, and India. These cases take us through a range of political systems and both religiously homogenous and religiously diverse societies, showing how in each case the state is intimately concerned with the relationship between religion, sexuality, and sexual difference. Through our analysis of these cases, we cover topics including comparative secularisms, race and citizenship, Islamic law, postcolonial feminist and queer theory, the sociology of religious revival, and religion and global media. At the end of the course, students will have a globally-informed and nuanced understanding of the stakes of contemporary debates about religious freedom, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights around the world. Kirsten Wesselhoeft.

    One 2-hour period.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
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    WMST 362 - Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as ASIA 362  and CHJA 362 ) An intercultural examination of the images of women presented in Japanese and Chinese narrative, drama, and poetry from their early emergence to the modern period. While giving critical attention to aesthetic issues and the gendered voices in representative works, the course also provides a comparative view of the dynamic changes in women’s roles in Japan and China. All selections are in English translation. Peipei Qiu.

    Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

    One 2-hour period.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

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    WMST 364 - Race, Class & Gender in the United States

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as AFRS 364  and HIST 364 ) This course examines how African Americans have navigated the intersectionality of race, class, and gender at several moments in American history. Topics might include the slave experience, abolitionism, black mobilization in the union movement, or the quest for civil and social justice. To deepen their understanding of one of these topics, students write research papers, using primary documents and secondary sources. Shelby Pumphrey

    One 2-hour period.

    Course Format: CLS
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    WMST 366 - Art and Activism in the United States


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as  AFRS 366 , AMST 366 , and ART 366 ) Exquisite Intimacy. An interdisciplinary exploration of the work and role of quilts within the US. Closely considering quilts–as well as their creators, users, keepers, and interpreters–we study these integral coverings and the practices of their making and use with keen attention to their recurrence as core symbols in American history, literature, and life. Lisa Collins.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    One 2-hour period.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

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    WMST 369 - Masculinities: Global Perspectives

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as ASIA 369  and SOCI 369 ) From a sociological perspective, gender is not only an individual identity, but also a social structure of inequality (or stratification) that shapes the workings of major institutions in society as well as personal experiences. This seminar examines meanings, rituals, and quotidian experiences of masculinities in various societies in order to illuminate their normative making and remaking as a binary and hierarchical category of gender and explore alternatives to this construction of gender. Drawing upon cross-cultural and comparative case studies, this course focuses on the following institutional sites critical to the politics of masculinities: marriage and the family, the military, business corporations, popular culture and sexuality, medicine and the body, and religion. Seungsook Moon.

    Prerequisite(s): Previous coursework in Sociology or permission of the instructor.

    One 3-hour period.

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    WMST 370 - Feminist Perspectives on Environmentalism


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as ENST 370  and ESSC 370 ) In this seminar we explore some basic concepts and approaches within feminist environmental analysis paying particular attention to feminist theory and its relevance to environmental issues. We examine a range of feminist research and analysis in ‘environmental studies’ that is connected by the recognition that gender subordination and environmental destruction are related phenomena. That is, they are the linked outcomes of forms of interactions with nature that are shaped by hierarchy and dominance, and they have global relevance. The course helps students discover the expansive contributions of feminist analysis and action to environmental research and advocacy; it provides the chance for students to apply the contributions of a feminist perspective to their own specific environmental interests. Jill Schneiderman.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor; WMST 130  recommended.

    One 2-hour period.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

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    WMST 371 - Gender, Science and Politics


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as POLI 371  and STS 371 ) In a context that some have described as “post-truth,” and in which “marching for Science” has become a form of resistance to power, there are high stakes behind science literacy. When the climate sciences are helping us understand our ecological condition, yet climatology and the new discourse of “Anthropocene” also has begun legitimizing fantasies of geoengineering the Earth, what would a feminist climatology look like? In today’s digital age, when boundaries between real/unreal, physical/virtual, human/natural, female/male seem to collapse all around us, should we, more-than-women and more-than-men espouse our new cyborg selves, or cling to an image of women-as-goddesses oh-so-close to nature, and to images of men as taming, mastering, dominating nature? What are some alternatives beyond these possibilities? This course critically engages the sciences from a feminist theoretical perspective. We  examine the ”situated” nature of scientific knowledge, against the positivist grain of scientific claims to Truth and objectivity. We also examine how feminist theorists have drawn from some dissensual and innovative scientific theories of late, to inspire provocative arguments about the environment, ontology, and normativity.

    One 2-hour period.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

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    WMST 375 - Seminar in Women’s Studies

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    Topic for 2021/22b: Feminist Disability Studies. (Same as ENGL 375 ) Why is disability a feminist issue? This course addresses that question by exploring the diverse meanings of disability, both in theory and in lived experience, focusing on intersections of disability with gender, race, class, and sexuality. Disability is defined broadly to include all the ways in which a person’s body or mind may be perceived as outside what Audre Lorde called “the mythical norm.” We examine the ways in which particular historical, social, and institutional structures have shaped the experiences of disabled people, and how cultural perceptions of disability create social inequality. In the spirit of the disability rights movement’s call for “nothing about us without us,” we also give special attention to the work of disabled writers, artists, performers, and activists.Topics may include gender, sexuality, and eugenics; engendering the disabled body; disability, biotechnology, and reproductive justice; the gendering of “madness;” invisible disabilities; disability and trauma; disability and incarceration; disability, dependency, and the feminist ethics of care; disability rights and disability justice. Students deepen their personal engagement with feminist disability studies through research, self-reflection, and a final critical or creative project. Leslie Dunn, Silke von der Emde. 

    May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

    One 2-hour period.

    Course Format: CLS
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    WMST 379 - Muslim Feminist and Womanist thought and Praxis


    1 1 unit(s)
    (Same as RELI 379 ) This seminar explores the work of Muslim thinkers and activists who critically take up issues of gender and sexuality in Islamic contexts. These thinkers, who often identify as feminist or womanist, challenge Western feminist orthodoxies as well as certain religious frameworks, drawing on Islamic traditions in order to imagine and work towards a capacious gender justice. We read feminist and womanist interpretation of Qur’an and hadith, Islamic history, theology, ethics, spirituality and law, and explore how Muslim gender activists in a range of global contexts relate to intellectual traditions of Islamic feminism. We consider the interventions of Muslim feminists and womanists for gender theory and activism more broadly. Key themes include marriage, parenthood, and divorce, religious authority, colonialism and race, tradition, political activism, spiritual practice, and history of sexuality.  Kirsten Wesselhoeft.

    Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in Religion or Women’s Studies or permission of the instructor.

    One 2-hour period.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

    Course Format: CLS
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    WMST 381 - How Queer is That?

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    This course situates queer within a larger trajectory of diverse social movements. We track different deployments of queer in order to reconstruct its (contested) histories as critique, political intervention, and identity or anti-identity. Together, we critically engage the terms, practices, and debates associated with queer studies. We also devote special attention to links between queer studies and feminism, critical ethnic studies, disability justice, and other articulations of disruption, refusal, transformation, and insurgency. Some questions for you to keep in mind: What kinds of struggle (or trouble) does queer enable? What kind of interventions can queer make within the academy? How does queer activism depart from a gay and lesbian rights discourse? What promises does queer hold? What are its limitations, as either political orientation or mode of analysis? How are poverty, immigration, policing and massive incarceration, and health care queer issues? What might queer contribute to critiques of militarization, the prison industrial complex, empire, and capitalism? What is the future of queer? Students are invited to arrive at their own conceptualizations for a truly transformative queer politics. Hiram Perez.

    Prerequisite(s): WMST 130  and relevant 200-level course desirable.

    One 2-hour period.

    Course Format: CLS
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    WMST 382 - Marie-Antoinette

    Semester Offered: Fall
    1 unit(s)
    (Same as HIST 382 ) More than 200 years after her death, Marie-Antoinette continues to be an object of fascination because of her supposed excesses and her death at the guillotine. For her contemporaries, Marie-Antoinette often symbolized all that was wrong in French body politic. Through the life of Marie-Antoinette, we investigate the changing political and cultural landscape of eighteenth-century France including the French Revolution. Topics include women and power, political scandal and public opinion, fashion and self-representation, motherhood and domesticity, and revolution and gender iconography. Throughout the course, we explore the changing nature of the biographical narrative. The course also considers the legacy of Marie Antoinette as martyr and fetish object in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and her continuing relevance today. Sumita Choudhury.

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    WMST 385 - Women, Culture, and Development


    1 unit(s)
    (Same as INTL 385 , LALS 385  and SOCI 385 ) This course examines the ongoing debates within development studies about how integration into the global economy is experienced by women around the world. Drawing on gender studies, cultural and global political economy, we explore the multiple ways in which women struggle to secure wellbeing, challenge injustice, and live meaningful lives. Light Carruyo.

    Not offered in 2021/22.

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    WMST 399 - Senior Independent Study

    Semester Offered: Fall or Spring
    0.5 to 1 unit(s)
    Prerequisite(s): For independent study: 2 units of work in Women’s Studies or from the list of Approved Courses.

    Permission of the director is required for all independent work.

    Course Format: OTH