Women’s & Gender Studies Fall 2022 Course Brochure is ready! Peruse course offerings – especially some of the amazing special topics courses being taught fall semester. Click on the WGS Fall 2022 Course Brochure button to download a PDF version with all descriptions. Below are summaries of special topics courses that are sure to fill up quickly. Need an advising session? Be sure to contact Prof. Kris De Welde or Prof. Claire Curtis to schedule an advising appointment before registration begins.
WGST 321.01 ST: Women, Globalization, & Migration
Women are vulnerable to poverty and commonly lack access to adequate social, cultural, institutional, and material resources necessary for survival. The collective
identity “woman” comprises more than half of the world’s population yet is regularly marginalized in local, transnational, and global economies. The collective
identity “woman” is also internally diverse. Many women endure compounded oppression (which makes them more vulnerable to impoverishment) related to
identity traits including but not limited to sexuality, gender expression, sex, race, skin color, languages, age, geographic location, education, familial relationships, and
gender-based violence. This course explores the experiences of diverse and intersectional women in an increasingly globalized world and in various geographic
locations. In this class students will consider how gender discrimination, intersectionality, migration, economies, and globalization are deeply and intimately
related. Students will reflect on their own positionality within global power hierarchies and will engage in the course material in a self-reflexive and investigative
WGST 321.02 ST: Latin American Feminists & Human Rights
International human rights are designed based on the ideology that all people deserve basic rights because of their shared humanity. However, Latin American feminists commonly argue that the international human rights processes are rife with inequalities at the local, transnational, and global levels, are not effectively enforced, are resources for Western imperialism, and are Western and male centric. This class problematizes human rights failures. In particular, the class explores how human rights treaties and operations (in their present form) cannot adequately address the complexity of lived experiences, diversity, and intersectionality. This course documents how feminists throughout Latin America have mobilized against colonialism, poverty, gender discrimination, and other inequalities by engaging in domestic as well as transnational activism around international human rights. Latin American feminists have unrelentingly promoted equality and are transforming how human rights are understood throughout Latin America and the world.
WGST 321.03 ST: Revolutionary Lives
This course examines revolutionary movements in Latin America’s long Cold War through a biographical approach. We will explore how individuals navigated periods of upheaval and violence, how their revolutionary ideologies challenged or transformed how they thought about and formulated their own gender identities, and how they imagined different futures for themselves and their communities.
WGST 322.01 ST: Art & the Invention of Race, c. 1300-1800
This course explores the role of the visual arts in the development of the modern concept of “race” during the rise of European global empires. Specific topics to be covered include, for example, the depiction of “monstrous races” in ancient and medieval art and their connection (or not) to modern racial categories; early “ethnographic” representations of Asian, African, and Indigenous American peoples by European explorers; representations of European explorers by African, Asian, and American artists; and depictions of enslaved Africans in European and American artworks. We will pay particular attention to the methods artists developed to make visible the changing understandings of race and to the ways in which representations of racial differences intersect with perceptions/representations of gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic class.
WGST 323.01 ST: Queer Friendship, Kinship, Comradeship, and Community as Liberation Praxis
This course is an immersive and experiential study of the ways in which LGBTQ+ people engage queer friendships, kinship, comradeship, and community as liberation praxis. Centering WOC, QTBIPOC, and white anti-racist feminists and the traditions they have co-created including healing, disability, and transformative justice among others, we will explore theories, perspectives, and approaches to queer friendship, kinship, coalition, and community. Honoring our particular situatedness, a substantial portion of the course will highlight historical and contemporary examples of relational social justice work among QTBIPOC and white anti-racist LGBTQ+ social justice collectives and grassroots community organizations in the South. Lastly, we will take up somatic and relational culture informed community building practices as a part of in-class activities and outside-of-class assignments, experientially learning with one another and others ways of fostering and sustaining queer friendship, kinship, comradeship, and community.
WGST 323.03 ST: Camp, Kitsch, & Cult Movies
This course will explore the art, analysis, and legacy of transgressive cinema by focusing on three closely related but distinct categories: camp, kitsch, and cult films. In examining these films, as well as scholarly analysis of their role in criticizing mainstream culture, students will develop skills of observation, inquiry, and analysis that will deepen their understanding of the arts and empower them to engage challenging texts on a higher level. We will also be addressing larger issues including gender and sexuality, violence, genre and fan cultures.
WGST 323.04 ST: Examining Hollywood Film
This is an advanced writing course designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of film as an art form, “Hollywood” as a cultural institution and commercial enterprise, and as the ideological frameworks within and around cinema. Students will examine a variety of theoretical frameworks of film criticism, and be exposed to the films of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” to the late 20th century. To focus our discussion on cinema and representation, this course will use representations of gender and race as its primary lenses for understanding the impact, potential, and stakes of Hollywood representation.
WGST 324.01 ST: Sexuality of Childbirth
This course examines the sexuality of pregnancy and birth in the context of feminist thought and theory by carefully studying the medical model of birthing and comparing this with the midwifery model of birthing. Medicalized childbirth tends to dissociate sexuality from the experience of birth, and a cultural anxiety around childbirth points to a larger anxiety about female sexuality in general. But a vaginal birth happens through female genitalia and needs to be understood physiologically as a sexual event. Childbirth really can be transformative, even positive and pleasurable: erotic, ecstatic, and orgasmic, yet currently in the United States there is so little education or exposure to pregnancy and childbirth in our culture, and the media tends to portray birth as a gruesome medical emergency. Here we will explore how supportive care potentially plays a key role in easing the physical, emotional, and psychological transition to motherhood while situating childbirth as a place of radical feminist discourse.