Harvard Gender Course Guide 2016-2017

Gender Course Guide Listing

Women and Power: Leadership in a New World

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

An intense, interactive experience designed to help women advance to top positions of influence in public leadership The rise of women into society's most powerful leadership roles—across sectors, around the globe—ranks among the most profound social transformations of recent decades. Women and Power focuses on helping women in senior positions develop effective leadership strategies, with an emphasis on creating successful alliances and enduring partnerships.

"The Words to Say It": Women Writing in French from Colette to Satrapi

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Motherhood, romantic love, independence, sexuality, citizenship, fantasy, death: these are just some of the themes explored in women's novels, written in French, in the twentieth century. We will read eight novels together, exploring how they have finally become classics, even given what they say about life and what it means for women to write about it.

Additional Information

Faculty: Alice Jardine
Time: W, 4:00 - 6:00pm
Course website
FR 227

A La Francaise: French Feminisms Today

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

Close readings of postwar French fiction and theory with emphasis on what is called "the feminine'' in key psychoanalytic, philosophical, and literary writings of the French poststructuralist tradition. In particular, we will focus on fifty years of dialogue between postwar theory in France and feminist practice in the United States. Writers considered include Cixous, Duras, Hyvrard, Irigaray, Kristeva, and Wittig as well as Deleuze, Derrida, and Lacan.

Advanced Topics in Women, Gender and Health

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

This interdepartmental, interdisciplinary seminar will offer the chance to analyze ways by which diverse constructs of gender influence public health research and practice. Using different examples each week, the core WGH faculty and students will focus on how gender contributes to classifying, surveying, understanding and intervening on population distributions of health, disease, and well-being. Discussion of these examples will draw on different disciplines, conceptual frameworks, and methodological approaches (both quantitative and qualitative).

American Fetish: Consumer Culture Encounters the Other

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

How are notions of human difference, including ethnicity, race, gender, and sexuality, used to sell products in an increasingly global market? We will start in the nineteenth century with the rise of consumer culture, examining how cultures and people considered "primitive" achieved value as objects for exchange and entertainment, and then investigate how this idea takes shape in our contemporary moment. Topics include: sex tourism; commodification of "queer" and multiracial aesthetics; "compassionate" consumption.

Beauty and Power: Race and Gender in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

This course examines processes of defining beauty through both cultural productions and historical works during the 20th and 21st Centuries. We will explore how beauty is used to manage bodies, define social hierarchies, and gain or maintain power. We will also investigate how presentations of beauty could also be used as forms of subversion and resistance.

Behavioral Economics for Organizations

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

This course uses insights from behavioral economics to promote organizational health. Getting and staying healthy includes preventing undesirable events from happening, detecting issues when they arise and mitigating against the consequences as they occur. To promote healthy behaviors, organizations typically rely on "soft" instruments such as awareness raising and appeals through training programs and information sharing, or "hard" instruments such as command-and-control through rules, carrots and sticks. This course argues that behavioral design or "nudges" offer a middle ground to establish healthy behaviors, often more powerful than awareness raising and less costly than shoves.

Beyond the Sound Bite: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the Daily News

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

We are bombarded by sound bites from all over the globe, moving at disorienting speeds, reorganizing our relationship to time and space with increasingly dystopic results. This course will focus on selected televisual and digital events in "real time" from February-May 2016. We will analyze the embedded bits of gender and sexuality always at work in the representations of those events. Topics include: politics, the environment, military adventures, and popular revolt in dialogue with important texts in WGS Studies. 

Black Masculinities in Literature, Film, and Visual Culture

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

With particular emphasis on mid-twentieth century American culture, this seminar will examine complex - and often contradictory - iterations of race and gender in works of literary and visual culture produced by and about African American men.  We will explore the work of: Shirely Clarke, Chester Himes, Iceberg Slim, Alice Walker, Melvin Van Peebles, Samuel Delany, James Baldwin, Robert Deane Pharr, Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka, and more.

Bodies and Sexualities in the Medieval Middle East: Medical, Cultural, and Religious Views

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

The body has been always an object of imagination, literature, science, philosophy and religion. It is the object of health and disease, birth and death, reward and punishment, and is the vehicle of both the divine and the profane. It is at the center of debates on sexuality, gender identities, race, and politics.

Bodies, Sexualities, and Medicine in the Medieval Middle East

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

This course will examine the ways in which medical, religious, cultural, and political discourses and practices interacted in the medieval and early modern Middle East to create and reflect multiple understandings of human bodies and sexualities. Special attention to debates on health, sexuality, and gender and racial identities.

Additional Information

Faculty: Ahmed Ragab
Time: M, W, 11:00am - 12:00pm 
Course website
HISTSCI 108

Bodies/Archives/Databases

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

Our museums and computers store bodies. Some are physical, appearing as material objects or as the “negative space” around them, and others are abstracted. The 2016-17 Gender and Sexuality Seminar Series interrogates the space between the archive, site of haunted specificity and historical embeddedness, and the database, locus of standardization and generalizable knowledge about human normativity, pathology, and variation.

Additional Information:

Colonization, Globalization, and Cultures of Asian Diaspora(s)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

This course takes a cultural approach to historical developments of Asian diaspora, colonialism, and globalization through the lenses of appearance and performance. We examine performative and cultural arenas including literary fiction, spectacles, and visual texts to examine efforts to strategically use discourses of race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and (trans)nationalism to structure and maintain colonial forces. This class pushes us to consider how marginalized individuals and communities also used the same arenas to resist and critique colonial subjugation.

Comparative Politics of Gender Inequality

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Why is there still a gender wage gap? Does it matter that women make up only 22% of parliaments worldwide? Can political institutions and policies influence how men and women share child care? This course examines the causes and consequences of gender inequality in the workforce, political life, and the household. Focusing on advanced democracies, topics include women in business, political participation, gender quotas, child care and domestic work.

Contesting Sex and Gender, Making Early Christianity

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Religion has been and remains a critical site both for constructing and for contesting sex/gender identities, roles, and sexualities. Women’s relationship with religion has been particularly fraught. We will examine early Christian and contemporaneous texts through different lenses, drawing upon: feminist biblical interpretation and hermeneutics, literary and legal theory, anthropology, historical-critical studies, theology, lesbian-feminist theory, transgender studies, rabbinics, and classics.

Creating Cultures of Sexual Respect on Campus

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Campus sexual assault has emerged into the national discourse in an unprecedented way. This Seminar provides an opportunity for students to engage in productive discourse about the issues, debates and tensions within the movement to protect students from sexual assault.  We will grapple with the various cultural, societal, legal, moral and political factors that contribute to this problem with a focus on identifying the levers most likely to produce social change.

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