Classes

    Inequality

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Growing economic inequality is said to be one of the defining challenges of our time. In this class, we will examine some of the most important problems thought to be raised by inequality through the lens of several systematic ways of thinking about social justice. Topics to be addressed include inequality of income and wealth, inequality of opportunity, gender and racial inequality, unemployment and poverty, unauthorized migration, authority in the workplace, threats to democratic...
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    Gender, Race, and Poverty in the United States

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course investigates the realities of poverty through an intersectional lens, meaning that we will consider the simultaneous impact of race, gender, sexuality (and other identities) on economic insecurity. In what ways are conversations about poverty and its causes infused with assumptions and stereotypes related to gender, race, and sexuality? We hear so much in the media about what causes poverty – what is reality and what is myth? How do these myths operate to reinforce and...
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    Leaning In, Hooking Up: Visions of Feminism and Femininity in the 21st Century

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    What does it mean to “do” feminism, or to “be” a feminist in the 21st-century United States? What can we make of the dominant social expectations for a woman’s life? This course explores contemporary ideals of feminine success, including their physical, familial, professional, and political manifestations. We will engage with highly-contested topics—including sexual violence and Title 9; work-life balance; the imperatives of self-care and presentation; and new models for sexuality...
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    Quilts and Quiltmaking

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    Are quilts the great American (folk) art? From intricately stitched whole-cloth quilts, to the improvisational patchworks of Gee's Bend; from the graphic simplicity of Amish quilts to the cozy pastels of depression-era quilts; from the Aids Quilt to art quilts; quilts have taken on extraordinary significance in American culture. This class surveys the evolution of quilt-making as a social practice, considering the role of quilts in articulations of gender, ethnic, class and religious identities, and...

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    Psychology of Close Relationships

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This course is an in-depth exploration of close relationships. Examples of topics to be covered include the biological bases of attraction; relationship formation; the end of relationships through break-up, divorce, or death; relationship satisfaction; deception; gender roles; same-sex relationships; loneliness; relationships and well-being; and public perceptions about relationships. You will have an opportunity to explore these topics primarily through critical examination of the empirical literature as well as through popular press. 

     

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    Psychology of Women

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    How does being a woman affect our behavior, our evaluations of ourselves, and our interactions with others? This course examines psychological science on women and girls in western industrialized societies, addressing such topics as gender stereotypes, girlhood, women and work, relationships, pregnancy and motherhood, mental health, violence against women, and women in later adulthood. We will consider these topics through an understanding of gender as a social construction, being...
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    Sex, Gender, Sexuality

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Male/Female, Man/Woman, Masculine/Feminine, Straight/Gay. Where do these consequential categories come from? How do they generate inequalities? Why are they so easily reproduced? And what, if anything, should we do about it? Combining real-world applications with academic analyses, this course encourages you to think about how sexuality and gender have shaped the social world, as well as our own place within it.
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    Latinx, 1492 to 2022

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    The 530 years since Columbus’s arrival in Hispaniola have paid witness to the fall and rise of empires, the perseverance of colonial structures of power, and the construction and (re)creation of racial, sexual, and gendered identities. In the midst of such change and continuity, this course sets out to ask: what place does Latinx occupy in this long history? What does Latinidad look like when we trace it back 530 years, when we take 1492 to be its starting point instead of the 20th...
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    Feminism and Anthropology

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course considers the relationship between feminism (as activist realm, as theoretical field, in its institutionalized form as gender studies) and anthropology. We will begin with early ethnographic writing by women and about women, and analyze some of the interventions feminists hope to make in anthropology. We will then examine the relationship between feminism and anthropology through two topics: kinship and politics. Our course will consider how feminist anthropologists...
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    Women's Voices in Asian and Asian American Literature

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course introduces students to the writings of both canonical and lesser-known Asian and Asian American women writers. The course especially examines the works by Chinese/ Chinese American, Japanese/ Japanese American, Korean/ Korean American women writers. Moving from the pre-modern to contemporary era, the course will explore a range of women’s voices and experiences as reflected through poetry, fiction, diaries, and epistles. Authors will include Murasaki Shikibu, Li...
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    Staging Critique: French Theater and the Social Body

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    How has theater in France, from the 17th-century to the present, served as a site of political, social, and philosophical reflection? In this course, we will attempt to answer that question by studying a selection of plays representing the major trends, movements, and writers of French theater from Jean Racine to Marie NDiaye. We will look in particular at how theater privileges the body and the language of emotion to reformulate and respond to questions regarding the relationship...
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    Introduction to the Study of East Asia: Issues and Methods

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This interdisciplinary and team-taught course provides an introduction to several of the approaches and methods through which the societies and cultures of East Asia can be studied at Harvard, including history, philosophy, literary studies, political science, film studies, anthropology and gender studies. We consider both commonalities and differences across the region, and explore how larger processes of imperialism, modernization, and globalization have shaped contemporary East Asian societies and their future trajectories. 

     

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    Prison Abolition

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Is prison abolition a serious proposal, an aspirational ideal, a trendy slogan, or a blueprint for social transformation? This interdisciplinary and community-engaged course situates the prison abolition movement in deep historical context and explores its current relation to the politics of criminal justice reform. We will study the movement’s connections to slavery abolitionism, anti-lynching activism, Indigenous struggles for sovereignty, and the Black Power movement. We will...
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    Carceral Empire

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Mass incarceration is a catastrophe in the United States, especially affecting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and poor communities. Different forms of carceral confinements have long been an integral part of the formation of the United States and other settler colonies in the Americas. In this course, we will focus on the history of Indigenous confinements. While the incarceration of Indigenous peoples today resembles the incarceration of other minoritized peoples, it has similar and...
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    Freedom: A Transatlantic Affair

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    The brilliantly witty German physicist and satirical author Georg Christoph Lichtenberg once remarked that “The American who first discovered Columbus made a horrible discovery” (“Der Amerikaner, der den Kolumbus zuerst entdeckte, machte eine böse Entdeckung.”). Taking inspiration from the insightfully eccentric perspectives that another culture might have on our own (and our own on it), this course interrogates the dynamics of transnational cultural transfer by examining case...
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    Introduction to African American Studies

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course aims to provide an interdisciplinary examination of the complex array of African-American cultural and political practices from slavery to the present. The course will involve close readings of a variety of primary sources and classic texts that present key issues in African American thought and practice. The course will place special emphasis on debates concerning African American people with the goal of introducing students to the process and the methodology of...
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    Literature, Diaspora, Migration, and Trauma

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This course examines a diverse range of creative and critical discourses on trauma and the global African; East, South, Southeast, and West Asian (Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese); and Middle Eastern (Jewish, Palestinian, Lebanese); as well as Latin American diasporas. We focus on the connections among diasporas, displacement, migration, and trauma, and on the relationships of these phenomena and constructions and understandings of artistic and cultural identities, ethnicity/race...

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    Migration in Theory and Practice

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    In this course, we will examine how and why people migrate from one location to another, focusing both on the theoretical paradigms scholars use to explain migration processes as well as on the individual experiences of migrants. Topics include transnationalism, diaspora, identity formation, integration and assimilation, citizenship claims, and the feminization of migration. Ethnographic readings focus primarily on migration to the US, but also include cases from other world areas, most notably Asia. This is a junior tutorial. 

     

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    Mobility, Power and Politics

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course incorporates insights from the new mobilities paradigm in studying the linkages between movement, power and politics in the contemporary era. The course will discuss how issues of mobility are central to many lives and many organizations, and how movement intersects with the spatialization and materialization of power, difference and inequality within societies. Students will come to an understanding of how mobility, and control over mobility, both reflects and...
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    The Dark Side of Big Data

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Does it sometimes feel like Instagram ads are listening a little too closely to your conversations? Have you ever wondered if certain corporations might own images of your face? Today, fears abound that algorithms are not only populating our lives with annoying targeted advertisements but might also be creating the most unequal societies that have ever existed. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will explore key methodological overlaps and differences between humanistic and...
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