Classes

    Law and American Society

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    At a time when the rule of law is imperiled, our democracy and equal rights of every kind under assault by multiple forces, the importance of understanding our constitutional system of rights and laws as essential to the fabric of the nation cannot be overstated. The course will examine law as a vehicle of political conflict and a defining force in American society in four dimensions: 1.) as it establishes individual rights, liberties, and the limits of toleration; 2.) as it attempts to resolve differences among competing constituencies; 3.) as it sets out terms of punishment and social...
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    Online Dating and the Transformation of Intimacy

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    Over the past twenty years, online dating has become the go-to way for people to seek intimacy. This has exacerbated problematic social forces such as sexism and racism. But many forms of attraction have also found expression as online dating has risen to prominence – with dozens of genders, sexualities, and relationship styles offered on OkCupid; platforms for threesomes, S&M enthusiasts, and gay men that like beards; and connections formed by many forms of mediation, from...
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    Psychology of the Gendered Body

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    Our perceptions of gender—our own and others’— shape our embodied experiences and behaviors. This course examines the embodiment of gender via the lens of psychological science. We will begin by exploring recent research related to gender and the body, and then study the underlying psychological mechanisms that influence our self-perceptions about gender. Our disciplinary foundation in psychological science will allow us to complicate current understandings of gender and embodiment...
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    LGBT Life Stories

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    In this seminar we’ll read a range of classic LGBT life stories (memoirs, journals, diaries, essays, and autobiographies), beginning in the 1800s and ending in the present. We will study them as products of their specific historical moment, paying close attention to changing ideas about race, class, gender, and sexuality. Questions: How do people narrate the story of their identity? What aspects of their life histories do they highlight; what do they censor? How does the “coming...
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    Introduction to Feminist Science Studies

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    This seminar is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of feminist science studies. As the feminist movements of the 1970s began to change the American political landscape, academic feminists began inquiries into the marginalization of women in science – a debate philosopher Harding called “the woman question in science.” Feminist scientists began to examine sex, gender and race bias in their own disciplines. In consequence, they raised questions about androcentric – male-...
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    Stories of Gender and Justice

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    With gender inequities and biases pervasive within and across cultures worldwide, and the global pandemics of gender-based violence and structural violence further intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic, how have individuals, groups, communities, and nations globally fought for (and against) gender justice? How have struggles against gender injustice intersected and conflicted with struggles against racial, ethnic, environmental, health, LGBTQIA+ and other forms of injustice? Gender...
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    Gender and Sexuality in Korean Pop Culture

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    What can the songs of BTS and Blackpink, the TV-show “Squid Game,” and the films Parasite andKim Chi-yŏng: Born 1982 teach us about gender roles in contemporary Korea? What roles do writers, musicians, and filmmakers play in shaping our thinking about sex and gender? How do competing ideas about sex shape the current system of cinematic, television, and popular music genres? These questions will be explored through case studies of Korean popular media, while the course will...
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    Queer/Medieval

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    The / in this course title can suggest a slippage or interchangeability; opposition and polarization; or erotic or romantic friction. This course functions as an introduction to queer theory as an intellectual tool with which to read texts far removed from the political, cultural, and social discourses from which queer theory emerged. We will ask: what can queer theory offer readers of medieval literature in its explorations of gender, sexuality, race, power, narrative, trauma, and...
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    Love's Labors Found: Uncovering Histories of Emotional Labor

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    How do love, care, and desire influence the value of work, and why is emotional labor – which is vital to child or elder care, domestic labor, nursing, teaching, and sex work – often considered to be something other than work? How and why do the racial and gender identities of workers affect the economic, social, and emotional value of their labor? How do political and social arrangements of labor help produce and reinforce racial categories while solidifying the boundaries...
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    The Making of Inequalities in Latin America: Seminar

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    This new iteration of the Latin American History Workshop will examine recent historiography on the region focusing on the making of social, racial and gender inequalities. The seminar will explore three main areas of scholarship: first, slavery and other forms of forced labor and its relationship with the emergence of racial ideologies; second, gender inequalities, especially in regard to struggles to obtain labor and reproductive rights; third, the enduring struggles for democracy in the region, comprising resistance to dictatorships, military interventionism, and right-wing extremism...

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    How Sweet is it to be Loved By You: Black Love and the Emotional Politics of Respect

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    The word 'love' is almost never used in any portrayal or description of the African American community's daily life in contemporary media and in the social sciences. But love, as a human experience, is central to our understanding of what it means to be a vital member of a culture and society and thus respected, nurtured, etc. This seminar examines the love that difference makes. It is a comprehensive study of the representation of gender, love and sexuality in African American and...
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    HIV in Global Perspective

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    As Covid 19 continues to dominate our historical moment, the pandemic has provoked culture wars over personal behavior, political fights over policy and funding, and sharp inequalities of care along national, economic, and racial divides. For the past few years, we have all felt hopeful optimism and then disappointed realism about the latest medical breakthrough, initial concern followed by compassion fatigue, and a widespread sense of helplessness in the face of an unrelenting virus. These dynamics at the intersection of culture, society, medicine, and public health also defined a...

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    Anyone's Germany: Redefining Identity in Contemporary German Fiction

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    What does it mean to be German today? Contemporary German society abounds with Grenzüberschreiter of varying kinds: generations who were raised in a divided Germany but came of age in a reunified, globalized Bundesrepublik; communities of multi-generational German nationals whose identities nevertheless inherit the problematic international labor-politics of both the East and the West; voices demanding greater visibility of Germany’s postcolonial legacy and sparking viral debates...
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    Tattoo: Histories and Practices

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    Tattooing has been practiced in many different social and cultural settings, in many different time periods, to different ends. In the United States, tattooing was long associated with marginalized and stigmatized groups, but since the 1970s, has become increasingly popular and even mainstream. This seminar style class will explore distinct regional histories of tattoo, the development of tattooing in the US, and the different ways that contemporary tattoo practitioners situate themselves historically and negotiate boundaries of race, class and gender. We will also consider tattoo as an...

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    Poetry Workshop: Form and Content

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    In this workshop, we’ll look closely at the craft-based choices poets make, and track the effects they have upon what we as readers are made to think and feel. How can implementing similar strategies better prepare us to engage the questions making up our own poetic material? We’ll also talk about content. What can poetry reveal about the ways our interior selves are shaped by public realities like race, class, sexuality, injustice and more?
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    Wit, Irony, Comedy

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    In life, as in literature, humor often takes us by surprise: it gives delight; it lightens our mood; it makes us laugh. The question is: why? Laughter, in many ways, is a mystery. If tragedy’s existence is all too easy to explain— suffering needs to be borne, and we yearn to find explanations for it—then it’s comedy that’s the enigma. Taking the comic seriously, this seminar provides a broad investigation into the psychological, sociological, philosophical, dramatic, and literary...
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    Implicit Bias: Science and Society

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    We coined the term implicit bias in 1995 to capture the idea that bias, i.e., a deviation from accuracy or values can be implicit, i.e., operate without conscious awareness or conscious control. The idea emerged from basic research on implicit social cognition (ISC), an area of scientific psychology that explores the hidden aspects of mental representations of self, other, and social groups. Today, 25 years later, the term implicit bias has transcended academic psychology and permeated contemporary culture where it is used and contested every day. In this seminar, we will study the...

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    Analyzing Pop Music

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How can music analysis inform the way we understand, listen to, and write about popular music? This course introduces tools and methods for studying the features, technologies, and compositional styles of post-2000 popular music. Weekly readings will address issues of form, rhythm & meter, instrumental and vocal timbre, computer-assisted analysis, vocal performance, and music videos. An ever-present concern of the class will be the ways in which these analytical tools and methods interact with issues of race, gender, and sexuality. The repertoire under study in the readings will...

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