This course revolves around the short, creative life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, one of the most prominent figures in art history, as a window to the cultural and political revolution that shaped Mexico's identity in the twentieth century and continues to influence Latinos today. Through Frida's life and artwork, we see how two international influences in Mexico's cultural and political life—Soviet politics and French surrealism—merged with national agendas that sought to redefine Mexico's identity through the integration of their indigenous heritage. The result was a time of booming creativity in the arts, radical expansion of educational and political agendas, as well as a redefinition of women's identity, sexuality, and the Mexican family. We trace her romantic and artistic relationship with Diego Rivera and explore her impact on the intensely creative social circle that included composer Carlos Chávez, photographers Lola Álvarez Bravo and Manual Álvarez Bravo as well as Tina Modotiti. Finally, the course includes a visit to the Fogg Museum for local students to see some of the Mexican muralist art work on display, and also a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts to see the painting by Frida Kahlo, Dos mujeres. (Salvadora y Herminia).
This course focuses on the growth and methodological richness of women’s and gender history in American Catholic Studies. It is designed to highlight histories of both lay and religious women, and to introduce students to a diversity of approaches—including visual and material culture studies, queer studies, African American and Latinx studies, childhood studies, biography, and oral history.... Read more about Women and Gender in U.S. Catholicism
This course explores the work religious leaders of nonviolent social movements who utilize religion or spirituality as a basis for justice. We will investigate women of color activists from Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, Standing Rock, and Black Lives Matters movements paying attention to the importance of religion in their activism. ... Read more about Leadership and Womanist Moral Traditions
The relation between sex equality under law and sex and gender inequality in society is interrogated in theory and practice in the context of relevant social science, history, and international and comparative law. Mainstream equality doctrine is probed on its own terms and through an alternative. Cases largely on U.S. law focusing on concrete issues--including work, family, rape, sexual harassment, lesbian and gay rights, abortion, prostitution, pornography--structure the inquiry. Race, economic class, and transsexuality are mainstreamed. The purpose of the course is to understand, criticize, and expand the law toward sex and gender equality, including between women and men, as well as to expand the equality paradigm.
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 mindful of the intersections of gender, sexuality, class, and race. Although focused on women’s lives and experiences, this course is highly relevant to people of all genders.... Read more about Race, Gender, and Sexuality in American Popular Music
This reading group explores American law related to and affecting transgender, genderfluid, nonbinary, agender, and gender-nonconforming people. We will discuss contemporary cases involving transgender rights, as well as historical cases where the rights of transgender litigants were directly or indirectly contested. Readings will incorporate case law, sociological perspectives, and direct first-person narratives. By looking at law through the lens of transgender experiences, the class will critique legal assumptions about gender and reflect upon how law as a whole could be made less cis-normative.
This course will examine and compare eight major strands of contemporary North Atlantic feminism: liberal feminism, dominance feminism, cultural feminism, socialist/materialist feminism, economic feminism in a liberal market frame, critical race feminism, postmodern feminism, and the relations between feminism and conservatism. We will read classics in feminist legal theory and case studies allowing us to examine and compare the ways in which various strands of feminism have engaged law and law reform. The goals of this course is to enable each student to make informed decisions about which strands of feminist legal theory work best for them and to give all students a strong understanding of how past stages in the development of feminist legal theory and law reform help to shape contemporary expressions of feminism. ... Read more about Feminist Legal Theory
The seminar will engage in a feminist reading of Scripture Stories about wo/men in order to trace the cultural imprint of these stories and assess whether they are “good news” for wo/men. Special attention will be given to feminist interpretation, and political-cultural imagination. Discussion will focus on the significance of social location, critical methods, and religious imagination for the interpretation and teaching of these stories about biblical wo/men and their cultural-theological significance for contemporary religious education and ministerial praxis. ... Read more about Scripture Stories of Women
This interdisciplinary course will explore the politics of reproductive health and health care delivery, both in the US and globally, with a particular focus on how reproduction and related clinical care are shaped by and in turn shape social inequality along axes of race, gender, and social class. The course will intertwine three threads: 1) major conceptual and theoretical issues foundational to understanding the politics and epidemiology of reproduction; 2) contemporary and historical perspectives on specific reproductive phenomena and events (preventing pregnancy, terminating pregnancy, sustaining pregnancy, and giving birth); 3) social movements organized around reproductive health (e.g. anti-abortion, reproductive justice movements). ... Read more about Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice
This course will introduce students to gender as a theoretical concept and a category of analysis in public health—specifically, the ways in which gender contributes to differentially structuring women and men's experiences of health. The course proposes to answer such questions as: How can understanding gender structures help us interpret public health research? How has gender influenced the construction of public health in diverse societies? How do our social frameworks and structures, such as gender, affect people's experiences and expectations of health? How is the success of behavioral change interventions and the validity of basic behavioral and evaluation research affected by gender? This course emphasizes the epidemiological aspects of gender analysis and the interactions among gender, class, race/ethnicity, and sexuality. The course will cover a broad range of health issues for which gender has been of special importance. Topics covered include: biology, chronic disease, mortality and morbidity, contraceptives, infertility, endometriosis, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, body image, masculinity, weight and shape control behaviors, abortion, and global reproductive health. Additionally, sessions will include global, U.S. domestic, and historical perspectives, with attention primarily paid to the epidemiologic investigation as well as the social and behavioral sciences and health policy dimensions.... Read more about Gender and Health: Introductory Perspectives
Gender identity and expectations; prison reform and the death penalty; personal accountability and protest; new media and modes of expression. Writers in the 19th and 20th centuries grappled with these questions as we do today. How do their sometimes revolutionary, sometimes surprisingly familiar approaches overlap with movements like Romanticism, Realism, Existentialism, and other new forms of fiction? We will explore short works by Sand, Hugo, Balzac, and Zola; poetry by Baudelaire; drama by Camus; a novel by Colette; a graphic novel by Fres; and films by Berri and Tavernier.
Diasporic Muslim fiction in the West: We will read 21st century novels by writers of Muslim background based in Europe and the U.S.— exploring, among others, themes of border crossings, the Muslim immigrant experience, figurations of gender and sexuality, and representations - and contestations - of Islam in the West. Readings include (provisional list): Ben Jalloun, Leaving Tangier, Hosseini, The Kite Runner, Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Lalami, Secret Son, Aboulela, Minaret, Jarrar, A Map of Home, Shafak, Forty Rules of Love.... Read more about Religion, Gender, Identity in 21st Century Diasporic Muslim Fiction
The course will explore the theoretical articulation of sex, gender, and sexuality in twentieth-century theory, particularly in psychoanalysis, philosophy, and feminist and queer theory. Readings will include texts by Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Julia Kristeva, Monique Wittig, Judith Butler, Moira Gatens, and others.
The study of immigration and the study of gender often do not intersect. This is despite the fact that scholars in both fields of study focus on questions concerning cultural membership and equal citizenship and the processes that produce social inequality. The goal of this course is to reinvigorate the linkages between gender and immigration. We will interrogate how gender, as it intersects with race, shapes practices and policies of im/migration and migrants’ lived experiences: what is the gendered character of migration patterns, and policies? How does migration occur on a voluntary and involuntary basis in ways that disproportionately disadvantage marginalized groups along lines of gender and race? And conversely, in what ways do the practices and consequences of immigration and transnationalism shape and constitute gender relations? The course will combine discussions of current issues on public media and news articles with academic analyses to encourage students to think about the complex interrelations between immigration, sexuality, gender and race, and the ways these shape our social world.
This seminar explores the culture and politics of American imperialism from the late 19th century to the present, with particular attention to race and gender. This writing and discussion-intensive course encourages students to examine how formal and informal imperial relations developed, and to analyze how American empire functioned on the ground for those who imposed it and those who resisted, appropriated, or accommodated it. The course focuses especially on American relations with Asia and Latin America, and topics include immigration, military occupation, gendered and racialized cultural engagement, international adoption, humanitarianism, and international development. Assigned readings bring together scholarship from American Studies, Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and American History.
The seminar will engage in a feminist reading of Scripture Stories about wo/men in order to trace the cultural imprint of these stories and assess whether they are “good news” for wo/men. Special attention will be given to feminist interpretation, and political-cultural imagination. Discussion will focus on the significance of social location, critical methods, and religious imagination for the interpretation and teaching of these stories about biblical wo/men and their cultural-theological significance for contemporary religious education and ministerial praxis.
This course will explore ancient Greek ideologies of gender difference and sexuality, including the mythical "origins" of gender, legal definitions of marriage and adultery, the gendering of space, the portrayal of women on the tragic stage, gender-bending and cross-dressing in comedy, medical models of sex and childbirth, and the links between pederasty and pedagogy. With the help of some important modern discussions about the construction of gender, sexuality, and identity, we will try to assess the ways in which sexual practices and male and female identities were imagined, formed, reinforced, and institutionalized during the archaic and classical periods (roughly 800-300 BCE).