Classes

    Hysterical Women: A History

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    What does it mean when contemporary media sources characterize celebrity figures, or frenzied consumers, as 'hysterical’? How are "hysteria" and "insanity" related, and what are the historical roots of these loaded concepts? This seminar addresses the complex history of hysteria by asking how this medicalized affliction has assumed a multiplicity of forms, especially on feminized and non-white bodies. As depicted through newspapers, multimedia sources, medical literature, sociological articles, and psychoanalytic texts, 'hysteria' affords a unique lens onto the social, cultural and medical history of mental and physical suffering. In a postcolonial world, the term has taken on even more complexity. As we compose a 'history of hysteria,' we will reflect on who gets to record history and whose narratives get left out.

    ... Read more about Hysterical Women: A History

    Affects, Bodies, Ecologies: Borders of Performance from Antiquity to the Early Modern World

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Pandemics such as COVID-19 have revealed not only the fragility of the human body within an equally delicate environment, but also our deep connection and commitment to artistic performances-the latter were the first to be canceled due to the high risk of infection and will be the last to return. This course asks how performance in its manifold guises (theater, processions, auto da fés, carnivals, etc.) and the presence (or absence) of the human body in public, on stage, and in the audience was negotiated in the early modern period.... Read more about Affects, Bodies, Ecologies: Borders of Performance from Antiquity to the Early Modern World

    Queer/Medieval

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    The "/" in this course title can suggest slippage or interchangeability, opposition and polarization, or (in fanfiction tagging conventions) erotic or romantic friction between two entities. This course functions as an introduction to queer theory as an intellectual tool with which to read texts far removed from the modern political, cultural, and social discourses from which queer theory emerged.... Read more about Queer/Medieval

    Assertive Stitches: Domestic Arts and Public Conflict

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    In January 2017, the Pussyhat Project created an effective visual unity for the Women's March on Washington, although the pink hats were also criticized as vulgar, trivial and exclusionary. This is not that first time that needlework has played a central (and controversial) role in political protest: Its associations with femininity and family life have been used to underscore contrasts between domestic morality and public policy, as well as to subvert or confirm gendered notions of decorum and citizenship.... Read more about Assertive Stitches: Domestic Arts and Public Conflict

    The Music of Women Creators

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    In spite of significant gains in gender equality over the last half century, women creators remain dramatically underrepresented in the music world, in all genres of music and in all categories of musical production: as composers, improvisors, producers, conductors, and even as performers. The course is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of women creators to the history of music.... Read more about The Music of Women Creators

    Elizabeth Bishop and Others

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    This course introduces students to the poetry, literary prose, and artful correspondence of one of the major poets of the twentieth century, considering her innovations in all these genres. We will look at her writing in multiple genres alongside the mid-century shift from ‘closed’ to ‘open’ verse forms, and relate stylistic issues to the intellectual and social changes, and political and historical developments of the period.... Read more about Elizabeth Bishop and Others

    Quilts and Quiltmaking

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    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.... Read more about Quilts and Quiltmaking

    Women as Photographers in Weimar Germany and in Exile

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    An extraordinary number of women trained to become photographers in Weimar Germany (1919-1933). Their presence and practices dramatically altered the conditions of visual culture in a country that had never achieved the levels of French modernism, for example, neither in terms of its aesthetic complexity nor in terms of its contributions to nation state identity.... Read more about Women as Photographers in Weimar Germany and in Exile

    Sounding Identity

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    This interdisciplinary seminar addresses multiple histories of politics and aesthetics within the context of sound and music technologies as mediators of intersectional identity. Creative practice will serve as a method of critical inquiry into race, class, dis/ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation in concert, recordings, and other outputs.... Read more about Sounding Identity

    Gender, War, Writing, Rhetoric, and Reading: Troilus and Criseyde from Late Medieval to Early Modern

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    The material of this course consists of the following exceptionally rich late medieval and early modern Trojan materials: Chaucer’s House of Fame; Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde; Lydgate’s Troy Book (Book 2); Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid; and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. We will be guided into these materials by the inter-related topics listed in the course title. Wherever possible and appropriate, we will absorb the publication conditions and media of these texts and/or performances.... Read more about Gender, War, Writing, Rhetoric, and Reading: Troilus and Criseyde from Late Medieval to Early Modern

    Shakespeare's Women

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Rosalind, Portia, Ophelia, Juliet, Isabella, Cressida, Cleopatra, Cordelia, Imogen, Volumnia, Miranda, Lady Macbeth—the women of Shakespeare’s plays have become iconic figures, cited, admired, critiqued, and invoked in every generation. But in the English public theater of Shakespeare’s time no women were permitted to appear onstage.... Read more about Shakespeare's Women

    Witch Hunts: Persecution in Public History and Ethics

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    This course treats persecution in America as a site of public history and ethics. Focusing on three historical cases—the Salem Witch trials, the Underground Railroad, and Cold War-era McCarthyism—we will explore how hunts for witches, runaway slaves, and communists (along with their fellow travelers) have shaped American political culture.... Read more about Witch Hunts: Persecution in Public History and Ethics