Classes

    Medieval Women and the Problem of Knowledge

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    From Eve to Mary and from Lady Philosophy to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, medieval women are associated with knowing, good and bad, philosophical and experiential.  We seek our own knowledge of them through allegories and visions, autobiographies and visions, philosophical studies and gynecological treatises.  Works by Robert Grosseteste, Catherine of Siena, Christine de Pizan, Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe.

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    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.

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    The Politics of Yiddish

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    A bastardized German, a jargon, a woman's vernacular, an old world language, a dying and ghostly tongue, a Hasidic language, a queer language, a radical language-these are just a few of the ways that Yiddish has been labeled over its one-thousand-year history. This course will trace the shifting politics attached to Yiddish from its early modern beginnings as a language of translation between Jewish and non-Jewish cultures to its postwar vacillation between a language of mourning and nostalgia, Jewish American humor, Hasidic isolation, and contemporary Jewish radicalism.... Read more about The Politics of Yiddish

    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

    LGBT Life Stories

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    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.... Read more about LGBT Life Stories

    Tutorial - Sophomore Year

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    An introduction to foundational concepts and skills in the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality. Readings include Gloria Anzaldúa, Audre Lorde, Donna Haraway, Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Judith Butler, Lorgia Garcia- Peña, Hortense Spillers, José Esteban Muñoz, Sara Ahmed, Alison Bechdel, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and Michel Foucault.... Read more about Tutorial - Sophomore Year

    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

    Resisting Toxicity: Rachel Carson, Dolores Huerta, and Environmental Nonfiction

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, and Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmworkers Union, both campaigned against toxic exposures in the mid-20th-century United States and yet are rarely considered in tandem. This course puts the writings and activism of these two women in conversation, ranging through feminist, queer, and Latinx environmental writing to build connections between environmentalism and labor rights.... Read more about Resisting Toxicity: Rachel Carson, Dolores Huerta, and Environmental Nonfiction

    Tutorial - Sophomore Year

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    An introduction to foundational concepts and skills in the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality. Readings include Gloria Anzaldúa, Audre Lorde, Donna Haraway, Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Judith Butler, Lorgia Garcia- Peña, Hortense Spillers, José Esteban Muñoz, Sara Ahmed, Alison Bechdel, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and Michel Foucault.... Read more about Tutorial - Sophomore Year

    Women, Religion, and the Problem of Historical Agency

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    This course examines recent scholarship on women in American religious history, focusing particularly on questions of narration, agency and power. We will ask several interrelated questions: How have historians integrated women into narratives of American religious history? Whose stories have they highlighted, and why? How have they conceptualized women as historical agents?... Read more about Women, Religion, and the Problem of Historical Agency

    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

    God Save the Queen! Ruling Women from Rome to the Renaissance

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    This seminar will explore female rulership in Europe from the late Roman empire to the age of Elizabeth I. Discussion of varied texts and images (most of them primary sources in translation) will reveal the role of queens within their societies, their relationship to broader social and cultural institutions such as the Christian Church, and the ways in which queens were celebrated, criticized, and imagined by writers and artists of their time.... Read more about God Save the Queen! Ruling Women from Rome to the Renaissance

    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