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.
When accepting the Oscar for Best Actress in 2015 Patricia Arquette said the following: “The truth is, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are at play that do affect women, and it’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we all fought for to fight for us now.” This course examines why such statements are part of a larger and longer tradition of disappearing black women and why they are popular in the cultural zeitgeist. Through extensive reading and tough discussion this class examines the current discourse around sexual harassment and assault from the #MeToo movement through the informed lens of Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Both “texts” involve navigating spaces of subjugation and supremacy and yet one voice has remained steadily ignored in mainstream audiences. We will also look at the intersection of race and gender that Incidents reveals and trace how these remain intact or not through today.
“Solidarity” takes an intersectional approach to the study of women’s and sexual rights in transnational perspective from the late nineteenth century until today. In this course, we will explore how American feminism, particularly through the fight for women’s suffrage, set the agenda for issues of equality and sexual rights around the world, often in complex and contradictory ways. Through a semester-long engagement with Schlesinger Library collections on transnational feminist and women of color feminisms, we will investigate feminist links to and critiques of the imperial project – from anti-trafficking campaigns in colonial and postcolonial India, to transnational feminist labor movements in the Philippines and Bangladesh, to the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Together, we will think about the complex relationship of feminism and war, the place of feminist thought in debates about incarceration and immigration, and the contradictory role of feminism in global movements for rights.
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 Psychology of Women
When accepting the Oscar for Best Actress in 2015 Patricia Arquette said the following: 'The truth is, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are at play that do affect women, and it's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we all fought for to fight for us now.' This course examines why such statements are part of a larger and longer tradition of disappearing black women and why they are popular in the cultural zeitgeist.... Read more about Black Women's Voices in the #MeToo Era
With globalization, sex-everywhere-has become more central to who we are as citizens and consumers, how we gain rights and resources, and how we relate to others as members of a specific race, ethnicity, region, or culture. Worldwide, states invest or disinvest in people according to how they have sex, adopt gender identities, or sustain sexual morality.... Read more about Sex, Money, and Power in the Postcolonial World
Feminism shapes the world we live in today. Debates about women's and sexual rights define almost every public debate today -- from sexual harassment, to electoral politics, to development, public health, human rights, and political protest. But when, and where, did ideas of women's equal rights and liberation emerge? This course digs into the deep history of feminism from a global perspective.... Read more about Global Feminisms
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.... Read more about Inequality
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.... Read more about Immigration and Gender
When accepting the Oscar for Best Actress in 2015 Patricia Arquette said the following: 'The truth is, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are at play that do affect women, and it's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we all fought for to fight for us now.... Read more about Black Womens Voices in the #MeToo Era
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
In the face of political and social change, and demands for racial, gender and economic justice, religious traditions struggle to respond while maintaining identity. As an example, the Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s brought the Roman Catholic Church to a deeper engagement with modern academic scholarship such as historical critical methods of interpreting texts, environmental and evolutionary sciences’ relation to the Church, and the fundamental importance of modern philosophical and political thought to the institution’s self-understanding.... Read more about Roman Catholic Christianity and Contemporary Crises
This is a graduate-level seminar focused on the descriptive representation of groups in politics, and the consequences of representation for substantive policy outcomes. Topics include the representation of women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+, religious groups, geographic regions, class interests, and other social divisions, and how to understand the sources of variation in representation across time and institutional contexts.... Read more about Descriptive and Substantive Representation
We often think of slavery as being a dark chapter in our past, but this is a tragic oversimplification. What defines slavery in the modern world, and what are the moral, political and social implications of its continued existence? As we explore its underpinnings, we discover that all of us may be in some way complicit in its survival.... Read more about Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World
In a powerful essay, the late writer and activist Audre Lorde suggested, “Where the words of women are crying to be heard we must each of us recognize our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives.” Lorde is not alone in asking us to pay attention to and take responsibility for women’s stories; for centuries scholars and activists alike have championed the words of women, including women of color and queer women, whose stories have routinely gone untold or unheard.... Read more about Expository Writing 20: Telling Her Story: Narrative, Media, and #MeToo