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
In its attention to gender, race, and sexuality, feminist bioethics challenges and expands contemporary bioethical theory and practice. Drawing from philosophy, theology, law, medicine, public health, and the social and biological sciences, this interdisciplinary field is both critical and constructive in addressing bioethical theory, method, and substantive ethical concerns across the clinical, research, organizational, public policy, and global spheres. In a largely seminar format, we will review the theoretical landscape and social movements that prompted the emergence of feminist...
This course will focus on the social and biological processes and relationships from interpersonal to institutional involved in embodying gender, as part of shaping and changing societal distributions of, including inequities in, health, disease, and well-being. It will consider how different frameworks of conceptualizing and addressing gender, biological sex, and sexuality (that is, the lived experience of being sexual beings, in relation to self, other people, and institutions) shape questions people ask about and explanations and interventions they offer for a variety of health outcomes. Examples span the lifecourse and historical generations and include chronic non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, occupational injuries, reproductive health, mental health, and mortality, each analyzed in relation to societal and ecological context, global health policy and human rights, work, and the behaviors of people and institutions. In all these cases, issues of gender and sexuality will be related to other societal determinants of health, including social class, racism, and other forms of inequality. The objective is to improve praxis for research, teaching, policy, and action, so as to advance knowledge and action needed for producing sound public health policy and health equity, including in relation to gender and sexuality. ... Read more about Embodying Gender: Public Health, Biology and the Body Politic
Title IX of the Civil Rights Act promises equal access to educational opportunities. This has been one of the most dynamic areas of civil rights jurisprudence in the recent past, and promises to remain so in the future. While the Obama Administration prioritized the protection of students from sexual assault, the current Department of Education has retreated significantly from this position. This leads us to question various aspects of administrative rulemaking, law enforcement and social policy. What is the role of an administrative agency in enforcing civil rights? What power does the public have to compel enforcement? What other avenues are available to achieve sex equality at schools? How do we formulate policy that provides fairness to both sides of case while preserving the integrity of the purpose of Title IX? Issues surrounding Title IX include rights to sexual autonomy, bodily integrity, gender expression and the right to be free from sex discrimination in an educational environment. This intensive course offers the opportunity to delve deeply into these critical issues of gender equality.... Read more about Title IX: Sex and Equality on Campus
This module will focus on the challenging legal, policy and organizational issues ingrained in various approaches to the pressing public problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and on campus, including examination of the structures and interventions - successful and not - that organizations have developed to respond to that policy environment in practice. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of what is considered “sexual harassment” in the law , what are the actual...
This module will focus on the challenging legal, policy and organizational issues ingrained in various approaches to the pressing public problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and on campus, including examination of the structures and interventions – successful and not - that organizations have developed to respond to that policy environment in practice. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of what is considered “sexual harassment” in the law , what are the actual experiences and career effects on those who have experienced it, what ...
For those students who have taken GOVT E-1744, this course offers the opportunity to focus on related issues through a team-based problem-solving, simulation approach. Problems to be addressed are drawn from organizations working on women, peace, and security (WPS) implementation.
This course will be taught in seminar format; the instructor will facilitate discussion based on each week's readings. The students will be expected to prepare ahead of class and participate in interactive discussions of cases raised during lecture. The course will examine ethical issues that arise in reproductive medicine and women's health. Specifically, we will address ethical questions that arise in the context of providing assisted reproduction services, family planning services, pregnancy care and surgical services to women and their families. Questions and issues that will be addressed in the course include the following: ethics surrounding the abortion and fetal tissue research debate; multiple cases in assisted reproduction including sex selection, savior siblings, age restrictions in IVF, intra-familial gamete donation, post-humous reproduction; cases at the maternal fetal divide, and discussion of the balance of interests in these cases; genetic engineering in assisted reproduction.
If girls “run the world”, why is gender equality so hard to achieve? It has been 100 years since women gained voting rights in the US and many European countries, 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and China’s state policy of gender equality, 50 years since the transnational Women’s Liberation movement, and 25 years since the UN Beijing Declaration. Yet, as a group, women and girls lag behind men and boys in almost every metric of social and economic power globally – and systematic data about gender non-binary people are scarcely available. This course is designed to empower students as change agents in the fight for global gender equality through a three-part toolkit: conceptual foundations; structural analyses; and repertoires of action, policies, and praxis. Our goal is to gain confidence and fluency in key terms, concepts, and debates in feminism and gender issues to facilitate dynamic learning and collaborative action. We will then learn to analyze, map, and interrogate gendered power structures locally and globally, seeking to understand how gender works in concert with other inequalities from women’s homes to the halls of power. How might we explain: why some countries and contexts are further along than others in achieving gender equality; why patriarchal backlash is so persistent; and whether capitalism is compatible with feminism? Finally, this future-oriented course turns toward feminist practices, policies, and actions that have been implemented and enacted from the individual to the national level. We will examine different strategies for achieving equality – their promises and pitfalls – seeking out opportunities for innovation and future transformation. This course is built on intersectional and decolonized approaches to feminism, which serve as the state-of-the-art starting point for achieving gender equality in the 21st century. The course refers to feminismsbecause pluralism is both an empirical fact underpinning gender politics in global perspective, and a normative commitment for learning from feminist movements’ multiplicity and diversity. Throughout the course we will discuss various forms of oppression and discrimination as they relate to inequality – including racism, imperialism, and economic exploitation. However, this course is primarily focused on analyzing feminist and womxn’s struggles for freedom, rights, and dignity and will therefore engage with overlapping hierarchies as intrinsic to understanding how gendered power works (another course might examine the inverse to equally illuminating effect). Early on we will examine and discuss the gender binary that dominates most cultures’ conception of and language for describing sex, gender identities, and social norms. Students will be given time and tools to examine their own gendered identities, experiences, and social-political and -economic positions. And – in light of this work – we will commit to read, speak, and listen freely and inclusively, with rigor and kindness in accordance with community norms set by the class.... Read more about 21st Century Global Feminisms
Gender affects multiple aspects of international development, including the challenges that communities face around the world, and how organizations and governments can most effectively support these communities to achieve their goals. This course covers gender theory and frameworks, drawing from feminist writers and scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. We will study gender as it relates to specific topics, including labor market participation and employment, education, violence against women and girls, peace building, civil society, and women’s leadership. We will learn what is known in each arena, and study which approaches work well and which do not. This course is intended to be an introduction to gender in international development; students with extensive experience in this area should consult with the instructor if interested.
In this course, we will consider the international dimensions of gender, sex and violence, largely within the context of war and conflict. Both academic scholarship and current policy debates are informed by powerful—and often unquestioned—assumptions about sex, gender and violence. Recent research has started to challenge some of these ideas, and policymakers are responding with calls for better data, increased attention to long-hidden problems, and new strategies to confront these difficult problems. In the course, we begin with a review of theoretical constructs, then turn to a series of policy relevant questions on the politics of sex, gender, and violence. Topics that we will cover include gendered causes and consequences of war (e.g., Does gender inequality cause conflict? Are women leaders more peaceful? What are the consequences of war for people of different genders?); gendered motivations for political violence; the regulation of sex and gender within armed groups, including the military, insurgencies and terrorist organizations; and wartime sexual violence. The course will include discussions of research design and implementation, as well as the implications of research on policy responses and interventions.
The Gender and Public Policy Seminar has been designed to give students an opportunity to engage with leading-edge scholars and practitioners working to advance gender equality. Because the subject of “gender and public policy” is too wide ranging and global to address within a single semester, we aim to focus the course each year on a “spotlight” issue.
The spotlight focus for the Spring 2020 semester is promoting race and gender equality at work. More specifically, the seminar will cover organizationally-relevant research on workplace discrimination, and offer a model...
Women have historically exerted their voice and power through writing, even as the professional writing trades of journalism and publishing have historically been unwelcoming of their presence. This seminar class will examine reporting and writing by and about women, and engage students in the practice of writing about gender, feminism, and women’s lives. Students will produce and workshop their own researched and reported longform articles, while simultaneously inspecting how the media represents women’s issues and learning the history of women writers in American journalism. We will grapple with questions of interviewing, structure, creative expression, ethics, and fair representation, along with the fundaments of narrative nonfiction.
“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.