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.
The twentieth century had its fair share of revolutions—Bolshevik, Young Turk, Iranian, and feminist—that changed the course of history. In each of these revolutions, women and minorities played a key role in fostering change in Russia, Turkey, Iran, and the US. Revolutionaries penned essays, plays, poems, novels, graphic novels, and memoirs about the massive shifts occurring around them. In this course, we will read the work of Armenian women revolutionaries alongside works from the cultures in which they were embedded. We will sit in on conversations about human rights, family structures, economics, religion, culture, language, and sexuality with authors to include: Zabel Yessayan (Ottoman Empire/France/Armenia), Shushanik Kurghinian (Armenia), Alexandra Kollontai (USSR), Marjane Satrapi (France/Iran), Zoya Pirzad (Iran), Nancy Agabian (USA), Audre Lorde (USA), and others. Because all non-English works will be read in translation, no knowledge of Armenian, Farsi, Russian, or Turkish is required.
The explosion of interest in Afrofuturism in the last two decades speaks to an ever more urgent desire to understand how people of color project themselves into narratives of both the future—and the past. Moreover, the work of Afrofuturist intellectuals has been profoundly concerned with matters of gender and sexuality. Indeed, examinations of inter-racial and inter-species “mixing,” alternative family and community structure, and disruptions of gender binaries have been central to Afrofuturist thought. In this course we will examine these ideas both historically and aesthetically, asking how the large interest in Afrofuturism developed from the early part of the twentieth century until now. Focusing primarily on science fiction and fantasy literature, the course will treat a broad range of artists including, W.E.B. DuBois, George Schulyer, Marlon James, Octavia Butler, Andrea Hairston; Nalo Hopkinson; N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, and others.
What does is it mean to be, or feel as, a woman? This course will survey thirteen major female authors from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who ask these questions in their novels, plays, and essays. In our lectures, we will move through literary explorations of womanhood in Modernism, to Expressionism, the Feminist movements, and on to contemporary questions of trauma, reproductive rights, and the future of feeling like and as a woman.
The second of two parts, the course will continue to explore the theoretical articulation of sex, gender, and sexuality in feminist and queer theory, with attention to the role of other differences – racial, ethnic, religious, and differences in physical ability – in contemporary work. Prerequisite: REL 1572 or consent of the instructor.
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.
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.
The course examines the intertwined histories of race, gender, and sexuality in the American South from the end of Reconstruction in 1877 through the present. We will consider how struggles for gender and sexual freedom are linked to race in the modern South. The course proceeds along two tracks: first, we gain knowledge about the lives of women, trans people, and gay people in the South. Second, we consider how African Americans, women, and LGBTQ individuals struggled for freedom and how these efforts changed over time in response to opposition, developments elsewhere in the world, and victories. We will explore the circumstances under which people from different backgrounds come together in pursuit of a common goal and the times when conflicts arise. We will read poetry and novels, manifestos and diaries, and secondary literature written by historians. In addition, we’ll watch videos and listen to music to understand the different ways people queered the South during the last century. The course recognizes that Southerners do not fit neatly into racial, gender, or sexual boxes and so investigates the intersections of identities to lend complexity and verve to the histories of people often forgotten.
This course is an introduction to the field of feminist biblical studies. We will discuss the intellectual history and institutional development of feminist biblical studies around the globe and explore different methods of analysis such as rhetorical, historical, queer, or intersectional kyriarchal analyses. We also will explore biblical women’s stories such as Eve, Sarah, Hagar Mary of Magdala, or the slave girl Rhoda. Lectures, group meetings, discussions, and presentations seek to foster participatory, collaborative and democratic styles of learning.
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.
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
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.
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