Classes

Live Theory (and Practice): A Graduate Proseminar in WGS Studies

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This WGS Graduate Proseminar will emphasize in-depth, lively conversations with WGS faculty about the interdisciplinary innovations of WGS Studies today, with singular attention to current debates in feminist and queer theories and practices. Each week, one member of the WGS faculty will guide the seminar in wide-ranging conversation about their own intellectual formation, about their own field of expertise, and about where and how their own writing fits...
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Video Game Storytelling

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
Although this course touches on blockbuster games—“ludo-narrative dissonance” and India’s role in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy; racism, satire, and the white-saviour narrative in the Far Cry franchise; Ayn Rand, US history and the illusion of gamer choice in Bioshock—it’s primarily concerned with indie titles which explore alternative forms of storytelling. More specifically, it’s about games pilloried—rather as free verse poetry is bashed as “just chopped up prose”—as mere “walking...
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Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
Through the lens of social justice issues in France and the Francophone world, this class will focus on writing as a means of civic engagement. You will interrogate topics such as colonialism, islamophobia, immigration, and sexism by studying a range of creative, analytical, and polemical texts, images, and film. This course builds on the communicative competence acquired in French 40, with a particular emphasis on developing your writing proficiency through creative and analytical writing projects such as description, portrait, film review, and polemical essays. This course will also include... Read more about

Queer Nation: LGBTQ Protest, Politics, and Policy in the United States

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
In this course, we will explore the political and politicized lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer peoples living in the United States, focusing on the period from World War II to the present. Centering both an intersectional analysis and historical critique of “progress,” we will focus our attention on the interrelationship between protest (how LGBTQ people have organized themselves and expressed their demands in the face of systemic oppression), politics (how...
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Leaning In, Hooking Up: Visions of Feminism and Femininity in the 21st Century

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
What does it mean to “do” feminism, or to “be” a feminist in the 21st-century United States? What can we make of the dominant social expectations for a woman’s life? This course explores contemporary ideals of feminine success, including their physical, familial, professional, and political manifestations. We will engage with highly-contested topics—including sexual violence and Title 9; work-life balance; the imperatives of self-care and presentation; and new models for sexuality...
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Introduction to African American Studies

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This course aims to provide an interdisciplinary examination of the complex array of African-American cultural and political practices from slavery to the present. The course will involve close readings of a variety of primary sources and classic texts that present key issues in African American thought and practice. The course will place special emphasis on debates concerning African American people with the goal of introducing students to the process and the methodology of...
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Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
The seminar, co-taught with the artist Nicolás Guagnini, revolves around Paulo Freire's watershed text/manifesto Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970). Freire was a philosopher of education in Brazil where, literacy was a requirement for voting in presidential elections, hence guaranteeing an exclusive and explicit link between education, class, and political representation. Throughout his career Freire fought against disenfranchisement through his advocacy of education. After his exile...
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Mass Incarceration and Sentencing Law

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023

This course will first put 20th century sentencing law in sociological and historical context. It will examine the history, philosophy, and administration of the criminal sentencing process, the causes of growth in the US penal population, the historical roots of that grown from the mid 20th century to the present, and the impact of those policies on communities of color and the crime rate. We will then examine more closely the legal framework that enabled those policies, including the war on drugs, emphasis on retribution over rehabilitation, the changes in sentencing law and the...

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Race, Gender, and Performance

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
Performance surrounds us. We see performances online, in movies and on TV, on the sports field, in the theatre, in activism, and in everyday life. How do these performances produce or disrupt race and gender? This class provides analytical tools by which to answer this question. Texts include works by Anna Deavere Smith, David Henry Hwang, Bertolt Brecht, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Judith Butler; topics include AIDS activism, politics of public bathrooms, and weddings....
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Staging Critique: French Theater and the Social Body

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
How has theater in France, from the 17th-century to the present, served as a site of political, social, and philosophical reflection? In this course, we will attempt to answer that question by studying a selection of plays representing the major trends, movements, and writers of French theater from Jean Racine to Marie NDiaye. We will look in particular at how theater privileges the body and the language of emotion to reformulate and respond to questions regarding the relationship...
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Quilts and Quiltmaking

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023

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. This class surveys the evolution of quilt-making as a social practice, considering the role of quilts in articulations of gender, ethnic, class and religious identities, and...

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Race in a Polarized America

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
How do we manage issues of race, ethnicity, and immigration in a polarized political era? What role did race play in the election of President Trump, after eight years of the presidency of Barack Obama? How can we be good citizens of the world when Americans have such mixed views and take such mixed actions in engaging with racial hierarchy, identity, or interaction? This course addresses these questions by examining policy disputes around issues such as incarceration and policing...
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