Harvard Gender Course Guide 2021 - 2022

WAPPP Gender Course Guide 21- 22

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

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2022
In this course, we will explore the political and politicized lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer peoples living in the United States since World War II. 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 LGBTQ people have navigated the “culture wars”), and policy (how LGBTQ people have shaped and been shaped by laws and legislation) across the Homophile Generation (1940s and 1950s), Stonewall Generation (1960s and 1970s), AIDS Generation (1980s and 1990s), and Marriage Generation (2000s to present).... Read more about Queer Nation: LGBTQ Protest, Politics, and Policy in the United States

Human Rights and Humanitarianism in the Modern World

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Human rights and humanitarianism are fundamental to modern political ethics. Yet the moral consensus surrounding these terms obscures an often disturbing history. This course is an introduction to human rights and humanitarianism as frameworks for understanding European, imperial, and global history from the enlightenment to the present day. Rather than uncritically accepting a triumphalist narrative, we will explore how these concepts were constructed over time, asking how they were used in practice, whose interests they served, and how they enabled inequality and exclusion along axes of race, gender, class, and nationality even as they promised a more just world.... Read more about Human Rights and Humanitarianism in the Modern World

The Politics and Aesthetics of Mourning

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
In this course, we will study literary responses to and representations of loss, both public and private, in twentieth- and twenty-first-century French literature. We will investigate how mourning intersects with various theoretical and historical topics including gender and sexuality, the memory of war, and the AIDS epidemic. We will discuss how the particular intellectual contexts and historical events of the twentieth century brought about shifts in the way that individuals and communities experienced loss and worked through grief. We will consider how the work of mourning generates political as well as aesthetic questions, and we will ask how literature helps us to think about loss and to propose alternative models of mourning. Readings may include literary works by Marcel Proust, Simone de Beauvoir, Hervé Guibert, and Patrick Modiano. We will also look at theoretical writings on loss from a variety of perspectives, from psychoanalysis to deconstruction and queer theory.... Read more about The Politics and Aesthetics of Mourning

The Essay: History and Practice

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Matthew Arnold famously said that poetry is, at bottom, “a criticism of life.” But if any literary form is truly a criticism of life, it is the essay. And yet despite the fact that all students write essays, most students rarely study them; bookshops and libraries categorize such work only negatively, by what it is not: “non-fiction.” At the same time, the essay is at present one of the most productive and fertile of literary forms. It is practiced as memoir, reportage, diary, criticism, and sometimes all four at once. Novels are becoming more essayistic, while essays are borrowing conventions and prestige from fiction. This class will disinter the essay from its comparative academic neglect, and examine the vibrant contemporary borderland between the reported and the invented. We will study the history of the essay, from Montaigne to the present day. Rather than study that history purely chronologically, each class will group several essays from different decades and centuries around common themes: death, detail, sentiment, race, gender, photography, the city, witness, and so on.... Read more about The Essay: History and Practice

The Greatest Chinese Novel

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

The Story of the Stone (also known as The Dream of the Red Chamber) by Cao Xueqin (1715?-1763) is widely recognized as the masterpiece of Chinese fiction. It is also a portal to Chinese civilization. Encyclopedic in scope, this book both sums up Chinese culture and asks of it difficult questions. Its cult status also accounts for modern popular screen and television adaptations. Through a close examination of this text in conjunction with supplementary readings and visual materials, the seminar will explore a series of topics on Chinese culture, including foundational myths, philosophical and religious systems, the status of fiction, conceptions of art and the artist, ideas about love, desire and sexuality, gender roles, garden aesthetics, family and clan structure, and definitions of socio-political order.

... Read more about The Greatest Chinese Novel

Migration and Human Rights

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Migration is a central political and moral issue of our time and its impacts will continue to alter our world throughout this century. Indeed large scale, irregular human migration should be considered “the new normal”, not an unexpected or one-off “crisis”. It affects the lives of millions, unsettles established governments, creates sharply polarizing policy dilemmas and generates far-reaching administrative, economic and political challenges. This course will focus on distress migration, including refugee flight and other forms of forced displacement, evaluated through the lens of human rights. It will address the multifaceted drivers of the phenomenon, including the enduring legacies of colonization, armed conflict, environmental stress and climate change, global inequality, demographic pressures and increasing globalization. The course will also consider the impact of government responses to the COVID 19 pandemic on forced migrants. Migration actors from UN agencies, NGOs and other civil society organizations, and research experts working in a range of field sites will contribute to the class.... Read more about Migration and Human Rights

Topics in Latinx Studies: Imagining Latinidad

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

This course is intended to provide hands-on practice toward doing research on Latinx issues, with an approach grounded in the understanding that terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latinidad’ are not static concepts and, at the same time, not a homogeneous mix. We will examine culture, intellectual production, languages, economics, and political thought, as well as the dynamics of Latino/a/e people in the United States. Throughout the class, students will become familiar with a wide range of thinkers, currents, concepts, topics, and they will be exposed to frameworks of decolonial history and knowledge. The class will also facilitate conversations about the current place of Latinx cultures within the U.S. imaginary, including the immigrant groups from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, as well Indigenous and Afro-diasporic communities.... Read more about Topics in Latinx Studies: Imagining Latinidad

Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This seminar explores the construction and complexity of identities in the Greek tradition (300-1500).  Readings include fascinating narratives, biographies, and autobiographies. Students will learn how to approach these rich texts from combined historical and literary perspectives, while gaining familiarity with current cutting-edge research. Questions for discussion include political, religious, and ethnic identity in late antiquity and Byzantium, the meaning of being “Roman” and “Greek,” the plasticity of self-representation, and the interpretation of religion, gender, and class as both social and cultural categories.... Read more about Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

Leadership from the Inside Out: The Capacity to Lead and Stay Alive–Self, Identity, and Freedom

Semester: 

Winter

Offered: 

2022
To lead is to live with danger. Although it may be exciting to think of leadership as inspiration, decisive action, and powerful rewards, leading requires taking risks that can jeopardize your career and your personal life. It requires putting yourself on the line, disturbing the status quo, and working with organizational and political conflicts. Those who choose to lead take risks and sometimes get neutralized or killed for doing so.In this course, we explore how self-knowledge and self-discipline form the foundation for staying alive in leadership. The course has three parts: (1) an exploration of identity as a profound resource and endangering constraint in the practice of leadership; (2) the freedom of mind to assess situations, manage one’s vulnerability to dangers, and take action; and (3) the ongoing practices of freeing yourself to lead and stay alive, not only in your job, but in the heart and spirit of your work.... Read more about Leadership from the Inside Out: The Capacity to Lead and Stay Alive–Self, Identity, and Freedom
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