Harvard Gender Course Guide 2021 - 2022

WAPPP Gender Course Guide 21- 22

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

Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This interdisciplinary course will explore the politics of reproductive health and health care delivery, both in the US and globally, with a particular focus on how reproduction and related clinical care are shaped by and in turn shape social inequality along axes of race, gender, and social class. The course will intertwine three threads: 1) major conceptual and theoretical issues foundational to understanding the politics and epidemiology of reproduction; 2) contemporary and historical perspectives on specific reproductive phenomena and events (preventing pregnancy, terminating pregnancy, sustaining pregnancy, and giving birth); 3) social movements organized around reproductive health (e.g. anti-abortion, reproductive justice movements).... Read more about Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

Gender, Sex, and Violence in Global Politics

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2022
In this course, we will consider the international dimensions of gender, sex and violence, both within the context of war and during periods of peace. Both academic scholarship and current policy debates are informed by powerful—and often unquestioned—assumptions about sex, gender and violence. Recent research has challenged some of these ideas, and policymakers have responded with calls for better data, increased attention to long-hidden problems, and new strategies to confront these difficult problems. In the course, we will consider a series of policy-relevant questions on the politics of sex, gender, and violence.... Read more about Gender, Sex, and Violence in Global Politics

Psychopathologies of Modern Life

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
What is the relationship between cultural change and individual pathology?  Are the stresses of modern life implicated in the emergence of new forms of psychic distress and mental illness?  Over the past century, psychological experts have identified new emotions, dissatisfactions, and disorders, producing an expansive catalogue of modern woes and fashioning a range of remedies.  With attention to variations across race and gender, we  explore the coalescence and cultural fortunes of, among other topics, the personality disorders (narcissism, BPD); trauma, PTSD; disorders of identity and of attachment; social anxiety, isolation;  gaslighting; Black Rage; greed, success neurosis, imposter syndrome; stress, coping, burnout.... Read more about Psychopathologies of Modern Life

The Causes and Consequences of Inequality

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Since 1980, inequality has increased sharply in the United States, select other high-income countries, and many emerging economies. Inequality in U.S. income and wealth today are at levels not seen since the end of the Gilded Age. These changes at the national level reflect widening disparities in earnings between less-educated workers and those with college or advanced degrees, the concentration of earnings at the very top of the income distribution, and growing divides in economic opportunity both across regions within countries and across neighborhoods within regions. In this course, we study the causes of inequality (including technological change, globalization, disparities in access to education, tax and regulatory policy, and gender and racial discrimination), the consequences of inequality for human well-being (in terms of consumption, health, and family structure), and the potential for public policies to improve access to economic opportunity (including early childhood education, assistance to needy families, subsidized health care, worker training, minimum wages, progressive taxation, anti-discrimination policies, place-based policies, and universal basic income). Students will acquire an understanding of the varied dimensions of inequality (by education, occupation, gender, race and ethnicity, place of residence, and national origin), analytical approaches to identifying the causal factors behind rising inequality, and familiarity with policy tools that govern access to opportunity and the post-tax distribution of income and wealth. The course is lecture based but will allow ample time for group discussion.... Read more about The Causes and Consequences of Inequality
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