The Sarah Isom Center for Women & Gender Studies

Current Course Offerings

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Spring 2019

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Women in Antiquity

An introduction to the history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome through a consideration of the role and status of women in the classical world. Lectures with slides will be supplemented by readings of ancient texts in translation, in addition to textbook assignments.

Crosslisted as CLC 103

Section 1
Instructor: M. Pasco-Pranger
MWF 9-9:50, Lamar 327

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Introduction to Gender Studies

Exploration of the growing body of research available from many disciplines (humanities, social sciences, sciences) for the study of women and men in the United States and abroad. Investigation of femininity and masculinity and the intersection of gender with other categories of identity.

Section 1
Instructor: T. Starkey
TTH 1-2:15, S. Res. College 113

Section 2
Instructor: M. Ayers
TTH 8-9:15, Bondurant 116W

Web 1
Instructor: E. Venell

Web 2
Instructor: E. Venell

Web 3
Instructor: E. Venell

Web 4
Instructor: T. Starkey
Web 5
Instructor: M. Ayers

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Introduction to Queer Studies

This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of queer and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) studies with a particular focus on the queer south. This course examines the historical and social contexts of personal, cultural and political aspects of queer/LGBT life, and it explores LGBT liberation movements in relation to families, religion, laws, and society using intersectional lenses that consider gender, ethnicity, race, class, and ability. We consider the status, roles, and experiences, of lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender people, using a variety of sources from fields such as anthropology, history, literature, sociology, southern studies, and women’s studies. Through the readings, discussions, and assignments, students develop critical analytical skills to consider social change movements with particular attention to how sex, gender, race, class, sexuality, sexual orientation, and other systems of power shape people’s everyday lives.

Web 1
Instructor: J. Enszer

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Topics in Gender and Culture

A study of gender roles within traditional and popular culture. The specific content of the course may vary in different semesters. Possible emphases might include women in the arts, women in film, women in the media, and women in popular culture.

Web 1
Instructor: E. Venell

Women, Bodies, and Horror

A study of gender within traditional and popular culture. This incarnation of Topics in Gender and Culture focuses on theories, representations, and metaphors of the body. Course texts include visual representations and written accounts of gender, race, disability, illness, pregnancy, and class, with an emphasis on gender in horror films from The Brood to Get Out.

Web 2
Instructor: J. Hovey

Gender and Zombies

This course will look at post-apocalyptic fiction, films, and games, most of which feature actual zombies or zombie-like figures, to ask what zombies mean at different historical moments, including our own.  Although there are several prototypical zombie novels in the nineteenth century, the zombie as we know it today is a creature of late capitalism, representing twentieth and twenty-first century popular anxieties about gender, labor, immigration, disease, class, sexuality, technology, race, national identity, and consumer culture.  Beginning with the origins of the zombie in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novelFrankenstein, following imperialist anxieties about whiteness, gender, and Haitian voodoo in 1930s films, we will trace the evolution of the apocalypticzombie during the Cold War and Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s, and look at recent zombie apocalypse fiction and games to analyze how zombieliterature, films, and games criticize sexism, racism, imperialism, capitalism and consumer culture, ecological carelessness and destruction, and the exploitation of the poor. Texts will include FrankensteinThe Magic IslandI Am LegendThe Zombie Survival GuideDeadlands, and The Road. Films will include Night of the Living DeadDawn of the Dead, and the television series The Walking Dead, as well as White ZombieZombieland28 Days Later, and The Road. We will also look at how video games developed from Dawn of the Dead, and look briefly at some popular zombie games such as the 2002 game Resident Evil, the 2013 game The Last of Us, and The Walking Dead tie-in games. Students should expect to write 2 papers, complete a final project, and participate in regular discussion forum posts and some online meetings.

Web 3
Instructor: K. Cozart

Gender, Sexuality, and the Internet

Students will learn about the history of the Internet, representations of gender and sexuality online, the role it has played in placemaking for women and sexual minorities, how it has contributed to the harassment they face as groups, and how they have used it to organize and advocate for their rights.

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Genocide and Women

Exploration of the roles of women as victims of gender abuse and sexual violence and as perpetrators of violence in modern ethnic genocides.

Crosslisted as SOC 327

Section 1
Instructor: W. Johnson
TTH, 11-12:15, Lamar 519

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Women in Politics

The purpose of this course is to examine the agency of women in shaping world politics, and the influence of international relations on the lives of women around the world. In the first half we will focus on women’s representation and elected leadership. We will look in-depth at the reasons why women have historically been excluded from politics, as well as the structural challenges and institutional changes that have been made to increase women’s representation. We will then move beyond elected office to consider women’s participation in politics through social movements. We will examine how international norms regarding gender equality have been enshrined in the operations of international organizations and what effects these norms have had on women’s rights and political participation in various contexts.

Crosslisted as POL 346

Instructor: S. Allen
TTH, 11 - 12:15, Turner 541

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Gender and Sexuality in cinema

This course examines representations of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality across different modes of film practice in the history of popular US cinema, with specific attention to how these representations intersect with race, ethnicity, nation and class. Using analytical approaches from gender and sexuality studies, film and media studies, and cultural studies we will investigate the ways in which popular US cinema critically engages in the historical, social, and cultural construction of gender and sexuality. This course teaches basic concepts of film analysis so that students can apply them to the films we watch, which will include: Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979); All that Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1959); American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999); Baby Face (Alfred E. Green, 1933); Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002); A Florida Enchantment (Sidney Drew, 1914); Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017); Hollywood Shuffle (Robert Townsend, 1987); Lip (Tracey Moffatt, 1999); Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015); Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975); Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958).

Web 1
Instructor: L. Delassus

Web 2
Instructor: L. Delassus

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Sex, Gender, and the Bible

This course examines sexuality in the biblical corpus, analyzes the biblical writers’ construction of gender, and explores feminist-critical and masculinist-critical readings of biblical texts.

Crosslisted as REL 366

Section 1
Instructor: Bos
MWF 2-2:50, Hume 106

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Women in Literature

This course will focus on poetry, memoir, and fiction by 20th and 21st century women writers from the U.S., Europe, and the Caribbean. The course is divided into four modules, Silence & Voice, Writing Bodies/Bodies Writing, Identity & Difference, and Resistance & Transformation, which will help us conceptualize key questions about women’s writing. Under what historical circumstances and constraints have women written? How have they managed to break silence and find their voices? What strategies have they used to convey their ideas? What perspectives on women’s bodies do women offer when writing about sexual desire, motherhood, or sexual assault? How have women writers resisted and how do they continue to resist the political, literary, or social status quo? By the end of the course, students should be able to address each of these questions. Among the authors we will read are bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Angela Carter, Helene Cixous, Claudia Rankine, and Adrienne Rich. Assignments include weekly blog posts, exams, and a research paper.

Crosslisted as ENG 385

Web 1
Instructor: M. Hipp

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Gender on Film

Students examine issues of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality within racial and national identity as represented in mainstream or independent films.

Crosslisted as ENG 386

Section 1
Instructor: E. Drew
TTH 11-12:15, Bryant 111

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Advanced Queer Studies

This course investigates ongoing theoretical and cultural issues in queer studies. Focuses of the course may include theories of embodiment, the relationship of gender to sexuality, the politics of transgender identity, and issues of normativity as they relate to gay and lesbian assimilation. Students will apply these theories to cultural phenomena in the culture at large.

Web 1
Instructor: J. Hovey

Who are trans people? How is trans different from lesbian, gay, or queer? What is the relationship between sex and gender? Sexuality and gender? What is trans politics? This course will look at some theories of trans embodiment, trans cultural construction, and trans expression that consider both the history and evolution of trans and the way transgender expression has both extended the project of “queering” normativity through queer theory and queer expression, and turned that project upside down and inside out. How is it possible to insist that gender is fluid, yet crucial? How do you emphasize the importance of gender, yet also work to undo the importance of gender? Texts will include Julia Serano, Whipping Girl; David Valentine, Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category; Judith Butler Undoing Gender; C. Riley Snorton Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity; and The Transgender Studies Reader.


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Race, Place, and Space

Maps are instructive. Some tell us where to go. Others tell us where we’ve been. They can reveal closed and detoured routes. They can show if we are ahead of schedule and alert us when we are behind. This class is about maps—in particular, the racial maps of the contemporary United States of America. Here, we are using “map” both as a metaphor for how racial inequality manifests in geographically-distinct ways and as a framework for understanding how racism structures American culture, politics, social institutions, and everyday life. We will focus special attention on black maps, surveying classical and contemporary scholarship to debunk dominant fictions and reveal uncomfortable truths about the experiences and everyday realities of black folks. As with most trips, this course begins with good music. The first section draws on the mixtape metaphor to explore foundational concepts and theories in the study of racism and racial inequality. Then, we “map” the nation’s contemporary racial landscape, beginning in the Lawndale community in Chicago and ending in the Beautiful, Dark, Twisted imagination of Kanye West. Along the way, we’ll talk Kendrick, J. Cole, Big Freedia, and A Seat at the Table. We’ll read Bonilla-Silva and Zandria Robinson. We’ll debate reparations and explore the school-to-prison pipeline. We’ll hear from James Baldwin. Importantly, we’ll also hear from each other, treating our own selfhood as a type of racial map, with lessons, questions, and new routes to bear.

Crosslisted as AAS 414, SST 314, SOC 414

Section 1
Instructor: B. Foster
TTH 4 - 5:15, Lamar 519

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Theories of Gender and Sexuality

This course surveys how liberal, black, post-colonial, and queer feminist theorists conceptualize gender oppression and resistance and problematizes taken-for-granted beliefs about the naturalness of sex and sexuality.

Crosslisted as SOC 433

Section 1
Instructor: A. McDowell
M 2-4:30, Honors 108

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Internship in Gender Studies

Internship in approved work settings under professional supervision. May be repeated once for a cumulative total of 3 hours of credit. Z grade.

Coordinator: J.Harker

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Psychology of Gender

Investigation of the psychological and physiological determinants of gender differences and similarities in behavior, covering topics such as cognitive functioning, social relationships, mental health, and the work place.

Crosslisted as PSY 565

Section 1
Instructor: C. Smith
MW 11-12:15, Peabody 202

 

Graduate Courses

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Gender Studies Methodology

This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, including the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods in order to understand gender in a transnational perspective.

Section 1
Instructor: T. Starkey
T 3-5:30, South Residential College 123

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Feminist Pedagogy

In this seminar, we will further our knowledge of feminist pedagogies through rigorous reading, writing responses, guest speakers, co-teaching experiences, and class discussion. We will explore feminist and interrelated critical pedagogies and their application in different kinds of classrooms, with a focus on the gender studies classroom.

Section 1
Instructor: D.Unger
W 3-5:30, Lamar 310

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HST 614: The History of Sexuality in the Modern U.S.

This seminar examines the development of and major topics in the field of U.S. women’s and gender history, from early America to the contemporary United States. Students will become familiar with classic texts as well as new and cutting-edge scholarship. The scholarship is expansive, so we will narrow our focus to the following themes: intersections of gender, race, and class; the politics of labor and reproduction; women and the modern state; gender, sexuality, and family formation; and political power and social movements.

In addition to familiarizing students with important historiographical interventions, this seminar has two objectives in terms of the development of professional skills.  First, students are expected to develop an understanding of how historiographical debates develop and how scholars enter into them. Second, we will examine the ways that we might understand different interventions in light of theoretical or methodological issues with which the authors may or may not engage directly.  To this end, we will place a strong emphasis on participation in seminar and the intellectual labor of working out the connections between historiography and theory.

Instructor: J. Wilkerson
M 1 - 3:30, Bishop 333

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ENG 766: Studies in Contemporary american literature

Instructor: J. Harker
M 3 - 5:30, Bondurant 208C

“Outrageous, Dangerous, Unassimilable”:
The Idea of Lesbian Literature

 In 1977, Bertha Harris published a manifesto of lesbian literature that framed both lesbians and literature in revolutionary terms.  Rejecting popular lesbian stereotypes of the 1970s, she named her utopian dream: “Lesbians, instead, might have been great, as some literature is: unassimilable, awesome, dangerous, outrageous, different: distinguished” (6).  This class examines the idea of a revolutionary lesbian literature.  It was a notion conceived in the early days of women’s liberation and gay liberation, one that invented a usable past of Paris expatriates, picked up lesbian pulp writers along the way, and created a renaissance of lesbian writing from the 1970s to the 1990s.  We will consider the historical creation of “lesbian literature” and its continued resonance in contemporary writing. Together, we will read a wide range of genres: manifestos, novels, poetry, essays, and key works of theory and criticism. Possible writers include Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, h.d., Renee Vivien, Patricia Highsmith, Ann Bannon, June Arnold, Bertha Harris, Pat Parker, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Jewelle Gomez, Gloria Anzaldua, Cherrie Moraga, Barbara Smith, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Dorothy Allison, Leslie Feinberg, Sarah Schulman, Jeannette Winterson, Ali Smith, Jane Eaton Hamilton, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Students will write weekly response papers and a 20-25 page seminar paper.


Others to be announced.