Course Offerings

Spring 2017

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

ECON 246 - Silwal, Shikha B. / Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.

Mass Atrocity, Human Rights, and International Law

LEGL 345 - Drumbl, Mark A.

This course is designed to benefit students with an interest in law school and/or international relations and also those with no plans to pursue law school or international relations work but who are keen to catch a view of both of these areas. This interdisciplinary course reflects upon the place of law and justice in societies that have endured or inflicted systemic human-rights violations. Among the examples we study are Germany, the former Yugoslavia, Japan, Czech Republic, Poland, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, Uganda, Cambodia, Syria, South Africa, Congo, ISIS, Sierra Leone, and the United States. A related aim is to consider what sorts of legal responses are suitable to deal with perpetrators of mass atrocity. Individuals commit the acts that cumulatively lead to mass atrocity, but the connived nature of the violence implicates questions of collective responsibility. While our instinct may be to prosecute guilty individuals, are other responses more appropriate? What do victims and their families want?

Topics in Politics and Film

POL 292 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

This course examines how film and television present political issues and themes. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

REL 246 - Silwal, Shikha B. / Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.

Winter 2017

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394B - Miranda, Deborah A.

Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English since 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2017, ENGL 394B-01: Advanced Seminar: "Mother of All Women": Gender in Chicana and Native American Women's Literature (3). Prerequisite: ENGL 299. This course focuses on the intersection of race and gender as they meet in the lives and identities of Chicana and Native American women through readings of poetry, fiction, memoir and drama that give us materials with which to explore some of the interlocking issues: mother-daughter relationships, cultural/ethnic identity, sexual identity, alternative histories, political activism, gendered violence, economic position, and celebrations of survival. Authors include Linda Hogan, Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldua, Leslie Marmon Silko, Natalie Diaz, Ire'ne Lara Silva, Ernestine Hayes. (HL) Miranda .

Women and Gender in Modern Europe

HIST 206 - Horowitz, Sarah

This course investigates the history of Europe from the late 18th century to the present day through the lens of women's lives, gender roles, and changing notions of sexuality. We examine how historical events and movements (industrialization, the world wars, etc.) had an impact on women, we look at how ideas about gender shaped historical phenomena, such as imperialism and totalitarianism. We also consider the rise of new ideas about sexuality and the challenge of feminism.

African Feminisms

HIST 378 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

This course critically examines the idea of African feminisms by looking at many different intersections of time, place. and position for African women. This traces multiple ways in which African women have sought to challenge patriarchal roles in both precolonial and (post)colonial contexts. Students leave not with an understanding of a singular or aspirational African feminism but rather with an appreciation of the ways in which African women have and continue to challenge. reframe, and negotiate a variety of social and political positions.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

PHIL 242 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society.

Philosophy of Sex

PHIL 246 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

This course explores questions related to contemporary conceptions of sexuality and its proper role in our lives. Questions addressed include: What is the purpose of sex? Are sexual practices subject to normative evaluation on grounds of morality, aesthetics, and/or capacity to promote a flourishing human life? We consider the relation between sex and both intimacy and pleasure, viewed from the perspective of heterosexual women and men, and gay men and lesbians. What are our sexual practices and attitudes toward sex? What should they be like?

The Unruly Body: Philosophy, Science, and Culture

PHIL 285 - Verhage, Florentien

"We are bodies." This statement apparently affirms the obvious. But if this is so obvious why then do we so often disregard and disrespect our bodies and the bodies of others? In this interdisciplinary course, students study theories of embodiment through the study of the (i) history of philosophy, (ii) contemporary scientific and philosophical depictions of the body, and (iii) social-cultural structures affecting our bodies. Finally (iv), we consider how we can rethink, relive, regard, refigure, restore, and respect our body and the body of others in more productive and thought-provoking ways.

Gender and Politics

POL 255 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

This course investigates the gendered terms under which women and men participate in political life. Attention is given to the causes of men's and women's different patterns of participation in politics, to processes that are likely to decrease the inequalities between men's and women's political power, and the processes by which society's gender expectations shape electoral and institutional politics. The different effects of gender on the practice of politics in different nations are compared, with a special emphasis placed on advanced industrial democracies.

God and Goddess in Hinduism

REL 132 - Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.

Golden Age Spanish Women Writers

SPAN 323 - Campbell, Gwyn E.

A study of the comedia and the novela corta and the manner in which the secular women writers inscribe themselves within and beyond these genres. Close reading and discussion of representative works that may include the short stories and plays by María de Zayas, Ana Caro, Leonor de Meneses, Mariana de Carvajal, and Angela de Azevedo.

Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies and Feminist Theory

WGSS 120 - Verhage, Florentien

This course introduces students to the fields of feminist theory and women's and gender studies by focusing on key theoretical concepts and surveying a range of topics that have been central to the academic study of women and gender. Such topics are likely to include the family as a social institution, gender in the workplace, beauty norms, violence against women, the history of feminist activism, and/or women's achievements in traditionally male-dominated fields such as sports, art, science, or literature. Students learn to approach such topics using gender as an analytical tool that intersects in complex ways with other categories of social power, such as race, class, and sexuality. The course is interdisciplinary in approach and presents a plurality of feminist perspectives in order to offer a rich understanding of the development of feminist thought over the past several decades. Course assignments encourage students to use such thought to analyze their other academic pursuits, as well as the non-academic environments in which they live, including thinking critically about their own experiences as women and men in contemporary society.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

WGSS 242 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society

Philosophy of Sex

WGSS 246 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

This course explores questions related to contemporary conceptions of sexuality and its proper role in our lives. Questions addressed include: What is the purpose of sex? Are sexual practices subject to normative evaluation on grounds of morality, aesthetics, and/or capacity to promote a flourishing human life? We consider the relation between sex and both intimacy and pleasure, viewed from the perspective of heterosexual women and men, and gay men and lesbians. What are our sexual practices and attitudes toward sex? What should they be like?

Advanced Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies

WGSS 396 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

This course provides an opportunity for advanced students to explore in detail some aspect of women's studies. Specific topics may vary and may be determined, in part, by student interest. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Advanced Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies

WGSS 396 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

This course provides an opportunity for advanced students to explore in detail some aspect of women's studies. Specific topics may vary and may be determined, in part, by student interest. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2016

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Special Topics in Economics

ECON 295A - Silwal, Shikha B.

Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and are announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

Fall 2016, ECON 295A-01: Demographics and Development In South Asia (3). Prerequisite: ECON 101. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years. This course uses economic theories and methods to understand economic demography and development in South Asia. Some of the peculiar demographic and development aspects of the South Asian economy, and hence, the topics of the course include youth bulges, migration, markers of social identity, education, child labor, corruption, public health, and targeted initiatives for development in the region. While we focus exclusively on the South Asian countries, students will be able to apply the concepts learned in this class to study any developing country in the world. Silwal.

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

This course considers the primary work on which Chaucer's reputation rests: The Canterbury Tales . We pay sustained attention to Chaucer's Middle English at the beginning of the semester to ease the reading process. Then we travel alongside the Canterbury pilgrims as they tell their tales under the guise of a friendly competition. The Canterbury Tales is frequently read as a commentary on the social divisions in late medieval England, such as the traditional estates, religious professionals and laity, and gender hierarchies. But despite the Tales' professed inclusiveness of the whole of English society, Chaucer nonetheless focuses inordinately on those individuals from the emerging middle classes. Our aim is to approach the Tales from the practices of historicization and theorization; that is, we both examine Chaucer's cultural and historical contexts and consider issues of religion, gender, sexuality, marriage, conduct, class, chivalry, courtly love, community, geography, history, power, spirituality, secularism, traditional authority, and individual experience. Of particular importance are questions of voicing and writing, authorship and readership. Lastly, we think through Chaucer's famous Retraction at the "end" of The Canterbury Tales , as well as Donald R. Howard's trenchant observation that the Tale is "unfinished but complete." What does it mean for the father of literary "Englishness" to end his life's work on the poetic principle of unfulfilled closure and on the image of a society on the move?

Séminaire avancé

FREN 397A - Kamara, Mohamed

The in-depth study of a topic in French literature and/or civilization. Recent offerings include: La Littérature francophone du Maghreb; La littérature Beure; La France sous l'occupation; Les femmes et l'écriture au XVIIe siècle; Les écrivains du XXe siècle et la diversité culturelle; L'affaire Dreyfus. Students are encouraged to use this course for the development of a personal project. May be repeated for degree credit when the topics are different.

Fall 2016, FREN 397A-01: Séminaire avancé - Femmes écrivaines africaines: s'écrire et écrire le monde (3). Prerequisites: Three French courses at the 200 level. While providing an overview of the trajectory of women's writing from its beginnings in the late 60s, the course will focus more heavily on the literary endeavors of women from the late 70s to the twenty-first century.  Through representative works from this extended period, we shall examine how women address such issues as patriarchy, tradition, modernity, the self in society, as well as the question of feminism itself. (HL) Kamara.

History of Women in America, 1870 to the Present

HIST 258 - Senechal, Roberta H.

A survey of some of the major topics and themes in American women's lives from the mid-19th century to the present, including domestic and family roles, economic contributions, reproductive experience, education, suffrage, and the emergence of the contemporary feminist movement. The influence on women's roles, behavior, and consciousness by the social and economic changes accompanying industrialization and urbanization and by variations in women's experience caused by differences in race, class, and region.

Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

PSYC 269 - Woodzicka, Julie A.

This course examines cognitive and affective processes involved in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Causes and social implications of prejudice involving various stigmatized groups (e.g., African-Americans, women, homosexuals, people of low socioeconomic status, overweight individuals) are examined. Participants focus on attitudes and behaviors of both perpetrators and targets of prejudice that likely contribute to and result from social inequality.

Female and Male in Western Religious Traditions

REL 215 - Brown, Alexandra R. (Alex)

An investigation of views about the body, human sexuality, and gender in Western religious traditions, especially Judaism and Christianity, and of the influences of these views both on the religious traditions themselves and on the societies in which they develop. The course focuses on religion and society in antiquity and the Middle Ages, but also considers the continuing influence of religious constructions of the body and sexuality on succeeding generations to the present.