Spring 2019

WGST 227/RLGN 227 Women, Gender, and Islam
MW 12:45-2p
Justine Howe

Women and gender are central to understanding Muslim societies, past and present. From debates about the veil to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, gendered concerns have been especially prominent in contemporary debates about the status of Islam in the modern world. How have Muslim thinkers interpreted Islamic scriptures with respect to topics such as marriage, child custody, inheritance, and sexuality? How is masculinity and femininity constructed? In what ways do their interpretations reflect the political, economic, and social conditions in which they lived? How does gender structure authority and power in Muslim communities? Why have Muslim women become so important in contemporary debates over religious and national identity around the world?
No prerequisites and no prior knowledge of Islam is expected.
Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement

WGST 343/ENGL 343/443 Language and Gender
MW 3:20-4:35p Raili Marling
Do women and men really speak differently? How well does language allow us to express our gender experience? What role do race, class and sexuality play? How does our language use affect how we are perceived? In this course, we will discuss how sex, gender and sexuality are represented in and performed through language in the public and private spheres of life.

The course will begin by introducing early debates in language and gender research about the extent to which language is male-centered and whether men and women use language differently. It will cover theories of difference, dominance and performativity. Finally, we will consider how language resources can be used to enact different gender and sexual identities.
Course Goals
• To introduce some of the main concepts and debates in language and gender research in the broader context of gender and sexuality studies.
• To sensitize students to the gendered nature of language they consume and use.
• To develop the skill of analyzing spoken, written and visual texts for representations of gender and sexuality.
Required Texts
Eckert, Penelope and Sally McConnell-Ginet. Language and Gender. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Recommended Texts
Cameron, Deborah. The Myth of Mars and Venus. New York: Oxford University, 2008.
Cameron, Deborah; Kulick, Don. Language and Sexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

WGST 257/HSTY 157 Women’s Histories in South Asia
TR 1-2:15p
Ananya Dasgupta

This course traces the history of women in South Asia from pre-colonial times to the present. Themes explored in this course will include: the historical transformations of institutions shaping women’s lives such as state, family, religious, literary, and legal traditions; the impacts of colonialism, nationalism, and decolonization on women, as well as the history of women’s movements in various parts of South Asia. As we acquaint ourselves with the vibrant historiography on women in South Asia, we will also examine methodological challenges involved in using the analytical lens of gender, and attempt to grapple with the challenges that post-colonial feminisms and feminist historiographies pose to traditional history-writing. We will evaluate the South Asian cases and examples within the broader field of women’s and gender studies.