Spring 2020

WGST 228 Sociology of Sexuality

TR 10:00AM – 11:15AM
This course analyzes the issues of sex and sexuality from a sociological point of view.  It is centered on the notion that what we consider to be ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ about sex and sexuality is, in reality, socially constructed.  One’s viewpoint on the issues surrounding sexuality are influenced by the social context in which they live, as opposed to the purely biological viewpoint that presupposes some sense of normalcy or naturalness regarding sexual relations.  A range of topics will be covered, including readings that discuss the variations of sexuality and the notions of sexual ”deviance” in order to explore the cultural and societal variation that exists along the lines of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and disability.
Offered as SOCI 228 and WGST 228
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WGST 257 Women’s Histories in South Asia
MW 12:45PM – 2:00PM
Ananya Dasgupta
This course traces the history of women in South Asia from pre-colonial times to the present. Themes explored in the course will include (but not be limited to): the historical transformations of institutions shaping women’s lives such as state, family, religious and legal traditions; the impact 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 the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in writing histories using the analytical lens of gender. While a significant portion of the readings will focus on South Asia, we will occasionally bring in insights from histories of women in other parts of the world to help develop comparative perspectives and evaluate the South Asian cases and examples within the broader field of women’s history.
Offered as HSTY 157 and WGST 257
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WGST 342 – Latin American Feminist Voices
MW 3:20PM – 4:35PM
Jacqueline Nanfito
Examination of the awakening of feminine and feminist consciousness in the literary production of Latin American women writers, particularly from the 1920s to the present. Close attention paid to the dominant themes of love and dependency; imagination as evasion; alienation and rebellion; sexuality and power; the search for identity and the self-preservation of subjectivity. Readings include prose, poetry, and dramatic texts of female Latin American writers contributing to the emerging of feminist ideologies and the mapping of feminist identities.
Offered as SPAN 342, SPAN 442, ETHS 342, WGST 342, WLIT 342, and WLIT 442
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WGST 352 – African Feminisms
TR 11:30AM – 12:45PM
Shemariah Arki
This course traces the history of African feminism from its origins within traditions through to a more contemporary theoretical analysis of gender, marriage, and motherhood seen from a Afrocentric perspective. Approaches studied are those that pertain to anthropology, history, literature, sociology, and culture. African feminist theory of scholars such as Filomina Steady, Cheikh Anta Diop, Buchi Emecheta, Ifi Amadiume, Obioma Nnameka, Oyeronko Oyewumi, and Calixthe Beyala will be studied and there will be some comparative analysis of Western theories to show how African feminisms are clearly distinct. Theories on these feminisms will be presented, and in the process, students will look at cases of women in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal. It is commonly believed that African women were defined for a long time according to constructs of Western anthropology. This course will thus look at social institutions such as woman-to-woman marriage, matriarchy, and various women’s rituals in order to identify African constructs of gender, family, kinship, marriage, and motherhood.
Offered as ETHS 352 and WGST 352
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WGST 355 – Hindu and Jain Bioethics: Special Focus on Women’s and Gender Studies
TR 1:00PM – 2:15PM
D. Sarma
This course will provide both an introduction to basic Hinduism and Jainism and an introduction to Hindu and Jain bioethics. We will focus primarily on bioethical issues that pertain to women and that are gender related. These issues include abortion, menstruation, surrogacy, intersex, and other topics of controversy.
Offered as ETHS 353, RLGN 353, RLGN 453, and WGST 355