Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Contact
Department Chair:
Margaret Kamitsuka

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:


Phone: (440) 775-8907
Fax: (440) 775-6698

Location:
Rice Hall 117
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Course - Fall 2012 / Spring 2013

Course - Fall 2012 / Spring 2013
 


FALL 2012

Gateway Courses

GSFS courses designated as “gateway” are also “electives.”

  • AAST 240 - How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, and U.S. National Identity
    This course examines US beauty pageants from the 1920s to the present. Our aim will be to analyze pageantry as a unique site for the interplay of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation. We will learn about cultural studies methodology, including close reading, cultural history, critical discourse analysis, and ethnography, and use those methods to understand the changing identity of the US over time. This course includes a field visit to a pageant in Ohio. Instructor: A. Ofori-Mensa
  • CAST 100 - Introduction to Comparative American Studies
    The course will introduce students to the complexity of American social and cultural formations, with particular emphases on sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and to various methodologies of comparative analysis. Instructor: M. Raimondo
  • CLAS 219 - Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome
    Study of the construction of gender and sexual identities in ancient Greece and Rome. Emphasis will be on primary texts that demonstrate notions of sexual practice and/or identity, such as Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazousae, Plato’s Symposium, Aeschines’ Against Timarchos, and poetry of Sappho, Catullus, Ovid, Martial, Juvenal. We will also read modern critical theorists of sexuality, and will interrogate the usefulness of their arguments for understanding ancient Greece and Rome. Instructor: K. Ormand
  • FYSP 082 - Sex, Gender, and Power
    This course is an introduction to the history and practice of the study of sexuality in the U.S. We will turn to literature, science, and the humanities to gain exposure to various theories of human sexuality and the processes that shape the sexual culture and people’s understanding of their place within it. We will explore sexuality as having political implications, as well as being fundamental to human rights and personal agency. Instructor: K. Schreck
  • FYSP 110 - Black Women and Liberation
    Black liberation struggles in the U. S. and South Africa owe much to the brilliance of Black women’s political activism. Fighting racism, patriarchy and capitalist exploitation, women such as Angela Davis and Mamphela Ramphele employed methods of feminist leadership in community-based and national movements that ultimately claimed success. Students will evaluate their forms of activism, examine the nature of political autobiography, build library research skills and explore the bridge between community activism and intellectual life. Instructor:  P. Brooks
  • FYSP 146 - HIV/AIDS in America
    What is the state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States? Why has HIV infection disproportionately affected particular groups and localities? What is the role of the United States in the global AIDS pandemic? This interdisciplinary course answers these questions by considering perspectives from the sciences, social sciences, public policy, education, medical care, media and the arts, and activism. Instructor: M. Raimondo
  • HIST 265 – American Sexualities
    This course will examine the creation, maintenance, and reproduction of sexual differrences and identities over a broad time span in North American history, beginning with Native American sexusal practices and social formations, and stretching through the modernization of sex. Major topics will include: marriage, changing gender roles, the intersection of sexuality with race and ethnicity, commercialized sex, reproduction, same sex sexual practices, contraception, sexual violence, heterosexism, danger, desire and pleasure. Instructor: Pablo Michell
  • RELG 261 - Gender Theory and the Study of Religion
    This course will examine the various ways in which feminist scholars bring gender issues to the academic study of religion. Topics to be addressed will include: feminist critiques of androcentrism in ‘classic’ theories of religion; methods for the historical retrieval of suppressed women’s voices in historical texts; sociological and ethnographical approaches to investigating women’s marginalized ritual practices; feminist approaches to philosophy of religion and theology. Instructor: Margaret Kamitsuka
  • SOCI 203 - Desire to be Modern: Sociology of Sexuality
    Sociologists study the social origins of sexuality; how shared beliefs shape what we desire, what is taboo or what shames us. Historical and cross-cultural research illuminates the emergence of modern sexuality and the ways it transformed systems of dating, marriage, homosexuality, government and racial classification. Learn why sociologists are skeptical of essentialist explanations that rely on biology and favor theories that recognize sexuality as a diverse, ever-changing function of cultural institutions. Instructor: G. Mattson

Feminist Research Methodologies

Feminist Research Methodologies also counts as an elective course.

  • GSFS 305. Feminist Research Methodologies
    This course traces the historical and dialectical impact of feminist epistemologies on disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. We will explore feminist approaches to research practices including oral history, case studies, archival research, visual and literary criticism, survey/content analysis, and fieldwork. Throughout the semester, each student works on an individual research proposal that incorporates interdisciplinary methods and includes a literature review. Instructor: A. Needham

Capstone Courses

GSFS courses designated as “capstone” are also “electives.”

  • HIST 398 – Archiving Sex: Researching America’s Sexual Past
    The main goal of this course is to produce a 20-25 page research paper on some aspect of the history of American sexualities. Students will identify a paper topic, survey relevant secondary materials and conduct basic primary research. The course will emphasize research methods, effective writing strategies for long papers, peer critique and suppor, and oral presentation skills. Instructor: Pablo Mitchell

Elective Courses

  • ENGL 309 - The Poetry of Love and Seduction in the Renaissance
    From love sonnets to pornographic narratives, from carpe diem seductions to marriage odes, early modern poets employed a dazzling array of literary resources for writing about love, sex, gender, and desire – often disguising darker explorations of skepticism, political transgression, religious defiance, and death. This course will trace the development of erotic poetry in Renaissance England, with reference to these poems’ rich cultural, intellectual, and history. Instructor: W. Hyman
  • FYSP 103 - Bridging the Body/Mind Divide
    Before Rene Descartes arrived at his famous statement, ‘I think therefore I am,’ he systematically cut himself off from all his embodied senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. This allowed him “to be” without “being-in-the-world.” This course will team philosophical inquiry (thinking and writing) with somatic exercises (developing our bodily knowledge) in order to ask: How can we learn from our bodies? and, How do we learn with our bodies? Instructor: A. Albright
  • HIST 270 – Latina/o History
    What historical forces have brought together diverse groups including Chicanos from Los Angeles, Cubans from Miami, and Dominicans and Puerto Ricans from New York City? From the 16th century to the present, we map the varied terrains of Latina/o history. Major themes include: conquest and resistance, immigration, work and the creation of racial and sexual differences within and between Latino-a communities. We survey Latina/o writers from Cabeza de Vaca to Jose Marti to Gloria Anzaldua. Instructor: Pablo Mitchell
  • JWST 272  Love and Power in Jewish Literature and Film
    This course examines the way in which love and power intersect and conflict in Jewish literature and film. Topics include the relations between Woman and Man, Jew and Non-Jew, Parent and Child, Nation and Individual. We will also discuss the representation of homosexual and homosocial relations. Instructor: Ari Ofengenden
  • JWST/CMPL 375  Violence in Twentieth-Century World Literature
    Covers violence in 20th century literature alongside key theoretical formulations of the subject. Starting with early 20th century Modernism, we will compare creative developments in East Europe, Middle East and South America. Violence’s relations to body, trauma, sovereignty and the other will be examined both in literature and theory. Among others we will read: Kafka, Doblin, Aeurbach, Freud, Arendt, Bataille, Primo Levi, Fanon, Agamben, Habibi and Castel-Bloom. Instructor: Ari Ofengenden
  • POLT 206 - The Politics of Sexual Minority Communities
    This course examines the history and politics of LGBT communities in the United States during the twentieth century. No background in the subject is required, though a general knowledge of American history and politics during this period is helpful. Topics include the relative freedom of urban LGBT communities before and during World War II, the repression of the 1950’s, the Stonewall Rebellion and its aftermath, the politics of AIDS, and the place of LGBT issues in the African-American community. Class participation is essential and is a component of each student’s grade. Instructor: H. Hirsch
  • RELG 108 - Introduction to Religion: Women and the Western Traditions
    An introduction to Judaism, Christianity and Islam that focuses on women's experiences and gender roles. This course will examine representations of women in sacred texts; primary sources by and about women from various historical periods, and contemporary feminist voices within each religious tradition. Topics to be investigated include: rabbinic teachings on biblical women, the role of women in early Christian heretical movements, discourses of the veil in Islam. Instructor: Margaret Kamitsuka
  • SOCI 275 - Enacting the Law
    The sociology of law studies how our everyday understandings both underpin and conflict with legal professionals and institutions. You need no previous legal knowledge we use the legal knowledge you already possess to examine why claims of justice and equality often fail in practice and how legal reforms frequently have unintended consequences. Assignments include reading legal documents, conducting interviews, and observing legal proceedings-the formal and informal ways law gets enacted every day. Instructor: G. Mattson

SPRING 2013

Gateway Courses

GSFS courses designated as “gateway” are also “electives.”

  • CAST 100 - Intro. to Comparative American Studies
    The course will introduce students to the complexity of American social and cultural formations, with particular emphases on sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and to various methodologies of comparative analysis. Instructor: P. Mitchell
  • CAST 202 - Visible Bodies and the Politics of Sexuality
    This course considers how visual culture produces and contests concepts of sexuality in American society. We will analyze how mainstream culture universalizes certain experiences of gender and sexuality, as they are inflected by race, ethnicity, class and nationalism, as well as how marginalized groups have used visual representation to contest and subvert these hegemonic ideals. Through case studies, we will explore concepts such as the gaze, spectacle, and agency. Instructor: W. Kozol
  • CAST 211 - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Identities
    This course examines the production of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities in the United States as they intersect with important social markers such as race, class, gender, and nation. Situating specific case studies in historical, social, and comparative context, we explore issues such as the intersection of racial and sexual sciences, processes of community formation, the politics of embodiment, social justice movements and queer cultural productions. Instructor: M. Raimondo
  • CAST 235 - Debating Citizenship
    This course examines how Americans have historically negotiated the inclusions and exclusions of citizenship through an interdisciplinary study of political debates, legal developments, and cultural contestations. Theoretical debates on citizenship and nationalism will serve as the basis for a comparative study of how marginalized communities within the United States have contested and reconfigured normative concepts of belonging and identity, with particular attention to changing notions of gender, sexuality, race, ability, and class. Instructor: K. Schreck
  • CMPL/ENGL 265 - Anglophone Lits of Third World
    Through theoretical essays and novels, we will examine the problems of definition and evaluation that attend our interpretation of works from the ‘Third World.’ We will consider whether or not: 1) ‘Third World’ or ‘Post-colonial’ are appropriate designations; 2) notions of ‘marginality,’ ‘difference,’ and ‘alterity,? so often deployed to characterize these works, are useful interpretive tools; 3) the perception that these works are always enactments of resistance against dominant ideologies is effective. Diversity, Post-1900. Instructor: A. Needham
  • DANC 270 / THEA 271 - Queer Acts
    This course will engagCASTe with that sexy, yet elusive, cultural concept called ‘Queer Theory.’ We will study both queer theories and contemporary queer practices by looking at the performance work of Ann Liv Young, Ethyl Eichelberger, Tim Miller, Split Britches, Holly Hughes, Marlon Riggs, Diane Torr, The Five Lesbian Brothers, Bill T. Jones and others. The central question of the course will be: ‘Is the act of performing inherently queer?’ Drag will be encouraged, but not required. Instructor: A. Albright
  • ENGL 379 - Welfare Queens and Tiger Moms: Reading Transgressive Motherhood
    What do mothers owe their families, and what do children owe their mothers? What pleasure and power is there in the maternal? What is a bad mother? How do narratives of race, class, migration, gender, and sexuality structure representations of the maternal in ethnic American literature? In this course, we will consider the aesthetics and politics of motherhood, thinking both about mothers in the proper sense and various metaphors of motherhood. American, Diversity, Post-1900. Instructor: S. Harrod
  • GSFS 205 – Queer Beginnings
    1990 was a time of new beginnings for artists, academics and activists who challenged the norms of heterosexuality, and for finding --or inventing-- queer histories. A close reading of Foucault, then Sedgwick, The Epistemology of the Closet (1990), Butler, Gender Trouble (1990), Crimp, "Mourning and Militancy" (1989) and Bersani, "Is the Rectum a Grave?" (1987).  Fiction by Hollinghurst, Barnett, Winterson, and Gluck; historical or pseudo-historical films from the New Queer Cinema movement, probably including Poison (1991); Edward II (1991); Orlando (1992); Watermelon Woman (1996); Looking for Langston (1989); My Own Private Idaho (1991); Lilies (1996). Instructor: P. O’Connor
  • HIST 213 – First Wave American Feminism
    This course explores the quest for gender equality from the end of the American Revolution through the enfranchisement of women in 1920, including issues of race, class, sexuality, health and citizenship. Readings include narratives, novels, classic texts advocating social, political, and economic advancement and the biographies and autobiographies of activists. Instructor: Carol Lasser

Capstone Courses

GSFS courses designated as “capstone” are also “electives.”

  • CAST 321 - Seminar: Transnational Sexualities: National Borders, Global Desires
    How does the globalization of sexuality shape the study of sex in national contexts? This interdisciplinary seminar uses the United States as a starting point to consider sexual identities and practices in a transnational perspective, addressing topics such as reproduction, migration, AIDS, sex work, tourism, and militarization. We will examine the production of gendered, raced, and classed bodies and explore the significance of transnational analysis of sexuality to social justice work. Instructor: M. Raimondo
  • CAST 400 - Research Seminar: Expanding the Archive
    How do American Studies scholars use archives? Is this changing in the 21st century? Do new archives like the Internet require different methodological approaches? This seminar explores the distinctiveness of interdisciplinary research in Comparative American Studies as well as the range of traditional and contemporary sources of evidence available to scholars. In this class, students will work through the various steps of evidence gathering, analysis, and writing a research paper. Instructor: W. Kozol
  • HIST 427 - Colloquium: Borderlands
    The US-Mexico border region is a political, economic, and cultural crossroads. The course investigates interactions between Native Americans and Spanish colonists beginning in the 16th century, emerging United States economic and political control during the 19th century, and immigration, community building, and civil rights movements in the 20th century. We also discuss la frontera as a literary and symbolic concept. Instructor: P. Mitchell
  • RELG 367 - Theologies of Abortion
    This seminar explores a spectrum of theological approaches on abortion from Roe v. Wade to today.  Topics to be studied include: the role of extremist religious groups in abortion clinic violence; how Protestant and Catholic pro-life theologies clash over issues of sex and gendered sexuality; debates about the question of when life begins and "fetal personhood“; how race shapes pro-choice and pro-life positions in relation to the bodies of religious women of color. Prerequisite and Notes: Consent of instructor required. Instructor: Margaret Kamitsuka
  • SOCI 420 - Social Inequalities: Class, Race, and Gender
    This course will explore contemporary sociological approaches in the study of social inequality. The enduring structure and reproduction of inequalities along axes of class, race and gender are core problems of sociology. This seminar will examine these issues by first considering various theoretical issues utilized by scholars in the field. We will then examine how different thinkers have implemented of these theories and concepts in a variety of innovative case studies. Instructor: R. Baldoz

Elective Courses

  • AAST 101 - Intro to the Black Experience
    An interdisciplinary exploration of key aspects of Black history, culture, and life in Africa and the Americas. The course attempts to provide students with a fundamental intellectual understanding of the universal Black experience as it has been described and interpreted by humanists and social scientists. Included in the course will be such topics as: the African American Studies movement, the African heritage of Afro-Americans, Pan-African relations, racism and sexism, the family, the role of religion in Black life, class structure and class relations, the political economy of African American life, and Black political power. Instructor: M. Gadsby
  • AAST 225 - Women in Caribbean History
    This course studies the economic, social, cultural and political activities of women in the Caribbean from the era of Pre-conquest to the dawn of political independence in the various colonies. It will therefore begin with an examination of the lives of indigenous Caribbean women and continue with an analysis of the historical setting and factors which affected the behavior of women of African, European, Chinese and Indian descent. Instructor: G. Gill
  • ANTH 101 - Intro to Cultural Anthropology
    An introduction to cultural anthropology through an examination of basic concepts, methods, and theories that anthropologists employ in order to understand the unity and diversity of human thought and action cross-culturally. Language and culture, kinship and the family, politics and conflict, religion and belief, and the impact of social change and globalization on traditional institutions are some of the topics to be considered in a range of ethnographic contexts. Instructor: C. Biruk
  • ANTH 281 - Empires of Science
    This course examines the intersections of race, gender, culture, and sexuality with science and technology in colonial and post-colonial contexts. What are the social and historical dimensions of technoscientific encounters between the global North and the global South? Drawing on accounts by science studies scholars, post-colonial theorists, historians, and anthropologists, we analyze how the uneven flow of technoscientific experts, practices, objects, and knowledge transforms social relations, bodies, and selves. Instructor: C. Biruk
  • CAST 201 - Latinas/os in Comparative Perspective
    This course analyzes the varied experiences of Latinas/os in the United States. Using ethnography, literature, film, and history, this course will explore questions of immigration/transnationalism; culture and political economy; racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities among Latinas/os; the struggle for place in American cities; as well as the intersections of gender, work and family. Instructor: G. Perez
  • CAST 321- Transnational Sexualities
    How does the globalization of sexuality shape the study of sex in national contexts? This interdisciplinary course uses the United States as a starting point to consider sexual identities and practices in a transnational perspective, addressing topics such as reproduction, migration, AIDS, sex work, tourism, and militarization. We will examine the production of gendered, raced, and classed bodies and explore the significance of transnational analysis of sexuality to social justice work. Instructor: M. Raimondo
  • CAST 235 - Debating Citizenship: Identity and Belonging in US Culture
    This course examines how Americans have historically negotiated the inclusions and exclusions of citizenship through an interdisciplinary study of political debates, legal developments, and cultural contestations. Theoretical debates on citizenship and nationalism will serve as the basis for a comparative study of how marginalized communities within the United States have contested and reconfigured normative concepts of belonging and identity, with particular attention to changing notions of gender, sexuality, race, ability, and class. Instructor: W. Kozol
  • CAST 272 - Disease, Democracy, Difference
    From yellow fever to H1N1 flu, disease has been central to the construction of the nation, revealing important differences in race, class, gender, and sexuality. This interdisciplinary course investigates the politics of health and illness in the United States through several historical and contemporary case studies. We pay particular attention to the contestations and collaborations between policy makers, health professionals, and community activists seeking to define and promote wellness. Instructor: M. Raimondo
  • CINE/FREN 352 - The Cinema and Culture of Stardom in France
    Stars are recognized for exceptional performance in their fields while personifying the values and contradictions of their times for publics who imagine themselves through them. This course primarily addresses French cinema, but also popular music, public intellectualism, and politics. Issues include the public reception and consumption of these diversified careers of the self, the star-making process specific to each category, qualities of performance over time, and narratives that stars and celebrities tell of themselves. Conducted in English. Instructor: G. An
  • CLAS 219 - Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome
    Study of the construction of gender and sexual identities in ancient Greece and Rome. Emphasis will be on primary texts that demonstrate notions of sexual practice and/or identity, such as Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazousae, Plato’s Symposium, Aeschines’ Against Timarchos, and poetry of Sappho, Catullus, Ovid, Martial, Juvenal. We will also read modern critical theorists of sexuality, and will interrogate the usefulness of their arguments for understanding ancient Greece and Rome. Instructor: K. Ormand
  • ENGL 242 - Asian American Literature at the Crossroads
    A critical mass of Asian American literature has arrived; that presence, while valuable, also comes with many responsibilities. How does Asian American literature represent its increasingly global constituencies? What narrative forms and literary devices do writers and artists use to give figure to culture? This course explores the aesthetics, theories, and politics of Asian American literature and culture. It will focus especially on questions of diaspora, gender and sexuality, and cultural critique. American, Diversity, Post-1900. Instructor: H. Suarez
  • HISP 322 - Visions of Mexican Women
    The last hundred years of Mexico’s Revolution, murals, mass media, magical realism, and maquiladoras is threaded through with the works of great women writers and artists, dealing with the reality of machismo and some of the ghosts of men’s images of them. After a backward glance to icons of Colonial women, we jump to: stories by Mexican women of the Revolution: the artwork of the women of Mexico’s ‘30s and ‘40s; indigenism, feminism, and political activism in the `60s and `70s; and, in contemporary fiction and film, realism both magical and ironic. Conducted in Spanish. Instructor: P. O’Connor
  • HISP/CMPL 410 - Tango: The Politics and Poetics of a National Icon
    This course, taught in English, examines the sociocultural, political and artistic dimensions of tango. By looking at dance, music, lyrics and other tango manifestations students will explore how communities encode their traditional values in expressive forms, how these forms operate subversively in popular culture, and how they officially represent the nation. Films, recordings, performances, and guest speakers complement class readings. Instructor: A. Cara
  • HIST 308 - Seminar: Gender and the Suburbs
    This seminar examines the history of the suburbs in the United States since the mid-19th century, with special attention to gender as it interacts with race, space, and class. Topics include domesticity, ranch houses, segregation, car culture, malls, soccer moms, and teenage boredom. Students will plan and complete a major research project using primary sources and recent secondary sources. Instructor: J. Petrulis
  • HIST 317 - Politics and Culture in the Weimar Republic/Politik und Kultur in der Weimarer Republik
    The period between 1918 and 1933 was one of incredible political and cultural ferment in Germany. How do we think about the fact that the society that produced the Bauhaus and Marlene Dietrich was also riven with political discord and ended with the rise of Nazism? This course will trace the history of Weimar Germany to explore this paradox. Students have the option of doing some readings in German. Instructor: A. Sammartino
  • POLT 271 - Gender, Sexuality and the Law
    In this course, students will explore the way American law and the legal system has treated issues of sexuality and gender. Particular attention will be devoted to conceptions of privacy as they have been interpreted by the Supreme Court. Issues to be explored include but are not limited to discrimination, sexuality, and marriage and family. Students will learn how gender and sexuality have been constructed and deployed in the American legal context. Class participation is expected and constitutes a portion of each student’s grade. Instructor: H. Hirsch
  • RELG 336 - The Body, Gender, and Christian Mysticism
    This seminar examines medieval Christian mysticism through an exploration of representative primary texts and recent appropriations. Special attention is given to the role of gender in the production and interpretation of women’s mystical texts as well as the problems and prospects identified with the body and language for relating to the divine. Instructor: T. Swan Tuite
  • SOCI 314 - Unequal Educations
    This course focuses on education as a social institution and the inequalities structured within it. Using theory and empirical evidence, education in the United States will be examined from pre-school through post-secondary levels. The intersections of education and other institutions, (e.g. political, economic and familial) are analyzed and include discussions of race/ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. Further, the role of education in social reproduction and social control will be examined. Instructor: D. John