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Fall 2020 Graduate Courses       

[Core Courses]

WST 601 - Feminist Theories
Mary Jo Bona 
Mondays 1:00 - 3:50 pm
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to a wide range of readings in feminist theories and the impact of gender and sexuality studies criticism on literary studies and feminist narratology. Taking an intersectional approach to argue that multiple modalities—gender, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, ability, geographical location—create social positions and representations structured by inequalities, we will examine and critique a variety of literary/critical texts that anticipate, intervene in, and embody feminist and queer representations in narrative. Loosely organized around feminist chronologies, we will examine early feminisms alongside second-wave and sexuality studies; we then examine critical race studies and black feminisms, and shift to queer of color and transnational feminisms. Readings range from Mary Wollstonecraft and Julia C. Collins to Gloria Anzaldúa, Hortense Spillers, and Maggie Nelson. French feminists, Wittig, Kristeva, Cixous, and Irigaray are read in conjunction with earlier works by Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Woolf ( A Room of One’s Own , e.g.) and alongside Spivak, Butler, Fuss, and Ahmed. Longer works include Morrison’s Beloved , Rankin’s Citizen and Cisneros’s Woman Hollering Creek.  Collaborative praxis is expected in this class as such work comprises education as a “practice of freedom,” as bell hooks has written. 
 
WST 610 - Advanced Topics in Women's Studies: " Historicity and the Political in Feminist Media Cultures"
Vicky Hesford
Tuesdays 4:00 - 6:50 p.m.
In this seminar we will draw upon feminist and queer media and film studies in order to explore the relations between mass and subcultural media cultures, gender, race, sexuality, and feminism. Our focus will be on examining the role television and film played in the production and dissemination of new forms of gendered and raced political identities and collectivities in the post1945 era. Specifically, we will ask how the media shaped the ways in which forms of cultural belonging and political collectivity were imagined and constituted and how, in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, new forms of gendered and sexual belonging were produced that both challenge and also continue the political and economic expansion of a globalized (late) modernity. We will read texts from feminist and queer media studies including, Amy Villarejo, Ethereal Queer: Television, Historicity, Desire ; Damon R. Young, Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies , and Kara Keeling, The Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense , as well as studies in new media and feminist media cultures, including essays by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun,  Rox Samer, and Cait McKinney.
 
WST 610 - Advanced Topics in Women's Studies: "Performance Studies: Theories, Methods, Activism"
Francesca Spedalieri
Wednesdays 4:00 - 6:50 p.m.
What “is” performance, this contested term? What does it “do”? How does what performance “is” and what it “does” change when we interrogate the circumstances under which it “is” and “does”? When we investigate the when, how, and for whom it “is” and “does”? How is understanding performance as an object, a lens, a modality, and a method useful in interdisciplinary studies? And how is performance linked to activism?  These are some of the questions we will grapple with in this graduate course.
 
While mapping the history of the field of performance studies, this course will approach performance from multiple angles. We will analyze performance as a means of creative expression. We will examine it as a mode of critical inquiry. We will discuss its potential as a tactic for public engagement and activism. As we do so, we will attend to both the practice of performance (ex: gestures, behavior, and artistic enactment) and the study of performance (ex: reproduction, observation, and analysis).
 
Beyond analyzing and critiquing select foundational texts, this course will take care to emphasize the relationship between theory and practice through experiential activities.

 
[Electives Outside of WGSS] - To Be Announced 
 
 
 
 
 
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