Spring 2020 Graduate Courses
WST 600 - Feminist Interdisciplinary Histories and Methods
Thursdays 1:00 - 3:50 pm
Rather than begin with an exploration of “the” feminist methodology in Women’s and Gender Studies, or an account of “the” history of feminism, this course will explore what counts as “history,” as “method,” and as “evidence” in feminist scholarship. Since its emergence as a distinct knowledge project within the academy, feminism has raised questions about how we know what we know, who gets to speak and for whom, and what are legitimate fields of inquiry. Our goal will be to trace some of the ways in which feminist scholars have sought to intervene in debates about disciplinary as opposed to interdisciplinary forms of knowledge, objective as opposed to “situated” knowledge, evidence versus experience, history versus fiction, etc. A central part of the feminist project for many scholars has been an engagement in the self-reflexive questioning of the status, history, methods, and goals of feminist scholarship. This course will attempt to continue that practice. To that end, students are encouraged to engage with the material with their own projects in mind, and to use the course in order to be self-reflexive about the methods, materials, and theories they intend to use in their graduate and post-graduate work. In order to begin the selfreflexive (re)examination, we will turn to concepts such as “knowledge,” “rational,” “irrational,” “experience,” and “evidence.”
WST 698- Practicing Women's and Gender Studies
Mondays 1:00 - 3:50 p.m.
The teaching practicum is designed for both graduate students in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and certificate students who anticipate teaching classes outside of, or in addition to, their disciplinary home. To prepare for this likelihood, we will spend several sessions working together to construct an introductory course syllabus in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. We will work together to generate several special topics course titles and descriptions related to students’ research interests. Practicing Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies explores three interconnected spaces—the classroom, the field, and the university. We will move from practical, even personal, tactics and strategies—what to do in the classroom—to (inter)disciplinary imperatives and institutional structures— how fields are imagined and universities organized. At the same time, we will consider broader questions about the university as an institution in the current moment, and the place of Women’s Studies within the contemporary university. Along with a consideration of the changing practices and objects of feminist knowledge production, we will also read about and discuss the changing politics and economics of academia, and the impact of the wider academic milieu on what and how knowledge is produced. We will ask: what has women’s studies been; what kinds of interdisciplinarity or transdisciplinarity are possible in women’s, gender and sexuality studies; and finally, what might the disciplinary field and its institutionalized locations as programs and departments become?
[Electives Outside of WGSS]
ARH 547 - Topics in Global, Colonial, and Diasporic Art: "Photography and Modernity in Africa"
Tuesdays 1:00 - 3:50 pm
This course begins with an historical lens on photography in Africa, from its introduction in the 19th century, through the complicated terrain of colonial uses and abuses, to the photograph as marker of modernity in the early-mid 20th century. This historical material will ground our discussions of modern and contemporary photography across the continent. Topics include the powerful and problematic relationship of documentary photography especially in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, including the aestheticization of violence; the performance of gender, sexual identity, and agency in contemporary photographic portraiture; and the blurred edges between contemporary documentary, fashion, and fine art photography. Final projects will focus on recent exhibitions and contemporary African photographers.
ARH 554 - Topics in Visual Culture: "Postwar Art and Politics"
Wednesdays 1:00 - 3:50 pm
This course will explore the relationship between postwar art and politics across a spectrum of situated geopolitics. Discussions of important historical moments like “global 60s” and “Paris 68” as well as political manifestations like “non-alignment” and “transcontinentalism” will inevitably expand the scope of the class beyond the discipline of art history, and we will engage with scholarships produced in the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, literature, history, political philosophy, and cultural studies. How can we envision the theoretical and methodological tools of writing a history of postwar visual arts as it is intertwined with national liberation movements in the third world, the politics of global cold war, leftist resistance, and transnational activism? The class has a two-fold goal: to closely examine articles and books on these topics by scholars (Hiroko Ikegami, Jaleh Mansoor, Tom McDonough, Kristin Ross, Heonik Kwon, Shu-mei Shih, and Anne Garland Mahler); and to take as case studies major art exhibitions on the geographically expanded understanding of postwar art and politics (e.g. Global Conceptualism, 1999; International Pop, 2014).
EGL 608 - Disability Studies and Literature
Tuesdays 1:00 - 3:50 pm
Disability Studies, an interdisciplinary field that includes English, Composition/Rhetoric, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Sociology, Philosophy, History, Medical Humanities, and more, interrogates the ways in which societal barriers exacerbate an individual’s impairment, contributing to their disability. Literature is partly shaped by—and can often shape—cultural assumptions, including how readers think about disability. In this course, we will examine representations of disability in literary texts written by authors with—and without—disabilities. How is disability represented by authors who have lived experience with disability, and by those who do not? What assumptions about disability are revealed through literary analysis of fiction, poetry, and memoir, and through rhetorical analysis of published criticism of such texts? In what ways might literary texts, or even published analyses of those texts, subconsciously influence common beliefs about disability? In other words, how might literature and discussions of literature challenge or perpetuate harmful stereotypes about disability? We will read works by Harriet McBryde Johnson, Michael Bérubé, Alice Wong, Georgina Kleege, John Lee Clark, Petra Kuppers, Kenny Fries, Jillian Weise, and others.
EGL 608 - Translation Theory and Practice
Mondays 1:00 - 3:50 pm
This module explores how translation has been conceived throughout history and it focuses on how translation practices impact and relate to theory. Students will develop a good knowledge and practice of different types of translation – including interlingual, intralingual, and intersemiotic translation –, and grasp the ethical dilemmas that translating entails.
HIS 554 - Global Carceral Regimes: Policing, Prisons, and Surveillance
Thursdays 2:30 - 5:30 pm
This graduate readings seminar analyses global regimes of punishment, policing, prisons, and surveillance through a transnational lens across the twentieth century. In the past decade, there has been a vibrant and new approach to understanding the twentieth century through the study of what historians have called the “carceral state” and the “punitive turn.” The purpose of this course is to provide a sample of the most interesting, most complex, and most significant work on the carceral state and the methodological tools of this “punitive turn.” Broadly conceived, the carceral state is the state’s apparatus to monitor, surveil, control, punish, and discipline its citizens through state functions that are obviously punitive (such as police, prisons, immigration detention/deportation, and jails) and those that are less obvious (such as systems of education, mental health, health care, and welfare). More information here.
HIS 601 - Spaces and Places
Tuesdays 4:30 - 7:20 pm
This research seminar is designed to facilitate research and writing of an original, full length, pithy and polished (potentially publishable) research paper related to students’ dissertation work. The course is open to doctoral students working on any topic in any world area or time period. The seminar is organized around the theme ‘space and place,’ and we will consider conceptually-driven approaches to analyzing and writing about geographical setting and environment as historical forces. This theme, loosely applied, will provide a common touchstone for discussions of shared readings and research projects. In approaching the ‘spatial turn’ in historical scholarship, we will consider a range of scholarship on topics such as landscape and environment, built form, capitalism and infrastructure, transnational and regional scales, geographic imaginaries, borderlands, urbanization, and planning, drawn from history and a variety of adjacent fields (geography, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, literature). Our coverage will not attempt to be comprehensive, but rather will endeavor to open up a broad palette of approaches to draw from in conceiving historical scholarship that takes seriously particularities of space and place. We will spend the first few weeks of the semester reading and discussing examples of such approaches (many of which students will have encountered in previous History graduate seminars), then begin defining topics followed by a series of incremental writing and revision assignments. The middle of the semester will be dedicated to intensive research and writing weeks alternating with individual student—instructor and seminar meetings to discuss the process of writing and revising, as well as professionalization matters (navigating the dissertation process, fellowships and grants, journals and publication). The final weeks of the semester will be dedicated to presentations and feedback leading up to final revisions.
MUS 537 - Research Methods: "Archive, Ethnography, and the Knowledge Between"
Thursdays 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Historical and ethnographic research methods have much in common -- at times, they may even be difficult to tell apart. This course examines these two domains of research methods, both practically and philosophically, and including their overlaps. Our readings will trace key genealogies and epistemologies of knowledge-gathering and evidentiary standards in both fieldwork and archival research, including a wide-ranging and ongoing conversation about "alternative" archives that spans many areas of the humanities today. These readings will compel us to reflect on the ways that fieldwork among living subjects can resemble archival research, and in turn how archival research can function like ethnography. In other words, we will challenge the very distinction between the two categories. As a methods course, students will be asked to conduct their own fieldwork/archive project, either freestanding or as part of research they are already involved in, in order to apply the themes of the course in practice. These projects will span the course of the semester, and should ideally result in substantial final papers modeled after dissertation chapters, scholarly articles, or colloquium talks.
PSY 559 - Psychology of Women's Health
Tu/Th 10:00 - 11:20 am
This course covers psychologically important topics in women’s health based on current theoretical perspectives and research findings. We examine psychological contributors to and consequences of women’s health and illness, including 1) diseases that affect women differently or disproportionately than men (including cardiovascular disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and autoimmune diseases), 2) reproductive health (including menstruation, pregnancy, and birth), 3) health behaviors (including substance abuse, exercise, eating, and sleep), 4) violence against women, and 5) mental health.
SOC 518/WST 512 - Sociology of Gender
Mondays 11:00 - 2:00 pm
What is sex and gender? How do we define it? What leads to gendered patterns, and how have individuals attempted to explain these patterns? These are just some of the questions we will explore in this course. We will read theoretical explanations of gender and gender relations – with power being a central driver to engaging the works. These theoretical perspectives provide a multitude of views to explain gendered patterns, they often juxtapose each other or question the validity of various perspectives, and, ultimately, they should provide insightful debates for this course. The analyses of gendered theory will help us to formulate our own understanding and beliefs about gendered expectations and will also provide us with a foundation to understand and debate the sex and gendered topics we will explore. Some substantive topics will be formulated around the recommendations made by you. As we discuss the topics and challenge perspectives, we will bring in the theoretical frameworks that we analyzed. Through this process, we will learn how the social construction of sex and gender leads to many complexities that aren’t easily explainable or understood.
View Past Graduate Courses:
Fall 2019 (coming soon)
Spring 2017 (coming soon)
Spring 2016 (coming soon)