Fall 2019 Graduate Courses
WST 601 - Feminist Theories
Tuesdays 1:00 - 3:50 pm
This course will offer a critical history of feminist theory by offering an introduction to the various theoretical frameworks that have informed the field from its beginnings in the early 1970s. More specifically, we will explore the feminist uses of, and reactions to, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and poststructuralism through an engagement with the key terms and debates that have shaped and continue to animate the field of feminist theory. The approach on offer is reflexive, both in terms of the authors we will read who all aim, in their differing ways, to critically reflect upon the institutional and historical production of feminist theory, and also in its invitation to pay critical attention to your own intellectual, disciplinary, and/or political investments in the field. In our reading of the material we will focus on the historical diversity and polyvocality of feminist theory, while also paying attention to the theoretical and political impasses and conundrums that continue to make feminist theory an animated and animating practice of thought. Key thinkers in this critical history include Gayle Rubin, Kimberly Crenshaw, Donna Haraway, Gloria Anzaldua, Sara Ahmed, Judith Butler, Chela Sandoval, and Hortense Spillers.
WST 680 - Interdisciplinary Research Design
Mondays 1:00 - 3:50 p.m.
This interdisciplinary seminar guides students engaged in feminist, liberatory, and social justice oriented projects through the process of research design. We will explore interdisciplinary ideas and debates voiced by scholars and activists about the relationship between theory and research practice, and the conduct of research and research outcomes. Students will be introduced to an array of research methods available across the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences, think critically about their use, and gain some hands-on experience with methods. The seminar is designed as a workshop to apply knowledge of methods and methodologies to students' own research, and over the semester, students will develop either a research proposal for funding agencies and/or their dissertation proposal (prospectus). Course topics will include formulating and refining research questions; developing appropriate theoretical frameworks; articulating scholarly value; and thinking critically about the methods used in feminist interdisciplinary research. Students are expected to work collaboratively, presenting their individual works-in-progress to the class for constructive critique.
WST 610 - Advanced Topics in Women's Studies -
"Racialized Sexualities: Erotic Labor and the Production of Desire"
Tuesdays 5:30 - 8:20 p.m.
In this seminar, we will explore race and sexuality as mutually constitutive formations within erotic labor industries, including pornography, stripping, and camming. Starting from the position that race is inherently implicated in the erotic, we will study racial formations as they structure the lived experiences of erotic laborers. We will begin by examining sociological approaches to the study of race to consider how racialization comes to bear meaning in sexual desirability. We will then focus on how racialized and sexualized constructs condition erotic capital and become articulated through hegemonic beauty standards, embodiment, and desire.
[Electives Outside of WGSS]
AFS 533 - Race, Gender, and Globalization
Mondays 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
This seminar explores current issues and debates relating to the racialized and gendered effects of globalization. Topics include an overview of the sociology of globalization and theories of globalism/the global system, transnational classes and a transnational state, global culture and ideology, transnational migrations and the new global labor market, globalization and race/ethnicity, women and globalization, local-global linkages, and resistance to globalization.
HIS 516 - Theme Seminars on Empire, Modernity, and Globalization - "Decolonize This! Decoloniality, Empires, History
Tuesdays 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Is it possible to separate History from the imperial matrices and racial capitalism that have for so long produced it? Can we discover ways to decolonize our categories (such as, but not limited to, gender, race and class, identity and alterity, north and south, center and periphery and other time/space grids of geopolitics) and our modes of knowledge while continuing to write history ‘as we know it’? Or do we necessarily have to adopt a ‘view from the south,’ which has come to connote the perspective of dispossessed actors across nations and cultures of the current world order? This theme seminar will examine strategies for using decolonial methodologies, archives and temporal strategies that promote more complex and attentive understandings of our entangled pasts, and doing something with history other than tag the majority of the world as ‘behind’. We will also be considering the ethics and praxis of decoloniality in settler colonialism nations and the types of critical and historical activism that can be seen to encourage more ‘pluriversal’ narratives and projected futures. Readings will include: Sylvia Wynter, Jodi Byrd, Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh, Katherine McKittrick, Sylvia Barrio, Cedric Robinson, and historians Marisa Fuentes, Ada Ferrer, and others. Class assignments: in addition to the readings, two short papers, and one larger collaborative project that aims at decolonizing our archives and perspectives.
HIS 517 - Theme Seminars on Empire, Modernity, and Globalization - "Global Borderlands"
Wednesdays 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
This readings seminar examines scholarship in the field of American borderlands history and situates it beside studies of other borderlands around the world. We will explore the questions: What is the definition of a borderland? How does living in a borderland shape one’s racial, class, gender, sexual, political, or cultural identity? How do peripheral places and people impact centers of power and policy? What makes good borderlands history? Course themes include immigration, cultural commingling and conflict, border-making and enforcement, the globalization of labor, dangerous and deadly borderlands, terrestrial and maritime borderlands, citizenship and human rights, diplomacy and politics, language, violence, commodity flows, art and architecture, and the environment. Participants in this seminar will learn to think about the ways in which borderlands history and theory can inform or be applied to their own future research, writing, and teaching plans.
PHI 602 - Early Modern Women Philosophers
Wednesdays 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
In her classic 1998 paper, “Disappearing Ink: Early Modern Women Philosophers and Their Fate in History,” the late Eileen O’Neill identifies nearly 80 women philosophers who lived prior to the nineteenth century — half of whom lived and worked in just the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. O’Neill notes that, by the nineteenth century, these thinkers came to be almost completely excluded from the philosophical canon. Their published works — while not unknown to scholars of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries — were treated as though they were “written in invisible ink.” O’Neill’s work on the history of early modern women philosophers has helped spur a concerted effort by scholars of early modern philosophy to reexamine the once-ignored works of figures such as Marie de Gournay, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Mary Astell, Damaris Cudworth Masham, and Émilie du Châtelet. This course will examine the writings of these seventeenth century women philosophers, and the ways in which they collaborated with, challenged, and critiqued the work of their better-known male contemporaries, including Descartes, Malebranche, Hobbes and Leibniz.
MUS 536 - Area Studies in Ethnomusicology - "Music, Disruption, and Commerce"
Thursdays 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Capitalism thrives in chaos. That modern entrepreneurial buzzword, “disruption,” is in fact a centuries-old strategy. Displacement, upheaval, and even violence are each big business. This course, in five sections (war, diaspora, migration, climate, and technology), considers the ways that music has been implicated in disruptive economies, sometimes as a commodity and sometimes as a tool of critical comment. We will read about the music industries that flourish in conflict, about performance as a livelihood for dissidents, and about the economic transformations wrought by new sonic media over the past century and longer. We will carefully theorize disruption in its financial sense. But the majority of the class will be devoted to case studies of musical lives lived and careers carried out in turbulent times.
There will be weekly readings (50-75 pages), plus several short papers and a substantial final paper (in special cases, students can instead produce an integrated media project for their final). This course is primarily intended for DMA students, but MA, MM, and PhD students may enroll with permission. This course fulfills a history requirement for MM/DMA programs
SOC 512 - Global Sociology, Identities, and Organizations in Global Perspective
Wednesdays 10:00 - 1:00 p.m.
This course examines how increasing global integration impacts human societies. It reviews the broad trends that foster globalization in the economic, political, cultural, and social spheres, as well as the consequences global change has had on how individuals and communities identify themselves and how they organize for collective goals. Core issues on the global agenda such as conflict, environment, technological and economic development, demographic change, gender, and human rights will be addressed; research methods for the study of global society will be introduced.
HIS 557/SOC 514 - Advanced Topics in Global Sociology - "Dynamics of Corruption"
Wednesdays 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
At least since Merton's research on political bosses, sociologists have noticed that corruption plays a deeply ambiguous role in social life, especially in social, economic, and political 'development.' The aim of this course will be to survey major approaches to understanding the nature and dynamics of corruption, with a special focus on distinctively sociological perspectives. These perspectives, in turn, will be brought into critical dialogue with major paradigms in history, economics, political science, anthropology, and psychology. Readings will include Scott on early-modern England, Mungiu-Pippidi on the history of "good governance," Koerze on histories of anti-corruption, and Pearce on anticorruption histories in Africa.
SPN 612 - Topics Seminar - "Women's Cinema in Spain & Latin America"
Wednesdays 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
What does it mean to posit a tradition of women’s cinema in the Spanish-speaking world? In this course we will explore the role of women in cinema from Latin America and Spain as this role has changed over time, and as it takes varied forms in different nations and regions. We will establish a critical, theoretical and historical framework for understanding the limits on women’s access to film directing and to exhibition of their work. We will then raise a number of questions having to do with themes women address and how these have shifted: the political issues (individual and collective) their films raise, the choice and uses of film genres, and the increasing transnationalism women’s films both address and participate in. The goals of the course are multiple. Students will develop their skills in film analysis as part of a broader cultural inquiry into the role of gender in cultural, social and ideological experience both within and across national and regional boundaries. A practical, pedagogical component will seek to aid students in developing and refining their skills in teaching and writing on film. The course will be taught in English.
View Past Graduate Courses:
Spring 2017 (coming soon)
Spring 2016 (coming soon)