414 - Topics in Women's and Gender Studies
Prerequisite or Requirement:
First Year Writing
This course will explore a key theme or critical question in Women's and Gender Studies as an introduction and line of inquiry into how and why women's and gender studies matter in the contemporary world and in our individual lives. Drawing from and reflecting on approaches to women's and gender studies from a variety of disciplines and cultures, we will use these theoretical lenses to read social, cultural, and artistic texts and cultural practices in a new light. How do cultural texts and practices (such as novels, graphic novels, plastic surgery, invitro fertilization, music videos, bulimia, facebook, video games, advertising, etc.) encourage us to think about gender, sex, sexuality, race, class, nation, transnation, science and power? What role do they play in processes of identity formation? How do power-laden ideas of gender, sexuality, race and class travel from culture to culture or refuse an easy translation? What old and new discourses of gender, sex, sexuality, race, colonialism, or biopower do these texts help in, or resist disseminating? How has women's and gender studies and the creative, activist and academic practices theorized in this multidisciplinary, global space, challenged gendered and racialized power structures in the past, in the present, and how might it transform its methods to confront current challenges? What connections can be drawn between women around the world without erasing their distinct differences? How do we put that international perspective on women's and men's lives into practice in our own daily lives?