300 Level Courses

WGST-309 Feminist Theory

This course examines the main currents in contemporary feminist thought. Feminist theory explores the nature and effects of categories of sex and gender upon our ways of living, thinking and doing, while also challenging how gendered assumptions might shape our conceptions of identity and inquiry more generally. Different conceptions of sex and gender will be discussed, and the course will investigate how these concepts affect our lives in both concrete and symbolic ways. Special attention will be paid to how gendered assumptions color our understanding of knowledge production, experiences of embodiment and emotion, public and private activities, and the nature of ethical decision making. Class 3, Credit 3 (Offered regularly) 

WGST-325 Bodies and Culture

This course examines the body in culture, society, and history. The course material draws on comparative approaches to the cultural construction of bodies, and the impact of ethnic, gender, racial ideologies on body practices (i.e. surgical alteration, mutilation, beautification, surrogacy, erotica). We will critically investigate the global formation of normative discourses of the body (regarding sexuality, AIDS/illness, reproduction, fat/food) in medical science, consumer culture, and the mass media. The course will be discussion, writing, and project oriented, encouraging students to acquire a range of analytic skills through a combination of text interpretation and research. Counts toward the soc/anth degree (cultural anthro track), international and global studies degree, the minor in  soc/anth, the minor in visual studies, the minor and immersion in women’s and gender studies, the immersion in cultural anthropology and the immersion in health and culture. (ANTH-102 Cultural Anthropology or INGS-101 Global Studies or permission of instructor). Class 3, Credit 3 (S). 

WGST-335 Women and the Deaf Community

Deaf history, as a field, has often neglected the story of deaf women. Scholar Arlene B. Kelly has recently asked, Where is deaf herstory? This course seeks to correct that gender imbalance in deaf history. We will study deaf women's history. This will include a consideration of deaf-blind women, as well, as women like Helen Keller were often the most famous deaf women of their era. But this course also seeks to look at the role of hearing women in deaf history. Hearing women dominated the field of deaf education in the late nineteenth century. They had a tremendous impact on the lives of deaf children and the events of deaf educational history. Hearing women were also important figures in deaf history as mothers. As mothers of deaf children, hearing women were frequently asked to behave as teachers in the home. Their embrace of this role often led them to endorse oral education, and oppose the sign language. Hearing mothers in this way were pitted against their adult deaf daughters, who frequently went on to learn sign language against their mothers' wishes. The historically complex relationship between women and the deaf community will be explored in this course. Class 3, Credit 3 (offered biannually) 

WGST-342 Gender, Science & Technology

This course explores the importance of gender within Western science and technology. It considers how masculine and feminine identities are socially and culturally shaped, how sex and gender are being significantly transformed, and how rethinking gendered practices may help make science and technology fairer and more responsive. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies. Class 3, Credit 3 

WGST-351 Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies

This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in  cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Class 3, Credit 3 (Fall) 

WGST-375 Women/Gender/Art

This course examines the role of women in the visual arts as both image makers and subject matter in order to see how gender plays a role in the conceptualization of creativity and art.  Among the topics to be discussed are: the construction of femininity and gender in the patriarchy; art as an ideological practice; women, art, and society; art history, art education, and art evaluation; women artists and their contemporaries.  Class 3, credit 3 (Spring) 

WGST-377 Displaying Gender

This course brings together two of the most significant strains of recent art historical scholarship: the study of gender in representation and the critical examination of exhibitions and museums – with particular focus given to key examples of curatorial practice from the late 19th century to the present day.  Through readings, possible museum visit(s), class discussions, and guided individual research, questions of gender in exhibitions will be considered in relation to other aspects of identity including sexuality, race, and class. (3 credits) (Co-Listed with CIASARTH-577)

WGST-383 Traumatic Images

This course investigates visual culture and its imagistic response to life's crises. Problems of identity and identification will be explored and confronted through works of photography, painting, mixed media, new media and film of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Beginning with the late 19th Century vogue for images of "hysterical" women, crippled "black-sheep" family members and dead loved ones (as corpses and as ghosts), we then move on to consider the last century's fascination with pain and suffering, disease and violence, struggle and survival and then the 21st century's emphasis on terrorism. Specifically, we will focus on the gendering of images and imaging as disturbing pictures work to defy the formal and theoretical distinction between private and public, personal and collective experience and manage the often conflicting responsibilities to self, family, religion, race, nation and society.  Class 3, Credit 3 (Spring) 

WGST-384 Art of Dying

This course explores the experience of dying a profoundly human and universal experience as it is represented by artists who are themselves facing immanent death. The unique and deeply personal process of each dying artist is crucially informed by social, cultural and historical as well as artistic contexts. The course will focus primarily on visual artists and writers living with and dying of disease - such as AIDS, cancer and cystic fibrosis as well as mortality and age.  Topics such as aesthetics, artistic media, representation, grief, bereavement, illness, care-giving, aging, and the dying process will be considered within the context of issues of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and community values.  Some of the artists covered will be Jo Spence, Hannah Wilke, Elias Canetti, Bob Flanagan, Herve Guibert, Tom Joslin, Laurie Lynd, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Salomon, Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, Bas Jan Ader, Ted Rosenthal, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Keith Haring, Eric Steel, Derek Jarman, Eric Michaels, and David Wojnarowicz. We will also explore some of the critical theory of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Elaine Scarry, Susan Sontag, and Ross Chambers.  Class 3, Credit 3 (Spring) 

WGST-388 Gender and Contemporary Art

This course traces the historical development of women’s activism in the art world from the 1970s to the present. We will interpret how this art activism, which artists and scholars alike have referred to as the feminist art movement, has examined how gender informs the ways art is made, viewed, conceptualized in history and theory, and exhibited in museums and visual culture, in a range of cultural contexts. We will also analyze how current artists, critics, and curators continue to build on this history, in particular how they use the concept of gender intersectionally to develop a variety of new creative practices, theories, modes of exhibition and social engagement. (3 credits) (Co-listed  FNRT- 388)