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WOMEN'S, GENDER & SEXUALITY ST

WGSS-496 Selected Topics:Non-recurring Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-Recurring (1-6) Topics vary by section. Repeatable for credit with different topic.

WGSS-496-001
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Transnational Feminisms
Transnational Feminisms (3) In this interdisciplinary course, students are introduced to themes and theoretical principles of transnational feminisms, as well as broad frameworks for understanding transnational feminist analysis. Transnational feminisms question the "global feminism" framework, particularly the tendency to erase differences within and between nations through a Western feminist lens. Course themes include colonialism, anti-colonial movements, decolonization, globalization, nation-building, nationalism, representation, translation, global economies, global capitalism, militarism, human rights, and politics of gender, race, class, sexuality, and nation. Meets with WGSS-696 001.
WGSS-496-002
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Reproductive Health & Justice
Reproductive Health and Justice (1) This course, taught by an expert public health practitioner, explores central issues in reproductive health practice and policy. Course assignments and discussions examine broader structural contexts including racism, poverty, and sexism that contribute to national debates about reproductive justice. Meets with WGSS-696 002.
WGSS-496-003
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Haunted Hearth
Haunted Hearth: Ghost Stories and the Domestic (1) This course considers the specter of gender in stories about houses that are haunted. In the western world, the domestic sphere is gendered female: women are the heart of a home, housework is disproportionately completed by women, and women are still, in Virginia Woolf's words, the angel in the house. In ghost stories, that angel in the house often assumes the role of a vengeful fury, returning to terrorize after death the space she maintained in life. Students examine stories of haunted houses in literature and film through the lens of gender, considering the ways that authors challenged, reified, or complicated hierarchical domestic relationships. Meets with WGSS-696 003.
WGSS-496-004
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Intro to Disability Studies
Introduction to Disability Studies (1) This course covers a range of cultural and theoretical texts that illustrate and clarify disability as an emergent interdisciplinary field of study. Disability studies examines, challenges, and interrogates medical, social, cultural, and activist models that define and organize the discipline while delineating the field's many debates. It asks what is ability and disability, normal and abnormal, as well as how, and in what ways, we draw the line between these socially constructed terms. Disability studies grapples with these oppositional debates and considers the complex intersection of ability/disability with race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and cognition. Students engage with theoretical texts, literary narratives, and films that challenge their assumptions of ability/disability through historical, communal, and political lenses. Meets with WGSS-696 004.
WGSS-496-005
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sex Traffickng & Pol of Purity
Sex Trafficking, Mission Work, and the Politics of Purity (3) This course explores religious responses to global sex trafficking and forced prostitution, particularly from conservative Christian organizations and communities. Course themes include how evangelical organizations frame sex trafficking as a human rights and missionary issue, and how an interest in sex trafficking came to fit logically within religious notions of sexuality, theology, and global politics. Students analyze international and religious issues through a feminist lens, examine connections between religion and sexuality in the public sphere through promotional material, mission work texts, and media, and understand how sex trafficking, like HIV/AIDS, became a global crisis with which evangelicals must be involved. Meets with WGSS-696 005.
WGSS-496-006
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Queer Aesthetics
Queer Aesthetics (3) This course explores how artistic, expressive, and embodied aesthetics shape queer identity formations. Through theoretical readings and analysis of historical materials, students examine critically how queer consciousness functions both collectively and individually. Class assignments and discussions introduce students to aesthetic theory, concerns about essentialism and authenticity related to queer identities, empowerment and queer agency, forms of intersectional representation, and the normalization of counter-culture. Meets with WGSS-696 006.
WGSS-496-001
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Women's Activism: Then and Now
Instructional Method: Hybrid. Women's Activism: Then and Now (3) This multidisciplinary course examines the history, theory, and current practices of women's activism in the United States in order to understand the tactics, goals, and origins of women's organizations in greater depth and create a database/archive of such organizations. The course begins by examining historical themes and topics in twentieth century women's activism, as well as the methodologies scholars in various disciplines have used to study women's involvement in sex-integrated and women-only organizations. Students then choose a women's activist organization, located in either Washington, DC or a home community, to study and research. Students can choose their methodology, ranging from oral history, archival research, or social science questionnaire and their preferred topic, which can include peace organizations, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, women's health, public policy, domestic violence, sex trafficking, women in prison, and other advocacy groups and complete a final project. Meets with WGSS-696 001.
WGSS-496-001
Term: Spring 2019 Semester
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sexual Exploitation Industries
Instructional Method: Online. Sexual Exploitation Industries: Patriarchy, Capitalism, and Violence (3) This course examines prostitution, pornography, escort services, stripping, and other activities in the sex trade through a socialist feminist lens. Drawing on a variety of sources, including survivor narratives, research studies, and investigative journalism, students explore how varying forms of intersectional oppressions including sexism and misogyny, classism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia interconnect to drive society's most vulnerable people into the sex trade and keep them there with limited means of escape. The course includes a significant focus on the demand side of sexual exploitation, including the motivations, attitudes, and behaviors of sex buyers and traffickers. It also examines the impact of differing social and political responses to prostitution, including full decriminalization and partial decriminalization (the Nordic Model). Students engage in an in-depth volunteer project with an approved domestic or international organization. Meets with WGSS-696 001.
WGSS-496-002
Term: Spring 2019 Semester
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Documenting the AIDS Crisis
Documenting the AIDS Crisis (1) In the decades since AIDS was first identified in medical literature, documentary films have been designed to educate, motivate, and change American society's response to the disease. AIDS-themed documentaries have challenged the stigma around HIV/AIDS, inspired AIDS activism and advocacy, and underscored AIDS as a public health crisis. This course follows the history of these films, highlighting significant examples of the AIDS-themed documentary film as investigative journalism, personal video diary, and propaganda tool. Meets with WGSS-696 002.
WGSS-496-003
Term: Spring 2019 Semester
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Women in the Wilderness
Women in the Wilderness (1) This course explores the notion of wilderness as gendered. In the Western world, wilderness is variously construed as pure and unspoiled, the antithesis of culture, a threatening "other" to be tamed. In fictional and non-fictional accounts, encounter with wilderness is framed in and through white, ableist, male-embodied masculinity. Students examine alternate narratives, both contemporary and historical, that reconceptualize wilderness, challenge dualistic, gendered accounts of "the wild," and/or imagine the outdoors as a retreat open to non-normative or hegemonically masculine bodies and persons. Meets with WGSS-696 003.
WGSS-496-004
Term: Spring 2019 Semester
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Theories in Marriage Abolition
Theories in Marriage Abolition (3) Examines the contemporary debate between liberal feminists advocating for marital abolition and marital reform. Students critically interrogate the state's role in supporting romantic and familial relationships, gender and sexual identities, and morality. The course foregrounds a critical race analysis of the liberal political project. Meets with PHIL-485 003 PHIL-685 003 WGSS-696 004.
WGSS-496-005
Term: Spring 2019 Semester
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Interracial Relationships
Interracial Relationships in America (1) This course looks at interracial partnerships in America through a historical and cultural lens. Students explore depictions of interracial relationships in media, popular culture, and politics while considering the interplay between race and gender, including such questions as why some interracial pairings are historically more acceptable than others and how the idea of protecting white womanhood drove miscegenation law. Meets with WGSS-696 005.
WGSS-496-006
Term: Spring 2019 Semester
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Black Feminisms
Instructional Method: Online. Black Feminisms (3) As an introduction to the fields of Black feminist theory and thought, this course explores the work of Black feminist scholars that span the period of chattel slavery through the twenty-first century. Through materials that include non-fiction, fiction, literature, poetry, and film the course provides students with an understanding of how Black women in the United States have navigated a world where it is believed that "all the women are white, and all the Black are men." With this in mind, attention is given to the ways in which Black feminism has emerged alongside hegemonic forms of feminism and Black/African American studies. The course works to answer questions including what Black feminism(s) is, how Black feminism/thought has changed, and what is the relevance of Black feminism(s) in the twenty-first century. Meets with AFAM-496 001 WGSS-696 006.