Summer 2022 GSRS Electives

GSRS 287: Reproductive Justice (Prof. Jenny James)
This interdisciplinary course provides an intensive introduction to reproductive justice in the U.S., focusing in particular on the ways gender, race, class, and sexuality impact reproduction, kinship and parenthood.  Students will read and learn from scholars and activists working to re-conceive the politics of reproduction within an intersectional, embodied and holistic set of contexts and relationships. Some questions we will grapple with include: How do racial and economic injustices shape maternal and child health in communities of color, as well as access to contraception and abortion? What are queer and trans people’s experiences of reproduction and kin-making? How do larger social systems, such as healthcare, social services, criminal justice and the law affect pregnant people’s birth and perinatal experiences?

Can be taken for either GS or CRS elective credit.

Fall 2022 Gender and Sexuality (GS) Distribution Electives

COMA 303: Gender and Communication (Prof. Marnie Ritchie)
Description: This class provides an overview of how gender and communication relate in social and cultural contexts. Focusing on contemporary American culture, we will explore how communication enables and constrains performances of gender and sexuality in everyday life. The course explores vocabulary, media, institutions, and the body. Prerequisites: COMA 101 or consent of instructor.

ENG 232: Women’s Literature (Prof. Adela Ramos)
Topic: Jane Austen’s Communities and Social Justice
The word “community” is so familiar that we might think it does not even merit defining. “Community” is not only a social structure but also a feeling. We know when we are in community—when we belong—and we definitely know when we’re outsiders or somehow not entirely among those who we might call our own. What does it mean to be in community? How do class, gender, sexuality, race, nationality, and ability determine who gets to be in community? How do different individuals move through the communities they belong to? What happens when they transgress their community’s values or agreements? In this college-level, alternative perspectives introduction to the novel and narrative, we will explore these and other questions—about marriage, family, friendship—through our reading of three novels written by one of the most influential literary figures of the twenty-first century: Jane Austen (1775-1817). Although she wrote her novels in the early nineteenth century, they continue to resonate with contemporary audiences in astonishing ways, as shown by the recent success of Shonda Rhime’s Bridgerton—a series largely composed of character types and plot lines made popular by Austen two centuries ago. We will first read Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Emma (1815) to understand how issues of class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and ability are addressed in her novels. Then, we’ll move into Northanger Abbey (1796) to think about what Austen’s critique of what media can do to unsuspecting consumers can teach us about our current relationship with digital media and visual culture. The final project will ask students to develop a podcast based on Austen’s work where they explore critical questions about diversity and representation in digital media and visual culture. Please note: We will do a lot of reading, writing, and critical thinking in this course! The course is set up so that students work in groups throughout the entire semester. Print copies of the texts are required except where financial need or accommodations require electronic copies.

ENG 395: Studies in Lit, Gender and Sexuality (Prof. Jenny James)
Topic: Telling the Story Now: Contemporary Queer and Trans Voices
In this upper-level literature and theory seminar, students will explore contemporary voices in the LGBTQ community within and beyond the borders of the U.S. How do we tell the story of queer and trans life today and how do we build on the literary experiments of our queer and trans forebears?  Engaging with theorists such as Michel Foucault, Jack Halberstam, E. Patrick Johnson, José Munoz, C. Riley Snorton, Eve Sedgwick, Lisa Duggan and others, we will read and learn how to utilize queer and trans critical approaches to enrich our interpretation of literature, culture and society.  We will read narratives by a range of LGBTQ authors including David Wojnarowicz, Maggie Nelson, Rabih Allamadine and watch films like Moonlight and Born in Flames, using contemporary literature and film as textual case studies to practice engaging with theory and criticism. Students should expect to read exciting and complex texts, to expand their understanding of “queer” and “trans,” to practice academic writing and intellectual collaboration, and to cultivate their own voices using documentary and storytelling.

This course fulfills the Alternative Perspectives requirement as well as the Gender and Sexuality distribution requirement for GSRS degree programs.

HISP 433: Special Topics in Latin American Lit & Culture (Prof. Giovanna Urdangarain)
An opportunity to pursue an in-depth study of recent cultural production from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay as related to authors and filmmakers who identify as part of LGBTQ+ communities in those countries. The course focuses largely on narrative and film but also explores other genres and artistic modalities such as poetry, installations and performances of diverse nature. In studying this varied set of primary sources, the course looks closely, also, at their conditions of emergence, namely socio political and economic contexts for each country. Prerequisite: HISP 325.

SOCI 210: Gender and Society (Prof. Teresa Ciabattari)
Description: An examination of gender as a social construction and a system of stratification. Focus is on the structural aspects of gender and upon the intersection of gender with other social categories, such as race, class, and sexuality.

Fall 2022 Critical Race Studies (CRS) Distribution Electives

ENGL 216: Topics in Literature: Emphasis on Cross Cultural Perspectives (Prof. Solveig Robinson)
Topic: Literature of the Raj

POLS 365: Race and Ethnic Politics (Prof. Maria Chavez-Pringle)
An interdisciplinary examination of the way racial and ethnic conflict shapes and structures American political, social, and economic life focused on the best path toward democratic equality. Discussions center on the literature that examines the integration of disenfranchised ethno-racial groups into in U.S. society, addressing the contemporary implications of changing demographics on institutions of power and on democracy in the U.S. (Intensive writing course). Prerequisite: POLS 251.

PSYC 335: Cultural Psychology (Prof. Heidi McLaughlin)
The study of the relation between culture and human behavior. Topics include cognition, language, intelligence, emotion, development, social behavior, and mental health. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

SOCI 332: Race and Racism (Prof. Teresa Ciabattari)
A critical examination of race and racism in the United States. The course will explore the social construction of race and how racism shapes social institutions, such as the economy, education, and criminal justice. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or consent of instructor.