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Upcoming Courses: Fall 2020

The WGSS Curriculum is divided into categories.
Feminist and Queer Theories (WGFQ); Methods for Knowledge Production (WGKP); Gender and Violence (WGGV); Transnational Perspectives (WGTP); Historical Perspectives (WGHP); and Free Electices (WGSS)

AMST 398 ST: Drugs in America: A Political and Cultural History (Browder) WGSS
TR 9:00-10:15 am
This course will use a highly interdisciplinary approach to focus on the cultural, medical, and legal history of recreational drugs in the U.S. during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Beginning with Prohibition, we will study such topics as the rise of Valium (a.k.a. “Mother’s Little Helper”); LSD, from its uses by the CIA and Harvard professors to the artistic expressions of acid culture; cocaine in business culture; crack, sentencing disparities and the rise of mass incarceration; Big Pharma and the opioid epidemic; and more, concluding with the study of current approaches to dealing with addiction in Richmond.

ANTH 300 Sexuality/Gender across Cultures (Nourse) WGTP
TR 3:00-4:15 pm
Theoretical and ethnographic examination of masculinity and femininity within various worldwide cultures.
Prerequisites: ANTH 101

ARTH 279 ST: Gender, Race, and Power in Early Modern Art (Genoni) WGKP
M 3:00-5:40 pm
Throughout Early Modern Europe and the Americas, depictions of gender and race played pivotal roles in the construction of power, as individuals and factions battled over civic, colonial, and personal power.  These depictions and struggles appear across media, including in portraits, sculpture, architecture, treatises, and other forms of visual culture.  Gender and race emerge as both constructs of identity and as key components in constructing identity and in building and demonstrating power, as seen in both depictions of individuals as well as in works that serve as dueling metaphors in propaganda battles.  Using an intersectional lens, we examine these works of art in the socio-political context in which they were created, thinking about issues of personal and political identity.  Topics include portraiture, propaganda, visual and rhetorical strategies in sculpture and architecture, activism, protest, gender and sexuality, and more.

CLSC 232 Daily Life in Roman Pompeii (Damer) WGHP
MW 1:30-2:45 pm
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii have sparked the imagination since 79 CE. What was daily life like in a Roman town in the 1st Century in Italy? What can we learn from Roman advertisements, social media, business records, and contracts? What can we learn from building dedications and correspondence? In this course, students will explore Roman thinking about citizenship, food, sexuality, gender, slavery, politics, sports, entertainment, friendship, housing, work, death, and public spaces. No prerequisite. Gives WGSS credit.

CLSC 302 Roman Art and Archaeology (Baughan) Special Contract   WGHP
MW 3:00-4:15 pm
FSVP
A survey of Roman art and architecture from the early republic through the late empire, and throughout the Roman world, from Spain to Syria. Explores the meanings of 'style' in Roman art and the social and political significance of Roman sculpture, painting, and architecture.

EDUC 376 Social Justice in Education (Snaza) WGKP
MW 10:30-11:45 am
This course examines discourses of “social justice” that arise from various social movements as those discourses address education in P-12 schools, universities, and non-school sites of educational practice. While some readings focus on how social justice is imagined, and how it authorizes demands, from social movements addressing racism, heterosexism, class politics, (settler) colonialism, and ableism, the course design, and many readings, foregrounds an intersectional approach. The class will begin with an examination of contemporary activism on university campuses, exploring how recent approaches to debt, racism, and sexual assault can be situated in a larger history of US activism addressing universities going back to the 1960s. We will then turn to examine (how) most US schools work to perpetuate the settler colonial project both in historical accounts (of the Carlisle Boarding School) and in contemporary Indigenous theories of education. A third section focuses on anti-racist education, and specifically “abolitionist” approaches to schooling, including work on the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Section four focuses on schools as sites of gender differentiation and oppression drawing on feminist, queer, and trans* critiques of schooling. Readings may include work by: Brenda Child, Roderick Ferguson, Jen Gilbert, Sandy Grande, Crystal Laura, Bettina Love, Erica Meiners, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Eve Tuck, K. Wayne Yang. This course will have a community-based learning component.

ENG 230 Women in Modern Literature (Outka) WGSS
MW 9:00-10:15 am; MW 10:30-11:45 am
FSLT
In this course, we will investigate contemporary novels, poems, and plays written by—and about—women from different, though often intersecting, racial, ethnic, national, and economic perspectives, as well as from a range of gender and sexual orientations. We will consider issues surrounding agency and voice, motherhood and families, economic and educational opportunities (or lack thereof), violence, biological and social constructions of gender and sex, and the many faces of desire. The course explores literature that stretches from Japan, to Zimbabwe, India, China, the Dominican Republic, Britain, Nigeria, the United States, and Mexico, and considers a wide-ranging set of perspectives and voices—from a Sudanese woman living in ancient Roman London, to enslaved women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to contemporary queer voices, and more.  Alongside the literature, we will also consider non-fiction writing on women by many of the authors we are reading, including Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Audre Lorde, and Virginia Woolf, as well as excerpts from theorists like Simone de Beauvoir, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Eve Sedgwick, and Judith Butler.  One of the highlights of the semester will be a class visit from one of our novelists, Patty Smith—author of The Year of Needy Girls. 

ENG 237 Queer Literatures (Singh) WGKP
TR 12:00-1:15 pm
FSLT
The representation of “queer” identity and sexuality – whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual – faces a critical challenge. Since there remains today an entrenched set of images and ideas associated with homosexuality that has been largely governed by heterosexual culture, queer aesthetic expression must struggle with how to voice the experience of homosexuality. In this course, we will examine contemporary queer literature and film that is concerned with both the formation and formulation of queer identities. We will ask a series of questions: What distinguishes and differentiates queer aesthetics? What does it mean to be queer? Who can or should represent queer identities? Throughout the semester, we will examine works that traverse sexual, racial, national, and political lines. As such, we will pay careful and critical attention to a plurality of queer expressions and representations. Authors may include: Shyam Selvadurai, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Tony Kushner, James Baldwin, Dionne Brand, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ismat Chughtai, Leslie Feinberg, Shani Mootoo, Manuel Puig, and William Burroughs. Films may include: Boys Don’t Cry, Happy Together, Fire, Philadelphia, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Before Night Falls, and Paris is Burning.

ENGL 299 ST: Black Style (Ashe) WGSS
MW 3:00-4:15 pm
If the Judeo-Christian work ethnic can be summed up in one line, that line might be, "A job worth doing is worth doing well." A similarly hearfelt line from African-American culture might well be, "A job worth doing... is worth doing with style." Black Style will explore the tensions between these two stances - particulary since, of course, the "job" also matters to black folk, and the "style" also matters to non-blacks. This seminar will be grounded in the black vernacular tradition, and will not only explore African-America's own relationship to its own stylistic acumen, but will also closely examine America at large, and her longtime and ongoing fasination with black style. We will employ a variety of creative texts - film, music, fiction, photography, memoir, paintings - exploring them in order to make sense of the black style and its American cultural influence, particularly in the areas of black hair and black clothing aesthetic - as well as other ways that trace the stylized performance of the black body in American culture at large.

FYS 100-07 Rhetoric and Gender Violence (Mifsud) WGGV
MW 10:30-11:45 am

FYS 100-37 & 38 Politics of Sexual Education (Snaza) WGFQ
MW 12:00-1:15 pm; MW 1:30-2:45 pm

HIST 199 12 & 13 ST: American Women & the Right to Vote (Holloway) WGHP
TR 9:00-10:15 am: TR 1:30-2:45 pm
FSHT
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the US.  This course will examine the diverse individuals and groups who advocated for women’s suffrage, as well as those opposed it, and consider the impact of this achievement on our democracy.  The class will investigate current commemorations of the suffrage movement to analyze questions about historical memory; explore differences of race, gender, sexuality, and region within the movement; and map broader lessons for political mobilization and social change.

HIST 240 Hum Rts/Rev in Atlantic World (Watts) WGTP
TR 12:00-1:15 pm
An exploration of the Western concept of human rights and how it emerged in an era of revolution from 1750 to 1850. Born of philosophical inquiry, political debates, public protests, and mass uprisings, the claims of political and civil rights for marginalized peoples took center stage for newly declared nations in America, France, and Haiti. On what basis were rights claimed? Under what means could equality and liberty be guaranteed to all people? This course focuses on the rights of women, Jews, free blacks and enslaved peoples, drawing on case studies to emphasize how radicals disrupted and disputed prejudice and sought (sometimes violent) change.   Same as WGSS 203.

LDST 386/ PSYC 359 Leadership in a Diverse Society (Hoyt) WGSS
TR 9:00-10:15 am
The goal of this course is to understand how diversity affects social relations with an emphasis on leadership.  To this end, we will examine diversity, primarily through the lens of social psychology, by examining individual and collective dynamics in pluralistic settings.  We will examine the phenomena and processes associated with one’s beliefs about members of social groups (stereotypes), attitudes and evaluative responses toward group members (prejudice), and behaviors toward members of a social group based on their group membership (discrimination). On the flip side, we will examine how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination shape the experiences of members of low-status or minority groups. We will focus primarily on large societal groups that differ on cultural dimensions of identity such as gender, sexuality, and race & ethnicity. We will also address approaches to ameliorating these problems and will apply the theoretical and empirical work to current events and relevant policy issues.

LING 203 Introduction to Linguistics (Bonfiglio) Special Contract  WGSS
TR 3:00-4:15 pm
FSSA
General, historical and/or descriptive linguistics. Prerequisites: Completion of Communication Skills II-Language requirement

PLSC 323 Money, Politics, and Prisons (Simpson) WGGV
T 1:30-4:10 pm
The connections between the economy, politics, and the prison system in the United States are important for understanding concepts of justice in a democracy. Explores links between privatization of prisons, political incentives, and theories of justice.  Prerequisite: PLSC 220

RHCS 295 St: Intro to Digital Humanities (Tilton) WGKP
MW 9:00-10:15 am
Digital Humanities or “DH” brings the application of computing to humanities questions. In this course, we will explore applying computational methods including text analysis, mapping, and network analysis to humanities data. Our guiding questions include:
What is humanities data?
Why apply computational methods to the humanities and how? Which methods are best for which forms of inquiry?
What new forms of scholarly inquiry are made possible?
What are the challenges and limitations of DH?  Same as WGSS 257.

SOC 101-03-04 Foundations of Society (Richards only) WGSS
TR 10:30-11:45 am; TR 12:00-1:15 pm
FSSA
How would your life be different if you woke up one morning to discover that you were someone of a different race, class, religion, nationality or sexual orientation?  Would you live in a different neighborhood?  Attend different schools? If so, would these changes mean that you would think differently?  Would your values and priorities change?  Would it change the type of food that you think is delicious or who you thought was appropriate for dating or friendship?  The objective of this course is to provide you with the tools to answer these questions by introducing you to the field of sociology, its methods, underlying principles and assumptions.  By the end of this course, you will understand yourselves and the society in which you live much better than you did before taking this course, and perhaps, will be curious enough to learn more about the field of sociology.

SOC 379-02 ST: Masculinities (Oware) WGFQ
TR 12:00-1:15 pm
What does it mean to be a man? Our mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, teachers, friends, significant others, and media have told us in blunt and subtle ways. Many times important people in our lives have said, “You need to man up…” You may have a good understanding of their perspective, but this course will explore how literature and scholarly research addresses manhood and masculinity. For example, is there only one way to be a man socially or culturally? Does masculinity differ based on race, ethnicity, class status, and sexuality?  Does size really matter?  Is masculinity fluid? Are there “masculinities” as opposed to just “masculinity”? Does a continuum of masculinity exist? This course and our readings will unpack, complicate, and debunk the above questions and introduce many others.


WGSS 200 Introduction to Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies (McWhorter)
TR 1:30-2:45 pm; 4:30-5:45 pm
FSSA
Introduction to the broad, interdisciplinary field of women, gender, and sexuality studies. Special attention will be paid to the meaning and history of the terms "gender" and "sexuality" and to the political movements mobilized around those terms. Students will read both contemporary and historical materials and both primary and secondary sources.

WGSS 203 Human Rights and Revolution in the Atlantic World (1750-1850) (Watts) WGTP
TR 12:00-1:15 pm
An exploration of the Western concept of human rights and how it emerged in an era of revolution from 1750 to 1850. Born of philosophical inquiry, political debates, public protests, and mass uprisings, the claims of political and civil rights for marginalized peoples took center stage for newly declared nations in America, France, and Haiti. On what basis were rights claimed? Under what means could equality and liberty be guaranteed to all people? This course focuses on the rights of women, Jews, free blacks and enslaved peoples, drawing on case studies to emphasize how radicals disrupted and disputed prejudice and sought (sometimes violent) change.  Crosslisted with HIST 240

WGSS 257 Intro to Digital Humanities (Tilton) WGKP
MW 9:00-10:15 am
Digital Humanities or “DH” brings the application of computing to humanities questions. In this course, we will explore applying computational methods including text analysis, mapping, and network analysis to humanities data. Our guiding questions include:
What is humanities data?
Why apply computational methods to the humanities and how? Which methods are best for which forms of inquiry?
What new forms of scholarly inquiry are made possible?
What are the challenges and limitations of DH?
Same as RHCS 295.

WGSS 279 ST: Feminist and Queer Theories (Skerrett) WGFQ
MW 10:30-11:45 am

WGSS 280 Gender and Work (Ooten) WGHP
TR 12:00-1:15 pm
Examines the gendered nature of both historical and contemporary workplace issues from a global perspective. Gender and workplace issues will be examined from theoretical, historical, comparative perspectives.

WGSS 379 Race in Feminist and Queer Thought (McWhorter) WGFQ
TR 10:30 -11:45 am
Racial identities and racial injustice loom large in US and world history. Feminist and queer theorists and activists have grappled with race as lived experience, site of conflicts, and changing concept throughout the histories of their movements. How have they done so? What have they had to say? This course will examine the writings of Black, Latinx, Asian, and white feminists and queer thinkers from the 1960s to the present. Authors considered will include Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, Marilyn Frye, Maria Lugones, Angela Davis, and many others. Students will have an opportunity to do independent research in an area of their choice related to the course subject matter. Seminar format. Prerequisites: WGSS Major/Minor, 1 unit.

WGSS 490 Senior Capstone (McWhorter) WGFQ
Title: Race in Feminist and Queer Thought
TR 10:30 -11:45 am
Racial identities and racial injustice loom large in US and world history. Feminist and queer theorists and activists have grappled with race as lived experience, site of conflicts, and changing concept throughout the histories of their movements. How have they done so? What have they had to say? This course will examine the writings of Black, Latinx, Asian, and white feminists and queer thinkers from the 1960s to the present. Authors considered will include Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, Marilyn Frye, Maria Lugones, Angela Davis, and many others. Students will have an opportunity to do independent research in an area of their choice related to the course subject matter. Seminar format. Prerequisites: WGSS Major/Minor, 1 unit.


*WGSS courses are open to all students regardless of major. Some courses listed may have specific prerequisites, but you should always check with the professor if you are interested. Please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Erika Damer with any questions.

**NOTE: Courses designated as "Special Contract" carry WGSS credit only if students contract with the professor at the beginning of the semester to do work specific to the WGSS component of the course. Interested students should consult with the program coordinator.
 
Updated 4/10/2020