Introduction to Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies
UMM's course catalogue describes this class as an "overview of gender and feminist theories, history of the women's movement, and the impact of gender in everyday life.” To elaborate: we'll focus on understanding and practicing a variety of feminist strategies for reading and interpreting written and visual texts in order to develop our own frameworks for thinking about gender and sexuality. We'll look at a variety of narratives—fairy tales, literary and popular novels, academic and autobiographical essays, mainstream and independent movies and music—as a way to start exploring how definitions of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality have been created, maintained, negotiated, and resisted. We will pay particular attention to the complicated relationships between individuals and social systems, and to the ways in which class, race, ethnicity, age, and other identity categories intersect with definitions and representations of gender and sexuality. While we will consider some of the historical dimensions of women's movements, our readings and discussions will be organized primarily around contemporary issues.
The different points of view represented in the readings illustrate that there is more than one way of being feminist or understanding feminism; our emphasis will be on how, not what, to think. Regardless of perspective, we will all be challenging each other to articulate clearly and examine critically our opinions and beliefs.
My version of this class emphasizes the humanities rather than the social sciences, which is perhaps not surprising.
- Emma Donoghue, Kissing the Witch
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland
- Daisy Hernandez and Bushra Rehman (eds), Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism
- Arlie Russell Hochschild, The Second Shift (revised 2003 edition)
- bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
- Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats
Grades are based on class participation, response papers, two midterm exams, and a final exam; students may choose between in-class and take-home exams for both midterms and the final.
last updated: Saturday, 01-Mar-2014 15:15:14 CST