Women's Studies Courses Spring 1998
WSTP 140-01, 02, 03 INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)
This course provides a theoretical framework for examining questions of sexual difference in history, culture and contemporary society. Students will learn central concepts and research methods in Women's Studies and use them to examine such topics as family, religion, work , sexuality, and social change.
WSTP 204-01 FEMINIST RESEARCH METHODS (3)
This course will introduce students to feminist methods for analyzing societies and structures and to feminist strategies for interpreting what is happening in society. Students will be introduced to various methods of analysis, and will examine their strengths and weaknesses. These methods and strategies of interpretation will be applied to allow students to gain practical experience. Empirical scientific methods, narrative/linguistic social analysis, poststructuralism, and critical theory/post colonial critique will be used.
WSTP 255-01 MULTICULTURAL IMAGES OF WOMEN IN AMERICAN CINEMA (3)
This course analyzes film in terms of its history and social messages. The course creates an awareness of American social history, popular culture, race and ethnic relations in the twentieth century, and the ways in which women were depicted in film art.
Professor M. Darling
WSTP 340-01 SENIOR SEMINAR (3)
Open to students minoring in Women's Studies, this course will create a synthesis of their studies in the field and deepen their skills in Women's Studies research. The curriculum will be built upon some of the most current research in the field. Students will take a central role in the conducting of the seminar and each one will undertake an independent research project.
WSTP 203-01 CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS OF WOMEN (3)
The mass media has grown to enormous proportions, defining the very social terrain upon which we live and work - from Presidential elections to personal style. It is no longer possible to understand the contemporary social climate without some ability to reckon with the massive impact of film, television, advertisements, the press, popular music, etc. This course will evaluate a range or critical approches to the study of popular culture and gain a greater understanding of these media and the power they have or do not have over our lives. This course will focus particularly on representations of women in popular culture, including images of women in films, TV, and advertising. Focusing on theories of representation, the class will analyse cultural paradigms and subversions of them, examine connections between power and aesthetics, and look at popular culture as a prescription as well as description. The course will also stress the relationship between popular images and social relations of power and resistance. Cultural analysis will be located in a changing historical field, traversing numerous methodologies of cultural analysis, such as semiotics, feminist criticism, ideology critique, and the various forms of poststructuralist thought.
WSTP 224-01 SOCIAL HISTORY OF WOMEN'S ACTIVISM, 1960 TO THE PRESENT (3)
This course will explore the history and activist practice of women engaged in the second wave of the US Women's Movement. Examining the movement from issue-specific points of entry--violence against women, the proliferation of nuclear arms, and white supremacy--the course will explore the ways in which women's lived experience of oppression in this period has led them to organize, theorize, and act, creating visions, practice, and institutions for change. Guest speakers include women based in DC who have been instrumental in creating local and national institutions that have shaped the second wave. Course participants will have the option of confronting ongoing challenges to women's full empowerment by doing a practicum with a DC-based social change organization.
WSTP 251-01 WOMEN AND THE LAW (3)
This course will introduce students to the law of sex discrimination and women's rights, with particular emphasis on issues of employment discrimination (including sexual harassment), violence against women, marriage and divorce law, and reproductive and abortion rights. It will consider the assumptions and biases that have shaped the law in these areas, tracing the historical development of constitutional and statutory protection of women's rights and exploring feminist and liberal critiques of the current state of the law. Finally, while the course's primary focus will be on American law, it will also introduce students to other countries' approaches to rape law and abortion rights, comparing and contrasting the assumptions about women that underlie different legal systems.
WSTP 258-01 ISSUES IN FEMINIST ETHICS (3)
Feminist perspectives change how ethical issues are perceived, prioritized, and acted upon. This course will focus attention on both the emerging ethical methods, as well as on the many ethical positions which feminists hold on disputed ethical questions. Aspects of moral landscape to be treated include ecology, economics, racism, sexuality and reproduction, violence and war.
WSTP 256-01 THE POLITICS OF DESIRE (3)
This course explores the intersections of sexuality and violence in representational images and other forms of expression; the way race underpins these intersections; the role class plays in the presentation and response; and the means for changing meanings. This course will examine various schools of thought on how to approach representations that combine sex, sexuality, and violence, as well as those that present (primarily) women's bodies for sexual titillation.
Proffessor Patrice McDermott
WSTP 2**-01 DANGEROUS WOMEN:
PROSTITUTION, WOMEN'S SEXUALITY AND PUBLIC PANIC (3)
If prostitution is, as the adage goes, "the oldest profession," why is the public still fascinated by it? Why is there such strong opposition to legalizing prostitution in the United States? Does prostitution necessarily always involve exploitation? This course uses the theme of prostitution to help students think about how race, class, gender and sexualtiy intersect. By using ethnography, history and testimonials, we will look at how women's sexualtiy has been controlled and commodified. Historically, from frontier outposts to emerging urban spaces, prostitutes have been portrayed as sources of contagion and moral decay. This course explores how and why the state, traffickers, bar owners, pimps and other middlemen have graetly profited from exploring women's sexuality.
Professor Denise Brennan
To be announced