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Fall 2014 Approved Courses

women's and gender studies program

Below are course titles, numbers, and descriptions for  approved Fall 2014 courses.

Required Courses for Minors

Department Title Course Code Professor Meeting Time
Cross-Listed Introduction to Feminisms SOCY2225  (ENGL2125/HIST2502) McWilliams T TH 4:30
Description: This course is taught by Women's Studies faculty and undergraduate student teams under faculty direction to acquaint students with a large range of academic and life experience topics that have been affected by Women's Studies scholarship. After a preliminary meeting, the class divides into 12-14 person seminars that meet once per week to discuss and study such issues as women's history, feminist theory, sex roles, socialization, gender and health, religion, work, and literature and essays by and about women. The course emphasizes participation and collective work on projects and usually includes a continuing personal and readings-oriented journal.

Elective Courses

Department Title Course Code Professor Meeting Time
Cross-Listed  
Colloquium: Teaching Women's Studies SOCY6664 (ENGL5603/HIST4456)
McWilliams
T 5:30-7
Description: This course is for the "Introduction to Feminisms" Teaching Assistants. Students meet weekly with the faculty adviser to discuss assigned readings--interdisciplinary feminist pedagogy--and with their respective seminar groups from SC 255. This is a Pass/Fail course. It can be counted as an elective toward the WGS minor. It cannot be counted toward a major.
African and African Diaspora Studies
Race, Class and Gender
AADS1138 (SOCY1038)
McGuffey MWF 2
Description: Viewing race, class, gender, sexuality, and other identities as inseparable from discussions of inequality and power, this course will begin by discussing the social construction of these categories and how they are connected. We will then look at how these social identities shape and are also shaped by four general subject areas: (1) wealth and poverty, (2) education, (3) family, and (4) crime, law, and social policy. Although this course is separated into subject areas, we shall see that these areas greatly overlap and are mutually influenced by one other. 
African and African Diaspora Studies Beyond Barack & Hillary: Blcak Feminist Culture, Literature, and Theory
AADS2241
Jean-Charles T TH 10:30
Description: The 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination has brought the idea of race vs. gender into the public discourse. However Black, feminists have long explored the question of race vs. gender in their politics, theories and writing. This class takes a closer look at the intersection of race and gender by using Black feminist thought as a lens to examine literature and popular culture. We will read writers and theorists from Africa and the diaspora to provide definitions of Black feminism. We consider how race and gender have been thought about over time.
African and African Diaspora Studies
Gender & Sexuality in African American History
AADS3340 (HIST4484)
Summers
T TH 1:30
Description: This course examines the intersections of gender and sexuality as both categories of identity and modes of power in the shaping of the historical experiences of African Americans. Through readings and lecture, we will explore three broad and interconnecting themes: how cultural understandings of race have impacted cultural understandings of gender and sexuality (and vice versa); how dominant cultural notions of gender and sexuality have underpinned relations of power between blacks and whites; and how gender and sexuality have shaped relationships within African American communities.
Communication
Media and Cultural Studies
COMM2236 Ingram
MWF 11
Description: TThis course will analyze the many ways power is consolidated, negotiated, or resisted through popular media, especially advertising, television, film, and social media. We will examine how correspondences between mass communication and economic structures impact cultural, political, and ideological processes in society, including (but not limited to) the construction of gender roles, sexual norms, racial and ethnic identities, class affiliations, and attitudes towards violence. This course will be theoretically rooted in the critical tradition of media studies, with particular emphasis on 20th century continental and American cultural and social theory.
Communication Gender Roles and Communication COMM4451 Cuklanz T TH  12
Description: This course is both a writing-intensive seminar and a Women's and Gender Studies minor course. Focus is on the social construction of gender through communication. The early section of the course compares historical and theoretical approaches to representations of gender in communication texts. Then, building on these comparisons, students read about, examine, and analyze texts, focusing particularly on television programming and advertising.
Communication
Communication in Family Relationships
COMM4461 Rossetto T TH 9
Description: This course explores communication occurring in family relationships, including marital pairs, siblings, parents and children, divorced families, stepfamilies, and gay and lesbian families. Through reading, discussion, and research, the class will examine definitions of family, family roles and types, theories of family communication, and communication patterns in families (e.g., conflict, stress, coping, secrets, disclosure, intimacy, and support).
English
Victorian Marriage/Victorian Sex
ENGL4337 McAleavey
T TH 1:30
Description: The Victorian era may call to mind strict gender roles and romantic novels culminating in marriage. Yet this period also saw rampant prostitution, feminist agitation for rights, and debates over competing definitions of masculinity. This course explores the interrelation between Victorian literary forms and nineteenth-century debates about gender and sexuality. Our focus will be on fiction, most likely: Bront's Jane Eyre, Eliot's Adam Bede, Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret, and Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Along the way, we will encounter a wide range of readings, from Sherlock Holmes stories to Victorian poetry, and from books of household advice to pornography. WARNING: this course is reading intensive.
English
Advanced Topic Seminar: Gender Crossings
ENGL4334 Bicks
T 9-11:25

Description: Interested students should email Prof. Bicks (bicks@bc.edu) describing previous experiences reading gender theory (if any) and telling her a bit about why they would like to take the course.

In this seminar we'll be exploring how ideas about transgender and transsexual figures have developed and operated in different cultures and time periods. How do these crossed and crossing bodies help us think about how and why gender norms emerge and are policed? We will consider medical, legal, religious, literary, and first-person accounts of cross-dressers, hermaphrodites, drag kings, 'manly' women and 'effeminate' men, among others. We'll supplement our readings with theoretical texts that query the two-gender model, how it is we 'sex' the body, and what the possibilities (and limits) are of a genderless world. Texts will include: Paré, On Monsters and Marvels; Shakespeare, Macbeth; Lyly, Galatea; Foucault, ed., Herculine Barbin; Winterson, Written on the Body; Churchill, Cloud 9; Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body; Freud, Sexuality and the Psychology of Love; Halberstam, Female Masculinity; Butler, Gender Trouble; Bornstein and Bergman, Gender Outlaws.

English
Advanced Topic Seminar: 20th Century Women Poets
ENGL4922
Matson
M 11:30-1:55
Description: How do women poets situate their voices with respect to poetic tradition and all it implies? We'll begin to answer this by contextualizing H. D., Marianne Moore, and Elizabeth Bishop within modernist frameworks, then consider how they served as influences, models, or foils for a middle generation of female poets (Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Adrienne Rich) who broke new ground in terms of claiming a self-authorizing voice and gendered subjectivity. Finally, we'll examine a wide range of contemporary women poets who perform a freedom from gendered constraints that their poetic foremothers Anne Bradstreet and Emily Dickinson could have only dreamed of.
History
Sex, Sexuality and Gender in the West
HIST4249
Cavallari T TH 4:30
Description: An integral part of the human experience, sex, sexuality and gender have repeatedly been dissected, defined, evaluated, feared and celebrated. In the process, these topics have also become central to questions of identity, history, politics and culture. Through reading and discussion of primary and secondary texts, this course introduces students to the multiple and conflicting roles that sex, sexuality, and gender have played in modern Western societies from the eighteenth century to the present. Topics include the critical examination of gender and its construction; the social control of "deviant" sexualities; notions of sex and the historical construction of sexual identity; sex, sexuality and gender in public discourse; and queer theory in historical practice.
History
Latin American Women Represent Themselves
HIST4336 Levenson-Estrada T TH 12
Description: After reading one general history of women and gender in Latin America, students will read testimonies by Latin American women. We will deal with the problem of the structure women give to their own lives in their narratives, as well as with more straightforward issues such as the sexual division of labor, and the nature of family and of gender relations in Latin America. The testimonies will be used as windows into objective and subjective history and the ways in which these two intersect.
History Adoption and Kinship in America HIST4466 Oh MWF 12
Description: In this class we will examine ideas of family and kinship by studying the history of adoption and family-making in the United States. How have Americans defined and enacted family and kinship? What is the relationship between these ideas and concepts of race, culture, class, gender, nation, rights, citizenship and identity? What do American practices of adoption tell us about how these concepts have changed over time? This course covers the period from the late 19th century to the late 20th century and examines policies, cultural representations, experiences and controversies through a variety of sources.
Psychology
Interpersonal Violence
PSYC3334 Tishelman T 6-8:30
Description: This course will review research, assessment, treatment, and current controversies in the area of family violence, focusing on child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, and spousal abuse. The course will consist of a combination of a lecture and class discussion of the issues, including those related to memories of abuse, identification of abuse, and the legal, psychological, and social ramifications of extracting women and children from abusive homes.
Sociology
Gender, Health and Inequality SOCY3370 Barco TBD
Description: This course explores interactions between gender, health and inequality. Viewing gender (and race, class, sexuality and other identities as inseparable) and as inextricably linked to discussions of health and inequality, this course will discuss social constructions of these categories and how they are connected. For example, what does health even mean and who decides? Are unequal health outcomes due to life chances or life choices? How do we understand nature/nurture debates? While emphasis will be given to sociological approaches, health will be explored holistically and theories will be integrative (e.g. including psychology, biology and epigenetics). Applied topics range from mental and physical paradigms of health, alongside environmental and contested illnesses in a 'post-natural' world.
Sociology
Women and the Body
SOCY1089
Hesse-Biber
T TH 1:30
Description: This course covers Western cultural pressures on women be super-slender. We analyze biological, sociological, and feminist perspectives on the body especially with regard to issues of beauty and body image and sexuality. We analyze how race, ethnicity and class intersect to create differences among womens relationship to their bodies. In what way do biological perspectives illuminate as well as cloud understanding of women's relationship to their bodies? We explore mass-mediated pressures on women's bodies through films, women's magazine, reality TV, and social networking sites. We examine the plastic surgery industry and the growing trend toward "designer bodies."
Sociology States, Markets, and Bodies
SOCY1073
Hoang
T Th 10:30
Description: An introduction to the Political Economy this course will introduce students to theories, concepts and tools for studying relations between states and markets that affects the structure of power relationships. Taking a global approach we will examine the different forms of state repression, the consequences of a neoliberal and decentralized global market, and its affects on individual people/workers. This course is motivated by three inter-related questions: (1) What is the appropriate role of the government in the economy? (2) How should states govern its citizens? (3) What is the role of individuals who make up civil society?
Sociology Images and Power
SOCY5532
Pfohl T 2:30-5
Description: This seminar involves an historical sociological exploration of social technologies of image-making in art, science, religion, advertising, politics and everyday life. Of particular concern is the cognitive, moral and bodily power of images in relation to the cultural politics of class, race, sex and gender. Course participants are expected to engage with a wide range of critical literatures pertaining to the material and imaginary power of images and to engage in ethnographic fieldwork, resulting in a mixed-media study of the power of imagery in a particular social scene or institution.
Theology Spirituality and Sexuality
THEO3261
McDargh
M 4:30-6:50
Description: How does our experience of ourselves as sexual beings open us to the experience of the holy, and conversely, how might our desire for God be intimately related to our sexual desire and longings? These are the questions that will be the focus of our work. Not a course on sexual ethics, this course is an exploration of the complex interrelationship of sexual and spiritual desire as both are reflected upon in the Christian spiritual tradition.
Theology HIV/AIDS and Ethics
THEO5498
Keenan
MW 3-4:15
Description: This course looks at how we can understand a bit better the ethics of public health through the lens of HIV/AIDS. There besides studying the virus itself, we examine the varied related ethical issues regarding stigma, prevention, research, gender inequity, economic disparities, local culture, religion, funding, and access.