Course Offerings

Spring 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Seminar in Evolutionary Psychology

CBSC 215 - Whiting, Wythe L.

The purpose of this course is to examine evolutionary theory as a means of explaining human behavior. The main premise is that behaviors such as cooperation, aggression, mate selection, and intelligence exist because individuals exhibiting these behaviors were more likely to produce healthy offspring that perpetuated those behaviors (i.e., natural selection). We evaluate the validity of this argument in a number of areas of human behavior and also discuss how culture has shaped our genes. Evolutionary psychology is not an area of psychology, like social psychology or cognitive psychology, but is instead a lens through which all human behavior can be explained. Though it is tempting to engage in "arm chair" application of evolutionary theory to behavior, this is a science course; all arguments must be backed up with data.

Winter 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Reproductive Physiology

BIOL 255 - Blythe, Sarah N.

An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.

Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

CBSC 269 - Woodzicka, Julie A.

This course examines cognitive and affective processes involved in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Causes and social implications of prejudice involving various stigmatized groups are examined. Participants focus on attitudes and behaviors of both perpetrators and targets of prejudice that likely contribute to and result from social inequality.

Sex, Gender and Power in Ancient Literature

CLAS 210 - Dance, Caleb M.

Open to all students without prerequisite. An examination of literature in various genres (poetry, philosophy, drama, and history) in an attempt to understand the diverse ways in which Greeks and Romans conceived of gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. We also interrogate the power dynamics that underpinned these conceptions. Readings include primary sources from antiquity (e.g., Homer, Euripides, Plato, Plautus, Livy, Ovid) as well as secondary sources that explore sex, gender, and power in both ancient and modern contexts.  The course examines several influential works composed in Greek and Latin between the 8th century BCE and the 1st century CE. Alongside poems and philosophical writings that were originally conceived of as literary projects, we also examine plays, historical works, and even some inscriptions, all of which come down to the present as "literature", although many may not have been conceived as such. The boundaries of "literature" is an ongoing topic of inquiry throughout the term.

Medieval and Early Modern British Literature

ENGL 250 - Ard, DeVan

This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception.

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

This course considers the primary work on which Chaucer's reputation rests: The Canterbury Tales . We pay sustained attention to Chaucer's Middle English at the beginning of the semester to ease the reading process. Then we travel alongside the Canterbury pilgrims as they tell their tales under the guise of a friendly competition. The Canterbury Tales is frequently read as a commentary on the social divisions in late medieval England, such as the traditional estates, religious professionals and laity, and gender hierarchies. But despite the Tales' professed inclusiveness of the whole of English society, Chaucer nonetheless focuses inordinately on those individuals from the emerging middle classes. Our aim is to approach the Tales from the practices of historicization and theorization; that is, we both examine Chaucer's cultural and historical contexts and consider issues of religion, gender, sexuality, marriage, conduct, class, chivalry, courtly love, community, geography, history, power, spirituality, secularism, traditional authority, and individual experience. Of particular importance are questions of voicing and writing, authorship and readership. Lastly, we think through Chaucer's famous Retraction at the "end" of The Canterbury Tales , as well as Donald R. Howard's trenchant observation that the Tale is "unfinished but complete." What does it mean for the father of literary "Englishness" to end his life's work on the poetic principle of unfulfilled closure and on the image of a society on the move?

Seminar: The Yin and Yang of Gender in Late Imperial China (10th-19th centuries)

HIST 285 - Bello, David A.

Relations between men and women are the basis of any human society, but the exact nature and interpretation of these relations differ from time to time and from place to place. The concepts of Yin (female) and Yang (male) were integral to the theory and practice of Chinese gender relations during the late imperial period, influencing marriage, medicine and law. This course examines the historical significance of late-imperial gender relations across these, and other, categories from both traditional and modern perspectives.

Terrorism in Contemporary Africa

HIST 377 - Ballah, Henryatta L.

In the heightened age of globalization, Africa is becoming more integral to the U.S. war on terror. The 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the 2013 deadly terrorist mall attack in Kenya and recent attacks in Nigeria by Boko Haram have brought Africa into the mainstream discussion on global terrorism. In this course, we will examine the period from 1940, when discourse about terrorism in Africa began to appear in western media to the present. Utilizing primary and secondary sources, we will address questions such as, what factors give rise to terrorism in Africa?

Women, Sexuality, and Gender in World Literature

LIT 210 - Radulescu, Domnica V.

This course examines a plethora of literary texts chosen from across historical periods from antiquity, through early modern times, to the modern and postmodern era and across several national traditions and cultural landscapes.  Its main intellectual objective is to sensitize students to the ways in which women and gender have been represented in literary texts of various genres and to help them develop specific analytic skills in order to discover and evaluate the interconnections between the treatment of women in society and their artistic reflections in works of literature.

Philosophy of Sex

PHIL 246 - Bell, Melina C.

This course explores questions related to contemporary conceptions of sexuality and its proper role in our lives. Questions addressed include: What is the purpose of sex? Are sexual practices subject to normative evaluation on grounds of morality, aesthetics, and/or capacity to promote a flourishing human life? We consider the relation between sex and both intimacy and pleasure, viewed from the perspective of heterosexual women and men, and gay men and lesbians. What are our sexual practices and attitudes toward sex? What should they be like?

Gender and Politics

POL 255 - LeBlanc, Robin M.

This course investigates the gendered terms under which women and men participate in political life. Attention is given to the causes of men's and women's different patterns of participation in politics, to processes that are likely to decrease the inequalities between men's and women's political power, and the processes by which society's gender expectations shape electoral and institutional politics. The different effects of gender on the practice of politics in different nations are compared, with a special emphasis placed on advanced industrial democracies.

God and Goddess in Hinduism

REL 132 - Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291A - Dogan, Hulya

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Women, Sexuality, and Gender in World Literature

WGSS 210 - Radulescu, Domnica V.

This course examines a plethora of literary texts chosen from across historical periods from antiquity, through early modern times, to the modern and postmodern era and across several national traditions and cultural landscapes.  Its main intellectual objective is to sensitize students to the ways in which women and gender have been represented in literary texts of various genres and to help them develop specific analytic skills in order to discover and evaluate the interconnections between the treatment of women in society and their artistic reflections in works of literature.

Philosophy of Sex

WGSS 246 - Bell, Melina C.

This course explores questions related to contemporary conceptions of sexuality and its proper role in our lives. Questions addressed include: What is the purpose of sex? Are sexual practices subject to normative evaluation on grounds of morality, aesthetics, and/or capacity to promote a flourishing human life? We consider the relation between sex and both intimacy and pleasure, viewed from the perspective of heterosexual women and men, and gay men and lesbians. What are our sexual practices and attitudes toward sex? What should they be like?

Advanced Seminar in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

WGSS 396A - Horowitz, Sarah

This course provides an opportunity for advanced students to explore in detail some aspect of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Specific topics may vary and may be determined, in part, by student interest. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, WGSS 396A-01: Gender and the Body (3 credits).  Prerequisite: WGSS 120 or permission of the instructor.   This course examines the history of the body, as well as contemporary debates about gender and the body. We will examine how scientists have understood gendered bodies and encoded messages about power and status in these claims. We will also look at the creation of beauty standards and their relationship to structures of race and class. Other topics include reproductive politics, fatphobia, and ideas about desirability, with an eye to understanding how certain bodies - including those of Black, trans, queer, and fat individuals - have been targeted for surveillance and control. Students will gain an enhanced understanding how bodies can be sites of domination and oppression as well as spaces of liberation. Horowitz

Fall 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

CBSC 269 - Woodzicka, Julie A.

This course examines cognitive and affective processes involved in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Causes and social implications of prejudice involving various stigmatized groups are examined. Participants focus on attitudes and behaviors of both perpetrators and targets of prejudice that likely contribute to and result from social inequality.

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

Famous for his mistresses and marriages, his fickle treatment of courtiers, and his vaunting ambition, Henry VIII did more to change English society and religion than any other king. No one understood Henry's power more carefully than his daughter Elizabeth, who oversaw England's first spy network and jealously guarded her throne from rebel contenders. This course studies the writers who worked for the legendary Tudors, focusing on the love poetry of courtiers, trials, and persecution of religious dissidents, plays, and accounts of exploration to the new world. We trace how the ambitions of the monarch, along with religious revolution and colonial expansion, figure in the work of writers like Wyatt, Surrey, and Anne Askew; Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Southwell; and Thomas More and Walter Ralegh.

Gender & Sexuality in Modern Europe

HIST 206 - Horowitz, Sarah

This course investigates the history of Europe from the late 18th century to the present day through the lens of women's lives, gender roles, and changing notions of sexuality. We examine how historical events and movements (industrialization, the world wars, etc.) had an impact on women, we look at how ideas about gender shaped historical phenomena, such as imperialism and totalitarianism. We also consider the rise of new ideas about sexuality and the challenge of feminism.

African Women in Comparative Perspective

HIST 275 - Ballah, Henryatta L.

In this course, we will widen our appreciation of African Women's experiences, including history, legal and socio-economic status, religious and political roles, productive and reproductive roles, and the impact of colonialism and post-independence development and representation issues. The course will move across time and space to examine the aforementioned in pre-colonial, colonial and 'post'-colonial Africa. We will begin with the question: What common beliefs/images about African women did/do Euro-Americans share?

Gender and Sexuality

SOAN 280 - Goluboff, Sascha

This class will investigate gender and sexuality cross-culturally. We will give special consideration to biology, cultural variation, intersectionality, and power. The class will be structured around a collaboration with Project Horizon, a local organization that provides education and programming to address the pervasive problem of domestic and sexual violence. Students will volunteer their time there, as well as produce programming ideas for healthy sexual culture on our campus. 

Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

WGSS 120 - Bell, Melina C.

An interdisciplinary introduction to the academic study of women, gender, and sexuality. We read the work of scholars who are trying to make sense of the complicated ways in which gender intersects with other power structures such as race, class, sexuality, and nationality. The course first introduces several key terms in gender and queer studies including intersectionality, social constructivism, oppression, and heteronormativity. Using these terms, we then further analyze topics such as the family as a social institution, gender in the workplace, beauty norms, gendered violence, the history of feminist and queer activism, and gender and queer identity in immigration law. Assignments encourage students to analyze their other academic pursuits, as well as the non-academic environments in which they live, including thinking critically about their own experiences in contemporary society. The course provides a foundation in feminist analysis for students who wish to complete a minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. It is also appropriate for students at any level who are seeking a more systematic understanding of how gendered dynamics shape the subjects of their major studies or the practices of their daily lives.