Current Courses

Fall 2024


Call Number: 00192

Day, Time & Location: M W 8:40AM - 9:55AM

Instructor: TBA

This course introduces students to key concepts and texts in environmental humanities, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies of race, gender, sexuality, capital, nation, and globalization. The course examines the conceptual foundations that support humanistic analyses of environmental issues, climate crisis, and the ethics of justice and care. In turn, this critical analysis can serve as the basis for responding to the urgency of calls for environmental action.

Call Number: 00135

Day, Time & Location: TBA

Instructor: Alexander Pittman

This course examines the conceptual foundations that support feminist and queer analyses of racial capitalism, security and incarceration, the politics of life and health, and colonial and postcolonial studies, among others. Open to all students; required for the major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and the Interdisciplinary Concentration or Minor in Race and Ethnicity (ICORE/MORE).

Call Number: 00022

Day, Time & Location: T Th 10:10am-11:25am at TBA

Instructor: Manijeh Moradian

This introductory course for the Interdisciplinary Concentration or Minor in Race and Ethnicity (ICORE/MORE) is open to all students. We focus on the critical study of social difference as an interdisciplinary practice, using texts with diverse modes of argumentation and evidence to analyze social differences as fundamentally entangled and co-produced. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this course, the professor will frequently be joined by other faculty from the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS), who bring distinct disciplinary and subject matter expertise. Some keywords for this course include hybridity, diaspora, borderlands, migration, and intersectionality.

Call Number: 00761

Day, Time & Location: T Th 2:40pm-3:55pm at To be announced

Instructor: Levi Hord & Nikita Shepard

The course explores nonbinary perspectives through four units: Lineages, Institutions, Culture, and Politics. The first unit will take students through a historically grounded study of where and why we might look for nonbinary in the past, how the existence of a binary and challenges to it have each shaped genealogies of feminist, queer, and trans thought in the past, and how binary and nonbinary figures have been central to the medicine, psychology, and science of sex. The second unit will allow students to examine the interactions between nonbinary gender and institutional structures such as the state, the prison system, academic knowledge, and the built environment, asking whether nonbinary reconceptions of institutions can provide new insight on how to live in relation to them. The third unit will trace the emergence of nonbinary through popular culture, personal experience, and the intersections of race and globalization, asking critical questions about how the rapid flow of culture laid the groundwork for nonbinary’s emergence at the same time as it ensured its potentially uneven distribution. The final unit will encourage students to engage with political stakes of nonbinary, investigating the backlashes against its emergence and exploring what forms of collective politics nonbinary gender might enable. Throughout, students will be asked to actively theorize nonbinary gender and its role in 21st century life and the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality.

Call Number: 15077

Day, Time & Location: M 12:10PM-2:00PM at EXT Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Zavier Nunn

Call Number: 00575

Day, Time & Location: T 12:10pm-2:00pm at TBA

Instructor: Rebecca Jordan-Young

This course provides a theoretical itinerary to the emergence of contemporary queer theory and engagement with some contemporary legacies of the movement. The goal is not to be exhaustive nor to establish a correct history of queer theory but to engage students in the task of understanding and creating intellectual genealogies.

Call Number: 00595

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10pm-6:00pm at TBA

Instructor: Sandra Moyano-Ariza

Call Number: 11745

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10pm-2:00pm, 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Jack Halberstam

The Senior Seminar in Women's Studies offers you the opportunity to develop a capstone research paper by the end of the first semester of your senior year. Senior seminar essays take the form of a 25-page paper based on original research and characterized by an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women, sexuality, and/or gender. You must work with an individual advisor who has expertise in the area of your thesis and who can advise you on the specifics of method and content. Your grade for the semester will be determined by the instructor and the advisor. Students receiving a grade of B+ or higher in Senior Seminar I will be invited to register for Senior Seminar II by the Instructor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Senior Seminar II students will complete a senior thesis of 40-60 pages. Please note, the seminar is restricted to Columbia College and GS senior majors.

Call Number: 13512

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10pm-4:00pm at 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Tara Gonsalves

This course considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist and queer movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered and sexual inequalities. Topics include political economy, global care chains, sexuality, sex work and trafficking, feminist and queer politics, and human rights. If it is a small world after all, how do forces of globalization shape and redefine the relationship between gender, sexuality, and powerful institutions like the state? And, if power swirls everywhere, how are transnational power dynamics reinscribed in gendered bodies? How is the body represented in discussions of nationalism and in the political economy of globalization? These questions will frame this course by highlighting how gender, sexuality, and power coalesce to impact the lives of individuals in various spaces including workplaces, the academy, the home, religious institutions, the government, and civil society, and human rights organizations. This course will enable us to think transnationally, historically, and dynamically, using gender and sexuality as lenses through which to critique relations of power and the ways that power informs our everyday lives and subjectivities.

Call Number: 11746

Day, Time & Location: Tu 10:10AM-12:00PM at 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

Genealogies of Feminism: Course focuses on the development of a particular topic or issue in feminist, queer, and/or WGSS scholarship. Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates, though priority will be given to students completing the ISSG graduate certificate. Topics differ by semester offered, and are reflected in the course subtitle

Call Number: 00594

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10am-12:00pm

Instructor: Rebecca Jordan-Young

Call Number: 00556

Day, Time & Location: T 4:10pm-6:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: Agniezka Legutko

Early publications in Yiddish, a.k.a. the mame loshn, ‘mother tongue,’ were addressed to “women and men who are like women,” while famous Yiddish writer, Sholem Aleichem, created a myth of “three founding fathers” of modern Yiddish literature, which eliminated the existence of Yiddish women writers. As these examples indicate, gender has played a significant role in Yiddish literary power dynamics. This course will explore representation of gender and sexuality in modern Yiddish literature and film in works created by Sholem Aleichem, Sholem Asch, Fradl Shtok, Sh. An-sky, Malka Lee, Anna Margolin, Celia Dropkin, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Kadya Molodowsky, Troim Katz Handler, and Irena Klepfisz. You will also acquire skills in academic research and digital presentation of the findings as part of the Mapping Yiddish New York project that is being created at Columbia. No knowledge of Yiddish required. 


Call Number: 12274

Day, Time & Location: T Th 2:40pm-3:55pm

Instructor: Christia Mercer

Is there an essential difference between women and men? How do questions about race conflict or overlap with those about gender? Is there a normal way of being queer? Introduction to philosophy and feminism through a critical discussion of these and other questions using historical and contemporary texts, art, and public lectures. Focus includes essentialism, difference, identity, knowledge, objectivity, and queerness.

Call Number: 14176

Day, Time & Location: MW 2:40PM-3:55PM 

Instructor: Jack Halberstam

This course examines twentieth-century literature, film, and music in order to explore the many and complex ways that beauty, power, and bodily identity co-articulate experiences that lie beyond the ordinary. Reading novels, essays, and poetry alongside musical interludes, we will think about bodies, power, and beauty together. This class explores the wide beyond, the other side of the everyday, the hum of being that can be discerned only in certain musical performances, the terror and pleasure that course through certain works of fiction, and the fragmented self that fails to cohere in extraordinary acts of memoir. From these pieces and unfinished conversations, we intend to collaboratively develop fresh insights on the nature of beauty and identity under increasingly draconian and profit-driven forms of knowledge and power.

Call Number: 10486

Day, Time & Location: MW 10:10am-11:25am at To be announced

Instructor: Samuel K Jr Roberts

Through assigned readings and a group research project, students will gain familiarity with a range of historical and social science problems at the intersection of ethnic/racial/sexual formations, technological networks, and health politics since the turn of the twentieth century. Topics to be examined will include, but will not be limited to, black women's health organization and care; HIV/AIDS politics, policy, and community response; benign neglect; urban renewal and gentrification; medical abuses and the legacy of Tuskegee; tuberculosis control; and environmental justice. There are no required qualifications for enrollment, although students will find the material more accessible if they have had previous coursework experience in United States history, pre-health professional (pre-med, pre-nursing, or pre-public health), African-American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, or American Studies.

Call Number: 10337

Day, Time & Location: TR 10:10am-11:25am at To be announced

Instructor: Rhiannon Stephens

This course examines the history of gender, sexuality and ways of identifying along these lines in Africa from early times through the twentieth century. It asks how gender and sexuality have shaped key historical developments, from African kingdoms and empires to postcolonial states, from colonial conquest to movements for independence, from indigenous healing practices to biomedicine, from slavery to the modern forms of work. It will also explore the history of different sexualities and gender identities on the continent. A key objective is to extend the historical study of gender and sexual identity in Africa beyond ‘women’s history’ to understand gender as encompassing all people in society and their relationships, whether domestic or public.

Call Number: 00131

Day, Time & Location: T 9:00am-10:50am at To be announced

Instructor: Maja Horn

This seminar analyzes the different critical approaches to studying same-sex desire in the Caribbean region. The region’s long history of indigenous genocide, colonialism, imperialism, and neo-liberalism, have made questions about “indigenous” and properly “local” forms of sexuality more complicated than in many other regions. In response, critics have worked to recover and account for local forms of same-sex sexuality and articulated their differences in critical and theoretical terms outside the language of “coming out” and LGBT identity politics. On the other hand, critics have emphasized how outside forces of colonialism, imperialism, and the globalization of LGBT politics have impacted and reshaped Caribbean same-sex desires and subjectivities. This course studies these various critical tendencies in the different contexts of the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone, and Dutch Caribbean.

Call Number: 10195

Day, Time & Location: MW 11:40am-12:55pm at TBA

Instructor: Yannik Thiem

For the most part queer studies and religious studies have met each other with great suspicion and little interest in the conceptual resources of the respectively other field. Our guiding questions will be: What does religion have to do with queerness? What does queerness have to do with religion?

Queer theory and activists, unless they already identify as religious, often have little or little good to say about religion. Conversely, many religious traditions intensively regulate gender, sex, sexuality, and especially queerness. this course will explore how religious studies can enrich queer theory and how queer theory can reshape our thinking about religious studies. But beyond the mutual disinterest, anxieties, and animosities, queer studies and religious studies share actually a whole range of core interests and questions, such as embodiment, sexuality, gender-variability, coloniality, race appearing as religious identity and religious identity as gendered, as well as the role of catastrophe, utopia, and redemption in our experience of the world.

We will examine questions about religion come to the fore when we paying especially attention to queerness, gender, sexuality, pleasure, pain, and desire. Equally, we will examine how queer discourses mobilize religious and theological images and ideas, especially where these images and ideas are no longer clearly recognizable as having religious origins.

Rather than trying to settle on definitive answers, this course will cultivate a process of open-ended collective inquiry in which students will be encouraged to think autonomously and challenge facile solutions. Students should come away from the course with an expanded sense of how we grapple with issues related to gender, sexuality, desire, and embodiment in our everyday lives and how religion and religious formations are entangled with these issues well beyond religious communities. Ideally, students should experience this course as enlarging the set of critical tools at their hands for creative and rigorous thinking.

Call Number: 00256

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10pm-4:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: Premilla Nadasen

This course examines the struggle against South African apartheid with a particular focus on the global solidarity movement in the 20th century. The class will examine key turning points in the movement, its connection with broader anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles, gendered constructs of apartheid and feminist leadership in the movement, and the circulation of theories of racial capitalism. Students will understand how and why apartheid became a global concern. Students will work on a project using the primary source material available on the African Activist Archive Digital Project at Michigan State University.

Call Number: 10648

Day, Time & Location: T 2:10pm-4:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: Nikolas Kakkoufa

This seminar explores the relationship between literature, culture, and mental health. It pays particular emphasis to the poetics of emotions structuring them around the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and the concept of hope. During the course of the semester, we will discuss a variety of content that explores issues of race, socioeconomic status, political beliefs, abilities/disabilities, gender expressions, sexualities, and stages of life as they are connected to mental illness and healing. Emotions are anchored in the physical body through the way in which our bodily sensors help us understand the reality that we live in. By feeling backwards and thinking forwards, we will ask a number of important questions relating to literature and mental health, and will trace how human experiences are first made into language, then into science, and finally into action.

The course surveys texts from Homer, Ovid, Aeschylus and Sophocles to Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, C.P. Cavafy, Dinos Christianopoulos, Margarita Karapanou, Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, Katerina Gogou etc., and the work of artists such as Toshio Matsumoto, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Anohni.

Call Number: 10693

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10AM-12:00PM at TBA

Instructor: Vanessa Agard-Jones

It is no secret by now that we live in a toxic sea. Every day, in every place in this world, we are exposed to an unknown number of contaminants, including those in the places that we live, the air that we breathe, the foods that we eat, the water that we drink, the consumer products that we use, and in the social worlds that we navigate. While we are all exposed, the effects of these exposures are distributed in radically unequal patterns, and histories of racialization, coloniality, and gendered inequality are critical determinants of the risks to wellness that these toxic entanglements entail. Scientists use the term body burden to describe the accumulated, enduring amounts of harmful substances present in human bodies. In this course, we explore the global conditions that give rise to local body burdens, plumbing the history of toxicity as a category, the politics of toxic exposures, and the experience of toxic embodiment. Foregrounding uneven exposures and disproportionate effects, we ask how scientists and humanists, poets and political activists, have understood toxicity as a material and social phenomenon. We will turn our collective attention to the analysis of ethnographies, memoirs, maps, film, and photography, and students will also be charged with creating visual and narrative projects for representing body burden of their own.

Call Number: 14168

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10pm-6:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: Frances Negron-Muntaner

New York City has been closely linked to the Caribbean from at least the seventeenth century. Presently, nearly 25% of its inhabitants are of Caribbean descent. In addition, according to a 2021 New York City Office of Immigrants report, five of the top countries of origin of the city's new immigrants were born in a Caribbean country: Dominican Republic (421,920, number 1), Jamaica (165,260, number 3), Guyana (136,180, number 4); Trinidad and Tobago (85,680, number 8), and Haiti (78,250, number 9). In addition, Puerto Ricans, who are colonial migrants, number 1.2 million or 9% of the city’s population.

During the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, New York City was a pivotal space for Caribbean radical praxis understood here as political action and thought shaped by the Caribbean experiences of enslavement, coloniality, and diaspora. These interventions deeply transformed not only New York but multiple other contexts in Latin America, Africa, and Europe, and a broad range of movements including anti-colonial, anti-racist, feminist, and queer. To better understand the impact of Caribbean radical figures and thought in New York and beyond, we will examine texts from a broad range of writers and thinkers, including Jesús Colón, Julia de Burgos, Hubert Harrison, Alexis June Jordan, Audre Lorde, José Martí, Malcolm X, Manuel Ramos Otero, Clemente Soto Vélez, and Arthur Schomburg.

Call Number: 00138

Day, Time & Location: T 2:10pm-4:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: Kim F Hall 

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 12 students. Permission of the instructor required. Interested students should complete the application at: Students should have taken a course beyond the intro level from ONE of the following areas: American Literature (through the English Department), Africana Studies, American Studies, Theatre or Womens Studies. Please note that this is a yearlong course; students who are accepted into this course will need to take its second half, AFEN BC3816, in the spring semester. A poet, performance artist, playwright and novelist, Ntozake Shanges stylistic innovations in drama, poetry and fiction and attention to the untold lives of black women have made her an influential figure throughout American arts and in Feminist history. In a unique collaboration between Barnard, the Schomburg Center for Black Culture and the International Center for Photography, and with support by the Mellon funded Barnard Teaches grant, this year long seminar provides an in-depth exploration of Shanges work and milieu as well as an introduction to digital tools, public research and archival practice. You can find more information and apply for the course at On Twitter @ShangeWorlds.

Call Number: 12732

Day, Time & Location: T 4:10pm-6:00pm  at To be announced

Instructor: Hilary-Anne Hallett

Please refer to the Center for American Studies for section description

Call Number: 10744

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10am-12:00 pm

Instructor: Elizza Zingesser

How did people conceive of and talk about love on either side of the Pyrenees? This course will explore the many faces of desire in medieval French, Occitan, Arabic, Hebrew and Romance (proto-Spanish) literature to ask a broader question: what would be our understanding of lyric poetry, often taken to originate with the troubadours, if we incorporated the poems and songs of Al-Andalus? After anchoring ourselves in history, we will survey the major events and trends that attended the emergence of new poetic and musical forms both in Andalusia and in France between the 8th and the 14th centuries. We will study how these works were composed, read, performed, and transmitted. Weekly readings will combine scholarship with primary texts exploring the many facets of erotic experience: from sexual contact to love from afar, love as madness, love mediated by birds, rejection of marriage, gender fluidity and queerness. We will also think about the literary forms in which these themes are expressed, including dawn songs, bilingual love poems, treatises on achieving female orgasm, conduct manuals, and hybrid texts combining prose and verse.

Translations will be provided for most material, but reading knowledge of modern French is required.

Call Number: 12858

Day, Time & Location: T 2:10pm-4:00pm at TBA

Instructor: Claudia Breger

This introduction to German film since 1945 (in its European contexts) deploys a focus on feelings as a lens for multifaceted, intersectional investigations of cinematic history. We will explore how feelings have been gendered and racialized; how they overlap with matters of sex (as closely associated with political revolt in Western Europe, while considered too private for public articulation in the socialist East, especially when queer); and how they foreground matters of nation and trauma (for example via the notions of German ‘coldness’ and inability to mourn the Holocaust). Simultaneously, the focus on feelings highlights questions of mediality (cinema as a prototypically affective medium?), genre and avant-garde aesthetics: in many films, ‘high-affect’ Hollywood cinema intriguingly meets ‘cold’ cinematic modernism. In pursuing these investigative vectors through theoretical readings and close film analysis, the course connects affect, gender, queer, and cultural studies approaches with cinema studies methodologies. The films to be discussed span postwar and New German Cinema, East German DEFA productions, the ‘Berlin School’ of the 2000s, and contemporary transnational cinema.

Call Number: 14192

Day, Time & Location: T 12:10pm-2:00pm at TBA

Instructor: Julie Crawford

This class will focus on early modern literature’s fascination with the relationship between women, gender, and political resistance in the early modern period. The works we will read together engage many of the key political analogies of the period, including those between the household and the state, the marital and the social contract, and rape and tyranny. These texts also present multiple forms of resistance to gendered repression and subordination, and reimagine sexual, social, and political relationships in new and creative ways. Readings will include key classical and biblical intertexts, witchcraft and murder pamphlets, domestic conduct books, defenses of women, poetry (by William Shakespeare, Aemilia Lanyer and Lucy Hutchinson), drama (OthelloThe Winter’s Tale, and Gallathea), and fiction (by Margaret Cavendish). The class will also include visits to The Morgan Library, Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Call Number: 11024

Day, Time & Location: M W 4:10PM-5:25PM at TBA

Instructor: Lena Edlund

Prerequisites: ECON UN3211 and ECON UN3213 This course studies gender gaps, their extent, determinants and consequences. The focus will be on the allocation of rights in different cultures and over time, why women's rights have typically been more limited and why most societies have traditionally favored males in the allocation of resources.

Call Number: 10297

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at TBA

Instructor: Aziza Shanazarova

This course is a comprehensive engagement with Islamic perspectives on women with a specific focus on the debates about woman’s role and status in Muslim societies. Students will learn how historical, religious, socio-economic and political factors influence the lives and experiences of Muslim women. A variety of source materials (the foundational texts of Islam, historical and ethnographic accounts, women’s and gender studies scholarship) will serve as the framework for lectures. Students will be introduced to women’s religious lives and a variety of women’s issues as they are reported and represented in the works written by women themselves and scholars chronicling women’s religious experiences.

We will begin with an overview of the history and context of the emergence of Islam from a gendered perspective. We will explore differing interpretations of the core Islamic texts concerning women, and the relationship between men and women: who speaks about and for women in Islam? In the second part of the course we will discuss women’s religious experiences in different parts of the Muslim world. Students will examine the interrelationship between women and religion with special emphasis on the ways in which the practices of religion in women’s daily lives impact contemporary societies.  

All readings will be in English. Prior course work in Islam or women’s studies is recommended, but not required.   

Call Number: 13789

Day, Time & Location: W 9:10AM-12:55PM at 308 Diana Center

Instructor: Ronald Gregg

This course examines themes and changes in the (self-)representation of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people in cinema from the early sound period to the present. It pays attention to both the formal qualities of film and filmmakers’ use of cinematic strategies (mise-en-scene, editing, etc.) designed to elicit certain responses in viewers and to the distinctive possibilities and constraints of the classical Hollywood studio system, independent film, avant-garde cinema, and world cinema; the impact of various regimes of formal and informal censorship; the role of queer men and women as screenwriters, directors, actors, and designers; and the competing visions of gay, progay, and antigay filmmakers. Along with considering the formal properties of film and the historical forces that shaped it, the course explores what cultural analysts can learn from film. How can we treat film as evidence in historical analysis? We will consider the films we see as evidence that may shed new light on historical problems and periodization, and will also use the films to engage with recent queer theoretical work on queer subjectivity, affect, and culture.

Call Number: 10537

Day, Time & Location: T 4:10pm-6:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: Audra Simpson

This course examines the relationship between colonialism, settlement and anthropology and the specific ways in which these processes have been engaged in the broader literature and locally in North America. We aim to understand colonialism as a theory of political legitimacy, as a set of governmental practices and as a subject of inquiry. Thus, we will re-imagine North America in light of the colonial project and its technologies of rule such as education, law and policy that worked to transform Indigenous notions of gender, property and territory. Our case studies will dwell in several specific areas of inquiry, among them: the Indian Act in Canada and its transformations of gender relations, governance and property; the residential and boarding school systems in the US and Canada, the murdered and missing women in Juarez and Canada and the politics of allotment in the US. Although this course will be comparative in scope, it will be grounded heavily within the literature from Native North America.   

Call Number: 10696

Day, Time & Location: F 12:10pm-2:00pm at TBD

Instructor: Vanessa Agard-Jones

How are bodies in the world? How is the world in bodies? Building from these deceptively simple questions, ours will be an interdisciplinary reading seminar on how bodies (mostly human, but sometimes nonhuman) are made and remade in and through their environments and via their relationships to the material world. Privileging porosity as a rubric, we consider the ever-permeable boundaries between bodies and the other beings (be they viral, chemical, microbial or otherwise) with which they become entangled. Alongside the monographs under study, we will tackle article-length engagements with theories of new feminist/queer materialisms, decolonial and critical science studies. Further, a key aim of this course is to provide students the opportunity to hone some of the most important skills we have in our toolbox as academics, relative to our teaching, our public voice/s as critics, and to our own research.


Call Number: 00514

Day, Time & Location: TR 11:40am-12:55pm at To be announced

Instructor: Melanie Heydari

Since the last decades of the twentieth century there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women writers from the Middle East and North Africa. This advanced course, which will be taught mainly in French, provides a window into this rich and largely neglected branch of world literature. Students will encounter the breadth and creativity of contemporary Middle Eastern and North African women’s literature by reading a range of twentieth- and twenty-first-century novels, short stories, memoirs and poetry available in French or in translation, and by viewing films that are from or about Iran, Lebanon, Algeria, and Egypt. How do Middle Eastern women authors address women’s oppression – both social and physical – and enunciate issues such as the tension between tradition and modernity, sexuality, identity and class from a female perspective? What literary traditions and models do they draw on? How different are those texts written in French for a global audience, as opposed to those written in Persian or Arabic? What are the effects of reading them in translation? Authors will include Marjane Satrapi, Shahrnush Parsipur, Assia Djebar, Maïssa Bey and Nawal El Saadawi.

Call Number: 00128

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10pm-6:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Celia E. Naylor

The Africana Studies Department offers special topics courses every year as colloquia. These colloquia provide opportunities for students to explore areas of particular interest within African Diasporic Studies in a seminar environment. Students earn 4 credits for these courses. There are multiple colloquia offered by the department every year. Some of the topics for these colloquia have included Critical Race Theory, Indian Ocean Diaspora, The New Black, Caribbean Women, and Black Shakespeare. As the topics change, students should check with the Chair of the Africana Studies Department if they have any questions about the topics for a particular academic year.

Call Number: 00319

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10pm-2:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Shayoni Mitra

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 16 students. This course examines the category of "woman" as it is mobilized in performance, considering both a variety of contemporary performances chosen from a wide range of genres and a diversity of critical/theoretical perspectives. Course fulfills lecture/seminar "studies" requirement for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts major.

Call Number: 00133

Day, Time & Location: T 2:10pm-4:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Lisa Jahn

This course offers an overview of classic and contemporary examples of feminist ethnography. Over the course of the semester, we will trace the development of, and debates around, feminist ethnography from the 1970s to the contemporary period, highlighting the key questions and dominant paradigms of the field. We will examine how feminist approaches shape the questions we ask, how we present our research and the ethics of research. We will explore how to incorporate collaborative and activist methods and analysis in our scholarly projects, asking: How can feminist ethnography intensify efforts towards social justice in the current political and economic climate? How do feminist ethnographers link their findings to broader publics through activism, advocacy, and public policy?

Call Number: 00733

Day, Time & Location: TR 8:40am-9:55am / To be announced

Instructor: Debra Minkoff

Prerequisites: One introductory course in Sociology suggested. Social movements and the theories social scientists use to explain them, with emphasis on contemporary American activism. Cases include the Southern civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, contemporary feminist mobilizations, LGBTQ activism, immigrant rights and more recent forms of grassroots politics. Must also register for disc section in June.

Call Number: 00531

Day, Time & Location: T 4:10pm-6:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Wendy C. Schor-Haim

Why are stepmothers and stepdaughters inevitable enemies in folk and fairy tales? Why are fathers blameless and biological mothers absent (and usually dead)? And how do these narratives, so deeply woven into our own media and language, affect our sense of our own lived reality? In this course, we’ll untangle the complicated web of relationships between mothers, daughters, and stepmothers in folk and fairy tales, from ancient Rome to current cinema. We’ll read analytic psychology, feminist literary theory, cultural history, and other critical perspectives to help us analyze the absent mother, virginal daughter, hapless father, and evil stepmother tropes across time and space, so we can defamiliarize these familiar figures and develop a deeper understanding of how and why they dominate the popular imagination. This is an upper-level course, with priority for juniors and seniors.

Call Number: 00529

Day, Time & Location: TR 2:40pm-3:55pm / To be announced

Instructor: Jhumpa Lahiri

Language is the writer’s instrument; what happens when there is more than one language to choose from, or when a dominant or initial language is replaced by another? What inspires, or necessitates, a writer to practice exophony: to migrate into “foreign” linguistic territory? And in the case of bilingual or plurilingual writers, what factors determine the language(s) chosen for creative expression, and what might cause that choice to shift over time? To what degree do exophonic writers create a third, hybrid language? And how might their works underscore the mutability and instability of language itself? This seminar will focus on a series of women who, either for political or personal reasons, have reshaped and revised their linguistic points of reference, radically questioning—and perhaps willfully subverting—notions of nationality, identity, linguistic normativity, and a “mother tongue”. Special attention will be paid to the reception of exophonic writers, to feminist narratives of separation and self-fashioning, to mother-daughter dyads, to cases of self-translation, to colonialist and post-colonialist frameworks, and to how the phenomenon of exophony further complicates, but also enriches, the translator’s task. Readings will combine literary texts with essays, interviews, and theoretical writings by and about exophonic writers. In addition to analytical papers, students will have the opportunity to experiment writing in another language and translating themselves into English. All readings will be in English; advanced reading knowledge of a foreign language is recommended but not required. 

Call Number: 14689

Day, Time & Location: TR 1:10pm-2:25pm / To be announced

Instructor: Francisco Rosales-Varo

Prerequisites: SPAN UN2102 or AP score of 4 or 5; or SAT score. An intensive exposure to advanced points of Spanish grammar and structure through written and oral practice, along with an introduction to the basic principles of academic composition in Spanish. Each section is based on the exploration of an ample theme that serves as the organizing principle for the work done in class (Please consult the Directory of Classes for the topic of each section.) This course is required for the major and the concentration in Hispanic Studies. Formerly SPAN W3200 and SPAN BC3004. If you have taken either of these courses before you cannot take SPAN UN3300. All Columbia students must take Spanish language courses (UN 1101-3300) for a letter grade.

Call Number: 00168

Day, Time & Location: T 12:10pm-2:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Widney Brown

One of the most hotly debated issues of today is the extent to which the state can legitimately dictate or impinge on one’s bodily autonomy. This is a long-running debate in the area of sexual and reproductive rights, but also is relevant to such current debates as the right to die / right to death with dignity; the right to use drugs for recreational or ritual purposes; engaging in hunger strikes as a protected form of freedom of expression; and the debate about whether the state can mandate vaccines. It is a debate that is highly gendered but also raises questions about how political power and socio-economic status influences how governments act on individuals and communities.

Call Number: 14180

Day, Time & Location: T 10:10am-12:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Zoe L. Henry

During the twentieth century in the U.S., millions of Black Americans migrated from the rural South to the urban North, ushering in new forms of sensory and social experience. This course focuses on Black women’s relationship to the modern city, from the fin de siècle, through the Civil Rights Era, to the present-day. Across a variety of genres and contexts—including novels, poetry, plays, memoir, journalism, diaries, manifestos, spoken word and travelogues—Black writers have imagined and theorized femininity through the ever-shifting contours of the metropolis. While traditional accounts of urban modernity tend to take a masculine frame, our course will remain grounded in contemporary queer and feminist critique, asking: how do the physical, material, and architectural dimensions of the city impact women’s conceptions of selfhood? How do semi-public, semi-private spaces, such as cafes, offices, nightclubs, and cabarets, enable (or fail to enable) community and group belonging? How might such spaces nurture queer of color communities specifically? What forms of economic racism and segregation did women of color encounter, and what strategies did they deploy to counteract them? Is it possible for a Black woman to remain “private in public”? What kinds of industrial and technological developments enhanced women’s independence and financial freedoms, and which, like state surveillance, ultimately impeded—and continue to impede—their ability to survive and flourish? 

Primary authors will include Jessie Redmon Fauset, Dorothy West, Marita Bonner, Ann Petry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Ntozake Shange, Toni Morrison, Shay Youngblood, Sarah Broom and Raven Leilani, supplemented by short critical readings by such writers as Audre Lorde and Saidiya Hartman. Combining theoretical and literary analysis with regular fieldwork in New York City—including visits to the Schomburg Center and the Studio Museum in Harlem—the seminar ultimately encourages students to think creatively and rigorously about their own relationship to race, gender, and urban experience. 

Call Number: 00126

Day, Time & Location: T 4:10pm-6:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Maleda Beliligne

This course explores representations of queer Harlem in African American literature, sonic culture, and performance. We will consider the history and making of Harlem, key figures of the Harlem Renaissance, and the aesthetic innovations of writers and artists who defied the racial, sexual, and gendered conventions of their time. We will be guided by an intersectional approach to the study of race, gender, and sexuality and the methods of Black queer studies, African American and African diaspora literary studies, as well as sound and performance scholarship. We will ask when, where, and what was/is gay Harlem; how we might excavate its histories; map its borders; and speculate on its material and imagined futures.

Call Number: 00253

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10pm-4:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Abosede A. George

This course deals with the scholarship on gender and sexuality in African history. The central themes of the course will be changes and continuities in gender performance and the politics of gender and sexual difference within African societies, the social, political, and economic processes that have influenced gender and sexual identities, and the connections between gender, sexuality, inequality, and activism at local, national, continental, and global scales.

Call Number: 00090

Day, Time & Location: W 11:00am-12:50pm / To be announced

Instructor: Dorota Biczel

This seminar examines the changing conceptualizations and theorizations of gender and sex in the contemporary artistic practices of the Americas. Crucial to the constitution of both individual and collective identity, for contemporary artists gender and sexuality have become primary sites to rethink and reinvent the paradigms of self-expression, creativity, and artmaking, and to challenge and contest the (social) body politics at large. We will explore these practices through the prism of the evolution of the notions of gender and sex in a broad range of disciplines during the key historical moments such as the emergence of second-wave feminism and gay rights’ movement, critique of “mainstream” feminism by the feminists of color, AIDS crisis, and rise of postmodernist and queer theories, among others. We will pay special attention to the intersections of gender and sexuality with race and class, particularly germane in context of the ideologies of progress and development, and the shifts in capitalism during the last fifty years. Finally, we will probe how the notions of gender and sex have been deployed to reconsider and problematize the established art historical canons.     

            Weekly reading responses and leading class discussion on the readings will guide you in crafting a research paper proposal and its development (in consultation with the instructor). Artists participating in the seminar are invited to contextualize their own practice through a similar project and an accompanying research-based statement.

Call Number: 00255

Day, Time & Location: T 10:10am-12:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Jose Moya

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required. Sophomore Standing. Explores migration as a gendered process and what factors account for migratory differences by gender across place and time; including labor markets, education demographic and family structure, gender ideologies, religion, government regulations and legal status, and intrinsic aspects of the migratory flow itself.

Call Number: To be announced

Day, Time & Location: To be announced

Instructor: To be announced

Call Number: 10951

Day, Time & Location: R 4:10pm-6:00pm / 412 Pupin Laboratories

Instructor: Eric Gamalinda

This seminar focuses on the critical analysis of Asian representation and participation in Hollywood by taking a look at how mainstream American cinema continues to essentialize the Asian and how Asian American filmmakers have responded to Hollywood Orientalist stereotypes. We will analyze various issues confronting the Asian American, including yellowface, white patriarchy, male and female stereotypes, the “model minority” myth, depictions of “Chinatowns,” panethnicity, the changing political interpretations of the term Asian American throughout American history, gender and sexuality, and cultural hegemonies and privileging within the Asian community.

Call Number: 14519

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10pm-4:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: To be announced

This is a seminar for advanced undergraduates and master’s degree students, which explores the socioeconomic consequences of China’s development of a boom, urban residential real-estate market since the privatization of housing at the end of the 1990s. We will use the intersecting lenses of gender/sexuality, class and race/ethnicity to analyze the dramatic new inequalities created in arguably the largest and fastest accumulation of residential-real estate wealth in history. We will examine topics such as how skyrocketing home prices and state-led urbanization have created winners and losers based on gender, sexuality, class, race/ethnicity and location (hukou), as China strives to transform from a predominantly rural population to one that is 60 percent urban by 2020. We explore the vastly divergent effects of urban real-estate development on Chinese citizens, from the most marginaliz4d communities in remote regions of Tibet and Xinjiang to hyper-wealthy investors in Manhattan. Although this course has no formal prerequisites, it assumes some basic knowledge of Chinese history. If you have never taken a course on China before, please ask me for guidance on whether or not this class is suitable for you. The syllabus is preliminary and subject to change based on breaking news events and the needs of the class.

Call Number: 14760

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10am-12:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Gila Ashtor

Can the words “trauma” and “pleasure” be put in the same sentence? If trauma epitomizes suffering and pleasure represents enjoyment, is there any relation between these experiences? And yet, how else to explain that people seem endlessly addicted to negative experiences, or that traumatized people often try to recreate the damage they endured?

We are living in an age of endless trauma, and everywhere we go, we hear that trauma is destructive, anathema to pleasure, that it destroys our sense of self, our security, our stability, and identity. We are taught to avoid trauma at all costs because it is harmful and inimical to flourishing. New statistics routinely confirm that we are living through a trauma epidemic in which ordinary people experience symptoms of extreme distress, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping. Every year, new memoirs are published in which protagonists detail their endless battles with traumatic adversity and most television shows, across a variety of genres, include trauma as a subplot to character development (Ted LassoEuphoriaTrue Detective, to name a few). Referring to its growing pervasiveness, the New Yorker critic Parul Sehgal wrote a controversial essay, “The Case Against the Trauma Plot” (2021) in which she criticizes our culture’s overreliance on trauma as a primary trope of character development, forcing us to ask: is trauma really as widespread as we think? how did trauma become such a popular ‘identity’? what work is trauma doing for us, as individuals and as a culture? Is it possible to recognize the ubiquity of trauma while also acknowledging that we often seek situations which are harmful, even traumatizing, that we might be attracted to suffering for reasons we don’t yet understand?

This course examines the complex relationship between trauma and pleasure by familiarizing students with the clinical and theoretical concepts at the core of contemporary trauma and critical theory. We will focus specifically on the topics of: sexuality, perversion, trauma, identity, relationality, narcissism, gender and attachment in order to explore how these concepts work today. Delving into theoretical writing by Foucault, Bersani, Edelman, Berlant, Butler, Dean and Preciado, as well as clinical writing by major psychoanalysts, Freud, Laplanche, Loewald, Lacan, Laplanche and Winnicott, we will redefine contemporary debates by exploring their clinical meaning. In addition to offering a comprehensive outline of how psychoanalysis and critical theory relate, this course will expose students to a wide range of contemporary clinical thinking in order to facilitate a deeper engagement with the practical, lived dimension of psychoanalysis.

Call Number: 13937

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10am-12:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Deborah Paredez

What makes a diva a diva? How have divas shaped and challenged our ideas about American culture, performance, race, space, and capital during the last century? This seminar explores the central role of the diva—the celebrated, iconic, and supremely skilled female performer—in the fashioning and re-imagining of racial, gendered, sexual, national, temporal, and aesthetic categories in American culture. Students in this course will theorize the cultural function and constitutive aspects of the diva and will analyze particular performances of a range of American divas from the 20th and 21st centuries and their respective roles in (re)defining American popular culture.

Call Number: 10543

Day, Time & Location: F 2:10pm-4:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Jo Becker and Michael Bochenek

This course is designed to introduce contemporary children’s rights issues and help students develop practical advocacy skills to protect and promote the rights of children. Students will explore case studies of advocacy campaigns addressing issues including juvenile justice, child labor, child marriage, the use of child soldiers, corporal punishment, migration and child refugees, female genital mutilation, and LBGT issues affecting children. Over the course of the semester, students will become familiar with international children’s rights standards, as well as a variety of advocacy strategies and avenues, including use of the media, litigation, and advocacy with UN, legislative bodies, and the private sector. Written assignments will focus on practical advocacy tools, including advocacy letters, op-eds, submissions to UN mechanisms or treaty bodies, and the development of an overarching advocacy strategy, including the identification of goals and objectives, and appropriate advocacy targets and tactics.

Call Number: 10644

Day, Time & Location: R 2:10pm-4:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Julie Rajan

The term 'gendercide' highlights a range of distinct and specific forms of violence executed against human beings based on their own gender self-identification as well as patriarchal assumptions about their gender. In this course, we will examine research discerning, movements challenging, and the adjudication, and/or lack thereof, of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in several major categories traversing spatial, temporal, and ideological contexts, including: reproductive rights and health; trafficking and migration; and disaster and pandemics. It is critical to: interrogate the ideologies that drive and sustain GBV; examine in detail the harm it presents to human beings; explore what can be done to protect the security of those experiencing GBV; and to think about measures of prevention to guard additional human beings from experiencing it. The heart of the course will involve an intersectional analysis of specific case studies; highlighting the GBV associated with each case; examining the impact of GBV on human rights; and how GBV has been addressed in society. The close study of each case will assist students in illuminating intricacies, complexities, and challenges to human security in specific contexts.

Call Number: 10985

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10pm-6:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Valentina Izmirlieva

A graduate seminar which invites students to re-read contemporary history of Eastern Europe through the lens of women’s resistance. Women are no less effective history agents than men, but they usually act outside of dominant power structures, opposing and subverting them through imaginative strategies of resistance in the everyday. Focused on the Soviet Union and the contemporary states of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, this course explores female resistance channeled through visual and performance art, fiction and documentary, poetry and film. Structured in reverse chronological order, it begins with current manifestations of women’s resistance, from artistic interventions in the War in Ukraine to Pussy Riot’s punk performances and the political activism of the Belarus Free Theater. It then investigates the genealogy of these contemporary forms of resistance in underground feminist and dissident activism during the late Soviet period, a whole range of resistance articulations through the female experiences of WW2, the GULAG and Stalinist purges, and female agency in subverting gender norms since the Bolshevik sexual Revolution of the 1920s. All reading will be available in English.

Open to graduate students. Advanced undergraduates can register with instructor’s permission. No Russian, Ukrainian or Belarusian required.

Call Number: 10564

Day, Time & Location: R 11:00am-1:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Mary McLeod


Call Number: 10092

Day, Time & Location: R 2:10pm-4:00pm / To be announced

Instructor: Alessandra M. Ciucci

Spring 2024

A complete list of Spring 2024 courses, including those cross-listed in other units, may be found under the WMST listing on the Directory of Courses here:


Call Number: 00733

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 10:10AM-11:25AM at To be announced

Instructor: Cecelia Lie-Spahn

Combines critical feminist and anti-racist analyses of medicine with current research in epidemiology and biomedicine to understand health and health disparities as co-produced by social systems and biology.

Call Number: 00763

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 4:10PM-5:25PM at To be announced

Instructor: Janet Jakobsen 

This course examines the conceptual foundations that support feminist and queer analyses of racial capitalism, security and incarceration, the politics of life and health, and colonial and postcolonial studies, among others. Open to all students; required for the major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and the Interdisciplinary Concentration or Minor in Race and Ethnicity (ICORE/MORE).

Call Number: 00764

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 2:40PM-3:55PM at To be announced

Instructor: Marisa Solomon

This introductory course for the Interdisciplinary Concentration or Minor in Race and Ethnicity (ICORE/MORE) is open to all students. We focus on the critical study of social difference as an interdisciplinary practice, using texts with diverse modes of argumentation and evidence to analyze social differences as fundamentally entangled and co-produced. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this course, the professor will frequently be joined by other faculty from the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS), who bring distinct disciplinary and subject matter expertise. Some keywords for this course include hybridity, diaspora, borderlands, migration, and intersectionality.

Call Number: 00765

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 6:10PM-7:25PM at To be announced

Instructor: Jacqueline Orr

This course explores the intimate entanglements of technology, science, bodies, culture, and power, with a focus on post-World War II U.S. society. In this lecture course, we will draw on history, feminist thought, anthropology, sociology, science fiction, and visual/digital art to investigate the historical and cultural contexts shaping the dreams, practices, and products of technoscience. We will explore technologies and sciences as sites of power, complex pleasures, and embodied transformations in our own everyday lives.

Call Number: 00766

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Manijeh Moradian 

From love to anger to disappointment to hope, political activism mobilizes emotions towards certain ends but also generates new affective states and feelings along the way. This advanced seminar will familiarize students with feminist, anti-racist and queer scholarship on affect, feelings and emotion as intrinsic to politics and as crucial for understanding how political thought and action unfold in contingent and often unexpected ways. Mixing theoretical and cultural texts with case studies, we will look at how affect permeates structures of power and domination, embodiment and identity, and collective activist projects concerned with gender and sexual liberation. Students will have an opportunity to read theories of affect as well as to “read” activist movements for affect by working with archival documents (such as zines, manifestos, and movement ephemera) and other primary sources (such as memoir, photography and documentary film).

Call Number: 00767

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Alexander Pittman

Prerequisites: none. How can performances, theatrical texts, and other art/media objects illuminate the operations of gender, sexuality, and race in global capitalism? Drawing from a range of artistic media and critical traditions, we explore how aesthetic thought can help us analyze the sexual, racial, and national character of contemporary labor and life.

Call Number: 11762

Day, Time & Location: Th 10:10AM-12:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Rachel Aumiller


This course provides a theoretical itinerary to the emergence of contemporary queer theory and engagement with some contemporary legacies of the movement. The goal is not to be exhaustive nor to establish a correct history of queer theory but to engage students in the task of understanding and creating intellectual genealogies.

Call Number: 12162

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Salonee Bhaman

This course will provide students with a comparative perspective on gender, race, and sexuality by illuminating historically specific and culturally distinct conditions in which these systems of power have operated. Beginning in the early modern period, the course seeks to destabilize contemporary notions of gender and sexuality and instead probe how race, sexuality, and gender have functioned as mechanisms of differentiation embedded in historically contingent processes. Moving from “Caliban to Comstock,” students will probe historical methods for investigating and critically evaluating claims about the past. In making these inquiries, the course will pay attention to the intersectional nature of race, gender, and sexuality and to strategic performances of identity by marginalized groups. This semester, we will engage research by historians of sexuality, gender, and capitalism to critically reflect on the relationship between critical studies of the past and debates about reproductive justice, bodily autonomy, and gay and lesbian rights in our contemporary moment.

Call Number: 00769

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Sandra Moyano-Ariza

Knowledge, Practice, Power is a practical and multi-disciplinary exploration of research methods and interpretive strategies used in feminist scholarship, focusing on larger questions about how we know what we know, and who and what knowledge is for. Open to non-majors, but sophomore and junior majors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) are encouraged to enroll in this course as preparation for Senior Seminar I. This course is required for students pursuing the concentration or minor in Feminist/Intersectional Science and Technology Studies. Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor.

Call Number: 11763

Day, Time & Location: F 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Sonia Ahsan

Prerequisites: Instructor approval required.

Considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered inequalities. Topics include political economy, global care chains, sexuality, sex work and trafficking, feminist politics, and human rights. If it is a small world after all, how do forces of globalization shape and redefine both men’s and women’s positions as as workers and political subjects? And, if power swirls everywhere, how are transnational power dynamics reinscribed in gendered bodies? How is the body represented in discussions of the political economy of globalization? These questions will frame this course by highlighting how gender and power coalesce to impact the lives of individuals in various spaces including workplaces, the home, religious institutions, refugee camps, the government, and civil society, and human rights organizations. We will use specific sociological and anthropological case studies, to look at how various regimes of power operate to constrain individuals as well as give them new spaces for agency. This course will enable us to think transnationally, historically, and dynamically, using gender as a lens through which to critique relations of power and the ways that power informs our everyday lives and identities.

Call Number: 00768

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Elizabeth Bernstein

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to senior majors. Individual research in Womens Studies conducted in consulation with the instructor. The result of each research project is submitted in the form of the senior essay and presented to the seminar.

Call Number: 00770

Day, Time & Location: Th 12:10pm-2:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: Marisa Solomon

Far from obvious renderings of place, maps are spatial arguments about who belongs where and how living should be defined. This course approaches place as something that is contested daily in the U.S. through the struggle of who gets to lay claim to a way of life. From the landscapes of dispossession to the alternative ways marginalized people work with and against traditional geographies, this course centers Black place-making practices as political struggle. This class will look at how power and domination become a landed project. We will critically examine how ideas about “nature” are bound up with notions of race, and the way “race” naturalizes the proper place for humans and non-human others. We will interrogate settler colonialism’s relationships to mapping who is and isn’t human, the transatlantic slave trade as a project of terraforming environments for capital, and land use as a science for determining who “owns” the earth. Centered on Black feminist, queer and trans thinkers, we will encounter space not as a something given by maps, but as a struggle over definitions of the human, geography, sovereignty, and alternative worlds. To this end, we will read from a variety of disciplines, such as Critical Black Studies, Feminist and Intersectional Science Studies, Black Geographies and Ecologies, Urban Studies and Afrofuturist literature. (Note: this class will count as an elective for the CCIS minors/concentrations in F/ISTS, ICORE/MORE, and Environmental Humanities.)

Call Number: 00771

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Agnieszka Legutko

The seminar will focus on trends that have emerged over the past three decades in Jewish American women's writing in the fields of memoirs, fiction and Jewish history: the representation and exploration through fictive narratives of women's experiences in American Jewish orthodox communities; reinterpretation of Jewish history through gender analysis; the recording of migration and exile by Jewish women immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Morocco, Iran, and Egypt; and gender transformations. Texts will be analyzed in terms of genre structures, narrative strategies, the role of gender in shaping content and Jewish identity, and the political, cultural and social contexts in which the works were created. The course aims for students to discuss and critically engage with texts in order to develop the skills of analytical and abstract thinking, as well as the ability to express that critical thinking in writing. Prerequisites: Both one introductory WGSS course and Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory, or Permission of the Instructor.

Call Number: 00772

Day, Time & Location: Tu 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Manijeh Moradian

In this class we will study South-West Asian and North African (SWANA) diasporic populations, social movements and cultural production that have responded to the multi-faceted ramifications of the 21st century war on terror. We will focus on diverse Arab, Iranian, and Afghan diasporas in the United States, where 19th and 20th century legacies of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and Orientalism combined in new ways to target these groups after the September 11th, 2001 attacks. Drawing on an interdisciplinary array of texts, including ethnography, fiction, feminist and queer theory, social movement theory, and visual and performance art, we will look at how the “war on terror” has shaped the subjectivities and self-representation of SWANA communities. Crucially, we will examine the gender and sexual politics of Islamophobia and racism and study how scholars, activists and artists have sought to intervene in dominant narratives of deviance, threat, and backwardness attributed to Muslim and other SWANA populations. This course takes up the politics of naming, situating the formation of “SWANA” as part of an anti-colonial genealogy that rejects imperial geographies such as “Middle East.” We will ask how new geographies and affiliations come into being in the context of open-ended war, and what new political identities and forms of cultural production then become possible.

Call Number: 11745

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Lila Abu-Lughod

Subtopic: Reframing Gender Violence Globally

Description: Over the past couple of decades, violence against women (VAW) and gender-based violence (GBV) have come to prominence as loci for activism throughout the world. Both VAW and GBV regularly garner international media attention and occupy a growing place in international law and global governance. Since 2000 alone there have been more than 25 UN protocols, instruments and conventions directed at its eradication or mitigation.  By embedding gendered violence in a complex matrix international norms, legal sanctions, and humanitarian aid, the anti-VAW movement has been able to achieve a powerful international “common sense” for defining, measuring, and attending to violence against women in developing countries, particularly during conflict and in post-conflict situations.

When invoked in the halls of the United Nations and used to shape international policy, the terms violence against women (VAW) and gender-based violence (GBV) are often assumed to have stable meanings; yet they do not.  What do different parties mean when they talk of violence against women or of gender-based violence?  What is left out when the problem is framed in particular ways, and whose interests are served by such framings?  Religion, culture, and ethnicity are often linked to gendered violence with entire groups pathologized. Women in conflict situations are abstracted from their local contexts while the conflicts themselves are insistently localized. The definition of VAW or GBV is narrowed to attacks on bodily integrity, with economic, political and structural forms of violence increasingly excluded from the frames. 

This course will explore transnational feminist debates about gender-based violence and examine the critical concepts being developed within the scholarly literature to question this “common sense.” What are the elisions and exclusions in many common-sense understandings of these terms? Can we deepen the ways in which we engage with the manifestations and representations of such violence?  We will proceed through close readings of the texts of the key feminist thinkers, researchers, anthropologists and activists who are contributing to the critical analysis of the dynamics and history of this international agenda. We pay special attention to place-based research on the applicability and deployment of particular approaches to gender-based violence as found in human rights work, humanitarianism, and the proliferating organizations, governmental and nongovernmental, that promote girls’ and women’s rights and freedom from violence yet ignore other forms of violence that itself is gendered. Case studies will be drawn from the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

This course fulfills one of the requirements for the graduate certificate at ISSG but is open to other graduate students in Arts & Sciences by permission of instructor.

Call Number: 12163

Day, Time & Location: Tu 10:10AM-12:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

This is a course is oriented to graduate students who are thinking about issues in teaching in the near and distant future and want to explore forms of pedagogy. The course will ask what it means to teach “as a feminist” and will explore how to create a classroom receptive to feminist and queer methodologies and theories regardless of course theme/content. Topics include: participatory pedagogy, the role of political engagement, the gender dynamics of the classroom, modes of critical thought and disagreement. Discussions will be oriented around student interest. The course will meet 4-5 times per SEMESTER (dates TBD) and the final assignment is to develop and workshop a syllabus for a new gender/sexuality course in your field. Because this course is required for graduate students choosing to fulfill Option 2 for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies at IRWGS, priority will be given to graduate students completing the certificate.

Call Number: 11749

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Elizabeth Povinelli

Course Description: This course provides a theoretical engagement with feminist, queer, Black, and Indigenous approaches to language, discourse, and semiotics. The goal is not to be exhaustive nor to establish a correct history of queer theory but to engage students in the task of understanding and creating intellectual genealogies.


Call Number: 00035

Day, Time & Location: M W 10:10AM-11:25AM at To be announced

Instructor: Maja Horn

This course offers a chronological study of the Anglophone, Hispanophone, and Francophone insular Caribbean through the eyes of some of the region’s most important writers and thinkers. We will focus on issues that key Caribbean intellectuals--including two Nobel prize-winning authors--consider particularly enduring and relevant in Caribbean cultures and societies. Among these are, for example, colonization, slavery, national and postcolonial identity, race, class, popular culture, gender, sexuality, tourism and migration. This course will also serve as an introduction to some of the exciting work on the Caribbean by professors at Barnard College and Columbia University (faculty spotlights).

Call Number: 12871

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10M-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

This seminar examines the resurgence of craft within contemporary art and theory. In a time when much art is outsourced — or fabricated by large stables of assistants — what does it mean when artists return to traditional, and traditionally laborious, methods of handiwork such as knitting, jewelry making, or woodworking? Though our emphasis will be on recent art (including the Black feminist reclamation of quilts, an artist who makes pornographic embroidery, a cross-dressing ceramicist, queer fiber collectives, do-it-yourself Indigenous environmental interventions, and anti-capitalist craftivism), we will also examine important historical precedents. We will read formative theoretical texts regarding questions of process, materiality, skill, bodily effort, domestic labor, and alternative economies of production. Throughout, we will think through how craft is in dialogue with questions of race, nation-building, gendered work, and mass manufacturing. The seminar is centered around student-led discussion of our critical readings.

Call Number: 11256

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Nikolas Kakkoufa

Homosexuality, as a term, might be a relatively recent invention in Western culture (1891) but bodies that acted and appeared queer(ly) existed long before that. This course will focus on acts, and not identities, in tracing the evolution of writing the queer body from antiquity until today. In doing so it will explore a number of multimodal materials – texts, vases, sculptures, paintings, photographs, movies etc. – in an effort to understand the evolution of the ways in which language (written, spoken or visual) registers these bodies in literature and culture. When we bring the dimension of the body into the way we view the past, we find that new questions and new ways of approaching old questions emerge. What did the ancient actually write about the male/female/trans* (homo)sexual body? Did they actually create gender non-binary statues? Can we find biographies of the lives of saints in drag in Byzantium? How did the Victorians change the way in which we read Antiquity? How is the queer body registered in Contemporary Literature and Culture? Can one write the history of homosexuality as a history of bodies? How are queer bodies constructed and erased by scholars? How can we disturb national archives by globalizing the queer canon of bodies through translation? These are some of the questions that we will examine during the semester.

The course surveys texts from Homer, Sappho, Aeschylus, Euripides, Plato, Theocritus, Ovid, Dio Chrysostom, Lucian, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Symonds, Dinos Christianopoulos, Audre Lorde, Larry Kramer, Tony Kushner etc., the work of artists such as Yiannis Tsarouchis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Dimitris Papaioannou, Cassils, movies such as 120 battements par minute, and popular TV shows such as Pose.

Call Number: 13593

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Claudia Breger

Critical theory was the central practice of the Frankfurt School. Founded in Frankfurt in 1923 and later based at Columbia University, this interdisciplinary institute influenced fields like sociology, political science, film, cultural studies, media theory, and comparative literature. The course begins by examining the genealogy of the Frankfurt School in Marxism and its critique of fascism and traces its afterlife in aesthetic theory, deconstruction, and gender studies, as well as the specter of “Cultural Marxism” recently floating around right-wing circles. We read texts by key figures of the Frankfurt School such as Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse and Jürgen Habermas as well as works by adjacent figures like Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, and Siegfried Kracauer.

Call Number: 12356

Day, Time & Location: M W 2:40PM-3:55PM at To be announced

Instructor: Jack Halberstam

No future, there’s no future, no future for you…or me…What happens after the end of the future? If England’s dreaming in 1977 looked like a dead-end, how do we dream of futures in a moment so much closer to the reality of worlds’ end? In this class, we will read a range of ambiguous utopias and dystopias (to use a term from Ursula LeGuin) and explore various models of temporality, a range of fantasies of apocalypse and a few visions of futurity. While some critics, like Frederick Jameson, propose that utopia is a “meditation on the impossible,” others like José Muñoz insist that “we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds.” Utopian and dystopian fictions tend to lead us back to the present and force confrontations with the horrors of war, the ravages of capitalist exploitation, the violence of social hierarchies and the ruinous peril of environmental decline. In the films and novels and essays we engage here, we will not be looking for answers to questions about what to do and nor should we expect to find maps to better futures. We will no doubt be confronted with dead ends, blasted landscapes and empty gestures. But we will also find elegant aesthetic expressions of ruination, inspirational confrontations with obliteration, brilliant visions of endings, breaches, bureaucratic domination, human limitation and necro-political chaos. We will search in the narratives of uprisings, zombification, cloning, nuclear disaster, refusal, solidarity, for opportunities to reimagine world, ends, futures, time, place, person, possibility, art, desire, bodies, life and death.

Call Number: 12370

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 2:40PM-3:55PM 

Instructor: Farah Griffin

(Lecture). This survey of African American literature focuses on language, history, and culture. What are the contours of African American literary history? How do race, gender, class, and sexuality intersect within the politics of African American culture? What can we expect to learn from these literary works? Why does our literature matter to student of social change? This lecture course will attempt to provide answers to these questions, as we begin with Zora Neale Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) and Richard Wrights Native Son (1940) and end with Melvin Dixons Loves Instruments (1995) with many stops along the way. We will discuss poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fictional prose. Ohter authors include Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Malcom X, Ntzozake Shange, Audre Lorde, and Toni Morrison. There are no prerequisites for this course. The formal assignments are two five-page essays and a final examination. Class participation will be graded.

Call Number: 00243

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 2:40PM-3:55PM at To be announced

Instructor: Dorothy Ko

Course Description: to be announced

Call Number: 00248

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Premilla Nadasen

This course examines the theory and practice of transnational Black feminism in a context of radical anti-colonial movements. It examines the US Black Power movement, struggles for independence in the Caribbean, the British Black women’s movement, the anti apartheid movement, Black women’s migrant labor, and Black women’s struggle for independence in the Pacific, to consider how revolutionary moments nurtured feminist organizing and how Black feminists articulated and put into practice anti-colonialism, national independence, and radical transformation. We will examine the relationship between Black feminism, Marxism, grassroots organizing, and movement building, nationally and transnationally, from the 1940s-1980s. 

Call Number: 11646

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Natasha J. Lightfoot

Caribbean literature offers complicated and vivid portrayals of the Caribbean’s past, and grapples with difficult histories lived by its people that compromised colonial archives can only partially capture. Literary works far exceed the limited narratives of Caribbean history by imagining entire worlds that official documents could never contain, rich selves, cultures and communities built by many generations of Caribbean people. This course is aimed at bringing forth a broader understanding of Caribbean history by examining a body of creative works by feminist and womanist writers that continuously remain attuned to the complexities of the past, which are either underrepresented or absent in the record. Chosen literary texts will also be paired with historical works that will illuminate and contextualize the multiple themes with which these Caribbean authors frequently engage, including slavery, and colonialism, racism and colorism, migration and immigration, gender and sexuality, poverty and globalization. From these pairings, students will explore both the divergences and alignments in how writers and historians approach the work of retelling the past, and will acquire reading and writing skills that will foster thoughtful critical analysis of the ever-changing contours of the Caribbean’s history.

Call Number: 10264

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Yasmine Ergas

This course introduces students to fundamental human rights associated with gender and the global processes through which they have been shaped and reshaped. Focusing primarily but not exclusively on women’s rights and drawing on treaties, cases, programmatic documents, statistical data and other materials, we ask how gender inequalities are addressed at a global and regional level, how such commitments resonate at a national level, and how they are being challenged today. Why are specific measures are needed to protect against gender-based discrimination if human rights are putatively universal?  Does the current global gender rights framework work effectively for all those subject to gender-based discrimination?  Which points of view on gender does it incorporate and promote, and which does it  “silence”? How do factors such as citizenship, nationality, sexual orientation and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion and class affect the protection of gender rights? How can the current global gender rights framework help address discrimination and inequality with respect to fundamental issues of personhood such as identity, bodily integrity, and the right to life? How can  it be deployed to address the implications of socioeconomic processes closely linked to globalization, such as migration or the emergence of markets in reproduction? Can it play a role in times of widespread political turmoil and of war? 

Call Number: 13196

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Justin Phillips

Prerequisites: the instructors permission. Pre-registration is not permitted. Seminar in American Politics Seminar. Students who would like to register should join the electronic wait list. For list of topics and descriptions see:

No direct registration; those interested should join waitlist.

Call Number: 13383

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 10:10AM-11:25AM 

Instructor: Teresa Sharpe

This course examines gender as a flexible but persistent boundary that continues to organize our work lives and our home lives, as well as the relationship between the two spheres. We will explore the ways in which gender affects how work is structured; the relationship between work and home; the household as a place of paid (and unpaid) labor; and how changes in the global economy affect gender and work identities.

Call Number: 16803

Day, Time & Location: W 8:10AM-10:00AM 

Instructor: Jennifer S Hirsch

This seminar provides an intensive introduction to critical thinking about gender in relation to public health. We begin with an introduction to social scientific approaches to thinking about gender in relation to health, as well as an introduction to public health as a field, and then examine diverse areas in which gendered relations of power – primarily between men and women, but also between cis- and queer individuals – shape health behaviors and health outcomes. Over the course of the semester, we engage with multiple examples of how gendered social processes, in combination with other dimensions of social stratification, shape health at the population level. Through reading, discussion, and critical analysis, the overarching goal is to help students learn to think about gender – and, by extension, about any form of social stratification – in relation to the health of populations, as opposed to individuals.We also examine how public health as a field is itself a domain in which gender is reproduced or contested.

Given the enormous range of outcomes and disparities on which such a class might focus, it is impossible to examine every possible gendered pattern of population health. We will focus on four (sometimes overlapping) broad areas of work in public health: child survival, sexual and reproductive health, violence, and substance use.

Aspiring clinicians should note that our focus is not on gender in the context of health carealthough we do touch on health care and gender at points over the course of the semester, our overall orientation is towards health behaviors and the social determinants of health.

Call Number: 13799

Day, Time & Location: Th 10:0AM-12:50PM 

Instructor: María José Contreras

Subtopic: Cartographies of Resistance: Contemporary Latin American Theatre and Performance

This course examines contemporary Latin American theatre and performance as practices of resistance in the highly inflammatory sociopolitical contexts of the region. The seminar proposes 4 cartographies of resistance as distinctive ways to challenge the hegemonies of power: decolonizing the Americas, embodying resistance, dramaturgies of the real and opposing neoliberalism. Using a decolonial and feminist framework, the course undertakes the study of a range of theatre plays and performances observing how different embodied tactics respond to the power hierarchies and mobilize political action. Some of the cases to be studied include Yuyachkani, (Perú), Lola Arias (Argentina), Guillermo Calderón (Chile), Regina José Galindo (Guatemala), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Teatro da Vertigem (Brazil).

As a theory-driven class, we will engage with rich theoretical texts as well as dramatic texts and videos of performances. We’ll also have 4 workshops dedicated to practice-based pedagogies. This class requires your sustained academic and personal engagement.


Call Number: 00077

Day, Time & Location: Tu 10:10AM-12:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Monica Miller

On her “Record of Freshman Interest” form, Zora Neale Hurston, Barnard class of 1928, wrote in response to the question of what vocation or profession she had in mind after graduation, “I have had some small success as a writer and wish above all to succeed at it. Either teaching or social work would be interesting, but consolation prizes.”  No consolation prize was necessary as Hurston became one of American and African American literature’s finest writers, America’s first Black anthropologist, and a Black feminist ancestor and icon. A deep dive into Hurston’s work and writing life, this course reads Hurston as a narrative stylist and theorist in multiple genres: as poet, essayist, writer of short stories, novelist, playwright, folklorist, and memorist. The goal of this class is to read Hurston closely and widely and to identify and examine her aesthetic philosophy and stylistic choices as one of the first African American women able to have a writing “career.” We will concentrate on her work from the 1920s through the 1930s, when she was at Barnard, and a leading figure in the Harlem/New Negro Renaissance.

In her time, Hurston was adamant about writing for and about people like herself; she saw ordinary black people as keepers of a rich culture that should be celebrated and shared.  In this spirit, the assignments for this course will lead to final digital projects that can be shared with the Barnard community in anticipation of the centennial of Hurston’s matriculation and graduation from Barnard (1925-1928).  We will partner with the Digital Humanities Center at Barnard, as well as Barnard Archives; we will engage resources at Barnard, such as Hurston-focused issues of The Scholar and Feminist Online, and other institutions, such as Columbia’s Rare Book Collection, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Library of Congress. No prior experience with digital tools is necessary.

Call Number: 00138

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Maleda Belilgne

This course explores representations of queer Harlem in African American literature, sonic culture, and performance. We will consider the history and making of Harlem, key figures of the Harlem Renaissance, and the aesthetic innovations of writers and artists who defied the racial, sexual, and gendered conventions of their time. We will be guided by an intersectional approach to the study of race, gender, and sexuality and the methods of Black queer studies, African American and African diaspora literary studies, as well as sound and performance scholarship. We will ask when, where, and what was/is gay Harlem; how we might excavate its histories; map its borders; and speculate on its material and imagined futures.

Call Number: 00036

Day, Time & Location: M W 9:00AM-10:15AM at To be announced

Instructor: Khemani Gibson

The Africana Studies Department offers special topics courses every year as colloquia. These colloquia provide opportunities for students to explore areas of particular interest within African Diasporic Studies in a seminar environment. Students earn 4 credits for these courses. There are multiple colloquia offered by the department every year. Some of the topics for these colloquia have included Critical Race Theory, Indian Ocean Diaspora, The New Black, Caribbean Women, and Black Shakespeare. As the topics change, students should check with the Chair of the Africana Studies Department if they have any questions about the topics for a particular academic year.

Call Number: 00067

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10AM-12:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Shirley Taylor

Course Description: to be announced

Call Number: 12870

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Branden Joseph

Most often associated with the explosion of punk rock at the end of the 1970s, self-published booklets, fanzines, or simply ’zines actually arose first in the context of science fiction collectors in the 1930s.  Beginning in the early 1970s (independently of, and before the advent of punk music), artists adopted and developed the format as a vehicle for visual expression, drawing from precedents in pop art, artists’ books, mimiographed literary magazines, historical avant-garde movements such as dada, and more contemporaneous developments in conceptual art and mail art.  Overlooked in favor of artists’ books and artists’ magazines, on the one hand, and in favor of various types of music- or personal expression-based zines, on the other, the artist’s zine forms a rich and multifaceted genre spanning over five decades of practice.  This course will examine the artist’s zine in the contexts of both art and music history, issues related to the expression and exploration of race, gender, and sexaulity, and the notions of networking and community building.  Although distinct from the development of punk rock, artists’ zine practice has forged and maintains a close connection to it and to its evolution into Queercore, Riot Grrrl, and Afropunk, all of which are covered in the course readings.

Call Number: 00628

Day, Time & Location: Mo 10:10AM-12:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Wendy C. Schor-Haim

Abortion access will shape the lives of your generation—and yet the issue of abortion is too often left to misinformation and disconnected from its role in overall reproductive freedom. In this course, we will put abortion into multiple contexts (historical, political, legal, pharmaceutical, religious), drawing interdisciplinary material from scholars, activists, community organizers, lawyers, care providers, and journalists. Each class will feature a guest speaker who has dedicated their career to advocating for abortion as a critical part of overall reproductive healthcare in the United States and internationally. Grounded in the reproductive justice framework, which aims not only to protect the “right to choose” but also to create the economic, social, and environmental conditions in which people can parent with dignity, we will think of abortion as one critical part of a constellation of projects that, together, work toward total reproductive freedom.

Call Number: 00131

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Camilla Sturm

This seminar critically reexamines the ancient world from the perspective of gender archaeology. Though the seedlings of gender archaeology were first sown by of feminist archaeologists during the 70’s and 80’s, this approach involves far more than simply ‘womanizing’ androcentric narratives of past. Rather, gender archaeology criticizes interpretations of the past that transplant contemporary social roles onto the archaeological past, casting the divisions and inequalities of today as both timeless and natural. This class challenges the idea of a singular past, instead championing a turn towards multiple, rich, messy, intersectional pasts. The ‘x’ in ‘archaeolxgy’ is an explicit signal of our focus on this diversity of pasts and a call for a more inclusive field of practice today.  

Call Number: 10594

Day, Time & Location: M W 1:10PM-2:25PM at To be announced

Instructor: Maria Malmstrom

Practices like veiling that are central to Western images of women and Islam are also contested issues throughout the Muslim world. Examines debates about Islam and gender and explores the interplay of cultural, political, and economic factors in shaping women's lives in the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Call Number: 14060

Day, Time & Location: W 4:00PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Mary McLeod

Course Description: H/T Post-1800 N/W S/E

Call Number: 10591

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Tiziano Colibazzi

Sex has always been a powerful and enigmatic force. Freud made it the centerpiece of psychoanalysis. Though many are familiar with his work on sexuality, few are aware of the development, elaboration and repudiation (in some instances) of these early ideas over the last century. 

This course aims at presenting the evolution of psychoanalytic thinking on sex. We will examine a vast array of concepts in a modern context including desire, longing, genders, sexual fantasies, sexual orientations, BDSM, masturbation and polyamory among others. These presentations will also be enriched by an attention to the historical and cultural aspects of sexuality.

Call Number: 13114

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Eric Gamalinda

Russian filmmaker Andre Tarkovsky said that “the artist has no right to an idea in which he is not socially committed.” Argentine filmmaker Fernando Solanas and Spanish-born Octavio Getino postulated an alternative cinema that would spur spectators to political action. In this course we will ask the question: How do authoritarian governments influence the arts, and how do artists respond? We will study how socially committed filmmakers have subverted and redefined cinema aesthetics to challenge authoritarianism and repression. In addition, we will look at how some filmmakers respond to institutional oppression, such as poverty and corruption, even within so-called “free” societies. The focus is on contemporary filmmakers but will also include earlier classics of world cinema to provide historical perspective. The course will discuss these topics, among others: What is authoritarianism, what is totalitarianism, and what are the tools of repression within authoritarian/totalitarian societies? What is Third Cinema, and how does it represent and challenge authoritarianism? How does film navigate the opposition of censorship, propaganda and truth? How do filmmakers respond to repressive laws concerning gender and sexual orientation? How do they deal with violence and trauma? How are memories of repressive regimes reflected in the psyche of modern cinema? And finally, what do we learn about authority, artistic vision, and about ourselves when we watch these films?

Call Number: 00539

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10AM-12:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Ileana Jimenez

Broadly, this course explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, and schooling across national contexts. We begin by considering theoretical perspectives, exploring the ways in which gender and sexuality have been studied and understood in the interdisciplinary field of education. Next, we consider the ways in which the subjective experience of gender and sexuality in schools is often overlooked or inadequately theorized. Exploring the ways that race, class, citizenship, religion and other categories of identity intersect with gender and sexuality, we give primacy to the contention that subjectivity is historically complex, and does not adhere to the analytically distinct identity categories we might try to impose on it.

Call Number: 00542

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Erika Kitzmiller

The rise in political polarization and social inequality over the past few decades has challenged the ideals that public schools were founded on nearly two centuries ago. In the past few years, we have witnessed a surge in homophobic, racist, misogynist, and xenophobic rhetoric in our society and our schools. At the same time, teachers in classrooms across this country have been engaged in the difficult work of challenging oppression and injustice in their schools, communities, and nation. These teachers know that the future of our democracy is at stake. Using a historical and sociological framework, this course examines the past and present conditions that have led to political polarization, escalating inequality, and persistent injustice. It seeks to examine the lineage of racism, sexism, nativism, and imperialism on our nation and its schools and to consider the extent to which these challenges are uniquely American or part of a more global phenomenon. It offers an introduction to the deep current of American social, political, and economic culture that many argue has produced the challenges that our nation faces today: personal and political gain marred by intolerance, derived from wealth, and rooted in the history of segregation, sexism, and exploitation. Instead of seeing these challenges as separate entities, the course acknowledges the intersectional nature of power and politics. Students will consider how these conditions affect their roles as educators and the lives of the youth and families in their schools and communities. They will leave the course with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the historical and sociological antecedents that have contributed to polarization, inequity, and injustice around the globe.

Call Number: 00712

Day, Time & Location: M W 11:40AM-12:55PM at To be announced

Instructor: Jennifer Boylan

Change is fundamental to our experience as human beings, and the experience of change lies at the heart of most great stories. Sometimes this is a transition that the heroine has desired; other times, alteration and transformation arise from sources mysterious and unknown, or as a result of the journey the story has brought them. This course examines the element of change in a wide range of literature, from Ovid to Maggie Nelson, from Shakespeare to Roxane Gay—but it also provides an opportunity for students to consider the ways in which they, too have been changed—by joy, by trauma, by time. In addition to writing critically about the works we will read together, students will also write a personal essay about their experience of metamorphosis; this essay will be examined in a modified workshop format. At semester’s end, students will re-write and change that same essay, in hopes of seeing how revision on the page might provide a model for understanding the metamorphoses we experience as human beings on this earth. Authors will likely include Ovid, Kafka, Robert Louis Stevenson, Borges, Shaun Tan, Roxane Gay, George Saunders, Arthur C. Clarke, Shakespeare, and Maggie Nelson. There will be a final exam and a critical paper, as well as the personal essay, in two drafts.

Call Number: 00704

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Wendy C. Schor-Haim

Why are stepmothers and stepdaughters inevitable enemies in folk and fairy tales? Why are fathers blameless and biological mothers absent (and usually dead)? And how do these narratives, so deeply woven into our own media and language, affect our sense of our own lived reality? In this course, we’ll untangle the complicated web of relationships between mothers, daughters, and stepmothers in folk and fairy tales, from ancient Rome to current cinema. We’ll read analytic psychology, feminist literary theory, cultural history, and other critical perspectives to help us analyze the absent mother, virginal daughter, hapless father, and evil stepmother tropes across time and space, so we can defamiliarize these familiar figures and develop a deeper understanding of how and why they dominate the popular imagination. This is an upper-level course, with priority for juniors and seniors.

Call Number: 00705

Day, Time & Location: M 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Margaret Ellsberg

This upper-level research-oriented seminar will engage with literary expressions of the universally interesting topic of marriage. Tony Tanner in his famous Adultery in the Novel characterizes marriage as “the structure which supports all structure.” Contemporary critics have seen marriage as essential to maintaining the “family values” of the bourgeoisie; feminists and Marxists have challenged the economic assumptions of patriarchally-defined marriage. Folklorists have treated marriage as the endpoint of the search for a safe domestic space.

Starting in ancient times with classic fairy tales and the Hebrew Bible, moving on to a famous medieval poem, a medieval memoir, and three nineteenth-century novels, we will encounter cultural expressions which address intimate partnerships with an emphasis on marriage as a defining condition.

Call Number: 12344

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Lauren Robertson

Concentrating on the drama of early modern England, this course will focus on women who behave badly. Some of these characters cheat, lie, and murder, while others perfect the guise of seeming compliance; some brazenly flout the structures that aim to contain them, while others are subtler in their subversion. We will use these plays to investigate what is by turns exciting, threatening, and frightening about these unruly women, paying attention to the ways that they are punished and sometimes rewarded. We will also attend to the resources of theatrical form, especially the early modern use of boy actors to play women’s parts, to ask how the conditions of staging uphold or undercut the plays’ ideological messages. Finally, we will supplement our reading of this drama with other historical and cultural texts from this period—pamphlets, advice literature, poems, court cases, and ballads—in order to get a better sense of the plays in relation to early modern gender, sexual, and political norms, many of which were crucially different from our own.

Call Number: 12349

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Vesna Kuiken

This course explores how American women writers who suffered from depression, disability, bodily pain, or social marginalization, used the environment and its literary representations to redefine the categories of gender, ability, and personhood. Prior to their inclusion into the public sphere through the US Constitution’s 19th Amendment which in 1920 granted women the right to vote, American artists had to be particularly resourceful in devising apt strategies to counter the political and aesthetic demands that had historically dispossessed them of the voice, power, and body. This course focuses on the women writers who conceptualized their own surroundings (home, house, marriage, country, land, island and the natural world) as an agent that actively and decisively participates in the construction and dissolution of personal identity. In doing so, they attempted to annul the separation of the public (politics) and the private (home) as respective male and female spheres, and in this way they contributed, ahead of their own time, to the suffragist debates. Our task in this course will be to go beyond the traditional critical dismissal of these emancipatory strategies as eccentric or “merely aesthetic” and therefore inconsequential. Instead, we will take seriously Rowlandson’s frontier diet, Fuller’s peculiar cure for her migraines, Wheatley’s oblique references to the Middle Passage, Jewett’s islands, Ša’s time-travel, Thaxter’s oceans, Hurston’s hurricanes, and Sansay’s scathing portrayal of political revolutions. We will read these portrayals as aesthetic decisions that had—and continue to have—profound political consequences: by externalizing and depersonalizing what is commonly understood to be internal and intimate, the authors we read collapse the distinction between inside and outside, between the private and public—the distinction that traditionally excluded women from participation in the public life, in policy- and decision-making.

Call Number: 00662

Day, Time & Location: F 10:00AM-1:45PM at To be announced

Instructor: Duygu Ula

In this class, we will focus on recurring themes and questions of contemporary queer cinema by engaging with a number of film genres and forms, and explore how filmmakers create queer visions of the world through their cinematic practices. We will also consider how these queer films are informed by various local, national, cultural and political contexts. Through a comparative, transnational and intersectional approach that takes into consideration the particularities of each filmmaker’s context, we will aim to answer the following questions: How do various cultural, national, linguistic, religious contexts affect the way queer identities are defined and depicted visually? How do these filmmakers create queer narratives that contest, complicate or reify dominant narratives of gender and sexuality? How do they play around with cinematic and genre conventions?

Films, directors and genres studied are subject to change but will likely include directors such as Celine Sciamma, Cheryl Dunye, Pedro Almodovar, Todd Haynes, among others; and various genres such as drama, romance, thriller, mockumentary, thriller and experimental film. 

Call Number: 00663

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: To be announced

Traditional film history has consigned a multitude of cinema practices to an inferior position. By accepting Hollywood’s narrative model as central, film scholars have often relegated non-male, non-white, non-Western films to a secondary role. Often described as “marginal” or “peripheral” cinemas, the outcomes of these film practices have been systematically excluded from the canon. Yet… are these motion pictures really “secondary”? In relation to what? And according to whom? This course looks at major films by women filmmakers of the 20th Century within a tradition of political cinema that 1) directly confronts the hegemonic masculinity of the Hollywood film industry, and 2) relocates the so-called “alternative women’s cinema” at the core of film history. Unlike conventional feminist film courses, which tend to be contemporary and anglocentric, this class adopts a historical and worldwide perspective; rather than focusing on female directors working in America today, we trace the origins of women’s cinema in different cities of the world (Berlin, Paris, New York) during the silent period, and, from there, we move forward to study major works by international radical directors such as Lorenza Mazzetti, Agnès Varda, Forough Farrokhzad, Věra Chytilová, Chantal Akerman, Lina Wertmüller, Barbara Loden, Julie Dash, and Mira Nair. We analyse how these filmmakers have explored womanhood not only as a source of oppresion (critique of patriarchal phallocentrism, challenge to heteronormativity, etc) but, most importantly, as a source of empowerment (defense of matriarchy, equal rights, lesbian love, inter- and transexuality...). Required readings include seminal texts of feminist film theory by Claire Johnston, Laura Mulvey, Ann Kaplan, bell hooks, and Judith Butler. Among the films screened in the classroom are silent movies –Suspense (Lois Weber, 1913), The Seashell and the Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928)—, early independent and experimental cinema –Girls in Uniform (Leontine Sagan, 1931), Ritual in Transfigured Time (Maya Deren, 1946)—, “new wave” films of the 1950s and 1960s –Cléo from 5 to 7 (Varda, 1962), Daisies (Chytilová, 1966)–, auteur cinema of the 1970s –Seven Beauties (Wertmüller, 1974), Jeanne Dielman (Akerman, 1975)–, and documentary films – Ellis Island (Monk, 1982) andParis Is Burning (Livingston, 1990).

Call Number: 00092

Day, Time & Location: M W 1:10PM-2:25PM at To be announced

Instructor: Hadley Suter 

This course will group together the women who shaped and epitomized Left Bank culture in Paris from the Belle Époque to the mid-twentieth century; it will also situate these women in relation to their male peers whose works went on to establish the canons of Symbolism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and Existentialism. We will focus primarily on the realms of literature, philosophy, and art, but we will also examine how some of these women advanced cultural production more broadly—by starting publishing presses, opening bookshops, holding salons, etc. Readings will be primarily in French (Colette, Anna de Noailles, Renée Vivien, Simone de Beauvoir; Breton, Valéry, Aragon, Sartre) but will also include some English-language authors (Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Anaïs Nin). All discussions, coursework, and examinations will be in French.

Call Number: 13608

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Hazel Rhodes

This course explores the modern historical development of sexuality and gender through a close engagement with German cinema of the 20th and early 21st centuries. We will trace two forces closely associated with “modernity”: the art and technology of cinema as an international medium and sexuality as a socially significant aspect of individual personhood, collective politics and public concern. We will consider both film and sexuality as intertwined vectors of social and cultural change, as well as aesthetic and artistic practice, and we will apply our film-analytical framework to develop a better understanding of German culture over the last century. Our course will draw from feminist and queer film studies, cultural studies, critical theory, and histories of gender and sexuality to build our methodology. Through our shared film viewings and class discussions, we will exercise practical forms of critical understanding and communication about modern German cinema and culture.

Call Number: 00241

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 11:40AM-12:55PM at To be announced

Instructor: Nara Milanich

Examines the gendered roles of women and men in Latin American society from the colonial period to the present. Explores a number of themes, including the intersection of social class, race, ethnicity, and gender; the nature of patriarchy; masculinity; gender and the state; and the gendered nature of political mobilization.

Call Number: 14144

Day, Time & Location: W 9:00AM-10:50AM at To be announced

Instructor: Jeri Powell

This course explores how public policy can support the development of women leaders. In recent years, efforts to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions on corporate boards, in C-suites and in government, have reflected a call for gender equity in the spaces controlling levers of power.

Call Number: 10272

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructors: Eugenia McGill

In this course, we approach gender, politics and development in terms of theory, policy and practice.  We explore multiple constructions of gender in development discourse; the intersection of gender with other social categories and with dominant economic and political trends; and the ways in which gender norms inform the different approaches of governments, development agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector.  We apply a critical gender lens to a wide range of development sectors and issue areas, including economic development, political participation, education and health, environment and climate change, and conflict and displacement.  We also consider current debates and approaches related to gender mainstreaming and gender metrics in development practice.  Students engage with the course material through class discussion, exercises and case studies, and the development of a gender-related project proposal. 

Call Number: 12286

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10PM-6:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Giulia Ricca

 Future brides in novels present the common trait of insipidity. Amelia Sedley is said to be "insipid" multiple times in Vanity Fair; in Anna Karenina, Kitty is initially indistinguishable from her sisters; May in The Mill on the Floss is unremarkable; Pansy in Portrait of a Lady is "a blank page"; May in The Age of Innocence is "so lacking in imagination, so incapable of growth"… Counter-examples verify this rule: Natasha in War and Peace fulfills her destiny despite, not because of the extreme vividness of her soul: she can finally find peace when she gives up her beauty and her personality to become a full-time mother and a devoted wife. Unordinary female protagonists impede the traditional novel’s happy ending. Too complex and spirited figures such as Anna Karenina, or Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair, are denied a destiny. Insipidity, if not a feature since the beginning of the story, is the final achievement of the perfect woman of the novel.

Female insipidity is nonetheless enigmatic, and often goes along with great ideological and formal complexity. We will delve into this aspect by taking Lucia Mondella, the protagonist of Italy’s great historical novel The Betrothed, as a point of reference for a comparison with other 2 famous maidens: Sophy Western, Pamela Andrews, Amelia Sedley, Elizabeth Bennet… We will read Alessandro Manzoni’s masterpiece which, in its magnificent prose, tells a story made of impeded love, escapes, abductions, famine, plague, murderous nuns and pious peasants in 1628 Italy. Our reading will be focused on themes such as the female protagonist’s use of speech, her wisdom, her devotion, her virtue, standards of beauty. We will compare Manzoni’s invention with models from the early English novel (in particular Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela) and from the novel contemporary to him (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Brontë’s Jane Eyre). Readings include classical and medieval sources as well (in particular some novellas from Boccaccio’s Decameron), and the libertine literature that constituted Manzoni’s contemporary cultural background. In addition to the readings, the syllabus takes into account two movies: Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones, an adaptation of Fielding’s novel, the most important model to The Betrothed, and Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. The course will end with a look at some Anglo-American novels that continued to question the tradition of the insipid woman.

There are no prerequisites for this course. Students are welcome to read sources in the original language if they wish to do so; however, no knowledge of Italian is required.

Call Number: 10079

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:20PM-6:10PM at To be announced

Instructor: Katherine Franke

Course Description: to be announced

Call Number: 00366

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10PM-4:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Katherine L. Krimmel

In this course, we will examine how notions of sex and gender have shaped public policies, and how public policies have affected the social, economic, and political citizenship of men and women in the United States over time.

Note: Enrollment by department application only.

Call Number: 00207

Day, Time & Location: Th 12:10PM-2:00PM at To be announced

Instructor: Gillian Gualtieri

This course considers how gender shapes the action within different organizations, reflecting and reproducing broader social systems of inequality, identity, violence, and power in the United States. We will address current issues centered on the gendered nature of institutions and organizations, including the work/family debate, bodies at work, sexual harassment, service work, sex work, and sexual violence to illuminate the mechanisms by which systems of gender inequality shape the meanings and practices of individuals and groups within and across organizations and institutions.