Current Courses

Fall 2023


Call Number: 00731

Day, Time & Location: T Th 4:10pm-5:25pm at 405 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Janet Jakobsen

COURSE DESCRIPTION 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.   

LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students will learn what difference humanistic studies make to understanding environmental issues and climate crisis. The course will prepare students to:

  • Identify humanistic methods and how they contribute to understanding the world;
  • Demonstrate critical approaches to reading and representing environments;
  • Engage ethical questions related to the environment; and
  • Apply concepts from the course to synthesize the student’s use of humanistic approaches to address urgent environmental questions.

Call Number: 00730

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 12:40pm-1:50pm at 405 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Marisa Solomon

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: 00729

Day, Time & Location: M W 4:10pm-5:25pm at 405 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: TBA

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: 11622

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

Instructor: Jack Halberstam

Call Number: 00728

Day, Time & Location: T 6:00pm-8:00pm at LL016 MLC

Instructor: Laura Kay

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 18 students. History and politics of womens involvement with science. Womens contributions to scientific discovery in various fields, accounts by women scientists, engineers, and physicians, issues of science education. Feminist critiques of biological research and of the institution of science.

Call Number: 00727

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

Instructor: Marisa Solomon

This course explores the formation of desire, sexuality, and subjectivity through the frameworks of feminist epistemologies (the question of what we can know) and feminist ethics (the question of how to be responsible within our relationships and local and global communities). We will reflect on the tension between the limits of what we can know about ourselves and others and the imperative to care for each other and remain accountable for our individual and collective actions and inaction. We will investigate how our deepest emotions, intimate encounters, and secret fantasies are formed by larger social and political contexts. In turn, we will also question how these intimate relationships with ourselves and our companions may be seen as feminist acts of resistance, disruption, and creation. Objective I: to closely engage diverse feminist perspectives in late-twentieth- and twenty-firstcentury phenomenology, existentialism, Marxism, queer theory, critical race theory, and psychoanalysis. Objective II: to begin to locate your own feminist perspective within the intersection of your unique experiences and the larger historical and social contexts that form you and which you may seek to transform.

Call Number: 11603

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10pm-6:00pm, 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Lila Abu-Lughod

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: 00726

Day, Time & Location: T 10:10am-12:00pm at 308 Diana

Instructor: Manijeh Moradian

Student-designed capstone research projects offer practical lessons about how knowledge is produced, the relationship between knowledge and power, and the application of interdisciplinary feminist methodologies.

Call Number: 00759

Day, Time & Location: W 6:00pm-8:00pm at To be announced

Instructor: TBA

The integration of contemporary media and social practices of all types is intensifying. This seminar examines media theory and various media platforms including Language, Photography, Film, Television, Radio, Digital Video, and Computing as treated by feminists, critical race and queer theorists, and other scholars and artists working from the margins. Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor.

Call Number: 11644

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

Instructor: Marianne Hirsch

Prerequisites: Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates, though priority will be given to students completing the ISSG graduate certificate. 

Fall 2023 Subtopic: Vision and Difference

Even before Laura Mulvey’s classic feminist essay on the “male gaze,” feminist artists and filmmakers, as well as theorists of visuality, have analyzed, critiqued and contested the association of vision with power and knowledge. Creatively reframing the gaze and subverting conventions of visual representation, they have reimagined the relationship of media technologies to embodied and social difference, and to social constructions of gender, race, class and sexuality. This course will study these theories and practices by looking at late 20th and early 21st century painting, film, television, photography, performance, activism and social media in transnational perspective. 

Please note that this course is built around exhibitions and events occurring this fall. Do plan to attend as many of these as possible.

Call Number: 00725

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

Instructor: Neferti Tadiar

This advanced seminar examines important approaches, issues, perspectives, and themes related to planetary concerns of environmental crisis, climate change, life sustainability, and multi-species flourishing, with a focus on feminist, postcolonial, anti-racist, and queer perspectives. Topics for discussion and study include the global pandemic,  histories of colonialism, slavery, and capitalism, Prereqs: BOTH 1 WMST Intro course PLUS any WGSS 'Foundation' course, OR instructor permission.


Call Number: 00277

Day, Time & Location: TR 2:40pm-3:55pm, 304 Barnard Hall

Instructor: Anne Higonnet

Human beings create second, social, skins for themselves. Across history and around the world, everyone designs interfaces between their bodies and the world around them. From pre-historic ornaments to global industry, clothing has been a crucial feature of people’s survival, desires, and identity. This course studies theories of clothing from the perspectives of art history, anthropology, psychology, economics, sociology, design, and sustainability. Issues to be studied include gender roles, craft traditions, global textile trade, royal sumptuary law, the history of European fashion, dissident or disruptive styles, blockbuster museum costume exhibitions, and the environmental consequences of what we wear today. Required 1 hour a week TA led section to be arranged.

Call Number: 10028

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

Instructor: Hilary Hallett

This seminar explores the history of American gender through the history of the American film industry from the first features in the 1910s through the crumbling of the Hollywood Studio System and Production Code in 1968. The industry’s movies and stars offer important sites to examine transformations associated with the development of modern sex roles and racial attitudes over the half-century comprising Hollywood’s Studio Era. During this period, much of the controversy sparked by the industry stemmed from its depictions of new ideals of womanhood, manhood, and sexuality. Moreover, in this era, Hollywood targeted specific audiences and movies were not afforded the protection of free speech. This made films and movie stars peculiarly reflective of, and vulnerable to, broader societal fantasies and fears about changes involving gender roles, sexuality, and racial attitudes. We will use motion pictures and movie stars as primary sources and consider how the changing institutional history of film production connected to the images it sold. Students will write one short paper and a paper proposal in preparation for a short research-based essay on a topic relating to how some aspect of film history reflected a particular problem in gender history. 

Call Number: 11135

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

Instructor: Eliza Zingesser and Camille A. Robcis

In this class, we are interested in how gender and sexuality have been constructed in the past and present. The class will be divided into four units, for which our guiding questions are as follows: 1. How should one teach and write about the history of sexuality? In a time when queer people remain under threat in much of the world, including this country, is it better to look for readily identifiable queer forebears in past periods? Or should we, on the contrary, seek to avoid any kind of anachronism in looking for queerness in the past, hewing strictly to the non-normative or deviant categories labeled explicitly by past thinkers? Is there a third way? 2. How have gender and sex been constructed in the past (as a binary, a spectrum, or something else?). Are they a function of sexual ‘orientation’ (if one can even speak of such a thing before the 19th C) or the other way around? How have they been constructed recently? 3. How do social and political factors condition our sexual desires? Should the bedroom be a battleground for a political agenda, as some anti-porn feminists (and others) claim, or should we decide that sexual desires are outside the bounds of morality and/or politics? Can we interrogate the conditions surrounding our sexual desires without imposing moral norms around them? 4. What are some of the recent debates in queer theory? How do issues of race and disability intersect with gender, sex, and sexual orientation? How has the category of ‘trans’ involved a rethinking of sex and gender? Has queer theory strayed too far from sexuality?

Call Number: 10930

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

Instructor: Karen R. Van Dyck

Moving between different languages and alphabets is a constitutive aspect of the diasporic experience. To remember or forget the mother tongue, to mix up two or more languages, to transcribe one writing system onto another are all modes of negotiating geographical displacement. This course introduces students to literature about and by Greeks of the diaspora in Europe, the Balkans and America over the past two centuries exploring questions of migration, translation and gender with particular attention to the look and sound of different alphabets and foreign accents – “It’s all Greek to me!” Authors include Benjamin, Broumas, Chaplin, Chow, Conan Doyle, Kafka, Kazan, Morrison, Papadiamantis, Queen, Valtinos and Venuti. 

Call Number: 11170

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 4:10PM-5:25PM 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: 11930

Day, Time & Location: W 6:10pm-8:00 pm

Instructor: Sharon Marcus

Victorian England remains known for its rigid definitions of femininity, but it also produced a remarkable number of “odd women”: female outlaws, eccentrics, and activists including spinsters, feminists, working women, women who desired other women, and people assigned female at birth who lived as men. This undergraduate seminar will explore the pains and pleasures of gender non-conformity through the lens of nineteenth-century literary works, historical documents, and foundational theories of gender and sexuality. Readings will include the diaries of Anne Lister, a wealthy Yorkshire lesbian libertine; a slander trial involving accusations of lesbianism at a Scottish all-girls school; the diaries of Hannah Munby, a London servant whose upper-class lover fetishized her physical strength; the autobiography of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who traveled the world; and fiction, including Charlotte Bronte’s novel *Villette; *Margaret Oliphant’s novel *Miss Marjoribanks; *Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market”; and Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire tale “Carmilla.” Application instructions: E-mail Professor Marcus ([email protected]) with your name, school, major, year of study, and a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.

Call Number: 11917

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

Instructor: Jack Halberstam

Recent scholarship in queer theory speaks of “bad education” and “ugly feelings,” “beautiful experiments” and “poor queer studies.” In this survey of mostly recent queer theoretical work we will read a range of texts that debate the use, the abuse and the uselessness of queer theory in an era of anti-intellectual policies aimed at both critical race theory and gender and sexuality studies. While Lee Edelman, in Bad Education, insists that queer theory has nothing to teach us, Paul Preciado in Dysphoria Mundi proposes that the whole world is ailing from a shared dysphoria. Meanwhile, at the intersections of Afro-Pessimism and queer theory, Calvin Warren proposes that to speak of Black trans identities is impossible given the negative ontologies that pertain to Black personhood. Working through oppositions between optimism and pessimism, utopia and dystopia, good and bad feelings, beauty and ugliness, we will ask: What constitutes the ethical in queer theory and how does queer theory approach the good, the bad and the beautiful? At stake here are questions about aesthetic experimentation and politics and unpredictable links between beauty and power, alternative subjects and domination, and bodies and language.

(Note: Graduate students only. Email to Professor Halberstam required for admission.)

Call Number: 10416

Day, Time & Location: M W 10:10am-11:25am at TBA

Instructor: Samuel 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: 10392

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

Instructor: George Chauncey

This course explores the social, cultural, and political history of lesbians, gay men, and other socially constituted sexual and gender minorities, primarily in the twentieth century. Since the production and regulation of queer life has always been intimately linked to the production and policing of “normal” sexuality and gender, we will also pay attention to the shifting boundaries of normative sexuality, especially heterosexuality, as well as other developments in American history that shaped gay life, such as the Second World War, Cold War, urbanization, and the minority rights revolution. Themes include the emergence of homosexuality and heterosexuality as categories of experience and identity; the changing relationship between homosexuality and transgenderism; the development of diverse lesbian and gay subcultures and their representation in popular culture; the sources of antigay hostility; religion and sexual science; generational change and everyday life; AIDS; and gay, antigay, feminist, and queer movements.

Call Number: 10394

Day, Time & Location: Tu 12:10PM-2:00PM at TBA

Instructor: George Chauncey

The city has classically been represented as the site of sexual freedom, but also of sexual immorality and danger. This course explores the interrelated histories of sexuality and the city in the twentieth-century United States (especially New York) by exploring how urban conditions and processes shaped sexual practices, identities, communities, and ethics, and how sexual matters shaped urban processes, politics, and representation.

Call Number: 00186

Day, Time & Location: T 12:10PM-2:00PM at 308 Diana Center

Instructor: Lisa Tiersten

The development of the modern culture of consumption, with particular attention to the formation of the woman consumer. Topics include commerce and the urban landscape, changing attitudes toward shopping and spending, feminine fashion and conspicuous consumption, and the birth of advertising. Examination of novels, fashion magazines, and advertising images.

Call Number: 15337

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10am-12:00pm at TBD

Instructor: Aleksa Zivkovic

Looking at material that speaks to historic encounters and legacies of European imperialisms, this course explores how visual practices manage natural relationships across colonial and postcolonial conditions (c.1800-present). Studying art and other visual material “ecologically” reveals interconnections of people, plants, living beings, and inorganic entities within their specific contexts. Each unit will expose students to contemporaneous thinking about ecology, empire, and the construction of the human across texts, artists, and key objects. We will study a wide range of visual material, including maps, decorative objects, surrealist films, 1970s performances, contemporary Caribbean art, and other artworks that emerge out of imperial entanglements between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Part one of the course explores how 18th-century landscape imagery supported European imperial conquest around the globe and inspired indigenous resistance. Part two examines how 19th-century evolutionary theory and global botanical trade produced new ideas of hybridity in fin-de-siècle Europe. Lastly, part three examines how modern and contemporary art (20th century to present) has turned towards “elemental media” in a radical reframing of art’s human bias.

Call Number: 00189

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10pm-6:00pm at 308 Diana Center

Instructor: Premilla Nadasen

This Barnard Engages course will partner with the Damayan Migrant Workers Association, a worker-run Filipino organization based in New York City. Damayan has been at the forefront of building power among low-wage workers and assisting labor trafficking survivors. Founded over twenty years ago, it has fought for legal status for trafficked workers, built alliances with other domestic worker rights groups, and developed an integrated analysis of neocolonialism, racial and gender exploitation, and worker self advocacy. Through this work, students will develop an understanding of the history of Filipino immigration, labor trafficking, labor rights, gender inequality, anti-imperialism, and grassroots and worker organizing and resistance. The class will collectively produce a timeline of Damayan’s organizing over the past twenty years. We will draw on their organizational archives, published video and written sources, and interviews with members. At the end of the semester, we will hold a joint public launch of our final project. The work for this course will be collaborative. Students will work in teams to produce the timeline and organize the launch event. In addition to the scheduled class times, students are expected to meet outside of class to discuss their ongoing tasks, research, and the overall project.  This class is part of an ongoing partnership between Damayan and Barnard College. In a previous semester Barnard College students helped produce a report of Damayan’s organizing during the pandemic. Because this is a community-directed project, we will be working closely with Damayan. Their needs and goals may shift during the semester so students should be prepared for changes to the syllabus and end product. Many of our class meetings will take place in lower Manhattan. Students should arrange their schedules accordingly.  

Call Number: 14161

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

Instructor: Samuel Roberts

Through a series of thematically-arranged secondary and primary source readings and research writing assignments, students in this seminar course will explore the public health, medical, political, and social histories of HIV and AIDS in Black American communities. The course’s chronological focus begins roughly two decades before the first recognition of the syndrome to the first decade of the twenty-first century. Thematically, the course will address several issues, including syndemic theory; stigma, homophobia and political marginalization; late capitalism and public health; the health effects of segregation; and mass incarceration. 

Please note that admission to this course is by application ( Please note that students enrolling in this course must do so for a grade, and not on a pass/fail or audit basis.

Call Number: 12534

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

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: 00171

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10pm-6:00pm at 502 Diana Center

Instructor: Elizabeth Bernstein

This seminar examines the ways in which the body is discursively constituted, and itself serves as the substratum for social life. Key questions include: How are distinctions made between normal and pathological bodies, and between the psychic and somatic realms? How do historical forces shape bodily experience? How do bodies that are racialized, gendered, and classed offer resistance to social categorization?

Call Number: 13622

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10am-12:00pm at 501D Knox Hall

Instructor: Tey Meadows

This course surveys the relationship between sociology as a discipline and the body of thought, action and critique that coheres under the term queer theory. Many people understand these two projects to be constitutionally at odds. Sociology as a discipline concerns itself with the empirical study of, as Norbert Elias wrote, “the problem of human societies.” How we do this is distinct. Sociologists have a defined set of technical skills that make use of social categories and classifications. We organize individuals by behavior and identity, document diverse cultural milieus, and even attempt to quantify the demographic details of sexual identities, practices and communities. Queer theory, on the other hand, emerged as a field of academic thought in the early 1990’s, at the apex of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The urgency of the political moment demanded new analytical tools for thinking about gender, sexuality, medicine and bodies. Queer theorists took to task the restrictive categories of gender and sexual life that relegated gay men and lesbians to sociological studies of “deviant” people and practices, in favor of rich and pointed critiques of the organization of culture, institutions and politics that renders some people and practices deviant in the first place. Queer theorists document their suspicion of methods, of categories, and of knowledge practices themselves. Social science is often the target of such critiques.   So, is there actually a way to do something we might call queer sociology? Or is it, fundamentally, an oxymoron? As what we think of as data becomes “bigger” and ever more categorically precise, what use has sociology for queer theory? How can a body of thought that operates from an anti-categorical impulse inform empirical work that seeks, at least in some part, to identify and observe particular types of people and particular forms of social life? In this course, we will read a set of foundational texts in the queer theoretical tradition alongside sociology that makes use of queer phenomena, frameworks and world-making projects. Expect to cover topics like ephemera, ghosts, messy affect, political lesbianism, perversion and a variety of other things you don’t typically see on a sociology syllabus. Each week, we will survey a select set of orienting ideas from queer theory–the heterosexual matrix, heteronormativity, antidisciplinarity, and homonormativity–and examine the ways in which sociologists of sexuality aim to empiricize them. Each week’s readings will include a theoretical piece that outlines a perspective on culture, and a piece of social science that makes use of that same idea. We will learn the concepts that structure queer thought, along with the techniques that structure social science, in an effort to understand the differing ways people observe the world, understand it, and write about it. We will read these with an eye towards making connections between these odd bedfellows, and forging an approach to “queer methods” that will inform students’ own sociological imaginations.

Call Number: 10321

Day, Time & Location: T 10:10am-12:00pm at 501D Knox Hall

Instructor: Tey Meadow

Despite the ubiquity of sexual imagery in contemporary Western popular culture, most people regard sexuality to be an intimate topic that concerns the drives, experiences and pleasures of individuals. In this course, we will examine the social and pluralistic character of sexual desires, meanings, practices and politics. We will begin with some of conceptual foundations that ground contemporary sociological studies of sexuality. We will think together about how knowledge about the social sources of sexuality is produced and some of the methodological, epistemological and ethical quandaries faced by researchers--including the ways our own sexualities, desires, inhibitions and identities frame our work. We will then examine some of the key questions in the sociology of sexualities, including the complexity of classifying sexual identities, practices and populations, the relationship between institutional contexts and sexual behavior, and intersections with the sociology of race, gender, risk, health and regulation. In each of these discussions, students will explore the varied methodological approaches to these topics within sociology, as well as some of the disciplinary and cultural challenges to making sexuality a central object of intellectual inquiry.


Call Number: 10305

Day, Time & Location: T 11:00am-1:00pm at 300 Buell Hall

Instructor: Mary C. McLeod

Description: TBA

Call Number: 12656

Day, Time & Location: F 10:10am-12:00pm at TBA

Instructor: Gila Ashtor

It is practically impossible to imagine queer theory without psychoanalysis. Not only does Queer Theory depend on psychoanalysis for conceptualizing sex and sexuality, but even related terms such as desire, relationality, and the body, require rich and substantial psychological elaboration. And yet, in spite of its centrality, there is an abiding resistance to psychoanalysis on the grounds that it focuses too much on the individual, and on the individual mind, and in so doing, fails to grasp the structural dimension of sex, sexuality and identity. If Freud epitomizes the psychological view, and Foucault represents the constructed view, then we could think of Queer Theory as perennially torn between these competing and irreconcilable positions. With all of the theoretical baggage the concept of the individual entails, would it be better for Queer Theory to leave psychoanalysis behind, or are there ways to rethink individuality along more radical lines? Is the individual subject really an obstacle to radical theory or its prerequisite? How do we think about the relationship between Queer Theory and psychoanalysis? While there are extreme positions on either side of this debate, how can we craft a third way that acknowledges the importance of subjectivity while also recognizing the limitations of traditional psychoanalysis? This course introduces the complicated relationship between Queer Theory and psychoanalysis by familiarizing students with the clinical concepts at the core of contemporary 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 contemporary psychoanalysts, Benvenuto, Gonzalez, Corbett, Laplanche and Gherovici, we will redefine queer formulations by transforming their clinical meaning. In addition to offering a comprehensive outline of how psychoanalysis and Queer 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: 10951

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

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: 12507

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

Instructor: Tomi Suzuki

Japan has a long tradition of highly sophisticated vernacular literature (poetry, prose fiction, essays and poetic memoirs) by aristocratic court women, particularly from the tenth- and eleventh-century, including The Tale of Genji, often considered the world’s first psychological novel. Writings by women in the early period had a deep impact on subsequent cultural production, and these vernacular writings (as well as the figure of these early women writers) acquired a new, contested significance from the end of the nineteenth century as part of the process of modern nation-building. Gender became a major organizing category in constructing discourse on literature, literary language, and literary modernity, particularly with regard to the novel. This seminar engages in close readings and discussion of selected works from the eleventh-century to twentieth-century Japan with particular attention to the genealogy of women’s writings and changing representations of women, gender, and social relations. Issues include: genre, media, intertextuality, and literary communities; body and sexuality; and in the modern period, the “woman question” and global feminisms as well as authorship and authority. All readings are in English. Original texts will be provided for those who can read in the original.   

Call Number: 00496

Day, Time & Location: T Th 2:40pm-3:55pm at 302 Barnard Hall

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: 11913

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

Instructor: Nicholas Dames

A study of the work of three writers most often credited with developing the narrative techniques of the modern Anglo-American novel, who also produced some of their culture’s most influential stories of female autonomy. What do the choices of young women in the nineteenth century— their ability to exercise freedoms, the forces that balk or frustrate those freedoms, even their choices to relinquish them— have to do with the ways that novels are shaped, with the technical devices and edicts (free indirect discourse, ‘show don’t tell,’ etc.) that become dominant in the novel’s form? One or two texts by each author read carefully, with attention to relevant critical discussions of recent decades.

Application required.

Call Number: 00439

Day, Time & Location: F 9:30am-1:15pm at 405 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Jason R. Lariviere

Prerequisites: Open to first-year students.

We derive much of our information about the world from visual media. Social networks, television, cinema: all shape our aesthetic sensibilities and our political visions. Yet we often lack a basic understanding of what could be called “visual literacy.” This introductory course gives students the critical tools to analyze how film and other visual media really work – in order to appreciate their artistic and social achievements, as well as to guard against their insidious manipulative devices.

In the first part of the semester, we focus on film analysis through a detailed study of the different production phases of filmmaking – from screenwriting and mise-en-scène to editing and film scoring. We pay special attention to the way in which certain stylistic and narrative choices have particular ideological effects. The second part of the course looks at film history through a comprehensive, chronological overview of its main movements and periods, including the coming of sound in Hollywood cinema, post-war Italian Neorealism, the emergence of world auteurs, New Waves of the 1960s and 1970s, etc. Students will use the hermeneutical tools learnt in film analysis to intellectually engage with some masterworks of film history. In the third and final part of the semester, we study the major debates of film theory from perspectives such as auteurism, formalism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, postcolonial and queer studies, etc.   

Required screenings include Nanook of the North (Flaherty, 1922), Sunrise (Murnau, 1927), Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929), Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942), Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948), Rashomon (Kurosawa, 1950), Breathless (Godard, 1960), Belle de Jour (Buñuel, 1967), The Hour of the Furnaces (Solanas, 1968), Seven Beauties (Wertmüller, 1974), Blue Velvet (Lynch, 1986), Paris Is Burning (Livingstone, 1990), and Children of Men (Cuarón, 2006).

Call Number: 00223

Day, Time & Location: T Th 11:40AM-12:55PM at 302 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

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: 10431

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

Instructor: Susan Pedersen

The second half of the 19th century saw a sharp debate in Britain over the terms and conditions of marriage and indeed of gender relations more generally.  This course will explore that debate, tracing its effects in law, politics, and personal life.  Topics include:  conflicts over legal and political rights (including suffrage); love, sex, and sociability; domestic violence, child custody, and the contest over male authority; the “problem” of prostitution; and utopian efforts to reimagine gender relations.  Students will read literary and polemical works by John Stuart Mill, Anthony Trollope, Mona Caird, Bernard Shaw, Frances Power Cobbe, Cicely Hamilton and others, will evaluate historians’ arguments, and will develop their own research project.

Call Number: 00016

Day, Time & Location: Tu 12:10pm-2:00pm at MLC 111

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: 12684

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

Instructor: Paisley Currah

Debates over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have never been more visible in the international arena. Advocates are beginning to have some success in putting sexual orientation and gender identity on the agenda for inclusion in human rights instruments. But in many local and regional contexts, state-sanctioned homophobia is on the rise, from the official anti-gay stance of Russia featured during the Sochi Winter Games to the passage of Mississippi’s anti-gay bill and Uganda’s anti-homosexuality act. This course examines these trends in relation to strategies pursued by grassroots activists and NGOs and the legal issues they raise, including marriage and family rights, discrimination, violence, torture, sex classification, and asylum. We will also focus on current debates about the relation between sexual rights and gender justice, tensions between universalisty constructions of gay/trans identity and local formations of sexual and gender non-conformity, and legacies of colonialism.

Call Number: 10535

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

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: 00242

Day, Time & Location: T Th 11:40am-12:55pm at 324 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Alyssa Battistoni

Feminism is often recognized as a political movement. But is there a feminist way of thinking about politics? In this course, we’ll investigate the core premises, provocations, proposals, and tensions of feminism as they relate to specifically political problems, focusing particularly on feminist political thought as it developed in the twentieth century. Who is the subject of feminist politics? What is the meaning of “difference,” and how can—or should—feminists seek to organize across it? What are appropriate topics for politics, and what should remain private? Is the family a space for politics? The household? The body? How much of the personal can, and should, be made political? Are there feminist ways of doing politics? We will consider these questions with reference to texts from both feminist activists and feminist scholars.

Call Number: 00258

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at LL002

Instructor: Paula A. Franzese

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent. Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC3326. Enrollment limited to 25 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus. Explores seminal caselaw to inform contemporary civil rights and civil liberties jurisprudence and policy. Specifically, the readings examine historical and contemporary first amendment values, including freedom of speech and the press, economic liberties, takings law, discrimination based on race, gender, class and sexual preference, affirmative action, the right to privacy, reproductive freedom, the right to die, criminal procedure and adjudication, the rights of the criminally accused post-9/11 and the death penalty. (Cross-listed by the American Studies and Human Rights Programs.)

Call Number: 12805

Day, Time & Location: T Th 1:10pm-2:25pm at TBA

Instructor: João Nemi Neto

This course investigates representations of gender and sexuality in the Portuguese-speaking world in a variety of media, such as cinema, comics, and music through a queer perspective aligned with understandings of language and representation. Taking the term “Lusofonia”—a concept coined to designate a sense of cultural coherence shared among Portuguese-speaking countries worldwide—as point of departure, we will investigate how one deals with questions of gender identity and sexual orientation in the Lusophone world. This course aims at understanding how language shapes our perceptions of gender   identities and sexual orientations. Also, this course intends to develop the idea of Mapping Queerness using technology for mapping language in regards to sexual identities representations. The idea of inclusive language permeates the discussions proposed in this course. However, it is intended to observe points of exclusion in our daily communications as well. Therefore, this course aims at discussing these complex issues in regards to gender and sexual identity in Brazil and in other Lusophone countries taking into consideration cultural productions such as cinema and music.

Call Number: 00164

Day, Time & Location: T Th 11:40am-12:55pm at Milbank Hall (Barnard) 307

Instructor: Andrew S. Anastasi

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.  

Call Number: 00165

Day, Time & Location: M W 8:40am-9:55am at 328 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Gillian Gualtieri

Prerequisites: One introductory course in Sociology suggested. Examination of factors in gender identity that are both universal (across time, culture, setting) and specific to a social context. Social construction of gender roles in different settings, including family, work, and politics. Attention to the role of social policies in reinforcing norms or facilitating change.

Call Number: 00508

Day, Time & Location: T Th 6:10pm-7:25pm at Milbank Hall (Barnard) 318

Instructor: Omar Durán-García

This seminar traces some of the main critical currents and themes of the field of Queer Latinx Studies. Beginning with the path-breaking anthology of radical women of color, This Bridge Called Our Back (1981), co-edited by Chicana lesbian feminist writers Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, we consider how their foundational work has been taken up by a second generation of Latina lesbian critics as well as in Gay Latino studies. The seminar then turns from the West Coast to the East Coast and to New York City as a key place for queer Latinx cultures and theorizations, from the Warhol factory (1962-1984), to the Nuyorican Poets café (1975), to New York dance clubs and drag balls. We explore how these performing cultures inform one of the principal critical voices of Queer Latinx Criticism: the late José E. Muñoz whose works Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics (1999), Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (2009), and the posthumous The Sense of Brown (2020) decisively participated in the shaping of the field of Queer of Color Critique. We then consider how Queer Latinx studies is situated in the broader field of Latin American queer studies and specific theorizations (the tacit; translocase) that emerge out of this particular emplacement. Lastly, we consider the recent theorizations of Latinx and Chicanx Trans lives and cultures and how these are informing the field of Queer Latinx studies.

Call Number: 13151

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

Instructor: Jeronimo Duarte Riascos

This course explores some of the main visual trends, movements, and concerns that were discussed and performed in Latin America during the 20th and 21st Centuries. The class is structured around clusters of visual and literary production that have women artists at their core. We will devote each module to an in-depth study of one female artist and the ripple effects that her work and ideas produced in their spheres of influence—from visuality to politics. We will consider questions like: How did women artists inhabit the artistic space as one of emancipation and critique? How did Latin American artists incorporate and transform the artistic influences coming from Western Europe and North America? How did artistic practices influence and reflect local and regional contexts? How do these women engage with conceptualism and how does this engagement affect their work? Some of the artist we will review are: Tarsila do Amaral (Brazil, 1886 – 1973); Frida Kahlo (Mexico, 1907-1954); Lygia Clark (Brazil, 1920 -1988); Gego (Venezuela, 1912-1994); Beatriz González (Colombia, 1938); Marta Minujín (Argentina, 1943); and Diamela Eltit (1949). The course will incorporate talks by museum practitioners that have dealt with exhibiting and presenting the work of these women in non-Latin American contexts. Students are expected to visit local museum and engage directly with the objects of study of the class.

Call Number: 00126

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM at 227 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

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 may fill either the Theory requirement, or one (of two) required courses in dramatic literature/theatre studies/performance studies for Theatre/Drama and Theatre  Arts major, but not both.

Call Number: 00127

Day, Time & Location: T 10:10am-12:00pm at LL105 Diana Center

Instructor: TBA

African American women have been writing plays at least since the Harlem Renaissance and the American Little Theatre Movement (1910s-1920s).  Initially many of their plays portrayed the plight of poor Black women either in the American South or in New York City’s Harlem, in each case showing a struggle for dignity in the midst of an unfair, dismissive, racist situation in which lynchings of Black men were a common enough occurrence and citizen rights were doubly denied these (generally educated) writers—both as Blacks and as women.  Even plays depicting middle-class Black families or working women showed how just holding one’s head up and keeping food on the table (much less seeking fulfillment or advancement) was exhausting and often demeaning.  Plays written with Black audiences in mind often sought to provide “uplift” and encouragement.  Those anticipating white or mixed audiences frequently wanted to show Blacks as equal to whites in intellect, cleanliness, childrearing, honor, patriotism, and citizenship.  Over the course of a century, Black playwrights have addressed racism, African American history, urban blight, a changing workplace, and Black American womanhood in a variety of styles ranging from so-called kitchen sink realism to comedy, fantasy, and abstraction.  The readings in the course do not exhaust the possibilities for study but they will get you attuned to a rich trove of varied, important writing. In this seminar, students will read and discuss several plays/meeting, make both formal and informal class presentations, and write a final essay.

Call Number: 00511

Day, Time & Location: M W 10:10am-11:25pm at 207 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: TBA

In this course we will explore urban environmental inequalities through the lens of environmental justice.  The concept of environmental justice has risen in prominence in the language of environmental activism, politics, and policymaking. Informed by critical studies of the environment, we will address the broad question of why, for some, the environment is representational of a healthy lifestyle and source of prosperity, while for others it is a source of risk and harm. Our course of study invites students to critically analyze environmental justice case studies and to develop an understanding of the complex relationships among urban populations and the social, political, and economic processes that lead to environmental inequality. We will also explore how racism is foundational to environmental exploitation and consider why global struggles for racial justice are crucial for protecting both people and the earth. We will pay particular attention to how environmental health inequalities are linked to race, class, gender, and nation. Drawing from academic texts, films, and photo essays we will explore how urban planning and economic development policies create environmental inequalities in the US and globally.

Spring 2023

A complete list of Spring 2023 courses, including those cross listed in other units, may be found under the WMST listing on the Directory of Courses here:


Call Number: 00655

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 8:40AM-9:55AM at 504

Instructor: Rebecca Jordan-Young

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: 00656

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 4:10PM-5:25PM at 405 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

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: 00657

Day, Time & Location: M W 4:10PM-5:25PM at LL002

Instructor: TBD

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: 00658

Day, Time & Location: M W 6:10PM-7:25PM at 302 Barnard Hall

Instructor: TBD

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: 12259

Day, Time & Location: M W 2:40PM-3:55PM at 310 Fayerweather

Instructor: Jack Halberstam

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 00659

Day, Time & Location: Tu 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: 13670

Day, Time & Location: M 12:10PM-2:00PM at 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]

Instructor: Tey Meadow 

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 00788

Day, Time & Location: R 10:10AM-12:00PM 

Instructor: Paisley Currah

This course introduces the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies. While we will read about gender variable bodies within a long historical arc, the categories of both “transsexual” and "transgender" are recent social constructions. How did the many different forms of gender variance resolve into these singular forms and what has been lost in the medical and legal narrowing of gender variance to only these forms? Can we make any connections between witches in the 17th century (often accused on the grounds of cross-gender identification), mollies and dandies in the 19th century (often marked as effeminate), inverts in the late 19th and early 20th century and later constructions that assemble under the banner of “trans*”? Many academic disciplines-- including anthropology, history, gender studies, literary studies, and gay and lesbian/queer studies--have studied transgender identities, bodies and communities, but only very recently has the field become institutionalized in the academy as a discipline "Transgender Studies." In this course we examine the ongoing development of the concept of transgender as it is situated across social, cultural, historical, medical, and political contexts. Along the way, we will try to answer some fundamental questions: when did trans* emerge as a distinct social formation? What might be the differences between the understanding of gender variance in the second half of the 20th century and formulations of the phenomena of cross-dressing and passing and transvestism in earlier periods? Is the term "transgender" applicable to non-Western and previously occurring embodiments and practices?

Call Number: 13682

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM at 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]

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: 00660

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at 113

Instructor: Alexander Pittman

Comparative study of gender, race, and sexuality through specific historical, socio-cultural contexts in which these systems of power have operated. With a focus on social contexts of slavery, colonialism, and modern capitalism for the elaboration of sex-gender categories and systems across historical time.

Call Number: 00661

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10AM-12:00PM at LL016

Instructor: Neferti Tadiar 

Historical, comparative study of the cultural effects and social experiences of U.S. imperialism, with attention to race, gender and sexuality in practices of domination and struggle.

Call Number: 12700

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:10PM-6:00PM at 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]

Instructor: Jennifer S. Hirsch

This seminar provides an intensive introduction to critical thinking about gender in relation to public health. We begin with a rapid immersion in social scientific approaches to thinking about gender in relation to health, 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. We engage with multiple examples of how gendered social processes, in combination with other dimensions of social stratification, shape health at the population level. The overarching goal of this class is to provide a context for reading, discussion, and critical analysis to help students learn to think about gender – and, by extension, about any form of social stratification – as a driver of patterns in population health. We also attend consistently to how public health as a field is itself a domain in which gender is reproduced or contested.

Call Number: 0663

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10AM-12:00PM at 318 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: TBD

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: 13671

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

Instructor: Sonia Ahsan

Prerequisites: Instructor approval required

This seminar critically considers gender and power as they circulate in and interact with transnational and global dynamics. The course untethers normative and compulsory constructions of gender and sexuality by situating them within historical and socio-political contexts. Various permutations of subjectivity and subjecthood are used to move away from universals and universalizing conceptions of feminism, gender, and feminist movements. Specific anthropological and historical case studies will demonstrate how gender and power have functioned in various historical and socio-political formations. A significant motif of this course is to imagine alternatives and other ways in which lives are gendered, and how gendered power is inhabited and challenged.

Call Number: 12711

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:10PM-6:00PM at 832 Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

Subtopic: Artists, Workers, and Witches

Course Description: Reading within and around feminist critiques of the gendering of labor, this seminar looks at how artists, workers, and witches are celebrated—and reviled—for their ability to shape matter, generate value, and potentially re-direct power. We will examine historical and recent texts around the entanglements between gendered creative production, non-normative sexualities, and racialized persecution. We will consider influences and points of intersection/disjunction amongst Black feminist theorizations, Italian Marxisms, Latin American activisms, and Indigenous perspectives as we untangle knotted genealogies around issues such as transformation, animism, handicraft, enchantment, reproduction, alternative forms of knowing, queer and trans self-making, peasant/folk wisdom, outlawed traditions, criminalized solidarities, women’s autonomy, and revolutionary cultural practices. Three “spirits of the forest” in particular will guide our inquiries: Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Silvia Federici, and Sylvia Wynter. We will take seriously how strikes, hexes, and poetry can be strategies for collective liberation against  capitalism, racism, and patriarchy.

Call Number: 00787

Day, Time & Location: Th 2:10pm-4:00pm

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: 00664

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10AM-12:00PM at LL018

Instructor: Rebecca Jordan-Young

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 00665

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

Instructor: TBD

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: 00666

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10PM-6:00PM at LL016

Instructor: Agnieszka 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: 12275

Day, Time & Location: Th 10:10AM-12:00PM at 754 EXT Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]

Instructor: Neferti Tadiar

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: 11018

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at 613 Hamilton Hall

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: 13183

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 8:40AM-9:55AM at 330 Uris Hall

Instructor: Eleanor Johnson

This course will wrangle with three simple-seeming, but actually fraught and electrified questions: what does it mean to be “feminist”? What is “poetry” in the contemporary American poetry world? And what is “avant-garde?” One could read a thousand books of poetry to answer these questions, but in this course, we’ll stick to works written by women between 1990 and today. We will pay sustained, careful attention to poetic form and structure, and we will look at how formal experimentation might intersect with ethical and political realities. And, as a heuristic device, we’ll read two or three works by individual authors, to get a sense of their evolution over the course of a period of their careers.

Call Number: 14837

Day, Time & Location: TBD

Instructor: Rebecca Kastleman 

Skyscrapers, factories, jazz clubs, crowded arcades: as the landscape of modernity took shape, the body was conscripted into new relationships with its physical surroundings. Yet few modernists agreed on what bodies, in all their diverse manifestations, had come to signify in modernity. “I feel the matter of my heart being transformed, metallized, in an optimism of steel,” declared the Futurist theorist F.T. Marinetti, celebrating the body’s fusion with machines; in a contrasting vision, novelist Djuna Barnes whimsically described the lesbian body as hatching, fully formed, from an egg laid by angels. In this seminar—which ranges across film, poetry, drama, fiction, the essay, and visual art—we will examine these contradictions as we explore how the body was refashioned in the arts and culture of modernism. In works by Fritz Lang, Nella Larsen, Franz Kafka, Radclyffe Hall, Claude McKay, Virginia Woolf, and others, new and startling representations of embodiment come into focus. Which functions did the body accrue in its ambit through the modern metropolis, and which conceptual trajectories did it limn? With these questions in view, we will develop a critical account of the politics and aesthetics of modernist embodiment. Topics we will consider include labor, technology, and robots; race and racialization; masking and passing; fashion; queer desiring bodies; disabled bodies and disease; sport and war; and cyborgs. We will also probe the limits of the “human” body in relation to animals and artificial life. At the end of the term, students will have an opportunity to present an embodied response to our course texts by critically restaging a literary scene.

Call Number: 13815

Day, Time & Location: Th 10:00AM-1:45PM at 511 Dodge Hall

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: 11864

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at 301M Fayerweather

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: 11181

Day, Time & Location: M W 11:40AM-12:55PM at 310 Fayerweather

Instructor: Frank Guridy 

This course explores the ways organized sport constitutes and disrupts dominant understandings of nation, race, gender, and sexuality throughout the Americas. Working from the notion that sport is “more than a game,” the class will examine the social, cultural and political impact of sports in a variety of hemispheric American contexts from the 19th century until the present. While our primary geographic focus will be the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean, the thrust of the course encourages students to consider sports in local, national, and transnational contexts.  The guiding questions of the course are: What is the relationship between sport and society? How does sport inform political transformations within and across national borders? How does sport reinforce and/or challenge social hierarchies? Can sport provide alternative visions of the self and community? Throughout the semester we will examine such topics as: the continuing political struggles surrounding the staging of mega-events such as the Olympics and World Cup, the role of professional baseball in the rise and fall of Jim Crow segregation, the impact of football on the evolution of masculine identities in the U.S., the impact of tennis on the Second-Wave feminist movement, and the role of sports in the growth of modern American cities. Course materials include works by historians, sociologists, social theorists, and journalists who have also been key contributors to the burgeoning field of sports studies. Thus, the course has three objectives:

1) To deepen our understanding of the relationship between sport and society

2) To encourage students to examine the sporting world beyond the frame of the nation-state

3) To consider the promises and challenges of sport as a site of social theory and knowledge production


Call Number: 12194

Day, Time & Location: Tu 12:10PM-2:00PM at 302 Fayerweather

Instructor: Sarah Haley

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 13119

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at 501 Hamilton Hall

Instructor: Elizabeth Leake

Against the backdrop of the heated critical debate on the boundaries and limitations of the autobiographical genre, this course addresses the modern and contemporary tradition of autobiographical writings, focusing in particular (but not exclusively) on exploring and positing the potential difference between male and female autobiographers. More specifically, we will question the adequacy of the traditional model of autobiographical selfhood based on the assumption of unified, universal, exemplary and transcendent self to arrive at an understanding of women's autobiography. Topics to be addressed include: the crisis of the subject, je est un autre, the man with a movie camera, strategies of concealment and disclosures. Authors to be studied include: D'Annunzio, Pirandello, Svevo, Fellini, Moretti, Ortese, Ginzburg, Manzini, Cialente, Ramondino.

Call Number: 13494

Day, Time & Location: M 3:00PM-5:00PM at 505 Casa Hispánica

Instructor: Ana P. Lee

This graduate seminar will examine theories on territory, and their relation to affective constructs regarding social bodies, race, gender, sexuality, and religious acts. We will examine a number of issues related to spatial theory, affect theory, and performance. We will study the constructions of territory, affect, and performances of race and gender as historically and geographically situated phenomena. How are territory and affect racialized or gendered? What can affect theory bring to the geographical imagination, and how do geopolitical fantasies shape imaginaries of distance, nearness, foreignness, and self? We will engage a comparative lens and examine these issues across processes of globalization, migration, cultural production and circulation, and infrastructural changes of cartographic constructs such as East/West, Transpacific, circum-Altantic, and the Global South.

Call Number: 13064

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 2:40PM-3:55PM at 313 Fayerweather

Instructor: Clemence C. Boulouque

Used in 2016 by then presidential candidate, Donald Trump, in reference to his female opponent, Hillary Clinton, the phrase “nasty woman” has become a badge of honor and a rallying cry for women’s empowerment.

The origin of the word “nasty,” attested in the 14th century, indicates highly unpleasant qualities- nauseating or unclean, in a literal or figurative way. It also came to evoke indecency and obscenity- and religious traditions have a long history of such depiction of women.

After introducing some key texts on the otherness and objectification of women (including by Aristotle, Beauvoir, Kristeva, Nussbaum, and Butler), we will examine a number of female characters-  goddesses, prostitutes, and virgins  - in the Mesopotamian, Greek, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic corpus  that fit the definition of nasty. We will also analyze some of the underlying tropes of impurity and danger that characterize nastiness involving bodily fluids, sexuality, and knowledge. Spanning theology, literature, movies, and popular culture the course aims to be a survey of religious-based misogyny as well as women’s responses in their pursuit of agency.

Call Number: 10510

Day, Time & Location: M W 11:40AM-12:55PM at 425 Pupin Laboratories

Instructor: Alex Pekov

In her 1975 essay The Laughter of Medusa, Hélène Cixous compared women’s writing—in French, “écriture féminine”—to the unexplored African continent. To date, literary criticism has been grappling with the distinct qualities of literary works, crafted by women. This course offers a survey of main autofictional works and memoirs, written originally in the Russian language within the last 100 years. We will start our journey with the tumults of the WW1 and the Bolshevik Revolution, the Civil War, through the WW2, the Soviet dissident movement, the emigration waves into Israel and the United States, the advent of a post-socialist Russia in 1991—in order to arrive at the two plus decades of Vladimir Putin’s presidency. We will consider  the ways in which each author transposes and conveys her own—and others’ memories—through the medium of autofiction, defined by Serge Doubrovsky, who coined the term in French, as “the adventure of the language, outside of wisdom and the syntax of the novel.” All selected works, with very few exceptions, are available in English;  no reading knowledge of Russian is required. No prerequisites.

Call Number: 00050

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM 

Instructor: Elizabeth Bernstein

This seminar examines the ways in which the body is discursively constituted, and itself serves as the substratum for social life. Key questions include: How are distinctions made between normal and pathological bodies, and between the psychic and somatic realms? How do historical forces shape bodily experience? How do bodies that are racialized, gendered, and classed offer resistance to social categorization?

Call Number: 14692

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

Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

How has visual culture played a role within the social movements of the last several decades, such as #BlackLivesMatter and Extinction Rebellion? How, we might ask, is activism made visible; how does it erupt (or disappear) with collective fields of vision?  Drawing upon Black South African queer photographer Zanele Muholi’s term “visual activism” as a flexible rubric that encompasses both formal practices and political strategies, this lecture class interrogates contemporary visual cultures of dissent, resistance, and protest as they span a range of ideological positions. We will examine recent developments in and around recent intersections of art and politics from around the world, looking closely at performances, photographs, feminist dances, graffiti, murals, street art, posters, pussy hats, and graphic interventions, with a special focus on tactics of illegibility and encodedness. Topics include visual responses to structural racisms, global climate change, indigenous land rights, state violence, gentrification, forced migration, and queer/trans issues.


Call Number: 14550 

Day, Time & Location: TBD

Instructor: Bryony W. Roberts

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 00651

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at 502

Instructor: Ana G. Ozaki

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 13407

Day, Time & Location: Tu 10:10AM-12:00PM at 806 Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]

Instructor: Frederique Baumgartner

This seminar will examine the career and artistic production of women artists in the long eighteenth century in Europe, with a specific focus on Italy, France and Britain. Recent research has shown that many women managed to become professional artists during this period. But how successful were they? And what did their work consist of? To date, the historical recovery of data about their career and oeuvre remains a work in progress. In contrast, the few women artists who reached international fame in the eighteenth-century – in part because they were members of otherwise overwhelmingly male art academies – have received significant scholarly attention by art historians that include Angela Rosenthal and Mary Sheriff, among others, and have been the subject of important monographic exhibitions in the past two decades. In light of this state of the research, we will study the cases of canonical artists, such as Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), as well as the cases of still understudied (yet sufficiently documented) artists, such as Marie Geneviève Bouliar (1763-1825). Our primary task will be to examine the different ways in which women who became artists navigated the eighteenth-century social order – an order where the terms “woman” and “professional artist” were commonly understood as contradictory – and analyze their art with a critical understanding of the expectations, aesthetic and otherwise, that they were held to. Topics of discussion will include: training; the hierarchy of genres; women artists and media, including miniature, engraving and sculpture; self-portraiture and gender expectations; women artists and art criticism; and emulation and authorship.       


Call Number: 14900

Day, Time & Location: M W 5:40PM-6:55PM at 313 Pupin Laboratories

Instructor: Lien Van Geel

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 14834

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

Instructor: Vespa 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: 14828

Day, Time & Location: TBD

Instructor: Atesede Makonnen

Why are we so invested in the fantasy of nineteenth-century romance? From a craze for Jane Austen to Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton, we keep coming back to balls, dashing heroes (and anti-heroes), and the marriage plot. Who, and what, do these fantasies empower? Who gets left out of the romance? This course examines both the realities of nineteenth-century marriage, love, and sexuality, and the fantasies that emerge in their modern re-imaginings. We cover gendered readership during the nineteenth-century print boom, the idea of canonical literature, and the role of race, class, and sexuality in both society and romantic narratives, as well as the difference between “high” and “low” culture, filmic adaptation, and fan-culture. Our texts include poetry, novels, film, diaries written in code, fairy tales, and Youtube adaptations.

Call Number: 14836

Day, Time & Location: TBD

Instructor: James E. Adams

This seminar offers intensive study of the works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte—the most famous family in English literary history.  We’ll mainly focus on their novels: Charlotte’s Jane EyreShirley, and Villette, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, and Anne’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall.  But we’ll also take a look at their lyric poetry—particularly that of Emily—and the juvenilia, particularly the “Angria” saga of Charlotte and her brother Bramwell.

From their childhood, the Brontes experienced writing as a collaborative activity, which is one important rationale for studying them together.  But while the biographical context is important, biographical criticism can be deeply reductive.  Hence our point of departure will be the contemporary reception of the three writers, who for all their differences struck their early readers as deeply unconventional—socially, morally, generically—and even downright dangerous.  (Even Jane Eyre, easily the most popular of the novels, was denounced in one famous review as an attack on the entire British way of life.)  Readers were especially struck by the violence of the language and passions expressed in the works—a response amplified by the discovery that the authors were young unmarried women.  What should me make of such passion?  What does it tell us about the social worlds of the novels, and particularly the situation of young women within them?  How might it be connected to social class, and to political struggles bound up with class and gender and ethnicity?  What is the place of religious faith in the novels, particularly in relation to romantic desire?   How does the experience and expression of vehement emotion shape the construction of literary character, and more generally of novelistic form?

Our readings will be supplements by some important critical accounts of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.  It’s a measure of the significance of these works that they have figured centrally in the development of (inter alia) feminist, deconstructionist, and postcolonial literary criticism.

Call Number: 12638

Day, Time & Location: Th 10:00AM-1:00PM at 504 Dodge Hall

Instructor: Racquel Gates

This course focuses on the origins, form, and social relevance of reality television. Specifically, the course will examine the industrial, economic, and ideological underpinnings of reality television to gesture toward larger themes about the evolution of television from the 1950s through the present, and the relationship between television and American culture and society. To this end, the class lectures, screenings, and discussions will emphasize (but are not limited to) topic of race, gender, sexuality, and class. 

Call Number: 11254

Day, Time & Location: Th 2:10PM-4:00PM at 301M Fayerweather

Instructor: Tahira S. Khan

This course will examine various roles that a religion can play in shaping its believers’ socio-political and religious identities on the basis of their natural/social differences i.e. sex and gender. Further, an attempt will be made to search for historical explanations through the lens of class, rural/urban economies and geo-ethnic diversities which have shaped gender relations and women’s status in various Muslim countries. The main focus of the course will be on Islam and its role in the articulation of gendered identities, the construction of their socio-religious images, and historical explanation of their roles, rights and status in the regions of South Asia and Middle East since 1900. The central argument of the course is that, for historical understanding of a set of beliefs and practices regarding gender relations and women’s status in any religious group, one needs to examine the historical context and socio-economic basis of that particular religion. By using the notion of gender and historical feminist discourses as tools of analysis, this course intends to understand and explain existing perceptions, misperceptions, myths and realities regarding gender relations and Muslim women’s situations in the distant and immediate past. This course begins with a historical materialist explanation of the religion of Islam and examines men - women’s roles, rights and responsibilities as described in the religious texts, interpretations, traditions and historical sources such as the Quran, Hadith, Sunnah and Sharia. It will further attempt to study these issues by situating them in histories of local and regional diversities (i.e. South Asia, Middle East). A historical perspective will facilitate students’ understanding of male and female Muslim scholars’ ventures to re/read and re/explain the Islamic texts in modern contexts of South Asia and the Middle East.


Call Number: 14641 

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at 402 International Affairs: Building

Instructor: Melissa S. Fisher 

Despite gains in recent years, gender disparities in leadership roles – particularly in the corporate and government sectors – remain significant. This 7-week course will explore policies within organizations, as well as governmental policies, designed to address gender disparities in leadership roles, examining questions such as: What are the goals such policies are/should be seeking to achieve? What are the best approaches – e.g. gender-focused vs. more broadly crafted policies? Which approaches are/are not working? What are the unintended consequences of policies designed for this purpose? How do we consider debates in popular culture (from Sandberg to Slaughter) in the context of organizational and governmental policymaking and use them to inform policymaking? What are the limitations on what policy can achieve? The course will begin by briefly exploring historical and current gender disparities in leadership roles and the diverse reasons behind them, examining the roles of women, men, culture and policy. We will explore the potential impact policy can have, identifying and recognizing limitations and challenges. Finally, we will focus the bulk of our time on policy approaches tried by governments and organizations (with a focus on corporations, as well as academia and non-profits) to attempt to address leadership gender disparities, exploring the questions above. The course will include accomplished women leaders from multiple sectors as guest speakers, and active student participation, including presentation of case studies, will be required.

Call Number: 14642

Day, Time & Location: Tu 9:00AM-10:50AM at 324 International Affairs: Building

Instructor: Graeme Reid

In May 2016, a highly contested resolution passed the UN Human Rights Council condemning discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and establishing the system’s first ever Independent Expert on the same themes.  The protracted fight for the resolution demonstrated how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights were, and remain, among the most controversial issues in international human rights, law, and public policy. Contestations around LGBTI rights are frequently framed in terms of ‘human rights’ versus ‘traditional values’ which underscores a central challenge to LGBTI rights claims – how to make universalizing claims based on identities that are historically contingent and culturally produced. This course will explore how LGBTI rights impact mainstream debates, such as bilateral relations and good governance, while also teaching students to understand the challenges of fulfilling LGBTI rights, such as access to legal recognition for same-sex partnerships and transgender people. The course will also explore the ways in which anti-LGBTI animus is deployed for political effect and seek to understand the processes whereby LGBTI rights become lightning rods for broader social and political cleavages. This course offers students an opportunity to reflect, in-depth, on the challenges and opportunities of working on LGBTI rights transnationally, surveys debates within the field, and equips students to competently address LGBTI rights as they manifest across a range of academic and professional interests. Breaking news and contemporary debates will be integrated into the course work.

Call Number: 10874

Day, Time & Location: Tu 9:00AM-10:50AM at 402B International Affairs Building

Instructor: TBD

Gender has important implications for international security policy. Gender bias influences policy choices. It can lead to misunderstandings of military capability, especially for nonstate armed groups whose members include women combatants and supporters. It can aggravate the causes of war and lead to increased incidence of internal and interstate violence in settings where women are systematically mistreated or where sex imbalances create instability. And gender bias can discourage talented women from pursuing careers in security policy, denying states access to the talent and abilities in half their populations. The intersection between gender and international security has been codified internationally since at least 2000 with the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).  Other international security organizations, including NATO, have created leadership positions and devised plans related to WPS. Finally, the United States passed the Women, Peace, and Security Act in 2017 and created associated policies focused on integrating gender into the work of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The course will be a sustained exploration of the ways in which gender identities and associated identity power dynamics influence international conflict, internal conflict, and international security policy. Students will gain this knowledge through specific examples and case studies and will learn how to conduct their own gender analyses of situations and environments. During the semester, students will practice their gender analysis skills through research, writing, and presentations related to gender and security. The course will be a discussion-based seminar enabling students to work through ideas and concepts collaboratively.

To begin the exploration of the topic, the class will work to craft definitions of international security and gender and discuss why these concepts can be challenging to define or understand. Subsequent classes will build upon these definitions and discuss how gender intersects with other identity factors. The course will focus on the ways in which security institutions themselves are gendered and how to create gender responsive policies. After examining the gender dynamics of security institutions, students will examine gendered strategies in conflict and in state responses to conflict dynamics.

Call Number: 14658

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at 402 International Affairs: Building

Instructor: Susana Martinez Restrepo

It is estimated that Gender-Based Violence (GBV) affects one-third of all women during their lifetime. GBV affects women’s health, mental health, labor market outcomes, and their overall wellbeing. GBV also increases the costs of health services, affects labor productivity outputs, and creates the need for additional counseling and psychological services. Can supporting women’s empowerment, reducing gender disparities, promoting positive masculinities, and changing norms and attitudes which foster violence help to end GBV? And, what have we learned about good practices that can be mobilized to attain these ends? This course focuses on four areas: legal and institutional reform, health, education and economic empowerment. In each, we will identify good practices as well as unintended consequences and shortcomings of interventions and policies implemented by governments, the private sector, NGOs, and grass roots organizations in South Asian, African and Latin American countries. By the end of this course students will be able to critically analyze and provide advice on interventions and policies aimed at preventing GBV and addressing the needs of survivors.

Call Number: 10409

Day, Time & Location: Tu 11:00AM-12:50PM at 402B International Affairs Building

Instructor: Jeri E. Powell

This course will examine the impact that the current social and racial justice awakening (or reckoning), at the intersection of race and gender, is having on the US politics and policy. We will look at this along several dimensions, including politics, voting rights and voter suppression, governing and philanthropy. Ultimately, political change is the natural consequence of social and economic disruption, but will the change that is to come be of the kind that activists in movements such as the Me Too movement, Black Lives Matter, and gender equity leaders have envisioned? If the US has yet to fulfill the promise of a truly representative government, what solutions might there be to address systemic barriers to power its citizens face on the basis of race and gender? There is an opportunity to influence the broader national conversation with the very best ideas and work to implement them, but this unique moment in history and the opportunity that comes with it will not last forever.  Our goal will be to critically examine and explain these systemic barriers to political power found along racial and gender lines. We will look at the causes and consequences of racial, economic and social inequality, and how that plays out in different systems, policies and spaces. In addition to readings, students will benefit from the practical knowledge of guest lecturers drawn from the political sphere. This course will help prepare policy makers and elected officials in their efforts to create an equitable government for all citizens regardless of race or gender.

Call Number: 10400

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM at 801 International Affairs Building

Instructors: Eugenia Mcgill and Maxine Weisgrau

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: 13842

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

Instructor: Rosalyn Richter

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 14015

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

Instructor: Jenny Ma

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 10493

Day, Time & Location: M 6:10PM-8:00PM at 709 Hamilton Hall

Instructor: Irina Reyfman

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 00010

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

Instructor: Celia E. Naylor 

From slave narratives to science fiction, Afrofuturist art contests the boundaries of the real. Otherworldly visions, tales from the underground, sounds from the future, and alien bodies recur in Black literature, music, visual art, and performance. What is it about the Black experience that solicits the unreal? This course examines the speculative, futurist, and fantastic in African American literature and the arts. Drawing on a range of nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century literary and cultural production, we will explore the aesthetics of Afrofuturism and the afterlives of slavery.

Call Number: 00008

Day, Time & Location: Tu 12:10PM-2:00PM at 405 Barnard Hall

Instructor: TBD

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: 00004

Day, Time & Location: Th 12:10PM-2:00PM at 111

Instructor: Shirley Taylor

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 00484

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM at 113

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: 00252

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 1:10PM-2:25PM at 304 Barnard Hall

Instructor: Rosalyn Deutsche

Course Description TBD

Call Number: 00524

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM 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: 00241

Day, Time & Location: M W 1:10PM-2:25PM at 302 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Hadley T. 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: 00155

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10AM-12:00PM at 308

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: 00342

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10PM-6:00PM 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.

Call Number: 00326

Day, Time & Location: Tu 9:00AM-10:50AM at LL017

Instructor: Camara Silver

Beyond Stonewall: The Dynamics of Queer Politics will examine the role of queer politics in the United States and beyond. This class will briefly introduce students to queer theory and the politics of collective action and then follow a case study approach to analyze the dynamics of queer politics. This class will start with the Homophile Movement and will end with contemporary discourses on Queer Activism. Therefore, this course will examine gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender struggles for security and equality.

Call Number: 00302

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:10PM-6:00PM at LL017

Instructor: TBD

What do women need in order to thrive? Is it becoming a “girl boss”? Moving to a rich nation? Getting a loan? The opening of a new multinational factory in their town? Stricter laws punishing people who try to harm them? Removing their veil? 

This course examines the way transnational feminists challenge the limitations of so-called “white feminism”; make sense of intersecting oppressions; and propose transformative solutions to many feminist concerns. From a variety of global perspectives, we will explore topics including: electoral politics, sex work, borders, religion, land, abortion, domestic labor, and more. 

Our readings this semester focus on revolutionary feminist thinkers from across the globe who insist that in order to understand women’s lives—and properly diagnose what might remedy the harms they experience—we must root our inquiries at the heart of institutional overlap, or intersectionality.  In other words, how do women’s race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality and more, shape their experiences of the world and their understanding of the transformations necessary to make them not only safe, but also free?


Call Number: 00185

Day, Time & Location: M 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.