Current Courses

Fall 2021

A complete list of Fall 2021 courses, including those cross listed in other units, may be found under the WMST listing on the Directory of Courses here:

WGSS Courses

Call Number: 00675

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

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.

Call Number: 00628

Day, Time & Location: M W 10:10AM-11:25AM

Instructor: Kimberly Springer

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: 00674

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

Instructor: Laura E 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: 00629

Day, Time & Location: W 4:10PM-6:00PM

Instructor: Janet Jakobsen

Investigates the significance of contemporary and historical issues of social, political, and cultural conflicts centered on womens bodies. How do such conflicts constitute women, and what do they tell us about societies, cultures, and politics? - D. Ko

Call Number: 00630

Day, Time & Location: Th 11:00AM-12:10PM

Instructor: Neferti Tadiar

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: 12727

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

Instructor: Marianne Hirsch

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.

Call Number: 12726

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10PM-6:00PM

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: 00631

Day, Time & Location: W 10:00AM-11:50AM

Instructor: Rebecca Jordan-Young

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: 00632

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

Instructor: Neferti Tadiar

This advanced seminar examines materialist conceptions of labor and life as approached through feminist, black, anti-racist, indigenous, queer, postcolonial, and Marxist perspectives. We will trace the ways that labor and life as well as their constitutive relations have been understood in historical and contemporary radical critiques of capitalism, with a focus on gender, race and sexuality as analytical categories for understanding their shifting roles in structures and practices of social reproduction, the production and expropriation of value, the logic and exercise of violence, the organization of sociality and culture, and the practice and imagination of freedom, justice, and new forms and potentials of collective existence. Finally, we will consider the limits and possibilities of different conceptions of “material life” for understanding politics today.

Call Number: 12725

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

Instructor: Jack Halberstam



Call Number: 10356

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

Instructor: Christia Mercer

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

Call Number: 10499

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

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: 10317

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 1:10PM-2:25PM

Instructor: Rhiannon Stephens

Call Number: 10438

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

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: 11149

Day, Time & Location: W 6:10PM-8:00PM

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: 11414

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

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. Beyond the mutual disinterest, anxieties, and animosities, this course will explore how religious studies can enrich queer theory and how queer theory can reshape our thinking about religious studies. Our course will examine how our questions about religion shift once we start paying 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. Together we will wonder about a variety of core issues in queer studies and religion, 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. 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. Moreover, students should experience this course as enlarging the set of critical tools at their hands for creative and rigorous thinking.

Section Number: 003

Call Number: 11270

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10PM-4:00PM

Instructor: Hilary-Anne 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. Join waitlist and attend first class.

Call Number:10326

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

Instructor: Audra Simpson

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

Call Number: 10466

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

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: 00639

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

Instructor: Janet Jakobsen

Investigates relations among religion, gender, and violence in the world today. Focuses on specific traditions with emphasis on historical change, variation, and differences in geopolitical location within each tradition, as well as among them at given historical moments.

Call Number: 13954

Day, Time & Location: Tu 6:10PM-8:00PM

Instructor: Karen R Van Dyck

This course introduces students to the rich tradition of literature about and by Greeks in America over the past two centuries exploring questions of multilingualism, translation, migration and gender with particular attention to the look and sound of different alphabets and foreign accents – “It’s all Greek to me!” To what extent can migration be understood as translation and vice versa? How might debates in Diaspora and Translation Studies inform each other and how might both, in turn, elucidate the writing of and about Greeks and other ethnic minorities, especially women? Authors include Olga Broumas, Elia Kazan, Alexandros Papadiamantis, Irini Spanidou, Ellery Queen, Eleni Sikelianos and Thanasis Valtinos as well as performance artists such as Diamanda Galas. Theoretical and comparative texts include works by Walter Benjamin, Rey Chow, Jacques Derrida, Xiaolu Guo, Eva Hoffman, Franz Kafka, Toni Morrison, Vicente Rafael, and Lawrence Venuti, as well as films such as The Immigrant and The Wizard of Oz. No knowledge of Greek is necessary, although an extra-credit directed reading is open to those wishing to read texts in Greek.

Call Number: 13249

Day, Time & Location: F 12:10PM-2:00PM

Instructor: Mana Kia

Explores gender, culture, power in India, c. 1500-1800 by reading theoretical works on gender and sexuality, historical scholarship relevant to early modern India, and a variety of primary sources. Topics include morality, mysticism, devotion, desire, kingship, heroism, homosocial relations, and homoerotic practices. The focus is largely on Persianate contexts, in conversation with broader South Asian and Islamic studies. This discussion seminar is designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, with some previous background in South Asian, Islamic, or gender studies.

Call Number: 13936

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

Instructor: Tey Meadow

Eroticism has long been a problem for sociology. Sutured to animality, sex, desire and the body tend to appear in social theory as the counterpoints to social order, rationality and economic life. How did it come to be that way, and what does that mean for theories of love, attachment and social relations? In this course, we will read deeply in the history of social theories of love and eroticism for some clues to this predicament. From the earliest sociological foundations in Weber and Durkheim, through Simmel’s important work on individuality and conflict, to contemporary theories of postmodern love, we will pay careful attention to the antecedents of current thinking about racial difference, masculine domination, heteronormativity and capitalism. Students will be expected to read dense theoretical texts, but make practical meaning of their contents, through guided discussion and written reflection. They will be invited, not discouraged from applying these theories to their own lives and affective ties.

A Note on Studying Sexuality:  Participation in group projects to understand sexuality, love and eroticism requires both intellectual and personal maturity. If you elect to take this course, I expect that you will approach your studies and course discussions with a spirit of openness, curiosity and respect for the unique and diverse ways individuals (including your classmates) understand and experience their own identities, bodies and desires. If you are concerned that this material may pose significant challenges for you, come see Professor Meadow during the first week of class, so that we may discuss whether this is, in fact, the right course for you.

Call Number: 10303

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

Instructor: Vanessa L Agard-Jones

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

Spring 2022

A complete list of Spring 2022 courses, including those cross listed in other units, may be found under the WMST listing on the Directory of Courses here:


Call Number: 00176

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 11:40AM-12:55PM TBA

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: 00397

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

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: 00179

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

Instructor: Faculty

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: 00178

Day, Time & Location: M W 6:10PM-7:25PM TBA 

Instructor: Faculty

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: 12114

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10AM-12:00PM, 253 Engineering Terrace 

Instructor: Tey Meadow

Call Number: 00398

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

Instructor: Marisa Solomon

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to key themes in contemporary feminist thought. Attention will be devoted to how the intersections of race, gender, class, nation and sexuality, as well as the politics of deviance, shape feminist theory. This course aims to introduce students to key theoretical contributions of feminist thought. The course emphasizes an understanding of feminist theories through the political, historical and cultural contexts in which they developed. Topics covered will include the production of racialized, gendered, and sexualized bodies through cultural productions, public polices and technology; Marxist feminism; postcolonial feminism; transnational and diasporic practices; politics of representation and queer theory. Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor.

Call Number: 00403

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

Instructor: Kimberly Springer

Considering local, national, and international activist case studies through social movement theories, we work together to understand what activism looks like, the people who engage in it, how activist messages are constructed, and how visions of transformation are developed. Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor.

Call Number: 12141

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

Instructor: Lila Abu-Lughod

Individual research in Womens Studies conducted in consultation with the instructor. The result of each research project is submitted in the form of the senior essay and presented to the seminar.

Call Number: 00177

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

Instructor: Jonathan L Beller

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: 12312

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

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: 00406

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

Instructor: Rebecca Jordan-Young

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 junior majors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) are encouraged to enroll in this course as preparation for the senior capstone course, Knowledge, Practice, Power (Senior Seminar I). Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor.

Call Number: 00484

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

Instructor: Neferti Tadiar

This seminar considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered inequalities. Topics include political economy, colonialism/postcoloniality, war, refugees, global care chains, sexuality, sex and care work. Required for the major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), but open to non-majors, space permitting. Prerequisite: Either one introductory WGSS course or Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory or Permission of the Instructor.

Call Number: 00175

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

Instructor: Agnieszka Legutko

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

Call Number: 15165

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

Instructor: Sarah Haley

This seminar is a deep study of the feminist history, theory, and practice of criminal punishment abolition from the 19th century through the present. It explores key conceptual frameworks, political conundrums, and genealogies of abolition especially in relation to Black, Native, women of color, queer, and Marxist feminisms. We will explore linkages and divergences from movements to abolish slavery. Students will engage past and current organizing movements and read and hear from activists who are organizing for prison abolition. We will explore the relationship between prison abolition and other movements for radical change and the tensions around abolition and carcerality that exist among feminists. Does abolitionist feminism have a cohesive set of political projects or philosophies? What tensions exist among feminists who advocate for abolition?

Call Number: 12322

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

Instructor: Lila Abu-Lughod

Subtopic: Reframing Gender Violence

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

Call Number: 12316

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

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: 12320

Day, Time & Location: Tu 6:10PM-8:00PM 

Instructor: Elizabeth Povinelli


Call Number: 00464

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

Instructor: Maja Horn

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

Call Number: 00414

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

Instructor: Maja Horn

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: 14393

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

Instructor: Patricia Dailey

What kind of flexibility and play does gender signify in medieval literature? How was gender enacted and how did it impact identity, sexuality, shape-shifting, intimacy and empowerment? How does it echo in our ideas of queerness, closeness, and sexual identity as understood today? This class will look at how a kind of power associated with gender and sexuality figures in medieval literature and is echoed in contemporary poetics and theory. This course takes the idea of _play_ seriously (despite the paradoxical nature of this statement), discerning how gender embodies a form of discursive and non discursive play in premodern works. In doing so, we will examine how the definition of gender is implicated in theological, cultural, and scientific discourses on the nature of the body and sexuality, how it links to the role of the liminality in discourses of power, and how poetic play and gender figure in contemporary contexts, both literary and theoretical. We begin by looking at representations and attitudes towards gender in the Middle Ages via literary and non-literary texts, examining the role of gender in relation to rhetoric, philosophy, representations of Christ, Old Norse mythology, and more. We will then look at how medieval texts play with gender and speak to modern times. Often, medieval texts and modern theoretical work will be paired together to “dialogue” with one another. And, since dialogue is a trans-historical pedagogical form of play, we will see where our discussions take us, possibly modifying the syllabus, letting our course transform along the way.

Call Number: 11700

Day, Time & Location: M W 2:40PM-3:55PM TBA

Instructor: Lila Abu-Lughod

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

Call Number: 13035

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

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: 14928

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

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: 11701

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

Instructor: Vanessa L Agard-Jones

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

Call Number: 00514

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

Instructor: Kim F Hall

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

Call Number: 12536

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

Instructor: Frances Negron-Muntaner

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with visual production, particularly video production, as a mode of inquiry to explore questions related to race, ethnicity, indigeneity, and other forms of social hierarchy and difference. The class will include readings in visual production as a mode of inquiry and on the basic craft of video production in various genres (fiction, documentary, and experimental). As part of the course, students will produce a video short and complete it by semester's end.

Call Number: 15305

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

Instructors: Audra Simpson and Manu Karuka

This course takes up the question “How do we think, live and act in the wake of dispossession?” What literatures archive, theorize and tell us about what has been lost? How have people written through and after loss, how have they documented grief, how have they pushed to regain what has been lost? Recent works in critical ethnic studies have thought archivally and theoretically about these questions. In this advanced seminar we examine core texts on dispossession as well as recent and historical works from American Studies, History, Political Theory, English Literature, Feminist Gender and Sexuality Studies with focus upon the institutions of slavery, Boarding Schools, pipeline construction, property law, as well as primary documents that address the enduring ethical and political issues around alienated land, property and life. In its final moments this course will ask: How may we think about “repair” or justice in the face of this loss?

Call Number: 16955

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

Instructor: Eliza Zingesser

What did it mean to be queer in the francophone Middle Ages? Was there such a thing? The term ‘sodomy’ was used in the period to describe a wide variety of acts (not all sexual), and the term would seem to foreclose the possibility of female same-sex eroticism. In an era in which all non-procreative sex was conceived as sinful, does the opposition between homosexual and heterosexual still hold? Was male and female homosexuality conceived symmetrically? Topics include the construction of gender (binary vs. spectral, natural vs. cultural), gender variance (transgender and nonbinary people), sodomy and the contours of “sex,” and sadomasochism. Our readings will take us through a broad range of genres—from penance manuals to lyric poetry to romance. Texts include selected lais by Marie de France, troubadour songs, Alan of Lille’s Plaint of Nature, the Roman d’Enéas (a medieval French rewriting of the Aeneid that makes Aeneas gay), Heldris of Cornwall’s Le Roman de Silence and selected saints’ lives. Class taught in English, although some readings may be available only in modern French translation (reading knowledge of French required).

Call Number: 16819

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

Instructor: Mana Kia

What is the relationship between homoeroticism and homosociality? How does this relationship form conceptions of gender and sexuality in ways that might be historically unfamiliar and culturally or regionally specific? We pursue these questions through the lens of friendship and its relationship to ideas and expressions of desire, love, and loyalty in pre-modern times. We begin by considering the intellectual basis of the modern idea of friendship as a private, personal relationship, and trace it back to earlier times when it was often a public relationship of social and political significance. Some of these relationships were between social equals, while many were unequal forms (like patronage) that could bridge social, political or parochial differences. Thinking through the relationships and possible distinctions between erotic love, romantic love and amity (love between friends), we will draw on scholarly works from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, particularly philosophy, sociology, political theory, literature, history, and art history. We will attend to friendship’s work in constituting, maintaining and challenging various social and political orders in a variety of Asian contexts (West, Central, South and East Asian), with comparative reference to scholarship on European and East Asian contexts. Primary source materials will include philosophy, religious manuals, autobiographies, popular love stories, heroic epics, mystical poetry, mirror for princes, paintings, material objects of exchange, and architectural monuments, largely from Islamic and Asian contexts.

Call Number: 11229

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

Instructor: Nimmi Gowrinathan

This course examines the positioning of women inside religion and resistance across the South Asian subcontinent. Divided into five sections (Land, Body, Language, Faith, Resistance) – violence runs throughout as a force that both fractures and forges the political project(s) of religion. Largely anchored in the scholarship of the Global South that probes the intimacies of lived experiences to dismantle gendered narratives, we will also engage with texts ranging from poetry of early Buddhist nuns to polemic prose on femicide in order to reveal the complex architectures of oppression women in South Asia exist within. Guest lectures will offer insight into how to draw scholarly analysis into contemporary dialogues (inter-faith work in the policy world) and multiple forms of political writing.

Call Number: 13309

Day, Time & Location: M 2:00PM-5:45PM TBA 

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: 15044

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

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: 16890

Day, Time & Location: F 2:00PM-4:30PM TBA 

Instructors: Marianne Hirsch, Susan Meiselas, and Laura Wexler

This course explores the ways in which both war and peace since the twentieth century have been imagined and represented, and how those visual practices might be unlearned and reimagined. We will discuss the project of making images of and against war from World War I and II, to nuclear war and Holocaust, colonial wars, proxy wars, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. What do these images and imaginings of war and peace leave out of view, and how can we bring both underlying social vulnerability and extant networks of protest and resistance into greater visibility?  How might we avoid automatized reiterations of well-worn locations and scenarios of violence, for example in constructions of “the enemy,” and develop new approaches to the nationalist, racialized, and gendered stakes of conflict?  What alternative acts of intervention, witnessing, memorialization and reparation might we create so as to see emergencies more freshly –at a time of conflict, as well as in anticipation and in retrospect? Can the visual archives of violence be reframed and re-circulated to shape more firmly the potential of justice, cohabitation and peace? How can visualizations of anti-war movements and peace actions be mobilized more effectively?  Our discussions will be based on the close study of essays, films, images, photo-books, archives, exhibitions and memorials by, among others, Leni Riefenstahl, Virginia Woolf, Hannah Arendt, Robert Capa, Keiji Nakasawa, Alain Resnais, Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, Judith Butler, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Diana Taylor, Thy Phu, David Schneer, Michael Rothberg, Amitav Gosh, Sharon Sliwinski, Nina Berman, Jenny Holzer, Walid Raad, Harun Farocki, Jon Berger, Gilo Pontecorvo, Alfredo Jaar, and more. This-team taught course is inspired by the documentary work of Susan Meiselas. Her distinctive photographic practice with communities in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Kurdistan and elsewhere, her repeated return to sites of conflict over time and her collaboration with the subjects of her images, as well as her extensive and innovative archival work, serve as one model for the kinds of approaches we want to explore and foster.

Call Number: 15197

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

Instructor: Claudia Breger

European (and more locally, German) modernity has been thoroughly shaped by its concepts and imaginations of gender and sexuality, as deeply entangled with each other as well as racialized notions of culture and religion. Conceptual claims and fantasies about differences between men and women and a spectrum of sexualities, often connected to distinctions between West and East or Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions worked to configure—as well as contest—individual and collective identities throughout the moments of modernism, fascism, and the Cold War. The 1968 “sexual revolution,” second and third wave feminisms, queer and trans* activism, and the contemporary realities of immigration and globalization have challenged and regrouped these cultural fictions of identity, without ever entirely undoing them. And in the twenty-first century, some of these fictions have had forceful comebacks, not limited to but including in contexts of right-wing populism, “anti-gender” activism, and political conflict around “identity politics.” The course starts from this contemporary renaissance of cultural fictions of identity and proceeds to deepen and anchor their analysis in the study of selected historical paradigms and texts, before returning to our present moment towards the end of the semester. We will draw on an interdisciplinary range of materials, including literature and film, philosophical, scholarly, and socio-political materials. Geographically, the emphasis is on German and German-language contexts within the larger frames of Europe, post/colonialism and globalization. The course is taught in English, and all required materials will be available in English or with English subtitles. However, Germanic Languages and Literatures students (& other German speakers) will be encouraged to read aesthetic and philosophical texts in the original German and explore additional materials for research assignments in German. Other linguistic competencies can be similarly put to use in comparative assignments.

Call Number: 13184

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

Instructor: Stephanie McCurry

This graduate level course invites students to engage a series of issues about nationalism, state formation, gender, race and citizenship presented forcefully in the United States in the context of Civil War and Reconstruction.  It also invites students to think about the nature and significance of that event in the history of the nineteenth century world.  At that crucial moment, 1861-77, a war of unprecedented scope drove a process of state building and state-sponsored slave emancipation in the United States which ultimately reconfigured the nation and remade the terms of political membership in it. The end of the war opened up a fundamental struggle about race and democracy in the aftermath of slavery, a period of radical experimentation in democratic inclusion, and a violent white supremacist backlash – all of which remain relevant to the present historical moment. Finally, the course grapples meaningfully with the question of gender and nation:  the gendered apparatus of nation-making, the configuring of women within the state and their relation to state authority, and the hard boundaries of male citizenship that emerged in the period of constitutional revision in the post-emancipation period.  Using the Civil War as a pivotal moment, the course ranges back to the early national period and forward into the twentieth century to trace out the nexus of gender, slavery, race, and nation in the Civil War era.

Call Number: 13272

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

Instructor: George Chauncey

This graduate colloquium provides a substantial introduction to the history of sexuality, primarily but not exclusively in the United States.  Readings and discussions emphasize both classic and recent historiographic themes, including the emergence of the category of “sexuality” itself and how it has articulated with hierarchies of gender, race, class, nation, and empire, and how the history of sexuality intersects with and might illuminate scholarship on other major themes in American history.  The course also considers sexuality as a source of public and personal identity, a component of social organization and subcultural social life, an object of scientific study, biopolitical management, and legal regulation, and a site of political and cultural conflict.This graduate colloquium provides a substantial introduction to the history of sexuality, primarily but not exclusively in the United States.  Readings and discussions emphasize both classic and recent historiographic themes, including the emergence of the category of “sexuality” itself and how it has articulated with hierarchies of gender, race, class, nation, and empire, and how the history of sexuality intersects with and might illuminate scholarship on other major themes in American history.  The course also considers sexuality as a source of public and personal identity, a component of social organization and subcultural social life, an object of scientific study, biopolitical management, and legal regulation, and a site of political and cultural conflict.


Call Number: 11339

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

Instructor: Ying Qian

This course introduces students to major works, genres and waves of East Asian cinema from the Silent era to the present, including films from Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. How has cinema participated in East Asian societies’ distinct and shared experiences of industrial modernity, imperialism and (post)colonialism? How has cinema engaged with questions of class, gender, ethnic and language politics? In what ways has cinema facilitated transnational circulations and mobilizations of peoples and ideas, and how has it interacted with other art forms, such as theatre, painting, photography and music? In this class, we answer these questions by studying cinemas across the region sideby- side, understanding cinema as deeply embedded in the region’s intertwining political, social and cultural histories and circulations of people and ideas. We cover a variety of genres such as melodrama, comedy, historical epic, sci-fi, martial arts and action, and prominent film auteurs such as Yasujir? Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, Yu Hy?nmok, Chen Kaige, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Ann Hui. As cinema is, among other things, a creative practice, in this course, students will be given opportunities to respond to films analytically and creatively, through writing as well as creative visual projects. As a global core course, this class does not assume prior knowledge of East Asian culture or of film studies.

Call Number: 14346

Day, Time & Location: Th 10:10AM-12:00PM 934 Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]

Instructor: Branden Joseph

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

Call Number: 13740

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10AM-12:00PM 930 Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]

Instructor: Meredith Garner

This graduate seminar explores the role of archives and “the archive” in the history and making of art history. How has the discipline defined its archives in the past, and how is it doing so now? How does one identify, navigate, and mine repositories of information for the purpose of art historical study? And what challenges or problems—theoretical, methodological, ethical—does such work raise? Our investigation will be grounded in and guided by readings drawn from a range of fields, including history, anthropology, critical theory, and queer, feminist, postcolonial, Indigenous, and critical race studies. Over the course of the semester, seminar members will also design and undertake an independent research project using one or more archives in the New York City area.

Call Number: 12328

Day, Time & Location: Tu 6:10PM-8:00PM 618 Hamilton Hall 

Instructor: Karen Van Dyck

Focusing on a canonical author is an immensely productive way to explore translation research and practice. The works of Sappho, Dante, Rilke, Césaire or Cavafy raise the question of reception in relation to many different critical approaches and illustrate many different strategies of translation and adaptation. The very issue of intertextuality that challenged the validity of author-centered courses after Roland Barthes’s proclamation of the death of the author reinstates it if we are willing to engage the oeuvre as an on-going interpretive project. By examining the poetry of the Greek Diaspora poet C. P. Cavafy in all its permutations (as criticism, translation, adaptation), the Cavafy case becomes an experimental ground for thinking about how a canonical author can open up our theories and practices of translation. For the final project students will choose a work by an author with a considerable body of critical work and translations and, following the example of Cavafy and his translators, come up with their own retranslations. Among the materials considered are commentary by E. M. Forster, C. M. Bowra, and Roman Jakobson, translations by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, James Merrill, Marguerite Yourcenar, and Daniel Mendelsohn, poems by W.H. Auden, Lawrence Durrell, and Joseph Brodsky, and visual art by David Hockney, and Duane Michals.

Call Number: 11106

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10AM-12:00PM 311 Fayerweather 

Instructor: Lisa Dolling

This course is intended as a general introduction to the discipline known as Rhetoric of Science, which, in its simplest form, aims to apply the tools of rhetorical inquiry to the various modes of scientific discourse. Special attention will be given to examining the roles that metaphor and narrative play in that effort. A significant part of this course will be devoted to the feminist critique and analysis of science, in terms of both theory development and science communication.   We will begin the course with a review of the perceived dichotomies and polarizing viewpoints that undergird and inform much of the scholarship. Using C.P. Snow’s seminal Rede Lecture The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution as background, we will go on to discuss some of the significant changes in the philosophy of science that gave rise to the “interpretive turn” and post-empiricist philosophies of science—in particular, Thomas Kuhn’s epoch-making The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which will be read in its entirety. We will then consider the ways that Kuhn’s work lays the foundations for the emergence of Rhetoric of Science as a discipline, especially his emphasis on the roles that language, argument, and persuasion play in the development, communication, and acceptance of scientific theory and knowledge.   The course will then focus on some of the foundational work in the field of Rhetoric of Science as the discipline attempts to carve out a place for itself as distinct from the philosophy or sociology of science.    From that point we will move to a discussion of metaphor and analogy in the scientific enterprise, and consider the ways scientists use storytelling as the vehicle for communication.   The course will end with a close study of the alternatives proposed by feminist scholars on two important fronts. The first begins with the groundbreaking work of scientist/philosopher Evelyn Fox Keller and her reflections on the role of gender in the practice and development of science, and continues with the work of philosophers such as Sandra Harding and Donna Haraway and the critique of objectivity and development of standpoint epistemologies. We will then move on to feminist approaches to science communication and the ways that gendered language can skew our understanding of both gender and the world.

Call Number: 14232

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

Instructor: Abigail Macbain

This course examines a broad array of topics related to the nature of women in Buddhism, both as presented in historical and religious texts as well as in the lives of female Buddhist practitioners. Our aim will be to consider these rules and traditions within the context of their creation as well as their subsequent use. We will also look to the words and examples of women Buddhist practitioners directly, including in modern Western Buddhism.

Call Number: 10737

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

Instructor: Ami Yoon

Contemporary portrayals of extinction often suggest the novelty of its occurrence and progress. Yet extinction has been a consistent and defining phenomenon in the American hemisphere since its colonization, unfolding in various modalities: as an historical narrative, an affective haunt, an ecological danger, and a colonial practice. This course will seek to make sense of the importance of extinction as both a foundational narrative and a lived reality of the "New World." We will examine how extinction in multiple forms was necessary for the establishment of early colonial societies, and chart an alternative history of the American democracy through literary records that bear witness to how settlers' claims of possession wreaked dispossession for other humans, animals, and plants on unparalleled scales. When extinction is imposed by forces of colonization, racism, sexism, anthropocentrism, and war, what possibilities of evasion or survival are there? What forms of remembrance can be had for extinguished lives? How does the idea of extinction push us to rethink how we understand life itself? No prerequisites.

Call Number: 12537

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

Instructor: Viola Lasmana

This course examines the intersection of race and aesthetics in cinema. Race, here, is used intersectionally to include not only race and ethnicity, but also all of the affiliated lines of contact, including national identity, gender, and sexuality. While the study of race is typically associated with political questions and concerns, and aesthetics are frequently linked with artistic form, this course seeks to locate the intersection of those categories in cinema and to complicate the ways in which the terms operate in relation to one another. Films and readings are drawn from a diverse set of global cultures, artists, and authors, and span a broad historical horizon. Our discussions will include questions including (but not limited to): do certain forms of racial representation generate unique aesthetic form? For instance, can we trace a specific kind of aesthetics in the works produced by the L.A. Rebellion filmmakers? How do certain film movements align with and inspire one another, such as those between Black and Asian/Asian American filmmakers? How does analyzing a film’s formal elements further our understandings of the thematic, political, cultural, and social forces that underpin the film? Together, we will think through these issues, informed by a range of theoretical frameworks including critical race theory, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, and queer theory.

Call Number: 14341

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

Instructor: Isabella Cosse

The course presents new approaches for revisiting the study of this key period, moving away from more conventional angles to focus on global dynamics by looking at Latin America through the lens of sexuality and family. From this perspective, it will map out different problems and it will prompt a stimulating debate, allowing for discussions on generational as well as gender clashes, everyday life, and affective and emotional bonds, but also on the political strategies of the forces in conflict, public policies and cultural interventions. Discussions will underline interpretative and methodological dilemmas in relation with the historical reconstruction. Particularly, it will consider the relation between political and socio-cultural processes and the connection between the “longue durée” and contingency of the historical events. The course will allow students to explore these problems by themselves and promote their active participation, requesting different type of production from them such as oral intervention, an essay, etc. To sum up, this course offers the opportunity to rethink the Cold War, which still stir sensitivities and which is part of the political agenda even today, in a deeper and more complex way.  

Call Number: 15174

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

Instructor: Tylar Colleluori

“Renaissance man”: someone who is educated and proficient in a wide range of fields, such as art, literature, philosophy, and science. Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and other men placed in this category have since become household names. But what about the Renaissance woman? From the onset of Renaissance Humanism to the Counter-Reformation, how did women’s education and artistic/literary production in Italy compare to that of their male contemporaries? To and for whom were women writing? About what? How can we read their contributions within the broader historical, cultural, and political contexts of the Italian Renaissance, especially when this period is largely dominated by a “canon” of male authors? The concepts of gender and genre will drive our exploration: the fact that the Italian word genere is used to express both ideas highlights a shared etymology stemming from the Latin genus (“race, stock, family; kind, rank, order”) and the Proto-Indo-European root *gene- (“give birth, beget”). In addition to offering a broad overview of the literary and artistic production of early modern Italian women, this course will also consider how these authors challenged the common conceptions of gender and genre through their works, and how they confronted problems intrinsic to both of these notions: categorization, restriction, exclusion, marginalization, and liminality. The emphasis for this course will be placed on Italian texts written primarily between the years 1400 and 1650. In order to combat the idea that women were better suited to certain modes of writing and to contemplate a more comprehensive idea of authorship and literacy, we will cover a wide array of genres (lyric and epic poetry, theatre, epistolary writing, dialogues, prose narrative, treatises, and the visual arts) and common themes (romantic love, familial relations, friendship, domestic life, education, humanism, political theory, religion, science, and natural philosophy). Along with primary source texts, we will also read selected secondary sources in order to raise additional questions related to sexuality, race, class, translation, literacy, readership, print culture, and the construction of the self.

Call Number: 14082

Day, Time & Location: M 6:10PM-8:00PM TBA

Instructor: Christina Lopez

White supremacists have attempted to coopt the iconography of the Middle Ages in their campaign to legitimize their hateful agendas, glorifying the medieval period for its supposed racial and cultural homogeny.  Yet literary, artistic, and historical sources from the period indicate that the Middle Ages were, in fact, far more diverse than many presume. This course offers a correction to the notion of a homogenous Middle Ages by focusing on the role and status of the Other in this period.  We will examine those at the margins of medieval society, including women, enslaved persons, Muslims, Jews, queer folk, people of color, the impoverished, and the disabled.  The course will ultimately nuance students’ potential preconceived notions of the Middle Ages, demonstrating the degree to which medieval society defies modern assumptions of both its uniformity and stratification.  Our primary focus on Italian literary and historical sources will be supplemented as appropriate by other medieval European perspectives, by critical theory, and by literature from the period.    In English

Call Number: 13716

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 11:40AM-12:55PM 201 Casa Hispanica

Instructor: Graciela Montaldo

The course focuses on women, culture, and activism in contemporary Latin America through the discussion of manifestos, essays, visual works, films, literature, blogs, music, and new cultural experiences. We will approach two main demands of women on the streets: claims against violence (“femicidios”) and the expansion of rights. Students will be introduced to theoretical writing on Latin American feminisms in different contexts (mainly Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Mexico, Chile, Peru). This course will provide students with an accurate understanding of some of the topics of contemporary Latin American feminism and activism related to new subjectivities, politics, and culture. The course develops a wide range of cultural practices and includes topics as practices of resistance, representation of violence, gender as spectacle, and new phenomena such as urban protests. We will also trace a relevant genealogy of women struggles in Latin America. The class will be conducted in Spanish and all written assignments will also be in that language.

Call Number: 11888

Day, Time & Location: Tu 2:10PM-4:00PM 201 80 Claremont Ave

Instructor: Verena H Meyer

This seminar will examine how bodily practices associated with gender and sexualities are cultivated, regulated, and articulated within various religious traditions and how these practices have been influenced by global processes, including colonialism, the accelerating movement of people and technologies, and modern secularism and identity politics. Throughout the course we will tack back and forth between theoretical works and ethnographic/historical writing, in order to articulate what is probably the most difficult aspect of original research: how to bring together “high theory” and primary sources ranging from field research to data drawn from a variety of media.

Call Number: 14701

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

Instructor: Lisa Rosen

In this course on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., we will initially focus on the early years of the AIDS epidemic and explore how public health experts and public officials struggled to understand this mysterious disease and how societal responses were affected by prejudices and stereotypes about stigmatized groups and risks of transmission and acquisition. Do these conditions persist today? How do they affect goals to end the HIV epidemic in the United States? And how do they play out in other aspects of healthcare and the social world (e.g., politics, social relationships, religious institutions)?

Call Number: 00407

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 1:10PM-2:25PM 225 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Javier Perez Zapatero

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

Prerequisites: SPAN UN2102 or AP score of 4 or 5; or SAT score. 

Call Number: 00465

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM 404 Barnard Hall

Instructor: Celia E Naynor

This course examines Shakespeare's role in shaping western ideas about blackness, in processes of racial formation, and in black freedom struggle. As one of the most enduring representations of a black man in western art, Shakespeare's Othello will be a focal point. However, this course will examine other "race" plays as well as works perceived as "race-neutral" in tandem with black "respeakings" of Shakespeare's works. This class is antiracist in intent and is shaped by several interlocking questions: What is black Shakespeare? Can creators and scholars separate Shakespeare from the apparatus of white supremacy that has been built around his works? What are the challenges for BIPOC actors performing Shakespeare on the dominant stage? Can performing Shakespeare be an activist endeavor?

Possible readings: Keith Hamilton Cobb, American Moor; Abdias Donascimento, Sortilegio-Misterio Negro; Djanet Sears, Harlem Duet; William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Othello, Richard II, the sonnets; Caroline Randall Williams, Lucy Negro, Redux


Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Enrollment limited to 18 students. Priority will be given to Africana majors and CCIS students (Africana Studies, American Studies and Women's Studies majors; minors in Race and Ethnic Studies).

Call Number: 00469

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

Instructor: Shirley Taylor

Call Number: 00539

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10AM-12:00PM 214 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

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: 00439

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 8:40AM-9:55AM 207 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Kristina Milnor

This course will include an assessment of the controversial and fragmentary sources on the lives of women in Greece and Rome from pre-history to the Roman Empire with occasional comparisons to other contemporary Mediterranean cultures. The course will include evidence from material culture, poetic texts (esp. epic, drama, and lyric poetry), cosmologies, historical documents and inscriptions, philosophical and medical sources, and oratory. We will also read twentieth-century sociological and anthropological texts that may help to analyze the readings.

Call Number: 00447

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM 214 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: TBD

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

Call Number: 00428

Day, Time & Location: M 10:10AM-1:45PM 323 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Breixo Viejo Vinas

Traditional film history has consigned a multitude of cinema practices to an inferior position. By accepting Hollywood’s narrative model as central, film scholars have often relegated non-male, non-white, non-Western films to a secondary role. Often described as “marginal” or “peripheral” cinemas, the outcomes of these film practices have been systematically excluded from the canon. Yet… are these motion pictures really “secondary”? In relation to what? And according to whom? This course looks at major films by women filmmakers of the 20th Century within a tradition of political cinema that 1) directly confronts the hegemonic masculinity of the Hollywood film industry, and 2) relocates the so-called “alternative women’s cinema” at the core of film history. Unlike conventional feminist film courses, which tend to be contemporary and anglocentric, this class adopts a historical and worldwide perspective; rather than focusing on female directors working in America today, we trace the origins of women’s cinema in different cities of the world (Berlin, Paris, New York) during the silent period, and, from there, we move forward to study major works by international radical directors such as Lorenza Mazzetti, Agnès Varda, Forough Farrokhzad, Vera Chytilová, Chantal Akerman, Liliana Cavani, Barbara Kopple, Larisa Shepitko, and Mira Nair. We analyse how these filmmakers have explored womanhood not only as a source of oppresion (critique of patriarchal phallocentrism, challenge to heteronormativity, etc) but, most importantly, as a source of empowerment (defense of matriarchy, equal rights, lesbian love, inter- and transexuality...). Required readings include seminal texts of feminist film theory by Claire Johnston, Laura Mulvey, Ann Kaplan, bell hooks, and Judith Butler. Among the films screened in the classroom are: silent movies –Suspense (Lois Weber, 1913), The Smiling Madame Beudet (Germaine Dulac, 1922)—, early independent and experimental cinema –Girls in Uniform (Leontine Sagan, 1931), Ritual in Transfigured Time (Maya Deren, 1946)—, “new wave” films of the 1950s and 1960s –Together (Mazzetti, 1956), Cléo from 5 to 7 (Varda, 1962), Daisies (Chytilová, 1966)–, auteur cinema of the 1970s – Jeanne Dielman (Akerman, 1975), The Ascent (Shepitko, 1977)–, and documentary films –Harlan County, USA (Kopple, 1976), Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990).

Call Number: 00489

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 11:40AM-12:55PM 302 Barnard Hall

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.