Current Courses

Fall 2022

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


Call Number: 00694

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

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: 00695

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 10:10AM-11:25AM at 304 Barnard Hall

Instructor: Manijeh Moradian

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

Call Number: 00696

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

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: 00697

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

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: 00698

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at 306 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

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: 00699

Day, Time & Location: Tu 4:10PM-6:00PM 407 Barnard Hall

Instructor: Janet Jakobsen

This course collaborates between students and professor, humans and animals, subjects and objects, to investigate the Animal Problem. What are non-human animals? How do we relate to them? How do we account for our animal nature while reconciling our cultural aspirations? What are our primary desires with respect to non-human animals?

Call Number: 11769

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10PM-4:00PM at 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: 00701

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

Instructor: Jonathan 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: 11772

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

Instructor: Audra Simpson, Manu Karuka

Indigenous women, queers, trans- and Two Spirit people have been at the forefront of activism and resistance to state incursion into Indigenous lands and waters. This was evident most recently at Mauna Kea, a mountain sacred to Kanaka Maoli in Hawaii as women, trans and queer formed the first line of resistance and occupation against the construction of a 1000-meter telescope on the site. This is not unique, their voices, along with indigenous queer and feminist scholars, have been working to address issues as far-ranging as mascots, settler appropriation of indigenous cultures, missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and the violence against indigenous urban youth. This seminar will consider how those indigenous feminist, queer, and Two Spirit scholars have theorized gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism, alongside issues of land, water and sovereignty. We will read works that consider how indigeneity challenges how gender and sexuality are expressed in the context of settler colonialism and racial capitalism. 

Call Number: 00702

Day, Time & Location: Th 12:00PM-1:50PM TBA

Instructor: Neferti Tadiar

This advanced seminar examines historical, social, cultural, and theoretical propositions for decolonizing praxis and their complex relations to feminist critique. How do we understand Western European colonialism and coloniality as modes, conditions, and institutions of power, dispossession, subjugation, and subjection continuing into the present? What are the methods, practices, and vision enacted and proposed by the colonized for undoing and radically transforming the determinate logics, instruments, and structures of colonialism as these persist in the present moment? We will consider how gender and sexuality as well as race – as technologies of social organization, codes of valuation, and modes of survival – shape colonialism and the struggles against it. We will inquire into their significance to projects of decolonization. How might decolonization envision and make possible other ways of life?

Call Number: 00693

Day, Time & Location: W 12:00PM-1:50PM TBA

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: 11774

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

Instructor: Sarah Haley

While the mutually constitutive nature of race and gender has been a longstanding premise in feminist and gender studies, this class explores recent works across a range of fields that provide new insight into the process and operation of racialized gender in economic, cultural, social, and political life. Key themes will include colonialism, humanism/the human, method, refusal, carcerality, relationality, Marxist feminism, and disability. As a field constituted by theories of racialized gender this class will emphasize Black feminist frameworks while also meaningfully engaging decolonial, Indigenous, queer of color, and women of color analyses.

Call Number: 16086

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM 934 Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

What happens when we understand art as an active producer of theory, rather than as an object to which theory might be “applied?” This seminar proposes that recent art has catalyzed and shaped advanced feminist and queer thought, and asks how visual art practices have been engines of theoretical propositions about the entanglements of genders, sexualities, racialization, desire, state power, archives, migration, utopias/dystopias, loss, anger, visibility/opacity, world-making, etc. We will focus our speculations around a series of case studies from around the world to think about how insistently intersectional feminist, trans, and queer knowledge is embodied, generated, and performed within works, acts, and objects themselves. Modeling more horizontal methods of learning in alignment with queer feminist pedagogies, students will participate in building our reading list and will collaboratively lead discussions. Artists/artist’s groups might include Asco, Sadie Barnette, fierce pussy, Jeffrey Gibson, Félix González-Torres, Glenn Ligon, Candice Lin, Julie Mehretu, Yasumasa Morimura, Zanele Muholi, Senga Nengudi, Cecilia Vicuña, and Martin Wong.


Call Number: 10631

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

Instructor: Camille Robcis

This course provides an introduction to some of the major landmarks in European cultural and intellectual history, from the aftermath of the French Revolution to the 1970s. We will pay special attention to the relationship between texts (literature, anthropology, political theory, psychoanalysis, art, and film) and the various contexts in which they were produced. Among other themes, we will discuss the cultural impact of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialism, colonialism, modernism, the Russian Revolution, the two world wars, decolonization, feminism and gay liberation movements, structuralism and poststructuralism. In conjunction, we will examine how modern ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, Marxism, imperialism, fascism, totalitarianism, neoliberalism) were developed and challenged over the course of the last two centuries. Participation in weekly discussion sections staffed by TAs is mandatory. The discussion sections are 50 minutes per session. Students must register for the general discussion (“DISC”) section, and will be assigned to a specific time and TA instructor once the course begins.

Call Number: 11492

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

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: 10633

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

Instructor: Samuel K 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: 10592

Day, Time & Location: M W 11:40AM-12:55PM 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: 00038

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

Instructor: Premilla Nadasen

Using an intersectional framework, this course traces changing notions of gender and sexuality in the 20th century United States.  The course examines how womanhood and feminism were shaped by class, race, ethnicity, culture, sexuality and immigration status.  We will explore how the construction of American nationalism and imperialism, as well as the development of citizenship rights, social policy, and labor organizing, were deeply influenced by the politics of gender.  Special emphasis will be placed on organizing and women's activism.

Call Number: 11947

Day, Time & Location: M W 1:10PM-2:25PM TBA

Instructor: Annie Pfeifer

Although the first volume of the Grimms’ Children Stories and Household Tales was published more than 200 years ago, their fairy tales continue to enchant readers. In this course we will not only study the Grimms’ fairy tales themselves, but also examine their origins and their social, ideological, and political contexts in 19th-century Europe. We will work with fairy tale theory (narrative, psychoanalytic, historical) and discuss the function of the tales as folklore as well as their status as children’s literature. Alongside the “original” Grimms’ tales—a concept that we will discuss—a major portion of the course will engage the legacy of the fairy tales and the way they have been appropriated by others, particularly from a critical, feminist perspective.

Points of emphasis will include: how writers in the first half of the 20th century politicized the tales in the battle for social change during the time of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany; how the tales were reinterpreted in different national traditions and historical periods; how the fairy tale become a mass culture icon in Disney’s film versions; and how contemporary writers like Margaret Atwood continue to employ tales in questioning and challenging traditional constructions of gender.

Call Number: 10595

Day, Time & Location: Tu 12:10PM-2:00PM 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: 00082

Day, Time & Location: W 2:10PM-4:00PM at 202 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Kaiama Glover

Looks at the portrayal of women as unsettling figures in the Francophone Caribbean literary universe. Examining the uncanny heroines in the novels of both male and female writers, students will identify the thematic commonalities and specific configurative strategies that emerge in the fictional representation of women in the region. The symbolic import of zombies, schizophrenics, and other disordering characters will be analyzed as indicators of and reflections on broader social realities. FREN BC1204: French Intermediate II or the equivalent level is required.

Call Number: 00007

Day, Time & Location: M 2:10PM-4:00PM at 406 Barnard Hall

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: 12573

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

Instructor: Nikolas Kakkoufa

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

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

Call Number: 12198

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

Instructor: Katherine Fein

How did changing modes of representation reflect and contribute to shifting conceptions of embodiment and identity? This advanced undergraduate seminar explores the complex relationship between photography and the human body in the United States since the introduction of photography in 1839. Moving decade by decade, this course traces the development of photography alongside social and political change that altered how human bodies were understood, represented, inhabited, and controlled. We will examine a variety of photographic genres that figure the body, including personal portraits, ethnographic images, identification images, documentary photography, and fashion photography. Alongside the close examination of photographs, we will read key primary sources, scholarship in art history, and theoretical texts. Two field trips—one to Columbia’s Art Properties and one to the Metropolitan Museum of Art—will give us an opportunity to have our own embodied encounters with historical photographs. Although the course explores the period between 1839 and 1970, we will reflect upon the legacy of historical photographic practices in the years since and in the contemporary world.

Call Number: 10243

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

Instructor: Rachel Adams

Deformed, grotesque, super/transhuman and otherwise extraordinary bodies have always been a central feature of comics.  However, the past ten years have seen a surge of graphic narratives that deal directly with experiences of health and illness, and that are recognized as having significant literary value.  This course will focus on graphic narratives about healthcare, illness, and disability with particular attention to questions of embodied identities such as gender, sexuality, race, and age.  Primary texts will include the work of Alison Bechdel, Roz Chast, CeCe Bell, David Small, Allie Brosch, and Ellen Fourney.  We will study the vocabulary, conventions, and formal properties of graphic literature, asking how images and text work together to create narrative.  We will consider whether graphic narrative might be especially well suited to representations of bodily difference; how illness/disability can disrupt conventional ideas about gender and sexuality; how experiences of the body as a source of pain, stigmatization, and shame intersect with the sexualized body; and how illness and disability queer conventional sexual arrangements, identities, and attachments.  While studying the construction of character, narrative, framing, color, and relationship between visual and print material on the page, students will also produce their own graphic narratives.

Call Number: 12867

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

Instructor: Anna Reumert

In this course, we are going to examine political imagination in revolutionary times and discuss issues of representation and authorship that emerge when people mobilize for change. Taking lessons from anthropology, critical theory, queer and feminist theory, as well as postcolonial and Black studies, we will apply a method of critical inquiry to readings of the revolution as historical concept and as a lived experience. We will examine not simply “what happened”, but how we came to know about it: What determines whether a popular uprising is written into history as a “revolution” or dismissed as a “riot”? What does it mean for a revolution to “succeed”? Who gets to author the revolution as such –– the people on the street, the people who take power, or the people writing about the event after it happened? Who gets to be the protagonists of the revolution, and who are left out? How does class, race and gender figure into this hierarchy of voice?

We will apply these questions in reading two contemporary uprisings that get to the heart of the tensions between “identarian” and “universal” political claims: The Movement for Black Lives in the US, and Lebanon’s civil uprising of 2019-20. Both uprisings mobilized against racial capitalism and sectarianism and were met with state and police violence. We will examine the political critique that emerged from these uprisings, and how they might enable a critique of the political as an exclusionary concept. By reading activist, scholarly and artist interpretations of the uprisings, including film, dance, poetry, and manifestos, we will ask: What new forms of political mobilization and visions emerge from this critique?

Call Number: 00122

Day, Time & Location: Th 4:10PM-6:00PM at 318 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Elizabeth Bernstein

This research and writing-intensive seminar is designed for senior majors with a background and interest in the sociology of gender and sexuality. The goal of the seminar is to facilitate completion of the senior requirement (a 25-30 page paper) based on ;hands on; research with original qualitative data. Since the seminar will be restricted to students with prior academic training in the subfield, students will be able to receive intensive research training and guidance through every step of the research process, from choosing a research question to conducting original ethnographic and interview-based research, to analyzing and interpreting ones findings. The final goal of the course will be the production of an original paper of standard journal-article length. Students who choose to pursue their projects over the course of a second semester will have the option of revisiting their articles further for submission and publications.

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: 00284

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

Instructor: Elizabeth Castelli

This seminar considers the difference gender makes in interpreting ancient Christian texts, ideas, and practices. Topics will include gender hierarchy and homoeroticism, prophecy and authority, outsiders’ views of Christianity, bodily pieties such as martyrdom and asceticism, and gender politics in the establishment of church offices. Emphasis will be placed on close readings of primary sources and selected scholarly framings of these sources.

Call Number: 38467

Day, Time & Location: T 7:20pm-9:00pm at Thompson Hall 229 (Teachers College)

Instructor: Aurelie Athan 

The mother-child relationship: Implications for development and influence on clinical theory and practice, focus on theories of parenting, ruptures in the relationship and therapy with mothers and children.

Call Number: 10258

Day, Time & Location: W 10:10am-12:00pm at 963 Schermerhorn Hall Ext. 

Instructor: Vanessa Lauren Agard-Jones

Zora Neale Hurston—Barnard College ‘28 and a once-graduate student in Columbia’s department of Anthropology—was a pioneering chronicler of Black folklore, a student of Black expression, and a creative imaginer of Black worlds via her novels, short stories, plays and poetry. From her travels throughout the U.S. South, to Haiti, Jamaica, and beyond, Hurston took as her mission a diasporic articulation of Black life in the Americas. In this seminar, we ask what a deep reading of Hurston’s oeuvre can teach us about the history of Anthropology, about the blurry borders between fiction and ethnography, and about the legacies that her work leaves—in communities of scholarly practice and beyond.

Call Number: 39603

Day, Time & Location: M 6:00pm-7:40pm ONLINE (Teachers College)

Instructor: Melanie Brewster 

The purpose of this course is to introduce some of the major issues surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity and how these issues historically and presently interact with psychological and educational topics. This course will examine factors impacting individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and explore the potential role of mental health and educational professionals, teachers, and researchers in working with this population.

Call Number: 11968

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

Instructor: Claudia Breger


Call Number: 13154

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: 12764

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

Instructor: Samuel K 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, in June 1981, to the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Call Number: 15048

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

Instructor: Jack Halberstam

This class will ask you to read a set of novels, theoretical essays and engage works from queer cinema, TV and music, in order to think deeply about sexuality, identity, desire, race, objects, relationality, being, knowing and becoming. We will consider sexuality, desire and gender not as a discrete set of bodily articulations, nor as natural expressions of coherent identities so much as part of the formulation of self that Avery Gordon names “complex personhood.” Beginning with a film from the UK that rereads queerness back through a history or labor and ending with a film made entirely on the iPhone and that stages queerness as part of an alternative articulation of Hollywood, we will explore new and old theories of queer desire. Through the readings, discussions, and assignments, you will develop critical analytical skills to consider social change movements with particular attention to how sex, gender, race, class, sexuality, sexual orientation, and other systems of power shape people’s everyday lives. We will trace the entanglements of narrativity and subjectivity, desire and language, difference and representation and we will explore queer theories of being, knowing and becoming.  

Call Number: 12966

Day, Time & Location: TBA

Instructor: Jean Howard

Prison literature—poems, plays, memoirs, novels, and songs written in prison or about prison—constitute a significant part of American literature. Prisons expose many of the systemic inequalities of American life, above all those based on racism and the enduring legacies of slavery. Using the tools of critical race theory, feminism, and class analysis, this course will explore the forms of cultural expression that have emerged in relationship to the American prison experience. Though the course will touch on the rise of convict leasing, chain gangs, and work farms as part of the penal system under Jim Crow, the main focus will be on developments in the U.S. prison system and in prison literature since the 1960s, roughly from the prison writing of George Jackson, Angela Davis, and Malcolm X to the outpouring of contemporary fiction and poetry about prison life by Jesmyn Ward, Colin Whitehead, Rachel Kushner, and Reginald Betts. This is the era of what Michelle Alexander has called “the new Jim Crow,” the rise of mass incarceration, the partial privatization of the penal system, and the growth of supermax facilities.

Among the questions we will explore together are these: What tools and techniques do writers use to construct the prison experience? What are the affordances offered by various genres (drama, autobiography, poetry, the novel) for exploring the prison system and the systems of oppression that converge at that site? Does some literature of incarceration perpetuate damaging discourses about “felons,” or does it revise and complicate stereotypes and narratives about incarcerated individuals? How do narratives involving change, conversion, growing up, or being defeated operate in various genres of prison literature? What role do mourning, witnessing, testifying, and resistance play in such writing? What is the imagined audience of various genres of prison writing, that is, for whom is it written? What ethical and political demands does such writing make on us as readers, citizens, activists?

Call Number: 15968

Day, Time & Location: T 11:00am-12:50pm at 501B International Affairs Building (SIPA)

Instructor: Yasmine Ergas 

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

Call Number: 16825

Day, Time & Location: T 2:10pm-4:00pm at 934 Schermerhorn Hall

Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

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


Call Number: 10586

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

Instructor: Casey Blake

This course examines major themes in U.S. intellectual history since the Civil War. Among other topics, we will examine the public role of intellectuals; the modern liberal-progressive tradition and its radical and conservative critics; the uneasy status of religion ina secular culture; cultural radicalism and feminism; critiques of corporate capitalism and consumer culture; the response of intellectuals to hot and cold wars, the Great Depression, and the upheavals of the 1960s. Fields(s): US

Call Number: 10704

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

Instructor: Leta Hong Fincher

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

Call Number: 12762

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

Instructor: Yiwen Shen

The aim of this course is to examine the interrelated concepts of body, borders, gender construction, and sexuality as expressed in Japanese literature, religion, and culture from the premodern period to the present. We will use a variety of media including oral literature, narrative fiction, noh play, early modern comic literature, novel, film, and anime.

Call Number: 10101

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

Instructor: Lauren Robertson

Concentrating on the drama of early modern England, this course will investigate a culture of surveillance regarding women’s bodies in the period. We will give special focus to the fear of female infidelity, the theatrical fascination with the woman’s pregnant body, and the cultural desire to confirm and expose women’s chastity. We will read plays in which women are falsely accused of adultery, in various generic contexts (such as William Shakespeare’s 

Cymbeline and Much Ado About Nothing), along with plays in which women actually commit infidelity (such as the anonymous Arden of Faversham and Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside). Focusing on a different play each week, we will ask: what does it take, ultimately, to believe women about their fidelity? At the same time, what is the effect of being doubted on women themselves? We will also give consideration to the particular resources of dramatic form, paying attention to moments in plays that coerce spectators themselves into mistaken judgments about women.

We will supplement our reading of drama with pamphlets, advice literature, poems, church court cases, and ballads, in order to place these plays within a broader and more varied culture of female surveillance in early modern England. Finally, we will work to recover past strategies of liberation from this surveillance in the plays we read, in women’s writing that warns against male betrayal, and in dramatic and historical instances of female cross-dressing.

Call Number: 11572

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: 13405

Day, Time & Location: M 10:00AM-11:25AM/ W 10:00AM-12:55PM at 511 Dodge Hall

Instructor: James Schamus

This course surveys the first century of the American Western film genre, and its relation to American imaginings and ideologies of the “frontier,” with in-depth readings of key precursor texts, including memoirs, histories, novels, and essays. We will consider the evolution of the genre and its changing place within the film industry, and study exemplary films that established and challenged the genre’s narrative, aesthetic, and ideological conventions. We will explore how films engage with the history and myth of the American West. We will also be analyzing the politics of the Western, in particular how films articulate configurations of race, class, nation, sexuality and gender. And we will study the way Western films and filmmakers themselves interrogate the analytic categories we use to study them -- categories such as “genre” and “auteur” – with specific attention to the work and career of John Ford. Please note: the course requires sustained engagement with and analysis of written texts as well as films, so please be prepared for a bit more reading than what you might expect from a typical film survey course.

Call Number: 00091

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

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: 11896

Day, Time & Location: W 6:10PM-8:00PM 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: 12188

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM 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: 12563

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

Instructor: TBA

This course is designed to explore the massive and unprecedented radical Feminist activisms in the Latin America –mainly in the Southern Cone, Argentina and Chile- in the second decade of the twentieth century.  In order to account for the multiple and heterogeneous character of the movement we will study the emergence of this new activism, its actions, and the conversations they engage in with their predecessors. Current feminisms display an essential claim against the policies of neoliberal States. They are also known for creating a vast scope of ideas and vocabularies linked to new perspectives on violence, the body, resistance, or precarity, among others. The course analyzes the impact of space (streets, assemblies, university) in the action, intervention, and creation of feminist politics. It also looks at the discourses and texts written: manifestos, videos, posters, books, performances. Feminist aesthetic production is an inseparable aspect of these interventions and it will be an essential focus in all the topics discussed. The political and cultural transformations that feminist activisms pursue involve thinking new forms of subjectivation as part of collective politics. This course proposes various interdisciplinary approaches in order to encompass the multidimensional nature of this topic.

Call Number: 11834

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

Instructor: Mamadou Diouf

“Pan Africanist” ideologies were very diverse from Garveyism, Negritude to the various African America, Caribbean and African discourses of “neo-pharaohnism” and “Ethiopianism.” This seminar explores how Black leaders, intellectuals, and artists chose to imagine Black (Africans and people of African descent) as a global community from the late 19th century to the present. It examines their attempts to chart a course of race, modernity, and emancipation in unstable and changing geographies of empire, nation, and state. Particular attention will be given to manifestations identified as their common history and destiny and how such a distinctive historical experience has created a unique body of reflections on and cultural productions about modernity, religion, class, gender, and sexuality, in a context of domination and oppression.

Call Number: 10042

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

Instructor: Michael Naft

This course seeks to (1) illuminate the psychological pathways through which stigma impacts members of devalued social groups, and (2) investigate the mechanisms through which interventions at different levels of an ecological system either succeed or fail.  The course broadly considers identity devaluation, discrimination, and exclusion as general processes that apply to a range of social categories and status characteristics, including sexual orientation, obesity, mental illness, racial and ethnic identity, physical disability, immigration status, and having a criminal record.  Conceptualizing stigma as a multi-level construct, we will focus on both psychological and structural mechanisms through which stigma harms its targets and contributes to population-level inequalities.  While the course will draw primarily on the literature in social psychology, we will also consider research and writing from other disciplines, including clinical psychology, sociology, public health, and law.  Over the course of the semester, we will also consider methodological issues in psychological research, including ways in which stigma, its impacts, and intervention effects can be measured. 

Call Number: 00691

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

Instructor: Camilla Sturm

An archaeological perspective on the evolution of human social life from the first bipedal step of our ape ancestors to the establishment of large sedentary villages. While traversing six million years and six continents, our explorations will lead us to consider such major issues as the development of human sexuality, the origin of language, the birth of “art” and religion, the domestication of plants and animals, and the foundations of social inequality. Designed for anyone who happens to be human.

Call Number: 00266

Day, Time & Location: M 4:10PM-6:00PM at LL001

Instructor: Ileana Jimenez

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

Call Number: 00548

Day, Time & Location: M 9:30AM-1:15PM at 405 Milbank Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Breixo Viejo Vinas

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: 00551

Day, Time & Location: Tu 9:30AM-1:15PM at LL017

Instructor: Breixo Viejo Vinas

In 1952, the British Film Institute’s prestigious journal Sight - Sound polled the world’s leading film critics to compile a list of the best motion pictures of all time. It was one of the first attempts to establish an authoritative film canon at an international scale. Since then, dozens of magazines, cinematheques, and festivals around the globe publish their “best movies” lists every year. These polls tend to reproduce a canonical selection of “classics” that includes Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941), Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958), The Godfather (Coppola, 1972), and other familiar titles among contemporary film audiences. The canon itself would not be worth bothering with if it hadn’t been so influential in academic circles. University film programs often integrate this selection without questioning the ideological motivations behind it. In this class, we study “unseen masterworks” of world cinema that have been usually marginalized in conventional analysis of film. We challenge the standard, anglo-centric, sexist, heteronormative, and racist-by-omission film history in order to articulate a critique of cultural hegemony – and its tendency to depoliticize film as a medium. For that purpose, we look at a series of paradigmatic features in terms of their 1) explorative approach to film style, and 2) politically subversive narrative. In-class screenings include The World of Apu (Ray, 1959), The Exterminating Angel (Buñuel, 1962), Woman in the Dunes (Teshigahara, 1964), Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Paradjanov, 1965), The Red and the White (Jancsó, 1967), Mandabi (Sembene, 1968), Johnny Got His Gun (Trumbo, 1971), Oh Lucky Man! (Anderson, 1973), Seven Beauties (Wertmüller, 1975), and ...but the clouds... (Beckett, 1977). Required readings include Amos Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art (1974), seminal texts by film directors, and excerpts from Gilles Deleuze’s The Movement Image (1983), The Time-Image (1985), and “The Exhausted” (1992).

Call Number: 00084

Day, Time & Location: M W 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: 00629

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

Instructor: Paula 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: 00119

Day, Time & Location: Tu Th 10:10AM-11:25AM at 805 Altschul Hall (Barnard)

Instructor: Debra Minkoff

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

Call Number: 00121

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

Instructor: Jonathan Rieder

Prerequisites: SOCI BC1003 or equivalent social science course and permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Drawing examples from popular music, religion, politics, race, and gender, explores the interpretation, production, and reception of cultural texts and meanings. Topics include aesthetic distinction and taste communities, ideology, power, and resistance; the structure and functions of subcultures; popular culture and high culture; and ethnography and interpretation.

Call Number: 00147

Day, Time & Location: W 12:10PM-2:00PM at 306 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.

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.