Fall 2020 Graduate Courses
WST 601 - Feminist Theories
Mary Jo Bona
Mondays 1:00 - 3:50 pm ONLINE
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to a wide range of readings
in feminist theories and the impact of gender and sexuality studies criticism on literary
studies and feminist narratology. Taking an intersectional approach to argue that
multiple modalities—gender, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, ability, geographical
location—create social positions and representations structured by inequalities, we
will examine and critique a variety of literary/critical texts that anticipate, intervene
in, and embody feminist and queer representations in narrative. Loosely organized
around feminist chronologies, we will examine early feminisms alongside second-wave
and sexuality studies; we then examine critical race studies and black feminisms,
and shift to queer of color and transnational feminisms. Readings range from Mary
Wollstonecraft and Julia C. Collins to Gloria Anzaldúa, Hortense Spillers, and Maggie
Nelson. French feminists, Wittig, Kristeva, Cixous, and Irigaray are read in conjunction
with earlier works by Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Woolf (
A Room of One’s Own
, e.g.) and alongside Spivak, Butler, Fuss, and Ahmed. Longer works include Morrison’s
Woman Hollering Creek.
Collaborative praxis is expected in this class as such work comprises education as
a “practice of freedom,” as bell hooks has written.
WST 610 - Advanced Topics in Women's Studies: "
Historicity and the Political in Feminist Media Cultures"
Tuesdays 4:45 - 7:35 p.m.
In this seminar we will draw upon feminist and queer media and film studies in order
to explore the relations between mass and subcultural media cultures, gender, race,
sexuality, and feminism. Our focus will be on examining the role television and film
played in the production and dissemination of new forms of gendered and raced political
identities and collectivities in the post1945 era. Specifically, we will ask how the
media shaped the ways in which forms of cultural belonging and political collectivity
were imagined and constituted and how, in the late twentieth and early twenty-first
century, new forms of gendered and sexual belonging were produced that both challenge
and also continue the political and economic expansion of a globalized (late) modernity.
We will read texts from feminist and queer media studies including, Amy Villarejo,
Ethereal Queer: Television, Historicity, Desire
; Damon R. Young,
Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies
, and Kara Keeling,
The Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense
, as well as studies in new media and feminist media cultures, including essays by
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Rox Samer, and Cait McKinney.
WST 610 - Advanced Topics in Women's Studies: "Performance Studies: Theories, Methods,
Wednesdays 4:25 - 7:15 p.m.
What “is” performance, this contested term? What does it “do”? How does what performance
“is” and what it “does” change when we interrogate the circumstances under which it
“is” and “does”? When we investigate the when, how, and for whom it “is” and “does”?
How is understanding performance as an object, a lens, a modality, and a method useful
in interdisciplinary studies? And how is performance linked to activism? These are
some of the questions we will grapple with in this graduate course.
While mapping the history of the field of performance studies, this course will approach
performance from multiple angles. We will analyze performance as a means of creative
expression. We will examine it as a mode of critical inquiry. We will discuss its
potential as a tactic for public engagement and activism. As we do so, we will attend
to both the practice of performance (ex: gestures, behavior, and artistic enactment)
and the study of performance (ex: reproduction, observation, and analysis).
Beyond analyzing and critiquing select foundational texts, this course will take care
to emphasize the relationship between theory and practice through experiential activities.
[Electives Outside of WGSS] - *Updating Daily*
AFS 533 - Race, Gender, and Globalization
Mondays 2:40 - 5:30 pm ONLINE
This seminar explores current issues and debates relating to the racialized and gendered
effects of globalization. Topics include an overview of the sociology of globalization
and theories of globalism/the global system, transnational classes and a transnational
state, global culture and ideology, transnational migrations and the new global labor
market, globalization and race/ethnicity, women and globalization, local-global linkages,
and resistance to globalization.
ARH 540 – Methodologies of Art History: Project Based Learning
Wednesdays 9:15 -12:05 PM ONLINE
Remote, online learning has challenged teachers to explore learning models that are
less about delivering information for students to receive, and more about inspiring
rich communication and collaboration between students. At the same time, we are challenging
ourselves to move away from teaching traditional canons, to recenter the most pressing
questions, and to create forms of critical engagement that feel more inclusive and
more relevant. Project Based Learning (PBL) offers one robust model for this: students
work together to define a problem; gain the information needed to engage it; and then
iteratively propose, critique, and revise possible solutions. This model works across
disciplines and levels, and can be adapted for both online and in the classroom. In
this course, students will each design a project-based syllabus for a course in their
own field, which they will ideally have the opportunity to teach. We will also work
together to explore tools and practices for more innovative and collaborative pedagogy. Students
from any graduate program are invited to enroll.
ARH 554 – Topics in Visual Culture: Media Aesthesis
Tuesdays 9:45 -12:35 PM ONLINE
In this seminar, we will focus on a comparative approach to theories of visual media
aesthetics across photography, cinema, and new media, from the nineteenth century
to the present, and across disciplinary methods of art history, film studies, philosophy/critical
theory, and media theory. Mixing canons and objects will allow a cross-fertilization
of ideas and strategies for analyzing visual culture, and it should be useful for
students working in a number of fields. This course will not offer a comprehensive
survey as much as a close analysis of a body of related texts, ideas, and visual works.
Students from any disciplinary background are welcome, and may adapt the final assignment
to advance individual research goals. The selection of readings and examples we discuss
will be adapted as the course unfolds. But, it is shaped by an interest in how/what
media aesthetics can do or mean through the production of specific temporal and spatial
forms of experience. This question has conditioned disciplinary formations, shaping
canonical ideas about media in modernity as well as current interpretations of digital
media. But it remains urgent to re-ask: how do, and how could, aesthetics and technics
correlate with actual embodied and sociopolitical realities? How do specific material
formats, specific practices of perception, and specific historical and cultural contexts
interweave with and impact more abstract ontological, phenomenological, epistemological,
and ethical potentials? Students from any graduate program are invited to enroll.
EGL/WRT 506 - Studies in Literary Theory: "Queer Ecologies: Race, Gender, Sexuality,
and the Environment in Literature and Culture"
Jeffrey Santa Ana
Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:20 pm ONLINE
This graduate seminar uses ecocriticism and queer theory as its critical lens to explore
the concept of queer ecologies in relation to race, gender, sexuality, and the environment
in recent literature and culture. As understood and defined in ecocriticism and the
environmental humanities, the term queer ecology refers to interdisciplinary scholarly
practices that reimagine nature, biology, and sexuality in light of queer theory.
As Catriona Sandilands explains, “queer ecology currently highlights the complexity
of contemporary biopolitics [as conceptualized by Michel Foucault], draws important
connections between the material and cultural dimensions of environmental issues,
and insists on an articulatory practice in which sex and nature are understood in
light of multiple trajectories of power and matter” (“Queer Ecology” in Keywords for
Environmental Studies). Queer ecology upends and resists heterosexist concepts of
nature and the natural, drawing from a diverse array of disciplines, including the
natural and biological sciences, environmental justice, ecofeminism, and queer studies.
At its heart, queer ecology deconstructs various hierarchical binaries and dichotomies
that exist particularly within Western human notions of nature and culture. This seminar
examines literature and prose (fiction and nonfiction), films, TV shows, and comics/graphic
narrative that feature a variety of modern and contemporary representations of human
and nonhuman or more-than-human relations in the context of race, gender, sexuality,
and the environment. We will examine and explore cultural works (our course’s textual
and visual materials) through a queer ecologies critical lens to reimagine nature,
biology, and sexuality in light of queer theory. Our goal will be to produce new critical
understandings through the lenses of ecocriticism and queer theory as we read and
discuss the cultural works for our class. By the end of this course, you should be
able to: 1) Understand the methods of and major debates within ecocriticism and queer
theory; 2) efficiently locate and comprehend the main arguments in a scholarly work;
3) analyze a variety of cultural works (both textual and visual) from our course’s
critical/theoretical perspectives; 4) engage in an intellectually productive and collaborative
manner with your fellow seminar members; and 5) produce your own quality scholarly
work that both reflects and expresses your own unique voice.
HIS 601 - The Origins of Race & Ethnicity
Mondays 4:25 - 7:15 pm ONLINE
This seminar is designed to help train graduate students in the research and writing
of graduate-level research papers, with a focus on issues related to the origins,
development, and deployment of ideas about race and/or ethnicity. We will start by
reading some short primary sources, scientific discussions, theoretical works, and
case studies treating race and ethnicity in the ancient, premodern, and modern worlds.
We shall be asking such questions as: When and why did ideas of biological human difference
develop? What forms of 'difference' are given salience in various times and cultures?
How is 'difference' represented and enacted? How do ideas about race and ethnicity
affect politics, social relations, art making, scientific investigation, and civic
life? And throughout, we shall discuss how historians frame a question, shape a research
project, and present an argument and set of conclusions. Requirements consist of completing
all reading assignments and participating actively in class, as well as researching
and writing a research paper. In addition, each student will contribute at least one
document for general analysis over the course of the term. The second half of the
course will be devoted to researching, writing, and presenting working drafts of students’
research papers. The final research paper of ca. 20-30 pages will be due on Dec. 15
MUS 542 - Ethnomusicology and Social Theory
Tuesdays 1:15 - 4:05 pm ONLINE
An introduction to major schools of social theory as they may be applied to the analysis
of music and related performance forms. Theoretical writings in sociology, anthropology,
philosophy, cultural studies and related fields will be paired with case studies that
situate musical creation, performance and dissemination within the unfolding of societal
SOC 556 - Political Sociology
Mondays 5:00 - 7:50 pm ONLINE
The study of political institutions and of the politically relevant actions and attitudes
of individuals and groups. Particular stress is placed on the reciprocal relationship
between social movements and political institutions.
View Past Graduate Courses:
Spring 2017 (coming soon)
Spring 2016 (coming soon)