Anne E. Lacsamana, Chair
Vivyan C. Adair
Joyce M. Barry
Lolita Buckner Inniss
The concentration in women’s studies consists of nine courses: 101, 201, 301 and 550; two courses selected from among 314, 327, 401, 402 and 405; and three electives. With the approval of the concentrator’s advisor, one course focused on women or gender that is not cross-listed with women's studies may be counted toward the electives required for the concentration.
The Senior Program (550) is an interdisciplinary project culminating in a thesis or performance. Students who have an average of at least 3.5 (90) in the concentration may receive honors through distinguished work in 550. A complete description of the Senior Program is available from the program director.
A minor in women’s studies consists of 101, 201, 301, one course selected from 314, 327, 401, 402 or 405, and one elective.
Students without prior courses in the program may enroll in courses above the 100 level with permission of the instructor.
101F,S Introduction to Women’s Studies.
An interdisciplinary investigation of past and present views of women and their roles, treatment and experiences in institutions such as the family, the state, the work force, language and sexuality. The diversity of women’s experiences across age, class, ethnic, sexual, racial and national lines introduced, and theories of feminism and of women’s studies discussed. (Writing-intensive.) (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Maximum enrollment, 16. Adair, Barry and Lacsamana.
Law in Literature and Film From a Raced and Gendered Perspective.
The chief goal of the course is to encourage a reading of law that explores the literary meanings and lessons of legal or law-like texts from a raced and gendered perspective. The class begins by addressing law as literature and includes readings of statutory provisions and cases. The course then considers law in literature, and offers insights or criticisms about written fictional depictions of the practice of law and law’s effects upon various individuals or social groups, especially women of color. A third portion of the class is devoted to selected themes concerning law in film.
Women in Antiquity.
An examination of women’s roles in the ancient world through various sources: history, archaeology, law, literature and art. Covers the period from early Greece through classical Greece and down to Rome, and traces the shifts in attitudes during these periods. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Classics 140.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Women and Madness.
Examination of historical, cultural, literary, artistic and psychological constructions and representations of women as “mad.” Uses feminist sociopolitical perspectives to explore how these representations are connected to topics such as anger, violence, sexuality, race, class, conformity and resistance to female roles, and the psychiatric and psychological communities.
201S Introduction to Feminist Thought.
An interdisciplinary examination of the history and contemporary practice of feminist thought. Topics include the history of feminist thought in Western culture, the broadening and complication of that canon to include examinations of race, class, gender, sexuality, ableism and ageism, and the implications of global feminist thought. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 101 or consent of instructor. (Same as Government 201 and Government 201.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Lacsamana.
202S Introduction to LGBTQ Studies.
In this introductory-level writing-intensive course, students will explore sexuality through writing as not just a personal identity, but also a category of analysis that intersects with gender, race, class, nationality, and religion. Through films such as For the Bible Tells Me So, But I'm a Cheerleader, L-word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, Southern Comfort and Transamerica as well as texts such as Vicki Eaklor's Queer America, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, and Susan Stryker's Transgender History, you will learn to critically interrogate prevailing normative assumptions, social and cultural institutions, your own life, Hamilton College, and the wider community. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, WMNST 101 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20. Cara Jones.
203F Women and War: Feminism, Militarism and Nationalism.
Examines the ways war and processes of militarization impact women in developed and so-called developing countries. Accompanying this discussion will be an analysis of women's relationship to the "state" and "nation" during periods of warfare. Readings range from personal narratives written by women who have experienced war first-hand to those actively engaged in revolutionaly anti-imperialist struggles. These narratives will be grounded by theoretical readings that explore the ongoing debates and tensions among feminists regarding nationalism, violence, war and militarization. Prerequisite, 101 or consent of the instructor. Lacsamana.
Twentieth-Century Sexuality: Literature and Film.
Examination of the emergence, normalization and regulation of heterosexuality and homosexuality as categories of identity through the literature and film of the 20th century. Literature will include literary "classics," pulp fiction, picaresque novels, feminist fiction and postmodern narratives. Feminist as well as closeted and homophobic films will be included. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in women's studies or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20.
Women, Gender and Popular Culture.
Interdisciplinary investigation of how popular culture reproduces gendered identities and racialized differences. Feminist theories of popular culture will inform examinations of racial stereotypes and heterosexist conventions in diverse forms of popular culture (films, fiction, non-fiction, television, music, the internet) from 1980-present in both mainstream and sub-cultural contexts. Analysis of popular culture's commodification of contradictory versions of "womanhood," as well as how women's self-representations pose complex questions of agency and resistance in the culture industry. Prerequisite, one course in women's studies or consent of instructor.
Sociology of Gender.
Contemporary theories, understandings and performances of gender. Attention to the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality, as well as the relationships of gender to life opportunities and experiences, social structures and societal reproduction. Prerequisite, 101, 110 or consent of instructor. (Same as Sociology 212.)
217S Introduction to US Latino/a Literatures.
Examination of cultural production of representative U.S. Latino/a writers, filmmakers and visual artists from the civil rights movement to present. Focuses on the rewriting of contextual history of Latinos within the United States through interdisciplinary texts. Emphasis placed on literary, cultural and historical/political analysis, feminist criticism and anti-racist pedagogies. Prerequisite, HSPST 200. Taught in Spanish. (Same as Hispanic Studies 217.) Maximum enrollment, 16.
222F Race, Gender and Culture.
A critical philosophical examination of the normative categories of race, gender and culture. Topics include the origin, character and function of racial, gender and social identities. Analysis will focus on questions concerning the malleability of these identities, as well as questions concerning their psychological and social significance. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, One course in philosophy, Africana studies or women’s studies. (Same as Philosophy 222 and Africana Studies 222.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Franklin.
223S Critical Intersectionality: Re-Inserting a Power Analysis.
The concept of “intersectionality” and its political and theoretical foundations are arguably one of the most important contributions by women of color feminist scholars and activists to the social sciences and to practice arenas such as diversity education and organization development. Since its popularization, the meaning of the concept has been diluted, too often used only to identify and acknowledge multiple identities, thus leading to cultural relativist perspectives on social justice struggles. This course will trace the origins of the concept, delineate the structural features that give significance to an individual’s multiples identities and complicate collective identities, and identify various ways in which a critical intersectional analysis can provide fuller understandings of individual experiences and subjectivities, organizational policies and practices, and the social, economic, and political forces that shape them, often in contradictory ways. Prerequisite, 101 or consent of the instructor. Margo Okazawa-Rey.
Gender, Space and Identity in the African Diaspora.
This course examines how racialized and gendered identities are made in relation to space. How does gender intersect with race, class and other power relations embedded in the places we live? How do women and men come to occupy different places in the world – literally and figuratively – or occupy the same places in different ways? Case studies focus on identity making in relation to the body, in diverse contexts such as homes, public and national spaces, across the African Diaspora. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Africana Studies 224.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Women, Law, Public Policy and Activism in the Contemporary United States.
An examination of feminist analysis of legislation and legal theory; public, educational and social policy; and legal/policy activism in the U.S. Opportunity for law or public policy research and/or internship in area. (Writing-intensive.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
230F Female Parts: Gender Play on the Western Stage.
Explores gender and gender issues in classical and contemporary dramatic literature, theatre and performance, and how “female” has been defined, represented and played. Topics include constructing “female” and its cultural significance; cross-dressing; the role of women performers and writers in shaping the representation and construction of female; contemporary feminist performance theory. (Oral Presentations.) (Same as Theatre 230.) Bellini-Sharp.
Gender, Race and Property Law.
Property law involves the creation and allocation of rights to resources in varied forms. To answer the question “What is property and how does it relate to gender and race?” this course looks at how property rights allocations ultimately help to determine status and identity. We will consider several forms of property, giving particular attention to the intersection of property law and criminal law. A key example is the property crime of shoplifting and how it has traditionally been framed by gender and racial norms. No background in law is needed.
Geographies of Race and Gender.
Examines how “natural” differences of gender and race are created through discourses, images and everyday practices in particular spatial contexts. Using historical and fictional texts, ethnographies, theoretical discussions and films the course explores the production of racial and gender differences in European development and imperialist expansion. Focuses on three historical periods in the production of racialized and gendered geographies: plantation/slave societies in the Americas, African Colonialism, contemporary globalization and ethnic diversity in Europe. (Same as Africana Studies 233.)
235F Women in Modern Asia.
Key dimensions of women’s relationships to colonial and national states in Asia during the 20th century. Introduction to distinct cultural systems in Asia with emphasis on how religion, ethnicity and class shape lives of women in Asian societies. Roles of women in politics, economics and social reform under both colonial and national states. Extensive use of biography, autobiography and memoir. (Same as History 235.) Trivedi.
Feminist Visual Culture.
Considers the revolutionary work of feminist artists and the ways they have utilized visual culture as a form of political dissent, empowerment and social change. Examines the theoretical frameworks used to interpret and evaluate this work, and looks at the historical interrelationship between feminism and the arts as expressed in various examples of contemporary art, media and film. Prerequisite, 101 or consent of instructor.
252S Gender and Science.
Critical examination of the intersections between gender and science. Consideration of women’s roles as scientists both historical and in the present, the role of science in defining gender, and the feminist critique of science. Particular focus on women’s reproductive health and molecular medicine. Prerequisite, WMNST 101 and one course in a science discipline. Counts for the Biology Ethics requirement only not for the major. (Same as Biology 252.) Jinnie Garrett.
255S Gender and Environment.
The theoretical, historical and material links between gender and the natural world. We explore how the social category of gender relates to environmental issues, but also focus on how other human differences based on race, class, sexuality and nation connect to the so-called "non-human environment.” The course begins with feminist historical and theoretical analysis of the links between gender and environment, including examinations of Ecofeminism and Deep Ecology. Building on this foundation, we then explore Health and Technology, Environmental Justice, and Global Climate Change. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Environmental Studies 255.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Language, Gender and Sexuality.
Stresses special lessons that anthropology has to teach about the gendered facets of linguistic expression, including the necessity of an approach that is both empirical, including moments of interaction, and critical, exploring issues of power and agency. Considers conceptual benefits and limitations to using gendered difference as a model for sexual difference in the study of linguistic expression. Prerequisite, one course in anthropology or consent of instructor. (Same as Anthropology 257.)
278S The Straight Story?: Rethinking the Romance.
A study of the ways in which various forms of sexual desire (overt or closeted) drive the plot of literary works. How is desire constructed? How have authors used, manipulated and resisted the marriage plot for aesthetic and political ends? Special attention to works by gay and lesbian authors. Readings, which include works of theory as well as imaginative texts, to include such authors as Austen, Diderot, Balzac, Zola, Wilde, Baldwin. (Same as Comparative Literature 278.) N Rabinowitz.
The Politics of Gender.
The impact of gender on politics in the United States and the value of studying politics from a gender perspective. Topics include political socialization, communication, media coverage, public opinion and voting behavior; women's movements for rights and mobilization around issues like the environment; women as public leaders; gender and electoral politics; symbolic gender politics and issues such as education and welfare reform. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 116, 117 or consent of instructor. (Same as Government 280.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Performing Politics: Gender and Sexuality.
Examines the connections between theatre and political life: Is theatre political? Is political action theatrical? Focusing on performances in 20th-century Europe and the United States, we will read plays, theatre history, and political and historical documents to understand 1) how playwrights have used theatre for political ends and 2) how both “left” and “right” have mobilized people in demonstrations that might be considered performances. Topics include AIDS, reproductive rights and sexuality (drag and performance art). Prerequisite, one course in theatre or comparative literature. (Same as Comparative Literature 281.)
284S From Harlot to Saint: Muslim Women, Christian Women and Other Women.
How are women portrayed in Premodern texts? Did women speak through these texts or were they spoken for? Examines these questions and others as we explore Christian and Muslim textual representations of woman, her relationships with men and society, her spirituality and particularly her corporality from 11th- 17th centuries. From harlot to saint, from poetess to mystic and enlightened one, we will examine her textual roles as a reflection of her cultural roles in Al-Jahiz, Ibn Hazam, As-Sulamii, Nafzawii, Alfonso X, Cervantes, Calderón, Santa Teresa, Zayas and Sor Juana. (Same as Comparative Literature 284 and Religious Studies 284.) A Peck Mescall.
301F Feminist Methodological Perspectives.
An interdisciplinary exploration of feminist methods of social analysis. Emphasis on how feminist inquiry has transformed how we think about and study gender in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 101 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20. Barry.
303/403S Representing Gender in Latin America.
Approaches gender studies through critical analysis of Latin American literature, film and social movements. We study representations of femininity and masculinity in Latin American culture and their historical roots, considering traditional gender roles and more contemporary attempts to break with social expectations linked to sex and gender, as well as the complex interactions of gender with nationality, class and sexual orientation. Discussions center in issues of representation, identity and “equality.” Readings include both literary texts as well as gender theory. Prerequisite, Two 200-level courses in Hispanic studies above 200 or 201, or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish. (Same as Hispanic Studies 303/403.) Maximum enrollment, 16. Burke.
310F Black Women's Experience in the United States.
Examination of the experiences of black women in the United States from 1800-2006. Emphasis on the intellectual history of black women. Topics include the legacy of slavery, the role and influence of religion and the black church, the history of black women's education, the development of black feminism, the roles of and attitudes toward black lesbian and bisexual women, the role and impact of black women in popular culture and music. (Writing-intensive.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 101 or consent of instructor. (Same as Africana Studies 310.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Haley.
314F Seminar: Feminist Perspectives of Class in the United States.
Examines class and class struggle as it is associated with ethnicity, nation, race, gender and sexuality in the United States. Uses representations of class and class struggle in history and in contemporary literary, cinematic, social change movement and academic texts. Prerequisite, one course in women’s studies, sociology, economics or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12. Adair.
Globalization and Gender.
Analysis of globalization and its impact on the economic experience of women. Topics include the definition of globalization with particular emphasis on economic globalization; restructuring in the industrialized economies; gender-related issues in the labor markets of industrialized countries, such as occupational segregation, wage gap, feminization of the labor process; structural adjustment; and case studies of female labor participation in the Third World. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 102. (Same as Economics 316.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Gender, Health and Technology.
This course is an interdisciplinary, cultural studies examination of the intersections between gender, health and technology from a global perspective. This course explores the ways in which social identities of gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality, ability and so forth are relevant to studies of health and technology. The course will be theoretically and historically grounded by feminist critiques of science and technology, and explore the following topics: sexual and reproductive technologies, body modifications, and environmental toxicity and human health. Prerequisite, Any Women's Studies course or consent of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Seminar on Women and Aging.
Focuses on women’s experiences of aging across the lifespan with attention to midlife and beyond. Examines images of aging women in literature and the media; ageism and the impact of race, class and sexual identity on aging; aging women’s experiences of the body, reproduction, health, economic issues and social and familial relationships. Considers how changing age distributions in the United States will influence intergenerational relationships and social policy. Prerequisite, one course in women’s studies or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.
329S Seminar on Gender and Disability.
In this seminar, we will examine how disability operates as a category of analysis. Focusing particularly on how disability intersects with other identities such as gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, and nationality, particular attention will be given to feminist disability theorizing. We will also examine the ways in which the production of knowledge relies on able-bodied norms. To this end, we will spend considerable time thinking through the implications of traditional classroom arrangements during our class meetings and modifying traditional means of teaching and learning as need be. Projects will address representations of disability in the media, narrative, and film as well as issues of disability on Hamilton's campus and in the local community. Prerequisite, 101 or consent of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12. Cara Jones.
Seminar on Women’s Movements and Grassroots Organizing.
Interdisciplinary course exploring social, economic, cultural and political issues that influence and determine the women’s movement and grassroots organizing in a specific location. Prerequisite, one course in women's studies and consent of instructor. One-and-one-half hours per week. One-half credit. Preference given to those planning to participate in 332. Maximum enrollment, 22.
An interdisciplinary field study of coalition building efforts, feminist strategies for change and research methods with grassroots organizers and women’s movement leaders, learning first-hand from those involved in social change projects. May include lectures, workshops, site visits, interactions with people from diverse cross-section of local society, and will conclude with implementation of community-based project. Prerequisite, 331. Concurrent registration in 331 required. Extra cost. One-half credit. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Kitchen Culture: Women, Gender and the Politics of Food.
A cultural studies examination of women’s long-standing association with the private space of the home, in particular the kitchen, and the production and consumption of food. Grounded by feminist theoretical discussions of domesticity, the class analyzes how notions of family, community and cultural practices connected to food are differentiated by race, class, ethnicity and nationality. Prerequisite, 101 or consent of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Seminar: Gender, Race and the Law.
This course considers the ways in which gender and race interact in a legal context. It looks at the role of women beginning with the early 20th century United States and examines “small cases” concerning women’s rights and “hidden histories” of racialized gender. The class looks at public and private regulatory regimes and the litigants, histories, parties, strategies, and theoretical implications in these regimes. Some subject areas covered include constitutional law, reproductive freedom, the workplace, the family and women in the legal profession. Prerequisite, WMNST 101 or consent of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Women, Gender and Power in the Ancient World.
An interdisciplinary study of the varying degrees and types of power available to women in ancient Egypt and Greece. Students will analyze evidence from art, archaeology, classical literature, history and sociology to interpret the social construction of race, gender, class and sexuality in these ancient societies. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in Latin, Greek, classical studies or women's studies. (Same as Classics 341.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
343S Seminar: Women Writing Against the Grain.
A comparative investigation of U.S. women writing their own stories through the genre of autobiography in the 19th and 20th centuries. Attention to theoretical and practical questions of ideology, genre, language, audience and reception. Particular focus on women's self-representation as hegemonic transgression at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality and ableism. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, One course in Women's Studies and some coursework in comparative literature or literary theory or consent of the instructor. (Same as English and Creative Writing 343.) Maximum enrollment, 12. Vivyan Adair.
The Female Autograph: Women’s Writing in the Hispanic World.
Cross-cultural study of women’s literary texts in Spain, Latin America and the United States. Textual analysis grounded in feminist literary, social theories and critical frameworks; particular attention paid to women’s agency and writing as transgressions in patriarchal symbolic order, to the consideration of a generolecto (women’s specific literary inscription) and to theoretical and critical approaches to gender and writing. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite, two 200-level courses in Hispanic studies above 200 or 201 including 210 or 211 or consent of instructor. (Same as Hispanic Studies 345.)
Cleopatra was a witness to and a shaper of the history of ancient Egypt and the late Roman Republic. To posterity the historical Cleopatra is an enigma, but her image in film, literature, art and popular culture is ever present. Through authors such as Horace, Plutarch, Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw and through cinematic treatments from the 1940s-1970s, explores how the historical figure of Cleopatra became both the signifier and embodiment of sexual and racial politics across historical periods. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in classical studies or Africana studies. (Same as Classics 372 and Africana Studies 372.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Latino/a Experiences in the United States.
Rigorous examination and historico-political analisis of U.S. Latina literary production and poetics with focus on short story and drama (including performance art). Examination of construction and critiques of self, gender, society and political and sexual identities. Course analysis framed by feminists literary theories and criticism, and anti-racist pedagogy. Authors will include Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Cherríe Moraga, M. H. Viramontes, Nicolasa Mohr, Migdalia Cruz, Marga Gómez. Prerequisite, two 200-level courses in literature or consent of instructor. No knowledge of Spanish required. Taught in English. (Same as Hispanic Studies 377.)
Seminar on Theory and Politics of Education.
The role of the educational system in the construction and reproduction of gender, class and racial inequality. Topics include the control and governance of schools, the construction of educational goals and curricula, classroom practice and social structure, ideology and the cultural transmission of knowledge, multiculturalism versus anti-racist education, feminist pedagogy and the formation of communities of resistance in the academy. Prerequisite, one course in women’s studies, education or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Seminar in Theorizing Diaspora: Asian American Feminism in the Era of Globalization.
Seminar using film, scholarly essays, visual art and memoir to examine the social, political and economic issues that shape and inform the Asian American women's movement. Topics include labor migration, militarism, women's work, community and identity. Texts will compare Asian American women’s experiences with other marginalized groups along lines of race, class, gender and nationality to understand how Asian American feminist organizing forges coalitions with others to collectively respond to the injustices wrought by globalizing processes. Prerequisite, one course in women's studies or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Feminist and Queer Literary Theory.
Contemporary feminist and queer theories have a close connection to literature; they emerged from and later transformed literary studies. We will discuss selected theoretical writing, as well as creative texts from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century: fiction, plays, and films. Conversations will center around questions of identity and performativity, and the intersections of gender, sexuality, race and class. Readings to be drawn from the following: Oscar Wilde, Radclyffe Hall, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Tony Kushner, Cherrie Moraga. Prerequisite, At least two courses in CpLit and/or Women's Studies. (Same as Comparative Literature 391.)
401S Seminar: Theories of Sexuality.
Analysis of contemporary theories of sexual development, identity and practice through a feminist/critical theory lens. Topics include theories of gender and sexuality, constructions and practices of masculinity and femininity, historical, geographical and cultural constructions of heterosexuality and homosexuality, lesbian/gay/bi/trans sexuality and gender identity, sexual objectification and commodification, reproduction, sexual politics, sexual/social violence and resistance and sexuality as mitigated by codes of race, class, gender and age. Prerequisite, two courses in women’s studies or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12. Adair.
402F Seminar on Global Feminisms.
Comprehensive examination of global feminism, focusing on the rise of women’s movements for economic and social justice. Attention to the role of socio-cultural constructions of femininity and masculinity; issues of violence against women and children; poverty; economic, sexual and civil rights; immigration and citizenship; global migration; and the construction of identity by dismantling national and transnational relations of exploitative power regimes. Prerequisite, one course in women’s studies or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12. Lacsamana.
405S Seminar: Black Feminist Thought.
Interdisciplinary examination of the tradition of black feminist thought as it spans African and African-American heritages. Exploration of how black women are not simply victims of oppression but visionary agents of change. Areas examined include history, literature, music, art, education, sociology and film. Prerequisite, one course in women's studies or consent of instructor. (Same as Africana Studies 405.) Maximum enrollment, 12. Haley.
412S Seminar: Feminist Epistemologies and Decolonizing Knowledges.
How do we know what we know? What is “real” and “true”? How are feminist epistemologies distinct from other taken-for-granted ways of knowing? How has “knowledge” and knowledge-production been central to colonial and imperial projects of the 19th and 20th centuries and what are their present-day influences? What would it take and what would it mean to “decolonize” knowledge? These and other important questions will guide the critical exploration from feminist perspectives. Prerequisite, 101 and another course in Women's Studies or consent of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12. Margo Okazawa-Rey.
550F,S Senior Program.
A project or thesis on a topic in women’s studies. Limited to senior concentrators and interdisciplinary concentrators with a focus on women’s studies. The Department.