The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
Women’s Studies Certificate Program
Acting Coordinator: Linda Martín Alcoff, Room 5116 (817-8896, 817-8905)
The Certificate in Women’s Studies is available to students matriculated in the Ph.D. programs at The Graduate Center. Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to research and scholarship that draws on various disciplines, while challenging disciplinary boundaries. The general aim of the program is to offer critical reflection on the experience of both women and men in terms of gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, and nation. Students are prepared to teach courses and to do research in Women’s Studies and related critical approaches to the disciplines, such as those developed in Queer Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Cultural Studies. Besides focused course work and guidance in research, Women’s Studies offers participation in a wide range of graduate students and faculty activities, including lecture series and forums. Students are also invited to participate in the research programs and seminars at the Center for Women and Society at The Graduate Center.
WSCP 71700 - Global Feminisms
GC T 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room 3212, 3 credits, Prof. Rupal Oza 
Transnational feminisms will explore the gender dynamics of racial, ethnic, and economic relations of power in domestic, international, and transnational settings. We will examine feminist scholarship produced by and about American women of color, Third World women, and other social and political actors whose experiences and thinking have shaped contemporary ideas about gender, power, and international political economies. We will explore how both self-identified feminists and people who do not consider themselves feminists write about and understand gender, justice, human rights, tolerance, agency, imperialism, and other relevant topics. We will also examine how women and self-identified feminists practice solidarity across and within national boundaries, paying attention to the possibilities and constraints that shape transnational feminist activism. We will look at both empirical and theoretical texts from a range of academic disciplines. We will explore some of the following questions: How do racial, sexual, and national identities change the meanings of gender and feminism? Who should be the arbiter of “equality,” “fairness,” and “human rights”? What ethical questions shape the practices of feminism and feminist politics both domestically and internationally? What is the relationship between modes of production, political economy, and gender politics? What are the possibilities and limits of a transnational feminist politics? What are the material conditions/structural factors which enable and/or undermine transnational feminist solidarity?
WSCP 81001 - Feminist Texts and Theories
GC T 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 6417 , 3 credits, Prof. Linda M. Alcoff 
This course provides a broad overview of the issues and critical texts of feminist theory. The instructor Twill use an interdisciplinary approach to consider some of the major questions, methodologies, and findings of Women’s Studies Scholarship. The course will cover a selection of theoretical texts from multiple disciplines, both classic and contemporary. In addition, students will explore the ways in which the field of women’s studies has raised new questions and brought new perspectives to those areas where the humanities and social and behavioral sciences intersect, with material which is interdisciplinary in nature and frequently poses a challenge to conventional disciplinary boundaries.
WSCP 81001 – Medical Anthropology
GC T 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 3305 , 3 credits, Prof. Leith Mullings  Cross listed with [Anthro. 72000]
The course is being organized in such a way that more than half of the course content will deal with health, gender and reproduction. There are 3 seats still available, if you wish to enroll.
WSCP 81000 –Character and Caricature: Fiction and Graphic Satire in Regency England
GC T 11:45-1:45 p.m., Room 4433, 4 credits, Prof. Rachel Brownstein  [Cross listed with ENGL 83500]
In this course, we will examine the representation of more and less "real" characters (historical and fictitious; typical and distinctive; major and minor; round and flat; sympathetic and not) in novels and graphic satires of and about the Regency. Considering distinctions between character and caricature will lead us to read some literary criticism (by, e.g., E.M. Forster, D.W. Harding, Deidre Lynch, Alex Woloch) and essays on caricature since Hogarth. Our main focus will be on Jane Austen--the juvenilia and the first three novels she published--and her near contemporary the caricaturist James Gillray; we will also read Thackeray's 'Vanity Fair" and the English cantos of Byron's 'Don Juan," and look at how the characteristic style of the period is evoked in recent film adaptations of Austen's novels.
WSCP 81000 –Modernist Singularities
GC W 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room 4422, 4 credits, Prof. Mary Ann Caws  [Cross listed with ENGL 76000]
Looking at a juxtaposition of a few of the uncommon texts, visual and verbal, abounding in what we enjoy considering as the many varieties of modernisms, this seminar will concentrate on what features appear to mark them as unusual within their own context and in a larger one. The specific piece may differ in its peculiarity from others of its creator, setting it apart as an experiment that might have been contemplated, tried out, and not repeated. There will be room for the suggestions of the participants as to the works included, and as to the elements put in play. Among the writers and artists and thinkers on the reading and talking list will be Gerard Manley Hopkins, Henry James, Paul Celan, Samuel Beckett, Joseph Cornell, André Gide, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, Meret Oppenheim, Antonin Artaud, Gertrude Stein, Claude Cahun, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and D.H. Lawrence
WSCP 81000 – Black, Brown, and Yellow: On Ways of Being and Knowing
GC M 11:45-1:45 p.m., Room 4422, 4 credits, Prof. Kandice Chuh  [Cross listed with ENGL 80600]
This course takes as its point of departure the understanding that minoritized literatures and modes of aesthetic expression both register and articulate distinctive ways of being and knowing. Black, brown, and yellow are key among the terms used to refer to such onto-epistemologies. Following the lead of M. Jacqui Alexander, Gloria Anzaldua, Nahum Chandler, Cathy Cohen, Roderick Ferguson, Laura Kang, Audre Lorde, Chandra Mohanty, Fred Moten, José Muñoz, Trinh Minh-ha, and Mimi Nguyen among others, we’ll use this semester to consider the mobilization of color as an entry to the onto-epistemological dimensions of aesthetic expression. In what ways might an attention to color illuminate the inadequacies of the socio-political identities – African American, Asian American, Latina/o – by which racial difference is codified in the United States? How might a critical emphasis on onto-epistemological color-coding generate aesthetics and aesthetic sensibilities different from those that are the received legacies of enlightenment modernity? Of canonical literary histories and their relationships to normative socialities? How might thinking in these terms allow us to reconceptualize comparativity and relationality among ways of being and knowing? An archive of contemporary works in addition to those by the writers noted above, and including that by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Allan deSouza, Junot Diaz, Sesshu Foster, Miguel Gutierrez, Wangechi Mutu, Laurel Nakadate, Nam June Paik, and Ruth Ozeki, will ground our discussions.
Students taking this course for two credits should expect to write several short papers or the equivalent of a conference paper to fulfill the requirements of this course.
Students registering for four credits should expect to write several short papers and a seminar length essay (or equivalent other project) due at the end of the semester.
WSCP 81000– History, Theory, and Early Modern Sexualities
GC R 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room 3306, 4 credits, Profs. Mario DiGangi and Wayne Fisher  [Cross listed with ENGL 88100]
This team-taught seminar will explore and expand the repertoire of scholarly methods for reading sexuality in early modern literature, with an eye to current debates and future directions for the field. We will consider how different theoretical and historical approaches have produced varying accounts of sexuality as an object of inquiry; we will engage various reading strategies for elucidating sexual meaning in dramatic texts; and we will reflect critically on questions of evidence, affect, gender, subjectivity, language, genre, theatricality, textual editing, and periodization. The following kinds of questions will guide our discussions: What are the consequences of emphasizing historical alterity, as opposed to historical continuity, in the study of sexuality? Are concepts such as sexual identity, subjectivity, or community useful in analyzing early modern modes of eroticism? How might the field move beyond familiar sexual paradigms and taxonomies (i.e., homoeroticism/heteroeroticism) to access alternative forms of erotic knowledge, practice, and relationality in early modern culture? How do particular textual and performative elements (i.e., puns, soliloquies, gestures, costumes, voices, metatheatrical moments, offstage actions) convey or confound sexual meaning? In exploring these questions, we will draw on a range of primary texts (drama, poetry, and prose) from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
WSCP 81000 –Enlightenment Utopias
GC R 11:45-1:15 p.m., Room 4422, 4 credits, Prof. Carrie Hintz  [Cross listed with ENGL 83300]
A study of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment literary utopias and utopian thought, with a focus on the ways in which these utopias construct ideal subjects and exclude people and populations who fall outside Enlightenment norms.
WSCP 81000 –Postcolonial Globality: On the Speed of Place
GC W 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 4422, 4 credits, Prof. Peter Hitchcock  [Cross listed with ENGL 86600]
Theorists have long attempted to unravel the vexed imbrication of postcolonialism with globalization. On the one hand, the West’s desire to be “at home in the world” (often expressed as imperialism) linked global forces of trade and politics to a colonial episteme; on the other hand, globalization tout court has also spurred vibrant forms of critical transnationalism and new ways to understand cultures of migration and diaspora. Rather than read these contexts and contacts as binaries for cultural critique, this course will examine how postcolonialism destabilizes from within the normative and by all means hegemonic assumptions of globalization.
WSCP 81000 –Postwar Women Writers and Intellectuals
GC W 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 4433, 4 credits, Prof. Nancy K. Miller  [Cross listed with ENGL 88000]
Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts
was published posthumously in 1941. Beginning here, with the death of this author, we will proceed to examine the work of women writers who produced essays, novels, and poetry from the war years through the advent of second-wave feminism. Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Carolyn Heilbrun, Julia Kristeva, Audre Lorde, Mary McCarthy, Adrienne Rich, Susan Sontag, Simone Weil, Virginia Woolf. These prolific and brilliant women are not only major writers. As intellectual figures and cultural icons, they also have often played an important role in public debate. Of special interest to the seminar will be the relations among these women, who sometimes admired, sometimes detested one another.
Work for the course: one oral presentation, weekly responses, and one term paper, due at the end of the semester.
WSCP 81000 –Science,, Sympathy, and the Stage in Early Modern England
GC R 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 3305, 4 credits, Prof. Tanya Pollard  [Cross listed with ENGL 71600]
This course will explore early modern scientific models of bodies’ relationships with their environments, with attention to theories about the sympathies sparked by correlations between human, animal, and inanimate bodies, and the potent consequences of manipulating these sympathies. Readings will include Arden of Faversham
; Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus
; Shakespeare’s Macbeth
; Webster’s Duchess of Malfi
; Middleton’s Changeling
and The Witch
; Jonson’s Epicoene
and The Alchemist
; Crooke’s Microcosmographia
; and Wright’s Passions of the Mind in General
WSCP 81000 –Theorizing the African Diaspora
GC R 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room 4422, 4 credits, Prof. Robert Reid-Pharr  [Cross listed with ENGL 85500]
This seminar will introduce students to some of the more significant critical and theoretical trends within African Diaspora Studies. Participants will be expected both to develop sophisticated understandings of the history of the African Diaspora as well as to understand the complex issues of identity and aesthetics that attend that history. Students will do in-class presentations and will write a series of short papers. Texts that we will examine include: V.Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge
; Aime Ceasire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land
; Aime Cesaire, Discourse on Colonialism
; Michael Gomez: Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora
; Michele M. Wright, Being Black: Creating Identity in the African Diaspora
; Sarah Nuttall, ed., Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics
; Isidore Okpewho and Nkiru Nzegwu, The New African Diaspora
; Michel Rolph-Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History
; Richard Price, The Convict and the Colonel
; and Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation
WSCP 81000 – Human Rights and Critical Theory
GC T 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 4202.11, 4 credits, Prof. Domna Stanton  [Cross listed with French 87100]
This course aims to grapple with the problematics of human rights praxis (discourse and activism) from the perspective of post-enlightenment critical and literary theory. It both recognizes the crucial importance of the human rights movement and it examines its blindspots to expose the need – and the possibility-- of its re-formation. Starting with a close, critical reading of the major human rights documents, the course will be organized into two parts.
A first part will focus on enlightenment notions of human rights (including Kant, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Declaration of the Rights of Women) and their critique in Arendt, Lyotard, Rorty and Derrida; it will involve a rapid historical overview to 1950 (including, imperial humanitarianism) and close with discussions of the current impasse in human rights in political terms (Feher) and in global economic terms (Cheah). We will then tackle a series of problems with the help of particular theorists: the question of the human in human rights (eg. Scarry); the universal vs the local divide (eg Butler); and the movement to think of women’s rights as human rights (eg Bunch).
In the second half of the course, we will look more closely at ways of reading/analyzing human rights discourse and stories (Nussbaum, Appiah), including works on (traumatic) testimonials (Felman), life-writing (Smith) and the bildung (Slaughter); in news reports and popular culture in the United States (Solomon, Volpp); and in globally circulated visual images (eg of and by the children of Darfur).
Work for the semester includes: reading and class participation; an oral presentation on a current human rights issue; a final paper on an individually selected topic in consultation with the instructor (this includes turning in a thesis statement, an outline, and a final draft (a first draft is optional), and a final take-home exam.
Classes will be conducted in English, which will also be the language of the written work. Readings will mostly be in English, but texts first written in French will appear in that language in the course pack with accompanying translations in English.
The course pack will be uploaded through the Graduate Center Library before the beginning of the winter term.
Please address all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
WSCP 81000 – Sex, Society, and Politics in Postwar Europe 1945-89
GC T 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 8202, 3 credits, Prof. Julia Sneeringer  [Cross listed with Hist.72200]
Students will explore in detail moments in the social history of postwar Europe, East and West, using sex and gender as key categories of analysis. We will explore how the story of Europe changes when sex and gender are the focus, re-examining such phenomena as postwar reconstruction, the Economic Miracle, consumer culture, daily life under communism, the rise of youth culture, “deviant” subcultures, second wave feminism, 1968, terrorism, and the revolutions of 1989.
WSCP 81000 - Liberation Social and Community Psychology
GC M 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room 4422, 3 credits, Prof. Rod Watts  [Cross listed with PSYCH 80103]
This survey course draws from multiple disciplines and emancipatory perspectives. The readings are international with an emphasis on scholars from disenfranchised groups or with origins in the global south. The aim is to bring together, critique and discuss theory and research through the lens of action for social-cultural justice and equality. Topics of interest include: critical consciousness, social/cultural/racial identities, (internalized) oppression, community-organizing, ideologies of superiority (the “-isms”) intergroup processes, sociopolitical development, the psychology of colonialism, emancipatory social-psychological interventions, and empowerment. Participatory action-research will be at the center of the course’s coverage of research methodology. Authentic action-refection is part of classroom dialog and assignments, which benefits from an action component that occurs outside the classroom. Thus, it is a course requirement that students participate in an “action experience” outside of the classroom that is relevant to the course material. This can be an existing student project or a new experience approved by the professor.
WSCP 81000 - International Organizations
GC W 6:30-8:30 , Room 8202, 3 credits, Prof. George Andreopoulos  [Cross listed with PSC 76200]
This course will introduce students to the theoretical and empirical study of international organizations. More specifically, the course will critically examine the different theoretical perspectives in International Relations and International Law for understanding the emergence, growth, diversity and effects of international organizations on world politics. In this context, the course will look at the internal workings of specific organizations and how they work in the real world. Some of the key focal issues and questions that will be addressed include: How and to what extent do international organizations shape state interests and identities? How do international organizations advance interstate cooperation? How do they promote compliance with international rules? Why do international organizations exhibit dysfunctional behavior? How can international organizations be rendered accountable for their conduct? We will conclude by discussing the strengths and limitations of international organizations as active agents of global change.
WSCP 81000 - Social Welfare Policy
GC W 4:15-6:15 , Room 8203, 3 credits, Prof. Janet Gornick  [Cross listed with PSC 72500 & Soc. 85902]
This course will examine social welfare policy in the United States, in both historical and cross-national perspective.
The course will begin with an overview of the development of social welfare policy in the U.S. We will focus on three important historical periods: the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the War on Poverty. We will end the first section with a review of developments in the tumultuous 1990s.
Second, we will assess “the big picture” of the American welfare state, through the lens of its underlying institutional framework.
Third, we will survey selected areas of social policy provision, such as anti-poverty policy; health policy; employment-related social policy; social policy for the elderly; and/or work-family reconciliation policies. In each of these policy areas, we will assess current provisions and evaluate contemporary debates, integrating political, sociological, and economic perspectives.
In the final section of the course, we will assess selected social policy lessons from Europe, where provisions are typically much more extensive than they are in the U.S. We will close by analyzing the question of "American exceptionalism" in social policy, and will assess a range of institutional, ideological, and demographic explanations.
WSCP 81000 - Biopolitics
GC M 2:00-4:00 , Room 8202, 4 credits, Prof. Paisley Currah  [Cross listed with PSC 80302]
Governments kill, but they foster life as well. States attend to the health of their populations by counting and measuring inhabitants (vital statistics), by regulating the health of the population, by tracking them through the issuance of identity documents, by marking life passages with birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. After setting out the theoretical scaffolding of biopolitics, we will examine technologies of power and the development of mechanisms for governing the life, health, and death of populations by exploring their operation in particular institutions and discourses such as public health, immigration, surveillance apparatuses, and human security studies. We will read theories of biopower and apply those theories to issues such as reproduction and reproductive technologies, biocitizenship and genetic testing, legal and social constructions of citizenship, terror, security, surveillance, homelessness, and incarceration. This course will center feminist, anti-racist, queer and post-colonial perspectives on biopolitics.
WSCP 81000 – Sociology of Gender
GC T 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room 6114, 3 credits, Prof. Hester Eisenstein  [Cross listed with Soc. 73200]
In this course we look a range of issues in the sociology of gender. To define this field briefly, the sociology of gender looks at the beliefs, interests and structures that tend to preserve the traditional relations between the sexes, and those which contest them. Among other areas, the field considers the process of socialization into masculine and feminine roles in childhood, through education, and into the public worlds of work and politics.
In recent years sociological inquiry has moved beyond the original concept of “sex roles” to look at gendered structures in institutions, the significance of gender in politics, economics, and social movements, nationally and internationally, and the complex relationships among gender, race, and class. What was seen as a “natural” and biologically based dichotomy of male/female has been questioned through the study of gender as performance, and the critical challenge to traditional femininity and masculinity from “queer” and transgendered folk.
My own research has focused on what we can term the political economy of gender, in relation to the changes within capitalism with the rise of neoliberalism over the past few decades. The topics covered in this course are a selection reflecting my interests, and should by no means be considered comprehensive. Therefore I include a list of alternative topics in this syllabus that students can pursue on their own, for their final research papers, and for future study.
The framework of this course is influenced by what I see as the political history of gender studies. The establishment of the category of sex and gender in the official canon of the profession of sociology is the outcome of a renewed wave of feminist activism that swept society, and therefore the academy. In the 1960s and 1970s, massive social movements for Black civil rights, women’s rights, ending the war in Vietnam, lesbian and gay rights, and environmentalism in the United States and internationally shook the economic and social status quo. Today we are witnessing another wave of social movements across the globe, from the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt to Occupy Wall Street, and from Turkey to Brazil.
The passion and breadth of social movements can become ossified and de-politicized, as the ideas and issues are translated into formal academic inquiry. I hope therefore in this course to convey the connections to politics and activism behind these topics, so as to keep the links between academic research and social change fresh and vibrant. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests in the class, and to develop their own frameworks for research and activism.
WSCP 81000 –Cultural Sociology and Sociology of Culture
GC W 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein  [Cross listed with Soc. 80000] email@example.com
The theme of culture, and empirical work on culture, has grown in the last 20 years.
Although in the past Sociology of Culture has dealt with specific spheres such as art, film, fashion, music etc. more recent work focuses also
on culture as embedded in social practices and technologies along with symbolic and classificatory systems, repertoires of action, of contention, and webs of significance. Cultural structures are topics comprising the “cultural turn” in sociology.
We shall read the work of scholars who have conceptualized these topics, sought research sites and methodologies for exploring them in such arenas as music, art, fashion, communications, celebrity culture, sexuality, gender and politics. The work of such theorists and researchers as Jeffrey Alexander, Eviatar Zerubavel, Jerome Bruner, Clifford Geertz, Sherry Turkle, Ilana Gershon , Nina Eliasoph and Pierre Bourdieu will contribute to the analysis of substantive topics.Several guests will be invited to speak about their research and show videos and films.
Students are invited to explore areas of interest using sociological frameworks explored in the course such as computer games, You Tube presentations, Political rhetoric and other areas of interest.
WSCP 81000 – Law and Society
GC W 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room 6421, 3 credits, Prof. Leslie Paik  [Cross listed with Soc. 84505]
This seminar examines the relationship between law and society, considering how the law shapes social life and how social change affects law and legal institutions. The seminar takes a “law in action” approach to studying law that focuses on the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts of law. We first will discuss readings about classic sociological theories of law; peoples’ perceptions and experiences of the law (e.g., legal consciousness, procedural justice) and the limits and power to “rights” discourses to lead to social change. We then will turn to consider how the law has defined and evolved from our experiences and understandings of race, immigration, gender and family in the US. This seminar will provide a broad socio-legal foundation for students working on those substantive topics, as well as for those interested in social control, social movements and social change.
WSCP 81000 –Bodies, Media and Sociality.
GC T 4:15-6:15 p.m., Room 6421, 3 credits, Prof. Patricia T. Clough  [Cross listed with Soc. 80000]
Among media scholars especially those who have been categorized as new media or digital media scholars, there has been a reluctance to accept the category of new media and instead to profoundly rethink media (as well as communication and information) and to move media criticism beyond the categories of good and bad. While such an undertaking involves a critical engagement with media that is both archeological and genealogical, it also raises the question of the social. What is sociality given a rethinking of media? Bodies are a thread in an exploration of sociality as bodies change--actually and conceptually-- in relationship to different media technologies. In this sense, media are not only or primarily an epistemological matter but rather operate to produce ontological effects, opening the study of media to discussions about matter/energy, information/communication, representation/performance. The course will explore bodies and sociality by taking up the genealogy/archeology of media (text, sound, film and TV) while focusing on debates around biosciences/neurosciences; digitality and the screen, the platform, and the program; social media, governance and the derivative economy; the relation of affective capacity to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity; representation, big data, measure and method; subjectivity, objects, things and consciousness. As media has been defined in liberalism and neo-liberalism in terms of a certain configuration of state, economy and civil society—or what has been called the private and public spheres, rethinking media means rethinking this configuration and the effects of its various reconfigurations on sociality and the body.
WSCP 81000 - Social Welfare Policy and Planning I
H Silberman School of Social Work 2180 Third Ave, 6th Floor, New York, 10035
T 2:00- 4:00 p.m., Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Mimi Abramovitz  [Cross listed with SSW 71000] Permission of the instructor required.
In this doctoral course students develop an advanced capacity to analyze and think critically about social welfare policy though exposure to ideological frameworks, economic concepts ,and political theory. The development of the welfare state from 1945 to 1975 is compared with changes made from 1975 to 2012 using several analytic frameworks. he frameworks include: paradigm shifts, the functions of the welfare state, the U-turn in public policy, who benefits and who loses, and the tactical and strategic models used to dismantle the welfare state. The course then looks at the impact of social welfare policy (tax, spending, etc.) on service delivery and agency practice. Racism, sexism, heterosexism and decision making power are examined as analytic variables rather than descriptors and applied to explore disparities within social welfare program as well as differential welfare state outcomes. The frameworks presented provide students with the skills and knowledge to analyze the impact of changes in social welfare policy on individual, families and communities; to contextualize social work practice and to advocate for social change.