Courses

View current and past courses below. Students can also access the Dynamic Course Schedule via CUNYfirst.

Please note: Women's and Gender Studies elective courses (WSCP 81000) are all cross-listed with other programs. WGS and WSCP students should register for the WSCP course number.   

 

CURRENT AND UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULES

CORE COURSES

WGS 71001/WSCP 81001 - Feminist Texts and Theories

GC: WED, 2;00-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. JV Fuqua, Online Synchronous.

**WGS 71001 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81001, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang-Massey, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

WGS 71600/WSCP 81600 – Research Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies

GC: THURS, 11:45-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Matt Brim, Fully in-person.

**WGS 71600 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81600, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang-Massey, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

WGS 71601/WSCP 81601 – Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies: Reading Leith Mullings: A Black Feminist Materialism for the 21st Century

GC: TUES, 9:30-11:30AM, 3 Credits, Prof. Dana Davis, Fully in-person.

Cross-listed with Anthropology.

**WGS 71601 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81601, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang-Massey, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

WGS 79600 – Independent Study

3 Credits.

By Permission.

WGS 79601 – Internship

3 Credits.

By Permission.

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision

3 Credits.

By Permission.

CROSS-LISTED COURSES

EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 - Beach Politics: Racial, Social, and Environmental Injustice on the Coastline

GC: Thurs, 2-4PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Setha Low, Hybrid-Synchronous.

Cross-listed with EES.

This seminar explores the beach—the liminal space between land and water--as a site of racial exclusion, environmental and cultural vulnerability and the privatization. Beaches, that in the US and most of the world, are considered a public resource for everything from recreation to a workplace, are increasingly being closed off. In the Us historically racial exclusion made it difficult, if impossible, for POC to use their traditional spaces and Black beaches were taken by eminent domain and developed for solely white use. Today, exclusions include anyone who might want to fish, sunbath, walk, or rest on public land that has private owners nearby who use illiberal means to restrict access. Planning and design of towns with beaches has further these exclusionary practices. Equally important, beaches are fragile ecological spaces and increasingly being misused and misappropriated, closing them off to people who need them to a living. Issues of sexuality, sexual orientation, body practices, religion, and many other kinds of exclusions continue to plague strategies has accelerated the inability to access places that were once foundational for those who lived there.

The seminar will highlight at least 5 issues including:

1.Race, class, gender and ability exclusion and inclusion

2.Environmental fragility, sustainability and climate change

3.Bodies, sexuality and social control of coastal public space

4.Historical practices, cultural resources and contemporary use conflicts

5.Privatization, urban development and residential governance strategies

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 - Imagining Domestic Labor in the British Nineteenth Century

GC: WED, 11:45-1:45PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Talia Schaffer, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with English.

WSCP 81000 - 1987 or thereabouts: A Year in Black Feminist Criticism

GC: TUES, 11:45-1:45PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Amber Musser, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with English.

WSCP 81000 - Sense and Sensuality: Queer of Color Critique

GC: WED, 11:45-1:45PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Amber Musser, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with English.

WSCP 81000 – Mad Women

GC: FRI, 11:45-1:45PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Caroline Reitz, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with English.

WSCP 81000 – Ugly Feelings: Women Writing the Relational

GC: WED, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Nancy Miller, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with English.

Readings:  20th and 21st-century memoirs from Woolf to Yiyun Li. The seminar will explore the repertoire of feelings that animate this group of memory narratives. Revisiting critical perspectives from feminist theorists Sara Ahmed, Jessica Benjamin, Cathy Park Hong, and Sianne Ngai, class discussion will focus on the messy relationships, familial or romantic, intimate and political, represented in women’s contemporary life writing. 

FRENCH

WSCP 81000 – Critical Refugee Studies: History and Law, Narrative, Testimonial, Film

GC: TUES, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Domna Stanton, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with French.

Why are we still in the midst of a global refugee crisis that now involves 80 million people? Such dislocations and displacements have occurred since the late 17th century, when the term “refugee” was first coined; and they have proliferated over the past century, notably since 1915. Who is a refugee? Who qualifies for asylum, why and why not? What about unaccompanied minors; victims of forced migrations? What is the status of economic migrants; of internally displaced persons? How should we classify those fleeing climate catastrophes? Are these others viewed as human or as stateless victims? What are the micro and macro socio-political and cultural contexts that contribute to a widespread refusal to welcome the stranger?

This course in critical refugee studies will begin with history and jurisprudence, then focus on the development, successes - and failures - of the human rights regime, humanitarian law, and regional instruments. We will examine transnational North-South disparities as drivers of migration, and lastly, current ideological and nationalist trends that promote securitization, the closing of borders, and authoritarianism in the post 9/11 world.

We will study particular cases: the Holocaust; the Palestinian nakbah; the Democratic Republic Congo as one of ten critical cases in Africa; the failures of Europe and the USA; and we will end with the present crises of the Ukrainian diaspora and the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Our approach will be interdisciplinary: critical studies in history, theory and law will combine with close readings of novels, memoirs/testimonials, and documentaries that represent/construct the figures of refugees, their double-voiced consciousness, along with the themes of (be)longing, remembering and return.

HISTORY

WSCP 81000 – Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction in Latin America

GC: THURS, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Natalie Kimball, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with History.

This course explores the histories of gender, sexuality, and reproduction, including patterns in human practices, discourses concerning sex, pregnancy, and partnership, and the efforts of state, religious, and medical authorities to regulate citizens’ sexual and reproductive behaviors. Core readings focus on Latin America; a few readings will consider sex and reproduction in borderland regions of the United States. The course stretches from the early 16th century, during the era of European colonization, up to the 21st century. This is a graduate-level course designed to introduce students both to an area of historical content and to the central historiographical approaches and debates in the field. In exploring the literature on gender, sexuality, and reproduction in Latin America, we will examine a variety of analytical perspectives and methodologies, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures

WSCP 81000 – Theorizing Latin American Masculinities

GC: MON, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Silvia Dapia, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures.

Framed within new materialism, posthumanism and the affective turn, we will study diverse theoretical approaches to masculinity informed by feminist, queer and other critical gender scholarship (Amícola, Archetti, Bourdieu, Connell, Foucault, Halberstam, Kiesling, Molloy, Mosse, Muñoz, Preciado, Reeser, Rocha, Salessi, Sedgwick, Sifuentes-Jáuregui, Viveros-Vigoya, etc). Within this framework we will explore young masculinities, fatherhood, rural masculinities, military masculinities, revolutionary masculinities, gay masculinities, and trans masculinities, among others—all of them complicated by race, class, and sexuality—as they appear in 20th and 21st century Cuban and Argentine works of literature and visual culture. We will discuss the transformation of “el hombre nuevo” as a normative notion of heterosexual masculinity in the works of Edmundo Desnoes, Abel González Melo, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Eduardo Heras León, Senel Paz, and Virgilio Piñera, while the works of César Aira, Gabriela Cabezon Cámara, Copi, Witold Gombrowicz, Osvaldo Lamborghini, among others, will serve as the basis for an investigation of problematic masculinities. In addition, tango lyrics and films such as De cierta manera by Sara Gómez (1997) and Memorias del Desarrollo (2000) by Miguel Coyula will also be discussed.

MALS

WSCP 81000 – Consent: Medieval Legacies from Europe and the Islamic Worlds in Comparative Perspective

GC: THURS, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Profs. Anna Akasoy & Sara McDougall, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with MALS, History, the Futures Initiative, Medieval Studies Certificate Program.

With the #MeToo movement and the introduction of new Title IX regulations at US institutions of higher education, the definition of consent in sexual encounters has become the subject of public controversy. Activists, legal scholars, university administrators and other participants in these debates discuss the conditions of voluntary affirmation and its expression, personal autonomy and responsibility, and the multiple ways in which imbalances of power shape relationships. At the center of many of these debates are the conventions of binary gender roles which assign a passive position to women and which validate pursuit and persuasion on the part of men. Just how much ideals of sexual encounters and gender relations prevalent in the medieval west have shaped these conventions, whether empirically or in the public imagination, is obvious in modern representations such as Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel (2021). At the same time, a comparison of responses to the #MeToo movement across the globe, even within the west, reveals very different attitudes to concepts and principles of consent. Muslim feminists, scholars and activists have engaged Islamic legal and ethical traditions in order to promote their values and principles of sexual autonomy.

In the proposed course, we will explore case studies from both western Europe and the Middle East during the premodern period in which consent in sexual encounters plays a significant role. We will be discussing these examples in two sets of comparative perspectives. On the one hand, we will discuss how historical authors thought of consent and the implications of a lack of consent in sexual encounters in comparison with the way that these issues are approached in present-day debates. On the other hand, by considering material from western Europe and the Islamic world, we will be identifying some of the cultural, social and legal variables which defined and reflected historical realities and maintain an impact on present-day discussions. Our sources will be documentary and literary, legal, religious, historical and poetic. We will be discussing the larger philosophical, legal, cultural and social categories which shaped representations of consent and disagreements surrounding it. Aspects for consideration include the importance of domestic slavery in the Islamic world as well as economic rights of women in both cultural spheres. Apart from familiarizing themselves with a variety of sources from diverse areas of premodern Europe, the Middle East and Asia, students will be encouraged to reflect on the significance of these sources for modern debates. We expect to consider a balance of western and Middle Eastern material. This course does not require any prior knowledge of medieval history or Middle Eastern studies.

WSCP 81000 – Race and the Geopolitics of Fashion

GC: TUES, 6:30-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Tanisha Ford, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with MALS.

Fashion is a multi-billion-dollar global industry. Often when we study fashion, we focus on the clothes, the trends, and the big-named designers. We pay less attention to the economics of the industry, or how that money matrix connects to domestic and international politics. In this course, we will hold both things in tension, exploring how the clothes we wear everyday are an extension of the geopolitical systems that bolster the fashion industry. We will ask questions about why certain designers become household names while others do not, the role of social media, how fashion supply chains function, and debates about ethical fashion. The course will center on the African continent, examining its vibrant fashion scene, which has undergone many geopolitical shifts in the past two decades. We will compare and contrast Africa with fashion markets in Asia and Europe. Ultimately, we will confront the ways in which racial capitalism has always been deeply entangled with our own desires, personal style, and taste cultures.​

WSCP 81000 – Contemporary Feminist Theories

GC: WEDS, 6:30-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jean Halley, Online-Synchronous.

Cross-listed with MALS.

This fully online synchronous course explores Contemporary Feminist Theories through feminist work about racial, economic and sexual justice, and in terms of “bodies with gender.” We investigate what it means to “have” gender and to “be female” with a focus on the United States. Making use of the frame offered by Patricia Ticineto Clough’s book, Feminist Thought, we consider contemporary feminist theories on differences and similarities in the experiences of women and other gendered bodies across lines of race, class, sexuality, species and ability. We examine how gender defines human experiences and how feminists resist these definitions.

Sigmund Freud once called work and love the central arenas of human life. We examine contemporary feminist thought on what it means to have gender in love and to be gendered at work; on the representation of women and gender in the larger culture; and about violence in the lives of gendered bodies particularly queer bodies, those of color, and those gendered female. We make use of a variety of texts in exploring feminist thinking on race; the “nature” of gender, love and sexuality; so-called women’s work; the expectations “experts” have of diversely gendered bodies; (dis)ability; nonhumans; and the representation of gender in the mass media.

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – Social Movements in the Middle East and North Africa

GC: TUES, 6:30-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Ozlem Goner, TBD.

Cross-listed with MES.

MUSIC

WSCP 81000 – Critical Archive Theory

GC: TUES, 10:00-1:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Emily Wilbourne, TBD.

Cross-listed with Music.

PHILOSOPHY

WSCP 81000 – Feminist Political Philosophy

GC: MON, 2:00-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Serene Khader, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Philosophy.

This course examines some of the major contributions feminists have made to the subfield of political philosophy. We will begin by asking what, if anything, is distinctive about anti-oppressive philosophical methods. Feminists have transformed social and political philosophy both by introducing underexplored questions and by insisting that we revise well-worn concepts. We will explore some key instances of each.

For the former, we will look at how feminists have drawn attention to issues around work, culture, and historical injustice—as well as how feminists have introduced the concept of oppression into the contemporary philosophical lexicon. For the latter, we will look at how feminists have developed new understandings of the concepts of justice, autonomy/freedom, and the ideal/nonideal distinction.

Some of the philosophers we will read include Mary Wollestonecraft, Marilyn Frye, Maria Lugones, Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser, Patricia Hill Collins, Eva Feder Kittay, and Shatema Threadcraft. We will also devote special attention this semester to the work of our late colleague, Charles Mills.

WSCP 81000 – Personal and Social Identity

GC: TUES, 2:00-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jesse Prinz, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Philosophy.

Philosophical work on identity tends to divide into two very different literatures. One focus on “personal identity", where that is characteristically understood as the investigation of what makes someone count as the same person across possible transformations. Another literature focuses on “social identity”, which characteristically investigates membership is social categories, such as race, gender, class and nationality. Increasingly, it has been recognized that many aspects of identity that are both personal and social. For example, preservation of moral values can be experienced as important for personal continuity, while also linking a person to a social group. This seminar will explore literatures on personal and social identity as well as their interrelationships.

Political Science

WSCP 81000 – Women, Work and Public Policy

GC: MON, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Janet Gornick, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Political Science.

By permission of Instructor.

WSCP 81000 – Race & Public Policy

GC: THURS, 6:30-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. John Flateau, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Political Science.

By permission of Instructor.

PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Foundations of Queer Studies

GC: THURS, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Justin Brown & Laura Westengard, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Psychology.

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Producing Sociological Theory:

The Role of Gendered Colonialism, Culture, and Revolution in Bourdieu’s and Fanon's Work

GC: WED, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Marnia Lazreg, Online-Synchronous.

Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Women and Health: Contemporary Issues

GC: WED, 6:30 – 8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Barbara Katz-Rothman, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Gender, Crime, and Culture

GC: THURS, 6:30 – 8:30PM, 3 Credits, Profs. Lynn Chancer & Michael Jacobsen, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Sociology.

URBAN EDUCATION

WSCP 81000 – Harlem: A History of Protest in the Schoolhouse

GC: MON, 6:30-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Terri Watson, Hybrid-Synchronous.

Cross-listed with Sociology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORE COURSES

**This class has been cancelled.**WGS 71001/WSCP 81001 - Feminist Texts and Theories

GC: WED, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Online.

**WGS 71001 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81001, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang-Massey, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

This course will explore the work of reading, writing, and publishing feminist texts and theories, emphasizing the historical context and means of production of feminist scholarship. Topics will include inquiries into various feminist presses, writing and media collectives, women’s studies journals, and digital archives. The course will also demystify the work of submitting to and editing for an interdisciplinary journal of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

WGS 71701/WSCP 71700 – Global Feminisms

GC: THURS, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Saadia Toor and Prof. Chaumtoli Huq, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with Anthropology and The Futures Initiative.

**WGS 71601 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81601, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang-Massey, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

With the rise of authoritarian regimes around the world, what insights do feminist movements and theorizing offer? What are the fault lines between different forms of feminisms? How do liberal feminist ideals and principles intertwine with an imperial agenda? What are the links and divergences between Islamaphobia and racism? 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? This course grapples with some of these questions in the wake of rapid world altering changes.

We 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, women from the global south, 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.

Students will have a chance to engage with feminist activists from different parts of the world through guest lectures whenever possible, and will be encouraged to connect with local/transnational feminist groups.

WGS 71601/WSCP 81601 - Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: “Women Writing Witness”

GC: THURS, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Nancy K. Miller, In-Person.

Cross-listed with English.

**WGS 71601 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81601, you must be a WSCP student, or have instructor permission. Please email APO, Eileen Liang-Massey, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

The seminar will explore feminist texts from a range of genres that all bear witness to violence, injustice, and the aggressions of everyday life. Memoir, poetry, essay, or fiction, in each case the “I” records circumstances that are not simply singular, but also collective. What literary strategies do these writers deploy to make connections between “I” and “we,” story and life, aesthetics and politics, trauma and testimony? Readings include: Anzaldúa, Brison, Delbo, Ernaux, Hartman, Jacobs, Menchú, Lorde, Nestle, Rich, Una, Williams.

WGS 79600 – Independent Study

3 Credits.

By Permission.

WGS 79601 – Internship

3 Credits.

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision

3 Credits.

CROSS-LISTED COURSES

ANTHROPOLOGY

**This class has been cancelled.**WSCP 81000 - Public Anthropology and Black Feminist Praxis

GC: WED, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Bianca Williams, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Anthropology.

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

WSCP 81000 - Italian Fascism: History and Interpretations

GC: TUES, 2-4 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Comparative Literature.

On October 28, 1922, fascist squads headed by Benito Mussolini organized “the march on Rome.” One hundred years later (but also in the last two decades), debate on fascism has again taken center stage. Fascism is a term that often comes back in conversation in several historical epochs and political and cultural contexts. Questions have been asked about its origin and its different declinations throughout the years and in various countries.

But how historically accurate is it to talk about fascism as a recurring political and cultural phenomenon? When and how did fascism come to the fore in its earliest incarnation in Italy? How did the political, social and cultural terrain in Italy before 1922--the year in which fascism came to power—foster the advent of the regime? What are the implications of Umberto Eco’s notion of “ur-fascism” and of Susan Sontag’s “fascinating fascism”?

Starting from the questions emerging from this intense historiographic debate, the course will focus on how Italy was changed by fascism, a regime that took its distance from and drew on the past to realize its ambitions to transform Italy’s institutions and the Italian people. How successful was the regime in achieving totalitarism? How was antifascism organized and what forms did it take (political, armed, existential etc.)?

The course focuses on specific themes such as violence, empire, gender, race, war, culture and the arts, antifascisms, propaganda and the impact of fascism abroad.

These are today crucial topics in the history and interpretations of fascism. It is in this light that we will investigate the resurgence of neo-fascist groups, nationalism and threats to democracy.

The last part of the course will be dedicated to cinematic and interpretations of fascism in films such as “Allarm siam fascisti!” (To Arms, we are fascist!)” (Cecilia Mangini, Lino Miccichè); “A Special Day” (Ettore Scola); “The Night of the Shooting Stars” (The Taviani Brothers); “Salò and 120 days of Sodoma” (Pier Paolo Pasolini).

EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 - Social Reproduction

GC: WED, 2-4 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Cindi Katz, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with EES.

WSCP 81000 - Security and Surveillance: The Production of Fear and Anxiety

GC: THURS, 11:45 AM-1:45 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Setha Low, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with EES.

This graduate seminar examines the efforts of anthropologists and geographers to attend to the spaces and politics of security. Today, security is one of the most prominent topics on the public’s mind midst a global pandemic and increasing concerns about the biopolitics of everyday as people search for safety and security in a war torn world.  The current crisis draws upon a long history of security concerns that are as diverse in their objects (terrorism, crime and criminals, immigration, war and violence) as the socio-political moments that produce them. A growing ethnographic literature explores security’s various dimensions, from studies of military action and everyday violence to specific security infrastructures (e.g. Lutz 2002; Low 2003; Masco 2006). Some anthropologists are also exploring the contemporary problematization of security by exploring assemblages and novel experiments (e.g. Lakoff and Collier 2009; Maguire 2014; Samimian-Darash and Stalcup 2016). Of course, the breath of this ethnographic literature presents a significant challenge to integrate and critique and this is the primary objective of our readings and discussion.

After a review of the foundational work of Foucault (1977-1978), Beck (1986), Deleuze (1992), Brown (2010), Jackson (2008) and Daniel and Berwick (2020) , the course explores how specific securitization processes are promoted, enhanced and reproduced by 1) infrastructures of exclusion and inclusion; 2) increased visibility through borderization, stereotyping and racial profiling; 3) spatial governance through enclosure and surveillance; and 4) discursive practices that obscure the violence and destruction potential of securitization practices.  Students are asked to offer their own ethnographic research or research proposal that considers various contexts and historical periods to build a theoretical framework that emphasizes the spatial and temporal as well as the political in the study of security.  Through our discussions we should better understand this elusive but dangerous concept that produces a reality that is changing the life chances of millions of people

Course requirements:

  1. Ethnographic or historical project of some aspect of security and/or the politics, infrastructures or technologies that contribute to security claims and the creation of affective configurations.
  2. Read and discuss readings in class
  3. Lead a section of the class focused on their interest area

Course learning goals:

  1. To understand and be able to critique the concept of security
  2. To consider the variable consequences of security when used as a social, political, biological and economic intervention
  3. To identify the physical and affective infrastructures that underlie the production of security and security-based thinking
  4. To research the bases and formulation of security claims
  5. To develop a keen appreciation of how security needs inform and structure racial, gender, class and gender inequality

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 - Queering the Renaissance, 2022

GC: MON, 11:45AM-1:45 PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Mario DiGangi, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with English.

Thirty years ago, LGQ early modern scholarship arrived with the publication of four monographs—Bruce Smith’s Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England (1991), Gregory Bredbeck’s Sodomy and Interpretation (1991), Valerie Traub’s Desire and Anxiety (1991), and Jonathan Goldberg’s Sodometries (1992)—and one anthology, Goldberg’s Queering the Renaissance (1993). What did “queering the Renaissance” mean in the early 1990s? What does it mean today? In this seminar, we will explore the origins, development, present state, and possible futures of queer early modern studies. We will begin by establishing the galvanizing influence upon the field of Alan Bray’s Homosexuality in Renaissance England (1982), Foucault’s History of Sexuality: An Introduction (1976; tr. 1978), and feminist Shakespeare criticism of the 1980s; and we will consider what might still be generative in the methodologies that Smith, Traub, Bredbeck, and Goldberg offered for reading early modern sexuality. We will also explore how queer early modern scholarship has since expanded into other fields and subdisciplines such as postcolonialism and globalism (Freccero, Arvas), critical race studies (Ian Smith, Sanchez), adaptation/appropriation studies (Chedgzoy, Burt, Geddes and Fazel, Patricia), disability studies (Nardizzi, Hobgood), rhetoric and philology (Menon, Masten, Rubright), ecological studies (Nardizzi), animal/posthuman studies (Dugan, Rambuss, Raber, Varnado), trans studies (Chess, Gordon), and material studies (Fisher, Blake, Bailey, Lin). Finally, we will address the emergence of, and controversy over, “queer unhistoricism” (Menon, Goldberg, Freccero, Traub, Friedlander, Bromley, DiGangi). Primary readings (from Shakespeare, Marlowe, Middleton, et al.) will be selected to illustrate critical methods and controversies.

WSCP 81000 - Young Adult Literature: Theory and Method

GC: MON, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Carrie Hintz, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with English.

Our seminar will consider how scholars of YA (Young Adult) literature develop their research—and their methodological and theoretical underpinnings as they do so. We will consider YA’s use of formal experimentation, its role in popular culture, and its construction of an adolescent audience. We will look in detail at how the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement is transforming YA publishing, reviewing, and instruction in multiple ways, as well as YA’s role in facilitating political reflection and change (in both realist and speculative modes). Primary sources will include works from the postwar period to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary works by Angie Thomas, Jack Gantos, M. T. Anderson, Meg Medina, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Gene Luen Yang, Neal Shusterman, Cece Bell, Jerry Craft, and others. Critical methods might include historicism, critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, psychoanalysis, visual and sound studies, disability studies, the new formalism, affect theory, postcolonial theory, popular culture approaches (esp. film and television), and youth studies scholarship.

WSCP 81000 - Utopian Fictions: Literature and Human Rights

GC: TUES, 2-4 PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Sonali Perera, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with English.

What does it mean to invoke human rights in an age where, as one theorist puts it, “the banalization of human rights means that violations are often committed in the Orwellian name of human rights themselves, cloaked in the palliative rhetoric of humanitarian intervention?” What can the study of literature teach us about the paradoxes and enabling fictions of human rights? How do we understand the emergence of the Human Rights novel as a literary genre—as “popular” fiction? What do we make of the interpretative turn towards discourses of utopia and fictions of dystopia in our age of statelessness, internal displacement, and border wars? Where and how does literature as cultural practice intersect with the activism of international civil society groups and local human rights initiatives? By way of addressing these questions, in this course we will study the formal, historical, and ideological conjunctions between human rights and particular world literary forms.

Over the course of the semester, towards framing the question of how we produce the concept of human rights in historical and literary studies, (1) we will read historical scholarship tracking the origins of the United Nations and International Law. (2) We will also consider alternative genealogies for internationalism opened up in postcolonial feminism, critical race studies, the literature of social movements, and other forms of world literature.

We will view film clips from Dheepan (2015). Via Zoom, we may also have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers (interdisciplinary scholars, activists, and cultural workers) from South Asia and Europe.

Required Texts May Include: J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost; Sinan Antoon, The Book of Collateral Damage; Bessie Head, A Question of Power; Lynn Nottage, Ruined (play); Edward Said, After the Last Sky; No Violet Bulowayo, Glory; Sujatha Fernandes, Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling.

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READINGS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON BLACKBOARD). THEY MAY INCLUDE: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Righting Wrongs”; Sylvia Wynter, “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation—An Argument”; Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism and We Refugees (selections); Giorgio Agamben, “Beyond Human Rights” from Means Without End; Walter Benjamin “Theses on the Philosophy of History” and other selections; T. Shanaathanan, The Incomplete Thombu; Sophocles, Antigone; Judith Butler, Antigone’s Claim and Precarious Life (selections); Ariel Dorfman, Widows; Saadat Hasan Manto, “Toba Tek Singh” from Khalid Hasan trans. A Wet Afternoon (short story); Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera (selections); Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How it Ends and Lost Children Archive (selections); Aime Cesaire, A Discourse on Colonialism (selection); Frantz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth (selections); Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World; Jacqueline Rose, “On the Universality of Madness” and “Apathy and Accountability”; Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (selections) ; David Greig, “The Miniskirts of Kabul” (play); Crystal Parikh, Writing Human Rights (selection) Joseph Slaughter, “Novel Subjects and Enabling Fictions: The Formal Articulation of International Human Rights Law” from Human Rights, Inc; Juliana Spahr, Du Bois’s Telegram (selection); Samuel Moyn, Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World and The Last Utopia (selection); Oxford Amnesty Lecture series (selection)Text of the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Course Requirements vary by 3 or 4 credits. (As a frame of reference, 4 credit requirements are included below):

1.) A 15 minute oral presentation on one or two of the weekly readings (in combination with a pre-circulated 3 page presentation paper) (20%)

2.)  A 1 page prospectus for the final paper/or in lieu of a written prospectus, we might have a meeting during office hours to discuss tentative theses and research directions (10%)

3.) A 15-20 page final paper. (40%)

4.) Engaged class participation. (30%)

WSCP 81000 -  Aestheticism, Decadence, Modernism, 1880-1930

GC: THURS, 6:30-8:30PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Richard Kaye, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with English .

This class explores the relation between the aestheticist and decadent movements as well as their determination of modernist aesthetics. We will begin with late-nineteenth-century British, American, and French works by Hardy, Wilde, James, and Huysmans. The fin de siècle was a time of pervasive fears and fantasies dominated by such figures as the New Woman, the urban detective, the homosexual bachelor, the Anarchist, the Oriental, the overreaching colonialist, the self-preening aesthete, the vampire, and the femme fatale, the latter reaching an apotheosis in Wilde’s Salome. In the diverse writings of Pater, Olive Schreiner, Vernon Lee, and Wilde, aestheticism emerged as a theoretically coherent and varied movement absorbed in exquisite surfaces, tantalizing ambiguities, and useless artifice. For decadent writers and artists, scientific theories of “degeneration” could be recalibrated as erotically charged, non-teleological experiments, while Freud drew on “decadent” scenarios for his proto-modernist narratives dealing with hysteria and sexual disorder, preeminently in Dora: Fragment of a Case of Hysteria, Women writers, meanwhile, struggled to find a place within the male-defined coteries of aestheticism and decadence, a theme dramatized in Henry James’ tale “The Author of Beltraffio,,” narrated by a decadent acolyte, in which the aestheticist project must be sequestered from female readers, who can only misconstrue its aims as immoral. Yet there were also alliances between male decadents and feminist writers (Wilde promoted Schreiner’s novel The Story of an African Farm because of its bold challenge to realist conventions and depiction of colonialist malaise.)  In France, the woman writer Rachilde publishes Monsieur Venus (1884), a symbolist/decadent novella concerning a dominatrix noblewoman, Raoule, who gradually transforms her working-class lover Jacques into her mistress by emptying him of all his “masculine” traits. 

In the class’s second part we will explore how the fin outlasted the siècle, maintaining an intense afterlife in the Anglo-American modernist writing of Yeats, James, Eliot, Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, and Djuna Barnes.  The morbidity, subjectivism, sexual experimentalism, and excesses of literary technique characteristic of 1890s sensibility foment modernist revisions that seek to repress their origins in decadent poetics. Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray, with its hero who cannot "develop," inspires modernist counter-bildungsromanae. We consider Joyce’s Stephen Hero, an early version of Portrait of the Artist as Young Man, arguably a satire of aestheticism as well as a novel with an explicitly Paterian protagonist. The keenly observing, detached bachelor familiar from James also narrates Rilke’s lyrical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (arguably the first modernist novel) and that helps to form the paralyzed solitary consciousness of Eliot’s “Prufrock.” Arguably the narrator of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness adopts decadent techniques for his coiled narrative of colonial tragedy.  We will consider, too, Eliot’s absorption in the figure of the Jew as an emblem of a malevolent decadent cosmopolitanism versus Djuna Barnes’ depiction of the decadent Jew in her novel Nightwood as a more positively transformative cultural agent. We will consider how the Aestheticst and Decadent movements shaped the writing of the Harlem Renaissance. Our class concludes with James’ The Golden Bowl, a novel of twinned adulteries that is one of James’ most topical, aesthetically difficult, and decadent works of fiction. Among the works we will read: Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Huysmans, Against Nature; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome; Schreiner, Story of an African Farm; Freud, Dora: Analysis of a Fragment of a Case of Hysteria; Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Joyce, Stephen Hero, Yeats, Selected Poems; Lawrence, Selected Short Fiction; Eliot, Selected Poetry; James, The Golden Bowl; Barnes, Nightwood; Showalter, Elaine, ed., Daughters of Decadence.  We will read relevant critical and theoretical texts, including Walter Pater, “Conclusion” to The Renaissance; Arthur Symons, “The Decadent Movement in Literature”; Mario Praz, from The Romantic Agony; George Bataille, from Literature and Evil; Richard Ellmann, “The Uses of Decadence”; Richard Gilman, from Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet; Linda Dowling, “The Decadent and The New Woman”; Michael Riffaterre, “Decadent Paradoxes,” Leo Bersani, from The Culture of Redemption; Regenia Gagnier, “Individualism, Decadence, and Globalization,” Vincent Sherry, from Decadence and the Reinvention of Modernism”; Matthew Potolsky, from The Decadent Republic of Letters.  A mid-term paper as well as a final paper.

FRENCH

WSCP 81000 - On Passions, Emotions, Affects: in Theory, History, Texts

GC: TUES, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Domna Stanton, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with French.

How are passions and emotions different from affects? How do bodies perform passions, sensibility, feelings, emotions and affects? What do affects do and how do they do it? How are they shaped by their contexts?  What is the meaning and significance of the “affective turn”?  Does it mark a rejection of the idea(l) of rational self-control? How is this turn connected to studies of women (and the feminine) and to work on gender and racial embodiments and sexualities?

This course will be structured around three areas: first, theories of affect and in tandem, a study of the cultural politics and ethics of specific affects, including anger, disgust, shame, compassion and happiness. Which emotions mobilize spectators/readers into collectives/communities. Are passions both a source and an obstacle to struggles for freedom and justice? How do they include and exclude? Among the theorists: Ahmed, Artaud, Berlant, Clough, Cvetkovich, Deleuze and Guattari, Ghandi, M. Hardt, A. Lorde, Massumi, Scheer, Sedgwick, Stewart, M. Warner.

Second, we will grapple with the treatment of passions and emotions through history, especially in philosophy: from Aristotle and Cicero, Descartes, Pascal, Lebrun, Spinoza, and Kant to Darwin, W. James, Freud, Klein, and R. Williams.Emotions, Affetcs: History, Texts

And third, in conjunction with this philosophical and historical work, we will read texts (verbal, visual and musical) to see how they inscribe emotional content and how they generate affective responses from readers even when their semantics and narratives do not depict strong emotions. Is feeling as a response to cultural forms different from a human emotion? We will consider the cultural politics of emotion in the work of  Margerie of Kempe, Montaigne,  Gentileschi (Portraits of Judith) , Racine (Phèdre),  Goethe (Sorrows of Young Werther), Wagner (“Leibestod”) , H. Jacobs (Life of a Slave Girl), H. James (Beast in the Jungle),  Woolf  (Mrs. Dalloway) , A. Nin (“Incest” Diary),  Lanzman (Shoah),  Beckett (Happy Days), C. Churchill  (Far Away) , Irigaray (“When our Lips Speak Together”), Morrison (Beloved),  Darwish (Poems),  Labaki (Capernaum), Moore (Watchman, 2019).

The syllabus will be uploaded onto Blackboard by the beginning of the spring semester; all course materials will be on blackboard, except for one or two complete texts which will be indicated on the syllabus.

Work for the course: Whether the course is taken for 2, 3, or 4 credits, all students will be responsible for doing the assigned texts closely and for engaging consistently in class discussion.

  • students who take the course for 2 credits will present in class a reading of one primary text, which will also be submitted in writing (c 5-7 pp); these students will also take the final exam.    
  • students who take the course for 3 credits, will do all of the above, but instead of the 5-7 page paper, they will do a 10-13-page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor. They will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography, an outline and the introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).
  • students who take the course for 4 credits will do all of the above, but instead of a 10-13 page paper, they will do a 20-25-page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor. They will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography, an outline, and an introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).

HISTORY

**This class has been cancelled.**WSCP 81000 - Disability: History and Theory

GC: TUES, 2-4 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Dagmar Herzog, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with History.

**Instructor permission required. Please email dherzog@gc.cuny.edu.

Disability is not quite like other “others” (race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, etc.), but learning to think historically, critically, intersectionally about this important marker of difference (10-15% of the world’s population is estimated to have some type of disability) can enrich research on many geographic and topical themes. This seminar course will introduce students to a variety of conceptual approaches (ranging from history of medicine and cultural history to histories of care and anti-ableist social movements and human rights activism to crip theory in its overlap with queer theory), drawing also on adjacent disciplines, and will consider disabilities in the broadest sense: from madness to sensory differences to physical and cognitive impairments and chronic illnesses. Students working on any part of the globe, 19th-20th century, are welcome. In addition to close reading and active discussion, students will be expected to develop an independent research project grounded in primary sources that advances their own ongoing scholarly agenda

WSCP 81000 - Politics of Race and Slavery in the Early Republic

GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. James Oakes, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with History.

It has become clear that slavery was a contested issue in American politics for a much longer period than previous generations of scholars once suggested.  Where it was common to start the history of the sectional crisis with the Mexican War, historians now speak of a “long emancipation” that involved “eight-eight years” of conflict.  At the same time, the contours of the struggle over slavery have widened.  Where it was once reduced to a dispute over slavery in the territories, it has now become clear that the fugitive slave crisis was equally important in the developing conflict between the North and the South.  That, in turn, raised questions about the rights of free Blacks in the free states and territories.  As a result, the politics of slavery have become inseparable from the politics of race.  “Politics” itself is no longer confined to parties and elections, but embraces the active participation of Blacks and women.  Gender ideology is now understood to be a key component of antislavery thought.  Finally, where historians once contrasted the radical egalitarianism of abolitionists with the moderation of antislavery politicians, more recent scholars have highlighted interconnections between antislavery politics and radical abolitionism.

This seminar will focus on the politics of race and slavery, primarily in the northern states, between the Revolution and the Civil War.  Readings will range from classic accounts that stressed the role of racism in limiting antislavery politics, to more recent studies that have recovered an enduring anti-racist tradition that arose as the analogue to antislavery politics.  A persistent theme is the way antislavery politics repeatedly raised the question of citizenship rights for African Americans and women.

MALS

WSCP 81000 - Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies

GC: MON, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. James Wilson, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with MALS.

WSCP 81000 - Enlightenment and Critique

GC: THURS, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Helena Rosenblatt, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with MALS.

WSCP 81000 - American Social Institutions

GC: TUES, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Karen Miller, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with MALS.

WSCP 81000 – The Culture of Fashion: Theories and Practices

GC: WED, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Elizabeth Wissinger, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with MALS.

WSCP 81000 - Introduction to Caribbean Studies

GC: WED, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Nathalie Etoke, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with MALS.

MUSIC

WSCP 81000 - Music, Gender, Sexuality

GC: WED, 10 AM-1 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jane Sugarman, Hybrid.

Cross-listed with Music.

**Instructor permission required. Please email jsugarman@gc.cuny.edu.

 

Issues regarding gender and sexuality are intrinsic to any study that assesses music or sound as a social phenomenon.  This seminar will examine recent writings that relate gender and/or sexuality to music, or sound more broadly, in conjunction with background readings from other disciplines.  The focus will be on ethnomusicological writings, and thus on musics from a variety of world areas, although there will also be readings on Western concert, popular, and/or vernacular musics.  Included will be readings on sonic and embodied constructions of gender and sexuality; feminist, trans, and queer performance; the intersection of gender and sexuality with issues of race, nation, class, and/or ability; ways that gender and sexuality inform our research strategies; and activist approaches to research on gender and sexuality.  Assignments will include weekly readings, weekly response papers or online discussion threads, and a final research paper.  Permission of instructor required.

Note:  Formal knowledge of music is not a prerequisite for taking this class. Open to students outside music.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 - Social Welfare Policy

GC: TUES, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Janet Gornick, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Political Science.

**Instructor permission required. Please email jgornick@gc.cuny.edu.

This course will examine social welfare policy in the United States, in historical and cross‐national perspective.

We will begin with an overview of the development of social welfare policy in the United States. We will focus on crucial historical periods – including the Civil War years, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Great Society, and the “welfare reform” of the 1990s and early 2000s.

Second, we will analyze a set of contemporary challenges that call for active social welfare policy responses in the United States – including inequality, poverty, housing affordability, retirement security, mass incarceration, and the need for care, both paid and unpaid.

Third, we will survey selected social policy lessons from other high‐income countries, especially in Europe, where social provisions are typically more extensive than they are in the United States.

Students will complete weekly reaction papers, and a semester-long research project which will culminate in a paper.

PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 - The Listening Guide: A Method for Narrative Analysis

GC: THURS, 2-4 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Deborah Tolman, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Psychology.

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 - Queer and Feminist Methodologies

GC: THURS, 2-4 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jean Halley, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Black America

GC: TUES, 2-4 PM, 3 Credits, Profs. Juan Battle and Allia Abdullah-Matta, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Gender and Violence

GC: TUES, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jayne Mooney, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Sociology.

This course explores the relationship between gender, crime and the criminal justice system. It focuses on feminist historical, sociological and socio-legal scholarship to examine the ways in which gender affects patterns of offending, victimization, and imprisonment. It critically engages with the intersections between gender, race, class and sexuality and analyzes how these impact on the treatment of women, as victims, survivors and offenders. It provides an overview of the historical neglect of women’s contributions to sociological and criminological theory.

Cultural representations of masculinity and femininity are considered throughout. Debates are explored on the construction of masculinit(ies) in contemporary society, and recent work on transfeminism and non-binary gender identities. Specific topics to be covered include: violence against women, fear of crime, sex work, war, gangs, serial killing, imprisonment, immigration and feminist research methods.

URBAN EDUCATION

WSCP 81000 - Black Queer Lives & Pedagogies

GC: WED, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Robert Robinson, MODE OF INSTRUCTION TBA.

Cross-listed with Urban Education.

WSCP 81000 - What’s Foucault Got To Do With It?: Power, Truth, and the Governing of Society through School

GC: MON, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Debbi Sonu, MODE OF INSTRUCTION TBA.

Cross-listed with Urban Education.

 

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

**This class has been cancelled.**WSCP 81000 – Queer Literacies and Other Oppressive Sponsorship: Investigating Sponsors of Aliteracy (Cross-listed with MALS 78500)
Monday & Wednesday, 4:00 PM – 7:15 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Mark McBeth (marknealmcbeth@gmail.com)

Mode of Instruction: Hybrid
First Class Starts: June 1st
Last Class: June 29th

In this course, Queer Literacies, we will focus upon how literacy sponsorships played a role in the dynamic power play between heternormative/homophobic public discourses and queer subject formation. In "Sponsors of Literacy," Deborah Brandt lists a group of "figures who turned up most typically in people’s memories of literacy learning: older relatives, teachers, priests, supervisors, military officers, editors, influential authors. [These sponsors of literacy,] as we ordinarily think of them, are powerful figures who bankroll events or smooth the way for initiates” (167, emphasis added). For Gay, Lesbian and Trans individuals who lived through the twentieth century, these prevalent figures of sponsorship-- who would presumably “smooth the way for initiates”--in fact, constrained the literacy of queer learners. Ellen Louise Hart has claimed that "the acts of reading and writing are acts of creation, not peripheral but essential to all education and all learning" and, moreover she adds, for LGBTQ students, who navigate through patriarchy, heterosexism, and homophobia, literacy often takes on special roles for their survival ("Literacy and the Lesbian/Gay Learner" 31). The adverse confluence of these societal forces--an intradependent set of discourses that reified each other--kept queer initiates in identificatory check under an unspoken platform of heteronormative literacy sponsorship so that for most of the twentieth century the Queer community could not gain an affirmative foothold of self-worth through the literate practices that normally allow for such growth and development.

In this course, I want Queerness—a.k.a., non-normativity—to compel your intellectual labor but I don’t want Queerness to confine it. Many marginalized people’s literacy have been systemically restricted by institutionally or culturally (re)produced and imposed regulations: Jim Crow laws, English-only statutes, bathroom legislation, and immigration statutes have all over-determined how people read, write, research, and critically identify (and express) themselves. Many literacy sponsors disenfranchised people’s literacy capabilities rendering their reading, writing, and researching capabilities inutile. Even if they had advanced literate abilities, they couldn’t use them in the impoverished opportunities offered to them.  While in my recent research, I have identified and analyzed those restrictions and resistances of Queer literates.

In this course, I challenge you to locate your own literate marginalization (or privileges or both) and investigate how literacy has shaped your literacy acquisition, your critical comprehensions, and your expressive approach to the world.  How have literacy sponsors compelled you, buoyed you, empowered you, or sucked you under?  Where, when, how, and why (for what purpose) have you achieved your literacy acquisition?  Your I-story becomes a point of departure for more in-depth research about literacy, learning, and language. While this course will focus its analytic attentions on heternormative discourses and the counter-normative measures twentieth-century queers took to upend them, students could (in fact, should also) investigate the primary sources of public media, archival artifacts, and other “traceable” materials to discover how over-deterministic discourses shaped the literacy potentials/capabilities/futures of other marginalized communities.  Participants in this course will visit various archives and special collections around the city.

WSCP 81000 – Introduction to Race and Ethnicity (Cross-listed with MALS 78500)
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Nathalie Etoke (Netoke@gc.cuny.edu)

Mode of Instruction: Hybrid
First Class Starts: May 31st
Last Class: June 30th

Coming together in opposition to police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, protesters stood side by side in the streets of America and across the globe. The powerful impact of the 2020 summer social uprisings marks a turning point in the struggle against anti-black racism. In order to make sense of the current racial reckoning, this course provides an overview of the politics of race and racism in the U.S. Focusing on the longue durée of imperialism since 1492 and accounting for the consequences of the Native American genocide, racial slavery, settler colonialism, historical violence and the reactionary opposition to ongoing struggles for social justice and freedom, we will unearth the roots of white supremacy and systemic racism in the U.S. The course explores the relationship between race and power while analyzing how it shapes American citizenship and identity.  We will draw from a variety of disciplines, spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts, in order to think critically about race, racism, identity formation, everyday experience and American history.

We will address the following questions:

  • What does it mean to study race and ethnicity?
  • How have conversations about race changed over the last few years?
  • How are racial hierarchy and racism woven into the fabric of The United States of America?
  • How does race shape our daily life and our sense of self?
  • How does it structure inequality in our society?
  • What are the sociohistorical processes that have shaped our understandings of race and ethnicity?

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the difference between race and ethnicity.
  2. Describe and explain key ideas and concepts concerning the social construction of race and ethnicity.
  3. Think critically about their own racial position, recognize and appreciate human experiences that differ from their own, and explain the significance of racism in today’s world.
  4. Describe how issues of race and ethnicity have shaped American institutions, laws, and practices over time.
  5. Identify and evaluate the strategies a variety of scholars use to make their argument as well as the theoretical claims that they present.
  6. Have a holistic and complex understanding of what it means to be racialized in the U.S.

**This class has been cancelled.**WSCP 81000 – Critical International Studies (Cross-listed with MALS 78500)
Tuesday & Thursday, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Anca Pusca (ancapusca@gmail.com)

Mode of Instruction: Online
First Class Starts: May 31st
Last Class: June 30th

This course provides both a broad theoretical as well as a case specific introduction to some of the most pressing issues surrounding critical international studies today. It introduces the subject matter through a series of key concepts, including: violence; new wars/conflict; peace and new forms of international cooperation and diplomacy; borders and migration; critical security: human, environmental, cyber; development and critical international political economy; post-colonialism and de-colonialism; indigeneity and race; gender and feminism, using related case-studies to underline how these concepts and the theories that utilize them affect contemporary events. Through these concepts and case-studies, the course offers a complex and well-rounded introduction to rising challenges in today’s inter-connected world.

Learning objectives: By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:

  • Understand the key concepts related to critical international studies
  • Identify different approaches to these concepts and related theories
  • Be able to apply these theoretical concepts and approaches to real life situations and case-studies
  • Reflect critically on main international challenges of today

WSCP 81000 – Art, Modern, Anti-colonial: Where Now? (Cross-listed with MALS 78500)
Monday, 4:15 PM – 7:00 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Kirsten Scheid (ks28@aub.edu.lb)

Mode of Instruction: In-person
First Class Starts: June 13th
Last Class: July 25th

This course is designed to introduce students to epistemological and methodological questions about modernity, community, and artistic practice through case studies from the Middle East (particularly Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, and Iran). The course bridges art history and anthropology to examine the material and imaginative ways that Middle Eastern communities produced the modern, experienced it, and became progenitors of it, yet often from its “outside.” How did modernity become an urgent time frame and a call for social change? What did decolonizing communities want from “art,” and why was art important to many sociopolitical mobilizations of the 1920s-1960s? What new types of community, identity, economy, and spirituality did artists proffer? How do these relate to the maps, timelines, and categories we rely on to understand globalization and the contemporary today? What obstacles did artists face in their projects for social relevance, and what new entanglements did their negotiations create? The course will provide students with original materials (translated for those unfamiliar with the languages), and non-canonical artwork to prompt discussions of how we think about modernity cross-culturally and the stakes in art research today. Thus, it will also encourage students to reflect on what modernity and art mean to them and how they locate themselves in our unequally shared political world.

CORE COURSES

WGS 71600/WSCP 81600 – Research Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies
GC: MON, 4:15-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof, Matt Brim, Fully In-Person.

**WGS 71600 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81600, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

What does it mean to “know” something? And how do we come to know what we know? Research Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies aims to examine feminist critiques of knowledge, academic disciplines, and research methods. We will focus on how feminist and queer scholars challenge current theories of knowledge and the methodologies employed in their interdisciplinary research. We will ask how gender theory and feminist politics shape the kind of research questions we ask and the types of material we use. This course uses primary research to examine and think through three core categories of research methodology – multivariate/quantitative, historical and interpretative/qualitative. We examine how feminist and queer scholars use these various methodologies to develop and ground their research.
 

WGS 71601/WSCP 81601 – Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies: “The Ethics of Public Biography: Historicizing ACT UP”

GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Sarah Schulman, Fully In-Person.

**WGS 71601 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81601, you must be a WSCP student, or have instructor permission. Please email APO, Eileen, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

Using oral histories, archival media, and conversations with participants, our class will unfold a complex look at the AIDS COALITION TO UNLEASH POWER (ACT UP) during their key years, 1989-1993. Students will study these approaches and apply them to their own ongoing academic projects. We will examine the ethics of storytelling, and how control factors like corporate media, and supremacy ideology distort public histories.
 

WGS 71601/WSCP 81601 – Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies: “Gender and the Archive: The History, Theory, and Practice of Victorian Feminist Criticism”

GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Talia Schaffer, Fully In-Person.

**WGS 71601 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81601, you must be a WSCP student, or have instructor permission. Please email APO, Eileen, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

In this course we will attempt to outline a contemporary feminist approach sensitive to global, trans, queer, disability, and digital phenomena, while exploring the history of academic feminist work in Victorian studies. We will start with the first wave of feminist recovery work of the 70s and 80s by Showalter, Spacks, Gilbert and Gubar, Poovey, Spivak, using “Cassandra” and Jane Eyre as case studies. Middlemarch and Miss Marjoribank will take us into the cultural feminist criticism of the 90s, Armstrong and Gallagher, and use Mansfield Park to look at the 21st century queer, ethical, and digital turns of feminist work in criticism by Marcus, Ehnenn, Ahmed, Manne, Nowviskie, Berlant. In assessing fifty years of Victorian feminist criticism, we will be looking at race, empire, bodies, and sexuality, but we will also be interrogating what kind of feminist criticism might be appropriate to a decentralized, gender-fluid, digital contemporary mode. Students will find and present their own feminist case studies, which may include interrogating the place of feminist criticism in environmental humanities, critical race theory, disability studies, animal studies, postcolonialism, affect studies, Latinx, graphic narratives, etc. Presentations will introduce the rest of the class to the current state of feminist work in this area, and the final paper will aim to craft a new form of feminist criticism for your chosen field. At the end of the course, we will work collaboratively to craft a joint ‘keywords’ project for feminist criticism in the 21st century.
 

WGS 79600 – Independent Study
3 Credits.

By Permission.
 

WGS 79601 – Internship

3 Credits.
 

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision

3 Credits.
 

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

ANTHROPOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Coloniality & Extractivism in Latin America
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Julie Skurski, Fully-In Person.
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 – “From the Block with Chains to da Block wit’ Chains”: Flashpoints in African American Rhetoric

GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Todd Craig, Hybrid.
Cross-listed with English.

This course aims to take participants on a journey of various flashpoint moments in African American rhetoric, examining the debates, strategies, styles, and forms of persuasive practices employed by African Americans with each other, and in dialogue with other cultures both within, and outside, the United States.

Many times, we categorize African American rhetoric as persuasive oratory practices: moments where we think Black folks are speaking and communicating eloquently in order to convince, argue, or shift the thinking of a speaking audience. However, what if we shifted the definition of African American rhetoric, to include what gets communicated in stories, dance, song, paintings, and everyday banter in order to interrogate the effects on beliefs, values and ethics (Kynard)? How would this definition shift allow us to see the world before, during, and after these flashpoint occurrences? With this expanded definition of rhetoric in mind, this class will explore African American culture and identify acute, intriguing and seismic shifting moments that shape our collective knowledge of African American rhetoric. We will (re)imagine the time/space continuum, as we strive to pursue the everchanging landscape of African American rhetoric: from the pulpit and the sanctuary…to the written page and the studio recording booth…to the White House…and back to the block, the whip and the Trap House.

We will engage with myriad multimodal scholarship from Carmen Kynard, Geneva Smitherman, Spike Lee, Lauryn Hill, Rapsody, James Baldwin, Bettina Love, Jalaiah Harmon, King Johnson and others in order to plot a trajectory of contemporary African American rhetoric.
 

*THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED*

WSCP 81000 – HB40: Reconstruction, Reparations, Rememory & Repair

GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Duncan Faherty, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with English.

In 1989, Representative John James Conyers Jr proposed HB40 which called for the creation of a Commission to “to study and submit a formal report to Congress and the American people with its findings and recommendations on remedies and reparation proposals for African-Americans” as a result of the structuring violences of Black Atlantic history. Almost every year since, the bill has been proposed in Congress without ever reaching the floor for open debate. This course seeks to immerse itself in the work of this called for Commission by beginning with a consideration of W.E.B DuBois’ Black Reconstruction in America (1935) and ending with an engagement with recent 1619 Project. Engagement with these questions will require thinking beyond the limitations of national traditions, and so we will also consider (for example) the debates around the 10-Point Reparations Plan put forth by the Caricom Reparations Commission. In addition to tracing the scholarly and juridical debates around this issue, we will explore how a number of African American/diasporic African writers and visual artists have deployed reconstruction, rememory, and reparative justice in their work.

Readings will possibly include work by David Walker, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany, David Scott, Michelle Alexander, Sylvia Wynter, Hortense Spillers, W.E.B. Du Bois, Stuart Hall, Joan Scott, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jennifer Morgan, Sven Beckert, Toni Morrison, Harvey Neptune, Aaron Carico, Saidiya Hartman, Stephen Best, Martha Bondi, John Akomfrah, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Greg Ligon, Titus Kapher, Fred Moten, Brandon Jacobs Jenkins, and Sarah Juliet Lauro.
 

WSCP 81000 – 20th and 21st-century Women Writers and Intellectuals: Genre, Style, Nation

GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Nancy K. Miller, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with English.

Virginia Woolf’s anti-war essay “Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid” was published in 1940, months before the author’s death in 1941. Beginning here, and with the death of this author, we will explore the work of British, French, and American women writers who produced memoir, essays, novels, and poetry from the war years through the advent of second-wave feminism and into the 21st century. Cultural figures and icons, these writers also have played important roles in public debate: Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Adrienne Rich, Jacqueline Rose, Susan Sontag, Simone Weil, and Virginia Woolf. Of critical interest to the seminar will be questions of gender, personality, and authority. Whose first-person matters, when, and how?

Work for the course: one oral presentation, weekly responses, and one final exercise.
 

WSCP 81000 – Sense and Sensuality: Queer of Color Critique

GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Amber Musser, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with English.

That sensation orders knowledge is one of the primary arenas of exploration within queer of color critique. This course will explore different sensational arenas, the different possible critiques that they produce, and what this means for thinking about sexuality, gender, and queer theory. Throughout the course of the semester, we will explore sensation in multiple ways 1) as a diagnostic tool for understanding some of the different ways that race, gender, and sexuality intersect 2) as a way to trouble the dichotomy between interiority and exteriority to understand the ways in which orders of knowledge become imprinted on the body 3) as a mode of producing alternate forms of knowledge about gender, race, and sexuality. In addition to reading about different sensations and their relationships to politics and sexuality, this course will ask students to examine sexuality and sensation as collections of embodied and politicized experiences and to think about sensuality as a method in queer theory. Students will also be required to participate in an end of year symposium on queer theory. Readings may include: Aberrations in Black, Rod Ferguson; Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable, Eric Stanley; Sense of Brown, José Muñoz; Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance, Sandra Ruiz;  The Other Side of Terror: Black Women and the Culture of US Empire, Erica Edwards; After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life, Joshua Chambers-Letson; Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left, Malik Gaines; Minor China: Method, Materials, and the Aesthetic, Hentyle Yapp; and A Dirty South Manifesto: Sexual Resistance and Imagination in the New South, LaMonda Horton-Stallings.
 

WSCP 81000 – Mad Women: Sleuths, Spies, and Villains

GC: MON, 6:30PM-830PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Caroline Reitz, Fully-In Person.
Cross-listed with English.

Feminist anger is having a moment, but the double meaning of “mad” as angry and crazy has shaped the representation of women in popular crime fiction since Lady Audley burned down the house over 150 years ago. This course puts sleuths, villains, spies, and superheroes in conversation with the politics of the representation of female emotion. When is rage, as Brittney Cooper suggests, a “superpower” and when is it incapacitating? When is it justice and when is it revenge?

We will read both popular and academic feminist treatments of anger, such as works by Soraya Chemaly, Myesha Cherry, Brittany Cooper, Audre Lorde, Sianne Ngai, and Rebecca Traister, as well as scholarship in Mad Studies, Trauma Theory, and Critical Race Theory, as part of an interdisciplinary exploration of crime fiction, comics, and television. This class will begin in the mid-19th century and go through 2021. We will also think about how we make transhistorical arguments about cultural figures and how that shapes projects like dissertations or syllabi. While most of our works will be drawn from the anglosphere, we will ground our explorations of the genre in an understanding that crime fiction is world literature.

Writing assignments for the class will be steered toward both scholarly practice (a conference paper for the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals or the Popular Culture Association, for example, or an article submission to a journal on crime fiction) and non-academic publication, such as for the online newsletter, CrimeReads. Any questions please reach out, creitz@jjay.cuny.edu.
 

WSCP 81000 – Little Beasts: Children, Animals, and other Unruly Creatures

GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 or 4 Credits, Prof. Karl Steel, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with English.

Human children are strange animals. They’re perhaps en route to being responsible, rational adults, but on the way there, they need care, training, defending, and worrying over. Our seminar will linger with these small irrational creatures to think about children and animality together.

Our work in “Little Beasts” will draw on, among other fields, critical animal theory, feminist care ethics, and critical race studies. Our primary texts will mostly be medieval, but if your final project ends up exploring the course themes without being especially medieval, that can work too.

“Little Beasts” is paired with Carrie Hintz’s seminar, “Children’s Literature and Animal Studies: A Dialogue.” and the two seminar groups will meet (virtually or in-person) three times during the semester.  Our first common session will explore Critical Keywords in Animal Studies.  Our second common event will delve into Jacques Derrida’s writings on animals.  Our final gathering will consider academic and professional opportunities in the field of animal studies (journals, professional organizations, book series, online fora, research guides and digital projects).

Texts for “Little Beasts” will include representatives of major educational genres like fable collections and conduct literature; medical texts on fetal development, particularly on matters of gender (with engagement with Leah Devun’s important new book, The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance); marriage laws and other medieval biopolitical texts; the anti-Semitic saint’s life of William of Norwich (along with Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale and Jewish responses of the Rhineland pogroms of 1096); child-focused narratives like Sir Gowther and the King of Tars; writing on feral, isolated, or abducted children, including the strange story of the Green Children of Woolpit, the Melusine Legend, and, from the 18th century, the story of Memmie le Blanc, a Native American girl enslaved, brought to France, and trained into becoming French. You are welcome to read the texts in their original languages (Latin, Middle English, Old French, Hebrew, etc), but translations into modern English will be provided for everything.

HISTORY

WSCP 81000 – Gendered Justice in Europe and the Americas c.1350- 1750

GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Sara McDougall, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with History

The course will explore the role of gender in the prosecution and punishment of crime in social and cultural context in Europe and the Americas c.1350-1750. We will examine gender and justice as it intersected with race, religion, and status, as found in the Atlantic World, and particularly the French and Iberian metropoles and colonies. Our main body of evidence will be trial records, including litigation, witness testimony, confessions, and sentences. In addition, we will engage with a range of other source materials such as law codes, prison records and the writings of incarcerated persons, newspaper reports, true crime narratives, and images of alleged criminals and crime. Training in these subjects welcome but not a requirement, this will be an interdisciplinary inquiry open to graduate and professional students in the humanities and social sciences and related fields.

INTERDISCIPLINARY / THE FUTURES INITIATIVE

WSCP 81000 – Black Diasporic Visions: (De)Constructing Modes of Power
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Carla Shedd and Prof. Javiela Evangelista, Hybrid.
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

Black Diasporic Visions turns us toward a myriad of pathways for liberation formed by African people and people of African descent inside and outside of oppressive structures of power, as well as the development of alternative visions and spaces. More specifically, in this course, we consider these constructions which are often despite, within and at the intersections of institutions and systems that impact education, the prison industrial complex, food justice, public planning, preservation, legal personhood and climate change. It is our hope that the knowledge that grows out of Black Diasporic Visions may inform and continue to be informed by urgent interventions and creations today.

African people and people of African descent have always, envisioned, created. It is in part for the capture of innovation for profit, that early African civilizations were enslaved and African developments redirected. Let us read African and African descendant innovations and demands for being, with as much rigor as we read exploitation and oppression. In Black Diasporic Visions we consider how the tools of literary archaeology and magical realism inform how freedom dreams and provide possibilities for just existences and being seen. We examine what may be gleaned from the use of the ringshout by artist Common to honor the life of Freddie Grey, the Free Breakfast Programs organized by the Black Panther Party for educational reform, large statutes of African descendants by artists such as Simone Leigh and Kehinde Wiley that reclaim and redefine public space, community incorporation of solar panels and farming into educational programming in post hurricane Puerto Rico, embodied avatars as a means of survival as defined by Uri McMillan, and the call and response of #sayhername?

New technologies of expulsion and racial capital call for us to consider what it means to be in the wake, doing wake work, as described by Christina Sharpe. The range of constructions and visions reviewed in this course serve as correctives and prescriptives to the problems of omission and misrepresentation in academia, archives and society at large. Ultimately, Black Diasporic Visions, centralizes historically and globally informed liberatory possibilities, imperative to our lives today, that challenge divides between theory and practice.
 

WSCP 81000 – Food, Culture, and Society
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman, Fully In-Person.

M.A.L.S.

WSCP 81000 – Contemporary Feminist Theories
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jean Halley, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with MALS.

This course explores Contemporary Feminist Theories through feminist work about racial, economic and sexual justice, and in terms of “bodies with gender.” We investigate what it means to “have” gender and to “be female” with a focus on the United States. Making use of the frame offered by Patricia Ticineto Clough’s book, Feminist Thought, we consider contemporary feminist theories on differences and similarities in the experiences of women and other gendered bodies across lines of race, class, sexuality, species and ability. We examine how gender defines human experiences and how feminists resist these definitions.

Sigmund Freud once called work and love the central arenas of human life. We examine contemporary feminist thought on what it means to have gender in love and to be gendered at work, along with an examination of the representation of women and gender in the larger culture, and of violence in the lives of gendered bodies particularly queer bodies and those gendered female. We make use of a variety of texts in exploring feminist thinking on the “nature” of gender, love and sexuality, so-called women’s work, the expectations “experts” have of diversely gendered bodies, (dis)ability, nonhumans and the representation of gender in the mass media.

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Societies: Promoting and Resisting Equality
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Anissa Helie, Fully In-Person.

Cross-listed with Middle Eastern Studies.

This course examines constructions of gender roles and gender norms in various past and present Muslim contexts – including how notions of sexual morality have evolved, and how tensions between advocates and opponents of gender equality continue to manifest in community life, the legal arena, or international relations. Focusing on groups with traditionally less access to power and decision-making (specifically: women as well as people with stigmatized sexuality or gender expression), the course explores obstacles faced by gender and sexual rights advocates, as well as some of the strategies designed by both state-actors and non-state actors to further gender equality claims.

While grounded in the MENA region, the course also stresses the interconnectivity of issues across boundaries, and seeks to incorporate recent case-studies drawn from South East Asia or Muslim diaspora communities in Europe or North America. The course explores a range of issues, and may include: efforts deployed across time and space to curtail women’s public participation; the status of women in early 20th century anti-colonial movements and as citizens in newly independent nations; resistance to discriminatory provisions in family law; the ‘freedom of religion/ religious accommodation’ debates in Western liberal democracies; efforts to legitimize women as religious community leaders; or the promotion of LGBT people’s human rights.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 – Women, Work, and Public Policy

GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Janet Gornick, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with Political Science.

**Master’s students must obtain permission from instructor before registering: jgornick@gc.cuny.edu**

PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Decolonizing Psychology  
GC: THURS, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 Credits, Prof. Desiree Byrd and Prof. Michelle Fine, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with Psychology.

**Registration is by permission of instructors: mfine@gc.cuny.edu, desiree.byrd@qc.cuny.edu**
 

WSCP 81000 – The New Critical Ethnography: Hybrid, Virtual and Multi-Modal GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Setha Low, Hybrid.
Cross-listed with Psychology.

The seminar begins with an overview of the goals, methods and forms of analysis that make up contemporary “real life” ethnographic practices and then turns to the ways that film, video, activism, art practices, performance and social media expand and complement current methods. The seminar explores a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and multi-modal methods for use across the disciplines. Readings focus on past ethnographic projects that incorporate hybrid and virtual realities and the impact of remote methods on ethnographic research.  Interviews with some of the major scholars in the field are included as well as viewing pre-recorded video interviews that are already. Each student who is planning ethnographic research projects in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is offered an opportunity to search social media for “data” and explore alternative methods then use the course to question the validity and reliability of these personal archives and resources to think through the implications of working with these data.  The course will require reading, a video autoethnography, website-based participant observation, an arts based intervention and a final project of your own work that incorporates some of the virtual/digital/multi-modal methods covered in the course.
 

WSCP 81000 – Critical Urbanisms: Reimagining Just Social Infrastructures and Politics from Below
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Celina Su, Hybrid.
Cross-listed with Psychology.

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Sociology of Health and Illness
GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman, Fully In-Person.
Cross-listed with Sociology.
 

WSCP 81000 – Intersectionality in the Social Sciences
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Leslie McCall.
Cross-listed with Sociology.

This course begins with an overview of major original texts by intersectionality scholars in and connected to the social sciences in the United States. This will be followed by readings of later texts that introduced and amplified on the concept within different social science disciplines, and also raised questions over the definition and scope of the term, and how intersectionality was being deployed. For the remainder of the course, we will examine empirical intersectional research on a wide range of topics (e.g., politics, health, sexuality, economics). To a more limited extent, we will consider different approaches to the topic across the globe, and I welcome suggestions for readings on other aspects of intersectionality related to students’ areas of interest and expertise.

URBAN EDUCATION

WSCP 81000 – Creating Racially Just Schools:  Lessons from Frances (Fanny) Jackson Coppin

GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Terri Watson, Hybrid.
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

The disparate educational outcomes between Black and white children are long-standing and reflect the impact of race and racism on the nation’s public schools. Despite a range of efforts, including the landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision and a host of federal mandates (e.g., the Every Student Succeeds Act) aimed to ensure equity and access for all students, race-based disparities remain evident in school discipline data, college readiness levels, and graduation rates. Nevertheless, African American educational leaders were found to have a profound impact on the academic success of Black children and in creating racially just schools.

This course focuses on the efficacy and advocacy of Frances (Fanny) Jackson Coppin, America’s first Black woman school principal. Using Black Feminism as a methodology, specifically the tenets of Black Feminist Theory (BFT) and motherwork (Collins, 2000, 1994), Coppin’s lived experiences and contributions to Black education will be examined to proffer valuable lessons to the next generation of school leaders.

Required Texts:

Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York, NY: Routledge.
Coppin, F. J. (1913). Reminiscences of school life, and hints on teaching. Philadelphia, PA: A. M. E. Book Concern.

Past Courses

CORE COURSES

WGS 71001/WSCP 81001 – Feminist Texts and Theories (VIRTUAL)
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Red Washburn

**WGS 71001 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81001, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

This course will explore the work of reading, writing, and publishing feminist texts and theories, emphasizing the historical context and means of production of feminist scholarship. Topics will include inquiries into various feminist presses, writing and media collectives, women’s studies journals, and digital archives (such as the Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, the Feminist Press, the Combahee River Collective, Triple Jeopardy, Hijas de Cuauhtémoc, off our backs, Feminist Theory, Meridians, WSQ, GLQ, TSQ; feministkilljoys, equalityarchives). The course will also demystify the work of submitting to and editing for an interdisciplinary journal of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

WGS 71701/WSCP 71700 – Global Feminisms (VIRTUAL)
GC: WED, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 Credits, Prof. Rupal Oza
Cross-listed with Earth and Environmental Sciences.

**WGS 71601 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81601, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

With the rise of authoritarian regimes around the world, what insights do feminist movements and theorizing offer? What are the fault lines between different forms of feminisms? How do liberal feminist ideals and principles intertwine with an imperial agenda? What are the links and divergences between Islamaphobia and racism? 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? This course grapples with some of these questions in the wake of rapid world altering changes.

We 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, women from the global south, 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.

WGS 79600 – Independent Study
3 Credits.
By Permission.

WGS 79601 – Internship
3 Credits.

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision
3 Credits.

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

ANTHROPOLOGY

*THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED*

WSCP 81000 – Rethinking the Commons: Culture, Power, and Political Economy
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Ida Susser
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

BIOGRAPHY AND MEMOIR

WSCP 81000 – Case Histories: Patient and Physician Narratives of Self and Disease
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Allison Kavey
Cross-listed with Biography and Memoir.

Disease is the great equalizer.  We will all be patients eventually.  But who are we to the physicians who encounter our pathological selves, who are we to ourselves, and who are doctors under those white coats?  This class endeavors to use disease as a common ground to discuss case histories as autobiographical and biographical tools.  We will read physician memoirs to better understand how they imagine themselves as people and professionals, and how they relate to their oddly narrative art–the act of writing is embedded in medical practice through case notes.  We will read patient memoirs and think about the nature of pain, the ways in which disease shapes us and how we resist its warping, and think about the person behind the case histories.  In short, this is a course that looks through both sides of the patient-physician mirror to try to grasp some very human truths.

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 – Colonial Sex Life
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Tanya Agathocleous
Cross-listed with English.

This course takes its title from Durba Mitra’s recent publication, Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought (Princeton 2020).  Mitra argues that the figure of the prostitute, a concept embodying deviant female sexuality, was crucial to modern ideas of the social and to the study of society as such. Both British and Indian social analysts used deviant female sexuality to define the contours and limits of the social, and to understand and classify caste, race, and religious difference as constitutive elements of social life. Expanding Mitra’s focus on the prostitute to other concepts embodied in social types that played a central role in colonial forms of knowledge (such as the mother, the prude, the veiled woman, and the homosexual), this course will trace these figures through nineteenth and early-twentieth century texts from a range of disciplines that defined the social (philology, law, criminology, sexology, and anthropology) in order to understand their relationship to imperial governance and to postcolonial state. We will also read literary texts by writers such as Rudyard Kipling, E. M. Forster, Rokheya Hossain, Tayeb Salih, Assia Djebar, and Mahasweta Devi and theoretical texts by Fanon, Foucault, Spivak, Mrinalini Sinha, Joan Scott, Neville Hoad, Deborah Cherry, Tanika Sarkar, Z.S. Strother, Svati Shah, Jasbir Puar, and of course Durba Mitra, among others.   

WSCP 81000 – Early Modern Embodiment: Race, Gender, and Sexuality
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Mario DiGangi
Cross-listed with English.

In this seminar we will explore race, gender, and sexuality as overlapping and intersecting modes of embodiment in the literature and culture of premodern England. While our focus will be sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, we will consider continuities and differences between medieval, early modern, and modern constructions of race/gender/sexuality. Drama will be at the center of our investigations, but we will also examine a variety of texts from multiple genres, including poetry, visual art, prose romance, court masque, and travel narrative, in an effort to understand the tropes and formal conventions through which racial, gender, and sexual differences were made to signify. Readings will include Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Sonnets; Jonson, The Masque of Blackness; Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum; Massinger, The Renegado; Fletcher, The Island Princess; Dekker, Lust’s Dominion; Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West; Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados; and Day, Rowley, and Wilkins, The Travels of the Three English Brothers. Through the work of scholars such as Abdulhamit Arvas, Dennis Britton, Kim Hall, Geraldine Heng, Carol Mejia LaPerle, Arthur Little, Ania Loomba, Joyce Green Macdonald, Jeffrey Masten, Jennifer Morgan, Carmen Nocentelli, Melissa Sanchez, Ian Smith, and Valerie Traub, we will also consider how different theoretical and historical approaches have produced varying accounts of race/gender/sex as objects of inquiry in the premodern and contemporary eras.

WSCP 81000 – Post / Modern Memoir
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Nancy K. Miller
Cross-listed with English.

“I do not know how far I differ from other people,” Virginia Woolf remarks in Moments of Being, thus summarizing the memoirist’s dilemma. In this course we will explore strategies of self-representation in the works of twentieth and twenty-first century writers and artists, for whom questions of identity have led to experiments in form. Readings include works by Lynda Barry, Roland Barthes, Alison Bechdel, Teresa Cha, Nan Goldin, Zora Neale Hurston, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maggie Nelson, Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf.

Weekly responses, in-class presentations, and a final paper, which may be a creative exercise.

FRENCH

WSCP 81000 – Writing the Self: From Augustine to Covidity
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Domna Stanton
Course taught in English.
Cross-listed with French.

How is the self written, constructed? What forms and shapes does this writing take over time, in different genres? what purposes does it serve, what work does it accomplish for the several selves inscribed in the text and for others (including the self) who will read it? This course will begin by tracing self-writing from the Middle Ages to today, in theoretical texts (Derrida, Butler, Lacan, Lejeune), and primary works, beginning with confession (St Augustine, Rousseau); then early-modern discursive forms of interiority (Gentileschi, Sévigné) that steadily enlarge both the scope of self writing and the figures of the self. We will consider the centuries that women’s autogynography and the self-writing of persons of color and other others took to be recognized — from Kempe, Heloise and Pisan to slave narratives (Equiano, Jacobs, Douglass), and letters, diaries and journals (Woolf, Nin, de Beauvoir). Our readings will culminate with the proliferation of forms in the 20th- and 21st century: from autofiction (Colette, Stein, Eggers) and pictorial modes (Leonard, Bourgeois, Abramovic); Holocaust memorials, trauma narratives (Frank, Levi, Agamben) and testimonials (Manchu); to AIDS memoirs (Arenas, Guibert), the matter of black lives (Cullors, Kendi and Blain), and the global pandemic that engender terror and dying along with possible transformation and rebirth. Finally, given the untraceable lines between the ‘real’ and ‘the fictive,’ we will end by debating whether all writing is self-writing.​

HISTORY

WSCP 81000 – The Black Freedom Movement
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Robyn Spencer
Cross-listed with History.

The emergence of the movement for Black Lives has moved racial justice in America to center stage and resulted in wide scale re-examination of the impact and legacy of the Black freedom movement of the post WWII period. This course will examine the major campaigns, personalities, organizations and guiding themes of the civil rights and Black Power movement.  In particular, we will analyze the major historical interpretive debates about the Civil Rights/Black Power movements and place the movements in the broader context of Cuban independence, the Cold War, the US war in Vietnam and African liberation movements. A close examination of the intersections between the Black freedom movement and the new left, women’s movement, and anti-war movement will broaden how the movement is traditionally conceptualized and foreground the movement’s anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal and anti-imperial engagements. We will also examine the afterlives and historical memory of these movements and how they continue to animate the contemporary political landscape.

INTERDISCIPLINARY / THE FUTURES INITIATIVE

WSCP 81000 – Black Visuality, Black Performance
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Michael Gillespie and Prof. Amber Musser
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

The class is an introduction to the study of black visual and expressive culture. Structured around topics and themes, the class focuses on film, fine art, television, music, literature, graphic art, installation art, and photography, among other art forms, to illustrate methodologies and critical traditions devoted to black history, culture, and the arts. The content of the course will develop during the term (including in group projects led by students in the course) but will always address the relationship between art practice and the idea of race.  Some class sessions will take place in museums or art galleries and other off-site locations. The active learning methods we will be using in this course will be invaluable for those embarking on teaching careers and will prove equally invaluable in any workplace where the techniques of participation, engagement, creative management, collaboration, and conflict resolution might prove useful (including but not limited to situations where one must address and counter overt or implicit racism).

WSCP 81000 – American Social Institutions
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Karen Miller and Prof. Saadia Toor
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

This class will examine American Studies through the lens of social, cultural, political and other kinds of institutions. We will begin by exploring what we mean when we say “institution.” We will think together about why this may be a productive lens for assessing and interrogating the world around us. What does it offer? And what might it elide? How do studies of institutions help expose the myriad ways that power functions in culture, society, and politics? How do institutions, themselves, shape these power relations? And how do different approaches to understanding institutions give us different sorts of answers? American Studies scholars have been asking these questions for decades. We will turn to their texts as sites for exploration.

The texts that we will explore together will put questions about inequality and how it operates at their core. Thus, we will ask how institutions can help amplify or mitigate the often-crushing hierarchies that have been (and continue to be) based on racial, gender, sexual, national, and other forms of difference.

The class will be organized thematically, arranged around a series of inquiries drawn from recent scholarship. Each week, we will take a specific institution as our starting point. These institutions may include (but will not be limited to) the family, the state, courts, race, colonialism, hospitals, prisons, schools, the military, libraries, social networks, media, the corporation, capitalism, etc. We will examine how scholars within a range of American Studies subfields have developed different approaches for exploring institutions. They have used both creative and conventional scholarly tools to explore questions about life, infrastructure, health, race, ethnicity, indigeneity, gender, sexuality, transnationality, borders, architecture, foreign relations, language, politics, economics, literature, art, music, work, social movements, and more. Finally, we will discuss how these institutions may help offer us strategies for teaching American Studies and other kinds of courses.

LATIN AMERICAN, IBERIAN, AND LATINO CULTURES

WSCP 81000 – Visualidad, ‘Mujeres’, y Archivo
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Angeles Donoso-Macaya
Course taught in Spanish.
Cross-listed with Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures.

What is rendered (in)visible when “women” are rescued from/in the archive? What does the category “women” name and erase? What does the gesture of “rescue” reproduce? Is it possible to articulate forms of feminist criticism that do not attend to the politics of identity and representation, to develop methodologies that do not reinforce patriarchal paradigms and discursive tropes? These questions are the starting point for this course (taught in Spanish), which proposes to critically reflect on the notions of “visuality,” “women,” and “archive,” as well as to consider theoretical and methodological problems that emerge when addressing these notions together. The reflection will be guided both by academic studies that intersect archive, historiography, visuality and a critical perspective of gender—Licia Fiol-Matta, Donna Haraway, Saidiya Hartman, Andrea Noble, Ann Stoler, among others—as well as by literary essays and theoretical and activists texts by South American (trans)feminist authors—Panchiba Bustos, Alejandra Castillo, Jorge Díaz, Val Flores, Verónica Gago, Olga Grau, Marlene Guayar, Julieta Kirkwood, Lina Meruane, Julieta Paredes, Nelly Richard, and Alia Trabucco Zerán, among others.

M.A.L.S.

WSCP 81000 – Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
GC: MON, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. James Wilson
Cross-listed with MALS.

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – New Ethnographic Writings on the Middle East
GC: MON, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Christa Salamandra
Cross-listed with Middle Eastern Studies.

PHILOSOPHY

*THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED*

WSCP 81000 – Race, Racism, and Racial Justice
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Charles Mills
Cross-listed with Philosophy.

This course will look at the interlinked themes of race, racism, and racial justice. The timing is particularly appropriate given the summer of 2020’s massive national and global protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing by the Minneapolis police, and the new Biden Administration’s declared commitment to making the achievement of racial equity a central policy. We will consider such issues as the history of racism, the “metaphysics” of race, and competing analyses of racism, before turning to the central theme of institutional and structural racial injustice. How should they be understood, and what normative framework is best suited for conceptualizing and remedying them?

Recent work by political theorists such as Iris Marion Young, Tommie Shelby, Andrew Valls, Charles Mills, Christopher Lebron, Shatema Threadcraft, and others will be canvassed, but we will also take a look at some popular/grassroots framing of the issues. If there is time, we may also glance at some of the legal literature, and how “equal protection” has historically been interpreted.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 – Rethinking Democracy, Socialism, and Feminism
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Carol Gould
Cross-listed with Political Science.

WSCP 81000 – Social Policy and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Industrialized Countries
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Janet Gornick
MA students: please email Prof. Janet Gornick if you are interested in enrolling, JGornick@gc.cuny.edu, and cc APO, Eileen Liang, eliang@gc.cuny.edu.
Cross-listed with Political Science.

WSCP 81000 – American Political Thought
GC: THURS, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien
Cross-listed with Political Science.

PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Social Construction of Space and Time
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Cindi Katz
Cross-listed with Psychology.

WSCP 81000 – COVID City
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Setha Low
Cross-listed with Psychology.

WSCP 81000 – Using Archives in Social Justice Research
GC: TUES, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 Credits, Prof. Susan Opotow
Cross-listed with Psychology.

Archives offer rich textual and material data that can deepen our understanding of societal issues. They can place individual and collective social justice efforts within particular socio-political and historical contexts. The graduate course is designed to foster students’ knowledge, skills, and strategies for using physical, digital, or hybrid archives to study research questions of interest to them. The course, grounded in the social science and humanities literatures on archival theory and practice, will deepen students’ knowledge of archive as a construct, a societal resource, and a repository vulnerable to politicization. To learn how social science and humanities scholars use archives to advance social justice, we read, for example, about community-based archives; archives documenting oppression and human rights; and archival ethics. Alongside our attention to theory and method, this is also structured as a studio course in its attention to the empirical development of students’ ideas and research. By the course’s end, students will have begun and progressed on their own archival projects.

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Capitalism, Culture, and Crisis
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Roslyn Bologh
Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Global Social Stratification
GC: MON, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Liza Steele
Cross-listed with Sociology.

This course explores economic inequality and social stratification in global perspective. Students analyze economic and social inclusion and exclusion, with a particular focus on cases from the Global South. Sample topics include human rights, development, race in Brazil and South Africa, gender and Islam, the welfare state, and basic income.

URBAN EDUCATION

WSCP 81000 – Schooling and Education within the Black Imagination
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. LaKersha Smith
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

The legacy of schooling and education for Black Americans has transformed how we conceptualize teaching and learning.  It has also exposed how Black people have been excluded from traditional educational institutions and the powerful ways Black people have disrupted marginalization and disenfranchisement.  This course explores the education and schooling of Black Americans through an interdisciplinary lens. The course begins with an examination of the early efforts taken in educating Black Americans during slavery, the period right after Emancipation, and throughout Reconstruction.  The second portion of the course investigates political movements that coincide with the Black American educational imagination.  Using case studies that focus on Brown v. Board of Education, The Mississippi Freedom Schools, and the Ocean-Hill Brownsville movement, students will probe the intersections between politics and education.  The course then moves to feature Black cultural ethos.  Literature and case studies that elucidate the work of culturally relevant pedagogies and African-centered schools will be employed to understand the indelible ways Black culture can be a channel to foster knowledge.  The final theme of the course examines Black excellence in higher education.  Here, the focus accentuates Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their role in educating generations of Black students.  HBCUs provide a critical case study in history, politics, and culture.  The overall aim of the course is to, by employing a variety of texts and mediums, examine the ways Black people have maintained a steadfast yet creative commitment to education and schooling.

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

M.A.L.S.

WSCP 81000 – American Icons (ONLINE COURSE)
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof. David Humphries (dhumphries@qcc.cuny.edu)
First Class Starts: 5/27/2021
Last Class: 7/1/2021
Cross-listed with MALS 78500.

This course will focus on a series of American icons as a way to explore broader issues in American Studies.  As a starting point, we will look at what defines American icons, juxtaposing the “Accidental Napalm” photograph with the late 1960s image of Jackie Onassis to compare icons that were formed spontaneously in a particular historical and political moment with those formed intentionally through the lens of celebrity and the circulation of cultural representations.  We will use these icons as touchstones to consider more recent permutations of American Icons, such as the ways in which images of George Floyd have been used in struggles for racial justice and the ways in which social influencers have used social media to sustain different kinds of attention and fame.  We will also consider why the term “American,” which is typically questioned in an American Studies context, seems to go largely unremarked when coupled with “icons,” using the particular case of James Baldwin and his questioning of foundational national narratives to consider why this might be so.  To broaden our discussion, we will also examine how American icons have recently been canonized, in a sense, in mainstream venues like PBS’s American Experience and the American Icon series presented by the radio program Studio 360.  Using these examples to understand the popular appeal and critical possibilities of American icons, we will recast American icons in wider and more pointed critical and conceptual frameworks, including a questioning of any methodology that takes as its starting point a singular artifact.  Along the way, we will incorporate current permutations of American Icons in popular culture and public discourse, and students will have the opportunity to incorporate their own research interests into our discussions by identifying generally recognized American icons that are worth reexamining and by proposing new icons that may be emerging from our uniquely digital and disruptive age.  This will allow us to address a wide-range of American Icons, drawn from monuments, photographs, fashion, literature, film, television, music, and staged and spontaneous events, while developing a shared vocabulary of critical keywords relevant to current scholarship in American Studies.

WSCP 81000 – Introduction to Race and Ethnicity (ONLINE COURSE)
Mondays & Wednesdays, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Nathalie Etoke (Netoke@gc.cuny.edu)
First Class Starts: 6/2/2021
Last Class: 7/7/2021
Cross-listed with MALS 78500.

Coming together in opposition to police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, protesters stood side by side in the streets of America and across the globe. The powerful impact of the 2020 summer social uprisings marks a turning point in the struggle against anti-black racism. In order to make sense of the current racial reckoning, this course provides an overview of the politics of race and racism in the U.S. Focusing on the longue durée of imperialism since 1492 and accounting for the consequences of the Native American genocide, racial slavery, settler colonialism, historical violence and the reactionary opposition to ongoing struggles for social justice and freedom, we will unearth the roots of white supremacy and systemic racism in the U.S. The course explores the relationship between race and power while analyzing how it shapes American citizenship and identity.  We will draw from a variety of disciplines, spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts, in order to think critically about race, racism, identity formation, everyday experience and American history.

We will address the following questions:
What does it mean to study race and ethnicity?
How have conversations about race changed over the last few years?
How are racial hierarchy and racism woven into the fabric of The United States of America?
How does race shape our daily life and our sense of self?
How does it structure inequality in our society?
What are the sociohistorical processes that have shaped our understandings of race and ethnicity?

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
1.     Explain the difference between race and ethnicity.
2.     Describe and explain key ideas and concepts concerning the social construction of race and ethnicity.
3.     Think critically about their own racial position, recognize and appreciate human experiences that differ from their own, and explain the significance of racism in today’s world.
4.     Describe how issues of race and ethnicity have shaped American institutions, laws, and practices over time.
5.     Identify and evaluate the strategies a variety of scholars use to make their argument as well as the theoretical claims that they present.
6.     Have a holistic and complex understanding of what it means to be racialized in the U.S.

WSCP 81000 – Unruly Bodies (ONLINE COURSE)
Mondays & Wednesdays, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Elizabeth Wissinger (Ewissinger@gc.cuny.edu)
Start Date: 6/2/2021
End Date: 6/23/2021
Cross-listed with MALS 78500.

This course will explore how scholarly interpretations of the body and the technologies within which we live. Our exploration of the body’s unruliness will take students from classic understandings of technological embodiment through an interdisciplinary trajectory encompassing media, feminist, cultural, and sociological studies of how the body is understood and iterated through evolving technological frames. Gender, productivity, knowledge, and power are ineluctably negotiated through the body’s technological entanglements. As such, waves of technological development affect philosophical, sociological, scientific, and political implications for bodies, as this course will explore. These implications are urgently in need of interrogation as digital culture has pushed the primacy of the image in social life to the extreme, made the body’s data almost as valuable as the body itself, and created conditions in which the body’s biological mutability is coming to be seen as a productive resource in and of itself.

Employing concepts derived from the readings, we will explore how the body is constructed and framed by technology, touching on ideas from the Marx, Heidegger, Benjamin, Butler, Hayles, as well as Roxane Gay, Kimberly Crenshaw, and Simone Brown to explore feminist and critical race theory’s takes on the body’s data, posthumanity, and materiality. We will use these various conceptualizations of the body to examine the vibrant visual culture of online and social media’s politics of style, the digital body in relation to wearable technology, AI, and algorithmic fairness, and explore the possibilities offered by new technologies of biodesign, design that incorporates living organisms into its function in ways that threaten to upend existing structures of production and consumption, in ways that have potential to save the planet (and us).

Students will become familiar with methodologies, debates, and issues common to different aspects of liberal studies; explore critical scholarly issues; and consider a range of subjects, from a range of disciplinary boundaries and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Scholars new to graduate studies should come away from the course with a sense of possible subjects and avenues for further scholarship; scholars further along in their own research ideas should come away with a sense of how to frame them within a deepened academic vocabulary and practice.

Students will have the opportunity to present course material to their peers, write a series of short reflection papers, and write a culminating seminar paper that will illustrate a deeper grasp of one of the course themes as it relates to their area of interest in the program.

This will be an asynchronous and synchronous class.

CORE COURSES

WGS 71600/WSCP 81600 – Research Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies
GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof, Jean Halley

**WGS 71600 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81600, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

What does it mean to “know” something? And how do we come to know what we know? Research Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies aims to examine feminist critiques of knowledge, academic disciplines, and research methods. We will focus on how feminist and queer scholars challenge current theories of knowledge and the methodologies employed in their interdisciplinary research. We will ask how gender theory and feminist politics shape the kind of research questions we ask and the types of material we use. This course uses primary research to examine and think through three core categories of research methodology – multivariate/quantitative, historical and interpretative/qualitative. We examine how feminist and queer scholars use these various methodologies to develop and ground their research.

WGS 71601/WSCP 81601 – Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies: Birth and Parenting
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman
Cross-listed with Sociology.

**WGS 71601 is open to WGS students only. To enroll in WSCP 81601, you must be a WSCP student. Please email APO, Eileen Liang, at eliang@gc.cuny.edu. We will verify if you have registered for the certificate, and grant you permission to enroll accordingly.**

Birth marks the transitional moment in the universal human relationship: every person begins life embodied within the maternal body; and up until the last few decades, that relationship defined the placement, or the citizenship, of the new being. New technologies, but even more, new marketing, calls the obviousness of parenthood and specifically motherhood into question, as relationships are fragmented and commodified. This course will offer a sociological and feminist analysis of birth and parenting, with a focus on the United States and its particular racial, class and gender politics and eugenic history.

WGS 79600 – Independent Study
3 Credits.
By Permission.

WGS 79601 – Internship
3 Credits.

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision
3 Credits.

 

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

AFRICANA STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – Women of Color Impacting Politics
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien
Cross-listed with Africana Studies.

This course specifically tracks the roles that women with intersectional identities have played in American politics, as well as women who are public intellectuals and heretical leaders in contemporary political thought. The course is twofold: First, it traces how women have never before had such a large impact in American politics — women of color, that is, or more precisely, women who have an additional identity besides that of gender. The course studies this impact women have had on American politics since Hillary Clinton ran for and lost the Democratic nomination in 2008.

Second, this course not only studies women of color in American politics but also focuses on the intellectual impact of women with intersectional identities — such as women who are Black, multiracial, and multiethnic (e.g. LatinX), or women with disabilities — who have helped shape contemporary political thought not just under deliberative or participatory democracies, as found in Europe (such as Germany or France) or the Commonwealth nations (such as New Zealand), but also in reinventing what it means to lead in electoral politics. To be sure, an ethic of care exists within many public policies that involve legal rights and human rights that have been formed as a result of social movements such as #BLM, LGBTQI, and disability rights. But this course goes further than politics and public policy to explore how the heretical political thought of bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Alison Kafer, and the Combahee River Collective has also shaped a new notion of leadership that undermines traditional iterations of masculine notions about leading nation-states.

ANTHROPOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Choreographies of Race and Reproduction
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Dána-Ain Davis
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

WSCP 81000 – Public Anthropology and Black Feminist Praxis
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Bianca Williams
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

In the aftermath of Officer Darren Wilson’s non-indictment for the killing of Michael Brown in 2015, protest, organizing, and resistance against police and state-sanctioned violence were widespread in cities throughout the world. In the summer of 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic and after the killing of George Floyd, there was a resurgence of these protests. Like radical social movements of the past, in the Movement for Black Lives (or Black Lives Matter), Black women and queer folx were the organizing backbone that kept it going. However, unlike previous social movements which centered (cis)men and heterosexuality, the organizing principles of M4BL were anchored in queer-centered, trans-liberatory feminist praxis. This shift in activist philosophy and practice generated an international conversation about important topics such as abolition, gendered and racialized dimensions of labor, anti-Blackness, structural and institutional violence, reproduction, emotional wellness, and new visions of what freedom and justice might look like. As a discipline dealing with the question of who gets recognized as human, and examining how lived experiences demonstrate the ways institutional and structural power work, anthropology’s lenses are useful for exploring what M4BL has taught us. In this course, students will read together: (1) anthropological theorization of social movements and the politics of doing public anthropology; (2) Black feminist theory; (3) key documents of activist groups such as The Movement for Black Lives, Black Youth Project 100, and #FeesMustFall; (4) and manifestos of activist groups of the past such as the Combahee River Collective and the Black Panther Ten Point Program. By analyzing these texts collectively, students will gain an introduction to some of the racialized and gendered politics embedded in participating in public anthropology and social movements, while expanding their ideas about being human, equity, and justice.

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

WSCP 81000 – Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Gerry Milligan
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature.

The Renaissance was a time of significant political and social unrest. These disorders are reflected in the writings of the period’s major authors, who often coded these struggles in gendered terms. The objectives of this course are to familiarize ourselves with these works, and in particular with the lively debate that questioned women’s ability to fight in wars, especially in the Italian sixteenth century; to sharpen our skills as readers of works that feature heroic female warriors and so-called “effeminate” male knights; and to explore and perhaps demystify the universal gendering of war. The course will consider Classical and Renaissance philosophical literature, epic poems penned by men and women, as well as short biographies of women in combat. Authors to be studied will include, Plato, Aristotle, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Tasso, Fonte, Shakespeare, and Marinella.  All texts are available in English translation.

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 – Disability Studies, Bodies, and Care Relations in Nineteenth-Century Fiction
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Talia Schaffer
Cross-listed with English.

This course investigates the burgeoning field of disability theory, with special attention to the nineteenth century as the period when an older idea of disability gave way to the modern medical model. Up to the 1850s, people accepted an ‘ordinary bodies’ model in which they expected long-term intermittent suffering, managed through social amelioration. But in the 1850s, the new medical professionalism emerged, with its diagnosis/treatment/cure dynamic. How did this shift affect bodies and minds, and how did it play out in the novel? In this course we  we will start with some of the formative disability studies theoretical texts, by Lennard Davis, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Alison Kafer, Tobin Siebers, Robert McRuer, Martha Stoddard Holmes, and Melanie Yergeau, along with historical work on nineteenth-century disability by Maria Frawley, Miriam Bailin, Martha Stoddard Holmes, Erika Wright, and Jennifer Esmail. We will also interrogate ethics of care as a philosophy that might explain ‘ordinary bodies’ in the nineteenth century, reading Daniel Engster, Nel Noddings, Eva Feder Kittay, and Virginia Held to see how care theory might lead us to think performatively rather than diagnostically about disability, and how it might alter ideas of gender and community. The course will focus on recent disability studies work in particularly interesting fields: neurodiversity (particularly around autism), sensory issues (including blindness and Deaf culture), and social conditions (including the built environment and the gaze). We will pair these studies with Austen’s Persuasion, Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, and Eliot’s Middlemarch

WSCP 81000 – Caribbean Women Writers
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Kelly Josephs
Cross-listed with English.

This course is designed to explore the issues and themes commonly found in literatures of the Caribbean written by women.  We will consider prose and poetry published in English in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, reading the texts from several different angles – including colonialism, globalization, and migration – with feminism as the overarching/organizing theme of the course. In addition to the general literary study of author, genre and discourse, our methodology will include strategies of close reading, contextualization, and a range of interdisciplinary critical approaches utilized to assess the significance and role of Caribbean women’s writings as part of national and women’s literatures and to explore questions of identity formation and/or disintegration, gender, social status, and ethnicity. We will be examining well-known “forerunners” of the genre – for example, Paule Marshall, Jamaica Kincaid, and Jean Rhys – although not necessarily their most famous texts.  We will also read works from relative newcomers – possibly Marcia Douglas, Shani Mootoo, and Staceyann Chin – to determine how they continue old trends while blazing new trails.

WSCP 81000 – Memoir/Illness/Graphic/Grief
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Nancy K. Miller
Cross-listed with English.

“Considering how common illness is,” Virginia Woolf writes in On Being Ill, “how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings,…it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature.” Contemporary nonfiction and fiction have long since belied Woolf’s 1926 lament. The theme of illness occupies a prominent place in postwar culture, and the seminar will explore its many variations through a wide range of literary and visual representations of bodily and mental suffering, including cancer, AIDS, depression and mourning. We will also map the social and political contexts of illness, in particular through collective research on the national experience and discourses of Covid-19. What have we learned about healthcare and how does the pandemic reframe our understanding of the sick and the well, and the meaning of recovery? It’s too soon to predict the forms this experiment in collaborative criticism will take.

Among the writers and artists: Elizabeth Alexander, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Audre Lorde, Eve Sedgwick, Susan Sontag, Tolstoy, and Woolf; graphic narratives by Bobby Baker, Anne Carson, David B., Miriam Engelberg, Ellen Forney, and David Small.

FRENCH

WSCP 81000 – Women’s Stories in Premodern French
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Sara McDougall
Course taught in English.

Cross-listed with French.

In the premodern era, French language and culture spread far and wide beyond the borders of “l’hexagone”. This course will explore French stories told to, for, about, and by women between 1100 and 1700. These texts document the words and deeds of both real and imagined women, famous and infamous, and also women who history has forgotten. Our sources will include romances, poetry, plays, letters, trial records, medical and legal treatises, conduct literature, and illuminated manuscripts (the premodern version of the graphic novel). We will work from translations as well as the original, according to and accommodating the skillsets and interests of each student. Knowledge of French helpful but not in the least essential.

HISTORY

WSCP 81000 – 20th Century Lives on the Road to Peace and Freedom
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Blanche Wiesen Cook
Cross-listed with History.

This biography/memoir seminar will explore the work of writers, visionaries, activists whose contributions we most need now.  This is a participatory class, which will emphasize student interests and enthusiasms.  Below is an introductory list, from which weekly readings and volumes for individual review may be drawn.  Students are encouraged to suggest additional and alternative readings.  Requirements:  Each student will be responsible for an introductory essay-memoir, five book reports, a final research paper.

Bella Abzug, books by and about [with Mim Kelber]
Meena Alexander, FAULT LINES: A MEMOIR
Bettina Aptheker.  INTIMATE POLITICS: HOW I GREW UP RED, FOUGHT FOR FREE SPEECH AND BECAME A FEMINIST REBEL
Carol Ascher.  SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR: A LIFE OF FREEDOM
Janet Dewart Bell.  LIGHTING THE FIRES OF FREEDOM: AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Grace Lee Boggs. LIVING FOR CHANGE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Alida Brill.  DEAR PRINCESS GRACE, DEAR BETTY:  MEMOIR OF A ROMANTIC FEMINIST
Vera Brittain -- books by and about, esp Paul Berry & Mark Bostridge, VERA BRITTAIN: A LIFE
Vera Brittain. ENVOY EXTRORDINARY: A STUDY OF VIJAYA LAKSHMI PANDIT....
Kevin Bowen & Nora Paley, eds. A GRACE PALEY READER: STORIES, ESSAYS, POETRY
Patricia Bosworth. ANYTHING YOUR LITTLE HEART DESIRES: AN AMERICAN FAMILY STORY
Pearl S Buck, books by and about, esp. Peter Conn.  PEARL S. BUCK: A CULTURAL BIOGRAPHY
Gail Lumet Buckley. THE HORNES: AN AMERICAN FAMILY
Rachel Carson, books by and about
Judy Collins, SWEET JUDY BLUE EYES: MY LIFE IN MUSIC
Blanche Wiesen Cook, CRYSTAL EASTMAN ON WOMEN & REVOUTION
------------------------------, ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, vols I, II, III
Angela Davis, books by and about
Dorothy Day, books by and about
Jane Sharrron DeHart.  RUTH BADER GINSBURG: A LIFE
Barbara Deming, books by and about
Diane di Prima.  RECOLLECTIONS OF MY LIFE AS A WOMAN: THE NY YEARS
Claudia Dreifus, INTERVIEW
Rachel Blau Du Plessis & Ann Snitow, eds THE FEMINIST MEMOIR PROJECT
Catherine Fosl. SUBVERSIVE SOUTHERNER: ANNE BRADEN & THE STRUGGLE FOR
                           FOR RACIAL JUSTICE IN THE COLD WAR SOUTH
Ronnie Gilbert.  A RADICAL LIFE IN SONG.
Katharine Graham.  PERSONAL HISTORY [DC POST & beyond]
Jane Fletcher Geniesse.  PASSIONATE NOMAD; THE LIFE OF FREYA STARK
Judy Grahn.  A SIMPLE REVOLUTION: THE MAKING OF AN ACTIVIST POET
Gayle Greene.  THE WOMAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH: ALICE STEWART & THE SECRETSOF   RADIATION
Ruth Gruber. [esp]  INSIDE OF TIME,  AHEAD OF TIME, WITNESS
Alice Kessler-Harris.  A DIFFICULT WOMAN: THE CHALLENGING LIFE & TIMES OF
                                      LILLIAN HELLMAN
Kamela Harris.  THE TRUTHS WE HOLD: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY
Faith S. Holsaert et al eds.  HANDS ON THE FREEDOM PLOW:PERSONAL ACCOUNTS BY WOMEN IN SNCC
Molly Ivins, books by and about
Flo Kennedy, COLOR ME FLO: MY HARD LIFE & GOOD TIMES
Lady Borton.  AFTER SORROW: AN AMERICAN AMONG THE VIETANMESE
Gerda Lerner. FIREWEED: A POLITICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY
David Levering Lewis.  W.E.B. Du Bois/ 2 vols
---------------------------------. THE IMPROBABLE WENDELL WILLKIE [& Willkie's ONE WORLD]
John Lewis, Michael D'Orso.  WALKING WITHTHE WIND: A MEMOIR OF THE MOVEMENT
Audre Lorde, books by and about
Wangari Maathai.  UNBOWED: A MEMOIR
Caroline Moorehead.  MARTHA GELLHORN: A 20th CENTURY LIFE
Caroline Moorehead.  IRIS ORIGO, DUCHESS OF VAL d'ORCIA
Pauli Murray, books by and about [see esp Patricia Bell-Scott]
Trevor Noah.  BORN A CRIME: A MEMOIR
Dorothy Norman.  ENCOUNTERS: A MEMOIR
Dorothy Norman.  INDIRA GANDHI: LETTERS TO AN AMERICAN FRIEND
Jessye Norman.  STAND UP STRAIGHT AND SING: A MEMOIR
John Norris.  MARY McGRORY: THE FIRST QUEEN OF JOURNALISM
Victoria Phillips. MARTHA GRAHAM'S COLD WAR: THE DANCE OF AMERICAN DIPLOMACY
Barbara Ransby.  ELLA BAKER & THE BLACK FREEDOM MOVEMENT
Margaret Randall.  I NEVER LEFT HOME: A MEMOIR OF TIME AND PLACE
Mary Robinson.  EVERYBODY MATTERS: MY LIFE GIVING VOICE
Eleanor Roosevelt books by and about
Susan Rosenberg.  AN AMERICAN RADICAL: POLITICAL PRISONER IN MY OWN COUNTRY
Muriel Rukeyser.  ONE LIFE [Wendell Willkie biography] see esp
                                     A MURIEL RUKEYSER READER, Jan Heller Levi, ed
Najla Said.  LOOKING FOR PALESTINE: GROWING UP CONFUSED IN AN ARAB-AMERICAN FAMILY [cf her grandmother's memoir:Wadad Makdisi Cortas, A WORLD I LOVED]
Alix Kates Shulman.  EMMA GOLDMAN:
Agnes Smedley.  DAUGHTER OF EARTH; & THE LIVES OF AGNES SMEDLEY, Ruth Price
Lillian Smith. KILLERS OF THE DREAM
Margaret Chase Smith. DECLARATION OF CONSCIENCE [bios tk]
Michael Steven Smith. LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT
Michael Steven Smith. NOTEBOOK OF A SIXTIES LAWYER: AN UNREPENTANT MEMOIR
Sonia Sotomayor.  MY BELOVED WORLD
Gloria Steinem, books by and about
Peter Sussman, ed.  DECCA: THE LETTERS OF JESSICA MITFORD
Amy Swerdlow.  WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE
Helen Thomas. FRONT ROW AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Francesca Wade. SQUARE HAUNTING: FIVE LIVES IN LONDON BETWEEN THE WARS
                  [H.D., Dorothy Sayers, Jane Ellen Harrison, Eileen Power, Virginia Woolf]
Barbara Walters.  AUDITION: A MEMOIR
Elizabeth Warren.  A FIGHTING CHANCE
Alisse Waterston.  MY FATHER'S WARS: MIGRATION, MEMORY, THE VIOLENCE OF A CENTURY
Edie Windsor.  A WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE: A MEMOIR
Virginia Woolf/ books by and about, esp works by Jane Marcus & Jean Mills

INTERDISCIPLINARY / THE FUTURES INITIATIVE

WSCP 81000 – Constructing History: Architecture and Alternative Histories of New York
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Elizabeth Macaulay and Prof. Jason Montgomery
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

Architecture and the built environment are products of their social, political, and economic circumstances. New York City, a perpetually evolving metropolis, has been shaped by successive waves of immigration, shifting economic priorities (from agriculture and manufacturing to finance and technology), and politics. Today, the impact of gentrification, the lack of affordable housing, and climate change is evident in New York City’s built environment. This is not a new story, but one that has been intrinsic to New York City since its founding. Therefore, rather than relying on the written record as the main evidence for exploring New York’s history, this course will introduce students to the built environment and use the urban fabric of New York–its buildings, streets, and places, along with primary source materials about these edifices from libraries and archives–to construct alternative histories of the city. Erected, used, and inhabited by people of all colors, creeds, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures, architecture and the built environment allows us different insights into the development of New York’s history, inviting us to develop alternative stories about the city’s past. The study of architecture and the built environment is inherently interdisciplinary. Students will be introduced to diverse research methods and will be tasked with conducting place-based research on New York City’s built environment during site visits and visits to archives and libraries. The students in the course will have an opportunity to generate new knowledge about New York City, its built environment, and people.

WSCP 81000 – Equity, Elitism, and Public Higher Education
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Matt Brim and Prof. Katina Rogers
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

Higher education can be a powerful engine of equity and social mobility. Yet many of the structures of colleges and universities—including admissions offices, faculty hiring committees, disciplinary formations, institutional rankings, and even classroom pedagogies and practices of collegiality—rely on tacit values of meritocracy and an economy of prestige. For public universities like CUNY this tension can be especially problematic, as structurally-embedded inequities undermine the institution’s democratizing mission and values. In other words, many academic structures actually undermine the values that we associate with possibilities for the most challenging and productive and diverse academic life. In this course, we examine the purposes and principles of universities, especially public universities; consider whether various structures advance or undermine those goals; and imagine new possibilities for educational systems that weave equity into the fabric of all they do. Our privileged methodology for considering the inequities and opportunities of university life will be queer of color and feminist materialist analyses, an interdisciplinary set of methods and methodologies that lend themselves to identifying, historicizing, and resisting institutional norms that produce queer-class-race-gender stratification in the university. Crucially, because these intellectual tools are themselves housed within institutional formations, they will be objects of our investigation as well as methods of analysis.

LATIN AMERICAN, IBERIAN, AND LATINO CULTURES

WSCP 81000 – New Directions in Latinx Literary Studies
GC: THURS, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Vanessa Perez Rosario
Course taught in Spanish; papers can be written in English.

Cross-listed with Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures.

What are the contours of the field of Latinx literary studies? What are the newest trends and theoretical moves in the field? Which critical journals publish the most exciting work in the field. In this course we will read a selection of recent books of Latinx literary criticism to understand new directions in the field of Latinx literary and cultural studies. We will look at recent books published by literary critics such as Yomaira Figueroa, Ralph Rodriguez, Cristina Pérez-Jimenez, and Dixa Ramírez, among others, alongside some of the literary works they examine, to understand new theoretical turns and critical directions in the field. Some of the trends that emerge are the engagement of critical race studies and its relationship to Latinx bodies. Ralph Rodriguez, in his recent book, questions the capaciousness of the category “Latinx literature” and wonders whether there are other more engaging ways to approach the work written by Latinx authors. Together we will think about where this still relatively young field has been and where it is headed. This course will be taught in Spanish. Papers can be written in English.

M.A.L.S.

WSCP 81000 – Feminist Texts and Contexts: Feminism 1910
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Linda Grasso
Cross-listed with MALS.

WSCP 81000 – Contemporary Feminist Theories
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jean Halley
Cross-listed with MALS.

This course explores Contemporary Feminist Theories through feminist work about racial, economic and sexual justice and in terms of “bodies with gender.” We investigate what it means to “have” gender and to “be female” with a focus on the United States. Making use of the frame offered by Patricia Ticineto Clough’s book, Feminist Thought, we consider contemporary feminist theories on differences and similarities in the experiences of women and other gendered bodies across lines of race, class, sexuality, species and ability. We examine how gender defines human experiences and how feminists resist these definitions. Sigmund Freud once called work and love the central arenas of human life. We examine contemporary feminist thought on what it means to have gender in love and to be gendered at work, along with an examination of the representation of women and gender in the larger culture, and of violence in the lives of gendered bodies particularly those gendered female. We make use of a variety of texts in exploring feminist thinking on the “nature” of gender, love and sexuality, so-called women’s work, the expectations “experts” have of diversely gendered bodies, (dis)ability, nonhumans and the representation of gender in the mass media.

WSCP 81000 – The Fabric of Cultures. Fashion and Identity in Italy and France.
GC: THURS, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli
Cross-listed with MALS.

The course will take the form of an interdisciplinary study of fashion, fabric and material culture and their bearing on a heterogeneous cultural identity that interconnects with race, gender and class. Fashion’s multibillion-dollar industry makes it an economic force, but it is also a powerful symbolic force that conveys and shapes personal, collective, and transnational identities.

Starting with the Early Modern period and continuing to the present, this course will examine the clothing culture of Italy and France in a comparative perspective. In addition, it will take into consideration the relationship between Italian and French courts and cities and international powers such as the Ottoman Empire and other Asian and European countries. This was a crucial time for the formation of national kingdoms in Europe (Spain, France, England) as well as for colonialism and empire.

During this period, “fashion” was already much broader than a simple notion of dress; it could refer to a wide variety of things like behavior and manners and even national character and identity. Fashion, however, was not a European invention. The concern for appearance and the desire for beautiful things, as well as the know-how and expertise needed for the production of fashion and textile, were at the core of the economies of India, China, Japan and Mesoamerica.

The course will investigate how and when fashion came to the fore, establishing itself as a powerful economic force, but also as a threat to morality and religious belief, as well as serving as a vehicle for gender, class and ethnic/race definitions.

We will consider the period of the first industrial revolution in the 18th and then the 20th century. We will go on to study in depth the birth of labels such as “Made in France” and “Made in Italy” and the contemporary iterations “Made in New York”; Made in Harlem” etc.  Such labels are still important today and continue to have a bearing on not only national and global economies but also on the exchange, transmission and translation of goods, luxury objects, cultures and identity. We will draw on a broad interdisciplinary framework and discuss sources from literary and philosophical traditions, re-contextualizing them in light of the growing scholarship on decolonizing fashion, material culture, global history. We will examine texts from different genres and media, including, literature, film and video, art, visual culture and new media. Students will be guided to produce innovative projects, not solely papers. In addition, this course will give future foreign language teachers a solid basis to create original modules and content in their classroom.

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – The Zionist Body and Its Others
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Miryam Segal
Cross-listed with Middle Eastern Studies.

The two chronologies of this course are historical—the discourse and strategies of Jewish and Hebrew and Israeli nationalist art and writing in the nineteenth to twentieth centuries—and historiographic—the theoretical discourse of power and politics and nation-states through the body. Inspired by the concerns of other fields such literary theory, Comparative Literature, English, anthropology,  women’s, gender studies, queer studies and other writing on “the body,” scholarship on Hebrew and Zionist culture has long been concerned with the gendering of ideology, of language and culture, of national identity, with the dynamics between masculine working bodies and the feminization of Diaspora, and with the orientalized woman as providing yet another gendered symbol of nationhood, as well as with the way the gender politics of nationalism plays out in genre, style and authorship. The first half of the course is devoted to these chronologies and exploration our own analyses in the way of that historiography.

More recently, scholars of Hebrew and Israeli culture, society and politics have begun to integrate and apply theories of Biopolitics and biopower to our understanding of the workings of their subject. Drawing on the foundational writing of Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault and those who follow in their wake, we will re-read and re-view literary and artistic work from the first half of the semester, and introduce new artifacts for analysis.

The clear-cut goals of the course are familiarizing students with these three corpuses and exercising critical muscles and facility in writing and class discussion. Our more open-ended goal will be to consider if (and if so, to what end) the concepts, arguments and tools of the biopolitics changes, deepens, complicates, reduces our understanding of the artistic works in question, especially in relation to political power and contemporary forms of colonialism.

Primary works studied may include essay, film, painting, poetry and prose fiction.

MUSIC

WSCP 81000 – Seminar in Ethnomusicology:  Music, Gender, Sexuality
GC: WED, 10:00AM-1:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jane Sugarman
Formal knowledge of music is not a prerequisite for taking this class.
Cross-listed with Music.

Issues regarding gender and sexuality are intrinsic to any study that assesses music or sound as a social phenomenon.  This seminar will examine recent writings that relate gender and/or sexuality to music, or sound more broadly, in conjunction with background readings from other disciplines.  The focus will be on ethnomusicological writings, although there will also be readings on Western concert, popular, and/or vernacular musics.  Included will be readings on sonic and embodied constructions of gender and sexuality; feminist, trans, and queer performance; the intersection of gender and sexuality with issues of race, nation, and/or class; ways that gender and sexuality inform our research strategies; and activist approaches to research on gender and sexuality.  We will give particular attention to issues raised by the #METOO and Black Lives Matters movements and their impact on (ethno)musicological research.  Instructor permission required. Note: formal knowledge of music is not a prerequisite for taking this class. Open to students outside music.

PHILOSOPHY

WSCP 81000 – Continental and Decolonial Epistemology
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Linda Martín Alcoff
Cross-listed with Philosophy.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 – Power, Resistance, Identities and Social Movements
GC: THURS, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien
Cross-listed with Political Science.

This course focuses on individual forms of socially constructed identity (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and humanness or bodies), intersectional forms of identity (e.g., gender and bodies), and collective forms of identity (e.g., citizen, worker or labor, and anarchist collectives or horizontal non- state civil movements, referred to as social movements in American politics).
It explores how these identities affect power and resistance, as understood by social theorists and contemporary philosophers such as Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, and Judith Butler, who in turn draw upon Gilles Deleuze, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Michel Foucault, Antonio Gramsci, Karl Marx, and G. W. F. Hegel, among others. It examines the impact these ideas have by exploring the epistemology/ontology intersection. It looks at how social theory helps social movements strategize. It manifests Ideas in Action and (Re)Action.

This course is cross-listed with Urban Education, American Studies, and International Studies, and it is especially pertinent for M.A. students in Political Science, because it offers theories and then applications to help students exploring writing an M.A. thesis or capstone project.

Several social movements will be explored as case studies. First, we will consider the worldwide struggle to end political and social violence against women (including #MeTooism), and if/how it is having global impact. We will examine, for example, the Combahee River Collective — an organization of Black feminists who attained international reach by coining the term “identity politics” — and assess the movement’s global impact, as seen for instance in “Women’s Internationalism against Global Patriarchy,” by Dilar Dirik (and PM Press).

WSCP 81000 – Social Welfare Policy
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Janet Gornick
Cross-listed with Political Science.

PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Political Ecology and Environmental Justice
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Cindi Katz
Cross-listed with Psychology.

Political ecology and environmental justice are areas of great importance and intense contemporary debate, the former commonly associated with the global south and the latter with the north. Yet scholars and practitioners working in these fields share similar concerns with the uneven effects of production, social reproduction, distribution, social justice, and inequalities in harms and benefits. This seminar will critically examine contemporary theories of political ecology, environmental justice, sustainable development, and the production of nature across the disparate geographies of north and south, urban and rural, and at a number of scales. In a series of case studies, we will engage current debates over such issues as climate change and its disparate effects, waste and pollution, environmental conservation, nature preservation, biodiversity, ecotourism, industrial agriculture, green capitalism, and the ‘green new deal.’

WSCP 81000 – Participatory Democracy and Social Movements
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Celina Su
Cross-listed with Psychology.

WSCP 81000 – Black Lives and Decolonizing Methodologies
GC: WED, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 Credits, Prof. Desiree Byrd and Prof. Michelle Fine
Cross-listed with Psychology.

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Producing sociological theory:  The Role of Gendered Colonialism, Culture and Revolution in Bourdieu’s theory
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Marnia Larzerg
Cross-listed with Sociology.

In recent years scholars have called for a “decolonization” of knowledge or advocated a “decolonial” approach to academic disciplines. They argue for greater awareness of the imperial context within which the social sciences emerged, and attempt to identify the conscious and unconscious ways in which this context shaped theoretical concepts.

Pierre Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology provides an opportunity to assess these claims conceptually as well as empirically.  Bourdieu formulated his key sociological concepts (such as symbolic violence, habitus, or masculine domination) and developed a “scientific” method during his fieldwork in villages in Eastern Algeria.  His formative years as a sociologist were spent in colonial Algeria during the war of decolonization as a draftee as well as a researcher, and references to his fieldwork recur in many of his books until the end of his life.  Besides, there were times when he perceived himself as a surrogate native.

This course examines Bourdieu’s struggles with colonialism as a political and cultural system of domination, and traces the process through which colonial fieldwork becomes productive of concepts applicable to a non-colonial (but colonizing) society.  Relatedly, the course explores Bourdieu’s conceptualization of revolution in light of his misgivings about Frantz Fanon’s theory.  Of special interest will be the differences between two empirical observers, a trained sociologist and a trained psychiatrist turned revolutionary.  Finally, the course will probe Bourdieu’s construction of culture in a non-Western milieu in view of his attempt to bridge the gap between anthropology and sociology.  Throughout, discussions will be guided by a concern for the complex relationship between Bourdieu’s interest in a scientific method, his recurring references to his biography, and his unresolved attitude toward the colonial situation.

The course will be run as a seminar open to the unfettered exploration of significant facets of Bourdieu’s work.
Readings will include, in addition to sections of Outline of a Theory of PracticePascalian Meditations, The Bachelors’ Ball, In Other Words, Sociology in QuestionSketch of Self-Analysis, and a selection of secondary literature.

Requirements: Active class participation and a substantive term paper.
Open to all students

URBAN EDUCATION

WSCP 81000 – Decolonizing Urban Education
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Gillian Bayne
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

Decolonization: Its “Meaning” in and to Urban Education.

Scholars have emphasized that “Decolonization is not a  metaphor…for things we want to do to improve our societies and schools” (Tuck & Yang, 2012, p.1). The questions that follow as a result are: What is decolonization? and, What does or doesn’t it have to do with its (mis)alignment in and to the future of urban education? In this course, we will come to understand the intricacies of decolonization from varying perspectives held within both scholarly works and from the lived experiences of some of the most marginalized in society. We will consider ‘decolonial’ theories of education, as they relate to praxis – “reflection and action directed at the structures to be transformed” (Freire (2005, p. 126). Examining how education has functioned as a tool for coloniality, and how much of it is still upheld in the United States will be central to our interrogation.     Decolonization as a  praxis – an act of dismantling oppressive forces, including, for example, (neo)colonial beliefs and practices; accepted racial, ethnic, gender and sexual discriminatory actions; disrespect for upholding a safe and clean environment; and, of course, the genocide and displacement of Indigenous peoples – will form the core of our readings, discoveries, discussions, and plans for transformation – all as they relate to urban education.

WSCP 81000 – Radical Care: Teaching and Leading for Justice in Schools
GC: THURS, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Rosa Rivera-McCutchen
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

As Critical Race Theory comes under attack from the highest levels of government, this course examines the application of CRT as a more humanistic approach to urban schooling, focusing specifically on critical conceptions of care, love, and hope. Beginning with the premise that schooling must be explicitly focused on disrupting structural inequality, we start with an examination of Black feminist/womanist approaches to schooling, then move on to other scholars whose work examines critical applications of care, love, and hope in schools.

CORE COURSES

WGS 71001/WSCP 81001 – Feminist Texts and Theories
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Natalie Havlin

This course will explore the work of reading, writing, and publishing feminist texts and theories, emphasizing the historical context and means of production of feminist scholarship. Topics will include inquiries into various feminist presses, writing and media collectives, women’s studies journals, and digital archives (such as the Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, the Feminist Press, the Combahee River Collective, Triple Jeopardy, Hijas de Cuauhtémoc, off our backs, Feminist Theory, Meridians, WSQ, GLQ, TSQ; feministkilljoys, equalityarchives). The course will also demystify the work of submitting to and editing for an interdisciplinary journal of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

WGS 71701/WSCP 71700 – Global Feminisms
GC: MON, 11:45PM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Prof. Rupal Oza

With the rise of authoritarian regimes around the world, what insights do feminist movements and theorizing offer? What are the fault lines between different forms of feminisms? How do liberal feminist ideals and principles intertwine with an imperial agenda? What are the links and divergences between Islamaphobia and racism? 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? This course grapples with some of these questions in the wake of rapid world altering changes.

We 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, women from the global south, 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.

 

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

ANTHROPOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Urban Revolutions
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ida Susser
Cross-listed with Anthropology

 

EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 – Geography and Gender/Sexuality and Space
GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Cindi Katz
Cross-listed with Earth and Environmental Science

This course will address questions of space, place, and nature in relation to gender and sexuality from a variety of theoretical frameworks. A broad range of topics will be considered such as the sedimentations of gender and sexuality in built form, work environments, play environments, “discrimination by design,” the making of queer space-times, public-private space, performance and spatiality, domestic architectures, embodied geographies, global/intimate geographies, ecofeminisms and feminist approaches to nature, and the hidden and invisible geographies all around us. We will critically engage readings from the humanities, social sciences, and environmental design disciplines concerning the social construction of space, the production of nature, and the making of place in everyday life.

 

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 – Racial, Religious, and Sexual Queerness in Medieval Literature
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 2 or 4 credits, Prof. Steven Kruger
Cross-listed with English

Medieval religious difference often involves constructions that, in modernity, might be thought of as more strictly racial. When the Muslim Sultan in the Middle English King of Tars converts to Christianity, his black skin becomes white. And boundaries between religious-racial communities are often policed through the categories of gender and sexuality. Canon law prohibits intermarriage, and it insists that Christian families not employ Jewish or Muslim nursemaids. From at least the thirteenth century on, Jewish and Christian masculinities are sharply differentiated from each other, with (for instance) a myth of Jewish male menstruation and/or anal bleeding being one strong way in which Christian and Jewish bodies are kept ideologically separate. “Sodomy,” too, is often strongly associated with racial-religious others—Mongols, Jews, Muslims, heretics.

In this course, our readings will focus on how racial, religious, gender, and sexual differences—and their intersections—are represented in (mostly) English texts of the Middle Ages. Readings will be drawn from a wide range of writers and works—for example, Marie de France, Chaucer, Gower, Lydgate, Henryson, Christine de Pisan, Malory, The King of TarsThe Croxton Play of the SacramentMandeville’s Travels. Alongside such primary texts, we will read queer, postcolonial, and critical race theory, and recent medievalist work that explicitly takes up such theory in its analysis of medieval culture. And we will read at least one post-medieval text (Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida? Octavia Butler’s science fiction? Ishiguro’s the Buried Giant?), to consider how the medieval constructions we have been analyzing are taken up and modified in later literature.

Students will present orally as part of the seminar structure. Those taking the course for 4 credits will pursue a semester-long writing project. First-year students in the English program will have the opportunity to use the writing project to work on one element of their first-examination portfolios.

 

WSCP 81000 – Feminism and Globalization
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2 or 4 credits, Prof. Sonali Perera
Cross-listed with English

A significant document in the official annals of globalization and development, the 1980 Brandt Report titled North-South: A Program for Survival maps the world in the simplest, starkest terms—divided between the rich nations (the North) and the poor (the South). In his concluding reflections to Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said, among other critics, finds such “global thinking” to be reductionist—if well intentioned—unwittingly reifying the very terms it proposes, in the name of poverty alleviation, to erase. And yet, beyond the Brandt Report, “the global South” retains value as an interpretative framework—as a metaphor or strategy, rather than precisely demarcated territory—for Marxist, and especially Marxist-feminist writers and theorists across the international division of labor. Antonio Gramsci called our attention to the “Southern Question.” How is the (global) “Southern question” negotiated in our age of globalization and food insecurity? What is at stake in making claims for feminism predicated not on comfortable solidarities, but based on an avowal of difference?

In this class we will enter into the debates on gender and globalization by focusing on the texts of feminist, counter-globalist, and anti-colonial writers and theorists of the Global South. We will also read a range of interdisciplinary material drawing from examples of working-class literature, subaltern studies, Marxist theory, feminist theory, activist journalism as well as selected UN and World Bank documents. While texts from the global South provide us with our departure point, we will constantly place these writings in conversation with a range of theorists of neoliberalism and globalization. How do feminist cartographies of labor complicate the North-South divide? What might feminism as both a social movement and as knowledge-politics have to teach us about institutionalized concepts of “comparative racialization” and “critical regionalism”? What ethical models of socialized labor—of “an impossible un-divided world,” of “fractured togetherness”—are represented in the literature of labor and of radical ecology? What does it mean to invoke “working-class literature” in an age of outsourcing and neoliberal scarcity? These are some of the questions that I hope will direct our inquiries over the course of the semester. Literary texts may include works by Bessie Head, Tayeb Salih, Tillie Olsen, Diamela Eltit, Mahasweta Devi, Toni Morrison, Gloria Anzaldua, Valeria Luiselli, Lynn Nottage, Saidiya Hartman, Nuruddin Farah, and Arundhati Roy. Theory texts may include writings by Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Angela Davis, Hortense Spillers, David Harvey, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Silvia Federici, Kathi Weeks, Arturo Escobar, Maria Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Lila Abu-Lughod, Chandra Mohanty, Chela Sandoval, Sara Ahmed, Sarah Brouillette, Aren Aizura, Lisa Lowe, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Sylvia Wynter. (Where time permits, we may also consider shifts in framework and nomenclature put forward in the recent Progress of the World’s Women UN Report: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights.)

Course Requirements: 

1.) A 10 minute oral presentation on one or two of the weekly readings.*
2.)  A 2 page prospectus for the final paper.
3.) A 15-20 page final paper.
4.) Engaged class participation. 

*Serving as a respondent to a presenter: In addition to signing up for your own presentation, you must also select a date where you will serve as respondent to a presenter.

 

FRENCH

WSCP 81000 – The Nation and its Others: France and Frenchness in the Age of Louis XIV
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 2; 3(for WGS); 4 credits, Prof. Domna Stanton
Cross-listed with French (Taught in English)

This course will begin by questioning the view that the nation is born after l789. We will consider a set of criteria for nationhood and examine the efforts of Louis XIV and his ministers to transform France into a nation state with one monarch, one law and one faith; a centralized political and cultural structure; physical boundaries/borders, and a dominating linguistic idiom.

However, our principal focus will be the idea that a nation forges an inside by creating an outside, that is, by excluding a set of groups or people. To be sure, that enterprise is doomed to fail since the outside (the other) invariably mixes with or constitutes the necessary supplement to the inside, contrary to proclaimed ideology.  Moreover, in late 17th-century France, even insiders, such as members of the  noblesse d’épée, felt marginalized in an absolutistic monarchy, and invoked the idea of the nation over and against tyrannical Louis XIV.

The seminar will be devoted to considering five different others: the others within – a religious other (Jews); the gendered other (women); a sexual other (the sodomite) in a nation of reputedly virile Franks. The two others outside we will study are the oriental/Ottoman Turk; and the African slave transported to the French Caribbean.
Readings will include work on the nation by Anderson, Foucault and Balibar; on the early modern nation by Hampton, Bell, Sahlins and Yardeni;  historical documents, such as Salic Law and the Black Code; and primary readings by Corneille, Molière, Louis XIV, Perrault, Picard, Racine, Saint Simon;  Prideaux, Baudier and Tavernier on the Ottomans; Dufour, du Tertre, and Labat on slaves; and relevant critical texts.
Over and beyond readings and class participation, work for the course will include a presentation in class on a primary text. Those taking the course for 4 credits will also produce a 25-page research paper on some aspect of early-modern nationhood and othering to be determined in consultation with the instructor. For those taking the course for 3 credits, the paper will be no longer than 10-13 pp. Those taking the course for two credits will prepare a written version of the presentation they do in class (5-7 pp.). All students will take the final exam.

For any questions, please contact Domna Stanton (dstanton112@yahoo.com)

 

HISTORY

WSCP 81000 – Psychoanalysis and Politics: History and Theory
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Dagmar Herzog
Cross-listed with History

Instructor permission is required to enroll in this course. Please write to DHerzog@gc.cuny.edu with a cc to mweber@gc.cuny.edu and eliang@gc.cuny.edu.

This is a course in intellectual history and theory; but it is also, and above all, a course in the history of ideas about human selfhood, motivation, and behavior – and the endless mystery of the relationships between fantasy and reality. The course arcs from Freud’s and his contemporaries’ writings in the 1890s-1930s through WW2, Cold War and decolonization to the post-postmodern present. Themes explored include: trauma, aggression, anxiety, destruction, and prejudice; obsession, love, desire, pleasure, attachment, dependency; models of selfhood (conflict vs. deficit vs. chaos), compulsion, neurosis, perversion, narcissism, psychosis; therapy, including neutrality, interpretation, holding, transference, and countertransference; and the myriad relationships of psychoanalysis to politics. Most of the texts focus on Europe and the U.S., but we will explore as well examples from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Our aim is not only to acquire a deepened understanding of the interactions between individual subjectivities, social conditions, and ideological formations (and to consider how psychoanalysis-inspired commentators have theorized these interactions), but to inquire into whether and, if so, how the mechanisms of these interactions may perhaps themselves have changed over time (and this will require situating the assigned texts contextually, but also often reading them against their own grain).

Requirements include careful reading of assigned materials and active and informed participation in class discussions; one final paper on a psychoanalysis-related topic relevant to the student’s dissertation or related intellectual development. The final week is reserved for student presentations to the class; drafts will be circulated ahead of time; students are expected to provide helpful written responses to their peers.

 

WSCP 81000 – Black Women in Slavery and Freedom
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Tanisha Ford
Cross-listed with History

Instructor permission is required to enroll in this course. Please write to TFord1@gc.cuny.edu with a cc to mweber@gc.cuny.edu and eliang@gc.cuny.edu.

This course will introduce students to key works, major debates, and recent developments in the field of black women’s history. Some of the first texts were published in the mid-1980s, making it a relatively nascent field that has seen exponential growth over the past few decades. Scholars have developed frameworks, theories, and methods to center black women in American histories wherein their narratives are typically omitted and/or distorted. Using “freedom” as our guiding analytical term, we will also read texts from non-historians, allowing us to explore the intersections of black women’s history, feminist studies, and queer studies—particularly “queer of color critique.” The course will devote considerable attention to black feminist practices of archiving. Students can expect to lead discussions; produce short critical book reviews; and submit a longer review essay, theoretical essay, or methodological essay as a final paper.​

 

WSCP 81000 – Violence in Islamic History
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy
Cross-listed with History

In this course, we will consider a wide range of examples of violence in Islamic history, primarily in premodern times. Our main focus will be on religious dimensions of violence. Throughout the class, we will be discussing a range of methodological issues such as violence as an analytical concept and violence as an ethical challenge for historians. Recent public debates and much scholarship concentrate on religiously validated public violence in Islamic contexts, especially the ‘inter-state’ violence of conquests and wars. Such violence is widely associated with the concept of jihad and sometimes described as ‘holy war’. While we will be exploring these high-profile subjects, this class will expand its perspective on violence by considering cases that unfold in the context of war, but are not part of combat. We will be discussing enslavement, especially with regard to its gendered dimension. While some enslaved men became soldiers and took on a new role in the exercise of violence, women often became concubines and were subjected to sexual violence. Furthermore, we will be discussing public violence in the context of riots, executions and public corporeal punishments such as flogging. A second set of topics is derived from what may be considered the private sphere. In this context, we will mostly be looking at Islamic law and the way legal scholars understood and approached domestic violence. Apart from violence against wives we will be considering violence against enslaved individuals in private households. To expand our discussion of Islamic law, we will be considering other examples of interpersonal violence, in particular homicide. While most of our material will be textual, a small number of visual sources will be discussed as well, especially with regard to an aestheticization of violence. Depending on student interest, other cases of violence such as violence against the self and violence against non-human animals can be taken into account as well. This course is suitable for students without prior knowledge of Islamic history.

 

MALS

WSCP 81000 – Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
GC: MON, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, enrollment limit 6, Prof. James Wilson
Cross-listed with MALS

In Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us Kate Bornstein writes, “The first question we usually ask new parents is: ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’” Bornstein recommends the response, “We don’t know; it hasn’t told us yet.” This course explores the ways in which gender and sexuality are pronounced, embodied, and negotiated within specific historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts. Through a close reading of interdisciplinary, foundational, and recent scholarship the class will examine and theorize the ways in which categories of gender and sexuality inform and shape our understanding of the world. Investigating the intersections and collisions of gender and sexuality with race, class, ability, nationality, ethnicity, and age, the class will consider societal and institutional systems of power, privilege, oppression, and marginalization. A sampling of the writers will include, but is in no way limited to, Sara Ahmed, Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir, Eli Clare, Patricia Hill Collins, Angela Y. Davis, John D’Emilo, Michel Foucault, Jack Halberstam, bell hooks, Luce Irigaray, Audre Lorde, José Estaban Muñoz, Jasbir Puar, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Dean Spade. Course requirements include an oral presentation with class discussion facilitation; two 4-6 page response papers based on course topics and readings; and a 15-20 page, staged researched essay related to current developments in gender and sexuality studies as they pertain to the student’s own academic and/or professional pursuits.  ​

 

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Societies
GC: WED, 6:30-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Anissa Hélie
Cross-listed with Middle Eastern Studies

This course examines constructions of gender roles and gender norms in various past and present Muslim contexts – including how notions of sexual morality have evolved, and how tensions between advocates and opponents of gender equality continue to manifest in community life, the legal arena or international relations. Focusing on groups with traditionally less access to power and decision-making (specifically, women and sexual minorities) the course explores obstacles faced by gender and sexual rights advocates, as well as some of the strategies designed by both state-actors and non-state actors to further gender equality claims.

While grounded in the MENA region, the course also stresses the interconnectivity of issues across boundaries, and seeks to incorporate recent case-studies drawn from South East Asia and Muslim diaspora communities in Europe or North America. The course explores a range of issues, and may include: efforts deployed across time and space to curtail women’s public participation; the status of women in early 20th century anti-colonial movements and as citizens in newly independent nations; resistance to discriminatory provisions in family law; the ‘freedom of religion/religious accommodation’ debates in Western liberal democracies; efforts to legitimize women as religious community leaders; or the promotion of LGBT people’s human rights.

 

POLITICAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 – Women, Work, and Public Policy
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Janet Gornick
Cross-listed with Political Science

This course will provide an overview of key issues affecting women in the contemporary workplace in the United States and other high-income countries. We will begin with an overview of women’s position in the labor market. Here we will take a multidimensional approach to capturing gender inequality at work, covering gender gaps in employment rates, in working time, in occupation, and in earnings. We will assess growing class inequalities among women, which have led to polarization in the labor market, especially between women with more and less education. We will consider divisions by, e.g., race, ethnicity, nativity, and sexuality. We will analyze the ways in which public policies have addressed these concerns, and evaluate their impacts.

The course also examines the effects on women workers of persistent inequalities in divisions of labor within households. Despite the enormous increase in women’s employment rates during the past half century, women continue to carry out the bulk of unpaid work in their homes. Altering these inequalities has proven even more challenging than transforming the structures that shape paid work. We will consider recent research on the effects of “work-family reconciliation policies”– that is, public policies aimed at supporting women (and men) as they balance the responsibilities of paid work and family care. The key question now under consideration is whether some of these policies – e.g., paid family leave, rights to part-time work, and flexible scheduling – create new forms of gender inequality.  Students will complete weekly reaction papers and a semester-long research project.

 

WSCP 81000 – The American Presidency
GC: THURS, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien
Cross-listed with Political Science

Divided into four sections, the seminar first reviews a diverse array of methods and approaches to study the American presidency. Second, it underscores the leadership dilemma of how the president is the only national leader in the United States, at home and abroad, and what this means in “political time.” Third, it explores how the president’s relationship with different state, local, and national institutions, as well as their leaders and the public officials operating these institutions, has waxed and waned in modern and contemporary political time.

Fourth, this seminar raises the leadership dilemma in terms of masculinity (e.g. power, intimidation, force, and authority. Does Trump practice “New Nationalism” in his policies that advance xenophobia, racism, white supremacy, sexism, misogyny, nativism and ablism making explicit all the repressive “isms” that were embedded in liberty and empire, or what Alex Rana calls “the two faces”? Would the U.S. be better served to work with two or more presidents who identify as a woman or uses a non-masculine leadership styles balancing legitimacy and authority? (Often the first woman leader is either patriarchal in thinking or masculine in leadership style and/or cannot support women and children overtly.) Remember the supposedly post-racial Obama presidency.

 

WSCP 81000 – African Politics
GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Zachariah Mampilly
Cross-listed with Political Science

Studying the politics of the second largest continent, one divided into 54 sovereign nations and containing over 1.3 billion people, can seem like an impossible task.  Yet there are important intellectual commonalities, political trends and historical connections that make the study of “African Politics” not only coherent, but also urgent and essential. In this seminar, we will not attempt to approach the study of the continent chronologically nor will we attempt to sketch a comprehensive picture of political life across Africa. Instead, the seminar is divided thematically focusing on the major debates that have defined African politics since the end of the colonial period and into the current era. A partial list of themes this seminar will cover include: colonialism and its legacies, ethnicity, gender, climate change, political violence, development, political economy, social movements and Africa’s role in the international order. The readings are selected to cover all the major regions of Africa drawing together both classic readings that have endured as well as the latest research from scholars across disciplines and from around the world.

 

PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Critical Methods
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, enrollment limit 5, Prof. Michelle Fine
Cross-listed with Psychology

We will explore, through the history and contemporary enactments of postcolonial and critical psychology, the buried history of methods/epistemologies/praxis that draw from more liberatory social inquiry within the social sciences/social movements.  Students will read history of critical psychology, and interdisciplinary texts, and will contribute to the critical methods archive that is being developed within critical psychology at the GC.  This will be a chance to explore the history and transnational examples of critical methods, with visits from our faculty and activist/artivist researchers (e.g. critical statistics, narrative, listening guide, embodied, womanist, post colonial, critical PAR, ethnography, social media analysis, as well as visual methods) and historic excavation of methods erased/silenced in the canon, and those just emerging (mapping, performance, digital) in the interdisciplinary membranes of critical research.

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Food, Culture, and Society
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman
Cross-listed with Sociology

This course explores major issues in foodways—food habits from production through consumption—through readings and discussions as well as through primary research in food and society. The scholarly study of food invokes issues of gender, class, labor, and cultural identities and demands an interdisciplinary approach. Theoretical frameworks include the food voice (Hauck-Lawson), cultural studies, political economy, and symbolic interactionism.
The key focus in the course is going to be the application of theory and methods from the disciplines represented by students, faculty and invited guests in the course, to Food Studies.
Rather than a standard paper, each student will, in consultation with the professor and the other students, develop a project that best fits in with her/his own work –for example, a food-focused dissertation chapter, an internship, a series of published book reviews, or a paper presentation at a professional conference in the student’s home discipline.

 

WSCP 81000 – Capitalism and Crisis
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Roslyn Bologh
Cross-listed with Sociology

This course will focus on the relationship between capitalism, culture and crisis. We will examine the current historical moment — focusing on political economy, ideology and other aspects of social life and culture.

How does this crisis affect particular communities? What kinds of changes are we seeing? Is the crisis merely hastening changes that were already underway? Will the crisis radically change our world? How do critical political economic analyses address the contemporary crisis? What accounts for the different trajectories of the U.S. (F.D.R. and the New Deal) and Germany (Hitler and the Nazis) during the Great Depression? How does that relate to today’s crisis?

These are some of the questions I hope we can address as events unfold. How is capitalism directly implicated in this health crisis and the responses to it. Public Health specialists knew what needed to be done to be prepared for a pandemic. How were economic interests related to the failure to be prepared? What had been happening to our economy before this crisis? What was causing the huge inequalities within particular societies and within the global economy? What was causing the socio-cultural changes like the decline of marriage in the U.S. among the middle classes as well as middle aged people returning to live with their parents? Why were Central Banks foreseeing even before this crisis a global recession that they said Central Banks could not handle. Why are publications like the Wall Street Journal and Forbes publishing articles about the possibility of “populist backlash?” Why do they connect public backlash to the Government providing billions to corporations that had been using their profits for “buybacks?” What are corporate “buy backs?” How is the Federal Reserve implicated in all of this?

What will be the outcome of this global crisis? In sum, I hope to provide students with a background in critical theory and political economy in order to address the question: how does the current crisis relate to radical social change?

 

WSCP 81000 – Gender and Violence
GC: MON, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Jayne Mooney
Cross-listed with Sociology

This course explores the relationship between gender, crime and the criminal justice system. It focuses on feminist historical, sociological and socio-legal scholarship to examine the ways in which gender affects patterns of offending, victimization, and imprisonment. It critically engages with the intersections between gender, race, class and sexuality and analyzes how these impact on the treatment of women, as victims, survivors and offenders. It provides an overview of the historical neglect of women’s contributions to sociological and criminological theory.

Cultural representations of masculinity and femininity are considered throughout. Debates are explored on the construction of masculinit(ies) in contemporary society, and recent work on transfeminism and non-binary gender identities. Specific topics to be covered include: violence against women, fear of crime, sex work, war, gangs, serial killing, imprisonment, immigration and feminist research methods.

 

URBAN EDUCATION

WSCP 81000 – (De)Constructing Black Girlhoods
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Sherry Deckman
Cross-listed with Urban Education

This course will examine the shifting constructions of Black girlhood(s) and the emerging field of Black girlhood studies, including theories derived from critical race and Black feminisms, methods, and analytical approaches to the study of Black girlhood. Further, the class will interrogate Black girlhood as a political category of identity and symbol of agency, addressing such topics as foundations of the field, utility of the categories of “girl” and “woman” and representation of Black girlhood in academic literature and popular culture. As such, we will consider the multiplicity of the Black girlhoods as embodied and experience through, for example, gender, sexuality, and geography. This course will aim to think through and embody theories and practices—emancipatory, humanizing, radical acts—as produced by Black girls, artists, and scholars.  Class members will apply their theoretical understandings to final projects in which they either propose a research design informed by Black girlhood studies or conduct preliminary analysis of data drawing on related theories.

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

MALS

WSCP 81000 – Queer Academics: Where and to What Queer Theory Can Apply
GC: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00-9:45 PM, 3 Credits, Professor Mark McBeth (marknealmcbeth@gmail.com)
(5/26-6/18)
Cross-listed with MALS.

CLICK HERE FOR AN INTRODUCTORY VIDEO FROM PROF. MCBETH.

Queer Theory has gained a reputation of abstract thinking that doesn’t actually do anything except theorize the non-normative systems that often thwart Queer energies. It allegedly doesn’t perform much more than academic navel gazing.  However, in this course, we will read, write, research and perform how this seemingly esoteric theory-bound mindset has both informed activist work and infiltrated the academic labors that intellectuals do (and how they attempt to make a difference with it).

Starting with histories of the early homophile assimilationists and moving through the “Gay Is Good” liberationists and then eventually arriving at the AIDS activism and Queer movements, we will investigate how these “homosexual” evolutions have influenced and advanced Queer thinking that has both left us in a sort of status of homonormativity, yet potentially offered other moments of Queer creative escape and revitalization. Looking back at archival documents of early 20th-century movements as well as updating our knowledge about current activism, this course wanders and wonders through the conundrums of 20th to 21st century Queer intellectual labors, activism, and outcomes.  Where have we been? Where are we now?  Where do we want to be?

The course will rely on founding scholars (i.e., Sedgwick, Warner), delve into more updated iterations (i.e., Halberstam, Muñoz, Marcus), and search for who’s out there (i.e., we’ll search together).  A three-week course will offer an intense overview and foresight of Queer theory, but rely on the non-normative insights and energies of those who plan to participate in it.  Rather than produce normative seminar papers in this short intensive course, students will produce Queer performances of their intellectual labor in the course.

In the early 1990s, the professor of this course took a course with Eve Sedgwick, entitled “Queer Performativity.”  It changed his life and Queer thinking of the world. As a nostalgic view of this course, he would like to replicate some of the Queer energies that happened at that historical moment and see how 21st-century students can replicate and advance the objectives of that course of one of our Queer founders.

 

WSCP – 81000 – Introduction to Race and Ethnicity
GC: Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, 3 Credits, Professor Natalie Etoke (Netoke@gc.cuny.edu)
(5/27-6/29)
Cross-listed with MALS.

Focusing on the longue durée of imperialism since 1492 and accounting for the consequences of the Native American genocide, racial slavery, colonialism, historical violence and the ongoing struggles for social justice and freedom, this course looks at the ways in which white supremacy creates racial boundaries. We will analyze the relationship between race and power to show how it shapes citizenship and American identity.  Throughout the course, you will expand your critical thinking and reflection skills, make meaningful connections between race and everyday experience, develop a personal understanding of how race interacts with larger social and historical forces. In this course, we  will draw from the fields of Sociology, Ethnic Studies and Cultural Studies to explore the meanings of race, racism, and racial justice.

We will address the following questions:
What does it mean to study race and ethnicity?
How have conversations about race changed over the last few years?
How is the idea of racial hierarchy woven into the fabric of The United States of America?

How does it shape our daily life and our sense of self?
How does it structure inequality in our society?
What are the social and historical processes that have shaped our understandings of race and ethnicity?

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the difference between race and ethnicity.
  2. Think critically about their own racial position, recognize and appreciate racial experiences that differ from their own, and explain the significance of racism in today’s world.
  3. Describe how issues of race and ethnicity have shaped American institutions, laws, and practices over time.
  4. Identify and evaluate the strategies each author uses to make her/his argument as well as the theoretical claims they present.
  5. Critically analyze race and ethnicity in news media.

CORE COURSES

WGS 71600/WSCP 81600 – Research Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies
GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof, Dána-Ain Davis

WGS 71601/WSCP 81601 – Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies: Decolonial Feminist Ethics and Epistemologies
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Linda Martin Alcoff and Prof. Serene Khader
Cross-listed with Philosophy.

This course explores the influence of regimes of colonization, racialization, and imperialism on conceptions of gender justice. It begins from the understanding of decolonial feminist philosophies as including both critical and constructive projects: the former involve exploring the ways Western concepts and histories promote a congruence between Western feminism and Western imperialism, and the latter involve constructing alternative visions of solidarity, as well as local and global gender justice. Developing feminist solidarity and coalition requires an analysis of epistemic justice, or the roadblocks to mutual engagement with respect and reciprocity between differently situated groups. Feminist solidarity also requires thinking through the narrow definitions of rationality found sometimes in the West, in which, as an example, secularism is assumed to be more rational in an a priori way, and the political history and economic context of scientific inquiry are ignored. Hence, this course will pursue both epistemological and ethical aspects of transnational feminism. We will also discuss and analyze links between gender formations and colonial conquest and settlement, changing patterns of violence against women, and racializing discourses and knowledge regimes, to challenge dominant understandings of knowledge and law, agency and politics.  We will also explore the philosophical theories for pluralizing a vision of women’s liberation. Some of the topics we will discuss include: the influence of the concept of modernity on conceptions of transnational justice and gender justice, the role of the concept of culture in feminist discourses, the difference between decolonial, postcolonial, and transnational feminist theoretical approaches, how to overcome racist and sexist patterns of epistemic prejudice, the idea that gender itself is a colonial imposition, and the ideal/non-ideal theory distinction.

WGS 79600 – Independent Study
3 Credits.

By Permission

WGS 79601 – Internship

3 Credits.

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision

3 Credits.

 

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

 

ANTHROPOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Gender Violence, the State & Citizen Security
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3/3 Credits, Prof. Victoria Sanford
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 – Feminist Criticism in Victorian Fiction: Recovery Feminism, and After
GC: MON, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Talia Schaffer
Cross-listed with English.

In this course we explore the history of academic feminist work in Victorian studies since the 1970s, intertwining critical work with literary texts, evaluating the ‘recovery feminist’ approach of second-wave feminism as we try to outline a contemporary feminist approach. We will, for instance, cover the first wave of feminist recovery work of the 70s and 80s by Showalter, Spacks, Gilbert and Gubar, Poovey, Spivak, along with “Cassandra” and Jane Eyre. We will then look at cultural feminist criticism of the 90s Armstrong and Gallagher with Middlemarch and Miss Marjoribank, and look at the 21st century queer, ethical, and digital turns of feminist work in criticism by Marcus, Ehnenn, Ahmed, Nowviskie, Berlant, with Mansfield Park. In assessing fifty years of Victorian feminist criticism, we will be looking at race, empire, bodies, and sexuality, but we will also be interrogating what kind of feminist criticism might be appropriate to a decentralized, gender-fluid, digital contemporary mode. We will read Sara Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life and Kate Manne, Down Girl, and students will find and present their own feminist case studies, which may include interrogating the place of feminist criticism in environmental humanities, critical race theory, disability studies, animal studies, postcolonialism. Presentation, blog, and final paper.

WSCP 81000 – Female Dicks: The Female Detective from the 19th to the 21st CenturyGC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Caroline Reitz
Cross-listed with English.

The female detective is a speculative figure from the get-go. If the male detective in anglophone literature roughly corresponds to the history of policing in 19th century Britain, the female detective precedes her first official counterpart by over 50 years. Both rooted in and detached from history, the female detective figure is best approached from a transtemporal perspective. The genre of detective fiction is as old as Oedipus or as young as Dupin, depending on who you ask. Both rooted in and detached from specific critical traditions, female detective fiction is best approached from a transgeneric perspective. This course puts female detective fiction into conversation with N. K. Jemisin’s speculative fiction, with super hero comics featuring Captain Marvel and Kamala Khan, and with television series from Prime Suspect to Denmark’s The Killing. While we focus on anglophone literature and culture, we will look at ways in which the evolving genre serves as a framework to explore complexities of identity and justice in a postcolonial and transnational world.

The syllabus has four parts.  Part one begins with paradigmatic theories of the genre (Todorov, Derrida, Moretti) as well as responses to those ideas from feminist and postcolonial theorists. We will move onto representative works in the 19th century such as The Female Detective (1864), Revelations of a Lady Detective (1864), and Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady (1875). Part two covers the end of the 19th and first half of the 20th century, including serialized female detective stories (featuring sleuths such as Hilda Wade and Lady Molly of Scotland Yard), Agatha Christie (Miss Marple) and Dorothy Sayers (Harriet Vane), the rise of the girl sleuth (such as Judith Lee and Nancy Drew) and the “problem” of the hard-boiled detective posed by Hammett and Chandler and embraced by writers such as Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky. Part three looks at the explosion of female crime fighters in contemporary literature, in graphic texts, and on screen. We look at works in a range of national contexts as we ask questions about identity politics, globalization, and transmediality. The final weeks of the course will be designed by students and will be centered around their research interests in conversation with but not necessarily contained by female detective fiction (think villains or vampire slayers, spies or missing persons, your own transtemporal or transgeneric figures). This part of the course will require an annotated bibliography, as well as a conference-length paper. Two class presentations will also be required. Reading will be heavy but thrilling.

WSCP 81000 – Early Modern Embodiment: Race, Gender, and Sexuality
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 4 Credits, Prof. Mario DiGangi
Cross-listed with English.

In this seminar, we will explore race, gender, and sexuality as overlapping and intersecting modes of embodiment in the literature and culture of premodern England. While our focus will be sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, we will consider continuities and differences between medieval and early modern European discourses of race/gender/sexuality. Drama will be at the center of our investigations, but we will also examine a variety of texts from multiple genres, including love poetry, visual art, prose romance, court masque, and travel narrative, in an effort to understand the tropes and formal conventions through which racial, gender, and sexual differences were made to signify. Readings will cluster around five major topics: 1) Race/Gender/Sex and the Color of Beauty; 2) Race/Gender/Sex and Courtly Culture; 3) Race/Gender/Sex and Travel; 4) Race/Gender/Sex and Religion; 5) Race/Gender/Sex and the Global Circulation of English Honor. Readings will include Shakespeare, Titus AndronicusThe Merchant of VeniceOthello, and Sonnets; Jonson, The Masque of Blackness; Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum; Massinger, The Renegado; Fletcher, The Island Princess; Dekker, Lust’s Dominion; Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West; and Day, Rowley, and Wilkins, The Travels of the Three English Brothers. Through the work of scholars such as Abdulhamit Arvas, Dennis Britton, Kim Hall, Geraldine Heng, Carol Mejia LaPerle, Arthur Little, Ania Loomba, Joyce Green Macdonald, Jeffrey Masten, Jennifer Morgan, Carmen Nocentelli, Melissa Sanchez, Ian Smith, and Valerie Traub, we will also consider how different theoretical and historical approaches have produced varying accounts of race/gender/sex as objects of inquiry in the premodern and contemporary eras.​

WSCP 81000 – Biopunk and other Speculative Fictions
GC: FRI, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 4 Credits, Prof, Ashley Dawson
Cross-listed with English.

The ideologies that have supported modern liberalism’s purported “end of history” are wearing thin. The unsustainable nature of the current social order is becoming increasingly apparent. With the old social democratic left sullied by their embrace of neoliberalism, popular dissent is drifting towards the new right. We seem to be on the cusp of a whole series of radical changes. Climate chaos is already scrambling weather systems, melting glaciers that provide drinking water for hundreds of millions of people, and making urban life around the world increasingly difficult for all but the most wealthy. Entire ecosystems are being levelled by the inexorable drive of capitalism to expand at compound growth rates. Robots and AI are taking over jobs around the world and in every sector of the economy. Genetic editing and synthetic biology are radically altering existing life forms and may soon be employed on human populations to eliminate disease and prolong life, but who will be able to afford such post-human perks? Can we look forward to a world of unprecedented plenty powered by ubiquitous solar energy technologies, or will we descend into a Hobbesian war of all against all?

This course engages some of the most pressing questions of the present and near future through examination of three genres of speculative fiction: cyberpunk, biopunk, and solarpunk. Each of these genres ruptures the hegemony of what Mark Fisher called “capitalist realism,” the grating but nonetheless ubiquitous belief that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. The guiding assumption of the course is that these and related genres of speculative fiction provide what Fredric Jameson called “archaeologies of the future,” toolkits for imagining tomorrow otherwise and instruction manuals to guide the work of activism and community-building for which the trying circumstances of the present call out.

The course very consciously engages with efforts to represent possible futures articulated from a variety of geographical locations around the world and from heterogeneous subject positions. In addition, the course toggles constantly between speculative fiction and nonfiction in an effort to assess the capacities of various genres to mobilize different affects (hope, fear, revulsion, etc.) in relation to possible futures.

Works we are likely to discuss, in full or in part, include:

  • Neel Ahuja, Bioinsecurities
  • Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood
  • Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl
  • Aaron Bastani, Fully Automated Luxury Communism
  • Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share
  • Lauren Beukes, Zoo City
  • Elly Blue, Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures
  • Ryan Coogler, Black Panther
  • Melinda Cooper, Life as Surplus
  • Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism
  • William Gibson, Neuromancer
  • Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement
  • Donna Haraway, Cyborg Manifesto
  • Michael Hardt & Toni Negri, Commonwealth
  • Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman
  • Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Brown, Octavia’s Brood
  • Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future
  • Larissa Lai, Salt Fish Girl
  • Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro, ed., Solarpunk
  • Andreas Malm, Fossil Capitalism
  • Andrew Niccol, Gattaca
  • Alex Rivera, Sleep Dealer
  • Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You
  • Sophia Roosth, Synthetic: How Life Got Made
  • Hermann Scheer, The Solar Economy
  • Shelby Streeby, Imagining the Future of Climate Change
  • Shoshona Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

 

FRENCH

WSCP 81000 – On Passions, Emotions, Affects: In Theory, History, Texts
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 (by permission of WSCP)/4 Credits, Prof. Domna Stanton
Cross-listed with French.

How are passions and emotions different from affects? How do bodies perform passions, sensibility, feelings, emotions and affects? What do affects do and how do they do it? How are they shaped by their contexts?  What is the meaning and significance of the “affective turn”?  Does it mark a rejection of the idea(l) of rational self-control? How is this turn connected to studies of women (and the feminine) and to work on gender and racial embodiments and sexualities?

This course will be structured around three areas: first, theories of affect and in tandem, a study of the cultural politics and ethics of specific affects, including anger, disgust, shame, compassion and happiness. Which emotions mobilize spectators/readers into collectives/communities. Are passions both a source and an obstacle to struggles for freedom and justice? How do they include and exclude? Among the theorists: Ahmed, Artaud, Berlant, Clough,  Cvetkovich, Deleuze and Guattari, Ghandi, M. Hardt, A. Lorde, Massumi, Scheer, Sedgwick, Stewart, M. Warner.

Second, we will grapple with the treatment of passions and emotions through history, especially in philosophy: from Aristotle and Cicero, Descartes, Pascal, Lebrun, Spinoza, and Kant to Darwin, W. James, Freud, Klein, and R. Williams.

And third, in conjunction with this philosophical and historical work, we will read texts (verbal, visual and musical) to see how they inscribe emotional content and how they generate affective responses from readers even when their semantics and narratives do not depict strong emotions. Is feeling as a response to cultural forms different from a human emotion? We will consider the cultural politics of emotion in the work of  Margerie of Kempe, Montaigne,  Gentileschi (Portraits of Judith) , Racine (Phedre),  Goethe (Sorrows of Young Werther), Wagner (“Leibestod”) , H. Jacobs (Life of a Slave Girl), H. James (Beast in the Jungle),  Woolf  (Mrs. Dalloway) , A. Nin (“Incest” Diary),  Lanzman ( Shoah),  Beckett (Happy Days), C. Churchill  (Far Away) , Irigaray (“When our Lips Speak Together”), Morrison (Beloved),  Darwish (Poems),  Labaki ( Capernaum), Moore (Watchman, 2019).

The syllabus will be uploaded onto Blackboard by the beginning of the spring semester; all course materials will be on blackboard, except for one or two complete texts which will be indicated on the syllabus.

Work for the course: Whether the course is taken for 2, 3, or 4 credits, all students will be responsible for doing the assigned texts closely and for engaging consistently in class discussion.

Students who take the course for 2 credits will present in class a reading of one primary text, which will also be submitted in writing (c 5-7 pp); these students will also take the final exam.

Students who take the course for 3 credits, will do all of the above, but instead of the 5-7 page paper, they will do a 10-13-page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor. They will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography, an outline and the introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).

Students who take the course for 4 credits will do all of the above, but instead of a 10-13 page paper, they will do a 20-25-page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor. They will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography, an outline, and an introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).

Please contact Domna Stanton with any questions (dstanton112@yahoo.com).

HISTORY

WSCP 81000 – Jews and the Left
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Elissa Bemporad
Cross-listed with History.

This course will explore the historical involvement of Jewish men and women in the political left from the French Revolution to the contemporary world, in Europe, America and Palestine/Israel. By discussing the political and ideological factors that attracted Jews to leftist political movements over time and in different geopolitical contexts, the course will study the ambivalent relationship between universalism and particularism that lied at the heart of these movements. Through a diverse selection of readings, which include memoirs, letters, fiction, press articles, and monographs, students will also be asked to disentangle facts from myth, as they ponder the reality and the limits of the Jewish alliance with the Left. This course will also explore the ways in which, at different times and in different places, the association between Jews and the Left have become a common thread in antisemitic thinking.

WSCP 81000 – Readings in 20th Century U.S. Women’s History
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Kathleen McCarthy
Cross-listed with History.

When women’s history emerged as a subfield in the 1960s, its initial goal was to write women into the historical record.  Since then, the analytical focus has shifted from an emphasis on “sisterhood” to class relations, political culture, the social construction of gender, transnationalism, and colonialism and empire.  Cultural analyses have also become increasingly important, illuminating the subtexts that shaped women’s lives in different regions and eras, while microhistories have excavated the lives of ordinary Americans in revealing ways.  This course will chart these historiographical shifts, as well as the ways in which women’s history has reshaped our understanding of American history for the period from 1900 to the late 20th century.

Within this framework a variety of topics will be explored, including (among others): 1) mainstreaming and microhistory; 2) gender and sexuality; 3) politics and political cultures; 4) transnationalism and empire; 5) race; 6) popular culture; 7) feminism and its discontents;  8) family and domesticity;  9) the women’s movement; 10) science and the politics of the body; 11) women and the welfare state; 12) power and money.

The goal of this course is threefold: 1) to help students prepare for their written and oral examinations; 2) to deepen their knowledge of the ways in which women’s history has reshaped our understanding of American history; and 3) to bolster their research, writing and analytical skills.

Students will lead one to three discussion sessions, and have a choice of doing weekly abstracts on the assigned readings for the weeks in which they are not presenting, or developing a research proposal on a women’s history topic of their choice for the period between 1900 and the 1990s.

INTERDISCIPLINARY / THE FUTURES INITIATIVE

WSCP 81000 – Psychological Disease Swelling in Contentious Times: Contributors, Sustainers, and Resisters
GC: WED, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 Credits, Prof. Michelle Fine and Prof. Desiree Byrd
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

The lived experience of mental health in the US, and in NYC in particular, reveals systemic inequities that result in disparate levels of navigational burden for cultural minorities and other marginalized citizens living with mental illness.  This introductory graduate course shifts the framework of pathological analysis from age old psychological theories to applied sociopolitical realities that will critically interrogate literatures on anxiety, paranoia, immigration, trauma, crime, violence and mental health and deconstructs how psychopathology varies by race/ethnicity, immigration status, income level, religion, sexuality and gender. As this course traverses through mood, anxiety and thought disorders, students will read, critique and create interdisciplinary “documents” and performances at the intersection of research, law, policy and analysis to connect individual level “mental health” concerns with the sociopolitical realities of modern day NYC. Working in interdisciplinary groups, students will select an “angle” for critical analysis, blending scholarly reviews, popular media and participant observation/interviews with respect to a range of issues, including the racialized criminalization of mental health and  police violence against women of color suffering from mental illness. This course will also involve lectures from/visits with activists as well as organizers involved with interpersonal violence, mass incarceration, addiction communities, immigration justice groups, and community leaders who  have cultivated unique interventions at the grass roots level to counter the impact of mental health disparities within varied neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Our analysis will move between pain and resistance; individual and structural enactments of dis-ease; prevention; and healing.

WSCP 81000 – Introduction to Engaged Teaching for Transformative Learning in the Humanities and Social Sciences
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Cathy N. Davidson and Prof. Eduardo Vianna
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

What does it mean to “introduce” a student to a field? This course is intended for any graduate student in the humanities or social sciences who is thinking seriously about the deepest “why” and “how” questions about their discipline and how those apply to their own research and teaching. We will begin with theoretical questions about disciplines, fields, foundations, pedagogy, research, aesthetics, and institutional structures alongside issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, social justice, engagement, and transformation. In each class and in final projects, we will encourage students to transform critique into engaged practice. Students will work collaboratively on analyzing and then designing: (1) a standard anthology or textbook in their field; (2) key articles or critical texts in their field; (3) standard syllabi of introductory or “core” courses in their field; (4) keywords in their field. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of the assumptions of their field and new methods for transformative learning that support diversity, inclusion, and a more equitable form of higher education. Our aim is to work toward “research with a transformative activist agenda” and teaching and mentoring as a “collaborative learning community project” that, in the end, contributes to education as a public good and a more just and equitable society.

Readings will be chosen from: Lev Vygotsky, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Frantz Fanon, Audre Lorde, Anna Stetsenko, Michelle Fine, Ira Shor, Stuart Hall, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, José Munoz, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Peter Galison, Sara Ahmed, Alfie Kohn, Christopher Newfield, John Warner, Kandice Chuh, Roderick Ferguson, Kurt Lewin, Lisa Lowe, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Michael Fabricant, Stephen Brier, Cathy Davidson, Eduardo Vianna, as well as authors included in the crowdsourced “Progressive Pedagogy” bibliography being developed on hastac.org: (https://www.hastac.org/blogs/ckatopodis/2019/01/11/progressive-pedagogy-public-working-bibliography)

M.A.L.S.

WSCP 81000 – Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
GC: MON, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3/5 Credits, Prof. James Wilson
Cross-listed with MALS.

In Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us Kate Bornstein writes, “The first question we usually ask new parents is: ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’” Bornstein recommends the response, “We don’t know; it hasn’t told us yet.” This course explores the ways in which gender and sexuality are pronounced, embodied, and negotiated within specific historical and cultural contexts. Through a close reading of interdisciplinary, foundational, and recent scholarship the class will examine and theorize the ways in which categories of gender and sexuality inform and shape our understanding of the world. Investigating the intersections and collisions of gender and sexuality with race, class, ability, nationality, ethnicity, and age, the class will consider societal and institutional systems of power, privilege, oppression, and marginalization. Course requirements include an oral presentation, two 4-6 page response papers, and a 15-20 page, staged researched essay.

WSCP 81000 – Foundations of Legal Thought: The Theory and Practice of Justice
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3/4 Credits, Prof. Leslie Paik and Prof. Julie Suk
Cross-listed with MALS.

This course introduces students to the basic methods of legal and social science analysis/research to study law and the legal system. It focuses on specific substantive topics (e.g., access to justice and reform in the civil, criminal and juvenile justice systems). As part of the course, we will do site visits to justice institutions, policy agencies and innovative programs; we also would have speakers present their work and agencies’ missions during class. The goal of the course is to provide students with the legal knowledge and real-world encounters to support their pursuit of jobs and careers in justice reform, in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and firms.

WSCP 81000 – Economics for Everyone
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3/3 Credits, Prof. Miles Corak
Cross-listed with MALS.

This course introduces students to the basic methods of legal and social science analysis/research to study law and the legal system. It focuses on specific substantive topics (e.g., access to justice and reform in the civil, criminal and juvenile justice systems). As part of the course, we will do site visits to justice institutions, policy agencies and innovative programs; we also would have speakers present their work and agencies’ missions during class. The goal of the course is to provide students with the legal knowledge and real-world encounters to support their pursuit of jobs and careers in justice reform, in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and firms.

WSCP 81000 – Special Topics in Fashion Studies: Empower, Sustain, Change, Repeat
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli
Cross-listed with MALS.

The course aims to critically understand global fashion as it bears on the environment, climate change and social justice. It aims at a deeper understanding of the relationship between craft and technology, at identifying the art of making and at mapping alternative modes of production.

The mechanization of the production of fashion has exploited and continues to exploit human beings through slavery, child labor, and prison labor. Human labor, especially women’s, is still an integral part of the supply chain and in the last few years, women, the driving force behind fashion, clothing and textile since classical antiquity, have come to the fore in disrupting the fashion industry in a variety of ways. They have also offered alternative modes of production and consumption based on new understandings of the process and the cost of labor. Through an exploration into ryhtmanalysis and its philosophical underpinning (Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Henri Lefebvre) in fashion, craft, textile and material culture (Richard Sennett, Daniel Miller, Jane Schneider), the class will focus on temporality, geography and space,(David Harvey) climate change and how new modes of production are changing the landscape. The course will also focus on recent New York-based initiatives that highlight crafts and local traditions, through contact with organizations that work to integrate and requalify immigrant women. The class, as a further development of the Fabric of Cultures Project (http://fabricofcultures.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu) will include field trips, guest speakers and collaborative workshops with the founders of the Fashion in Process Lab from the Milan Politecnico.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 – Gender, Race and American Political Development
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien and Prof. David Waldstreicher
Cross-listed with Political Science.

This course explores persistent binaries that have arguably structured political thought and practice in the United States. On the one hand, the U.S. has been imagined as a place where people can rise through merit and opportunity, unconstrained by the oppressions of the past and of other places. Geographic mobility – settlement, migration, immigration – is mapped on to social mobility in the accepted meaning of the phrase “American Dream.” Yet U.S. history is marked by war and violence, to such a striking extent that scholars and pundits have periodically diagnosed the culture as peculiarly, even uniquely violent. Given the recent resurgence of angry and martial rhetoric at the center of national politics, how might we understand the relationship between the revolutionary or Enlightenment dreams of justice, peace, and freedom on the one hand, and the recurrent dread or nightmare of decline and oppression, as shaping facts of specifically political traditions? To what extent, in what ways, are exceptionalist understandings of U.S. political traditions a problem or a solution? Do accounts that stress race, or gender, or the confluence of the two, provide a necessary or sufficient theory or counternarrative of political development? Do frameworks developed in European politics, in critical theory, postcolonial thought, or in domestic vernaculars comprehend the dream/dread in the past and present? What kinds of analytical scholarship and storytelling have been adequate to the task?

WSCP 81000 – Social Policy and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Industrialized Countries
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Janet Gornick
Cross-listed with Political Science.

This course provides an introduction to cross-national comparative research, with a focus on socio-economic outcomes and on the policies and institutions that shape those outcomes. The course will draw heavily on research based on data available through LIS, a data archive located in Luxembourg, with a satellite office here at the Graduate Center. (See https://www.lisdatacenter.org for details).

LIS contains two main micro-databases. The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database includes 300+ micro-datasets from over 50 high- and middle-income countries. These datasets contain comprehensive measures of income, employment, and household characteristics. A smaller, companion dataset – the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS) Database – provides microdata on assets and debt. Since the mid-1980s, the LIS data have been used by more than 5000 researchers – mostly sociologists, economists, and political scientists – to analyze cross-country and over-time variation in diverse outcomes such as poverty, income inequality, employment status, wage patterns, gender inequality and family structure. Many researchers have combined LIS’ microdata with various macro-datasets to study, for example, the effects of national social or labor market policies on socio-economic outcomes, or to link socio-economic variation to national-level outcomes such as immigration, child well-being, health status, political attitudes and voting behavior.

The course has two goals: (1) to review and synthesize 30+ years of research results based on the LIS data; and (2) to enable students with programming skills (in SAS, SPSS, Stata, or R) to carry out and complete an original piece of empirical research. (The LIS and LWS data are accessed through an internet-based “remote-execution system”. All students are permitted to use the LIS microdata at no cost and without limit.)

The course will require a semester-long research project. Students with programming skills (which will not be taught in the course) will be encouraged to complete an empirical analysis, reported in a term paper. Ideally, these term papers will be circulated as LIS/LWS Working Papers – and ultimately in published venues. Students without programming skills will have the option to write a synthetic research paper. A minimum requirement is the capacity to read articles that present quantitative research results.

WSCP 81000 – Race and the Evolution of Public Policy in the US
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Michael Fortner
Cross-listed with Political Science.

This course examines the relationship between race and public policy development in the United States. The course begins by exploring a series of conceptual, theoretical, and historical questions: How do we conceptualize and measure white supremacy? How does white supremacy interact with other structural forms of inequality, specifically gender and class? How has race shaped American political development? Then we will then turn to case-by-case examinations of the impact of race, class, and gender on several contemporary federal public policy areas like social welfare, immigration, and crime. This course draws primarily from political science, but also incorporates historical, sociological, legal scholarship and critically assess race and public policy.

WSCP 81000 – Contemporary Political Theory
GC: MON, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Robyn Marasco
Cross-listed with Political Science.

This course provides a rigorous introduction to major works of political theory in the twentieth century. Our seminar will proceed as close readings of whole books and essays, on the assumption that political theory is best digested in non-excerpted form and that a different group of interpretive muscles are flexed when we linger on a work in its (exhaustive and exhausting) entirety.

Readings will include works by Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, CLR James, Theodor Adorno, Louis Althusser, Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, John Rawls, Catherine MacKinnon, and Jacques Ranciere. This seminar is designed primarily for Political Science graduate students preparing a concentration in political theory, but it is also open to students in Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Women’s Studies, and related fields. This seminar will be especially useful for students preparing for their comprehensive exams in political theory.

By the end of the semester, you should expect to:

• Distinguish among various approaches to contemporary political theory and the traditions upon which they build.
• Develop reading & writing skills and, especially, the capacity to build compelling, arguments on major thinkers and topics in contemporary political theory.
• Acquire the foundations for preparation of the contemporary political theory portion of your comprehensive exam in political theory.

PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Community Based Research
GC: WED, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 Credits, Prof. Maria Torre
Cross-listed with Psychology.

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Family Demography in Global Context
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Jessica Hardie
Cross-listed with Sociology.

Family demographers study the composition of families and patterns of movement
into and out of family structures, as well as what drives these patterns. We seek to
understand how and why families change over time in response to economic, social,
and cultural forces. This seminar offers the opportunity to learn about prevailing
theories of family change, trends in family behavior, and analytic techniques
common in family demography. Throughout the semester, we will seek to explain
the role of family in individuals’ lives, the precursors and consequences of family
change, and how the family intersects with other social institutions both in the
United States and abroad. The course materials draw on a variety of theoretical,
historical, cultural, and methodological perspectives to examine topics such as
romantic relationship formation and dissolution, family relationships, childbearing
and fertility, inter-generational exchanges, and family health. Prerequisites: None.

WSCP 81000 – Media and Popular Culture Analysis
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Erica Chito Childs
Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Sociology of Gender
GC: TUES, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Hester Eisenstein
Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Bourdieu, Foucault and Baudrillard on Culture, Power, and Sexuality in the Global Era
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Marnia Larzerg
Cross-listed with Sociology.

Bourdieu as well as Baudrillard expressed reticent admiration for, and skepticism about Foucault’s critical theoretical insights.  They both struggled with the same issues that are central to Foucault’s work: power, changing cultural practices as well as sexuality.    By the same token, they sought to distinguish themselves from Foucault’s approach.  Have they, as sociologists, transformed or extended Foucault’s analyses in grappling with the global contemporary challenges of culturalism, identity politics, social and racial strife, and sexual diversity?

Using methods borrowed from the history of ideas as well as the sociology of knowledge, this course examines Bourdieu’s and Baudrillard’s efforts to build a critical sociology with practical applications for social change as they struggled with Foucault’s conceptual innovations. Special attention will be given to the meanings and articulations of key concepts and issues, including structure and event/history; language, rules and discourse; power and subjectivation; body, sex/sexuality and gender; biopolitics and racial supremacy; (non-Western) revolutions and political spirituality; security/war and self-defense.  The course will further examine the degree to which the concrete socio-political activities in which each author engaged informed his theoretical commitment.

The class will be conducted as a seminar that encourages an in-depth exploration of the multifaceted relationship between culture, power, and sexuality in various settings.  It will emphasize reading primary sources as much as possible, and thinking critically and boldly.  Students are expected to immerse themselves in the works of these authors, and write a paper focusing on two critical issues with which one of them engaged. Selecting current socio-political events or issues as testing ground for the three theorists’ ideas is strongly encouraged. The paper will be elaborated in stages to be discussed in class until its completion.

Main Texts:

Foucault, excerpts from a selection of Lectures at the College de France, “Security, Territory and Population,” (1977-78); Birth of Biopolitics (1978-79); “On the Government of the Living” (1979- 1980);  History of Sexuality, II and II; Herculine Barbin.

Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice; Masculine Domination; Acts of Resistance; The Bachelors’ Ball; excerpts from On the State: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1989-1992.

Baudrillard, Seduction; Symbolic Exchange and Death; Simulacra and Simulation.

WSCP 81000 – Social Construction of Health and Illness
GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman
Cross-listed with Sociology.

URBAN EDUCATION

WSCP 81000 – What’s Foucault Got To Do With It?: Race, Gender and Neoliberalism As Educational Spaces
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Debbie Sonu
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

WSCP 81000 – Race/ism and Intersectionality in Urban Education: Theory, Praxis, and Transformation
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Sherry Deckman
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

CORE COURSES 

WGS 71001/WSCP 81001– Feminist Texts and Theories
GC: MON, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 credits, Prof. Jillian Báez

This course will explore the work of reading, writing, and publishing feminist texts and theories, emphasizing the historical context and means of production of feminist scholarship. Topics will include inquiries into various feminist presses, writing and media collectives, women’s studies journals, and digital archives (such as the Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, the Feminist Press, the Combahee River Collective, Triple Jeopardy, Hijas de Cuauhtémoc, off our backs, Feminist Theory, Meridians, WSQ, GLQ, TSQ; feministkilljoys, equalityarchives). The course will also demystify the work of submitting to and editing for an interdisciplinary journal of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

WGS 71701/WSCP 71700 – Global Feminisms
GC: MON, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Prof. Rupal Oza

With the rise of authoritarian regimes around the world, what insights do feminist movements and theorizing offer? What are the fault lines between different forms of feminisms? How do liberal feminist ideals and principles intertwine with an imperial agenda? What are the links and divergences between Islamaphobia and racism? 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? This course grapples with some of these questions in the wake of rapid world altering changes.

We 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, women from the global south, 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.

WGS 79600 – Independent Study
By permission.

WGS 79601 – Internship

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision

 

WEEKLY FALL SCHEDULE [Week of September 9th, 2019]

Click here to access editable Google Calendar

 

[Lavender-WGS/WSCP Core courses; Periwinkle-Africana Studies; Dark Blue- Anthropology; Purple- English; Pink- Environmental Psych; Bright Blue- Futures Initiative; Orange- French; Yellow- MALS; Grey- Middle Eastern Studies; Light Green- Philosophy; Dark Green- Political Science; Red- Sociology]

 

CROSS-LISTED ELECTIVE COURSES

 

AFRICANA STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – Black America
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Juan Battle
Cross-listed with Africana Studies Certificate Program.

This course will serve as a broad, historical survey of the Black experience (mainly) within the United States. Because students will be exposed to (and contribute from) a wide variety of perspectives on the subject, this course is appropriate for students in the traditional social sciences (e.g. sociology, anthropology, psychology, urban education, and history) as well as more contemporary ones (e.g. women’s studies, race studies, American studies, cultural studies, lesbian and gay studies).

ANTHROPOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Critical Anthropologies of the US
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ida Susser
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

WSCP 81000 – Coloniality of Disaster
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Yarimar Bonilla
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

WSCP 81000 – Race, Space, and Autonomy
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Christopher Loperena
Cross-listed with Anthropology.

This seminar will examine the theoretical literature on race and space, and their co-articulation under conditions of racial capitalism. While informed by anthropological engagements with these concepts, we will also draw from the work of critical geography and philosophy. Finally, we will analyze contemporary struggles for autonomy, and discuss the ways in which expressions of freedom serve to both reinforce and reshape larger structural conditions of inequality. Course readings will include ethnographic works by Audre Simpson, Jafari Allen and Joao Costa Vargas.

ENGLISH

WSCP 81000 – Il/liberal Aesthetics
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Kandice Chuh
Cross-listed with English.

This course occasions the study of the relationship between politics and aesthetics.  How and with what effects is that relationship organized by and in service of the liberal-colonial-racial capitalist order that is modernity?  How and with what effects is that relationship elaborated in difference from that order?  We’ll spend some time historicizing aesthetics but will emphasize throughout the aesthetic expressions and theorizations of politics and aesthetics emerging out of the intellectual and artistic-literary genealogies that are disidentified with the aesthetics of liberalism.  We’ll attend to the role of aesthetic education, as well as those of pleasure and discomfort, as we collectively undertake consideration of the meaningfulness of thinking aesthetics and politics together.  Women of color feminism, queer of color critique, Black studies, ethnic studies, Native American studies, settler colonial and postcolonial critique, and performance studies, constellate to form the center of gravity of this course.  Students should expect a substantial reading load in addition to biweekly short writing assignments.  Students taking the class for 2 credits will fulfill the requirements of the course with those short assignments.  Students taking the class for 4 credits will submit a longer essay or equivalent project at semester’s end.  Everyone is expected to be actively engaged and present throughout the course.

WSCP 81000 – Migrations and the Literary: Decolonizing Borders in Theory and Practice
GC: WED, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Peter Hitchcock
Cross-listed with English.

In a lecture at the University of Cape Town in the early Nineties, Edward Said suggested “Our model for academic freedom should [therefore] be the migrant or traveler: for if, in the real world outside the academy, we must needs be ourselves and only ourselves, inside the academy we should be able to discover and travel among other selves, other identities, other varieties of the human adventure.” Said’s positioning here is complex and not unproblematic but refers simultaneously to his life and politics, to his sense of the world (for which he often used the terms “worldliness” or “circumstantiality”), and to his concern for an academy that had recently been berated by Allan Bloom. Said’s understanding of the migrant, or “traveler,” is certainly idiosyncratic, yet it opens up a pertinent and prescient argument not just about the place of the migrant in academe, but about the shifting borders of migrancy in the contemporary period. Rather than being an introduction to migration and migration studies (a huge area of research and contention, not least because 1 in 7 people on the planet are currently defined as migrants), this course will consider what Thomas Nail terms “the figure of the migrant,” both as a narrative mode and as an eminently postcolonial problematic. Instead of reading the migrant as primarily imperialism and colonialism’s signal effect, we will study migrant literature and theory as agential in their own right, as a set of racial, sexual, and gendered provocations about how we think through literary knowledge as decolonization. On the one hand, the salience of Gloria Anzaldua’s elaboration of borderlands continues to pick away at any state identity that pivots on exclusion in the name of protection; on the other hand, the intensification of migratory movement, as refugee, as asylum seeker, as exile, as worker, extends her critique in new ways, and both literature and theory grapple with such dynamism. Using specific examples of writing, we will examine migration as an entangled logic of decolonization, one that offers critical terms within border crossing, interdisciplinarity, and aesthetic engagement.

The course will begin with some basic questions. What is migrant literature? Is it a theme, the writer’s biography, a state of mind, a form of cultural capital? Are all borders decolonized by crossing them? What about internal migration in the othering of identity? Doesn’t migrant literature homogenize as much as differentiate? What if the writer migrates from the norms of migrancy? And what of disciplinary border crossing in readings of the migrant? As we delve deeper into representative literature and theory throughout the term, should we think of genres of literary migration, rather than forms? What makes migrant literature count? Does migrant literature permit the undocumented to document? What does it say about the politics and poetics of translation, and of world literature in the current conjuncture? As you can tell, the course offers several research avenues, but in general the idea is to take migration literature and theory as an opening to postcolonial critique, and to an interdisciplinary understanding of the literary in the world system as such. Readings in literature and theory may include Fanon, Patel, Lowe, Said, Salih, Unnikrishnan, Deleuze, Federici, Sassen, Anzaldua, Benjamin, Luibheid, Bhabha, Mukherjee, Spivak, Farah, Nguyen, and Adichie.

WSCP 81000 – Aestheticism, Decadence, Modernism, 1880-1930
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Richard Kaye
Cross-listed with English.

This class explores the relation between the aestheticist and decadent movements as well as their determination of modernist aesthetics. We will begin with late-nineteenth-century British, American, and French works by Hardy, Wilde, James, and Huysmans. The fin de siècle was a time of pervasive fears and fantasies dominated by such figures as the New Woman, the urban detective, the homosexual bachelor, the Anarchist, the Oriental, the overreaching colonialist, the self-preening aesthete, the vampire, and the femme fatale, the latter reaching an apotheosis in Wilde’s Salome. In the diverse writings of Pater, Olive Schreiner, Vernon Lee, and Wilde, aestheticism emerged as a theoretically coherent and varied movement absorbed in exquisite surfaces, tantalizing ambiguities, and useless artifice. For decadent writers and artists, scientific theories of “degeneration” could be recalibrated as erotically charged, non-teleological experiments, while Freud drew on “decadent” scenarios for his proto-modernist narratives dealing with hysteria and sexual disorder, preeminently in Dora: Fragment of a Case of Hysteria, Women writers, meanwhile, struggled to find a place within the male-defined coteries of aestheticism and decadence, a theme dramatized in Henry James’ tale “The Author of Beltraffio,,” narrated by a decadent acolyte, in which the aestheticist project must be sequestered from female readers, who can only misconstrue its aims as immoral. Yet there were also alliances between male decadents and feminist writers (Wilde promoted Schreiner’s novel The Story of an African Farm because of its bold challenge to realist conventions and depiction of colonialist malaise.)  In France, the woman writer Rachilde publishes Monsieur Venus (1884), a symbolist/decadent novella concerning a dominatrix noblewoman, Raoule, who gradually transforms her working-class lover Jacques into her mistress by emptying him of all his “masculine” traits.

In the class’s section part we will explore how the fin outlasted the siècle, maintaining an intense afterlife in the Anglo-American modernist writing of Yeats, James, Eliot, Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, and Djuna Barnes.  The morbidity, subjectivism, sexual experimentalism, and excesses of literary technique characteristic of 1890s sensibility foment modernist revisions that seek to repress their origins in decadent poetics. Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, with its hero who cannot “develop,” inspires modernist counter-bildungsromanae. We consider Joyce’s Stephen Hero, an early version of Portrait of the Artist as Young Man, arguably a satire of aestheticism as well as a novel with an explicitly Paterian protagonist. The keenly observing, detached bachelor familiar from James also narrates Rilke’s lyrical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (arguably the first modernist novel) and that helps to form the paralyzed solitary consciousness of Eliot’s “Prufrock.” Arguably the narrator of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness adopts decadent techniques for his coiled narrative of colonial tragedy.  We will consider, too, Eliot’s absorption in the figure of the Jew as an emblem of a malevolent decadent cosmopolitanism versus Djuna Barnes’ depiction of the decadent Jew in her novel Nightwood as a more positively transformative cultural agent. Our class concludes with James’ The Golden Bowl, a novel of twinned adulteries that is one of James’ most topical, aesthetically difficult, and decadent works of fiction. Among the works we will read: Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Huysmans, Against Nature; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome; Schreiner, Story of an African Farm; Freud, Dora: Analysis of a Fragment of a Case of Hysteria; Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Joyce, Stephen Hero, Yeats, Selected Poems; Lawrence, Selected Short Fiction; Eliot, Selected Poetry; James, The Golden Bowl; Barnes, Nightwood; Showalter, Elaine, ed., Daughters of Decadence.  We will read relevant critical and theoretical texts, including Walter Pater, “Conclusion” to The Renaissance; Arthur Symons, “The Decadent Movement in Literature”; Mario Praz, from The Romantic Agony; George Bataille, from Literature and Evil; Richard Ellmann, “The Uses of Decadence”; Richard Gilman, from Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet; Linda Dowling, “The Decadent and The New Woman”; Michael Riffaterre, “Decadent Paradoxes,” Leo Bersani, from The Culture of Redemption; Regenia Gagnier, “Individualism, Decadence, and Globalization,” Vincent Sherrry, from Decadence and the Reinvention of Modernism”; Matthew Potolsky, from The Decadent Republic of Letters.  A mid-term paper as well as a final paper that may be drawn from the mid-term essay. This class can be adapted to parts of the New Portfolio Examination.

WSCP 81000 – Queer Literacy and Its Discontents (or Discovering Oppressive Power Brokers of Education)
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Mark McBeth
Cross-listed with English.

In this course, Queer Literacy,  we will focus upon how literacy sponsorships played a role in the dynamic power play between heternormative/homophobic public discourses and queer subject formation,. In “Sponsors of Literacy,” Deborah Brandt lists a group of “figures who turned up most typically in people’s memories of literacy learning: older relatives, teachers, priests, supervisors, military officers, editors, influential authors. [These sponsors of literacy,] as we ordinarily think of them, are powerful figures who bankroll events or smooth the way for initiates” (167, emphasis added). For Gay, Lesbian and Trans individuals who lived through the twentieth century, these prevalent figures of sponsorship– who would presumably “smooth the way for initiates”–in fact, constrained the literacy of queer learners. Ellen Louise Hart has claimed that “the acts of reading and writing are acts of creation, not peripheral but essential to all education and all learning” and, moreover she adds, for LGBTQ students, who navigate through patriarchy, heterosexism, and homophobia, literacy often takes on special roles for their survival (“Literacy and the Lesbian/Gay Learner” 31). The adverse confluence of these societal forces–an intradependent set of discourses that reified each other–kept queer initiates in identificatory check under an unspoken platform of heteronormative literacy sponsorship so that for most of the twentieth century the Queer community could not gain an affirmative foothold of self-worth through the literate practices that normally allow for such growth and development.

While this course will focus its analytic attentions on heternormative discourses and the counter-normative measures twentieth-century queers took to upend them, students could (in fact, should also) investigate the primary sources of public media, archival artifacts, and other “traceable” materials to discover how over-deterministic discourses shaped the literacy potentials/capabilities/futures of other marginalized communities.  Participants in this course will visit various archives and special collections around the city.

Potential Reading List
Brandt, Deborah.  “Sponsors of Literacy.”  College Composition and Communication 49.2 (May 1998): 165 -185.
Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex.”  New York, NY: Routledge, 1993.
Foucault, Michel.  The History of Sexuality, Volume 1:  An Introduction.  New York, NY: Vintage Books, Random House, 1978/1990. Print.
Gee, James Paul.  Literacy and Education.  New York, NY: Routledge, 2015.
Hart, Ellen Louise.  “Literacy and the Lesbian/Gay Learner” The Lesbian in Front of the Classroom: Writings by Lesbian Teachers. (Eds. Sarah-Hope Parmeter and Irene Reti)  Santa Cruz, CA: HerBooks, 1988.  Print.
Minton, Henry L.  Departing from Deviance: A History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America.  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2002.
Mortenen, Peter.  “The Work of Illiteracy in the Rhetorical Curriculum.”  Journal of Curriculum Studies 44.6 (2012): 761-786.
Pratt, Mary Louise.  “Arts of the Contact Zone” Profession.  (1991): 33040.
Pritchard, Eric Parnell.  Fashioning LIves: The Politics of Black Queer Literacy.  Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2017.
Terry, Jennifer.  An American Obsession: Science, Medecine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society.  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
_____.  “Anxious Slippages between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’: A Brief History of the Scientific Sear for Homosexual Bodies.  Deviant Bodies (Ed. Urla, Jacqueline and Terry, Jennifer). Bloomington, IL: Indiana University Press, 1995. 129-169.
Warner, Michael.  Publics and Counterpublics.  Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books, 2002.
Wilder, Craig Steven. Ebony & Ivy.  New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press, 2013.

WSCP 81000 – Actors, Bodies, and Performance in Early Modern England
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Tanya Pollard
Cross-listed with English.

This course will explore ways that actors, both individually and collectively, shaped the construction of plays in early modern England. How did the members and power dynamics of repertory companies inspire playwrights’ development of characters and plots? What can we learn from accounts of actors in plays and other documents, and how did recognizable bodies interact with prosthetics such as wigs, cosmetics, blackface, and physical deformities? How might factors such as height, build, beards, voices, previous acting parts, and reputations have affected roles, and how did authors and audiences play with conventional practices of crossing lines of gender, race, class, and age? Readings will plays that include Marlowe’s Dido and Tamburlaine; Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Othello, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Tempest; and Jonson’s Alchemist; as well as theatrical documents and scholarship by theater historians, literary critics, and performance theorists.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Just Places
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. David Chapin
Cross-listed with Environmental Psychology.

WSCP 81000 – Sustainability and Democratic Processes
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Susan Saegert
Cross-listed with Environmental Psychology.

 

INTERDISCIPLINARY / THE FUTURES INITIATIVE

WSCP 81000 – Interdisciplinary Topics in Law: Mothers in Law
GC: MON, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Profs. Sara McDougall and Julie Suk
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

This course will introduce students to central issues in the history and sociology of law, through the study of motherhood.  The lens of motherhood will open up broader themes in the study of law and society, including categories such as gender, constitutionalism, and criminal justice. Studying the socio-legal history of motherhood will enable students to learn the skills of legal reasoning, utilize methods of legal-historical research, and pursue experiential learning through field studies, panel discussions open to the public, and the authoring of publicly available teaching materials on select topics.

First, we will explore how ideas of women as mothers have been enshrined in law, from the legal definition of the mother in civil law, to the legal treatment of pregnancy.

Second, this course will study women as lawmakers, as “founding mothers” of twentieth-century constitutions, and laws more generally.  We will explore biographies of women lawyers and lawmakers.

Third, we will consider mothers as law-breakers, by engaging the history of mothers in prison, and the current legal issues arising from incarceration of mothers.  This component of the course may include field trips to engage the criminal justice system.

WSCP 81000 – Transformations of Modernity, 1941-Present
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Profs. Karen Miller and Andrea Morrell
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

This class will put colonial relations of power at the center of our study, exploring how claims about modernity have been used to both amplify and challenge inequalities on both intimate and global scales. It will interrogate the widely held assumption that “modernity” is linked to liberty, freedom, and state-protected equality. Instead, it will examine the multiple, contested, and conflicting meanings that people have used to understand the concept of modernity from the early 20th century into the present. How, we will ask, have various people used the moniker “modern” and to what end? How have modernity’s opposites – primitivity / backwardness / tradition – also been used to characterize spaces, people, institutions, states, “cultures,” geographies, technologies, etc.? In other words, we will explore the incredibly mixed set of foundations and legacies that shape the notion of modernity, as well as a range of responses from a range of different positions to its contradictory sensibilities. This class is interdisciplinary and will examine these questions through a range of texts, disciplines, and methodologies.

WSCP 81000 – Voices of the City: Accessibility, Reciprocity, and Self-Representation in Place-Based Community Research
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Profs. Tarry Hum and Prithi Kanakamedala
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.

Scholars active in place-based or participatory action research are committed to documenting community narratives and neighborhoods. It is central to our work, rooted in social justice, that these communities are not just represented, but that they have equitable stake in the project. Yet practitioners across the city struggle with core issues of accessibility, reciprocity, self-representation, and equity within the communities they work with. Who do place-based researchers represent, and does our work empower communities to tell their own stories? What histories do we contest and perpetuate with this work? And, who gets to participate? This inter-disciplinary course combines best or effective practices in Public History, Oral History, and Urban Planning to consider a number of projects in New York City that seek to document communities and narratives about the city that are not traditionally represented.

 

FRENCH

WSCP 81000 – Writing the Self: From Augustine to AIDS and Beyond
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 2/3/4 credits, Prof. Domna Stanton
Cross-listed with French.

How is the self written, visualized, constructed? What different forms and shapes do such texts take over time, in different genres? What purposes do they serve, for the several selves inscribed in a text and for others (including the self) who will read it.This course will begin by examining several theoretical texts on writing the self (Lejeune, Smith, Derrida, Butler, Stanton), then trace self-writing from the Middle Ages (Augustine, Kempe) through the early-modern periods, focusing on both the global (travel narratives on conquest –La Casas, Equiano), and on various forms (letter and diary, for instance) of gendered interiority (Gentileschi, Sévigné, Westover). Signal texts on post-Enlightenment confession and memoir (Rousseau, Sand) will be followed in the second half of the seminar by a more thematic approach to issues of modernity, including slavery and liberation always deferred (Jacobs, Douglass, Coates); modernism and the limits of experimentation (Woolf, Nin, Cahun); autofiction (Colette, Stein); dislocated, traumatized selves in wars and holocausts (de Beauvoir, Sartre, Anne Frank, Levi, Agamben, Henson [comfort women]); testimonio, the indigenous (Hurston, Menchu) and human rights narratives (Eggers); and French post-structuralism and the psychoanalytic (Barthes, Cardinal, Louise Bourgeois, Lacan). Our last two seminars will lead to a discussion of contemporary inscriptions of sexual and medical bodies, featuring birthing, AIDS, cancer and transgender selves (Arenas, Guibert, Bornstein, Leonard), and end with digital/virtual self-writing and the selfie (Abramovic, Smith, Giroux, Nemer and Freeman). Throughout, we will consider what the enduring obsession with confessing/revealing/ concealing; constructing and deconstructing selves might mean; and finally, whether, at bottom, all writing is self-writing

Work for the course: Whether the course is taken for 2, 3 or 4 credits, all students will be responsible for doing the readings closely and for engaging consistently in class discussion.

a, Students who take the course for 2 credits will present in class a reading of one primary text, which will also be submitted in writing (c 5-7 pp); these students will also take the final exam.

b, Students who take the course for 3 credits, will do all of the above and in addition, they will do a 10-13 page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor. They will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography and an outline, and the introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).

c, Students who take the course for 4 credits will do all of the above, but will do a 20-25-page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor; they will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography and an outline, and an introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).

Please contact Domna Stanton with any questions (dstanton112@yahoo.com).

The syllabus and the course materials to be downloaded will be posted on Blackboard by August 15, 2019.

The class will be conducted in English; readings are in English and French; all French readings will be listed in the syllabus along with their translations.

M.A.L.S

WSCP 81000 – Contemporary Feminist Theories
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Jean Halley
Cross-listed with MALS.

This course explores Contemporary Feminist Theories through feminist work about “bodies with gender,” and about what it means to “have” gender and to “be female” with a focus on the United States. Making use of the frame offered by Patricia Ticineto Clough’s book, Feminist Thought, we consider contemporary feminist theories on differences and similarities in the experiences of women and other gendered bodies across lines of class, race and sexuality. We examine how gender defines human experiences and how feminists resist these definitions. Sigmund Freud once called work and love the central arenas of human life. We examine contemporary feminist theories on what it means to have gender in love and to be gendered at work, along with an examination of the representation of women and gender in the larger culture, and of violence in the lives of gendered bodies particularly those gendered female. We make use of a variety of texts in exploring feminist thinking on the “nature” of gender, love and sexuality, so-called women’s work, the expectations “experts” have of diversely gendered bodies, and the representation of gender in the mass media.

WSCP 81000 – Women and Film
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-8:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Elizabeth Alsop
Cross-listed with MALS.

This course will explore female filmmakers’ contributions to global cinema from the studio era to the present, with a particular focus on the ways women have navigated and responded to dominant modes of film production, distribution, and representation. Our primary goals will be to examine the history of women’s labor and creativity in the cinema, while also reckoning with the devalorization of that labor, both in film studies curricula—which has often deprecated the work of women in popular Hollywood genres—and in film history, which continues to minimize the role of female directors in epochal movements. We’ll analyze our weekly screenings in terms of aesthetics and ideology, and consider the ways female filmmakers have engaged with the discourses of feminism, as well as questions of race, class, and sexual identity. We’ll conclude by considering how recent developments, including the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, have affected women’s roles within the 21st-century media landscape.

Screenings may include work by Ida Lupino, Agnès Varda, Věra Chytilová, Chantal Akerman, Barbara Loden, Claudia Weil, Elaine May, Lina Wertmüller, Lizzie Borden, Jane Campion, Julie Dash, Cheryl Dunye, Andrea Arnold, Claire Denis, and Lucrecia Martel. Students will be asked to read essays by scholars such as Laura Mulvey, bell hooks, Claire Johnston, Judith Mayne, Teresa de Lauretis, Tania Modleski, Lúcia Nagib, and Patricia White, among others.

Among the questions we might ask: What have been the prevailing structural constraints faced by female directors in various national contexts? How have industry expectations and cultural biases—regarding gender, genre, and audience—shaped the careers of female filmmakers, and in turn, existing canons? How might film history better account for the work of female editors, producers, and writers, and what is the feminist potential of less auteurist accounts? What should viewers do with the “bad” objects of popular culture? Finally, what “progress,” if any, has been made when it comes to women’s representation behind the camera? How and to what extent might the rise of streaming television platforms be changing the game?

Students will be asked to produce weekly 1-page response papers and a final, 15-20 page paper or creative project. Members of the class would be responsible for facilitating one class session, which includes generating questions and curating additional resources about our screening using a class blog on the CUNY Academic Commons.

 

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

WSCP 81000 – Gender, Sexuality, and Body Politics in the Middle East
GC: THURS, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Elhum Haghighat
Cross-listed with MAMES.

This course offers an overview of the key issues in the study of gender in the contemporary Middle East region. It goes deeper into the understanding of how conceptions of gender, sexuality and body politics are negotiated, positioned, and reproduced in a variety of social and political contexts in the Middle East region and to some degree in the Diasporas. Gendered understanding of the prevailing discourses, social practices, norms and trends in the Middle East societies and politics will be discussed.

 

PHILOSOPHY

WSCP 81000 – Marx and Marxism
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 credits, Prof. Charles Mills
Cross-listed with Philosophy.

Widely judged to be dead in the heyday of neo-liberalism and the seeming global post-Cold War triumph of market ideology, left theory has made an impressive comeback in recent years. Witness the concern about the growing chasm between rich and poor in Western nations, and the spectacle of a self-proclaimed socialist drawing huge crowds on the U.S. campaign trail. Karl Marx’s ideas about macro historical patterns, globalization, economic tendencies within capitalist society, commodification and alienation, the power of the privileged classes, the role of dominant ideologies, and the possibility of a radically new social order are thus arguably as relevant as ever. In this course, we will focus on trying to get clear on some of the key concepts within Marx’s thought, how they have been developed by others, and the complex relationship (sometimes involving both critique and appropriation) between Marxism and other bodies of radical “oppositional” political theory (feminism, critical race theory, postcolonial theory).

POLITICAL SCIENCE

WSCP 81000 – American Political Thought
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien
Cross-listed with Political Science.

American political thought asks the big theoretical questions about freedom and equality within a representative democracy, even as the United States returns to being a society premised upon gross inequalities.  Yet, nearly a century after women gained the right to vote women have no voice in the historical canon of American political thought.  This class will pay particular attention to the continuing absence of female voices — in the canon of American political thought and in the American political system.

As with race, this absence will be studied as a silence that speaks volumes about the real nature of American citizenship. Sexism and misogyny, like white supremacy and racism, were built into the American political tradition. These supremacies were designed and propagated by white male propertied citizens, reflecting the hierarchical nature of the American political system that glaringly contradicts the Declaration of Independence phrase “all [people] are created equal.”

SOCIOLOGY

WSCP 81000 – Gender and Globalization
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Hester Eisenstein
Cross-listed with Sociology.

In this course we will examine the relationship between “globalization,” and the changes in gender relations that have taken place since the 1960s.Since the end of the “long boom” (starting after World War II and lasting through the mid-1970s), academic and mainstream feminism have enjoyed enormous success, during a period of economic, social, and political restructuring that has created an intensified polarization between rich and poor, and an ever-growing mass of desperately impoverished people around the globe. This course will examine this paradox.
We will define globalization, starting from the premise that this is a stage in the development of the international capitalist system, under the economic and military domination of the world’s only remaining superpower. Poor countries have been forced to open their borders to the free flow of capital from the rich countries.”Globalization” involves the intensive use of female labor, from maquiladoras to electronics to textiles. It has also produced an acceleration of “informal” work for women.
While educated women can now walk through many doors previously closed to them, in the worlds of business, sports, academe and politics, the majority of women in the world are increasingly impoverished, overworked and exploited, and subjected to a wide variety of forms of sexual, military, and economic violence. The majority of the world’s migrants and refugees are now women and children.
Where does the ideology of globalization come from? How has globalization affected the conditions of women and children in the developed and the developing world? How has contemporary feminism been shaped by the workforce participation of women? What is the role of class and race in the women’s movement, domestically and internationally? Why are issues of gender, sexuality, and race so central to the culture wars being waged at home and abroad by religious fundamentalist leaders? How does the association of “liberated women” with modernity affect the process of globalization? In the revived social movement that has placed the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international financial institutions at the center of an intensified campaign for social justice, what is the place for organized women’s activism?
Readings in the course are selected from theoretical writings as well as case studies, and students will be encouraged to develop their own research and activist agendas.

WSCP 81000 – Social Welfare Policy
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Janet Gornick
Cross-listed with Sociology.

This course will examine social welfare policy in the United States, in historical and cross‐national perspective.  We will begin with an overview of the development of social welfare policy in the U.S. We will focus on crucial historical periods – including the Civil War years, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Great Society, and the “welfare reform” of the 1990s and early 2000s.  Second, we will assess “the big picture” of the American welfare state, through the lens of its underlying institutional framework.  Third, we will analyze a set of contemporary challenges in the U.S. that call for active policy responses, such as inequality, health insurance, low‐wage work, and care.  Finally, we will survey selected social policy lessons from other high‐income countries, especially in Europe, where social provisions are typically more extensive than they are in the U.S.

WSCP 81000 – Criminology in Theory and Practice
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Profs. Lynn Chancer and Michael Jacobson
Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81600 – Research Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Prof. Dána-Ain Davis

WSCP 81601 – Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies:  Politics/Violence/Terrorism
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Siraj Ahmed
Cross-listed with English.

One of liberalism’s founding tenets is that the political sphere and physical violence are categorically distinct. From this tenet follows the understanding of non-state violence (in other words, ‘terrorism’) that pervades popular discourse today: it enters history either ab nihilo or from religion’s—particularly Islam’s—propensity for fanaticism.

In diametric opposition to this line of thought, postcolonial scholars—Talal Asad above all—have argued that terrorism was birthed by liberalism itself. From this perspective, contemporary non-state violence is scarcely distinguishable from the early modern civil and international conflict that originated the liberal order—the lawless violence at the roots of ‘liberty.’ Violence outside law was necessary not only to found this order but also, of course, to preserve it. Max Weber feared that if liberal states could no longer exploit other lands, they would import the illiberalism they practiced there back home. The economic and environmental crises of the last forty years—and the erosion of democracy and civil liberties that have accompanied these crises—might demonstrate how well-founded Weber’s fears were.

Liberalism turns on an internal contradiction: politics and violence are supposed, on one hand, to be mutually exclusive; yet states must not only monopolize violence but also, on the other hand, continuously exercise it. Liberalism conceals this contradiction by distinguishing between ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ violence. The former term refers to any violence, however extreme, that preserves liberal societies, the latter to practically any act, movement, or event that threatens them. But if violence is justified only when it defends liberal societies, the war on terror serves an essential function: like the militarization of police forces, it implies that those societies remain in constant danger and hence have little choice but to use exceptional violence both within their borders and beyond.

This course will test such hypotheses by studying the continuity between colonial war; ‘low-intensity conflict’ after decolonization; and the war on terror over the last two decades. It hopes, as well, to provide a genealogy of terrorism much older than our own political era—as old, indeed, as the belief, common to the Abrahamic religions, that homicidal and even suicidal violence becomes sacred when it founds a new social dispensation, preserves collective identity, or reproduces one’s own way of life. Perhaps this genealogy will shed light on a pervasive, but nonetheless paradoxical, characteristic of academic as well as popular debate in the West: whereas the endangerment of certain lives here precipitates widespread horror, the mass killing of innocents elsewhere generates almost none.

Theoretical texts may include Asad, On Suicide Bombing; Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of TerrorFaisal DevjiLandscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity; Hobbes, Leviathian; Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit; Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle; Walter Benjamin, ‘Critique of Violence’; Georges Bataille, The Tears of Eros; Hannah Arendt, On Violence; Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth; Malcolm X, ‘The Ballot or the Bullet’; René Girard, Violence and the Sacred; Pierre Clastres, The Archeology of Violence; and Jean Baudrillard, The Spirit of Terrorism.

Fictional texts may include Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent; W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Yasmina Khadra, The Swallows of Kabul; Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist; and Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire.

WSCP 81601 – Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies: The Hidden Curriculum of Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Schools
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Sherry Deckman
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

This course explores the role of gender, sexuality, and race, and the intersection of these facets of identity, in contributing to young people’s schooling experiences, opportunities, and outcomes, and to the social context of schools more broadly.  In many ways, the course is about the “hidden curriculum” of racialized heteronormativity, or the subtle practices in schools that privilege particular heterosexual, gendered, and raced identities and ways of being.  In the course, we will engage with a variety of texts including theoretical works, qualitative and quantitative, empirical research, and applied, practical texts in analyzing how social differences are fundamentally entangled, and enmeshed with the making of identities. We will also engage the concept of the hidden curriculum and the lens of critical race theory as analytic tools for studying, understanding, and responding to how gender, sexuality, and race intersect with other social constructs with regard to schooling, and how these intersections contribute to shaping students’ identities. In particular, we will examine how these identities shape—and are shaped by—marginalized students’ experiences with inequity in schools. Lastly, we will apply our theoretical understandings to inquiry projects that will provide opportunities to ground the theoretical understandings that will be cultivated.

WSCP 81000 – The Philosophy of W.E.B. DuBois
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 credits, Prof. Charles Mills
Cross-listed with Philosophy.
Few American intellectuals of any race have surpassed the achievements of W.E.B Du Bois, who over a long (1868-1963) and remarkably productive activist and scholarly life made invaluable contributions across a wide variety of fields. Long recognized as black America’s towering thinker, he has only recently begun to get his due from the mainstream “white” academy, in disciplines ranging from sociology and history to literature and international relations theory (IR). In this course, we will look specifically at his pioneering role in helping to establish Africana Philosophy as a distinctive oppositional philosophical worldview in Western modernity.

WSCP 81000 – Sex and Single Mothers
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Sara McDougall
Cross-listed with French.
It is hard to imagine anything other than terrible consequences for a woman pregnant from illicit sex living in medieval France. That said, both literary sources and documents of legal practice suggest many possible outcomes, including a less than tragic fate for the child and also for the mother. Christian doctrine condemned illicit sex, and operated with a double standard that often excused men while punishing women, but there was also an insistence on mercy and charity, and on the value of the life of an infant. Honor mattered enough to justify murder for some, but in other cases the preservation of honor by discretion and secrecy might also have led to different responces.

This course will examine ideas about and portrayals of women contending with out-of-wedlock pregnancy in a wide range of different kinds of French sources, from mystery plays and miracle stories to romance, from law codes and royal pardons to sermons and chronicles, fabliaux and farce, and prescriptive texts including hospital foundations, conduct literature, and gynecological treatises.

This course will be taught in English, with texts available in French and in translation.

WSCP 81000 – Critical Race Scholarship: Theories and Pedagogies
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Profs. Michelle Billies and Soniya Munshi
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.
In this interdisciplinary course, graduate students will engage with critical race scholarship to build from and integrate this scholarship into their own research and pedagogy. Readings will span an expansive array of critical race theories and methods. Scholarly traditions will include transnational and diasporic feminisms; Black geographies and Caribbean philosophies; indigenous studies and critical ethnic studies; critical whiteness studies; queer studies; disability studies; activist scholarship; and, literature addressing pedagogical approaches in these areas. Students will use course readings to craft a writing project useful in their research or teaching. They may deepen an understanding of a particular theorist or body of work; rewrite the philosophical or theoretical underpinning of their research; create a course, syllabi and/or set of teaching plans; collaborate with another student to generate theory or a team-taught course; examine internalized dominance or internalized racism and its relationship to their scholarly work or teaching; or another project they propose. Students will be invited to contribute a reading to the syllabus.
Contemporary challenges in the academy and society at large confirm the crucial need for intellectual engagement with critical theories of race and intersectionality that address systemic, historic racism. This graduate course is a means of proliferating knowledge and critiques of race in and out of the academy while developing strategies for furthering this work in the undergraduate classroom.  The pedagogical approach will foster open discussion of personal relationships to the readings as well as experiences of race and ethnicity.

WSCP 81000 – Mediating Race: Technology, Performance, Politics, and Aesthetics in Popular Culture
GC: WED, 2:00-4:00PM, 3 credits, Profs. Cathy Davidson and Racquel Gates
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.
What does it mean to be “cool,” to be “fierce,” or to “slay”? This course focuses on technologies, techniques, performance, and style (including fashion) as components contributing to our ideas, representations, conventions, and stereotypes of race. More specifically, this course asks how cinematic and media aesthetics have contributed to how we identify and “read” blackness in popular media. Rather than treat film, television, and new media as straightforward reflections of social realities, this course will analyze how the media established, and continues to shape, our understandings of what blackness “looks” like. This course asks how popular culture has created the aesthetic vocabulary for how media consumers “read” blackness in all of its various incarnations.
This is an ideal course for anyone in the humanities and social sciences, for those interested in traditional and new media, and for anyone looking for sophisticated, critical, and original approaches to issues of race, racism, and representation in American popular culture.  In addition, the course will be using a number of active learning pedagogical techniques that will both make this a lively “workshop” of ideas to which every student will contribute and will offer anyone who is teaching, at any level, a new set of methods, activities, and ideas about active learning and the teaching of controversial, difficult, and complicated subject matter.

WSCP 81000 – Afrofuturism: Race and Science Fiction
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Profs. Jonathan Gray and Joy Sanchez-Taylor
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.
In 1994 Mark Dery defined Afrofuturism as “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the contexts of twentieth-century technoculture,” locating its origins in the early work of Samuel Delany (and O. Butler? and Sun Ra?). Our seminar takes Dery’s definition as a point of departure to examine the fiction, films, graphic narratives and music videos produced in the sub-genre of Afrofuturism. Because Afrofuturist expression runs the gamut from literary (science) fiction to popular music, it is incumbent for graduate students interested in African American and Africana literature and culture, American Studies, popular culture studies, and science fiction and fantasy to engage in the necessarily interdisciplinary inquiry that Afrofuturism demands. Indeed, the question of Afro-futurity informs recent creative work (Junot Diaz’s “Monstro,” HBO’s Westworld) and technical innovation (Black Twitter) that would seem to fall outside of an Afrofuturist paradigm. Thus, our exploration of this topic will problematize our understandings of speculative fiction (also known as science fiction or sci-fi), question how the imbrication of technology into our lives transforms human subjectivity, and survey literary theory to arrive at an understanding of how Afrofuturism has developed since the mid-20th century and how it promises to propagate itself into the future.
This course is grounded in student participation. Students in the course will thoroughly investigate primary and secondary sources on Afrofuturism and will play an active role in the course by taking turns as facilitators of class discussions and through the completion of a class project with a digital humanities component.

WSCP 81000 – The Gothic and Otherness: From Late 18th Century England to the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Lyn Di Iorio
Cross-listed with English.
Contemporary culture is characterized by, among other tendencies, a reawakened interest in “Gothic”—the aesthetic discourse of horror and terror that arose following the publication of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otrantoin 1764.  This seminar weaves together most of the primary critical strands that constitute the main approaches to the Gothic: early British Gothic, American Gothic, Female Gothic, Queer Gothic, the sublime, the uncanny, the abject and trauma theory.  The course also proposes that the contemporary Gothic aesthetic in our Americas—the terrain of the U.S. in a dialectic with its minority groups and the populations in the Caribbean and Latin America—uncovers important issues of race, ethnicity and border politics on which there has been scant commentary.

We will consider the following questions among others.  How do Gothic tropes function to elicit issues of race and identity politics in works by writers from the most populous—African American, Asian American and Latinx— U.S. minority groups?  What is the relationship, if any, between the trope of the Haitian “zombi,” as the soulless shell of the slave in the Caribbean, and the George Romero zombie figure, which highlights an embattled and post-apocalyptic humanity?  From U.S. writer Shirley Jackson to Argentinian Mariana Enríquez, from Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to its revision in Mary Reilly, why are we so drawn to the Gothic?  Do horror, mutilation, melancholia, and loss constitute a new aesthetic structuring of the contemporary human psyche, connecting the Freudian vision of the human mind to the dynamics of Gothic villainy and victimization?​

WSCP 81000 – What is (a) body? 
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Kandice Chuh
Cross-listed with English.
In this course, we will study a variety of ways in which “body” is made meaningful as a philosophical, political, social, cultural, and economic concept and entity.  How (by what mechanisms, through what procedures) does “body” signify humanness?  What are the limits of such signification?  How do such meanings index political economic and socio-cultural conditions?  Our readings will draw from fields and discourses that have taken up “body” as object and analytic, including performance studies, disability studies, transgender studies, Black and ethnic studies, and feminist and queer of color critique.

Students taking the course for 2 credits should expect to post short responses on a bi-weekly basis to our course blog.  Students taking the course for 4 credits should expect to produce a seminar project (essay or equivalent) at the end of the semester, in addition to the bi-weekly blog posts.

WSCP 81000 – Archival Encounters
GC: TUES, 4:15-6:15PM, 2/4 credits, Profs. Duncan Faherty and Lisa Rhody
Cross-listed with English.
In “Archival Encounters” we will take an interdisciplinary and participatory approach to archival research, scholarly editing, and the praxis of recovery. Part seminar, part individualized research tutorial, part laboratory, part skills workshop, this course will be an admixture of traditional scholarly practices and emergent ones, fundamentally both analog and digital, and varyingly held at and outside the Graduate Center. The course aims to provide students an introduction to the knowledge and tools necessary to create new access (for both scholarly and public audiences) to archival materials held within collections around the New York City area. The end goal of the course is for each student (or possibly several small groups of collaborating students) to produce an “edition” of a currently neglected archival artifact (which might be anything from an eighteenth century serialized short story, to a transcription of a Medieval fragment, to an unpublished letter by an early twentieth century poet to her editor). In order to produce these editions, students will be exposed to both practical methodologies and theoretical debates concerning archival work and the politics of recovery, as well as receive training in textual editing, book history, text encoding and annotation, markup strategies, and basic web design.

The course will have four main units, including an introduction to current scholarly debates about the politics of textual recovery and archival work (readings may include work by Lisa Lowe, Jennifer Morgan, Britt Russert, and David Kazanjian), field visits to area collections (crafted in response to the interests of the enrolled students), training in textual editing and book history (readings may include Greetham’s Textual Scholarship,McGann’s Radiant Textuality, Hayles and Pressman’s Comparative Textual Media), and training in digital research methods, platforms, annotation and encoding, and design. While anchored in issues of recovery and public engagement, the course will also enable students to actively pursue their own individual research agendas and gain valuable experiences in collaborating both with external partners (in terms of their archival projects) and with GC colleagues in the construction of the class platform (on the CUNY Academic Commons) for the display of the projects. More importantly they will receive this training not simply from the instructors themselves, but from the curators and archivists working at the various New York City repositories and special collections with which we aim to partner (including such possibilities as the New York Public Library, The Morgan Library, The New-York Historical Society, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Library for the Performing Arts, the Herstory Archives, and the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives).

The course will provide PhD students the opportunity to advance (or experiment with) their own research agendas by pursuing further study in archival research, book history, and scholarly editing. For students in the MA in Digital Humanities program, projects could be expanded to form a digital capstone project–a requirement for completion of the degree.

Course Requirements: Active and engaged participation, a brief oral presentation, weekly reflections, a project outline, a brief mid-semester progress report, and the creation of the final textual edition.  NOTE: At least four class sessions will take place at local archives within a 25-minute public transportation radius.

WSCP 81000 – Memoir/Illness/Graphic/Grief
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Nancy Miller
Cross-listed with English.
Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship,” Susan Sontag famously wrote in Illness as Metaphor. “Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later, each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”  Illness occupies a prominent place in contemporary life writing, and the seminar will explore the accounts of what happens when “the lights of health go down,” as Virginia Woolf writes in On Being Ill. We will read a wide range of first-person literary and visual representations of bodily and mental suffering, including AIDS, cancer, depression, and mourning. Among the writers and artists: Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Lucy Grealy, Audre Lorde, Oliver Sacks, Eve Sedgwick, Susan Sontag and Virginia Woolf; graphic narratives by Bobby Baker, David B., Julie Delporte, Miriam Engelberg, David Small, and Nicola Streeten.

The work of the course: weekly responses, one oral presentation, a final paper.

WSCP 81000 – Irrational Animals from the Middle Ages to the Present
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 2/4 credits, Prof.  Karl Steel
Cross-listed with English.
Medieval Latin tended to refer to nonhuman animals as “irrationalibus animalibus,” irrational animals. We will explore the limits of reason, from a posthuman and critical animal studies perspective, with attention to gender, disability, and racialization. Topics will include the problems of madness, consent, responsibility, and guilt, as well as, especially, love and desire, those supposedly authentic expressions of the self, irreducible to rational decisions. We might also explore ideas of altruism, friendship, and a bit of medieval economic theory. Apart from readings in contemporary theory, primary texts will include medieval literary works from Chaucer and Hoccleve, some saints’ lives (Christina the Astonishing), Pearl, the Book of Margery Kempe, and the Cloud of Unknowing. No prior knowledge of medieval languages or texts required for the course.

WSCP 81000 – When Literature and Composition Meet: Critical Pedagogy and the Contemporary Novel
GC: MON, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Jessica Yood
Cross-listed with English.
Satisfying scenes of teaching and learning are hard to come by. The campus novel as microcosm often domesticates the geopolitics of academia. The teaching memoir tends to lean on tropes—rarely do professor or student follow the familiar arc of the hero’s journey.
Classroom life is more murky and, sometimes, more magical than allowed by these genres.  This course explores depictions of classroom life in its complexity and inequities, longings and limitations. Using approaches from narratology, we will examine novels, memoirs, ethnographies and essays focused on the humanities classroom. Our goal will be to categorize and analyze examples of “novel pedagogy.” In the process we will examine the relationship between literary criticism and pedagogy and between cultural studies and  critical university studies. We will also write and workshop our own novel pedagogies.
The syllabus will include writing from Gloria Anzaldúa, Elizabeth Chin, Susan Choi, Jacques Derrida, Shirley Brice Heath, Rebekah Nathan, Ishmael Reed, Philip Roth, Leslie Marmon Silko, Zadie Smith, Michael Thomas, and John Williams. We will also read essays in The Atlantic, Radical Teacher, Present Tense, and Pedagogy, as well as academic blogs.

WSCP 81000 – Women, Work, and Public Policy
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Janet Gornick
Cross-listed with Political Science and Sociology
This course will provide an overview of key issues affecting women in the contemporary workplace in the United States and other high-income countries. We will begin with an overview of women’s position in the labor market. Here we will take a multidimensional approach to capturing gender inequality at work, covering gender gaps in employment rates, in working time, in occupation, and in earnings; one section of the course will focus on paid care workers. We will assess growing class inequalities among women, which have led to polarization in the labor market, especially between women with more and less education; we will consider divisions by race, ethnicity, nativity, and sexuality. We will analyze the ways in which public policies have addressed these concerns, and evaluate their impacts.
The course also examines the effects on women workers persistent inequalities in divisions of labor within households. Despite the enormous increase in women’s employment rates during the past half century, women continue to carry out the bulk of unpaid work in their homes. Altering these inequalities has proven even more challenging than transforming the structures that shape paid work. We will consider recent research on the effects of “work-family reconciliation policies”– that is, public policies aimed at supporting women (and men) as they balance the responsibilities of paid work and family care. The key question now under consideration is whether some of these policies – e.g., paid family leave, rights to part-time work, and flexible scheduling – create new forms of gender inequality.
Students will complete weekly reaction papers and a semester-long research project.

WSCP 81000 – Feminist Political Theory
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Alyson Cole
Cross-listed with Political Science.
Feminist political theory attempts to reimagine political life by scrutinizing our understandings of sex, sexuality, and gender. In doing so it provides new perspectives on the meanings and limitations of salient political concepts such as rights, equality, identity, and agency, as well as the scope and content of politics itself. At the same time, feminism continually confronts questions regarding its own boundaries, agendas, and even its subjects (as Simone de Beauvoir asked, “what is a woman”?). How does the category of gender illuminate or eclipse power dynamics involving other categories of difference, such as those of culture, race, and class?
This course introduces students to central questions, approaches, and quandaries in contemporary feminist political thought. We begin by surveying the notable uptick in feminist activism, such as #MeToo and other forms of “hashtag feminism.” We then turn to investigate how traditional political theory has viewed women, and how feminists have theorized the political. Next, we attempt to think more comprehensively about what “sex” and “gender” are, and how they might be relevant to politics and to theorizing. The course ends with a range of texts addressing the intersection of gender with other forms of subjection, exploitation, and discrimination.
Students will be expected to write short weekly reflections on the readings, make one or more class presentations, and write a final paper. Texts will include work by Sara Ahmed, Linda Martin Alcoff, Gloria Anzaldúa, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Cathy Cohen, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Simone deBeauvoir, Mary Dietz, J. Jack Halberstam, Donna Haraway, Mary Hawkesworth, Bonnie Honig, Luce Irigaray, Catherine MacKinnon, Saba Mahmood, Kate Manne, Chandra Mohanty, Kelly Oliver, Carole Pateman, Adrienne Rich, Gayle Rubin, Gayatri Spivak, Iris Young, Linda Zerilli, among others.

WSCP 81000 – American Political Development
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien
Cross-listed with Political Science.
American Political Development is politics and history broadly cast.  Put differently, it pursues meta-themes or narratives over time from a presentist perspective, like cultural studies (i.e. American Studies) does. The theme for this semester is political violence or vigilantism against vulnerable peoples.  It examines American governors during the colonial era and American presidents who were vigilantes.  To do so, it introduces and explains key concepts for studying sexism, misogyny, and white supremacy from a long historical and cultural-studies perspective, going back to 1492.  It pays particular attention to the nation-building by these colonial governors and presidents, as this is a course on political institutions, albeit influenced by the discourse of civic associations, interest groups, social movements, and political parties.
This course will help prepare American Politics students for the first examination in that field, particularly those interested in National Institutions.  It is a foundational course in that it covers two of the three branches of the federal government — the presidency and the judiciary.  It’s also a broad course that will be invaluable to students teaching introductory politics given that it covers intergovernmental relations such as federalism, judicial review, and the separation of powers.
This course crosses disciplinary divides by using “political development” the state and society or civic associations as Theda Skocpol put it.  It is a Political Institutions course that treats APD as a methodology with three analytical axes: the roles of ideas or discourse and ideologies, institutions, and civil society.  APD relies on comparative-politics methodology, which is to say the United States must be studied in context with other nations, not alone.  It is conversant with literature on epistemic communities, regime change, and civil societies.  The seminar is also informed by American Studies and Women’s Studies literature, given its emphasis on difference as the United States built a strong nation-state and became a global hegemon.

Pedagogy: Position-paper pedagogy
Requirements:  A Research Component (i.e. a paper that can be turned into an M.A. or a topic for dissertation proposal exploration)

WSCP 81000 – Queer Psychology
GC: WED, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 credits, Prof. Kevin Nadal
Cross-listed with Critical Personality/Social Psychology.
Queer Psychology will provide an overview of the major issues surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity in the field of psychology. The course will review historical and contemporary contexts of heterosexism and genderism, and its impact on individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). Using lectures, discussions, self-reflection activities, and other media tools, students will also learn about culturally competent skills in working with these populations.

WSCP 81000 – Critical Studies/Perspectives on Immigration
GC: FRI, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Krystal Perkins
Cross-listed with Critical Personality/Social Psychology.
The course will consist of engagement with selected readings in postcolonial, critical race, critical discourse analytic theories/perspectives as they relate to immigration. In particular, the course will examine how the language of (e.g., discourse) and the debate around the transnational movement of people are influenced and partly determined by deep-seated legacies of racism and colonialism. The problem posed by the course relates to the persistence and resistance of racist and colonial forms.

WSCP 81000 – Human Rights and Literature in the Americas
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Vanessa Perez Rosaraio
Cross-listed with Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures.
Human Rights carry one set of popular meanings, that their protections will safeguard the human person from abuse, torture, pain, suffering, and other corporeal deprivation. Despite their immense promise, human rights discourses and norms remain fraught with paradox. Virtually since their inception, critics have decried the many contradictions that trouble human rights and the mechanisms of their internationalization and application. Although some of these paradoxes ensue from legal and other practical challenges of rights enforcement, the philosophical architecture of human rights norms and the definition of the human that organizes them are also composed of structural tensions and inconsistencies. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the convergence of human rights and theories of the human, violence, feminicide, dissent, censorship, vulnerability and precarity, and migration and mobility in theoretical and literary texts. We will think about the politics of reading, literature’s relationship to social justice, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Some theoretical readings will include works by Hannah Arendt, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Edward Said, Elaine Scarry, Achille Mbembe, Lauren Berlant, and Giorgio Agamben, among others. We will read literary texts by Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx authors such as Los rendidos (2015) by José Carlos Agüeros, “Las orquídeas negras de Mariana Callejas”(1998) by Pedro Lemebel, Tell Me How it Ends (2017) by Valeria Luiselli, Fuera del juego(1968) and La mala memoria (1989) by Heberto Padilla, The Water Museum (2018) by Luis Alberto Urrea, and Under the Feet of Jesus (1995) by Helena Viramontes, among others.

WSCP 81000 – The Cinema of Pedro Almodovar y Guillermo del Toro
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Julian Smith
Cross-listed with Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures.
This course examines the works of contemporary Spain and Mexico’s most successful filmmakers, critically and commercially. The aims of the course are industrial, critical, and theoretical. First, Almodóvar is placed in the context of audiovisual production in Spain, while del Toro (as director and producer) is contextualized within the ‘golden triangle’ of Mexico, Europe, and the US. Second, both cineastes are interrogated for signs of auteurship (a consistent aesthetic and media image), sharing as they do a self-fashioning that takes place, unusually, within the confines of genre cinema (comedy/melodrama and fantasy/horror, respectively). Finally, the course explores how English-language critics have assimilated these two Spanish-speaking directors to debates in Anglo-American film studies that draw on psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, and the transnational.

Grading is by written exam (25%), student oral participation and presentation (25%) and final paper (50%).

WSCP 81000 – Contemporary Feminist Theories
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Alexandra Juhasz
Cross-listed with MALS.
The Nowheres and Everywhere of Online Feminism: This class will provide a theoretical and hands-on background for considering, using, and remaking space, race and community within feminist cybercultures. You will write about and also within digital technologies and spaces. You will perform an online ethnography. You will be asked to consider the theoretical and activist stakes of translating academic thinking and writing to digital formats. You will produce your own working definitions of feminism, race, space and politics online. You will be asked to make something better.

WSCP 81000 – Legacies of World War II: The UN and the Ongoing Global Struggle for Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Human Rights
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Blanche Wiesen Cook
Cross-listed with History.
The Legacy of WWII and the UN, will explore the ongoing struggles for civil rights, women’s rights, and human rights — promised by the creation of the UN and passage of the UNDHR on l0 December l948.  Alas, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said upon opening the General Assembly in 2018: we are further away from Human Rights worldwide than we were 70 years ago! We will explore the movements, US politics from the Roosevelt era to this treacherous moment — how did we get here? What are the current movements for hope — peace and justice?  There are splendid and controversial new readings; student interests &involvements are key.

WSCP 81000 – Slavery and Social Hierarchies in Islamic History
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy
Cross-listed with History.
In this class, we will explore social, political, economic, legal, and cultural aspects of slavery in premodern Islamic history. Starting in the late antique Mediterranean, we will consider the emergence of a variety of forms of slavery in the Islamic Middle East, including military slavery, agricultural slavery and the phenomenon of female slaves at Muslim courts. We will end with the complex relationship between Islam and transatlantic slavery. We will consider a range of sources, including legal material and popular literature.

WSCP 81000 – Critical Perspectives on Hope, Love, and Care in Urban Education
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Rosa Rivera-McCutchen
Cross-listed with Urban Education
Neoliberal “high stakes” accountability measures come at a high cost in urban schools, where low-income Black, Latinx and other minoritized youth are often concentrated. Schools become sites of transactions, rather than sites of transformation. In this course, we will explore a more humanistic approach to urban schooling, focusing specifically on critical conceptions of care, love, and hope. Beginning with the premise that schooling must be explicitly focused on creating equitable and socially just learning environments where educators must actively work to disrupt structural inequality, this course will explore scholars whose work examines (theoretically and empirically) these concepts. Course readings will include, but are not limited to, Tamara Beauboeuf-LaFontant, Camille Wilson, Angela Valenzuela, Paolo Freire, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Shawn Ginwright and others.

WSCP 81000 – Foucault on Power, Religion, and Sexuality
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Marina Lazreg
Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Self and Society: Feminist Theory and the Psychosocial
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Lynn Chancer
Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – The Global South and Cinemas of the Americas
GC: MON, 2:00PM-6:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Jerry Carlson
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature.
In recent decades cultural theorists have embraced the concept of the Global South as a way of exploring the many uneven relations of resources, development, and governance that exist between the wealthy industrial nations and their clients, external and internal. Since World War II a considerable body of narrative film has been created that explores these conditions while issuing from the Global South itself.

This course maps and explores the many cinemas of the Global South that have been created in the Americas. Close readings of films will be combined with historical, cultural, and theoretical texts

The first half of the course will emphasize foundational works from the 1960s and 1970s: Cuban revolutionary cinema (i.e. Memories of Underdevelopment); Brazilian Cine Novo (i.e. How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman); independent African-American films (i.e. Killer of Sheep); and others.

The second half of the course will emphasize the emergent cinemas of recent decades. This may include such films as Guarani (Argentina/Paraguay), City of Men (Brazil), Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia), Sand Dollars (Dominican Republic), Ixcanul (Guatemala), Daughters of the Dust (USA) and Smoke Signals (USA) and Sugar (USA / Dominican Republic).

Critical texts may include writings by filmmakers such as Julio Garcia Espinosa, Glauber Rocha, and Julie Dash as well as theory by Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Epistemologies of the South), Walter Mignolo (Local Histories / Global Designs), Robert Stam & Ella Shohat (Unthinking Eurocentrism), and Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari (Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature), among others.