Spring 2014 Course Listings

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ANSO 265: Selected Introductory Topics in Anthropology and Sociology - Sociology of Families

In this course we will examine family life in the contemporary United States. We will explore family as an important site where care-giving, economic cooperation, and intimacy are organized. We will also examine the politics of family, deconstructing normative definitions of family and exploring how groups have challenged these definitions. Finally, we will analyze family as one of the primary institutions in which race, class, and gender inequalities are reproduced. Prerequisites: Anthropology/Sociology 103 or 105, or permission from the instructor.

MWF 02:00 pm-02:50 pm
Professor Angela Frederick


CHIN 215: Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Literature and Film (F4, F9)

This course examines the changing constructions of gender and sexuality in Chinese literature and film over time. The social, cultural and institutional norms of gender behaviors in Chinese society are investigated as well as how the fictional imagination conforms to, deviates from and subverts these norms. Other critical issues discussed include the complex relationships between identity and performance, the construction of female subjectivity and male fantasy, gender and genre. Students will read a wide range of materials including poetry, biography, fiction, drama, memoir, religious script and film from early China to the 21th century. Students will be encouraged to conduct cross-genre and cross-cultural comparisons. All readings are in English. Note: the course may still be listed as “Women in Chinese Literature” but the course content reflects the updated focus on “gender.”

MWF 02:00 pm-02:50 pm
Professor Han Li


ENGL 264: Studies in African American Literature - “Some of Us Are Brave”: Black Women’s Writing

In 1892, against the muddled sound of neo-American racism and sexism, a voice rang clear from the South: “Only the BLACK WOMAN can say when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me.” Taking Anna Julia Cooper’s words as an epistemological consideration, this course surveys how black women negotiated complex racial and gender identities within their literature. Beginning with Phillis Wheatley and ending with contemporary black women’s writing, this course will highlight how the unique intersections of marginalized subjectivities shaped particular lived experiences. Authors may include: Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Jacobs, Anna Julia Cooper, Jessie Fauset, Nella Larsen, Ann Petry, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler and more. Prerequisites: FYWS 151 or the permission from the instructor.

TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm
Professor Ernest Gibson


ENGL 380: Topics in Literary Study - Queer Theory

Queer Theory offers a series of tools to analyze suppositions about essential, stable or coherent sex/gender identities and categories. The course utilizes works of key theorists, novelists, short story writers and contemporary film makers to understand the field’s critical engagement with heteronormativity. Queer theoretical applications to textual analysis are discussed in terms of their meanings, uses and usefulness within our daily lives. Prerequisites: Any 200-level English course or permission from the instructor.

TR 12:30 pm-01:45 pm
Professor Mark Behr


GSST 400 / PHIL 355: Contemporary Feminist Theory - Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality

An examination of major authors and themes informing the development of feminist theory, gender theory and queer theory. Aims include understanding and critiquing the social, political, moral and institutional structures that reinforce the subordination of women to men and of LGBTQ persons to heterosexuals, as well as evaluating the unique contributions of feminist and queer theory to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics. Required for the minor in GSS.

TR 02:00 pm-03:15 pm
Professor Leigh Johnson


GSST 460: Internship (F11)

2-4 credits

A directed internship in which students integrate their academic study of gender issues with practical experience in off-campus organizations, agencies, or businesses (10 hours per week). The student and faculty mentor devise a reading list to complement the internship and submit it, along with an internship proposal, to the chair of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program for approval. Assignments may include short papers, a reading journal, and a presentation at the Gender Studies symposium or URCAS. Prerequisite: GSST 200 or the equivalent and G.P.A. of 2.5 or higher.

Professor Leslie Petty


HIST 105: Introductory Seminars in History - Gender in the American West (F2, F3)

This course will explore changing gender systems in light of conquest, colonialism, and the expansion of capitalism in the trans-Mississippi West, from early contact between Native Americans and Europeans to twenty-first century industrial migrations. It has been said that the American West was both a place on the map and a place in the mind, where gendered territories of privilege and exclusion were contested, reinvented, and complicated by their intersections with race and class. We will approach the lived experience of men and women through letters, diaries, memoirs, oral histories and autobiographies; and consider the imagined West through fiction, newspaper reports, songs, and paintings.

Section 03 MW 07:00 pm-08:15 pm
Professor Dee Garceau


POLS 208: Media and Politics

An investigation of the power of media in American society and the interaction between media, institutions, political actors, and the public. Topics covered may include the evolving role of media as an institution in the political system, media ownership, media bias, media fragmentation, the relationship between media and public opinion, the role of news and advertising in political campaigns, media coverage in crisis and wartime, and the impact of new media on society. In addition, we will consider the way these topics are shaped by representations of race and gender. Underlying these topics, we will consider the question of whether the role and function of media today are helpful for or detrimental to political learning, participation, and democratic government. Students will have the chance to explore ideas, concepts, and themes through real-world, hands-on applications. Not eligible if you have completed the Topics course on media and politics. Prerequisite: Political Science 151 or permission from the instructor.

MWF 11:00 am-11:50 am
Professor Amy Jasperson


RELS 277: Selected Topics in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament - Gender and Prophecy (F1)

This course explores the intersections of gender and prophecy in and around the Hebrew Bible. We will consider the social construction of gender and of prophecy in ancient Israel. Topics will include the ambivalent masculinity of the male prophets, the representation of female prophets, Israel as “Daughter Zion,” gender and the prophetic voice, the “marriage metaphor” describing God and Israel, and relationship between gender and shame. We will also investigate contemporary scholarly and literary responses to these themes.

Section 02 TR 03:30 pm-04:45 pm
Professor Rhiannon Graybill 


SPAN 360: Gender in Spanish American Literature

The course will introduce the study of the social, political, and cultural construction of gender and its intersections with Latin American cultural production. The course deals with a variety of literary genres as well as performative and artistic practices, and includes Latino cultural production in the US. We will examine such topics as gender redefinition, empire, and conquest; the feminine body and slavery; Baroque and Neobaroque hybridities; Latin American masculinities; and the Baroque Rasquache in Chicano/a Borderlands. The class will be conducted as a seminar and has an experiential learning component that explores Hispanic cultural production in the city of Memphis. Prerequisites: Spanish 301 or 302 or the permission of the instructor.

TR 03:30 pm-04:45 pm
Professor Elizabeth Pettinaroli