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WGS Spring Classes – Schedule Up!

Class names

WGS 101 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies – NO PREREQS!
WGS 199 – Heroes, Monsters, & Queens: Dressing Up as Critical Play – NO PREREQS!
WGS 315 – History/Development of Feminist Theory
WGS 331 – The Body
WGS 352 – Gender, Literature & Culture
WGS 407/507 – Asian American Sexual Representations
WGS 422/522 – Queer Ethnic Literature

See below for full descriptions. Registration is open now!

WGS Class Schedule

Class Descriptions

WGS 199: Heroes, Monsters, & Queens: Dressing Up as Critical Play
Professor Edmond Chang
Thursdays 2:00 – 4:50 pm
! Counts for Queer Studies

What does it mean to dress up? We dress up to go to work, to go on a date, to work out, to impress, but what about dressing up to play? This class will take up the ways we “present the self in everyday life” (to borrow Erving Goffman’s phrase) that reveal, challenge, and complicate norms about fashion, costume, and the roles we play. In particular, we will look at the pop cultural treatment of subcultures of fashion, cosplay, drag, and live-action role-playing games to think about how “dressing up” intersects with race, gender, class, ability, space, and time. Part of the course will focus on scholarship, film and other media, and everyday practices. Part of the course will engage in observation, reflective writing, experiential learning, and actual live-action game play from basic mechanics to character creation to role-playing and adventuring.

WGS 315 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture
Professor Kemi Balogun
Mondays & Wednesdays 12:00 – 1:20 pm
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance requirement

What is feminist theory? What is the relationship between theory and practice? What does it mean to do theory?

This course will provide you with a broad overview of the key feminist theoretical debates from the “Second Wave” of feminism to the present. Though we will emphasize feminist theories dating from the late 1960s to the present, we will include earlier historical suppositions as well. By the end of the quarter you will be able to understand feminist theoretical writings not only as abstract philosophical statements but also as products of and responses to specific historical moments.

The selected readings represent different approaches to theoretical inquiry as well as feminist work conducted from within a wide range of disciplines: anthropology, cultural studies, history, media studies, literature, philosophy, psychology, and science and technology. Our goals are that you sharpen your critical skills, appreciate the diversity of approaches and assumptions of feminist theorists, apply feminist theories to disciplinary issues, and develop your own voices as theorists.

WGS 331 – The Body
Professor Margaret Rhee
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:00 – 5:20 pm
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

This course is a theoretical study of the body with the particular focus on how the body intertwines with technology. For much of history, the body has been understood as a biological object, and feminist theorists have challenged this narrow conception of the body. In this course, we will take on the challenge of deconstructing and representing the body through a feminist science and technology studies lens. Through rigorous reading, writing, and discussion, we will examine formative work by Anne Fausto-Sterling, Donna Haraway, Charis Thompson, Lisa, Nakamura, Carol Stabile, Alondra Nelson and other feminists on the topic of the body, technology, and science. Additional themes include genomics, the history of dissection, cyborgs, bioethics, biopolitics, blood politics, and necropolitics. Students will study and also contribute to the project of theorizing and politicizing the body in a special creative class project.

WGS 352 – Gender, Literature and Culture
Professor Edmond Chang
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:00 – 1:20 pm
! Fulfills Arts & Letters group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

Because some of the most compelling feminist theory is expressed in literature, this class explores the way novels, short stories, memoirs, and poetry contribute to the terms of feminist analysis in a variety of political and national contexts.

In this class we will focus on the theoretical insights offered by literature written by women and on some central issues raised by feminist literary critics. Among the questions we will explore are: What is the relationship between gender and writing? What do women need in order to write? How well (or poorly) do literary traditions fit the expression of women’s experiences? How do women challenge these traditions? What (if anything) constitutes “women’s writing”? How do race, class, and nationality shape literature by women? Is literature a form of feminist theory? Is literature a form of political activism?

The literature for this course is primarily contemporary and it intentionally deals with women’s place in a range of political, cultural, and national contexts. We will study the cultural specificity of each work and their shared themes.

WGS 407/507 – Asian American Sexual Representations
Professor Margaret Rhee
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 – 11:20 am
! Counts for Queer Studies

This course is a theoretical and historical exploration of Asian American gender and sexuality. With a queer theoretical lens, we will investigate gender and sexuality through the experiences and representations of Asian Americans within the United States and across transnational border. Through a varied archive of media and literature, we will provide a genealogical mapping of Asian American gender and sexuality through poetry, film, pornography, critical theory, and archival study. This course takes on a rigorous study of the history of racialization of Asian American gender and sexuality and outlines new developments in queer Asian American cultural critique, and connections with queer and gender studies. Titles include: “Sexual Naturalization” by Susan Koshy, “Racial Castration” by David Eng, and “The Hypersexuality of Race” by Celine Parrenas Shimizu. Students will study and also contribute to the project of theorizing and politicizing Asian American gender and sexuality in a special final class anthology project.

WGS 422/522 – Queer Ethnic Literature
Professor Ernesto Martínez
Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:50 pm
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

This year’s seminar is dedicated to understanding queer memory within the context of the queer African American and queer Latina/o/x literary tradition.