First Year Seminar: Gender and Science
(Classroom 114, East Campus)
How does inequality affect scientific practice and knowledge? Do colonial, racist, or sexist contexts matter for the science produced? Does the identity of the scientist matter? This seminar provides an overview of research that puts scientists under the lens, studying medicine & science in relation to gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism.
Thinking Gender: An Introduction to Feminist Theory
CCI, SS (Bivins 109, East Campus)
Introduction to foundational concepts in feminist thought on sex and gender. Survey of core concepts in the field of Women's Studies and introduction to the fundamental debates within the history of feminist thinking.
Politics of Motherhood: Security Mothers, Soccer Moms, Movement Moms, and Beyond
CCI, CZ (Classroom 136, East Campus)
Following Adrienne Rich's lead, this course will consider motherhood as both institution and experience. Topics to be covered include Mothers of the Movement, Black Lives Matter mothers, race and maternal health, "mommy wars" and battles over breastfeeding, attachment parenting, work/family balance, security mothers, soccer moms, working mothers, bad mothers, other-mothers, and decisions not to mother.
Representing Breast Cancer
GSF 263S, AAAS 265S, ARTVIS 263S, LIT 260S
CCI, ALP, W, CZ (Perkins LINK 085, West Campus)
This course introduces students to representations of breast cancer in feminist literature, art, and film. Drawing on health feminism, feminist medical ethics, and disability studies, we will explore what those representations tell us about the intersections among gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability in both the Global North and South. We will see how literature, art and film can reveal health care’s material conditions as well as breast cancer’s psychic complexities.
Introduction to Digital Feminism
GSF 265S, SOCIOL 217S, ISS 265S, VMS 286S, COMPSCI 112S, I&E 265S, CMAC 265S
R, STS, SS (Friedl 240, East Campus)
The aim of this course is to critically analyze digital culture from a feminist and gender studies perspective. We will address topics related to digital innovation and its history, unpacking and questioning them through the insights offered by genders studies analytical tools. Subjects such as the rise of the Silicon Valley, gaming culture, social media, algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, extraction of data applied to biotechnology, macroeconomic development of IT platforms and the impact of technology on ecology will be discussed starting from a current event or debate, to which we will give a historical, ethical, sociological, theoretical, literary or cinematographic perspective.
Sex/Gender - Nature/Nurture: Intersections of Biology and Society
GSF 278, CULANTH 278, NEUROSCI 278, PSY 226, SXL 278
STS, NS (Rueben-Cooke 126, West Campus)
Debates about sexuality, sex, and gender hinge on radically different ideas about relative effects of biological forces vs. social forces, or nature vs. nurture. Course changes terms of arguments about sexuality and gender and nature/nurture. Explores how nature/nurture emerged as scientific and popular debate. Evaluates new developments in science and cultural fields that are now reconsidering how biology and environments interact. Showcases debates about how sex and sexuality are formed through interplay of genetic information, hormones, material bodies, and social environments.
Black Feminism and Fashion
GSF 355S, AAAS 355S, English 353S, ARTVIS 353S, LIT355S
CCI, W, ALP (Perkins LINK 079, West Campus)
Black feminist perspectives on clothing and fashion. Explores traditions in which Black artists and writers make clothing a primary theme. Presenting photographic, painted, and literary portrayals by and of Black people across the diaspora, and bringing together the study of visual culture, material culture, and literary studies, reveals fashion and clothing as aesthetic practices of everyday life that defy the objectifying effects of racism and sexism. Engages with scholarship that explores slavery’s and colonialism's impact on gender and sexuality and examines how artists and writers work within and against those impacts to document the self-fashioning in Black cultural life.
Money, Sex and Power
GSF 361, RIGHTS 361
CCI, CZ, SS (West Duke 105, East Campus)
Feminist research on gender dynamics in markets, economies, and capitalism. Includes empirical studies (e.g., historical, cross-cultural, and sociological research) and theoretical approaches to political-economic critique. Covered topics may include the gender, racial and transnational divisions of labor, the relation between work and family, waged household labor, sex work, sweatshop labor.
Race, Gender, and Sexuality
GSF 364S, AAAS 242S, AADS 364S, SOCIOL 364S, SXL 264S
CCI, SS (Friedl 216, East Campus)
Gender's relationship to race and sexuality explored through a variety of issues, including health, intimacy, family, the state, economic practices, transnational communities and identities, and social movement.
GSF 367S, ETHICS 204S
CCI, EI, SS (Crowell 107, East Campus)
Do women experience the world differently than men? An examination of women's experience, women's ways of knowing, ethical systems and feminist critique, patriarchy, dualistic thinking, gender oppression, care ethics, ethical dilemmas.
Intimacies: Sexuality, Nation, and the State
GSF 382S, AADS 382S
CCI, EI, W, CZ (West Duke 202, East Campus)
A deep dive into the theoretical concept of intimacy, this seminar touches upon the racial, sensorial, and sexual life of nations and the state. Through discussions about citizenship, religion, migration, political economy, belonging, community, and activism, we consider what it means for bodies to exist in relation not only to other bodies, but also within the larger body of the nation-state. We examine theoretical writing alongside film, performance and installation art, law, and pop culture, bringing sexuality to bear on indigenous genocide, the Antebellum South, anti-immigration and miscegenation law, US militarism in Asia and the Pacific, LGBTQ rights, and political scandal.
(Bivins 109, East Campus)
In this seminar, students will explore Feminist Theory and cultural criticism of American popular culture through the work of the late Black feminist scholar and cultural critic, bell hooks (1952-2021). The seminar uses hooks’ memoir, Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism, published in 1981 as a foundational text. This along with hooks’ other works of critical theory and cultural criticism, the course will explore a variety of themes that emerge through hooks’ work over the past three decades—representation of Black people in U.S. popular culture, Black masculinity, feminism and post-feminism, as well as the politics of love, self-care, and critical pedagogies. We will practice applying hooks’ theoretical interventions within the broad but interrelated fields of Black Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Feminism, and Critical Pedagogies to contemporary cultural phenomenon and texts.