COMM 4100 Gender and Communication (Kerry Strayer, 4 hrs) *
For over three decades, scholars have been systematically determining whether there are clearly differentiated regularities in mens’ and womens’ speech. While it appears that there are often 1) more similarities among men and women than differences, and 2) greater variability of style within the groups than between them, it remains that there is a general difference. This difference has an impact on how we are perceived by others, how we negotiate relationships, and how we succeed in the public and the work place.
This course will consider: 1) the historical forces which helped shape perceptions of gender and appropriate communicative behavior, 2) the impact of socialization on the construction of gender, 3) contemporary institutions and their impact on understanding gender roles, 4) how gender expectations and differences can impact relationships, and 5) the available theoretical lenses which may be used to interpret the consequences of these differences. Additionally, we will look at how different systems of gendered communication have developed around the world and the impact on those cultures.
WGSS 4022 The Foundations of Patriarchy (Allan Cooper, 4 hrs) *
This course explores the works of political philosophers that have addressed patriarchy, or the ideology and practice of male supremacy, as well as the work of philosophers that have advanced theories of beauty and aesthetics that support and normalize patriarchy. The course will correlate these philosophies with historical practices that have caused violence and hardship for women, including but not limited to genital mutilation, foot binding, witch trials, corsets and cosmetic surgeries, rape, and serial killing.
WGSS 4026 Female Trouble: The Pathologies of Femininity, Femininity as Pathology
(Tammy Birk, 4 hrs) *
Mad, sick, and unpredictable women: they seem to be stock trade in narrative, film and media, the arts, and cultural mythology. As a result, it is hard not to conclude that there seems to be something unwell about femininity itself. In this course, we will examine the disordered and diseased women that both symbolize and stand in for the excesses and deficits of femaleness: the hysteric, the anorexic, the agoraphobic, the depressive, the cutter, the invalid, the sexually promiscuous, and the sexually averse. In the course of the semester, we will consider the way that these ―troubled women‖ are represented and contained within a wide range of texts and artifacts: personal memoir, the narrative arts, psychological tracts, performance art, film and media, and popular cultural references. Feminist critical scholarship will inform our study and help shape the questions we ask about the easy and seemingly inevitable relationship between pathology and femininity.
INST 3501 Inscribing the Body: Sexual Identity in Contemporary German Women’s Fiction
(Amy Strawser, 4 hrs) *
This course will explore the works of German women authors in English translation who have made significant contributions to the fields of women's studies, literature, intellectual history, and/or popular culture. Works by contemporary authors as well as writers from earlier historical periods may be included. The course will investigate the thematic concepts and aesthetic merits of the texts and their implications for both literary and feminist scholarship and history and will include selections from several literary genres, including prose fiction, drama, poetry, autobiography, journals/letters, and essays/creative nonfiction.
FMST 3281 Studies in Film and Culture: Media Q: Screening Sexuality (Suzanne Ashworth, 4 hrs) *
Glee. Hedwig. The L-Word. Brokeback. Queer as Folk. Capote. Modern Family. Diving into mainstream television and film, this class will immerse itself in queer media, exploring the worlds and selves they create. Together we will engage questions of representation, spectatorship, and meaning-making, grappling with the psychosocial power of small and large screen depictions of sexual identity. What defines queer media? What narratives of sexuality and selfhood do queer media create? How do queer media depict glbtq bodies, psychologies, relationships, histories, and subcultures? What acts of defiance, resistance, activism, or transgression do they encode? What paradoxes of visibility or dilemmas of identity do queer media expose? How do queer movies and television shows (re)write the principles of "intimate citizenship" and "sexual democracy"? As we watch, think, read, write, and dialogue, students will encounter the work of groundbreaking directors and cutting-edge theorists, including Lisa Cholodenko, Gus Van Sant, Todd Haynes, Cheryl Dunye, Lee Edelman, Eric Savoy, Vito Russo, and others.
INST 4011 Sex as Art: Sex and Sexuality in Visual Art (Jim Bowling, 4 hrs) *
Can art be sexy? Is sex art? What is the dividing line between pornography and artistic expression? Representations of sex and sexuality in visual art can challenge our perceptions of both art and sex. This course will address and examine representations of sex and sexuality in 20th and 21st century visual art. Students will examine and discuss art’s influence on and reflection of cultural attitudes toward sex and sexuality, challenge personal and cultural attitudes regarding representations of sexuality in art, and develop an appreciation for the artists’ intent in works addressing sexuality. Topics will include: gender representations in art; politics, art and sexuality; homo vs. hetero eroticism in art; feminist and queer sexuality in art; cultural morality and private practice.