Gender Studies

The courses below are offered through the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

For questions about specific courses, contact the department:

Web: www.columbia.edu/cu/irwag

WMST BC1050 Women and Health. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

Interdisciplinary introduction emphasizing interaction of biological and sociocultural influences on women's health, and exploring health disparities among women as well as between women and men. Current biomedical knowledge presented with empirical critiques of research and medical practice in specific areas such as occupational health, cardiology, sexuality, infectious diseases, reproduction, etc.

WMST BC2140 Critical Approaches in Social and Cultural Theory. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

Introduction to key concepts from social theory as they are appropriated in critical studies of gender, race, sexuality, class and nation. We will explore how these concepts are taken up from different perspectives to address particular social problems, and the effects of these appropriations in the world.

Spring 2017: WMST BC2140
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2140 001/09334 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
323 Milbank Hall
Alexander Pittman 3 57/100
Fall 2017: WMST BC2140
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 2140 001/02265 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Alexander Pittman 3 36

WMST BC2530 Global South Women Film Directors. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Students registering for this course are required to attend the screening and commentary on Tuesdays 6:10-8:55 pm, and lecture and discussion section on Thursdays 9:10-10:50 am. Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Globalization has both shrunk the world and broadened the impact of cultural meanings.  Drawing on women directors from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, this course analyzes emerging aesthetics, trends and debates shaping cinemas of the Global South.  The course explores the work of key women filmmakers (from the Global South) as they forge a visual semantics in a celluloid landscape dominated by male directors.

WMST BC3117 Film and Feminism: Transnational Perspectives. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Students registering for this course are required to attend the screening on Tuesdays 6:10-9:00 pm, and lecture and discussion section on Thursdays 9:00-10:50 am. Enrollment limited to 25 students.

  WMST BC3117 Film and Feminism is part of the "CCIS Critical Inquiry Lab: Theorizing Diasporic Visuality" with AFRS BC3110 Theorizing Diasporas (Instructors: Tina Campt and May Joseph). "Theorizing Diasporic Visuality," is the first CCIS Critical Inquiry Lab - an innovative series of linked courses sponsored by the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS). This year's lab links Prof. Tina Campt's (Barnard Africana/Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies [WGSS]) Africana Studies colloquium, AFRS BC3110 Theorizing Diasporas, with May Joseph's (Pratt Social Science and Cultural Studies) WGSS course, WMST BC3117 Film and Feminism. Because cinematic visuality is an increasingly powerful tool for influencing public opinion across international borders, this course will train students in essential skills in visual literacy and reading, and provide fluency in the theoretical vocabularies of Diaspora Studies and feminist film theory and analysis. The Lab will use films by and about women in the quotidian conditions of the African Diaspora to teach students how gender and racial formation are lived in diaspora, and to engage the diasporic visual practices women mobilize to represent themselves. The course is structured around a Tuesday evening film series featuring African women filmmakers and presentations by filmmakers, curators, and visual artists and seminar discussion on Thursday mornings. Students may enroll by registering for either AFRS BC3110 or WMST BC3117.

WMST BC3121 Black Women in America. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Examines roles of black women in the U.S. as thinkers, activists and creators during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the intellectual work, social activism and cultural expression of African American women, we examine how they understood their lives, resisted oppression and struggled to change society. We will also discuss theoretical frameworks (such as "double jeopardy," or "intersectionality") developed for the study of black women. The seminar will encourage students to pay particular attention to the diversity of black women and critical issues facing Black women today. This course is the same as AFRS BC3121 Black Women in America.

WMST BC3122 Contemporary American-Jewish Women Writers: 1990 to the Present. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Explores the international character of the Jewish people through the experiences of Jewish women in various historical periods and contexts. Identifies issues and concerns, past and present, articulated by contemporary Jewish feminists: perspectives of secularists, observant traditional women, heterosexuals, lesbians, feminists, and activists committed to diverse political ideologies.

WMST BC3125 Pleasures and Power: An Introduction to Sexuality Studies. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

This introduction to sexuality studies is an examination of the historical origins, social functions, and conceptual limitations of the notion of “sexuality” as a domain of human experience and a field of power relations. Sexuality is often taken to be a natural and unchanging element of individual life. In this course, we seek to examine the ways in which sex is both social and political. We will consider how sexuality has been socially constructed, paying careful attention to the ways these ideas relate to other social forces such as gender, race, and class.

WMST BC3131 Women and Science. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 18 students.

History and politics of women's involvement with science. Women's contributions to scientific discovery in various fields, accounts by women scientists, engineers, and physicians, issues of science education. Feminist critiques of biological research and of the institution of science.

WMST BC3132 Gendered Controversies: Women's Bodies and Global Conflicts. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Investigates the significance of contemporary and historical issues of social, political, and cultural conflicts centered on women's bodies. How do such conflicts constitute women, and what do they tell us about societies, cultures, and politics? - D. Ko

Spring 2017: WMST BC3132
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3132 001/05173 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
405 Barnard Hall
Janet Jakobsen 4 27

WMST BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 14 students.

How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a ‘mythic unity’? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora. This course is the same as AFRS BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature.

WMST BC3506 Memory, Childhood and Dictatorship. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Limited to 20 students.

"What is a 'normal' childhood under a dictatorship? Focusing on the last Argentine military dictatorship (1976 – 83), the seminar examines the memory of childhood experience in sociocultural, historiographic and cinematographic approaches. Topics include childhood as political subject, public policy aimed at children, children of the disappeared and everyday life.

WMST BC3509 Gender, Knowledge and Science in Modern European History. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Develops historical strategies for uncovering the significance of gender for the cultures and contents of Western science. We will consider how knowledge is produced by particular bodies in particular spaces and times.

WMST BC3510 Interpreting Bodies: Engendering the Black Body. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Enrollment limited to 20 students.

This course examines how the body functions as an analytic model and a process of embodiment by focusing on the black female body in particular. Looking at feminist theorizing of the black body, it explores how the black female body has been marked in particular ways and with profound effects.

WMST BC3513 Critical Animal Studies. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

"This course collaborates between students and professor, humans and animals, subjects and objects, to investigate the Animal Problem.  What are non-human animals? How do we relate to them?  How do we account for our animal nature while reconciling our cultural aspirations?  What are our primary desires with respect to non-human animals?

WMST BC3514 Historical Approaches to Feminist Questions. 4 points.

This course will provide students with a comparative perspective on gender, race, and sexuality by illuminating historically specific and culturally distinct conditions in which these systems of power have operated across time and space. In particular, the course seeks to show how gender has not always been a binary or primary category system.  Such approach is also useful in understanding the workings of race and sexuality as mechanisms of differentiation.  In making these inquiries, the course will pay attention to the intersectional nature of race, gender, and sexuality and to strategic performances of identity by marginalized groups.

Spring 2017: WMST BC3514
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3514 001/07992 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Dorothy Ko 4 23/20
Fall 2017: WMST BC3514
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3514 001/05571 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Alexander Pittman 4 50

WMST BC3518 Studies in U.S. Imperialism. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Historical, comparative study of the cultural effects and social experiences of U.S. Imperialism, with attention to race, gender and sexuality in practices of political, economic, and cultural domination and struggle. Material includes studies of US Imperialism in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam, and Cuba and US foreign involvements in the developing world since World War II.

WMST BC3519 Sex Work and Sex Trafficking: Empowerment, Exploitation, and the Politics of Sex. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 15 students.

This course explores the history, politics, and social meaning of sex work. Focusing particularly but not exclusively upon prostitution, we will pay careful attention to the diverse range of social experiences which form sex work, as well as the way in which prostitution is utilized as a governing metaphor within sexual relations more generally. Some questions the course will consider:  How has sex work changed over time, and what do these changes tell us about both the nature of sex work and about the broader society? In what ways is sex work similar to or different from other forms of service labor or other types of intimate relationship? How do questions of race, class, sexuality and gender alter the meaning and experience of sex work? What sorts of desires and expectations do clients bring to interactions with sex workers, and in what ways have these shifted over time? Recent controversies concerning sex trafficking and underage prostitution will also be addressed, as will the effects of various regulatory schemes which have been developed around the world.

WMST BC3530 Feminist Media Theory. 4 points.

The integration of contemporary media and social practices of all types is intensifying. This seminar examines media theory and various media platforms including Language, Photography, Film, Television, Radio, Digital Video, and Computing as treated by feminists, critical race and queer theorists, and other scholars and artists working from the margins.

Spring 2017: WMST BC3530
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3530 001/08866 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
501 Diana Center
Jonathan Beller 4 17/20

WMST G4440 Gender and Affective Politics: Hate, Fear and Love in the MENA region. 4 points.

The course will examine how masculinities and femininities are produced, remade, expressed and negotiated through theories of materiality and affect and relate them to relevant ethnographic examples of such processes (for example masculine soundscapes and edible portraits of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on chocolate pralines). We will explore gender in relation to the multifaceted dynamic processes unfolding in North Africa in the aftermath of earlier political fluxes, as well as today’s instabilities and unrest and tomorrow’s politics. Materiality and non-discursive forces, what can be called affective politics, impact our sense of belonging and desire for comfort in times of chaos, religious and political instability. Specifically we will focus on forces of affect and the material aspects of its public manifestation—the materiality of affect—through tangible manifestations of affects of passion: hate and love: two opposed but interlinked “emotions of revolution”, as well as their sibling, fear. The same material experiences can produce materialized emotions such as love or hate depending on specific political and social positioning within the larger polity. Passion is at once a phenomenological state and an extremely fluid currency of social, political and economic transaction. The experience of passion morphs continuously, changing valence while passing from hand to hand, body to body, circumstance to circumstance.

WMST GR6001 Theoretical Paradigms of Feminist Scholarship: Sex Work and Trafficking. 3 points.

Prerequisites: introductory class in gender or sexuality studies, or introduction to human rights. Instructors permission.

This seminar examines contemporary issues of sex work and trafficking into forced prostitution, with emphasis on implications for human rights and health. The class explores the use of ethnographic and social research methods in producing complex and culturally grounded descriptions of diverse combinations of work, sexuality, migration, and exploitation, globally and in the US. The seminar also considers the relationship between social research and the development of policy and interventions.    Historical background, gender theory, and current legal frameworks are also examined. Prerequisite: introductory class in gender or sexuality studies, or introduction to human rights.    *Enrollment by permission of the instructor, email instructor directly csv1@columbia.edu

Fall 2017: WMST GR6001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 6001 001/67300 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Saidiya Hartman 3 2/25

WMST GU4302 The Second Wave and Jewish Women's Artistic Responses: 1939-1990. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 13 students.

A study of  Jewish women’s fiction, memoirs, art and film in response to the feminist/gender issues raised by the Second Wave. The seminar includes analysis of the writings and artwork of Jo Sinclair, Tillie Olsen, Judy Chicago, Helene Aylon, Elana Dykewomon, Rebecca Goldstein, E.M. Broner and others.

Spring 2017: WMST GU4302
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4302 001/00295 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
403 Barnard Hall
Irena Klepfisz 4 7/15

WMST GU4310 Contemporary American Jewish Women's Literature: 1990 to Present. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 15 students. Sophomore standing.

Identifies trends in Jewish American women's writing of this period: integration of Jewish and feminist consciousness into Jewish women's mainstream writing; exploration through fictive narratives of women's roles in Jewish orthodox communities; recording of experiences of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and from Arab countries.

Fall 2017: WMST GU4310
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4310 001/07495 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Irena Klepfisz 4 22

WMST UN3915 Gender and Power in Transnational Perspective. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: Critical Approaches or the instructor's permission.

Considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered inequalities. Topics include political economy, global care chains, sexuality, sex work and trafficking, feminist politics, and human rights.

Fall 2017: WMST UN3915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3915 001/02432 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
4 33/25

WMST V3125 Introduction to Sexuality Studies. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Sexuality is often taken to be a natural and unchanging element of individual life. In this  course, we seek to examine ways in which sex is both social and political. That is to say, sexuality has different meanings in different contexts, and it has different effects in terms of power relations within the social order. To this end, we will examine how sexuality has been socially constructed, paying careful attention to the ways these ideas relate to other social forces such as gender, race, and class. We begin with a historical examination as to how sexuality has been defined as a natural component of self by early sexologists and eugenicists, paying careful attention to their contemporary legacies. We continue this historical overview through an examination of early scholars who increasingly argued that sexuality has a social basis, culminating in the theoretical analyses of Foucault. The first part of this course thus seeks to historically situate and denaturalize some of the basic concepts we tend to take for granted, including that of “sexuality” itself. In the second part of the course, we will consider the state of sexual politics within the contemporary United States, focusing upon key arenas of political struggle including sex education, prostitution, and homosexuality.

WMST V3137 Feminist Sexual Politics in Historical Perspective. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Why, and in what ways, has sex been a central issue for feminism throughout its history?  How have feminist attitudes towards sex changed over time, and how did attitudes vary amongst feminists themselves? What connections did feminists make between sexual reform, women’s rights, and broader social, political, and economic change?  And what are the legacies of  past feminist sexual politics for the present day? This course addresses these questions by exploring the history of feminist sexual politics in Europe over the course of the “long nineteenth century,” that is, between the years 1789 and 1918, and will focus on developments in Britain, France, and Germany.  From the French Revolution to the achievement of women’s suffrage, we will examine feminists’ writings on and activism surrounding sex and sexuality to understand how definitions of “sex,” “feminism,” and “sexual politics” changed over time, and how issues of class and race shaped feminist sexual politics.  We will also analyze contradictions, tensions and continuities within diverse feminist approaches to sexuality, and assess similarities and differences amongst feminists from different national backgrounds.  Furthermore, by adopting a focus on feminism and sexuality, this course offers a unique lens on the major “world historical” events of modern European history.

WMST V3312 Theorizing Activism. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Critical Approaches or Feminist Theory or permission of instructor.

Helps students develop and apply useful theoretical models to feminist organizing on local and international levels.  It involves reading, presentations, and seminar reports.  Students use first-hand knowledge of the practices of specific women's activist organizations for theoretical work.

WMST V3813 Colloquium on Feminist Inquiry. 4 points.

Prerequisites: WMST V1001 and the instructor's permission.

A survey of research methods from the social sciences and interpretive models from the humanities, inviting students to examine the tension between the production and interpretation of data. Students receive firsthand experience practicing various research methods and interpretive strategies, while considering larger questions about how we know what we know.

WMST V3915 Gender and Power in Transnational Perspective. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

 How have development and globalization impacted (and attempted to impact) gender and sexuality around the world? How do gender and sexuality circulate across national, political, and technological borders in the contemporary era of neoliberal globalization? How has feminism itself become part of these increasingly complex cultural circulations, to women’s benefit as well as detriment? In addition to linking together what Chandra Mohanty has described as the “One Third” and “Two Thirds” worlds, this discussionbased seminar seeks to reconnect the disparately gendered intimate and global spheres, situating the feminized “private” domains of love, sex, and caring within fields of action such as geopolitics and global political economy.  How do formations of gender and sexuality shift when intimate relations are transnationalized? Does the globalization of intimacy exacerbate inequalities of gender, race, class, and nation, or might it also and simultaneously create unexpected opportunities to alleviate these? Under what circumstances does feminism itself get intertwined in circuits of gendered power? In the first part of this class, we will carefully examine issues of gender, sexuality, and development. In the latter, we turn increasingly toward issues of emotion and transnational intimate exchange and emotional labor while situating these encounters within the economic context we discussed in the first section.

WMST W3625 Memoir and Embodiment. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Recent decades have witnessed a flood of life writing about the body, much of it by women and much of it about experiences of illness and disability.  This development represents a significant change, as autobiography has historically been reserved for the most accomplished and able-bodied among us.  Our course will study the rise of what G’ Thomas Couser calls “the some body memoir,” asking how it revises traditional autobiography as it attempts to carve out literary space for voices and bodies that have not historically been represented in public.  We will consider how these new memoirs talk back to doctors and other health care professionals who medicalize the disabled body, as well as social environments that stigmatize and exclude the ill and disabled.  We will also ask how race and gender inform stories of illness and disability, as well as investigating differences between physical and mental illness and/or disability.   Each week we will read one memoir, paired with other writings meant to prompt discuss and critical examination.  In addition to more traditional academic writing, students will also have opportunities to experiment with their own life writing.

WMST W3880 History of Sex in the 'West,' 1789-1967. 4 points.

This course explores the importance of sexuality to modern histories of North America and Western Europe, with particular emphasis on the U.S. and U.K., and secondarily Canada, Germany and France.  We will examine changing sexual cultures and their relationship to new gender norms from the late seventeenth century through the mid twentieth century.  The emergence and ascendance of concepts of gender, the self, heterosexuality and homosexuality will be examined through political, intellectual, cultural, and social history.  The course begins when new attitudes about individual privacy, equality, and freedom first took hold in ways that helped to define the “West” and “modern” attitudes about gender and sex.  We will track the continual revisions to, and contestations over, this first sexual revolution through the 1960s, when celebrations and concerns about sexual liberation, hedonism, and the “decline of virtue” came to occupy the center of cultural debates.  We will examine the ways in which the study of sexuality intersects with, and offers opportunities to re-think, other major topics in the histories of the ‘West,’ including the role of state regulation, and ideas about reproduction, racial categories, violence, pleasure and love.

WMST W3890 From Exclusion to Inclusion? Sexuality and Citizenship in American Politics. 4 points.

For much of the 20th century, the American political system excluded lesbians and gay men from full citizenship.  This course seeks to understand the political and social forces shaping the transformation of these sex nonconformists from a pariah group into a viable social movement and eventually into a powerful constituency within the Democratic Party.  Special emphasis will be placed on the state’s role in defining lesbian and gay identities, the ways in which gender and racial diversity have shaped the LGB movement, and the role that partisan electoral strategies played in ushering sexuality to the center of American political conflict.

WMST W3916 Historical Approaches to Feminist Questions. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Historical Approaches to Feminist Questions” examines issues of gender and sexuality across time and space. We explore how feminist analyses may reorient how we think about the past. We also ask how historical perspectives can bring the contingent and contextual nature of ideas about gender and sexuality into relief. We will consult both primary and secondary historical sources as well as key theoretical texts on the politics of women’s history and the history of sexuality in intersection with other forms of identity and inequality.

WMST W3922 The Jazz Age: fictional representations of Jewish-American and African-America women in the city. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The “Roaring 20s” evokes images of jazz, the flapper, cabarets, Harlem, the bohemian life of Greenwich Village, and a time of greater freedoms for women in the US.  All of these images are associated with urban life and have clear racial, class, gender, and sexual connotations. In this course, we will be examining classic Jazz-Age Jewish-American and African-American fiction that presents "New Woman" female protagonists.   We will be tracing the differences between the representation of the Jewish-American "New Woman" and the "New Negro Woman," while discussing what these differences might signify with respect to the positionality of Jewish and black women in the US. 

WMST W3940 Queer Theories and Histories. 4 points.

This course examines a genealogy of contemporary debates in queer theory beginning with feminist debates on sexuality and power in the 1970s and moving through critical race theory, the rise of antinormativity, affect theory, and posthumanism. Will fulfill Feminist Theory requirement.

WMST W4301 Early Jewish Women Immigrant Writers: 1900-1939. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then.

Covers significant pre-Holocaust texts (including Yiddish fiction in translation) by U.S. Ashkenazi women and analyzes the tensions between upholding Jewish identity and the necessity and/or inevitability of integration and assimilation. It also examines women's quests to realize their full potential in Jewish and non-Jewish communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

WMST W4303 Gender, Globalization, and Empire. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Study of the role of gender in economic structures and social processes comprising globalization and in political practices of contemporary U.S. empire. This seminar focuses on the ways in which transformations in global political and economic structures over the last few decades including recent political developments in the U.S. have been shaped by gender, race, sexuality, religion and social movements.

WMST W4304 Gender and HIV/AIDS. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 15 students.

An interdisciplinary exploration of feminist approaches to HIV/AIDS with emphasis on the nexus of science and social justice.

WMST W4305 Feminist Postcolonial Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Critical Approaches and/or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Examines important concerns, concepts and methodological approaches of postcolonial theory, with a focus on feminist perspectives on and strategies for the decolonization of Eurocentric knowledge-formations and practices of Western colonialism. Topics for discussion and study include orientalism, colonialism, nationalism and gender, the politics of cultural representations, subjectivity and subalternity, history, religion, and contemporary global relations of domination.

WMST W4307 Sexuality and the Law. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Because this seminar emphasizes weekly discussion and examination of the readings, enrollment is strictly limited to 20 students. Please read and follow the updated instructions: 1) Interested students must write a 50-100 word essay answering the following question: "What background, experience or expertise do you bring to the discussion of Sexuality and the Law that will help inform and challenge the other 19 students in the class?"; 2) Include the following: your name, institution you are graduating from, year of graduation, declared major, and whether you are working towards a Women's Studies major or minor; 3) Send your information and essay through email with the subject line "Barnard Sexuality & the Law"; 4) Send your email to Riya Ortiz, WS Department Assistant, at sortiz@barnard.edu no later than Wednesday, September 1, 2010. The final list of students who are registered for the course will be announced on Friday, September 3, 12 pm. Classes start on Monday, September 13. (Note: Students who have registered for the course must also submit the essay to guarantee their registration).

Explores how sexuality is defined and contested in various domains of law (Constitutional, Federal, State), how scientific theories intersect with legal discourse, and takes up considerations of these issues in family law, the military, questions of speech, citizenship rights, and at the workplace.

WMST W4308 Sexuality and Science. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Examines scientific research on human sexuality, from early sexology through contemporary studies of biology and sexual orientation, surveys of sexual behavior, and the development and testing of Viagra. How does such research incorporate, reflect, and reshape cultural ideas about sexuality? How is it useful, and for whom?

WMST W4309 Sex, Gender and Transgender Queries. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Sex, sexual identity, and the body are produced in and through time.  “Trans” – as an identity, a set of practices, a question, a site, or as a verb of change and connection – is a relatively new term which this course will situate in theory, time, discipline, and through the study of representation.

WMST W4311 Feminism and Science Studies. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Feminist Theory or permission of instructor.

Investigates socially and historically informed critiques of theoretical methods and practices of the sciences. It asks if/how feminist theoretical and political concerns make a critical contribution to science studies.

WMST W4317 Advanced Topics: Gender, Culture, and Rights. 4 points.

The field of human rights, and the adjacent field of international women's rights, have tended to be dominated by activists, lawyers, and policy-makers, many of whom leave unquestioned the underlying assumptions of the discourse of rights and leave unexamined the structural and institutional circuits of rights policy and practice. Those concerned with gender equity have been eager to extend the discourse of human rights to encompass women's rights and sexual rights. Yet they too have only begun to think critically about the conceptual pitfalls and global circuitry of this form of politics. As some social thinkers note, both sides of the term "human rights" are ripe for critical rethinking:  the universality implied by the "human" - and by extension  "women" or "sexuality" - and the liberalism that makes "rights" the language of choice today in the search for justice. Although feminists and others working in multicultural settings or the international arena often invoke notions of culture, especially in framing dilemmas of intervention in terms of a clash between cultures and universal rights, it is important first to have the theoretical tools to develop adequate understandings of the dynamics of culture and the relationship between culture, social systems, and historical change.   This course will explore what  theories of culture and ethnographies of  particular communities, as well as other forms of regional knowledges, including the historical, can contribute to our thinking about the relationship between gender rights and culture. While appreciating the instrumental power and emancipatory possibilities of rights discourses in the sphere of gender and sexuality, whether around inequality or violence, it is also crucial to reflect on the recent challenges to this paradigm, especially those that question concepts of culture.

WMST W4506 Gender Justice. 3 points.

This course will provide an introduction to the concrete legal contexts in which issues of gender and justice have been articulated, disputed and hesitatingly, if not provisionally, resolved. Readings will cover issues such as Workplace Equality, Sexual Harassment, Sex Role Stereotyping, Work/Family Conflict, Marriage and Alternatives to Marriage, Compulsory Masculinity, Parenting, Domestic Violence, Reproduction and Pregnancy, Rape, Sex Work & Trafficking. Through these readings we will explore the multiple ways in which the law has contended with sexual difference, gender-based stereotypes, and the meaning of equality in domestic, transnational and international contexts. So too, we will discuss how feminist theorists have thought about sex, gender and sexuality in understanding and critiquing our legal system and its norms.For more information, go to: http://web.law.columbia.edu/gender-sexuality/faculty/katherine-franke/gender-justice.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.