• GWSS 110: Introduction to Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies

    This course is an introduction to the ways in which gender and sexuality structure our world, and to the ways feminists challenge established intellectual frameworks. However, since gender and sexuality are not homogeneous categories, but are crosscut by class, race, ethnicity, citizenship and culture, we also consider the ways differences in social location intersect with gender and sexuality.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023 · Iveta Jusová
  • GWSS 150: Working Sex: Commercial Sexual Cultures

    Why is the sale of sex criminalized? Who participates in sexual labor and for what reasons? What are the goals and tactics of sex worker social movements? Sexual commerce is an integral facet of U.S. society and the global economy, and yet it elicits strong and paradoxical reactions. This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of commercial sexual cultures. Taking a transnational approach, we will examine historical, political, and economic changes in sexual economies and the regulation of commercial sex. Course readings explore how sex workers have collectively organized to resist criminalization and fight for a better future.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • GWSS 200: Gender, Sexuality & the Pursuit of Knowledge

    In this course we will examine whether there are feminist and/or queer ways of knowing, the criteria by which knowledge is classified as feminist and the various methods used by feminist and queer scholars to produce this knowledge. Some questions that will occupy us are: How do we know what we know? Who does research? Does it matter who the researcher is? How does the social location (race, class, gender, sexuality) of the researcher affect research? Who is the research for? What is the relationship between knowledge, power and social justice? While answering these questions, we will consider how different feminist and queer studies researchers have dealt with them.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Meera Sehgal
  • GWSS 212: Foundations of LGBTQ Studies

    This course introduces students to foundational interdisciplinary works in sexuality and gender studies, while focusing on the construction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identities in the United States. In exploring sexual and gender diversity throughout the term, this seminar highlights the complexity and variability of experiences of desire, identification, embodiment, self-definition, and community-building across different historical periods, and in relation to intersections of race, class, ethnicity, and other identities.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Candace Moore
  • GWSS 243: Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe Program: Situated Feminisms: Socio-Political Systems and Gender Issues Across Europe

    This course examines the history and present of feminist and LGBTQ activisms across Western and East-Central Europe. We study the impact of the European colonial heritage on the lives of women and sexual/ethnic minorities across European communities, as well as the legacies of World War II, the Cold War, and the EU expansion into Eastern Europe. Reproductive rights, LGBTQ issues, “anti-genderism,” sex work, trafficking, and issues faced by ethnic minorities are among topics explored. These topics are addressed comparatively and historically, stressing their ‘situated’ nature and considering their divergent sociopolitical national frameworks.

    Prerequisites: Acceptance into the WGST Europe OCS Program required 7 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Iveta Jusová
  • GWSS 244: Women’s & Gender Studies in Europe Program: Cross-Cultural Feminist Methodologies

    This course explores the following questions: What is the relationship between methodology and knowledge claims in feminist research? How do language and narrative help shape experience? What are the power interests involved in keeping certain knowledges marginalized/subjugated? How do questions of gender and sexuality, of ethnicity and national location, figure in these debates? We will also pay close attention to questions arising from the hegemony of English as the global language of WGS as a discipline, and will reflect on what it means to move between different linguistic communities, with each being differently situated in the global power hierarchies.

    Prerequisites: Acceptance into the WGST Europe OCS Program required 7 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Iveta Jusová
  • GWSS 250: Politics of Reproductive Justice

    Feminist mobilization around reproductive rights in the US has changed in its focus and intensity over the past 50 years. Black American and other transnational feminists have argued about the necessity of distinguishing between reproductive rights and reproductive justice. How has this argument impacted the ideology and collective-change strategies of different feminist communities mobilizing for reproductive rights? What collective-change strategies have they proposed and what obstacles have they faced? This course has a major civic engagement component that requires students to work with feminist non-profit organizations in and around Northfield or in the greater Twin Cities area.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Meera Sehgal
  • GWSS 265: Black Feminist Thought

    This course is designed to introduce students to thirty years of black feminist politics, writing, social and cultural analysis, and research. This course begins with a sketch of contemporary thinking about blackness by noted scholars who illuminate the relationship between blackness, black life, systems of sex/gender, biopolitics, and black/queer feminist knowledge production. We go on to historicize the formation of black feminism as a dynamic and fluid area of study within and across the humanities and social sciences. The history of black feminist thought presented in black women’s studies as an inherently decolonial and transformative praxis that centers intellectual radicalism both inside and outside of the academy.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • GWSS 289: Pleasure, Intimacy, Violence

    This is an interdisciplinary course that explores how pleasure, intimacy, and violence are shaped by historic and ongoing processes of inequality in the United States. We will explore how our understandings of sexuality are influenced by discourses and practices of race and race-making in the U.S. by focusing on the relationship between micro-level (interpersonal) and macro-level (societal) violence. The topics of rape, family violence, and intimate partner violence will be examined from a structural vantage point, emphasizing the mutually constituting roles of gender, race, class, and nationality. The concepts of “pleasure” and “enjoyment” are foregrounded throughout the course.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • GWSS 312: Queer and Trans Theory

    This seminar offers students familiar with the foundational terms and concepts in gender and sexuality studies the opportunity to engage in more advanced explorations of relevant topics and debates in contemporary queer and trans theory. Seeing queer theory and trans theory as theoretical traditions that are historically and philosophically entangled but which at times necessarily diverge, the course focuses on “state of the field” essays from Gay and Lesbian Quarterly and Transgender Studies Quarterly as well as works that put gender and sexuality studies into conversation with disability studies, critical race theory, indigenous studies, and critiques of neoliberalism and imperialism.

    Prerequisites: Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies 110, 212 , 334 or Women’s & Gender Studies 110, 112 or 200 or instructor consent 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Candace Moore
  • GWSS 325: Women’s & Gender Studies in Europe Program: Continental Feminist, Queer, Trans* Theories

    Addressing the impact of Anglo-American influences in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, this course examines European, including East-Central European, approaches to key gender and sexuality topics. It raises questions about the transfer of feminist concepts across cultures and languages. Some of the themes explored include nationalism and gender/sexuality, gendered dimensions of Western and East-Central European racisms, the historical influence of psychoanalysis on Continental feminist theories, the implications of European feminisms in the history of colonialism, the biopolitics of gender, homonationalism, as well as Eastern European socialist/communist theories of women’s emancipation.

    Prerequisites: Acceptance to WGST Europe OCS Program 7 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Iveta Jusová
  • GWSS 334: Feminist Theory

    This seminar explores key feminist theoretical perspectives and debates, using a historical framework to situate these ideas in relationship to philosophical and political discourses produced during specific cultural moments. Focusing primarily on American feminist thought, this seminar ultimately aims to interrogate the positionality of the theorists we study, considering the cultural privileges as well as vectors of marginalization that influence those viewpoints. We follow feminist thinkers as they propose, challenge, critique, subvert, and revise theoretical traditions of liberalism, Marxism, Socialism, radicalism, separatism, utopianism, multiculturalism, postmodernism, queerness, and post-colonialism. We ask: What gets counted as feminist theory? What gets left out?

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • GWSS 391: Women’s & Gender Studies in Europe Program: Independent Field Research in Europe

    This is a self-designed project, and the topic will be determined by each student’s research interests. It will build on readings and work by European women and/or sexual minorities, feminist and queer theory, cross-cultural theory and (if applicable) principles of field research. It should be cross-cultural and comparative, and ideally should involve field work. Drawing on skills developed in feminist theory and methodology seminars, students select appropriate research methods and conduct sustained research in two of the countries visited. The progress of each project will be evaluated regularly in relation to parameters established in conjunction with the Program Director.

    Prerequisites: Acceptance into the WGST Europe OCS Program required 7 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Iveta Jusová
  • GWSS 398: Capstone: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture

    This capstone seminar reads representations of racial, gender, and sexual minorities in popular culture through the lenses of feminist, critical race, queer, and trans theories. Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” in the late 1980s to describe an approach to oppression that considered how structures of power act multiply on individuals based upon their interlocking racial, class, gender, sexual, and other identities. This seminar takes up the charge of intersectional analysis—rejecting essentialist theories of difference while exploring pluralities—to interpret diversity (or lack thereof) in forms of art and entertainment, focusing on film, TV, and digital media.

    Prerequisites: Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies 110 or 212 or Cinema and Media Studies 110 or Women’s and Gender Studies 110 or 112 or instructor consent 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Candace Moore
  • GWSS 398: Capstone: Schooling Sex: History of Sex Education & Instruction

    How did sex get into public schools? How did sexual practice and desire become an object of scientific inquiry? Why has sex education been a site for repeated social conflicts, and what do those conflicts tell us about gender, racial, and economic inequality in the United States? This course is for everyone who has ever questioned the official and unofficial curriculum of sex education. The course provides a cultural and intellectual history of sex education and instruction within the geographic region of the United States. Throughout we will examine the complex relationship between sexual knowledge, pedagogy, and systems of power.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • GWSS 398: Capstone: Transnational Feminist Activism

    This course focuses on transnational feminist activism in an era of globalization, militarism and religious fundamentalism. We will learn about the debates around different theories of social change, the challenges and pitfalls of global sisterhood and the various “pedagogies of crossing” borders. We will explore case studies of how feminists have collaborated, built networks, mobilized resources and coalitions for collective action, in addition to the obstacles and constraints they have encountered and surmounted in their search for gender and sexual justice.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • GWSS 400: Integrative Exercise

    1 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Meera Sehgal, Candace Moore

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