Women's Studies and Feminist ResearchWestern Arts and Humanities

2016-2017 Courses

WS 9586A Queer and Transgender Studies
Professor Wayne Martino
September - December 2016
Mondays 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: TBA

This course examines the work of significant queer and trans theorists/activists. Students will be invited to examine the significance of various queer and trans theoretical perspectives and accounts in light of reflecting on both their own ‘personal’ experiences and representations of gender and sexuality in the popular culture. Attention will be given to the political significance and destabilization of certain sexual, genderqueer and transgender identities, with some focus on the significance of embodiment. Central to the course is engaging with debates about the political efficacy of queer theory and the questions of gender democratization raised by key trans theorists and activists. Various tensions are examined, but the overall focus of the course is on encouraging students to generate their own explanations of the queer and trans theories to which they are introduced, and to reflect on both their significance and application in everyday life and in specific clinical and educational settings.


WS 9458A Critical Race Theory
Professor Erica Lawson
September - December 2016
Tuesday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: TBA

This course is a critical engagement with race, ethnicity, and racism as they arise, broadly, in feminism and feminist scholarship. Through historical and contemporary readings in feminism and race, the course addresses these fundamental questions: How did race and racism shape early feminist aspirations? What points of differences, similarities, and contestations did these movements engender? What are their legacies in contemporary feminist projects? How did patriarchal and racist systems come about – who benefits from them and at whose expense?   How do intersectional identities both challenge and enrich feminist discourse and practice? And how do existing material realities of sexism and racism trouble celebratory ‘post-feminist/racial’ discourses? We will address these questions, especially, but not exclusively in areas such as law, media, sexuality, imperialist projects, and the “war on terror” as we consider the possibilities for stronger feminist and anti-racist collaborations. 


WS 9459 Professional Development
Professor Wendy Pearson   
September - December 2016
Thursday 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: TBA

This course is intended to assist graduate students in Women's Studies and Feminist Research with their professional development. The emphasis will be on developing practical skills for being successful as a graduate student, including developing pedagogical skills as a teaching assistant, scholarship application writing, cv development, abstract writing and submission, conference presentations, and publishing in journals and edited collections. While the majority of the emphasis will be on academic skills, there will be at least one class on non-academic grant writing and alternative career pathways.


WS 9550A Feminist Theory
Professor Susan Knabe
September – December 2016
Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: TBA

This course will analyze feminist theoretical approaches providing students with an understanding of the fundamental questions at stake in each. We will consider epistemological perspectives as well as the intersections of feminist theories with other theoretical approaches such as queer theory and critical race theory. The implications of feminist theory for academic research will be addressed throughout. This course is restricted to WSFR graduate students.


WS 9460B Becoming A Girl: Girlhood Studies in the 21st Century
Professor Miranda Green-Barteet 
January - April 2017
Monday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: TBA 

This course introduces graduate students to the emerging field of Girlhood Studies focusing on the social, political, and cultural relations that shape girls’ lives. We interrogate the term girl in a variety of historical and geographic contexts in an attempt to understand how girlhood has been constructed. We also consider how the intersections of race, class, gender, and ability have influenced the ways in which girlhood is constructed. 


WS 9462B  The Geography of Migration
Professor Belinda Dodson
January - April 2017
Wedesday 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: TBA

Trends, patterns and processes of migration, drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives to examine migration flows in a number of international contexts. Particular attention is paid to the development impacts of migration as well as to emerging transnational migrant practices.


WS 9463B Feminist Methodologies
Professor Jessica Polzer
January – April 2017
Thursday 1:30  – 4:30
Location: TBA

This course will review feminist research methodologies from a variety of disciplinary traditions and theoretical perspectives. Through readings and assignments, a primary objective of this course will be to examine and articulate distinctions and relationships between epistemology, methodology and methods. Through guided practices of critical reflection, students will be able to articulate the assumptions that underlie and inform various feminist research methodologies and understand their implications for research methodology. Emphasis will also be placed on specific methodological issues that span across this range, and will include, for example: ethical issues, researcher reflexivity and positionality, sampling, and the art of data collection, interpretation and reporting. 


WS 9464B Trauma and Testimony
Professor Kim Verwaayen
January – April 2017
Tuesday 10:30 – 1:30 
Location: TBA

Engaging various practices across feminist theory, literature, art, film (and, to a much lesser extent, clinical therapy), this course explores feminist understandings of trauma, the uses of testimony, and feminist resistance through political, theoretical, and aesthetic actions. Specifically, topics include: the  western trauma studies canon and efforts to 'decolonize' it; feminist understandings of trauma, particularly vis-a-vis relationships between the “personal” (that is, private or individual experience, memory) and the “public” (collective and cultural trauma, testimony); conflicts between culturo-historical perspectives on/of trauma and experience;  “mislit” and the fetishism of the trauma spectacle; and, most centrally, feminist responses through often experimental forms of witnessing.