Courses for Fall 2024

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
GSWS 0002-401 Gender and Society Beans Velocci TR 12:00 PM-12:59 PM This course will introduce students to the ways in which sex, gender, and sexuality mark our bodies, influence our perceptions of self and others, organize families and work like, delimit opportunities for individuals and groups of people, as well as impact the terms of local and transnational economic exchange. We will explore the ways in which sex, gender, and sexuality work with other markers of difference and social status such as race, age, nationality, and ability to further demarcate possibilities, freedoms, choices, and opportunities available to people. ENGL0159401 Society sector (all classes)
GSWS 0003-401 Introduction to Sexuality Studies and Queer Theory Lauren G Bakst MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM This course will introduce students to the historical and intellectual forces that led to the emergence of queer theory as a distinct field, as well as to recent and ongoing debates about gender, sexuality, embodiment, race, privacy, global power, and social norms. We will begin by tracing queer theory's conceptual heritage and prehistory in psychoanalysis, deconstruction and poststructuralism, the history of sexuality, gay and lesbian studies, woman-of-color feminism, the feminist sex wars, and the AIDS crisis. We will then study the key terms and concepts of the foundational queer work of the 1990s and early 2000s. Finally, we will turn to the new questions and issues that queer theory has addressed in roughly the past decade. Students will write several short papers. COML0030401, ENGL0160401
GSWS 0050-401 Gender, Sexuality, and Religion Megan E Robb MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM What does it mean to be a gendered individual in a Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, or Buddhist religious tradition? How important are gender differences in deciding social roles, ritual activities, and spiritual vocations? This course tackles these questions, showing how gender - how it is taught, performed, and regulated - is central to understanding religion. In this course we will learn about gendered rituals, social roles, and mythologies in a range of religious traditions. We will also look at the central significance of gender to the field of religious studies generally. Part of the course will be focused on building a foundation of knowledge about a range of religious traditions and the role of gender in those traditions. This course focuses on religious traditions with origins outside the West. Although it is beyond the scope of this class to offer comprehensive discussions of any one religious tradition, the aim is to provide entry points into the study of religious traditions through the lens of gender. This course will train you in historical, anthropological, and theoretical methodologies. We will also read religion through feminist and queer lenses - we will explore the key characteristics of diverse feminist and queer studies approaches to religion, as well as limits of those approaches. RELS0050401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only)
GSWS 0500-301 Introduction to Disability Studies: Form, Text, and Practices Mae Eskenazi W 1:45 PM-4:44 PM This first year seminar fuses disability studies, queer theory, Black feminist theory, visuality studies, film theory, and disabled artistic practices. Centering the praxis of disability justice, this class asks students to think about practice and theory as an intertwined discipline. Students will study, write, and create works that looking towards models of production that center community based and interdependent relationality. Some areas that this course covers includes but is not limited to disability studies vs. crip theory, the history and legacy of AIDS epidemic, disability justice and mutual aid organizing, multi sensorial artistic practice, as well as tending to questions of labor, pain, excess, and debilitation. Disability studies has a long and complicated history of centering whiteness, domesticity, and the West in its models of rights-based advocacy. This class turns away from the white independent disabled superstar and towards the teachings of crip of color critique and disability justice to think beyond the terms and conditions that have been rectified as productive models in uplifting the “good disabled person.” We will use texts and teachings from Sins Invalid, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha, Octavia Butler, Audre Lorde, Park McArthur, Constantina Zavitsanos, Lochlann Jain, LaMarr Jurelle Bruce, Mel Chen, Kai Cheng Thom, and Sami Schalk to guide us in our efforts. Students will also engage with transformative justice and anti-carceral models of thought through Mia Mingus’s Care Pods Activity and a training from Health Justice Commons.
GSWS 0860-401 Is This Really Happening? Performance and Contemporary Political Horizons (SNF Paideia Program Cours Sharon A Hayes
Brooke K. O'Harra
W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM This class addresses the meeting points inside of and between a range of resistant performance practices with a focus on artists using performance to address political and social encounters in the contemporary moment. Performance, a chaotic and unruly category that slides across music, dance, theater and visual art, has long been a container for resistant actions/activities that bring aesthetics and politics into dynamic dialogue. Embracing works, gestures, movements, sounds and embodiments that push against and beyond the conventions of a given genre, performance can't help but rub uncomfortably against the status quo. Scholars working across Performance Studies and Black Studies importantly expanded critical discourse around performance to address the entanglement of the medium with physical, psychic, spatial and temporal inhabitations of violence and power. Generating copious genealogies of embodied resistance, this scholarship instigates a complex, interdisciplinary and multidimensional perspective on intersections between art and life, performance and politics. The class hosts a series of public lectures, presentations and performances by visual artists, choreographers, theater artists, composers/musicians, performers, curators and activists engaged with the social and political moment. Presentations will be open to the public with students in the course developing in-depth research into the work of each visiting artist/performer/presenter to engage the larger context of each visitor's scholarship and/or practice through readings, discussion and in-class presentations. This course is open to all interested students. No prior requisties or experience with performance or the performing arts is necessary. ENGL3652401, FNAR3160401, FNAR3161401, FNAR5064401
GSWS 1011-401 The Family Paula W Fomby MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM Family life is deeply personal but at the same time is dramatically impacted by social forces outside of the family. In this course we will examine how families are organized along the lines of gender, sexuality, social class, and race and how these affect family life. We will consider how family life is continually changing while at the same time traditional gender roles persist. For example, how "greedy" workplaces, which require long work hours, create work-family conflicts for mothers and fathers. We will also examine diverse family forms including single-parent families, blended families, families headed by same-gender parents, and families headed by gender non-conforming parents. The lectures will also examine how economic inequality shapes family life. Students will have the opportunity to apply key concepts to daily life. SOCI1010401 Society sector (all classes)
GSWS 1027-401 Sex and Representation Nudrat Kamal
Rose Akua-Domfeh Poku
MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM This course explores literature that resists normative categories of gender and sexuality. By focusing on figures writing from the margins, we will explore how radical approaches to narrative form and subject-matter invite us to think in new ways about desire and identity. We will read texts that blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, hybridizing the genres of poetry, drama, and autobiography to produce new forms of expression, such as the graphic novel, auto-fiction, and prose poetry. From Viriginia Woolf's gender-bending epic, Orlando, to Tony Kushner's Angels in America, this course traces how non-normative desire is produced and policed by social and literary contexts - and how those contexts can be re-imagined and transformed. CIMS1027401, COML1027401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes)
GSWS 1060-401 The Fantastic and Uncanny in Literature: Ghosts, Spirits & Machines Liliane Weissberg MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM Do we still believe in spirits and ghosts? Do they have any place in an age of science of technology? Can they perhaps help us to define what a human being is and what it can do? We will venture on a journey through literary texts from the late eighteenth century to the present to explore the uncanny and fantastic in literature and life. Our discussions will be based on a reading of Sigmund Freud's essay on the uncanny, and extraordinary Romantic narratives by Ludwig Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Prosper Mérimée, Villiers de Isle-Adam, and others. COML1060401, GRMN1060401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes)
GSWS 1101-401 Sociology of Gender Pilar Gonalons-Pons TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Gender is an organizing principle of society, shaping social structures, cultural understandings, processes of interaction, and identities in ways that have profound consequences. It affects every aspect of people's lives, from their intimate relationships to their participation in work, family, government, and other social institutions and their place in the stratification system. Yet gender is such a taken for granted basis for differences among people that it can be hard to see the underlying social structures and cultural forces that reinforce or weaken the social boundaries that define gender. Differences in behavior, power, and experience are often seen as the result of biological imperatives or of individual choice. A sociological view of gender, in contrast, emphasizes how gender is socially constructed and how structural constraints limit choice. This course examines how differences based on gender are created and sustained, with particular attention to how other important bases of personal identity and social inequality--race and class-interact with patterns of gender relations. We will also seek to understand how social change happens and how gender inequality might be reduced. SOCI1100401 Society sector (all classes)
GSWS 1242-401 Love and Loss in Japanese Literary Traditions: In Translation Linda H. Chance TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM How do people make sense of the multiple experiences that the simple words "love" and "loss" imply? How do they express their thoughts and feelings to one another? In this course, we will explore some means Japanese culture has found to grapple with these events and sensations. We will also see how these culturally sanctioned frameworks have shaped the ways Japanese view love and loss. Our materials will sample the literary tradition of Japan from earliest times to the early modern and even modern periods. Close readings of a diverse group of texts, including poetry, narrative, theater, and the related arts of calligraphy, painting, and music will structure our inquiry. The class will take an expedition to nearby Woodlands Cemetery to experience poetry in nature. By the end of the course, you should be able to appreciate texts that differ slightly in their value systems, linguistic expressions, and aesthetic sensibilities from those that you may already know. Among the available project work that you may select, if you have basic Japanese, is learning to read a literary manga. All shared class material is in English translation. EALC1242401, EALC5242401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes)
GSWS 1260-401 Intro to Latinx Cultural Studies Jennifer Lyn Sternad Ponce De Leon MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM This course offers a broad introduction to the study of Latinx culture. We will examine literature, theater, visual art, and popular cultural forms, including murals, poster art, graffiti, guerrilla urban interventions, novels, poetry, short stories, and film. In each instance, we will study this work within its historical context and with close attention to the ways it illuminates class formation, racialization, and ideologies of gender and sexuality as they shape Latinx experience in the U.S. Topics addressed in the course will include immigration and border policy, revolutionary nationalism and its critique, anti-imperialist thought, Latinx feminisms, queer latinidades, ideology, identity formation, and social movements. While we will address key texts, historical events, and intellectual currents from the late 19th century and early 20th century, the course will focus primarily on literature and art from the 1960s to the present. All texts will be in English. ARTH2679401, COML1260401, ENGL1260401, LALS1260401
GSWS 1361-401 Sex Matters: Politics of Sex in the Modern Middle East Secil Yilmaz MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM The course concentrates on the history of sexuality as it informed and shaped political and social change in the Middle East, and vice versa, in an engagement with global historical contexts. What does sexuality have to do with power, political rule, and mass movements in the modern Middle East? What can the study of sexuality and body politics teach us about colonialism and state formation over centuries of imperial rules and colonial regimes, as well as in the contemporary context of neoliberal capitalism? What is the relationship between studying LGBTQIA+ movements alongside with feminism and the use of sex and sexuality as an analytical category? This course will investigate selected themes such as modernity, nationalism, and colonization and connect them to harem lives, politics of veiling/unveiling, reproductive rights, race, polygamy, masculinity, and early modern concepts of same-sex desire in connection with modern queer thought and activism to ask questions about the preconceived notions about "Middle Eastern sexualities." The course focuses on discussing on some of the many roles that sex and gender politics have played in social and political change in the Middle East, while thinking about gender, history, and society comparatively and transnationally. HIST1361401
GSWS 1490-301 Law and Social Policy on Sexuality and Reproduction Sophia Elliot
Carol E Tracy
T 1:45 PM-4:44 PM This course will examine how statutory law, court decisions and other forms of social policy encourage or discourage various forms of sexuality, reproduction and parenting. Such issues as contraception, abortion, gay and lesbian rights, reproductive technology, family violence, and welfare and family policies will be covered.
GSWS 1680-401 Sex and Socialism Kristen R Ghodsee MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM This seminar examines classic and current scholarship and literature on gender and sexuality in contemporary Eastern Europe, and examines the dialogue and interchange of ideas between East and West. Although the scholarly and creative works will primarily investigate the changing status of women during the last three decades, the course will also look at changing constructions of masculinity and LGBT movements and communities in the former communist bloc. Topics will include: the woman question before 1989; gender and emerging nationalisms; visual representations in television and film; social movements; work; romance and intimacy; spirituality; and investigations into the constructed concepts of "freedom" and "human rights." ANTH1688401, REES1680401, SOCI2972401
GSWS 1800-401 Introduction to Queer Art Jonathan D Katz MW 5:15 PM-6:44 PM It's no exaggeration to note that queers have long been at the forefront of innovation in the arts, and that the arts, generally, have been a comfortable home for queers, even at moments when society at large was distinctly hostile. In fact the concepts of modern art and homosexuality that we use today are twins, for they were both founded in the third quarter of the 19th century and grew up together. Introduction to Queer Art thus begins with the coining of the word "homosexual" in 1869, and surveys how a range of mediums including painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and film shifted in response to new definitions of sexuality. Along the way, we will work towards answering two related questions: 1) Why were queer creators largely responsible for the introduction of modernity in the arts, and 2) why do we find so often that queer social and political dissent found form in, and as, aesthetic dissent as well? In creating new forms for art that often seem far removed from any traditional definition of sexuality, including non-objective and abstract art, queer artists pushed the boundaries of normativity, leading to new ways of seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking that often dared to encode queer meanings as part of their formal innovation. We will look into the politics of queer art, and how and why in the US, even amidst often dangerous homophobia, it was queer artists who represented America to itself. Thus, we will cover such key cultural figures such as Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, Georgia O'Keeffe, Frank O'Hara, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Agnes Martin. Throughout, new methods informed by queer, gender, and critical race theory will be utilized. ARTH1800401
GSWS 1861-401 Othello Abdulhamit Arvas TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM In this class, we will examine Shakespeare's Othello from a variety of critical perspectives through close-analysis of the play-text and adaptations on film and stage, beginning with the play’s earliest performance. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings. ENGL1861401
GSWS 2000-401 Epic Tradition: Dido through the Ages Rita Copeland TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM This advanced seminar will examine the classical backgrounds of western medieval literature, in particular the reception of classical myth and epic in the literature of the Middle Ages. Different versions of the course will have different emphases on Greek or Latin backgrounds and on medieval literary genres. Major authors to be covered include Virgil, Ovid, Chaucer, and the Gawain-poet. CLST3708401, COML2000401, ENGL2000401
GSWS 2315-401 Saints and Sex Demons Caroline Batten TR 5:15 PM-6:44 PM This course will explore some of the most fascinating uses of gender and sexuality in medieval English literature, from Old English epic poetry to Arthurian romance. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings. ENGL2315401
GSWS 2320-401 Queer Life in U.S. History Beans Velocci CANCELED Queerness has held a variety of meanings and queer life has looked different over the past several centuries of United States history, but it certainly isn’t new. This course traces queer existence—in terms of both gender and sexuality—from the seventeenth century through the present, and foregrounds lived experience, identity formation, community development, and political consciousness. We will attend closely to how race, class, immigration status, and ability shape and are shaped by queer life, and engage with current topics of concern in the field of queer history, like the rural/urban divide, capitalism and neoliberalism, and queer memory. HIST0819401
GSWS 2401-401 Indians, Pirates, Rebels and Runaways: Unofficial Histories of the Colonial Caribbean Yvonne E Fabella M 1:45 PM-4:44 PM This seminar considers the early history of the colonial Caribbean, not from the perspective of colonizing powers but rather from “below.” Beginning with European-indigenous contact in the fifteenth century, and ending with the massive slave revolt that became the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), we will focus on the different ways in which indigenous, African, European and creole men and women experienced European colonization in the Caribbean, as agents, victims and resistors of imperial projects. Each week or so, we will examine a different social group and its treatment by historians, as well as anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, and novelists. Along the way, we will pay special attention to the question of sources: how can we recover the perspectives of people who rarely left their own accounts? How can we use documents and material objects—many of which were produced by colonial officials and elites—to access the experiences of the indigenous, the enslaved, and the poor? We will have some help approaching these questions from the knowledgeable staff at the Penn Museum, the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Van Pelt Library. AFRC2401401, HIST2401401, LALS2401401
GSWS 2455-401 Happily Ever After? Melissa Jensen MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are no more famous opening words than “Once upon a time”. They are familiar to the point of ubiquity, beloved, demanded, simply accepted as a promise that something extraordinary is about to unfold. And, in fairy tales, something always does. In this course, we will focus not on that promise (after all, it’s an immutable truth), but on the less immutable “Happily ever after” that we expect to have follow. Because not every tale ends happily for anyone, let alone everyone. Just ask most fictional stepmothers. And even for the winner, the path is seldom smooth. We will examine fairy tales and folklore across continents and centuries, considering both form and function in how they stand as both rulebook and cautionary tale, specifically as they speak to gender. What determines success in these tales? Who deserves to win? The ambitious young man with few resources but plenty of ambition and cunning? The beautiful girl with few expectations but boundless patience? What, really, are the messages in these age-old tales? In their contemporary adaptations? When we sing along loudly with Queen Elsa of Disney’s Frozen, exhorting each other to “Let It Go”, what is it? Materials will include the traditional fantastical (Grimm’s tales, One Thousand and One Nights, Ghanaian folklore, The Odyssey, Pride and Prejudice), to the modern (Disney Disney Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, Angela Carter, Barbie) to the scholarly (Bettelheim, Lieberman, Kristeva, Warner). ENGL2355401
GSWS 2620-401 Italian Scandals Julia Heim TR 3:30 PM-4:59 PM When you think of the term “scandal,” what comes to mind? Is there something about a society’s national identity that makes particular scandals resonate and shake the culture more than others? By exploring several Italian scandals that have helped define the cultural fabric of generations of Italians, we will learn to understand the social and political roots behind the what and why of these phenomena. Through cross-mediatic and transnational archival research, we will look at the ways that different media and different nations use these phenomena to represent national belonging, social fear, and cultural expectation. Each crime has its own story, but how do they help us understand how Italy makes sense of itself through tragedy, corruption, murder, and mayhem? How bello is this bel paese after all? Did you ever wonder what’s behind Italy’s ever-revolving government? Or why do Italians prefer to use the English word “serial killer”? This course will be taught in English ITAL2620401
GSWS 2650-301 Sex Wars Sophie Lewis CANCELED In this course, we explore several “sides” of the conflict that raged between U.S. feminists four decades ago, as well as their entanglements with other political trajectories in the context of capitalist development. The aim is to shed light on contemporary discourses on sexual representation and sexual conduct as commonly framed under controversial rubrics such as “OnlyFans,” film ratings, “no kink at Pride,” sexting, “revenge porn,” sex-trafficking, and more. Rejecting or at least complicating the “pro-sex vs. anti-porn” definition of feminist history’s belligerent parties, students are invited to consider lesbian-socialist, working-class butch/femme, black feminist, youth-liberationist, sex-radical, and transfeminist permutations of the politics of “pleasure and danger,” going back significantly before the infamous flashpoint that was the 1982 Barnard Conference on Sexuality. Typically, “Barnard 1982” is lamented as a traumatizing event with a regrettable legacy. Yet is there something to be said in favor of the laying-bare of feminist enmities, indeed, enemy feminisms? Were there positive consequences? Further questions we might confront together on this course include the following: What is violent pornography? How (if at all) should it be produced, regulated, distributed, discussed, and consumed? What is violence against women, representationally? Why is it so prevalent in our culture and how might we change this? Whom do antiprostitution laws keep safe? What furthers the conditions of possibility for black feminist porn to flourish? Readings will include texts from Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, Susan Stryker, Gail Dines, Carol Leigh, Carole Vance, Lisa Duggan, Joan Nestle, Gayle Rubin, Jennifer Nash, Amber Hollibaugh, Ellen Willis, and Audre Lorde.
GSWS 2700-001 Folklore and Sexuality David Azzolina T 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Sexuality is usually thought of as being biological or social, divided into categories of natural and unnatural. Often misssed are its creative and communicative aspects. Examining the constructed social elements of sexuality requires attention be paid to folklore in groups, between individuals and on the larger platform of popular technological media. The most interesting locations for exploration are those places where borderlands or margins, occur between genders, orientations and other cultural categories. A field-based paper will be required that must include documentary research.
GSWS 2860-401 Sex with Shakespeare Abdulhamit Arvas CANCELED This course explores an aspect of drama before 1660 intensively. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings. ENGL2860401
GSWS 2872-401 Sex in the Museum Emma Nell Jacobs
Jonathan D Katz
MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM This course maps the often fraught intercourse between the history of sexuality and the history of museums, exhibitions, and curation. Bodies have long been the mainstay of art, but the attribution of sex to those bodies is a highly variable social phenomenon that tells us as much about the culture in question as it does about ourselves. Sex is thus in the eye of the beholder, defined by cultural, religious, scientific, and political norms, themselves often defined in and through a politics of visibility and exhibition. Beginning in the ancient world and moving into the present, this course studies the sexual politics of display, inherent but little studied, in the history of art history. From Renaissance battles over fig leaves to Enlightenment Europe’s titillation at what they saw as the unbridled eroticism of the ancient world to the culture wars of today, sex has long been a hidden motor of shifts in the art world. Whether coming to understand the so-called “Free Body Culture” of turn of the 20th century Europe with its very public nudity, to the explosion in nude performance in the 1960s to the culture wars of the 1980s in the USA over an art that addressed queerness, AIDS, and their intersection, we’ll see how often exhibitions have served as proxy for other social and political issues. In this course we’ll also come to understand the distinction between the nude, a category in art, and the naked, a category that was often said to corrupt art. Reading the latest work in queer, feminist and anti-racist scholarship, we will see how easily bodies on display can turn into sex, and conversely, slip as easily back from sex into bodies again. ARTH2872401, ARTH6872401, GSWS6872401
GSWS 3104-401 Poetry Lab Syd Zolf T 1:45 PM-4:44 PM A creative writing workshop in which students will learn to experiment and deepen their writing practice using the tools of poetry. To learn more about this course, visit the Creative Writing Program at ENGL3104401
GSWS 3440-401 Psychology of Personal Growth Pamela Zamel CANCELED Intellectual, emotional and behavioral development in the college years. Illustrative topics: developing intellectual and social competence; developing personal and career goals; managing interpersonal relationships; values and behavior. Recommended for submatriculation in Psychological Services Master's Degree program. EDUC3545401
GSWS 3501-401 Writing and Witnessing Syd Zolf W 3:30 PM-6:29 PM This course will explore one of the fundamental questions we face as humans: how do we bear witness to ourselves and to the world? How do we live and write with a sense of response-ability to one another? How does our writing grapple with traumatic histories that continue to shape our world and who we are in it? The very word “witnessing” contains a conundrum within it: it means both to give testimony, such as in a court of law, and to bear witness to something beyond understanding. In this class, we will explore both senses of the term “witness” as we study work by writers such as Harriet Jacobs, Paul Celan, M. NourbeSe Philip, Bhanu Kapil, Layli Long Soldier, Claudia Rankine, Juliana Spahr, and others that wrestles with how to be a witness to oneself and others during a time of ongoing war, colonialism, racism, climate change, and other disasters. Students are welcome in this class no matter what stage you are at with writing, and whether you write poetry or prose or plays or make other kinds of art. Regardless of your experience, in this class you’ll be considered an “author,” which in its definition also means a “witness.” We will examine and question what authorship can do in the world, and we will analyze and explore the fine lines among being a witness, a bystander, a participant, a spectator, and an ally. In this class you will critically analyze and write responses to class readings; you’ll do writing exercises related to the work we read; and you’ll complete (and be workshopped on) a portfolio of creative writing (and/or art) that bears witness to events that matter to you. COML3501401, ENGL3501401
GSWS 3520-301 Death and the Sacred in Queer Cinema Rudy Gerson
Lexi Welch
TR 5:15 PM-6:44 PM Death and the Sacred in Queer Cinema is a course for driven students interested in moving image, queer histories, and the politics of representation. We will survey histories of the moving image, film, and video art through the themes of remembrance, promise, death, and the sacred in order to ask questions of unrealized potentials, futurity, memory, and non-linear expressions. We will ask how artists have put pressure on straight concepts of time, pastness, and legacy. Our focus will be on how the medium of film and video can offer queer strategies and methods for intervening on dominant ideas of remembrance, while articulating our visions as critics, artists, and writers. This course is a seminar and production course for students who want to engage in research and experimental approaches to synthesis, with projects that could range from visual essays, films, lectures, poetry, and more. This course is intended for students with demonstrated experience in artistic production, art criticism, cinema studies, or creative writing. Interested students without relevant experience should reach out to instructors directly.
GSWS 3559-401 Gender and Sexuality in Japan Ayako Kano MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM If you have ever wondered about the following questions, then this is the right course for you: Is Japan a hyper-feminine nation of smiling geisha and obedient wives? Is it a hyper-masculine nation of samurai and economic warriors? Is it true that Japanese wives control the household? Is it true that Japanese men suffer from over-dependence on their mothers? What do young Japanese women and young men worry about? What does the government think about the future of Japanese women and men? Assuming that expressions of gender and sexuality are deeply influenced by cultural and social factors, and that they also show profound differences regionally and historically, this course examines a variety of texts--historical, biographical, autobiographical, fictional, non-fictional, visual, cinematic, analytical, theoretical--in order to better understand the complexity of any attempts to answer the above questions. EALC3559401, EALC7559401
GSWS 3655-401 Writing Class Ricardo Bracho W 3:30 PM-6:29 PM Gayatri Spivak has stated, “Of race, class and gender, class is the least abstract.” While materially true, in literary, theatrical, perofmative and cinematic representational schemes, class is often occluded, made permeable in opposition to longstanding economic realities or simply wished away in order to focus on plot and pleasantry. Within this course, students will instead focus their writing on class, whether that be on the middle classes, the bourgeoisie, ruling class, or the world’s majority: the working class. Work on class can take the form of satire or solidarity; expose conflict and antagonism between and within a given class; historicize individual relationships within the history of property relations; focus on finances, wealth, or poverty; portray class ascent or descent. Writing may be in any genre: poetry, fiction, memoir, political essay, film script, play or performance. We will read and view work by artists such as Tillie Olsen, Kae Tempest, Leslie Feinberg, Zadie Smith, Cherrie Moraga, Alma Luz Villanueva, Helena Maria Viramontes, Gary Indiana, Gloria Naylor, Paul Beatty, Robert Altman, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the Dardenne Brothers, Ken Loach, Lucrecia Martel, Bertolt Brecht, Clifford Odets, Adrienne Kennedy, Studs Terkel, Jean Toomer, Valerie Solanas, and the Chicano, Black and Nuyorican Theater Movements. We will develop work in/on class via writing exercises, attend readings, plays and performances both on and off campus. Students will do a midterm presentation of their work in progress. Final projects can be a short story, essay, a suite of poems, a play or film script, a short video, a collection of vignettes or a mélange of these genres. Let the writing of class begin! ENGL3655001, LALS3655001, THAR3655001
GSWS 4000-001 GSWS Honors Thesis Seminar Gwendolyn A Beetham This course is for senior undergraduate GSWS majors who will be completing an honors thesis. The seminar helps students decide on the most appropriate methodologies to use and topics to include in their thesis. Other topics include thesis organization and drawing conclusions from primary and secondary sources of data.
GSWS 6550-401 Black Political Thought: Difference And Community Michael G. Hanchard CANCELED This course is designed to familiarize graduate students with some of the key texts and debates in Africana Studies concerning the relationship between racial slavery, modernity and politics. Beginning with the Haitian Revolution, much of black political thought (thinking and doing politics) has advocated group solidarity and cohesion in the face of often overwhelming conditions of servitude, enslavement and coercion within the political economy of slavery and the moral economy of white supremacy. Ideas and practices of freedom however, articulated by political actors and intellectuals alike, have been as varied as the routes to freedom itself. Thus, ideas and practices of liberty, citizenship and political community within many African and Afro-descendant communities have revealed multiple, often competing forms of political imagination. The multiple and varied forms of political imagination, represented in the writings of thinkers like Eric Williams, Richard Wright, Carole Boyce Davies and others, complicates any understanding of black political thought as having a single origin, genealogy or objective. Students will engage these and other authors in an effort to track black political thought's consonance and dissonance with Western feminisms, Marxism, nationalism and related phenomena and ideologies of the 20th and now 21st century. AFRC6550401, LALS6550401
GSWS 6872-401 Sex in the Museum Emma Nell Jacobs
Jonathan D Katz
MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM This course maps the often fraught intercourse between the history of sexuality and the history of museums, exhibitions, and curation. Bodies have long been the mainstay of art, but the attribution of sex to those bodies is a highly variable social phenomenon that tells us as much about the culture in question as it does about ourselves. Sex is thus in the eye of the beholder, defined by cultural, religious, scientific, and political norms, themselves often defined in and through a politics of visibility and exhibition. Beginning in the ancient world and moving into the present, this course studies the sexual politics of display, inherent but little studied, in the history of art history. From Renaissance battles over fig leaves to Enlightenment Europe’s titillation at what they saw as the unbridled eroticism of the ancient world to the culture wars of today, sex has long been a hidden motor of shifts in the art world. Whether coming to understand the so-called “Free Body Culture” of turn of the 20th century Europe with its very public nudity, to the explosion in nude performance in the 1960s to the culture wars of the 1980s in the USA over an art that addressed queerness, AIDS, and their intersection, we’ll see how often exhibitions have served as proxy for other social and political issues. In this course we’ll also come to understand the distinction between the nude, a category in art, and the naked, a category that was often said to corrupt art. Reading the latest work in queer, feminist and anti-racist scholarship, we will see how easily bodies on display can turn into sex, and conversely, slip as easily back from sex into bodies again. ARTH2872401, ARTH6872401, GSWS2872401
GSWS 7471-401 Gender and Sexuality in Korea So-Rim Lee T 12:00 PM-2:59 PM How have gender and sexuality been historically constructed and shifted in modern and contemporary Korea? How did terms like “new woman,” “t'ibu,” or “soybean paste girl” enter the popular discourse at different points of its capitalist modernity? This graduate seminar investigates gender/sexuality at large in relation to heteropatriarchal kinship system, ableist national biopolitics, and normative citizenship on the Korean peninsula from late Chosŏn to current times. Moving through the eras of Japanese occupation, the Korean War and division, developmental dictatorships, to the current millennia, we focus on the critical role that gender and sexuality played—and continue to play—in the political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of nation-building, democratization, and neoliberalization that shaped the contemporary Korean societies. In this discussion-based seminar, we will read a broad range of secondary sources and explore different methods in interdisciplinary Korean studies including historiography, feminist cultural anthropology, queer and crip theories, among others. EALC7471401
GSWS 9017-640 Considering Race, Class and Punishment in the American Prison System Kathryn Watterson W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM This writing seminar will sharpen and expand our writing, while bringing to our hearts and minds a deeper understanding of the reality of imprisonment in the United States. This system never goes away. This year it is locking up more than 2,300,000 men, women and children—the highest per-capita rate of imprisonment in the world. Even when we know the statistics and watch shows about crime and jail on TV, what do we really know about life behind bars? For a year? Ten years? Life? As a young journalist, I saw how the criminal justice system was used to suppress Black leadership. I felt drawn to teach creative writing at Holmesburg Prison, to eventually investigate the state prison system, interview prisoners, make friendships, write a newspaper series, magazine articles, and my first book on the subject. For nearly five decades, I’ve observed the human cost of a prison system that connects and damages all of our lives and keeps people from poverty in place. In this course, we will seek insights in books and stories written from prisoners’ personal experiences. We’ll also read scholars—Michelle Alexander, Bryan Stevenson, Angela Davis and others—who shed light on the historical repetitions and political exploitations. Guest speakers will include public defenders, parolees, former prisoners, and those fighting for prisoners’ rights and re-entry. Students will gain a more intimate understanding of how the legacies of slavery, racism, the prejudices of class, caste, and misogyny intersect and determine who goes to prison and who does not. Students will free-write for ten minutes a day, every day, and write personal reflections on readings, films, and guest speakers. Responses will lead to essays or stories that students write and present for class discussion. These key pieces may draw from observation, facts and imagination, and may traverse literary nonfiction, memoir, fiction, or poetry. We will present the best of your work in a reading at the end of the semester. AFRC9017640, ENGL9017640, MLA5017640, URBS9017640