Courses for Fall 2020

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
GSWS 002-001 Gender & Society Maria E Murphy TR 12:00 PM-01:30 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 institutions, 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. Prerequisite: Requirement for Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies major and minor Society sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 003-601 Intro To Queer Studies Shoshana Adler T 05:30 PM-08:30 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. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 004-401 The Family Annette Lareau MW 05:00 PM-06:30 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. SOCI004401, SOCI524401 Society sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 060-401 Intro To Latinx Cultural Studies Jennifer Lyn Sternad Ponce De Leon MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course offers a broad introduction to the study of Latina/o/x 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 Latino/a/xs' 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. LALS060401, ENGL070401, COML070401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 090-401 Gender,Sexuality & Lit: Writing Women:1660-1760 Toni Bowers MW 05:00 PM-06:30 PM This course will focus on questions of gender difference and of sexual desire in a range of literary works, paying special attention to works by women and treatments of same-sex desire. More fundamentally, the course will introduce students to questions about the relation between identity and representation. We will attend in particular to intersections between gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation, and will choose from a rich vein of authors: Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, the Brontes, Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Nella Larsen, Radclyffe Hall, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Bishop, Jean Rhys, James Baldwin, Sylvia Plath, Bessie Head, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Cherrie Moraga, Toni Morrison, Michael Cunningham, Dorothy Allison, Jeanette Winterson, and Leslie Feinberg. See the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL090401, COML090401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 109-401 Gender,Sexualty,Religion Megan E Robb TR 10:30 AM-12:00 PM What does it mean to be a gendered individual in a Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or Sikh 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. The first 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 emphasizes religious traditions 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 emphasize both historical perspectives and contemporary contexts. 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. RELS005401, FOLK029401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Humanities & Social Science Sector</span>
GSWS 111-401 Gender and Elections Dawn L Teele TR 10:30 AM-12:00 PM This course tackles four theoretical and empirical challenges related to gender and political equality: the extension of citizenship rights and voting rights to women; the problem of women's persistent under-representation in politics; the nature of the gender gap in preferences across time and space; and the possibilities for substantive representation. We will focus about half the class on the US (contrasting the experiences of white and black women and men in politics) and the other half on other countries, detailing how different party systems, variation in electoral rules (like proportional representation), and institutional innovations such as gender quotas, enable or constrain gender equality in politics. PSCI111401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 119-401 Witchcraft & Possession Robert St.George MW 01:00 PM-02:00 PM This course explores world witchcraft and possession from the persecutions of the early seventeenth century through the rise of Wicca in the twentieth century. The mere mention of these terms, or of such close cousins as demonology, sorcery, exorcism, magic, and the witches Sabbath, raises clear ethnographic and historical challenges. How can the analysis of witchcraft-- including beliefs, patterns of accusation, the general social position of victims, the intensity and timing of witch hunts, and its relation to religious practice, law, language, gender, social marginalization, and property--lead us to a more humane understanding of belief and action? Films such as The Exorcist, The Blair Witch Project, The Crucible, and Three Sovereigns for Sarah will focus discussion. ANTH118401, HIST118401, RELS109401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Humanities & Social Science Sector</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
GSWS 149-301 Law Soc Pol Sex Repro: Women, Gender, Sexuality and the Law Carol E Tracy T 01:30 PM-04:30 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. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 152-401 Love&Loss:Jpns Lit Trad Linda H. Chance TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM 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. EALC552401, EALC152401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 162-401 Women in Jewish Lit Kathryn Hellerstein TR 01:30 PM-03:00 PM "Jewish woman, who knows your life? In darkness you have come, in darkness do you go." J. L. Gordon (1890). This course will bring into the light the long tradition of women as readers, writers, and subjects in Jewish literature. All texts will be in translation from Yiddish and Hebrew, or in English. Through a variety of genres -- devotional literature, memoir, fiction, and poetry -- we will study women's roles and selves, the relations of women and men, and the interaction between Jewish texts and women's lives. The legacy of women in Yiddish devotional literature will serve as background for our reading of modern Jewish fiction and poetry from the past century. The course is divided into five segments. The first presents a case study of the Matriarchs Rachel and Leah, as they are portrayed in the Hebrew Bible, in rabbinic commentary, in pre-modern prayers, and in modern poems. We then examine a modern novel that recasts the story of Dinah, Leah's daughter. Next we turn to the seventeenth century Glikl of Hamel, the first Jewish woman memoirist. The third segment focuses on devotional literature for and by women. In the fourth segment, we read modern women poets in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. The course concludes with a fifth segment on fiction written by women in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. All readings and lectures in English. JWST268401, GRMN262401, NELC154401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Benjamin Franklin Seminars</span>
GSWS 228-401 Tpcs: Classicism & Lit: Epic, Romance, Myth Rita Copeland MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM Ancient epic and mythology had a curious and rich afterlife in the Middle Ages. Virgil and Ovid were taught in medieval schools, read for their moral content, and revered as fiction that concealed great philosophical value. Their influence also gave rise to the great literary form of the Middle Ages, romance: narratives that place a premium on erotic love, individual quests, the unpredictability of adventure, and imaginary or exotic settings. Yet despite what may appear to be merely gratifying entertainment, medieval romance and medieval receptions of classical myth did tremendous cultural work, enabling profound explorations of history, political values, gender and sexual identity, and social power. We will spend some weeks reading Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid's Heroides and Metamorphoses. Then we will turn to medieval reimaginings of classical myth and metamorphosis, including poetry by Marie de France, Chretien de Troyes, and Chaucer, and anonymous works such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. COML304401, ENGL229401, CLST360401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 270-601 Folklore and Sexuality David Azzolina T 06:30 PM-09:30 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. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 315-401 Queer Modernisms Jonathan D Katz TR 01:30 PM-03:00 PM This course tracks the development of Modernism in America, Western Europe, and specific other locations around the globe, with particular emphasis as to how and why dissident sexualities so often found expression in and as aesthetic dissent. Creating new expressive forms and theories that often seem far removed from any traditional definition of sexuality, queer modernist artists often replaced dangerous forms of social dissent with more prudent forms of formal dissidence. In pursuing these questions, we will place art in its broader social context, seeking to answer such significant problems as how and why forms of artistic representation that were once transparent, eminently legible to all strata of society, increasingly became, under the avant garde, designed to speak only to an elect, to a select few in our culture. We will ask what happens when art deliberately narrows its audience, and how that narrowing is related to questions of sexual difference. What is the relationship between queerness and cultural elitism, a connection generally presumed in popular culture, but rarely examined academically? And finally we will ask about the utility of forms of queer political dissent if those forms remain illegible as queer to a wider audience. Throughout, new methods informed by queer, gender, and critical race theory will be utilized. ARTH383401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 344-401 Psychology of Personal Growth Pamela Zamel T 04:30 PM-07:30 PM 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. EDUC345401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
GSWS 390-401 Tpcs: Gendr/Sexualty/Lit: Reproductive Fictions Emily D. Steinlight CANCELED The advanced women's studies course in the English department, focusing on a particular aspect of literature by and about women. Topics might include: "Victorian Literary Women"; "Women, Politics, and Literature"; "Feminist Literary Theory"; and similar foci. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings. ENGL390401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Benjamin Franklin Seminars</span>
GSWS 400-301 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. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 512-401 Passion Projects: Radical Experiments in Writing Plays, Screenplays, Solo Shows, and Pilots Ricardo Bracho R 04:30 PM-07:30 PM This creative writing workshop will focus on writing for screen, stage and internet and is open to undergraduate and graduate students at every level of writing experience. The course will be writing intensive and also include the reading and analysis of feminist, trans, queer, working class and racially liberatory plays, films, television and performance as models of inspiration. Meditation, drawing, theater games, improv exercises, screenings and outings to see work on and off campus will round out this holistic and experimental approach to making work that illuminates and entertains audiences from across the US and global audience spectrum. ENGL134401, LALS512401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 520-401 Art Sex and the Sixties Jonathan D Katz R 04:30 PM-07:30 PM With a distinct emphasis on post World War II performance, film, sculpture and painting, this course explores the conjunction of the period's systematic revamping of our social/sexual schema with the equally revolutionary ascendancy of an artistic postmodernity. And it seeks to explore this dynamic not only within the familiar confines of North America and Europe but towards Latin America and Asia, too, in what was a nearly simultaneous emergence of the erotic as a political force in the 60s. Reading a range of key voices from Brazilian theorist and poet Oswald de Andrade to Frankfurt School philosopher Herbert Marcuse, performance artists Carolee Schneemann, and Yoko Ono, Neo-Freudian theorist Norman O. Brown and lesbian feminist author Monique Wittig, we will examine how and why sex became a privileged form of politics at this historical juncture in a range of different contexts across the globe. Students interested in feminist, gender or queer theory, social revolution, performance studies, post war art and Frankfurt School thought should find the course particularly appealing, but it assumes no background in any of these fields. ARTH583401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 555-401 Women and Incarceration: Health Education For Incarcerated Women Kathleen M Brown CANCELED This elective course will afford students the opportunity to develop and implement health education workshops for incarcerated women in the Philadelphia jail system. Students will explore the social and historical framework and trends in the incarceration of women, as well as the needs of this population, and will identify specific areas that need to be addressed by particular disciplines or professions. Students will have direct contact with the jail system, its staff, and female inmates. NURS555401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">An Academically Based Community Serv Course</span>
GSWS 578-401 Sex & Postmodern Art Jonathan D Katz CANCELED This course is fundamentally concerned with why so many of the defining artists of the postwar generation were queer, indeed such that one could plausibly claim that postmodernism in American art was a queer innovation. Centrally, most of these artists raise the problem, as the above quotes underscore, of authoriality and its discontents. Deploying a combination of social-historical and theoretical texts, we will approach the problem of the disclaiming of authoriality in post war American art, focusing on the works of John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana, Louise Nevelson, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Leon Polk Smith and not least Andy Warhol. Central to this course will be the continuing salience of the "death of the author" discourse, pioneered in literature by Barthes and Foucault, and in art by every one of the artists we will be examining. What, in short, is the relationship between the rise of an anti-biographical, anti-authorial theoretical framework, and the lived histories of so many queer authors? In asking this question, we are of course self-consciously violating the very premise of one key strand of postmodernist critique--and in so doing attempting to historicize a theoretical frame that is strikingly resistant to historical analysis. (Undergraduates interested in the course should contact Professor Katz.) ARTH580401
GSWS 588-401 The Politics of Women's Health Care Bridget A Lessner R 04:00 PM-07:00 PM This course will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to address the field of women's health care. The constructs of women's health care will be examined from a clinical, as well as sociological, anthropological and political point of view. Topics will reflect the historical movement of women's health care from an an obstetrical/gynecological view to one that encompasses the entire life span and life needs of women. The emphasis of the course will be to undertake a critical exploration of the diversity diversity of women's health care needs and the past and current approaches to this care. Issues will be addressed from both a national and global perspective, with a particular focus on the relationship between women's equality/inequality status and state of health. This course satisfies the Society & Social Structures Sector for Nursing Class of 2012 and Beyond. NURS588401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 589-401 Rec Issue in Crit Theory: the Affordances of Guilt Melissa E Sanchez R 12:00 PM-03:00 PM This course is a critical exploration of recent literary and cultural theory, usually focusing on one particular movement or school, such as phenomenology, psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School, or deconstruction. ENGL590401, COML590401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 655-401 Tpcs in Blk Poli Thought Michael G. Hanchard W 05:00 PM-08:00 PM 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. AFRC655401, PSCI612401, LALS656401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 678-401 Gender & Sexuality in Education Erin Cross W 05:00 PM-07:00 PM This seminar gives an overview of the intersections and interplay among gender, sexuality, and education through theory, practice, current discussions, and analysis of varied contexts in English speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia). After examining the theoretical foundations of genders and sexualities, we will look at their histories and effects in K-12 schools and colleges and universities as well as explore special topics. EDUC678401
GSWS 771-401 Current Japanology Ayako Kano F 11:00 AM-02:00 PM Major trends in scholarship as reflected in important recent publications, especially formative books and periodical literatures. The trajectory within certain disciplines as well as the interaction among them will be critically evaluated in terms of gains and losses. Implications of these theses in the planning of graduate and postgraduate research. Prerequisite: Knowledge of reading Japanese. EALC771401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 790-402 Rec Issues in Crit Theor David C Kazanjian T 06:00 PM-09:00 PM The primary for this course is the English Department. When the course content includes gender, sexuality and women's studies it will be cross-listed with GSWS. See additional information and description on the English Department's website: See the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL790402, COML790402