Courses for Fall 2021

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-01:00 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">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
GSWS 003-401 Intro To Queer Studies Alicia Jordan Meyer M 10:15 AM-01:15 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. ENGL003401
GSWS 004-401 The Family Annette Lareau MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM 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 Society sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
GSWS 007-401 Population & Society Emilio Alberto Parrado MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM The course serves as an introduction to the study of population and demography, including issues pertaining to fertility, mortality, migration, and family formation and structure. Within these broad areas we consider the social, economic, and political implications of current trends, including: population explosion, baby bust, the impact of international migration on receiving societies, population aging, racial classification, growing diversity in household composition and family structure, population and environmental degradation, and the link between population and development/poverty. SOCI007401 Society sector (all classes)
GSWS 090-402 Gender,Sexuality & Lit: Writing Women, Part 1 Toni Bowers TR 05:15 PM-06:45 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. ENGL090402, COML090402 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
GSWS 109-401 Gender,Sexualty,Religion Megan E Robb TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM 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. FOLK029401, RELS005401 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">Humanities & Social Science Sector</span>
GSWS 122-401 Sociology of Gender Robin Lisa Leidner TR 01:45 PM-03:15 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. SOCI122401 Society sector (all classes)
GSWS 149-301 Law Soc Pol Sex Repro: Women, Gender, Sexuality and the Law Carol E Tracy T 01:45 PM-04:45 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 152-401 Love&Loss:Jpns Lit Trad Linda H. Chance TR 03:30 PM-05:00 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>
GSWS 180-401 Intro To Queer Art Jonathan D Katz W 03:30 PM-06:30 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 painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and film shifted in response to that development. Along the way, we will work towards answering two related questions: 1) Why were queers 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, 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. Were queer artists driven by a utopian hope that in a more modern world, the egregious homophobia/transphobia of the past would finally be no more? And finally we will ask about the social and political usefulness of forms of queer political dissent if those forms still remain illegible as queer to a wider audience. Throughout, new methods informed by queer, gender, and critical race theory will be utilized. ARTH180401
GSWS 226-401 Topics in Drama To 1660: Sex with Shakespeare TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course explores an aspect of drama before 1660 intensively; specific course topics will vary from year to year. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings. ENGL226401
GSWS 228-401 Tpcs: Classicism & Lit: Epic, Romance, Myth Rita Copeland TR 01:45 PM-03:15 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. ENGL229401, COML304401, CLST360401
GSWS 260-401 Women in Mod. South Asia Ramya Sreenivasan CANCELED This course on women in South Asian history has four objectives - 1. To acquaint ourselves with the historiography on South Asian women. 2. To gain an understanding of evolving institutions and practices shaping women's lives, such as the family, law and religious traditions. 3. To understand the impact of historical processes - the formation and breakdown of empire, colonialism, nationalism and decolonization - upon South Asian women between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. 4. To become familiar with some of the significant texts written about and by women in this period. We will read a wide variety of primary sources including a Mughal princess' account, devotional verse authored by women, conduct books, tracts, autobiographies and novels. HIST260401
GSWS 270-001 Folklore and Sexuality David Azzolina T 05:15 PM-08:15 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 287-401 Postwar Art Jonathan D Katz TR 05:15 PM-06:15 PM At a time of seismic shifts in the American polity, postwar art has too often seemed above the fray. Even as New York came to replace Paris as the epicenter of art world in the post war period, the rapid succession of styles and movements from Abstract Expressionism to Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Happenings can seem to have their own internal logic, severed from the historical backdrop of the time. Some of the artists we'll consider include Pollock, Krasner, Rauschenberg, Johns, Warhol, Kusama, Martin, Lichtenstein, Bearden, Oldenburg, LeWitt, Chicago and Judd. In this course, we'll reexamine American art and art criticism in the postwar period alive to everything from the Cold War's virulent anti-communism to the rise of progressive liberation movements around race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender. In the process, we will repeatedly underscore how art both served, and bit, the hand that fed it. ARTH287401, ARTH687401, GSWS687401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
GSWS 303-401 Gender, Capitalism, and Environment Shae Alexandra Catherine Frydenlund R 01:45 PM-04:45 PM What is "the economy," and how is "it" gendered? How is access to land, resources, and livelihood options mediated by hierarchies of gender that are co-constituted with race, class, age, and ability? How are gender equality, economic justice, and environmental justice interrelated? This course grapples with these and other foundational questions concerning the ways that gender, economy, and environment are intimately linked. Using case studies from around the world, we will consider Marxist-feminist, ecofeminist, political ecology, queer, critical race, and postcolonial approaches to understanding how abstract economic processes are materialized in social relations and in human-environment interactions. From women peasant farmer's online practices in Myanmar to land-grabs and contemporary witch-hunting in African countries, together we will engage with the material histories, politics, and power relations shaping the uneven distribution of wealth and resources among gendered populations - and how different social groups are mobilizing to contest these gender, economic, and environmental inequalities together. In addition to our core questions, this course asks: How is capitalism itself gendered, and with what effects? What is considered productive work, and how are categories of worker gendered? Why are women overrepresented as peasant farmers in global south countries? How and why is climate change gendered? How and why are solutions to climate change and other environmental problems gendered? What are the gendered benefits and costs of sustainable development, and who bears them? Most of these questions lack clear answers, but by the end of the semester you will be able to give compelling oral and written explanations in response to each. Using a diverse array of texts - including film, podcasts, poetry, and peer-reviewed academic literature - this course will equip students with tools to thoughtfully and ethically engage with academic, activist, policy, and development spaces that are concerned with the intersection of gender, economy, and the environment. ANTH313401
GSWS 307-401 Love, Lust, & Violence in the Middle Ages Ada M Kuskowski CANCELED Medieval Europe was undoubtedly gruff and violent but it also gave birth to courtly culture - raw worries transformed into knights who performed heroic deeds, troubadours wrote epics in their honor and love songs about their ladies, women of the elite carved out a place in public discourse as patrons of the arts, and princely courts were increasingly defined by pageantry from jousting tournaments to royal coronations. This course will trace the development of this courtly culture from the eleventh to the sixteenth century, from its roots in Southern France to its spread to Northern France and then to various kingdoms in Europe. Central themes will include the transformation of the warrior into the knight, the relationship between violence and courtliness, courtly love, cultural production and the patronage, and the development of court pageantry and ceremonial. This is a class cultural history and, as such, will rely on the interpretation of objects of art and material culture, literature as well as historical accounts. HIST307401, COML307401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span>
GSWS 332-401 Queer Science W 05:15 PM-08:15 PM This course gives students a background in the development of sex science, from evolutionary arguments that racialized sexual dimorphism to the contemporary technologies that claim to be able to get at bodily truths that are supposedly more real than identity. Then, it introduces several scholarly and political interventions that have attempted to short-circuit the idea that sex is stable and knowable by science, highlighting ways that queer and queering thinkers have challenged the stability of sexual categories. It concludes by asking how to put those interventions into practice when so much of the fight for queer rights, autonomy, and survival has been rooted in categorical recognition by the state, and by considering whether science can be made queer. Along the way, students will engage with the tools, methods, and theories of both STS and queer studies that emphasize the constructed and political underpinnings of scientific thought and practice. STSC331401
GSWS 344-401 Psychology of Personal Growth Pamela Zamel T 03:30 PM-06:30 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 389-401 Psych & Autobiography: Psychoanalysis and Autobiography Max C Cavitch MW 05:15 PM-06:45 PM Both psychoanalysis and autobiography are ways of re-telling a life. Psychoanalysis is often called "the talking cure" because, as patients tell the analyst more and more about their lives (their thoughts, dreams, memories, hopes, fears, relationships, jobs, and fantasies), they start to recognize themselves in new ways, and this can help them overcome conflicts, impasses, bad feelings, and even psychiatric illnesses that have kept them from flourishing. Autobiographers do something similar as they remember, re-examine, and re-tell their lives - though one very important difference is that they do so, not privately in a psychoanalyst's office, but publicly in books that anyone may read. This seminar is a comparative exploration of these different ways of a re-telling a life. We'll ask: What sorts of narratives do patients and autobiographers construct? What is the "truth" of such narratives? How complete can they be? What are the potential risks and benefits of re-telling one's life, either (aloud) in psychotherapy or (in writing) in an autobiography? What is the role of the analyst/reader in the construction of such narratives? What are the possibilities and limits of self-analysis? Students will come away from the course with a general understanding of 1) psychoanalytic theory and practice from Freud to the present, 2) the literary genre of autobiography, and 3) the meaning and importance of narrative in all of our lives. Seminar readings will include 1) famous psychoanalytic case-histories and other major works of clinical theory and metapsychology by such authors as Christopher Bollas, Muriel Dimen, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, Kay Redfield Jamison, Deborah Luepnitz, Theodor Reik, and Roy Schafer, and 2) major autobiographical works by such authors as St. Augustine, James Baldwin, Alison Bechdel, Vladimir Nabakov, Friedrich Nietzsche, Annie Rogers, Lauren Slater, and Barbara Taylor. In addition to the required reading and regular participation in seminar discussion, students will write several very short essays, prepare and deliver a brief presentation to the class, and write/produce a hybrid creative-scholarly autobiographical project that will be due at the end of the semester. Like most courses affiliated with the Psychoanalytic Studies Minor, this seminar will be team-taught by a humanities scholar (Prof. Cavitch) and a practicing psychoanalyst (Dr. Moore), who designed the course together. Feel free to contact them if you have any questions about this seminar: ENGL395401, COML397401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Benjamin Franklin Seminars</span>
GSWS 398-401 Surrealism in Americas Ricardo Bracho R 03:30 PM-06:30 PM Surrealism in the Americas is a workshop focused around the reading, writing and production of surrealist manifestos, plays, performances, poems and fiction. Taking the stance that surrealist literary production is at its base a left aesthetic engagement with form and politics, the course will survey North American, South American and Caribbean engagements with what is largely misunderstood as a European aesthetic and movement. The works of Aime Cesaire, Adrienne Kennedy, Leonora Carrington, Martin Ramirez, and Grupo Etcetera, among many others, will be studied and used as models for students' own writing and performance. Work will be both individually and collectively generated and the opportunity to work on public performances of surrealist plays will be part of the workshop. ANTH396401, ANTH596401, LALS596401, FNAR596401
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.
GSWS 436-401 Love, Anger, Madness: History and Silences in Modern Haiti Grace Louise B Sanders Johnson M 10:15 AM-01:15 PM On the stage of modern world history, Haiti plays the unique role as both exceptionally victorious and tragic character. This course interrogates archival documents, oral histories, historical texts, and prose created wi the nation and her diaspora in order to establish a nuanced image of the projection of Haiti's modern history. Using two classic Haitian texts, Ma Vieux-Chauvet's Love, Anger, Madness (1968) and Michel-Rolph Trouillot's Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995),this course examines how, why,and to what end Haiti's history and popular narratives a the country have served to construct and dismantle global movements, popul culture, and meanings of race, gender, and citizenship in the Americas. I our historical examination, we will question some of the iconic representations of Haiti through literature that deepen the affective historical profile of Haiti with interrogations of culture, sexuality, political, and media performance. Students will become familiar with the -colonial history of Haiti and the region, meanings of race, and the production of history. The course is a research and historical methods seminar. AFRC436401, HIST436401, LALS437401
GSWS 515-640 Queer Francophone Cinema Ian Fleishman T 05:15 PM-07:55 PM Taught in English. This course will survey queer cinema in French from around the world, examining cult classics beside established masterpieces and avant-garde aesthetics alongside more mainstream productions in order to probe how film participates in both the representation and the formation of LBGT epistemologies and identities. Tracing the lineage of queer French cinema from Jean Genet's and Jean Cocteau's A Song of Love (Un Chant d'amour, 1950) to Christophe Honore's Love Songs (Les Chansons d'mour, 2007), the course will cover a variety of films from France (by Francois Ozon, for example), Belgium (Chantal Akerman), Morocco (Abdellah Taia), Quebec (Xavier Dolan and Lea Pool) and elsewhere. Theoretical and critical perspectives will be provided by Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jose Esteban Munoz, Jack Halberstam and others. No previous knowledge of cinema studies, queer studies or Francophone cultures is assumed. The course will meet for two and a half hours weekly by Zoom, complemented by asynchronous discussion of assigned film excerpts, which students will annotate online. CIMS525640
GSWS 553-401 British Women Writers: Premodern Women Writers David Wallace M 08:30 AM-11:30 AM A study of British women writers, often focusing on the women authors who came into prominence between 1775 and 1825. See the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL553401, COML554401
GSWS 588-401 The Politics of Women's Health Care Bridget A Lessner CANCELED 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 678-401 Gender & Sexuality in Education Erin Cross W 05:15 PM-07:15 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 687-401 Postwar Art Jonathan D Katz TR 05:15 PM-06:15 PM At a time of seismic shifts in the American polity, postwar art has too often seemed above the fray. Even as New York came to replace Paris as the epicenter of art world in the post war period, the rapid succession of styles and movements from Abstract Expressionism to Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Happenings can seem to have their own internal logic, severed from the historical backdrop of the time. Some of the artists we'll consider include Pollock, Krasner, Rauschenberg, Johns, Warhol, Kusama, Martin, Lichtenstein, Bearden, Oldenburg, LeWitt, Chicago and Judd. In this course, we'll reexamine American art and art criticism in the postwar period alive to everything from the Cold War's virulent anti-communism to the rise of progressive liberation movements around race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender. In the process, we will repeatedly underscore how art both served, and bit, the hand that fed it. ARTH287401, ARTH687401, GSWS287401