Courses for Spring 2022

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 Alysia Carey
Akudo Ijeoma Ejelonu
M 05:15 PM-08:15 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><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
GSWS 003-401 Intro To Queer Studies Melissa E Sanchez TR 01:45 PM-03:15 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, COML003401
GSWS 086-401 Performance and Contemp Political Horizons (SNF Paideia Program Course) Sharon A Hayes
Brooke K. O'Harra
CANCELED 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. For Spring 2021, the public lectures, presentations, performances and class meetings will be adjusted to protocols and current conditions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This means most events will be virtual with the possibility of a live outdoor event. This is a recurring course. FNAR086401, FNAR586401
GSWS 090-401 Gender,Sexuality & Lit: Sexuality and Power 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. COML090401, ENGL090401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 101-401 Toni Morrison and the Adventure of the 21st Century Herman Beavers TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This is an introduction to literary study through the works of a single author--often Shakespeare, but some versions of this course will feature other writers. (For offerings in a given semester, please see the on-line course descriptions on the English Department website.) We will read several works and approach them--both in discussion and in writing--from a range of critical perspectives. The author's relation to his or her time, to literary history generally, and to the problems of performance, are likely to be emphasized. This course is designed for the General Requirement; it is also intended to serve as a first or second course for prospective English majors. See the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL101401, AFRC101401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
GSWS 118-401 Iran Cinema:Gend/Pol/Rel Mahyar Entezari TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This seminar explores Iranian culture, society, history and politics through the medium of film. We will examine a variety of cinematic works that represent the social, political, economic and cultural circumstances of contemporary Iran, as well as the diaspora. Along the way, we will discuss issues pertaining to gender, religion, nationalism, ethnicity, and the role of cinema in Iranian society and beyond. Discussions topics will also include the place of the Iranian diaspora in cinema, as well as the transnational production, distribution, and consumption of Iranian cinema. Films will include those by internationally acclaimed filmmakers, such as Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Asghar Farhadi, Bahman Ghobadi, Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Dariush Mehrjui, Tahmineh Milani, Jafar Panahi, Marjane Satrapi and others. All films will be subtitled in English. No prior knowledge is required. CIMS118401, NELC118401, NELC618401
GSWS 156-401 Queer German Cinema Ian Fleishman TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM Taught in English. This course offers an introduction into the history of German-language cinema with an emphasis on depictions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer themes. The course provides a chronological survey of Queer German Cinema from its beginnings in the Weimar Republic to its most recent and current representatives, accompanied throughout by a discussion of the cultural-political history of gay rights in the German-speaking world. Over the course of the semester, students will learn not only cinematic history but how to write about and close-read film. No knowledge of German or previous knowledge required. GRMN156401, CIMS156401, COML156401
GSWS 165-401 The Asian Caribbean Rupa Pillai TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course complicates prevailing understandings of the Caribbean and extends the boundaries of Asian America by exploring the histories, experiences, and contributions of Asians in the Caribbean. In particular, we will focus on the migrations of Chinese and Indian individuals to Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Guyana as well as how their descendants are immigrating to the United States. We will examine the legal and social debates surrounding their labor in the 19th century, how they participated in the decolonization of the region, and how their migration to the United States complicates our understandings of ethnicity and race. Ultimately, through our comparative race approach, we will appreciate that the Caribbean is more than the Black Caribbean, it is also the Asian Caribbean. ASAM165401, LALS165401, SAST166401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 215-401 Asian Am Gendersexuality Rupa Pillai TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course explores the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race in Asian America. Through interdisciplinary and cultural texts, students will consider how Asian American gender and sexualities are constructed in relation to racism while learning theories on and methods to study gender, sex, and race. We will discuss masculinities, femininities, race-conscious feminisms, LGBTQ+ identities, interracial and intraracial relationships, and kinship structures. ASAM215401, SAST215401
GSWS 216-401 Gender and Health Beth Linker MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Women's health is a constant refrain of modern life, prompting impassioned debates that speak to the fundamental nature of our society. Women's bodies are the tableaux across which politicians, physicians, healthcare professional, activists, and women themselves dispute issues as wide-ranging as individual versus collective rights, the legitimacy of scientific and medical knowledge, the role of the government in healthcare, inequalities of care, and the value of experiential knowledge, among many others. Understanding the history of these questions is crucial for informed engagement with contemporary issues. HSOC216401
GSWS 222-401 Afr Women Lives Past/Pre: African Women Lives Past and Present Pamela Blakely T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM Restoring women to African history is a worthy goal, but easier said than done.The course examines scholarship over the past forty years that brings to light previously overlooked contributions African women have made to political struggle, religious change, culture preservation, and economic development from pre-colonial times to present. The course addresses basic questions about changing women's roles and human rights controversies associated with African women within the wider cultural and historical contexts in which their lives are lived. It also raises fundamental questions about sources, methodology, and representation, including the value of African women's oral and written narrative and cinema production as avenues to insider perspectives on African women's lives. AFRC222401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 240-401 Gender & Popular Culture Alicia Jordan Meyer This course examines the representation of gender in American popular culture from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will examine texts across television and film, pop music, popular print media, social media, advertising, and fashion, and we will engage the historic relationship between these pop texts and sociopolitical movements. We will also read critical texts from the feminist and queer tradition on desire and sexuality, race, religion, and political power. And we will consider how the methods and modalities of gender studies can inform our understanding of pop culture. Students are responsible for three short papers of 3-5 pages and a final paper of 10-15 pages that showcase their original research around the themes of the class. ENGL240401
GSWS 252-401 Freud Liliane Weissberg MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM No other person of the twentieth century has probably influenced scientific thought, humanistic scholarship, medical therapy, and popular culture as much as Sigmund Freud. This course will study his work, its cultural background, and its impact on us today. In the first part of the course, we will learn about Freud's life and the Viennese culture of his time. We will then move to a discussion of seminal texts, such as excerpts from his Interpretation of Dreams, case studies, as well as essays on psychoanalytic practice, human development, definitions of gender and sex, neuroses, and culture in general. In the final part of the course, we will discuss the impact of Freud's work. Guest lectureres from the medical field, history of science, psychology, and the humnities will offer insights into the reception of Freud's work, and its consequences for various fields of study and therapy. GRMN253401, HIST253401, COML253401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) <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 257-401 Contempor Fict/Film-Jpan Ayako Kano TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course will explore fiction and film in contemporary Japan, from 1945 to the present. Topics will include literary and cinematic representation of Japan s war experience and post-war reconstruction, negotiation with Japanese classics, confrontation with the state, and changing ideas of gender and sexuality. We will explore these and other questions by analyzing texts of various genres, including film and film scripts, novels, short stories, mangazines, and academic essays. Class sessions will combine lectures, discussion, audio-visual materials, and creative as well as analytical writing exercises. The course is taught in English, although Japanese materials will be made available upon request. No prior coursework in Japanese literature, culture, or film is required or expected; additional secondary materials will be available for students taking the course at the 600 level. Writers and film directors examined may include: Kawabata Yasunari, Hayashi Fumiko, Abe Kobo, Mishima Yukio, Oe Kenzaburo, Yoshimoto Banana, Ozu Yasujiro, Naruse Mikio, Kurosawa Akira, Imamura Shohei, Koreeda Hirokazu, and Beat Takeshi. CIMS151401, COML256401, EALC551401, EALC151401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 277-401 Gender, Sex & Urban Life Samantha Love TR 12:00 PM-01:20 PM Is urban space gendered? Do we change how it is gendered as we move through it? Does it change us? This course explores gender and sexuality in the contemporary global city through the study of urban spaces. We will consider feminist, queer, and transgender theories of the city, as we investigate how practices of using and making space are gendered and sexualized. Each week of the course will be organized around a type of space, including subway, school, and birthing center, nightclub, suburb, and park. Assignments will include an auto-ethnography, a short critical essay, and a final assignment that asks you to propose an additional type of space in which to study the intersections of sex, gender, and the urban built environment. In each space, we will conduct an interdisciplinary exploration, drawing from sociology, anthropology, geography, city planning history, feminist and queer theory, as well as from fiction, poetry, music videos, photography, and documentary film. URBS277401
GSWS 290-401 Tpcs: Gendr/Sexualty/Lit: African Amer Wom Writers TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM 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 the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL290401, COML290401, AFRC290401
GSWS 290-402 Queer Theory Now David L Eng CANCELED 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 the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL290402
GSWS 340-401 Money, Power, Respect Roz Lee This course is about how to apply a race, gender and LGBTQ lens to support contemporary social justice movements in the U.S. and globally, including Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, transgender equality, and disability justice. We will explore intersectionality as a theoretical framework, and how it is practically applied to support social justice organizations and leaders, and fund social change. Over the course of the semester, Professor of Practice Roz Lee, a black lesbian feminist and lifelong racial, gender, LGBTQ and economic justice advocate, and who currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Programs at the Ms. Foundation for Women, will be joined by movement leaders and philanthropy colleagues to discuss and analyze what's happening on the frontlines of movements for equity, justice and freedom.
GSWS 344-401 Psychology of Personal Growth Pamela Zamel R 05:15 PM-08:15 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 Online: Synchronous Format</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.
GSWS 516-401 Public Interest Workshop Gretchen E L Suess R 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This is a Public Interest Ethnography workshop (originally created by Peggy Reeves Sanday - Department of Anthropology) that incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to exploring social issues. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students, the workshop is a response to Amy Gutmann's call for interdisciplinary cooperation across the University and to the Department of Anthropology's commitment to developing public interest research and practice as a disciplinary theme. Rooted in the rubric of public interest social science, the course focuses on: 1) merging problem solving with theory and analysis in the interest of change motivated by a commitment to social justice, racial harmony, equality, and human rights; and 2) engaging in public debate on human issues to make research results accessible to a broader audience. The workshop brings in guest speakers and will incorporate original ethnographic research to merge theory with action. Students are encouraged to apply the framing model to a public interest research and action topic of their choice. This is an academically-based-community-service (ABCS) course that partners directly with Penn's Netter Center Community Partnerships. ANTH516401, URBS516401
GSWS 517-401 Work and Identity Robin Lisa Leidner W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM The thinkers whose work formed the foundations of sociological theory considered the nature of the relationship between work and identity key to understanding social solidarity, power, and historical change. In recent years, the division of labor, structures of work, and employment relations have all been undergoing rapid change, necessarily affecting the possibilities for constructing identity through work. This seminar examines how changes in the nature and organization of work have reshaped the relationshop between work and identity. SOCI517401
GSWS 518-401 Nursing&Gendering of Health Care in the U.S. and Internationally, 1860-2000 Cynthia A. Connolly W 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This course examines changing ideas about the nature of health and illness; changing forms of health care delivery; changing experiences of women as providers and patients; changing role expectations and realities for nurses; changing midwifery practice; and changing segmentation of the health care labor market by gender, class and race. It takes a gender perspective on all topics considered in the course. A comparative approach is used as national and international literature is considered. This focus is presented as one way of understanding the complex interrelationships among gender, class, and race in health care systems of the United States and countries abroad. NURS518401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Crse Online: Sync & Async Components</span>
GSWS 520-401 Art Sex and the Sixties Jonathan D Katz W 07:00 PM-10:00 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
GSWS 529-640 History of Sexuality Kristine Lynn Rabberman M 05:15 PM-07:55 PM In this online course, we will consider the impact of social, economic, and political conditions on social constructions of sexuality, from the classical world of Greece and Rome, to the early modern West, to the streets of Victorian London and 1920s New York. Topics of interest include: the prostitutes of New Orleans' Storyville district; Jack the Ripper and sensational media accounts of crimes of passion; the taverns and bawdy houses of colonial Philadelphia; cases of sexual misconduct in premodern Europe, Latin America; and colonial America; the history of sexual harassment in the American workplace; the history of hermaphrodites and transgendered people; JFK and representations of 20th-century masculinity. We will pay special attention to the ways that race, class, religion, and gender come together to shape power dynamics through the development, change, and continuity in sexual roles, norms, and relationships. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 554-401 Affect Theory & Power Donovan O Schaefer M 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This seminar will examine contemporary affect theory and its relationship with Michel Foucault's theory of power. We will begin by mapping out Foucault's "analytics of power," from his early work on power knowledge to his late work on embodiment, desire, and the care of the self. We will then turn to affect theory, an approach which centralizes the non-rational, emotive force of power. No previous knowledge of theory is required. RELS552401, COML555401
GSWS 565-640 On the Nature of Gender Jacqueline N Sadashige In early 2017, animal rights lawyer Steve Wise argued that two of his clients should be afforded the rights of "personhood." The clients in question were chimpanzees. This case suggests that "speciesism" might soon be met with the same degree of suspicion as sexism and racism. This course will explore how such a shift could come about and what it might signal. We will begin by examining the western foundations of binaries such as human-animal, male-female, and self-other. From here we will explore recent attempts to dismantle these constructs by ecofeminists and post-humanists. We will also look at how such categories have manifested in social movements and cultural artifacts. Finally, we will investigate how our beliefs about who "we" are and what "we" are not can affect everything from the foods we eat to where and how we vacation. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 570-640 Mla Proseminar: Science Fiction and Octavia Butler Chi-ming Yang W 05:15 PM-07:55 PM This course treats some important aspect of Afican-American literature and culture. Some recent versions of the course have focused on the emergence of African-American women writers, on the relation between African-American literature and cultural studies, and on the Harlem Renaissance. This course is cross-listed with the English Department. See the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL570640, AFRC570640 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 581-401 Advanced Psychology of Women Suzanne G. Fegley M 10:15 AM-12:15 PM The course is intended for those who already have a foundation in the study of the psychology of women and want to expand their understanding of the provision of psychological services to include a contextual, feminist, and relational perspective. Theoretical and applied practices regarding women's mental health, issues of diversity, sexuality and relationships for women will be addressed. Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology and an undergraduate course in the Psychology of Women or approval by professor. EDUC581401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course Online: Synchronous Format</span>
GSWS 582-401 Gender,Power&Fem Theory Nancy J. Hirschmann W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This seminar will examine the theme of power as it engages questions of sex and gender. Subsidiary themes that will be developed over the course of the semester include: the modernism/ postmodernism debate as it particularly relates to feminism; the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality and class and how feminists can and do talk about "women"; the relevance of feminist theory to policy issues, and which theoretical approaches are the most appropriate or have the most powerful potential. The readings will start with "foundational" texts in feminist theory-- texts that anyone who wants to work in or teach feminist theory needs to have in their repertoire, they set out the background and history of contemporary feminist theory, and they operate from a variety of disciplinary frameworks. We then will move onto some newer scholarship and some more specific political issues and topics, depending on what students in the course are interested in studying. This course is open to undergraduates who have had some prior course work in feminist theory, gender and sexuality studies, and/or political theory, in consultation with the professor. PSCI582401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>
GSWS 587-401 Race, Nation, Empire Deborah A Thomas W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This graduate seminar examines the dynamic relationships among empires, nations and states; colonial and post-colonial policies; and anti-colonial strategies within a changing global context. Using the rubrics of anthropology, history, cultural studies, and social theory, we will explore the intimacies of subject formation within imperial contexts- past and present- especially in relation to ideas about race and belonging. We will focus on how belonging and participation have been defined in particular locales, as well as how these notions have been socialized through a variety of institutional contexts. Finally, we will consider the relationships between popular culture and state formation, examining these as dialectical struggles for hegemony. LALS588401, ANTH587401, AFRC587401
GSWS 593-401 Sex and the Human Sciences Heather Love
Sarah P. Brilmyer
M 10:15 AM-01:15 PM This course addresses the history and theory of gender and sexuality. Different instructors will emphasize different aspects of the topic. See the English Department's website at for a complete description of the current offerings. ENGL598401, COML598401
GSWS 790-401 Rec Issues in Crit Theor: Psychoanalysis and Critical Race Theory David L Eng W 10:15 AM-01:15 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. ENGL790401, COML790401