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WGSS 290

Topics in Women's Studies

An interdisciplinary exploration of a particular theme, area or period, with respect to issues of women and gender.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

CJ Gomolka

290A: Tps:Rage against the Machine: Radical Thinking in Contemporary France

Rage against the machine explores instances of rebelliousness and radicalness in the voices of several contemporary actors in the francophone (French-speaking) world through an interdisciplinary approach that centers questions of citizenship, integration, assimilation, language, and identity. Over the course of the semester, students will engage with authors and activists that question the political, social, cultural, and ethical viability of certain conceptualizations of France; that adopt radical, and in many cases, revolutionary social and ideological stances toward "Frenchness" and "the Western world"; that offer alternative histories, ideologies, and modes of existence to the homogenizing narratives of French universalism. Course material will ask students to negotiate questions of radicality and rebelliousness often at the borders of several contested social, cultural, linguistic, and political positionings. We will consider the diverse frames that make claims of rebelliousness and radicality possible within the francophone world and transnationally, as well as how these frames have been operationalized politically to marginalize, silence, or dismiss certain modes of thought. No knowledge of French required.

Karin Wimbley

290B: Tps:Women & Literature: US Women's Autobiography

This interdisciplinary course explores how American women narrate and represent their lives across media, including literature, film, and fine art. We will pay particular attention to women¿s autobiographical practices that employ both image and text to address the complexities of self-representation and the intersectionality of culture, memory, fiction, and history within these practices. Course themes include: definitions of national belonging; intertextuality and the construction of self; transformation and conversion narratives as social/political critique; and loss of innocence as a counter-hegemonic feminist strategy.

Deborah Geis

290C: Tps:Women Writers of the African Diaspora

In this course, we will focus on contemporary women writers of African descent, particularly their postcolonial experiences in the Caribbean, Latin America, the U.S., and the U.K. Our readings will cover a variety of genres, including fiction, memoir, drama, and poetry. Some of the authors we study may include Jamaica Kincaid, Edwige Danticat, Safiyah Sinclair, Helen Oyeyemi, Bernardine Evaristo, and recent performance poets. This is an interdisciplinary course that will require active reading and participation.