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    Vassar College
  Dec 10, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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WMST 375 - Seminar in Women’s Studies

Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
1 unit(s)

This capstone seminar examines recent topics in contemporary feminist theory, foregrounding work at the frontier and periphery of what we might call 21st century feminisms. Class readings and viewings are radically interdisciplinary and include themes such as sex worker rights, transgender feminisms, women of color feminisms, transnational feminisms, crip feminisms, post-feminisms, feminism and the body, and media activisms. 

Topic for 2017/18a: Women and Class. While modern identity is understood to reside at the intersections of race, class, gender, nation, and sexuality, class is the component that has received the least attention in recent feminist studies. This course examines the complexity of class, paying particular attention both to the absence of gender in traditional Marxist formulations of class and to the historical imbrication of class and race in the United States. The goal of the course is to make class a more visible category in women’s studies. Course texts are drawn from the fields of sociology, anthropology, critical psychology, history, economics, literary studies and women’s studies.  In addition to selections from Marx, Engels and Weber, we also read works by Carolyn Steedman, Valerie Martin,  Arlie Hochschild, Sherri Ortner, bell hooks, Dorothy Allison, and Pierre Bourdieu. Karen Robertson and Susan Zlotnick.

Topic for 2017/18b: Transnational Sexualities. This interdisciplinary seminar examines the scholarly field of transnational sexualities, which explores how the mobility of ideas and bodies across borders has shaped new forms of intimacy and sexual subjectivity. The course pays close attention to the traces of colonial inequality that reappear in contemporary sexualities and interrogates the limits of postcolonial nationalism for envisioning sexual and gender liberation. We engage scholarly analyses of queer diaspora, “global gays” homonationalism, sex and marriage tourism, military prostitution, and transnational media erotics. The course analyzes these phenomena as intersectionally constituted and inextricable from the structuring force of neoliberal globalization. Christina Owens.


May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

One 2-hour period.

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