WGS.160 Science Activism: Gender, Race, and Power

WGS.160 Science Activism: Gender, Race, and Power

NEW CLASS!

Examines the role scientists have played as activists in social movements in the US following World War II. Themes include scientific responsibility and social justice, the motivation of individual scientists, strategies for organizing, the significance of race and gender, and scientists' impact within social movements. Case studies include atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons and the nuclear freeze campaign, climate science and environmental justice, the civil rights movement, Vietnam War protests, the March 4 movement at MIT, and concerns about genetic engineering, gender equality, intersectional feminism, and student activism at MIT.
E. Bertschinger

WGS.101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

WGS.101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

Drawing on multiple disciplines - such as literature, history, economics, psychology, philosophy, political science, anthropology, media studies and the arts - to examine cultural assumptions about sex, gender, and sexuality. Integrates analysis of current events through student presentations, aiming to increase awareness of contemporary and historical experiences of women, and of the ways sex and gender interact with race, class, nationality, and other social identities. Students are introduced to recent scholarship on gender and its implications for traditional disciplines.
A. Walsh

WGS.110 Sexual and Gender Identities

WGS.110 Sexual and Gender Identities

Provides an introduction to the history of gender, sex, and sexuality in the modern United States, from the end of the 19th century to the present. Surveys historical approaches to the field, emphasizing the changing nature of sexual and gender identities over time. Traces attempts to control, construct, and contain sexual and gender identities. Examines the efforts of those who worked to resist, reject, and reform institutionalized heterosexuality and mainstream configurations of gendered power.

K .Surkan

WGS.125 Games and Culture

WGS.125 Games and Culture

Examines the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of digital games. Topics include the culture of gameplay, gaming styles, communities, spectatorship and performance, gender and race within digital gaming, and the politics and economics of production processes, including co-creation and intellectual property. Students taking graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
T. L. Taylor

WGS.145 Globalization: The Good, the Bad and the In-Between

WGS.145 Globalization:  The Good, the Bad and the In-Between

Examines the cultural paradoxes of contemporary globalization. Studies the cultural, artistic, social and political impact of globalization across international borders. Students analyze contending definitions of globalization and principal agents of change, and why some of them engender backlash; identify the agents, costs and benefits of global networks; and explore how world citizens preserve cultural specificity. Case studies on global health, human trafficking and labor migration illuminate the shaping influence of contemporary globalization on gender, race, ethnicity, and class. Develops cultural literacy through analysis of fiction and film. Enrollment limited.
M. Resnick

WGS.154 Gender and Japanese Popular Culture

WGS.154 Gender and Japanese Popular Culture

Examines relationships between identity and participation in Japanese popular culture as a way of understanding the changing character of media, capitalism, fan communities, and culture. Emphasizes contemporary popular culture and theories of gender, sexuality, race, and the workings of power and value in global culture industries. Topics include manga (comic books), hip-hop and other popular music, anime and feature films, video games, contemporary literature, and online communication. Students present analyses and develop a final project based on a particular aspect of gender and popular culture. Several films screened outside of regular class meeting times. Taught in English.

I. Condry

WGS.161 Gender and the Law in US History

WGS.161 Gender and the Law in US History

NEW CLASS!

Explores the legal history of the US as a gendered system. Examines how women have shaped the meanings of American citizenship through pursuit of political rights such as suffrage, jury duty, and military service, as well as how the legal system has shaped gender relations through regulation of such issues as marriage, divorce, work, reproduction, and the family. Readings draw from primary and secondary materials, focusing on the broad historical relationship between law and society. No legal knowledge is required or assumed.

C.Capozzola

WGS.181 Queer Cinema and Visual Culture

WGS.181 Queer Cinema and Visual Culture

Analyzes mainstream, popular films produced in the post-WWII 20th century US as cultural texts that shed light on ongoing historical struggles over gender identity and appropriate sexual behaviors. Traces the history of LGBTQ/queer film through the 20th and into the 21st century. Examines the effect of the Hollywood Production Code and censorship of sexual themes and content, and the subsequent subversion of queer cultural production in embedded codes and metaphors. Also considers the significance of these films as artifacts and examples of various aspects of queer theory.
K. Surkan

WGS.222 Women and War

WGS.222 Women and War

Examines women's experiences during and after war and genocide, covering the first half of the 20th century in Europe and the Middle East. Addresses ways in which women's wartime suffering has been used to further a variety of political and social agendas. Discussions focus on a different topic each week, such as sexual violence, women survivors, female perpetrators of genocide, nurses, children of genocidal rape, and the memory of war.
L. Ekmekcioglu

WGS.226 Science, Gender and Social Inequality in the Developing World

WGS.226 Science, Gender and Social Inequality in the Developing World

Examines the influence of social and cultural determinants (colonialism, nationalism, class, and gender) on modern science and technology. Discusses the relationship of scientific progress to colonial expansions and nationalist aspirations. Explores the nature of scientific institutions within a social, cultural, and political context, and how science and technology have impacted developing societies

A. Sur

WGS.228 Psychology of Sex and Gender

WGS.228 Psychology of Sex and Gender

Examines evidence (and lack thereof) regarding when and how an individual's thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by sex and gender. Using a biopsychosocial model, reviews the following topics: gender identity development across the lifespan, implicit and explicit bias, achievement, stereotypes, physical and mental health, sexuality, interpersonal relationships, work, and violence. Limited to 20.
C. Kapungu

WGS.231 Writing about Race

WGS.231 Writing about Race

The issue of race and racial identity have preoccupied many writers throughout the history of the US. Students read Jessica Abel, Diana Abu-Jaber, Lynda Barry, Felicia Luna Lemus, James McBride, Sigrid Nunez, Ruth Ozeki, Danzy Senna, Gloria Anzaldua, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Carmit Delman, Stefanie Dunning, Cherrie Moraga, Hiram Perez and others, and consider the story of race in its peculiarly American dimensions. The reading, along with the writing of members of the class, is the focus of class discussions. Oral presentations on subjects of individual interest are also part of the class activities. Students explore race and ethnicity in personal essays, pieces of cultural criticism or analysis, or (with permission of instructor) fiction. All written work is read and responded to in class workshops and subsequently revised. Enrollment limited.
K. Ragusa

WGS.236 Introduction to East Asian Cultures: From Zen to K-Pop

WGS.236 Introduction to East Asian Cultures: From Zen to K-Pop

Examines traditional forms of East Asian culture (including literature, art, performance, food, and religion) as well as contemporary forms of popular culture (film, pop music, karaoke, and manga). Covers China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, with an emphasis on China. Considers women's culture, as well as the influence and presence of Asian cultural expressions in the US. Uses resources in the Boston area, including the MFA, the Children's Museum, and the Sackler collection at Harvard. Taught in English.
E. Teng

WGS.250 HIV/AIDS in American Culture

WGS.250 HIV/AIDS in American Culture

During the first years of the HIV/AIDS crisis, in the eighties and early nineties, activists marched and protested across major cities demanding government action, some of them still hooked up to IV drips and oxygen tanks; alongside them, artists, filmmakers and authors continued creating, many up until their literal last breath.  This course examines cultural responses to HIV/AIDS in the US during those first fifteen years of the epidemic, prior to the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy. In it, we will consider how sexuality, race, gender, class, and geography shaped the experience of HIV/AIDS and the cultural production surrounding it.  We will not only analyze how mass media fed into the stigmatization and blame surrounding the disease; we will also study how activist groups mobilized art to try to effect change in public consciousness and policy.  Finally, we will discuss the legacy of these cultural responses with respect the communities most affected by the disease today.  Materials include mainstream press coverage, film, theater, television, popular music, comic books, literature, and visual art.
J. Terrones