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Spring 2015 Courses


SWG 100 Issues in Queer Studies
This course introduces students to issues raised by and in the emerging interdisciplinary field of queer studies. Through a series of lectures by Smith faculty members and invited guests, students will learn about subject areas, methodological issues and resources in queer studies. May not be repeated for credit. Offered for 2 credits, graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. {H}{L}{S}
Kevin Quashie
Offered Spring 2015

SWG 150 Introduction to the Study of Women and Gender
An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of the study of women and gender through a critical examination of feminist histories, issues and practices. Focus on the U.S. with some attention to the global context. Primarily for first and second year students. the course includes lecture and discussion, and students will be assigned to sections. {H}{S} Credits: 4
Anna Ward, Carrie Baker, Elisabeth Armstrong, Instructor: TBA, Spring 2015
Offered Spring 2015

SWG 271 Reproductive Justice
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of reproductive rights, restrictions and resistance in the United States, examining history, activism, public policy, science and discourses related to reproduction. A central framework for analysis is how gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability and nationality intersect to shape women’s experiences of reproductive oppression and their resistance strategies. Topics include eugenics and the birth control movement in the U.S., the reproductive rights and justice movements, U.S. population control policies, criminalization of pregnant women, fetal personhood and women’s citizenship, the medicalization of women’s bodies, reproductive technologies, the influence of disability, incarceration and poverty on women’s ability to control their reproduction, the anti-abortion movement and reproductive coercion. {H}{S} Credits: 4
Carrie Baker
Offered Spring 2015

SWG 290 Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture
How do popular culture texts reinforce and/or challenge social norms? How do they both reflect and construct our sexual and gendered identities, the communities we identify with, what and who we find pleasurable? This course provides an opportunity to think critically about the media around us and what makes popular culture such a tremendous source of both pleasure and displeasure. The course examines a range of popular culture texts, including television, music, and new media. We will focus in-depth on a set of case studies designed to introduce key concepts in feminist and queer media studies, critical media literacy, and cultural studies. Prerequisite: SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. (E) {A}{S} Credits: 4
Anna Ward
Offered Spring 2015

All 300-level courses in the Study of Women and Gender are seminars and are normally limited to 12 juniors or seniors; seminars have prerequisites and all require permission of the instructor to enroll.

SWG 302 Intimacies
While scholarship on contemporary American society often emphasizes how distracted and disconnected we are, it can also be argued that we have developed new ways of connecting, generating intimacies that challenge, exceed, or swerve from traditional categorizations (e.g. sexual, familial). What are the queer and feminist resonances of these modes of intimacy? How has new media and technology helped to generate and proliferate new forms of intimacy? Topics include the use of social media, contemporary pornographies, intimacies across time, and the queering of the genre of the "buddy"/road movie. Prerequisite: SWG 150 and at least one additional SWG course. Enrollment limited to 12. (E) {A}{S} Credits: 4
Anna Ward
Offered Spring 2015

SWG 300 Special Topics in the Study of Women and Gender
The Gay 80s
In this seminar, we will look at the gay cultural aspects of the 1980s. In this regard, we will consider four particular things: the AIDS epidemic in the US and the activism that engages this crisis; the explosion of underground and mainstream art (visual art, music, literature, film, theater) that showcases an interest in thinking about sexuality, gender and gender normativity, sex and eroticism, and intersectionality; the decade’s culture of conservatism, especially in relationship to the legacy of the 60s and the 70s; and the emergence of queer studies scholarship. Permission of the instructor required. Prerequisite: SWG 150 and at least one additional course in SWG. {L}{S} Credits: 4
Kevin Quashie
Offered Spring 2015




SWG 101 SWG Reads
The course offers a series of talks and discussions about the ways that SWG reads the world around us and the times we live in. This course is designed to introduce students to "intersectionality," as a core concept and a distinctive methodology of the Study of Women and Gender. We’ll use a series of contemporary case studies drawn from current events, music, film, literature and history to develop a deeper awareness of how our individual experiences and social and historical forces intersect. The course meets Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:00 pm for 7 weeks beginning on September 11 and ending October 23. 1 credit, graded S/U only. Credits: 1
Lisa Armstong
Th 7:30 PM-9:00 PM

SWG 202 Queering Disability
This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of disability studies with a specific focus on the intersection between dis/ability and sexuality. We will focus on key frameworks in disability studies and explore scholarship that seeks to destabilize our ideas regarding difference. Through disability, we will think critically about conventional conceptualizations of disability and normality of communities. Special attention will be paid to the theoretical junctions between disability studies and critical theories of embodiment in feminism and queer studies. Prerequisites: SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. (E) {S} Credits: 4
Anna Ward
T Th 10:30 AM-11:50 AM

SWG 220 Introduction to Queer Studies
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of queer studies, including its historical formations and recent innovations. Particular attention will be paid to the roots of queer theory in feminist theories of subjectivity and desire, queer of color critique, and queer critiques of traditional domains of knowledge production. Prerequisite: SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. {L}{S} Credits: 4
Anna Ward
M W 1:10 PM-2:30 PM

SWG 222 Gender, Law, and Policy
This course explores the legal status of women in the United States historically and today, focusing in the areas of employment, education, sexuality, reproduction, the family, and violence. We will study constitutional and statutory law as well as public policy. Some of the topics we will cover are sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and pregnancy discrimination. We will study feminist activism to reform the law and will examine how inequalities based on gender, race, class, and sexuality shape the law. We will also discuss and debate contemporary policy and future directions. Prerequisite SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. {H}{S} Credits: 4
Carrie Baker
M W F 11:00 AM-12:10 PM

SWG 230 Gender, Land and Food Movements
We begin this course by sifting the earth between our fingers as part of a community learning partnership with area farms in Holyoke, Hadley, and other neighboring towns. Using women's movements and feminisms across the globe as our lens, this course develops an understanding of current trends in globalization. This lens also allows us to map the history of transnational connections between people, ideas and movements from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Through films, memoirs, fiction, ethnography, witty diatribes and graphic novels, this course explores women's activism on the land of laborers, and in their lives. Students will develop research projects in consultation with area farms, link their local research with global agricultural movements, write papers and give one oral presentation.. Prerequisite: SWG 150. {H}{S} Credits: 4
Elisabeth Armstrong
M W 9:00 AM-10:20 AM

SWG 270 Colloquium: Documenting Lesbian Lives
Grounding our work in the current scholarship in lesbian history, this course will explore lesbian communities, cultures, and activism. While becoming familiar with the existing narratives about lesbian lives, students will be introduced to the method of oral history as a key documentation strategy in the production of lesbian history. Our texts will include secondary literature on late 20th century lesbian culture and politics, oral history theory and methodology, and primary sources from the Sophia Smith Collection (SSC). Students will conduct, transcribe, edit, and interpret their own interviews for their final project. The course objectives are: an understanding of modern lesbian movements and cultures from a historical perspective, basic skills in and knowledge of oral history methods, and the rich experience of being historians by creating new records of lesbian lives. Prerequisites: SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20. (E) {H}{S} Credits: 4
Kelly Anderson
MW 2:40 PM-4:00 PM

Offered Fall 2014

SWG 300 Special Topics in the Study of Women and Gender
Topics course
LGBT Politics Internationally
This course will examine LGBT movements around the globe. Focusing on LGBT and human rights movements for equality, recognition and survival in an international and comparative contexts. Topics will include internal political struggles; failures and successes; cultural differences in the framing of "sexuality" and sexual identities ; gay marriage globally; international law and sexuality; NGO's and international activism; human rights violations and the United Nations, sexual health and AIDS. Prerequisite: SWG 150 and at least one additional course in SWG. {S} Credits: 4
Gary Lehring
Th 1:00 PM-2:50 PM

SWG 323 Seminar Sex, Trade and Trafficking
This seminar is an interdisciplinary examination of the international and domestic sex trade and trafficking involving women and girls, including sex trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of girls, brokered, forced, and child marriage, and sex work. We will explore the social, economic and political conditions that shape these practices, including poverty and wealth inequality, globalization, war, technology, restrictions on migration, and ideologies of race, gender and nation. We will examine the social movements that address sex trafficking and sex work, particularly divisions among activists working on these issues, and learn about and assess anti-trafficking laws and public policies. We will study recent laws and funding initiatives to address sex trafficking and assess how and whether these laws empower or disempower women. Throughout the seminar, we will apply a feminist intersectional analysis in order to understand the significance of gender, race, class, nationality and sexuality to women’s experiences, public discourses, advocacy, law and public policies on the sex trade and sex trafficking. Prerequisites: SWG 150, one additional course in the major, and permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. {S} Credits: 4
Carrie Baker
T 1:00 PM-2:50 PM