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Fall 2016 SWG COURSES

SWG 101 SWG Reads
The course offers a series of faculty dialogues about the ways that the Study of Women and Gender reads the world around us and the times we live in. How do we read gender through, and in conversation with, race, class and sexuality? How do we understand a text differently through the lenses of sociology, cultural studies or historiography? This course introduces students to “intersectionality,” as a core concept and a distinctive methodology to read one text throughout the class. Graded S/U only. Credits: 2
Elisabeth Armstrong, Payal Banerjee
Offered Fall 2016

SWG 200 The Queer 90's
This course examines the emergence of queer studies during the early 1990’s and explores the shape the decade takes through analyses of politics and popular culture. The Queer 90’s historically situates queer studies within the Clinton era—amid the AIDS crisis, the backlash against identity politics and conservative attacks against the National endowments of the Arts. By reading queer theories alongside 1990’s era queer independent films, music, science fiction and the mainstream media that represent queer bodies and sexualities, this course contends with the subversive popular culture and the duplicitous political climate that makes the 90’s so queer. Credits: 4
Jennifer DeClue
Offered Fall 2016



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 study constitutional and statutory law as well as public policy. Some of the topics we cover are sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and pregnancy discrimination. We study feminist activism to reform the law and examine how inequalities based on gender, race, class and sexuality shape the law. We also discuss and debate contemporary policy and future directions. Prerequisite SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. Credits: 4
Carrie Baker
Offered Fall 2016

SWG 230 Gender, Land and Food Movement
We begin this course by sifting the earth between our fingers as part of a community learning partnership with area farms in Springfield, Hadley and other neighboring towns. Drawing from women’s movements and feminisms across the globe, this course develops an understanding of current trends in neoliberal capitalism. We also map the history of transnational connections between people, ideas and movements from the mid-20th century to the present. Through films, memoirs, history and ethnography, this course explores women’s activism around land and the environment. Students develop community- based research projects in consultation with Springfield food justice activists, link their local research with global agricultural movements, write papers and give one oral public presentation. Prerequisite: SWG 150. {H}{S} Credits: 4
Elisabeth Armstrong
Offered Fall 2016


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 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 also 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. Throughout the seminar, we analyze these issues from a feminist intersectional perspective. Prerequisites: SWG 150, one additional course in the major, and permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Credits: 4
Carrie Baker
Offered Fall 2016

 

Spring 2017 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 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} Credits: 2
Kevin Quashie
Offered Spring 2017

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 are assigned to sections. {H}{S} Credits: 4
Elisabeth Armstrong, Carrie Baker, Jennifer DeClue
Offered Spring 2017

SWG 238 Women, Money & Transnational Social Movements
This course centers on the political linkages forged in those transnational social movements from the mid- twentieth to the present that address the politics of women and money. We will research social movements that address raced, classed and gendered inequities alongside the costs of maintaining order. We will assess the alternatives proposed by global labor movements, from micro-finance to worker-owned cooperatives, to shed light on the cultural fabric of the global finance industry. Assignments include community-based research on local and global political movements, short papers & written reflections. Prerequisite: SWG 150 or permission of the instructor.
Credits: 4
Elisabeth Armstrong
Offered Spring 2017

SWG 270 Colloquium: Oral History and Lesbian Subjects
Grounding our work in the current scholarship in lesbian history, this course will explore lesbian, queer, and bisexual communities, cultures, and activism. While becoming familiar with the existing narratives about lesbian/queer lives, students will be introduced to the method of oral history as a key documentation strategy in the production of lesbian history. What are the gaps in the literature and how can oral history assist in filling in the spaces? What does a historical narrative that privileges categories of gender and sexuality look like? And how do we need to adapt our research methods, including oral history, in order to talk about lesbian/queer lives? Our texts will include secondary literature on 20th century lesbian cultures and communities, 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 oral histories from this course will be archived with the Documenting Lesbian Lives collection in the SSC. Enrollment limited to 20. Credits: 4
Kelly Anderson
Offered Spring 2017

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 United States; 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. Credits: 4
Carrie Baker
Offered Spring 2017

SWG 314 Seminar: Documenting Queer Lives
This course examines visual and literary documentations of queer life by reading autobiographical texts such as Audre Lorde’s Zami and Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues and by screening documentaries like Marlon Rigg’s Black Is...Black Ain’t and Performing Girl, a short film about transgender Sri Lankan performer D’Lo. We consider the power and value of documenting queer lives while examining the politics of visibility as impacted by race, class and gender presentation. Students produce a short film, write a short biography or propose another mode of documenting experiences of queer life as members of the LGBT community or as allies. Prerequisites: SWG 150 and one additional SWG course. Enrollment limit of 12. Credits: 4
Jennifer DeClue
Offered Spring 2017