Women, Gender & Representation
Explore your interests in women in politics and history, intersectional feminism and race in literature and beyond. All of the courses in this program give attention to historical context and use an intersectional analytical framework.
Program Dates for 2022
Dates are forthcoming. Stay tuned!
Courses in this program include discussions of nonbinary and transgender embodiment and grapple with the production of gender and its relationship with racialization, gender oppression, queer resistance and structural violence. All of the courses in this program give attention to historical context and use an intersectional analytical framework.
Please note: For remote courses, additional synchronous class times may be scheduled. These additional times will be scheduled at the instructor’s discretion and with student availability in mind.
Smith College and the surrounding area are home to unparalleled archival collections and cultural heritage institutions that offer an immersive experience in women’s history. During your time in the course, we will explore women’s lives through archival research. With a focus on women and social change, you will be introduced to women who have altered the course of American history through reform, mobilization, cultural interventions and outright rebellion. We’ll gather insights about women who’ve made a difference—what inspired their passion and dedication to women’s equality, and how their words and actions changed the possibilities for women. You'll get a chance to play historian, discover a new role model or two, and find out more about what matters to you and what you can do about it.
This class is for students who recognize that we need a paradigm shift and want to change the world. What kinds of futures have you been made aware of through science fiction and fantasy texts, and how can you use your analyses to create change in the world? In this class, you will be a world builder. This is an interdisciplinary course that examines feminist science and speculative fiction narratives as political texts that critique society’s racial and gender hierarchies. By analyzing science and speculative fiction texts, you will find inspiration for your own constructions of the future. Your words will push the boundaries of what others believe is possible. You will produce a project about how to make our world better. Join others in suspending disbelief and believing in your power to promote change. Writers may include Adrienne Maree Brown, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. LeGuin, Nalo Hopkinson, Shirley Jackson, N.K. Jemisin and Sheree Renée Thomas.
We want to foster an open and welcome community of thinkers and learners. This class will support you in sharing your ideas and thoughts while keeping in focus that not everyone in the class has the same background.
Through films and work with historical materials, we will explore women’s efforts to participate in and exercise power through politics—from the historical struggle for suffrage through modern day fights for increased representation and women’s political leadership. We’ll think about gender roles and stereotypes that frame and shape women’s participation in politics—as women run for office, exercise the franchise, fight for rights and shape public agendas through activism. Through an exploration of women’s activism in such areas as reproductive rights, labor and workplace equality, and poverty prevention, we’ll ask the question of what makes something “a women’s issue”—and interrogate the possibilities and limitations that this framework opens up for women in politics.
Kelly Anderson is a faculty member in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender and director of the Archives Concentration at Smith College. She teaches classes in women’s history, queer studies and oral history, and she is passionate about including untold stories in our archives and our histories.
Fiona Maurissette, Ph.D., (she/her) is a lecturer at different institutions. After graduating from Wellesley, Fiona began her career in secondary education teaching in New York City. She completed her doctorate in English literature at Tufts University. Her research interests include Black speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, intersectional feminism, Haiti, Black diasporic freedom practices and maroonage. In all of her work, she centers the voices of the Black women who made it possible for her to be an academic truth-teller.
Erin Pineda is assistant professor of government at Smith College. She studies the politics of protest and social movement activism, particularly focused around racial justice activism in the 20th-century United States. Before moving to western Massachusetts in 2017, she earned her doctorate in political science from Yale University in 2015 and spent two years at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago.