This course will be structured around female artists, both contemporary and historical, whose work exists at the crossroads of writing and moving images. These women include Chantal Akerman, Mona Hatoum, Agnes Varda, Zora Neale Hurston, Renata Adler, Kathleen Collins, Virginia Woolf, Lynne Tillman, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Chick Strand, Yvonne Rainer, and Hito Steyerl. Discussions will focus on creative texts drawn from filmic sources, films that function as scenes of writing, and in-class creative workshops - all augmented by visits from practicing women artists. Students will be encouraged to produce multi-media work based on their writing.
Can the body disobey the limits imposed by the materiality of sex? Is it possible to disorganize the binary opposition without reinforcing its normativity? Can gender have a decisive bearing on bodily materiality? My seminar answers these questions, exploring the work of Latin American artists who aim to defy the norms imposed by the heterosexual imperative. Their own bodies generate a response, which arises from their compulsive need to call attention to their matter. I propose that the possibility of a new body depends on fiction and visuality to enable the deactivation of culture's normalizing categories.
How has the nexus of gender, society, and the performing arts been theorized, constructed, and experienced at different times and in different places in South Asian societies? What have been the impacts of modernity on the performing arts in South Asia? In exploring these and related questions we will draw from music, dance, film, literature, and ethnographic and historical sources as we consider the complexities of social and cultural discourses in relation to the performing arts.
An introductory exploration of women's experience of and participation in the Catholic Church and colonial Christianity in Spanish America. Through primary sources, secondary readings, lectures, and discussion, we will look at women's roles in the processes of conquest and colonization; how conversion and religious change affected gender ideologies and gender relations within indigenous communities; women's daily encounters with the church and participation in devotional culture; and the ways women's complex relationships with the colonial church was shaped by race and social status.
This course examines the ways in which gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by American politics and public policy, focusing in particular on the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with other politically relevant categories, identities, and forms of marginalization, such as race, ethnicity, class, and ideological and partisan identification.
The 21st century has witnessed the explosion of public and scholarly interest in gender in Islamic cultures. Within this context, anthropology has advanced path-breaking approaches in diverse localities from the Middle East to the United States. This course surveys theoretical and ethnographic approaches to the study of women, gender and sexuality in Islamic cultures, focusing on work written in the last decade.
This course explores how feminist thought & activism circulates globally by examining a variety of feminist movements in the Middle East & North Africa. Beginning with modern feminist thought and activism in mid-19th century Syria & Egypt, we'll trace feminist movements in various contemporary contexts, from Morocco, Iran, Turkey, Tunisia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon & Egypt in the 20th century, to women's participation in the Arab Spring and transnational Islamic movements in the 21st century. We'll map the local and geopolitical discourses that have shaped regional feminisms, and ask how local feminisms are transnational or global.
The Cuban revolution has been one of the most radical sociopolitical experiments of the past century. Comparing historiographical accounts with the recollections of individuals involved in the actual events, this course investigates the impact of the revolutionary process on the complex interplays between race, gender and sexuality. Participants are encouraged to chronicle how their own personal understanding of these interplays is illuminated, confirmed or challenged by their research. We will travel to Havana, Cuba during the spring break to conduct further onsite research.
The prison is a growth industry in the U.S.; it is also a central institution in U.S. political and social life, shaping our experience of race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and political possibility. This course explores the history of incarceration over the course of more than two centuries. It tracks the emergence of the penitentiary in the early national period and investigates mass incarceration of the late 20th century. Topics include the relationship between the penitentiary and slavery; the prisoners' rights movement; Japanese internment; immigration detention; and the privatization and globalization of prisons.
This course explores how gender is integral to constructions of health and illness. How do techniques of knowledge production in law, biomedicine, and public health rely on and invent ideas about gender difference? How is gender embodied in individual and collective experiences of suffering and affliction? How are such bodily experiences cross-cut by other conditions of social life, such as; culture, race, class, ethnicity, nationality and migration? The course combines readings in anthropology, literature, women’s and gender studies, and critical theory to explore these questions in the contemporary context of the United States.