University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies


Fall 2017
Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Please check the Registrar's page for updates
Course Catalog listings

GSWS D2: Introduction to Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies
001A TAP &B ~ Annika Ljung-Baruth
001C ~ Ellen Andersen
001D&E ~ Jessica Evans

Description: This course introduces the basic vocabulary of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies through an exploration of central questions in the field.  What is the difference between sex and gender and how are the two related?  What are sexual and gender identities?  How are sex, gender, and sexuality shaped by society, culture, and history?  What is their relationship to politics? How do gender and sexuality intersect with each other as well as with other aspects of identity/experience like race and class?  What is meant by terms like sexism, heterosexism, heteronormativity, homonormativity, transmisogyny, and cisgender privilege?  How are sex, gender, and sexuality created and maintained in mainstream culture?  How have social movements challenged and changed norms around gender and sexuality?  We will explore these and other questions throughout this semester-long introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.

GSWS 095A ~ TAP: Women Nazi Germany
Helga Schreckenberger

Description: This course examines the experiences of women during the period of National Socialism and their memories of these experiences. Women played a variety of roles during National Socialism: they were perpetrators (e.g., convinced party members, brutal concentration camp guards), bystanders and fellow-travelers of the Nazi ideology; victims (due to their race, their sexual orientation, or their political or religious views); and resistance fighters. Drawing on a variety of readings (fiction and non-fiction) and films (documentary and feature films) we will reconstruct the Nazi’s idea of “womanhood,” and examine the different experiences and options of women living under the National Socialist regime. The focus will be on the intersections of race and gender, sexuality and gender, and class and gender.

GSWS 095B ~ TAP: Gender, Sexuality in American Poetry
Eve Alexandra
Description: In this course we will study intersections between gender and power on a global scale.  We will engage in transnational feminist analyses in our efforts to interpret and understand gendered experiences in both non-western and western cultures. We will study effects of globalization on women, men, children, and the environment, as well as ways in which local, national and international feminist organizing has failed or succeeded in the efforts to achieve universal equality. We will seek to understand how and why global neo-liberal capitalist agendas often have had devastating effects on families and communities in non-western countries. In this process, we will address the roles and responsibilities of world organizations such as the IMF (International Monetary Foundation) and the World Bank as cultures and communities are eroding. We will ask ourselves why First World organizations such as USAID, and sometimes even the UN, are unable to effectively bring about positive change. In this context, we will explore and investigate ways in which gender is perceived, treated, and manifested differently along lines of age, class, disabilities, ethnicity, nationality, racialization, sexuality, violence and multiple other social divisions. Topics covered will include human rights/women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, gender based violence, maternal mortality, women and work, the sex trade, neo-liberal capitalism, third world poverty, religious fundamentalism and extremism, and gendered self-agency.
Open to both CE and Degree students.  This course may or may not fulfill degree requirements for UVM students.  Please consult with Continuing Education or CAS Student Services, if you have any questions about applicability of winter session courses toward graduation requirements.

GSWS 095C ~ Gender Sexuality Identity: American Poetry
Eve Alexandra

Description: In this introduction to American poetry special consideration will be given to poets/poetic movements seeking to establish, challenge, and complicate identity through the lens of gender and sexuality. The landscape of gender and sexuality in contemporary American poetry is broader and more inclusive than ever—in a way we may finally be fulfilling the promise of Whitman. In “Homo Will Not Inherit” Mark Doty proclaims, “I’ll tell you what I’ll inherit: the margins/which have always been mine,” but what happens when a new generation of poets demands more than the margins? We’ll read some of the newest, most radical poetry collections out there—and consider where these voices come from. This is a literature class with a creative writing component. Grades will be based on participation, attendance, presentations, and writing assignments.

GSWS 095D ~ TAP: Women’s History
Melanie Gustafson

Description: This first-year seminar provides an introduction to American women’s political and social activism from the nineteenth century to today. It begins with an examination of the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements before the Civil War, continues with a focus on the struggle for the right to vote and the subsequent battles for political inclusion, and culminates with a discussion of the rise of global feminism. The course is designed to introduce students to important leaders and their ideas, the evolution of movements for equal rights and social justice, and key political moments in American women’s history. We will use historical methodologies, which means exploring how and why changes occurred and the impact of change on the lives of ordinary people and the nation. Students will work individually and in groups on research assignments. Prerequisites: CAS FTFY only.

GSWS 179 ~ Ecofeminism
Annika Ljung-Baruth

Description: : Ecofeminism is a movement that is concerned with relationships between humans and the natural world. Exploring the connection between environmentalism and feminism, the field of ecofeminist studies specifically addresses the traditional interpretation of "nature" as female (or feminine), the connection between the oppression of women and the exploitation of nature, and ways in which environmental issues often affect women in particular. In this course we will read from a broad range of ecofeminist texts. Our goals will include learning about ecofeminist approaches to literature, studying various feminist theoretical responses to environmental issues as well as developing our own personal views of women, nature, and patterns of environmental domination. Our reading list will include authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Lesley Marmon Silko, Margaret Atwood, Rachel Carson, Susan Griffin, Val Plumwood, Naomi Wolf, and Vandana Shiva. Prerequisites: GSWS 001, or ENVS 001 and 002, minimum sophomore standing

GSWS 191 Practicum ~ fall semester only
Paul Deslandes

Description: This course is designed to work in conjunction with a semester-long internship relevant to GSWS, which may involve work in a variety of settings, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, private foundations, grassroots movement organizations, and community groups. Students are required to secure an internship and spend ten hours per week on that internship, in addition to attending a twice- weekly meeting and completing assigned work for the course. The class time and coursework are meant to support and enhance your internship experience, allowing you to work closely with an instructor and a cohort of fellow students throughout the semester as you pursue your own individual placement. The class component of your internship will allow you to reflect on internship experiences, connecting your community service with concepts learned in GSWS classes, and meet as a group to evaluate and discuss issues such as the gendered politics of volunteer and unpaid labor, activism and the academy, and community service. This class is required for all GSWS majors.

GSWS 195A Communicating Masculinities
Justin Morgan-Parmett

Description: This course considers the relationships between communication practices and gender roles, with particular focus on masculinity. Men are taught to act in particular ways to be a “real man,” and all too often, it is these constructions of masculinity that support cultures of violence and patriarchy. Additionally, this aspect of gender is rarely discussed. This course examines how masculinities are constructed as cultural phenomenon. The course will focus on examining cultural artifacts, language usage, and rhetorical strategies that support, and render invisible, contemporary struggles over masculinity. We will also explore alternative constructions of masculinity that offer potential for gender justice.

GSWS 295A / GEOG 272A / ENVS 295I ~ Feminist & Decolonial Political Ecology
Ingrid Nelson

Description: This advanced seminar on space, power and identity examines decolonial practices and theory. We begin with feminist writings from the ‘Andean’ region, where much of decolonial theory has its roots and connects with eco-social and indigenous movements further afield in Central and South America. How well do decolonial theories and practices ‘travel’ from their roots in the Andes to other places? What challenges do the unique naturecultures encountered in the worlds beyond, pose for feminist decolonial perspectives? This course will examine these questions in three highly contested spaces: i) hostess bars in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, ii) mosques in Cairo, Egypt and iii) cancer treatment clinics in California, USA. These spaces are sites of remaking power relations, identities and knowledge. Three ethnographies will help us carefully unpack common gendered and racialized figures or tropes of sex workers, pious Muslim women, and breast cancer survivors in ways that radically rethink ideas of modernity, agency, freedom and other concepts. These texts also ask what it means to do embodied, intersectional ethnography. One of the major silences in these three ethnographies concerns ecology and narratives about nature. Throughout the course we will work together to locate the more-than-human relations in these cases through an approach known as feminist political ecology. This course is writing-intensive and will provide students with skills for doing critical analysis and research. Students should be prepared for engaging, thoughtful and challenging discussions throughout the course.

  1. Required books: Hoang, Kimberly K. 2015. Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.
    Mahmood, Saba. 2004. Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    Jain, S. Lochlann. 2013. Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  2. Additional required readings are available in .pdf format through the course Blackboard page and must be printed, read and brought to class on the specified dates. Prof. Nelson will place several additional resources on reserve in the library.

GSWS 295B / ENGS 211A ~ Protest & Persuasion
Nancy Welch

Description: Rhetoric, according to 20th-century rhetorical theorist Kenneth Burke, involves both the role of language in preserving existing institutions and norms and the role of language in upsetting and changing institutions and norms. In Unruly Rhetorics, our focus will be on the role of rhetoric in upsetting and changing those institutions and norms that would exclude and deny groups of people by race, gender, class, sexuality, immigration status, and more. Through social movement case studies—from the 1912 Bread and Roses strike to the 2016 Standing Rock Sioux tribe mass encampment against the Dakota Access Pipeline—we will examine how excluded and oppressed groups have made their arguments not only with their words but also with their bodies. And we will tease apart why, historically and today, the nonviolent “body rhetoric” of the sit-in, the picket, and the occupation or encampment are met with forceful retaliation and the charge that peaceful protestors are “unruly,” “uncivil,” and even “violent.” In addition to exploring social movement rhetoric through our shared case studies and course texts, you will also choose a movement to research for a rhetorical case study that you will present to the class and examine in a capstone paper. Cross-listed with ENGS 211A. See schedule of courses for prereqs.

GSWS 295C / SPAN 296A ~ Sexual Dissidence in Latin America  
Ignacio Lopez-Vicuna

Description: This course explores constructions of gender and sexuality in Hispanic cultures through literary texts, films, articles, and other cultural materials. Emphasis on reading, conversation, debate, and writing. Students will read literary texts, write short compositions, do oral presentations, and debate topics related to gender and sexuality. This course is taught entirely in Spanish. Section Expectations: This course strongly relies on discussion and participation. Students should expect to spend 6-8 hours a week on coursework outside of class, with additional time for presentations and final project. Required readings include two novels as well as short readings available on Blackboard. Evaluation: Grades will be based on attendance and participation, compositions, unit exams, an oral presentation, and a final project. Cross-listed with SPAN 296A See schedule of courses for prereqs.

GSWS 297 Independent  Study
Tina Escaja

Description:Undergraduate student work on individual or small team research projects under the supervision of a faculty member, for which credit is awarded. Offered at department discretion. Prerequisites: GSWS 001; approval of Director of Gender Sexuality, and Women's Studies.

Other Courses for GSWS Credit

French 237A ~ Early French Women Writers
Charles-Louis Morand-Metivier

Health 140A ~ Issues in Women's Health
Rebecca Montgomery

CAS Honors 262A Honors: Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies
Tina Escaja

Political Science 095A ~ Global Gender Inequality
Tina Escaja

Political Science L01 ~ ISSP: Global Gender Inequality Lab
Caroline Beer

Last modified May 12 2017 04:46 PM