Spring 2013 Courses with LGBTQ Content


Art History

Course: ARTH-294-601 Facing America

Instructor: Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw

Course description: This course explores the visual history of race in the United States as both self-fashioning and cultural mythology by examining the ways that conceptions of Native American, Latino, and Asian identity, alongside ideas of Blackness and Whiteness, have combined to create the various cultural ideologies of class, gender, and sexuality that remain evident in historical visual and material culture. We will also investigate the ways that these creations have subsequently helped to launch new visual entertainments, including museum spectacles, blackface minstrelsy, and early film, from the colonial period through the 1940s.

 

Education

Course: EDUC-235-401 Psychology of Women

Instructor: Celine I Thompson

Course description: Critical analyses of the psychological theories of female development, and introduction to feminist scholarship on gender development and sexuality.

 

Course: EDUC-572-401 Language and Gender

Instructor: Anne Pomerantz

Course description: This course traces the development of research on language and gender, introducing key theoretical issues and methodological concerns in this area. Participants will consider how gener ideologies shape and are shaped by language use, paying close attention to the role of power in the examination of this relationship.

Course: EDUC-543-401   Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Current and Historical Issues

Instructor: Marybeth Gasman

Course description: Students taking this course will learn about the historical context of HBCUs in educating African Americans, and how their role has changed since the mid- 1800’s. Specific contemporary challenges and successes related to HBCUs will be covered and relate to control, and enrollment, accreditation, funding, degree completion, and outreach/retention programming. Students will become familiar with MBCUs in their own right, as well as in comparison to other postsecondary institutions.  A dedicated LGBTQ issues section is included.

English

Course: ENGL-096-401 Theories of Gender and Sexuality

Instructor: Melissa E. Sanchez

Course description: What makes men and women different? What is the nature of desire? This course introduces students to a long history of speculation about the meaning and nature of gender and sexuality — a history fundamental to literary representation and the business of making meaning. We will consider theories from Aristophanes speech in Platos Symposium to recent feminist and queer theory. Authors treated might include: Plato, Shakespeare, J. S. Mill, Mary Wollstonecraft, Sigmund Freud, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Catherine MacKinnon, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, bell hooks, Leo Bersani, Gloria Anzaldua, David Halperin, Cherrie Moraga, Donna Haraway, Gayatri Spivak, Diana Fuss, Rosemary Hennesy, Chandra Tadpole Mohanty, and Susan Stryker. See the English Department’s website at www.english.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.

Gender and Society

Course: GSWS-002-601 Gender and Society

Instructor: Catherine Nicole Hannabach

Course description: This course will introduce students to the ways in which sex, gender, and sexuaality mark our bodies, influence our perceptions of self and others, organize families and work like, delimit opportunities for individuals and groups of people, as well as impact the terms of local and transnational economic exchange. We will explore the ways in which sex, gender, and sexuality work with other markers of difference and social status such as race, age, nationality, and ability to further demarcate possibilities, freedoms, choices, and opportunities available to people.

Course: GSWS-103-401 Sex & Human Nature (cross listed in ANTH)

Instructors: Claudia R. Valeggia & Eduardo Fernandez-Duque

Course description: This is an introduction to the scientific study of sex in humans. Within an evolutionary framework, the course examines genetic, physiological, ecological, social and behavioral aspects of sex in humans. After providing the basic principles of evolutionary biology, the course will examine the development of sexual anatomy and physiology. How is sex determined? How is orgasm achieved? Why do girls and boys develop sexually at different ages? The role of ecology and social life in shaping human mating patterns will be evaluated through the use of ethnographies and cross-cultural materials on a variety of human cultures. Does everybody have sex the way we do? Why marry? Are there biological bases for love? Why do we experience jealousy? Fianlly, topics relevant to human sexuality today will be discussed, such as recreational sex, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases. Examples are drawn primarily from traditional and modern human societies; data from studies of nonhuman primates are also considered.

Course: GSWS-242-401 Science of Sex & Sexuality

Instructor: Shannon Lundeen

Course description: The author of a New York Times article entitled “On Being Male, Female, Neither or Both” concluded her comments with the following statement: “The definition of sex was (and is) still up for grabs.” In our post-modern world, we have become accustomed to the malleability of gender identity and sexuality. We are also aware that individuals undergo sex reassignment surgeries but by and large we assume that transgender people are transitioning from one discrete category to another. Queer activists certainly challenge this assumption, preferring to envision sex, gender, and sexuality on a continuum, but these days even scientists don’t concur about a definitive definition of sex. Should sex be defined chiefly by anatomy? Chromosomes? The body’s ability to produce and respond to hormones? If the boundaries of biological categories can be contested, what are the implications for culturally constructed ideas about gender identity and sexuality. In this course, we will examine the scientific study of sex and sexuality, and ask how these ostensibly objective inquiries have both influenced and been effected by changing cultural definitions of gender and sexuality. How, for example, can we account for our culture’s compulsion for identifying the genetic bases of behavior while at the same time recognize society’s increased acceptance of individuals’ insistence on self-definition? What are the political and social implications of some gay right advocates’ claim to “being born that way”? Though our course will mainly focus on state of these debates in 21st century America, we will trace the historical antecedents that brought us to this juncture. Our readings, therefore, will range from Aristotle’s musings on the nature of sex to Victorians’ anxious fascination with alleged hermaphrodites to current biomedical research on the gay gene.

 

Course: GSWS-320-301 Contemporary Feminist Thought

Instructor: Demie Kurz

Course description: This course covers a broad range of feminist writers, from the pioneer thinkers of the 18th century to current feminists who focus on globalization. After examining how and why feminist thought developed, we will explore how different feminist perspectives explain gender inequality both in the US and in contemporary global contexts. Readings will also focus on how gender issues interact with race, ethnicity, sexuality, and social class. We will also focus on how feminist theory informs current social movements for gender equality.

 

Course: GSWS-322-401 Queer and Feminist Film

Instructor: Catherine Nicole Hannabach

Course description: This course offers an introduction to queer and feminist film studies, focusing on several key genres, directors, and themes in transnational queer and feminist film cultures and scholarship. We will explore what makes a particular film or media practice “queer” and/or “feminist,” and what role media production, distribution, and exhibition have in the process. We will exam constructions of sexuality, gender, race, and nation in a variety of films and investigate how transnational queer and feminist cinemas can both participate in and resist dominant ideas about sexuality, imperialism, race, gender, politics, and community. This course is not an introduction to film studies, but does spend time introducing basic film concepts (editing, cinematography, mise-en-scene, etc.) so that students can apply them to the films we watch. In the course students will learn to incorporate formal film analysis in an analysis of ideology, production, circulation, and consumption, and will develop the skills to construct compelling arguments about the politics of cinema. No prior film studies experience is required. 

Course: GSWS-326-401 Inventing Transgender: Theory, Performance, Politics

Instructor: Jeanne Vaccaro

Course description: This course surveys major themes in the emerging and interdisciplinary field of Transgender Studies. We begin by mapping its development through, and divergence from, feminist and queer theory. Making connections to literature, biopolitics, cultural anthropology and disability studies, students will explore the potential of trans theory for interdisciplinary humanities work. We will animate the prefix trans to think with and across keywords, modifying and enhancing our understanding of the trans-national, trans-racial, trans-historical, and even trans-animal. At the same time we will engage social justice movements for gender liberation and connect everyday formations of gender to institutional constraints on subjectivity. To do trans theory is always to recognize the intersecting formations of race, nation, class and ability that inform both the concept and lived experience of trans identity. The readings reflect a range of disciplinary voices, including diverse forms of scholarship like memoir and manifesto. The syllabus privileges trans theorists, artists and activists so that students can appreciate the expanding canon of Transgender Studies.

Course: GSWS-345-401 Women in American History, 1500-1865: Sinners, Slaves and Sex: Gender and Race in America (cross listed in HIST)

Instructor: Kathleen M. Brown

Course description: From the sixteenth century, when Native American populations flourished on the North American continent, to the Civil War, when North and South collided over the question of slavery, women have played a critical role in American society. This course traces the history of women and gender in America during this period with special emphasis on the importance of women’s reproductive and economic roles to the emergence of ethnic, racial, regional, and socio-economic categories in the United States. Slides, lectures, and readings drawn from primary documents introduce students to the conditions of women’s lives during the colonial and revolutionary periods and to the rise of women’s activism in the nineteenth century. In addition, we will consider how dramatic changes in housework, wage labor, female access to public forms of power, and ideas about female sexuality make it difficult to generalize about what is commonly thought of as women’s “traditional” or “natural” role.

Course: GSWS-349-401 History of Sexuality in the U.S. (cross listed HIST)

Instructor: Kathy Peiss

Course description: This course introduces students to a relatively new field of inquiry, the history of sexuality in the U.S. It explores the past to consider why sexuality has been so central to American identities, culture, and politics. Primary documents and other readings focus on the history of sexual ideology and regulation; popular culture and changing sexual practices; the emergence of distinct sexual identity and communities; the politics of sexuality; and the relationship between sexual and other forms of social difference, such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, and class. Topics include many themes with continuing relevance to contemporary public debate: among them, sexual representation and censorship, sexual violence, adolescent sexuality, the politics of reproduction, gay and lesbian sexualities and sexually transmitted diseases.

Course: GSWS-544-640  Science of Sex & Sexuality

Instructor: Shannon Lundeen

Course description: The author of a New York Times article entitled “On Being Male, Female, Neither or Both” concluded her comments with the following statement: “The definition of sex was (and is) still up for grabs.” In our post-modern world, we have become accustomed to the malleability of gender identity and sexuality. We are also aware that individuals undergo sex reassignment surgeries but by and large we assume that transgender people are transitioning from one discrete category to another. Queer activists certainly challenge this assumption, preferring to envision sex, gender, and sexuality on a continuum, but these days even scientists don’t concur about a definitive definition of sex. Should sex be defined chiefly by anatomy? Chromosomes? The body’s ability to produce and respond to hormones? If the boundaries of biological categories can be contested, what are the implications for culturally constructed ideas about gender identity and sexuality.

Course: GSWS-579-640 Provocative Performance (crosslisted in THAR)

Instructor: Rosemary Malague

Course description: This course will examine a wide array of performance pieces by and about women, designed to provoke social, political, and personal change. Ranging from the serious to the hilarious (and sometimes outrageous), our readings will center on plays and performance art; we will also study live and filmed pieces, attend course-related productions in the city and on campus, and incorporate contextual material on feminist theatre theory and history.

Course: GSWS-612-401 Interactional Processes with LGBT Individuals

Instructor: Alison Wortman

Course description: In the past quarter century, the awareness of the unique issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals has expanded and become essential knowledge in our work as educators, providers of psychological services, and other service provision fields. This course provides a contextual and applied understanding the interactional processes facing LGBT individuals.

Course: GSWS-216-401 Gender and Health

Instructor: Andria B. Johnson

Course description: This course explores the ways in which the production of medical knowledge, the provision of health care, and the experiences of health, illness, and bodily changes are gendered and will consider how and why they are gendered in different ways in different parts of the world. The course begins with an introduction to relevant theoretical materials from feminist studies, anthropology, sociology and political economy, on sexuality, the body, and reproduction. Students will then read ethnographic material that analyzes experiences such as sexual maturation, reproduction, eating disorders, aging, and sex work – as well as ordinary encounters with medical systems – as experienced through and with the gendered body in a variety of contexts around the world. Students will have the chance to conduct ethnographic interviews, and will write final research papers that integrate this ethnographic material, along with library material, in the study of a particular gendered medical experience in the U.S. or another region of the world. Note: both men’s and women’s health issues will be addressed.

History

Course: HIST-349-401 History of Sexuality in the U.S. (cross listed as GSWS-349-401)

Instructor: Kathy Peiss

Course description: This course introduces students to a relatively new field of inquiry, the history of sexuality in the U.S. It explores the past to consider why sexuality has been so central to American identities, culture, and politics. Primary documents and other readings focus on the history of sexual ideology and regulation; popular culture and changing sexual practices; the emergence of distinct sexual identity and communities; the politics of sexuality; and the relationship between sexual and other forms of social difference, such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, and class. Topics include many themes with continuing relevance to contemporary public debate: among them, sexual representation and censorship, sexual violence, adolescent sexuality, the politics of reproduction, gay and lesbian sexualities and sexually transmitted diseases.

Health & Societies

Course HSOC-216-401 Women and Health

Instructor: Andria B. Johnson

Course description This course explores the ways in which the production of medical knowledge, theprovision of health care, and the experiences of health, illness, and bodily changes are gendered and will consider how and why they are gendered in different ways in different parts of the world. The course begins with an introduction to relevant theoretical materials from feminist studies, anthropology, sociology and political economy, on sexuality, the body, and reproduction. Students will then read ethnographic material that analyzes experiences such as sexual maturation, reproduction, eating disorders, aging, and sex work – as well as ordinary encounters with medical systems – as experienced through and with the gendered body in a variety of contexts around the world. Students will have the chance to conduct ethnographic interviews, and will write final research papers that integrate this ethnographic material, along with library material, in the study of a particular gendered medical experience in the U.S. or another region of the world. Note: both men’s and women’s health issues will be addressed.

Course HSOC-332-401 Contemporary Issues in Human Sexuality

Instructors: Loretta Sweet Jemmott & Susan L Villari

Course description: Course content emphasizes theories of sexual development and factors influencing sexual behavior within the continuum of health and illness. Common sexual practices of people are studied within the context of lifestyle and situational life crises. Concepts of normal sexual function and dysfunction are examined. Contemporary sexual issues are explored.

Philosophy

Course PHIL-485-401 Topics in Gender Theory: Feminist Philosophy

Instructor: Milton W. Meyer

Course description: This course seeks to assemble some of the philosophical evidence for feminist claims that traditional political theories are fundamentlaly inadequate because they have not, and presumably cannot, deal with basic facts of gender and the oppression of Women. we will begin by examining the nature of the distinction between sex and gender. This will take us through discussions of: the meaning and significance of categories being socially constructed, the possibility that sexual differences (and inequalities) are in some sense natural and what normative force this has. We will then consider varous attempts to describe the nature of women’s oppression. What is it? How does it manifest itself in the lives of women? This will take us through discussions of freedom, constrained choice, ideology, “consciousness raising”, androcentrism and the relation between, and methodological importance of, ideal and non-ideal theory. Along the way we will be constructing a version of the feminist framework known as the dominance approach and seeing how it analyzes three presumed sites of oppression: sexuality, reproduction and work/family. Among the authors we will be reading are: Elizabeth Anderson, Marily Frye, Sally Haslanger, Rae Langton, Anthony Laden, Catherine MacKinnon, and Susan Okin. The prerequisite for UNDERGRADUATES taking this course is: two philosophy courses (ONE of which is in moral or political philosophy) OR ONE of the following Gender Studies courses: GSOC/PHIL 028, GSOC/PoliSci 280, GSOC 320. There will be one short paper (6-8 pages) with revision, a longer final paper (15 pages) and weekly one-page reflections on a topic from the previous week’s discussion.

Psychology

Course PSYC-370-301 Research Experience in Social Psychology

Instructor: Edward Royzman

Course description Students will design, conduct, and report on an empirical question in social psychology. The research may involve experiments, content analysis, cross-cultural comparison, interviewing, observations, or other methods. Class discussions will help students formulate their projects and provide an opportunity for reports.

Nursing

Course NURS-824-301 Health Equity: Conceptual, Linguistic, Methodological, and Ethical Issues

Instructor: Marilyn S. Sommers

Course description The course focuses on advanced analysis and evaluation of theories, concepts, and methods related to health equity. Topic areas include models and frameworks of health equity; linguistic choices related to equity, disparity, and vulnerability; role of economics, class, gender, sex, sexuality, race, and ethnicity; health equity in special populations; and issues in health policy, research ethics, and research methods. Emphasis is on advanced discourse and analysis of health equity theory and research.

Social Work

Course: SWRK-798-008 Immigration: Implications for Policy & Practice

Instructor: Fernando Chang-Muy

This course will begin with the history of migration to the US, as well as legal definitions of newcomers, including obtaining documents for lawful permanent residence, refugee status, as well as grounds for exclusion and deportation, and paths to naturalized citizenship. We will then review how a framework of cultural competence, and a strength or asset-based approach can inform service to immigrant clients.  The core portion of the course will then focus first on the intersection of immigrants and health, mental health, employment, crimes, public entitlements, and public education.  The course will conclude with family issues relevant to immigrant families: women, children, lesbian and gay, and elderly immigrants. Public policy issues will be integrated throughout, and the course will end with specific suggestions on systems change at various levels.   By the end of the course students should be able to identify strategies for individual clients advocacy (micro); agency and community strategies (mezzo), and government advocacy (macro) to empower immigrant clients to become full community participants.

Theater Arts

Course THAR-112-401 Theatre, History, Culture III: Modernism to Post Modernism

Instructor: Cary M Mazer

Course description: This course will examine the interplay of theatrical theory, theatrical practice, and dramatic writing, in relation to contemporaneous societies and cultures, from the first experiments in penetrating the boundaries of “realism”at the end of the nineteenth century, through the present day. Areas of exploration include the invention of the avant garde, the rise of the auteur-director, political theatre, competing theories about the actor’s body and the actor’s emotions, performance art, feminist theatre, queer theatre, and the integration of non-western theatre into shared theatre practice in the colonial and post-colonial world.