Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Fall 2022

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
FGSS1120 Wonder Women This course brings together students, faculty, and invited guests to discuss the art of leadership and the opportunities and challenges women in leadership roles have encountered in their careers and how they have managed them. The sessions will be held in North Campus faculty residences and will feature prominent women from different professions and walks of life. Potential speakers include politicians; artists; writers; scientists; women in spiritual life; and business owners and entrepreneurs. Speakers will share their stories with students in an informal way, opening up faculty-facilitated discussions about gender, leadership, accomplishment, work-life balance, and mentorship. These talks may be interspersed with or supplemented by reading and discussion of recent writing on women and leadership.            

Full details for FGSS 1120 - Wonder Women

Fall.
FGSS1122 FWS: Haunted Herstories: The Politics of Writing, Gender, and the Gothic What does a ghost story have in common with a political manifesto? In this seminar, students will investigate the intersections between gothic texts and feminist politics. In course readings we will pay close attention to how troupes surrounding ghosts, vampires, witches, and cyborgs are mobilized to convey oppressive and subversive messaging in media as varied as short stories, digital series, performance art, and political protest. In all these texts, we will investigate how genre and style affect theme and thesis. Course writing assignments will include an opinion editorial, a literary book review, a 10-minute script or screenplay, and a political manifesto; through crafting these works, students will develop a personal writing practice supportive of future feminist flourishing.

Full details for FGSS 1122 - FWS: Haunted Herstories: The Politics of Writing, Gender, and the Gothic

Fall.
FGSS1123 FWS: Beyond the Binary: Storytelling for Earthly Survival If you have a prosthetic arm, are you a human or a machine? When are you human or/and a machine? The enterprise of sciences and engineering depend on the pursuit of the truth and objectivity, but that is rarely all there is to the question of scientific and technological practice as these are themselves human endeavors. What then does it mean to approach the work in STEM from a perspective of challenging the binary of human-machine, nature-culture, expert-novice, etc.? In this course, we will learn to ask to uncover the who, when, what, how and why of the human worlds of science and technology through the art of feminist storytelling that takes one beyond these binaries to tell stories of worlds that are otherwise.

Full details for FGSS 1123 - FWS: Beyond the Binary: Storytelling for Earthly Survival

Fall.
FGSS2010 Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary program focused on understanding the impact of gender and sexuality on the world around us and on the power hierarchies that structure it. This course provides an overview of key concepts, questions, and debates within feminist studies both locally and globally, focusing mainly on the experiences, historical conditions, and concerns of women as they are shaped by gender and sexuality. We will read a variety of texts--personal narratives, historical documents, and cultural criticism--across a range of disciplines, and will consider how larger structural systems of both privilege and oppression affect individuals' identities, experiences, and options. We will also examine forms of agency and action taken by women in the face of these larger systems.

Full details for FGSS 2010 - Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Fall, Spring.
FGSS2421 Worlding Sex and Gender An introduction to the anthropology of sex, sexuality and gender, this course uses case studies from around the world to explore how the worlds of the sexes become gendered. In ethnographic, ethnohistorical and contemporary globalizing contexts, we will look at: intersexuality and supernumerary genders; physical and cultural reproduction; sexuality; and sex-based and gender-based violence and power. We will use lectures, films, discussion sections and short field-based exercises.

Full details for FGSS 2421 - Worlding Sex and Gender

Fall.
FGSS3000 Feminist Theory This course will work across and between the disciplines to consider what it might mean to think 'as a feminist' about many things including, but not limited to 'gender', 'women' and 'sexuality'. We will approach theory as a tool for analyzing relations of power and a means of transforming ways of thinking and living. In particular, we will investigate the cultural, social, and historical assumptions that shape the possibilities and problematics of gender and sexuality. Throughout we will attend to specific histories of class, race, ethnicity, culture, nation, religion and sexuality, with an eye to their particular incitements to and challenges for feminist thinking and politics.

Full details for FGSS 3000 - Feminist Theory

Fall.
FGSS3230 Gender and Development The United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 5 states that countries should "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls" by 2030. In this course, we unpack the different and often competing definitions of 'empowerment' and 'gender equality' deployed in development, and consider the historical lineages of feminisms and development theory that led to women and girls as an important constituency. We examine the programs and policies associated with these lineages and consider how women's and girls' intersectional experiences of gender, shape the outcomes of the programs and policies designed to improve their lives. This course blends practice and theory, encouraging students to evaluate the material effects of diverse approaches to reducing gender inequality through case studies, writing, and readings in gender and development.

Full details for FGSS 3230 - Gender and Development

Fall.
FGSS3250 Staging Gay and Transgender Histories How have movements for sexual liberation used performance as a means of self-expression and strategies for social justice? How have theatrical stages served as sites of queer sociality and crucibles of invention, where history is made and remade by social actors?

Full details for FGSS 3250 - Staging Gay and Transgender Histories

Fall.
FGSS3701 bell hooks Books: From Feminism to Autobiography This course focuses on the study of race, class, gender, sexuality and popular culture through the examination of scholarly works and creative writings by one of the most compelling and legendary voices in black feminism: bell hooks. We will consider her body of work produced in various career stages, beginning with the classic Ain't I a Woman, and explore her writings in various categories, from her art book and autobiographies to her children's book and poetic writings.  We will discuss key critical terms and themes in her repertoire and consider her major contributions to both black and feminist intellectual history.  We will draw on a range of films throughout the course, including productions such as Paris is Burning, Precious, Four Little Girls, and Beasts of the Southern Wild, as well as videos.

Full details for FGSS 3701 - bell hooks Books: From Feminism to Autobiography

Fall.
FGSS3708 Race and Sex: Arabian Nights Popular consciousness of The Thousand and One Nights tends to focus on the female protagonist's inexhaustible oratory talents. Less frequently marveled at is the way in which the text's frame story and its one unchanging feature begins with an interdiction on "interracial" sex. What does the representation of this initial sexual encounter in the Arabian Nights have to do with global discourses on race, gender and sexuality? This course explores the millenia-long history of mediations and translations of this ancient Perso-Arabic compilation of myth and fable across literature, film, and popular culture, in Southwest Asia (the Middle East), the U.S. and in Europe. We will pay attention to the historical transmission of tropes about sexuality and blackness as they manifest in various versions of the Arabian Nights. We will situate our discussions within debates in film and media theory, feminist and queer theory, black studies, and psychoanalysis. Students will develop familiarity with various forms of cultural inquiry and theory.

Full details for FGSS 3708 - Race and Sex: Arabian Nights

Fall.
FGSS3740 Parody In A Theory of Parody, Linda Hutcheon defines parody broadly as "repetition with critical difference, which marks difference rather than similarity." Taking a cue from Hutcheon, we will consider parody as a form of meaning making that is not necessarily used in the service of ridicule. Rather, we will examine a number of late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century imitative works in order to distinguish the rich variety of political agendas and aesthetic rationales for recent parody. An emphasis on postmodern or contemporary performances and media that renovate images, ideas, and icons from modernism and modernity will unite our otherwise diverse efforts. Some of these efforts will also highlight what happens when an artist takes up a work made for one platform (for example, theatre, performance art, installation, cinema, television, the Web) and parodies it in another. Creators and works under consideration may range from Christopher Durang, Split Britches, and Pig Iron Theatre Company to The Simpsons, Cookie's Fortune, and Strindberg and Helium.

Full details for FGSS 3740 - Parody

Fall.
FGSS3990 Undergraduate Independent Study Individual study program intended for juniors and seniors working on special topics with selected reading or research projects not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with a FGSS faculty member who has agreed to supervise the independent study.

Full details for FGSS 3990 - Undergraduate Independent Study

Fall.
FGSS4153 Topics in Feminist Media Arts Topic: Feminist Posthumanisms in the Visual Arts.

Full details for FGSS 4153 - Topics in Feminist Media Arts

Fall.
FGSS4371 Sociology of Sex and Gender This course provides an introduction to the theoretical and empirical literature on the sociology of sex and gender. The readings cover theory and methods, feminism, masculinity, intersectionality, international/comparative perspectives, gender roles, and recent sociological research in this area.

Full details for FGSS 4371 - Sociology of Sex and Gender

Fall.
FGSS4432 Queer Theory and Kinship Studies As a symbolic system and field of practice, kinship produces configurations of sexuality, gender, race and power embodied by persons. This recognition is indebted to critical race, feminist, postcolonial and queer interventions in the field of kinship studies. In this course we will review key texts in this field beginning with classic anthropological theories of kinship. We will consider the variability of sanctioned arrangements of sexuality, procreation, household labor and economy across the historical and ethnographic record. Focusing on this variation, we will pose relatedness as a question. Which lives, forms of desire, modes of embodiment are enabled, and which are abjected through the grammar of kinship at work in a particular place and time? What possibilities of life lie outside dominant kinmaking practices? What pleasures and what costs does exile from kinship entail?

Full details for FGSS 4432 - Queer Theory and Kinship Studies

Fall.
FGSS4451 Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema Examines the new cinemas of Southeast Asia and their engagement with contemporary discourses of gender and sexuality. It pays special attention to the ways in which sexuality and gendered embodiment are at present linked to citizenship and other forms of belonging and to how the films draw on Buddhist and Islamic traditions of representation and belief. Focusing on globally circulating Southeast Asian films of the past 15 years, the course draws on current writings in feminism, Buddhist studies, affect theory, queer studies, postcolonial theory, and film studies to ask what new understandings of subjectivity might emerge from these cinemas and their political contexts. Films are drawn from both mainstream and independent cinema and will include the work of directors such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Danny and Oxide Pang, Yau Ching, Thunska Pansittivorakul, Garin Nugroho, and Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Full details for FGSS 4451 - Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema

Fall.
FGSS4460 Women in the Economy Examines the changing economic roles of women and men in the labor market and in the family. Topics include a historical overview of changing gender roles, the determinants of the gender division of labor in the family, trends in female and male labor-force participation, gender differences in occupations and earnings, the consequences of women's employment for the family, and a consideration of women's status in other countries.

Full details for FGSS 4460 - Women in the Economy

Fall or Spring.
FGSS4673 The Kinship of Repair: Asian and Asian American Artists in Collaboration Collaborations among and between Asian and Asian American artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have sought to redefine kinship by exploring the politics of belonging, generational dis/connections, and the legacy of the Cold War. Through examining collaborative, multi-media artworks and performances by artists who engage with such questions, this seminar delves into, and expands on, the discourses of transnational and trans-Pacific Asia. With the history of anti-Asian racism and lingering Cold War geopolitics increasingly visible due to Covid-19, students will also critically explore the praxis of reparative kinship, in which settler colonialism and anti-Black racism continue to fracture our work on ecological decolonialization and make alliances against white supremacy fragile. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for FGSS 4673 - The Kinship of Repair: Asian and Asian American Artists in Collaboration

Fall.
FGSS4675 Pandemics Past and Pending How have epidemics and pandemics changed social worlds and created new futures? How is colonization political and microbial? What will it take to repair human-animal-environmental relations when they can be pathologized as sources of contagion? By examining American colonization of the Philippines, One Health in contemporary Vietnam, and other ethnographic and historical examples, the course shows how interventions that took place in the wake of epidemics have had profound societal and planetary impacts. This course ultimately argues that pandemics are never just about a singular bacterium or virus. Instead, pandemics and epidemics reveal deeper social inequalities, interact with profound cultural and historical relations, and both create and foreclose different kinds of futures. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for FGSS 4675 - Pandemics Past and Pending

Fall.
FGSS4676 Lyric Interventions: Illness Narratives and the Aesthetics of Repair This hybrid course in health humanities and creative nonfiction explores the theme of repair by approaching illness narratives as encounters for deep listening. As both art and advocacy, creative essays (from assay, meaning to attempt, to practice by way of trial) open a space for generative conversations about what is broken in the U.S. healthcare system. Through close reading and creative writing workshops, students will engage questions about medical and cultural constructions of suffering bodies (gendered and racialized, disabled and neurodiverse, neglected and ungrievable). For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for FGSS 4676 - Lyric Interventions: Illness Narratives and the Aesthetics of Repair

Fall or Spring.
FGSS4950 Gender, Power, and Authority in England, 1600 to 1800 It is a truism that early modern society was a 'patriarchal' one in which men had authority -- but how did that authority operate and what were its limits? How did the exercise of power between men and women intersect with religious, literary, legal and political institutions? We will approach these questions chronologically, examining the impact of the Reformation, the English Revolution, the Enlightenment, the rise of middle class and polite culture. We will also explore them methodologically and generically, with an eye to how different kinds of evidence and sources can produce different kinds of conclusions. Historians' hypotheses will be tested by analysis of primary sources.

Full details for FGSS 4950 - Gender, Power, and Authority in England, 1600 to 1800

Fall.
FGSS4990 Senior Honors Thesis I To graduate with honors, FGSS majors must complete a senior thesis under the supervision of an FGSS faculty member and defend that thesis orally before an honors committee. To be eligible for honors, students must have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.3 in all course work and a 3.5 average in all courses applying to their FGSS major. Students interested in the honors program should consult the DUS late in the spring semester of their junior year or very early in the fall semester of their senior year.

Full details for FGSS 4990 - Senior Honors Thesis I

Fall.
FGSS6153 Topics in Feminist Media Arts Topic: Feminist Posthumanisms in the Visual Arts.

Full details for FGSS 6153 - Topics in Feminist Media Arts

Fall.
FGSS6207 Black Feminist Theories: Sexuality, Creativity, and Power This course examines black feminist theories as they are articulated in the cross-cultural experiences of women across the African Diaspora. We will explore a variety of theories, texts and creative encounters within their socio-political and geographical frames and locations, analyzing these against, or in relation to, a range of feminist activisms and movements. Some key categories of discussion will include Black Left Feminism, Feminist Movements in Latin America and the Caribbean and African feminisms. Texts like the Combahee River Collective statement and a variety of US Black feminist positions and the related literature as well as earlier black feminist articulations such as the Sojourners for Truth and Justice will also be engaged. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own research projects from a range of possibilities.

Full details for FGSS 6207 - Black Feminist Theories: Sexuality, Creativity, and Power

Spring.
FGSS6301 Media and Sexuality This course investigates how sexuality, broadly conceived, is produced, represented, and enacted through a variety of media. We will consider how groups of people collectively produce their erotic identifications, practices, and connections through media and in space. These affinities may be transient or life-long, co-present or virtual, of the majority or marginalized. Rather than assuming sex is a private matter, we will analyze the ways sexuality is constituted through media engagements, in physical and online spaces, and in the ways that mediated desire play out in broad movements of consumerism and neoliberal aspirations. We will consider sexual cultures from a transnational perspective and in historical context. The course will address how structural hierarchies such as gender, race, sexual identification, and location help to shape sexual media.

Full details for FGSS 6301 - Media and Sexuality

Fall.
FGSS6331 Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema Examines the new cinemas of Southeast Asia and their engagement with contemporary discourses of gender and sexuality. It pays special attention to the ways in which sexuality and gendered embodiment are at present linked to citizenship and other forms of belonging and to how the films draw on Buddhist and Islamic traditions of representation and belief. Focusing on globally circulating Southeast Asian films of the past 15 years, the course draws on current writings in feminism, Buddhist studies, affect theory, queer studies, postcolonial theory, and film studies to ask what new understandings of subjectivity might emerge from these cinemas and their political contexts. Films are drawn from both mainstream and independent cinema and will include the work of directors such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Danny and Oxide Pang, Yau Ching, Thunska Pansittivorakul, Garin Nugroho, and Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Full details for FGSS 6331 - Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema

Fall.
FGSS6673 The Kinship of Repair: Asian and Asian American Artists in Collaboration Collaborations among and between Asian and Asian American artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have sought to redefine kinship by exploring the politics of belonging, generational dis/connections, and the legacy of the Cold War. Through examining collaborative, multi-media artworks and performances by artists who engage with such questions, this seminar delves into, and expands on, the discourses of transnational and trans-Pacific Asia. With the history of anti-Asian racism and lingering Cold War geopolitics increasingly visible due to Covid-19, students will also critically explore the praxis of reparative kinship, in which settler colonialism and anti-Black racism continue to fracture our work on ecological decolonialization and make alliances against white supremacy fragile. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for FGSS 6673 - The Kinship of Repair: Asian and Asian American Artists in Collaboration

Fall.
FGSS6675 Pandemics Past and Pending How have epidemics and pandemics changed social worlds and created new futures? How is colonization political and microbial? What will it take to repair human-animal-environmental relations when they can be pathologized as sources of contagion? By examining American colonization of the Philippines, One Health in contemporary Vietnam, and other ethnographic and historical examples, the course shows how interventions that took place in the wake of epidemics have had profound societal and planetary impacts. This course ultimately argues that pandemics are never just about a singular bacterium or virus. Instead, pandemics and epidemics reveal deeper social inequalities, interact with profound cultural and historical relations, and both create and foreclose different kinds of futures. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for FGSS 6675 - Pandemics Past and Pending

Fall.
FGSS6677 Lyric Interventions: Illness Narratives and the Aesthetics of Repair This hybrid course in health humanities and creative nonfiction explores the theme of repair by approaching illness narratives as encounters for deep listening. As both art and advocacy, creative essays (from assay, meaning to attempt, to practice by way of trial) open a space for generative conversations about what is broken in the U.S. healthcare system. Through close reading and creative writing workshops, students will engage questions about medical and cultural constructions of suffering bodies (gendered and racialized, disabled and neurodiverse, neglected and ungrievable). For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Full details for FGSS 6677 - Lyric Interventions: Illness Narratives and the Aesthetics of Repair

Fall.
FGSS6755 Staging Gay and Transgender Histories How have movements for sexual liberation used performance as a means of self-expression and strategies for social justice? How have theatrical stages served as sites of queer sociality and crucibles of invention, where history is made and remade by social actors?

Full details for FGSS 6755 - Staging Gay and Transgender Histories

Fall.
FGSS6990 Topics in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Independent reading course for graduate students on topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students develop a course of readings in consultation with a faculty member in the field of Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies who has agreed to supervise the course work.

Full details for FGSS 6990 - Topics in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Fall, Spring.
FGSS7432 Queer Theory and Kinship Studies As a symbolic system and field of practice, kinship produces configurations of sexuality, gender, race and power embodied by persons. This recognition is indebted to critical race, feminist, postcolonial and queer interventions in the field of kinship studies. In this course we will review key texts in this field beginning with classic anthropological theories of kinship. We will consider the variability of sanctioned arrangements of sexuality, procreation, household labor and economy across the historical and ethnographic record. Focusing on this variation, we will pose relatedness as a question. Which lives, forms of desire, modes of embodiment are enabled, and which are abjected through the grammar of kinship at work in a particular place and time? What possibilities of life lie outside dominant kinmaking practices? What pleasures and what costs does exile from kinship entail?

Full details for FGSS 7432 - Queer Theory and Kinship Studies

Fall.
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