Courses - Fall 2021

FGSS 1119 FWS: Utopias

Imagine a world with no war, violence, or injustice. For centuries, storytellers have envisioned such utopias. This course examines the powerful allure perfected tomorrowlands exert, especially over trans, queer, feminist, disabled, and BIPOC imaginaries. Considering race and ethnicity, the environment, class divides, forms of gender and sexuality, disability, and the role of technology, we will transport to various utopias appearing in speculative fiction texts, including: Brave New World, I Robot, The Giver, Never Let Me GO, Black Mirror, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Utopia Falls. As we explore, we will develop a utopian critical vocabulary. Supplemented by theoretical texts, students will engage in critical and creative writing formats including research essays, stylistic imitations, and a project imaginitively representing a utopia of their own design.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Joshua Cole (jbc276)
Full details for FGSS 1119 : FWS: Utopias
FGSS 1120 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.            

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lori Leonard (ll536)
Dawn Schrader (des14)
Stephanie Thomas (srt82)
Full details for FGSS 1120 : Wonder Women
FGSS 1121 FWS: Environmental Justice for Whom? Stories in Sex and Gender

How are environmental toxins distributed across landscapes of social hierarchy such as gender, race, indigeneity, and class? How might projects of environmental justice ameliorate or exacerbate these social hierarchies? This course acquaints students with key debates in environmental studies from a feminist decolonial perspective. Topics will include corporate mining, ecofeminist activism, sustainable development, and food systems. Beginning with the axiom that "writing is thinking", students in this course will conceptualize gender and sex as forms of power which work in and through ecosystems, economies, environmental governance systems, bodies, and science itself. In this subject driven writer's workshop, students will draw on course material to produce a robust and thoughtful portfolio of analytic writing.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Karlie Fox-Knudtsen (kf273)
Full details for FGSS 1121 : FWS: Environmental Justice for Whom? Stories in Sex and Gender
FGSS 2010 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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Juno Parrenas (jsp324)
Full details for FGSS 2010 : Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
FGSS 2335 Making Public Queer History

In this course we will examine LGBTQ+ history in the United States with a focus on its recovery and public representation—what are the stakes of researching, preserving, and commemorating the LGBTQ+ past? We will investigate how archival, scholarly, curatorial, and creative practices shape popular conceptions of LGBTQ+ life, politics, and culture, and how those practices and conceptions have changed with evolving understandings of race, gender, sexuality, and oppression. Students will build skills in archival research and historical interpretation and explore possibilities and challenges in building archives and presenting LGBTQ+ history in a variety of public contexts—museums, libraries, monuments, movies and television, and community-based oral history projects. For their final project, students will locate and research a selection of archival materials (periodicals, letters, pamphlets, songs, advertisements, etc.) either online or at Cornell Library's Rare and Manuscript Collections, producing a final research paper and a proposal for a public history project.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Vider (sv484)
Full details for FGSS 2335 : Making Public Queer History
FGSS 2806 Roman Law

This course presents a cultural and historical perspective on ideas of agency, responsibility, and punishment through foundational texts of western law. We will primarily focus on three main areas of law: (1) slavery and (2) family (both governed by the Roman law of persons), and (3) civil wrongs (the law of delict or culpable harm). Through an examination of the legal sources (in translation) and the study of the reasoning of the Roman jurists, this course will examine the evolution of jurisprudence: the development of the laws concerning power over slaves and women, and changes in the laws concerning penalties for crimes. No specific prior knowledge needed.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicole Giannella (njg68)
Full details for FGSS 2806 : Roman Law
FGSS 3000 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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Saida Hodzic (sh888)
Full details for FGSS 3000 : Feminist Theory
FGSS 3520 (Dis)ability Studies: A Brief History

This course will offer an overview of theoretical and historical responses to bodily and cognitive difference.  What was the status of people with (dis)abilities in the past, when they were called monsters, freaks, abnormal?  How are all of these concepts related, and how have they changed over time?  How have we moved from isolation and institutionalization towards universal design and accessibility as the dominant concepts relative to (dis)ability?  Why is this shift from focusing on individual differences as a negative attribute to reshaping our architectural and more broadly social constructions important to everyone?  Authors to be studied include: Georges Canguilhem, Michel Foucault, Lennard Davis, Tobin Siebers, David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder, and Jasbir Puar.

Distribution: (LA-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kathleen Long (kpl2)
Full details for FGSS 3520 : (Dis)ability Studies: A Brief History
FGSS 3591 Kids Rule! Children's Popular Culture

How is the figure of the child constructed in popular culture? When and to what degree do children participate in the construction of these representations? This course surveys a variety of contemporary media texts (television, film, and the internet) aimed at children ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to young adults. We explore how these texts seek to construct children as empowered consumers, contesting adult conformity. Our theoretical approach complicates definitions of childhood as a time of innocence and potential victimhood and challenges normative constructions of childhood as a time for establishing "proper" sexual and gender identities. Taking a cultural studies approach, the class will consider the connections between the cultural texts and the realms of advertising, toys, and gaming.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jane Juffer (jaj93)
Full details for FGSS 3591 : Kids Rule! Children's Popular Culture
FGSS 3681 The Art of Telling: Chicanx, Latinx, and AfroLatinx Testimonios

Testimonio is a genre of prose that offers eyewitness accounts of world-changing events—from crimes against humanity like forced migration, detention, and genocide to the violence of war, both at home and abroad, often caused by circumstances beyond a person's control. Testimonios are created across geographical, linguistic, and cultural differences, and, subsequently, involve more than one person who records, translates, and shares an eyewitness account with broader audiences. Originating in Latin America, testimonio has become a powerful space for Black, Brown, Native, and Mestiza voices to tell stories that are representative of whole peoples or communities. Because of this, testimonio is questioned and debated for its truth, historical accuracy, and literary quality. We will explore the debates by asking what testimonio does to western constructs of literature. Does testimonio change history, challenge norms, and spark social change? We will answer by reading, listening, viewing, and creating testimonio—experiencing its simultaneous textual, visual, and performative modes.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ella Diaz (emd233)
Full details for FGSS 3681 : The Art of Telling: Chicanx, Latinx, and AfroLatinx Testimonios
FGSS 3707 Hidden Identities Onscreen

From White Chicks to Blackkklansman, American film has often depicted characters who conceal their race or gender, like black male cops "passing" as wealthy white women. This class will examine how Hollywood has depicted race and gender "passing" from the early 20th century to the present. While tracing common themes across films, we will also study the ideological role of passing films: how they thrill audiences by challenging social boundaries and hierarchies, only to reestablish familiar boundaries by the end. We will not treat these films as accurate depictions of real-world passing, but rather as cultural tools that help audiences to manage ideological contradictions about race, gender, sexuality, and class. Students will finish the course by creating their own short films about passing.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jonathan Branfman (jrb557)
Full details for FGSS 3707 : Hidden Identities Onscreen
FGSS 3754 Spoken Word, Hip-Hop Theater, and the Politics of Performance

In this course, we will critically examine the production and performance of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender through literature and contemporary performance genres such as spoken word, slam poetry, and hip-hop theatre.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Karen Jaime (kj12)
Full details for FGSS 3754 : Spoken Word, Hip-Hop Theater, and the Politics of Performance
FGSS 3990 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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Durba Ghosh (dg256)
Full details for FGSS 3990 : Undergraduate Independent Study
FGSS 4127 The Body Politic in Asia

Visions of bodily corruption preoccupy ruler and ruled alike and prompt campaigns for moral, medical, and legal reform in periods of both stability and revolution. This seminar explores the links between political, sexual, and scientific revolutions in early modern and modern Asia. The focus is on China and Japan, with secondary attention to South Asia and Korea. Interaction with the West is a major theme. Topics include disease control, birth control and population control, body modification, the history of masculinity, honorific violence and sexual violence, the science of sex, normative and stigmatized sexualities, fashion, disability, and eugenics. The course begins with an exploration of regimes of the body in "traditional" Asian cultures. The course then turns to the medicalization and modernization of the body under the major rival political movements in Asia: feminism, imperialism, nationalism, and communism.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
Full details for FGSS 4127 : The Body Politic in Asia
FGSS 4260 Gender and Media

This seminar addresses the intersection of communication, culture, and identity through an examination of gender and the U.S. media system. After introducing students to key approaches to studying gender and mediated communication, the course will cover topics in four subunits: (1). Mediated representations of gender, sexuality, and intersectionality; (2). Diversity in media industries and gendered labor markets; (3). Gendered audiences and fan cultures; and (4). Gender, power, and identity in a digital era of communication. We will explore these topics through literature from sociology, communication and media studies, cultural studies, feminist theory, and internet/new media studies.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Brooke Duffy (bed54)
Full details for FGSS 4260 : Gender and Media
FGSS 4371 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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Vida Maralani (vm343)
Full details for FGSS 4371 : Sociology of Sex and Gender
FGSS 4451 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.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Arnika Fuhrmann (aif32)
Full details for FGSS 4451 : Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema
FGSS 4458 Girls, Women, and Education in Global Perspective: Feminist Ethnography and Praxis

This seminar explores the educational lives and schooling experiences of women and girls through ethnographies conducted in the U.S. and different regions of the world. Drawing on the anthropology of education, and decolonial and transnational feminist theories, we explore how girls and women construct ways of knowing through prisms of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, nation, and citizenship. We examine how gendered–racialized discourses of development, and state sanctioned forms of structural violence, frame their educational experiences and opportunities. In turn, we consider girls and young women as active learners and pedagogues who craft their own lives and literacies across borders and diverse spaces of home, school, and community. Lastly, we interrogate what is feminist in ethnographic representations and identify the possibilities for liberatory pedagogies.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sofia Villenas (sav33)
Full details for FGSS 4458 : Girls, Women, and Education in Global Perspective: Feminist Ethnography and Praxis
FGSS 4460 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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SCD-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Francine Blau (fdb4)
Full details for FGSS 4460 : Women in the Economy
FGSS 4509 Toni Morrison's Novels

In this course, we will engage in close and reflective critical readings of Toni Morrison's eleven novels. Morrison's writing style is characterized by highly distinctive strategies in the development of narrative and in the use of language. As we journey across her body of work as readers, we will examine a range of recurring themes, along with the "love trilogy" on which she focused her repertoire for several years. The course, through a comprehensive, chronological and focused look at Morrison's body of novels, will help students who entirely lack familiarity with it to gain a strong foundation for further research and study. By the end of the course, even students who already know Morrison's work will walk away with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of it. The course will help students to reinforce their skills in reading fiction, and more astute and exacting readers of the novel as a genre.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Riche Richardson (rdr83)
Full details for FGSS 4509 : Toni Morrison's Novels
FGSS 4560 The Politics and Joy in Black Women's Writing

This course will look at how Black women writers negotiated enslavement, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow era segregation while also managing to find avenues of joy, escapism, and a certain kind of freedom through art-making. In addition to reading primary texts by Phillis Wheatley, Hannah Bond, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and others we will also look at critical and theoretical work by Toni Morrison, Saidiyah Hartman, Barbara Fields, and Karen Fields.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lenora Warren (ldw65)
Full details for FGSS 4560 : The Politics and Joy in Black Women's Writing
FGSS 4661 Rethinking Boundaries of the Human: Crip Ecology, Disability, and Otherness

This course draws on feminist, queer, and crip theories; animal studies; disability studies; indigenous studies; and environmental studies to examine anthropocentrism and various forms of violence that target groups of people and the environment. How has the definition of the human variously aided or challenged oppressions and violence? How does the otherness of certain humans relate to nonhuman existence and its conditions of being "neither alive nor dead"? Through the representations of death, violence, animals, plants, ghosts, objects, and environments in animated and documentary films, novels, art, nonfiction, as well as history and material culture, the course will rethink the functions of the parameters—ethical, legal, aesthetic, emotional, and political—of the human and of human rights. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Eunjung Kim (ek572)
Full details for FGSS 4661 : Rethinking Boundaries of the Human: Crip Ecology, Disability, and Otherness
FGSS 4665 Female Complaints: Gender in Early Modern Lyric and Modern Theory

This course asks how Renaissance lyric poetry (including Petrarch, Labé, Ronsard, Shakespeare, Wroth) negotiates questions of gender through poetic innovation and, just as often, through the use of poetic commonplaces. We will read this poetry in conversation with modern and contemporary theory (including Cixous, Sedgwick, Ngai, Berlant) to help us understand Renaissance lyric's particular fascination with women's bodies. We will ask how male poets' cliché-ridden poems about women offer us ways to think about the persistence and flexibility of misogynist tropes. We will also ask how feminist and queer theory—as well as female poets' responses to their male predecessors and contemporaries—variously diagnose, subvert, and internalize those tropes. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Katie Kadue (kek246)
Full details for FGSS 4665 : Female Complaints: Gender in Early Modern Lyric and Modern Theory
FGSS 4990 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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Durba Ghosh (dg256)
Full details for FGSS 4990 : Senior Honors Thesis I
FGSS 6127 The Body Politic in Asia

Visions of bodily corruption preoccupy ruler and ruled alike and prompt campaigns for moral, medical, and legal reform in periods of both stability and revolution. This seminar explores the links between political, sexual, and scientific revolutions in early modern and modern Asia. The focus is on China and Japan, with secondary attention to South Asia and Korea. Interaction with the West is a major theme. Topics include disease control, birth control and population control, body modification, the history of masculinity, honorific violence and sexual violence, the science of sex, normative and stigmatized sexualities, fashion, disability, and eugenics. The course begins with an exploration of regimes of the body in "traditional" Asian cultures. The course then turns to the medicalization and modernization of the body under the major rival political movements in Asia: feminism, imperialism, nationalism, and communism.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
Full details for FGSS 6127 : The Body Politic in Asia
FGSS 6331 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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Arnika Fuhrmann (aif32)
Full details for FGSS 6331 : Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema
FGSS 6513 Toni Morrison's Novels

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison received her M.A. in English at Cornell University in 1955.  To study her, in a way, is to gain a deeper understanding of how she journeyed on from her days as a student here to become one of the world's greatest writers, how she has helped to transform world literature, and how she has shaped Cornell's great legacy through the phenomenal one that she has built.  In this course, we will engage in close and reflective critical readings of Toni Morrison's eleven novels.  Morrison's writing style is characterized by highly distinctive strategies in the development of narrative and in the use of language.  As we journey across her body of work as readers, we will examine a range of recurring themes, along with the "love trilogy" on which she focused her repertoire for several years.  The course, through a comprehensive, chronological and focused look at Morrison's body of novels, will help students who entirely lack familiarity with it to gain a strong foundation for further research and study.  By the end of the course, even students who already know Morrison's work will walk away with a deeper and more nuanced critical understanding of it.  The course will help students to reinforce their skills in reading fiction, and help them to become more astute and exacting readers of the novel as a genre.  Morrison's novels have placed her at the vanguard of the globalization of the novel itself, and she is, undisputedly, one the most famous and innovative writers in the world.  Moreover, her thinking is so original and pivotal that her fiction and critical works are absolutely indispensable for all serious students and scholars in fields such as American literature.  Its impact on African American literature is equally vital.  We will focus on reading the repertoire of novels by Morrison, including The Bluest Eye, Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), Paradise (1998), Love (2003), A Mercy (2008) Home (2012), and God Help the Child (2014).  We will screen selected scenes from the 1998 film adaptation of her novel Beloved, along with the documentary on Morrison, The Pieces I Am (2019).  

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Riche Richardson (rdr83)
Full details for FGSS 6513 : Toni Morrison's Novels
FGSS 6990 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.

Academic Career: GR Full details for FGSS 6990 : Topics in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
FGSS 7458 Girls, Women, and Education in Global Perspective: Feminist Ethnography and Praxis

This seminar explores the educational lives and schooling experiences of women and girls through ethnographies conducted in the U.S. and different regions of the world. Drawing on the anthropology of education, and decolonial and transnational feminist theories, we explore how girls and women construct ways of knowing through prisms of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, nation, and citizenship. We examine how gendered–racialized discourses of development, and state sanctioned forms of structural violence, frame their educational experiences and opportunities. In turn, we consider girls and young women as active learners and pedagogues who craft their own lives and literacies across borders and diverse spaces of home, school, and community. Lastly, we interrogate what is feminist in ethnographic representations and identify the possibilities for liberatory pedagogies.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Sofia Villenas (sav33)
Full details for FGSS 7458 : Girls, Women, and Education in Global Perspective: Feminist Ethnography and Praxis