College of Arts and Sciences

Course Information

Fall 2016 Courses:

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to women's and gender studies via readings from core discipline areas and presentation of methodological/bibliographical tools for research in women's studies. This course includes an examination of women's historic and contemporary status legally, politically, and economically, as well as women's struggles in identity expression, sexuality, and lifestyle.Examination of popular cultural "makings" of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality through typical representation of gender within fiction, theater, cinema, radio, music, television, journalism, and other secular mass media. Course will include the analysis of developing international telecommunications "superhighway" and the struggles to secure increased represenation of women and of feminist perspectives within existing culture industries. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Humanities distribution requirement and for General Education Category Humanistic Ways of Knowing.

Explores notions of manhood and practices of masculinities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Starting with the premise that gender is socially constructed, the course will seek to understand meanings and definitions associated with masculinities and move beyond notions of a universal masculinity to look at different kinds of masculinities in thethe MENA. Students will be invited to step outside of orientalist representations of Middle Eastern men and view their material conditions through a critical lens. The readings will cover a range of contexts and will open a window through which men’s struggles, insecurities, and everyday realities as well as their desires, dreams, and relationships with patriarchal culture will be heard. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Social and Behavioral Sciences distribution requirement and for General Education Category B7: Interdisciplinary Ways of Knowing.

This course will take selected communities in North Africa and the Middle East as the “two or more cultures” to be explored. Egypt, as the crossroads between those regions (and the country that has been at the heart of the Arab-Islamic feminist movement historically), will be emphasized. Materials on the legal and social status of women in Algeria, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia may also be included. The readings feature: a historic contextualizing of the “legal, social, and economic status” of women in Islamic societies (Ahmed) up to the late 20th century (Atiya); short essays and speeches by Arab women, many of whom self-identify as feminists (Badran & Cooke); historical fiction by two of the leading ‘Western’ feminist activists of the Arab world (Zayyat and Saadawi) as well as one ‘Islamic’ feminist (Rifaat); and an analysis of the contemporary resurgence of voluntary veiling among women of the educated and employed middle- and upper-classes (Zuhur). Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Cultural Studies (Non-Western Culture) requirement and General Education Capstone. Prerequisite: sophomore, junior, or senior standing or consent of instructor.