Two Women’s and Gender Studies Courses Cross-Listed with MALS for Spring 2011

MALS and IDS students,

Two WGS courses have just been cross-listed with MALS for Spring Quarter 2011:

WGS 303/WMS 480/MLS 490 Women and Violence
Professor Ann Russo, MW, 4:20 – 5:50

Course Description:
This course is situated in the context of shifting antiviolence and feminist movements—shifting from solely a professional support services and legal advocacy approach to expanding into community-based grassroots as well as transnational movements grounded in everyday individuals and communities engaged in resisting, preventing, intervening in, being accountable for, and transforming oppression and violence.  Drawing on feminist ideas and practices that frame violence in terms of interlocking systems of oppression and privilege, many of the course materials explore and examine the possibilities for developing community-based approaches to healing, intervention, prevention, and transformation.  
The course will explore multiple forms of violence, the many contexts in which such violence occurs (in relationships, in families, in schools, in war zones, in prisons, on streets, among others), and the actions that individuals, groups, institutions, and/or governments may take to perpetuate, intervene in, address, and/or stop the violence and oppression.  The class will engage in analyses of how inequalities grounded in patriarchy, heteronormativity, capitalism, imperialism, and other systems of oppression shape interpersonal, state, and militarized violence as well as responses to such violence. Thus, we will also critically interrogate the norms, value systems, stereotypes, myths, rules, and actions in particular contexts that shape individual and collective responses to violence.  During the course of the class, class members will develop proposals for community based engagement and strategies to create healing, accountability, and potential transformation within particular contexts.

WGS 307/407/MLS 468  Women, Self & Society
Beyond the Veil:  Women in the Middle East
Dr. Laila Farah, TTH 4:20 – 5:50

Course Description:
In this course we will explore how Middle Eastern women have been represented in the media outside of the Middle East, by Arab women scholars, and “Third World” feminists. For centuries, Arab women have been depicted in various disparaging ways from the exotic harem girl, to the rock throwing in the Intifada, to the submissive victims of Arab patriarchy. We shall challenge these representations by focusing on the everyday lives of Arab women through scholarly writings from the region, critiquing media images, and reading literary works and personal narratives of Arab women.
Course Objectives:
By the end of the course, the students will have gained understandings of the following areas of study: the veil, eroticization and exotification, women and Islam, Arab women’s everyday lives, selected literary works, political activism, economic and class issues, and media representations.