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Graduate Courses

Complete Offerings

Graduate Core Courses:

(Required for the Gender Studies Ph.D. and open to others as well)

G600 Concepts of Gender Introduces historical, theoretical, behavioral, philosophical, scientific, multi- and cross-cultural perspectives on gender and its meanings, exploring its disciplinary and interdisciplinary uses and implications. Attention is given to the emergence of the category “gender” itself, and its variable applications to different fields of knowledge, experience, cultural expression, and institutional regulation, including queer, trans, and other theories of sex, sexuality, and desire. The course looks at gender as a way to understand multiple and interlocking systems of power, more specifically, as hierarchies that yield complex questions of race, class, ethnicity, nation/empire, among other markers of difference.

G603 Contemporary Debates in Feminist Theory Explores classic and current feminist theories, asking questions about knowledge, subjectivity, sexuality, and ethics. Debates are situated within and against various intellectual movements, such as Marxism, post-structuralism, theories of race and ethnicity, postcolonial/transnational/diaspora and cultural studies, and others. Sexuality studies and queer theory’s relation to feminist praxis will form a key component of the course, as it juxtaposes classic social theory and feminist texts with more current works.

G702 Researching Gender Issues Research Research methodologies and approaches relevant to Gender Studies are explored, and students apply them to a particular scholarly project. The impact of Gender Studies on epistemological and methodological issues in a variety of academic disciplines is examined according to student/instructor backgrounds and interests.


Elective Courses

G598 Feminist Theory: Classic Texts and Founding Debates Explores founding texts of contemporary feminist theory, asking questions about identity, knowledge, sexuality, and ethics. Such works have emerged in relation to a variety of theoretical discourses, such as Marxism, structuralism, cultural studies, and others. Examines the intellectual history of feminist theory and its resonance with more recent trends in gender studies.

G601 Scientific Practices & Feminist Knowledge Examines intersections of gender and knowledge, focusing on feminist analyses of scientific epistemology and practice. Explores the implications of various feminist theories about the social meaning and gendered construction of scientific research. Particular focus is placed upon race, class, sexuality and cultural difference in scientific accounts of "human nature." Specific topics for students' research projects may include: the history and politics of sexual difference in scientific discourse; feminist perspectives on, and appropriations of, the concept of objectivity; the circulation of scientific findings and technologies in popular culture; and the formulation of alternative scientific methods and knowledge.

G602 Gender Dimensions of Cultural Production & Criticism This course evaluates a diverse array of arguments concerning the gendered nature of cultural production and criticism. Controversies related to the gendered dimensions of aesthetics, cultural meanings, content, or genres are examined, as are vested claims about the constitution of genius or creativity, and the role of identities in cultural production. The critical issue of theorizing audience/reader/viewer and the often gendered nature of cultural criticism warrant particular scrutiny, especially in a cross-cultural frame.

G604 Knowledge, Gender, and Truth Examines feminist contributions to epistemological questioning of knowledge formations through comparison of case study disciplines and through cross-cultural analysis. Debates about "truth," "objectivity," "validity," "reason" and "representativeness" as gendered categories receive scrutiny in relation to fields such as historiography, ethnography, science, psychology, or cultural studies.

G695 Graduate Readings and Research in Gender Studies [1-6 credits] This course provides for graduate students' intensive independent study of specific topics. Study is supervised by an appropriate core or affiliated faculty member whose research expertise matches the student's area of interest. These student projects are developed in consultation with this faculty member and the Director of Graduate Studies. Obtain permission form from the Gender Studies Office and have it signed by the faculty member agreeing to work with you.

G696 Research Colloquium in Gender Studies [1-3 credits] Active participation in Gender Studies research colloquia. Introduces students to the problems, interpretations, theories, and research trends in all areas related to gender and sexuality studies. Colloquia also cover themes in Gender Studies professional development (identification of funding sources, resume and job interview preparation, etc). Topics vary throughout the semester. May be repeated more than once for credit.

G700 Sexualized Genders/Gendered Sexualities This course engages students with complex debates around sex, gender, sexuality, and the body that push beyond binary models reliant on a simple "nature/culture"distinction. Drawing heavily on queer theory, sexuality studies, and trans theory, we scrutinize the collision, intersection, and interaction between theories of gender and theories of sexuality. Rather than attempt to "bring it all together,"we will instead provoke continued debate about the complicated relationship between gender, gendered identities, sexuality, sexual "identities,"racialized bodies and identities and forms of power and coercion.

G701 Graduate Topics in Gender Studies [variable titles, 3-4 credits]: Addresses particular problems or topics arising within interdisciplinary gender studies at an advanced research-oriented level. Topics for each offering of the seminar are chosen according to instructor expertise and are rotated regularly. Students design and complete original research projects in light of seminar themes and assessments of existing scholarship.

G704 Cultural Politics and Twentieth Century Sexuality This course interrogates the complex relationships among and developments in sex research, sex reform, sexual behavior and cultural politics in the United States and comparable countries during the twentieth century, through the exploration of the writings of key reformers, researchers, scholars, and popularizers of changed understandings of sexuality.

G707: Gender Pedagogy & Theory A high-level graduate course, designed to offer theory and practical applications for teaching feminist and gender studies.

G708 Contested Masculinities This course examines masculinity at sites of contestation -- between disciplines, historical moments, nationalities, regions and bodily ontologies. By tracing the resonances of transnational, transdisciplinary, and transhistorical masculinities, our aim is to critically examine masculinities, particularly in the context of feminist challenges to hegemonic and violative gender ideologies.

G710 Gender, Medicine and the Body Examines interdisciplinary topics related to medicine and the body as they interact with gender. Theoretical works are positioned against primary texts, the latter drawn from both fiction and non-fiction works, which may be drawn from both Western and non-Western cultural traditions. Variable offerings of the course address particular topics of interest and research controversy, such as hormone replacement therapies, gender associated cancers, contraception, sexual dysfunction therapies, eating disorders, psychiatric illness, geriatric conditions, and other related subjects.

G714 Gender, Race, and Media Examines representations of race, class, gender, and sexual identity in the media. We will be considering issues of authorship, spectatorship, (audience) and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society.

G718 Transnational Feminisms and the Politics of Globalization This course interrogates recent interventions into the debates around globalization and gender, focusing on how gender plays out in the flows of money, people, and culture that characterize "globalization." In what ways is migration a gendered experience? How does gender become configured by geographic dislocations and re-routings? How are women and men differently situated as agents and subjects of global change?

G780: Gender Studies Professionalism This course is designed to offer advanced graduate students an intensive exposure to the theories, practices and processes of gender studies as a profession. In general, the course offers students a practical structure for such professional activities as writing abstracts for conferences and grants, turning a seminar paper into a publishable article, approaching editors of journals and presses, writing job letters, compiling CVs and teaching portfolios, giving conference papers and job talks, and applying for grants, post-docs and faculty positions. The course is organized thematically according to the instructor’s purview and will vary in its specific content and scope from semester to semester. Practicum credit is available for students who elect to participate in extra-curricular research, conference, or writing activities (as determined by the instructor teaching the course).


Topics of Past Graduate Seminars:

  • Women, Sexuality, and Health: Research Issues and Policy Implications
  • Gender and Sexuality in Modern North African and Middle Eastern Narrative
  • Gender Medicine and the Body- East and West
  • Feminism, Sexuality, and Cultural Politics
  • Women in Modern British History
  • Writing Women in Early Modern England
  • Gender, Religion, and the Body in 19th Century England
  • Feminist Studies and Ethnographic Practice
  • The Culture of Disability: Gender, Medicine, and Society
  • Gender and Diversity Issues in Art and Education
  • Foundations of Feminist Art: History, Philosophy, and Context
  • Ethnography of the U.S.
  • Law, Sex, and Scandal: The Lewinsky Affair
  • Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Early 20th Century American Social Science
  • Gender in the Victorian Age
  • Law and Culture
  • Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Early American Social Science
  • Feminism Between Women's Suffrage and the Pill
  • Gender and Comic Strips
  • Aesthetics and Gender
  • Masculinities in Early America
  • Contraception, Gender, & Culture

Combined Courses (Fall 2015)

GNDR-G701 & THTR-T 775: Graduate Topics in Gender Studies (3 credits)
Topic: The Body in Theatre and Performance

34836         02:30P-03:45P   MW      WH 205    Goodlander, J.

Theatrical performance exhibits bodies. The body and its relation to memory and cultural production has emerged as a key theoretical concept in many disciplines, including theatre. The body offers a key site of signification within theatre production. Theatre artists manipulate the body, or bodies, in performance in many ways. This course will apply theories of the body and embodiment in order to understand the performativity of race, gender, size, class, age, and ability within global theatrical performance.


GNDR-G701 & ENG-L752 & CULS-C701: Graduate Topics in Gender Studies (3 credits)
Topic: The Child, Queerly

34837          09:05A-12:05P   M      LI 851    Sheldon, R.    

The child has been central to the conceptual architecture of queer theory from the outset. One of Michel Foucault’s four key figures of the modern episteme alongside the hysterical woman, the Malthusian couple, and the perverse adult, the child is also the thread that binds them together. The child is the promise made to the hysterical woman and the issue tracked in the Malthusian couple, the unresolved psychic source of perversion, and the subject most in need of protection from the pervert. Yet the child does not fully emerge as an object of theoretical inquiry in queer cultural studies until the turn of the 21st century and, especially, the 2004 publication of Lee Edelman’s No Future.

Beginning with a survey of the queer permutations on Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis that ground Edelman’s analysis of the child, this class will quickly turn away from the psychoanalytic to explore new terrains activated by the child in the 21st century, including units on queer theories of time and affect, science, nature, and embodiment, and biopolitics, neocolonialism and neoliberalism. Authors may include Kathryn Bond Stockton, J. Jack Halberstam, Robin Bernstein, James Kincaid, Elizabeth Freeman, Bethany Schneider, Claudia Castaneda, Sahar Sadjadi, Eva Hayward, Adam Zarestky, Anna Mae Duane, Michael Moon, Kevin Ohi, Ellis Hanson, Vivian Zelizer, Jacqueline Rose, and Heather Warren-Crow. Depending on student interest, we may also incorporate contemporary fictional, filmic, and prose depictions of children and childhood.

This course is tied to the 2015 IU Cultural Studies conference on Child Matters. Students will be required to participate in the conference and will have the chance to talk with the conference’s plenary speakers. Assessment will be based on three short assignments including a final conference-length paper.


GNDR-G701 & ANTH-B512: Graduate Topics in Gender Studies (3 credits)
Topic: Evolutionary Medicine
(8W1)

34838          01:00P-03:15P   T      SB 251    Vitzthum, V.     

Evolutionary medicine is the application of modern evolutionary theory and evolutionaryhistory to understanding human health and illness. This approach to health stresses the ultimate or long-term evolutionary causes of disease (and our responses to disease threats), in contrast to the emphasis that biomedicine places on the proximate or immediate causes of disease.

We will begin by reviewing the fundamentals of evolutionary theory and major events in human evolution. Concepts such as phylogenetic history, genetic mechanisms of change, natural selection, adaptation/adaptability, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), and “mismatches” (evolutionary, life history) will be covered. The utility of the comparative approach and data (cross-species, cross-population, across time) used by anthropologists will also be covered.

This will be followed by an overview of major events in/characteristics of human evolution, which includes evolutionary processes that occurred well before the emergence of our species but that currently impact our vulnerability to disease. Thus adaptations related to breathing/swallowing, bipedalism, the large brain, reproduction, lactation, among others will be discussed. We will then consider the transition from a hunting and gathering lifeway to agriculture and both the adaptations that occurred in the post-agricultural period that contribute to human biological variation and health (hemoglobinopathies, lactase persistence) as well as points of “mismatch” that might contribute to contemporary disease patterns. Twentieth century changes to our environments (dietary, physical activity, infectious disease exposure) will also be considered in this light. Finally we will discuss non-heritable adaptations (i.e. plastic responses such as fever or iron-sequestering) that shape our response to health threats.

Students will read the primary literature in evolutionary theory, human evolution, andevolutionary medicine specifically and develop an appreciation for the relevance ofevolution to understanding contemporary issues in human health and disease. We will also explore and critique current popularized health movements that purport to be based onevolutionary approaches (e.g. “Paleo diets”, “Cross-fit”-style exercise programs, etc.). Thus throughout the course we adopt a biocultural perspective that highlights the interactions between human cultural behavior, evolutionary biology, and disease.

Fall 2015

GNDR-G600:  Concepts of Gender (3 credits)

10681          09:05A-11:35A   W      MM 139    Johnson, C.                

Introduces historical, theoretical, behavioral, philosophical, scientific, multi- and cross-cultural perspectives on gender and its meanings, exploring its disciplinary and interdisciplinary uses and implications. Attention is given to the emergence of the category “gender” itself, and its variable applications to different fields of knowledge, experience, cultural expression, and institutional regulation, including queer, trans, and other theories of sex, sexuality, and desire. The course looks at gender as a way to understand multiple and interlocking systems of power, more specifically, as hierarchies that yield complex questions of race, class, ethnicity, nation/empire, among other markers of difference.


GNDR-G601:  Scientific Practices & Feminist Knowledge (3 credits)

30826          02:00P-04:30P   W      MM 139    Foster, L.                

Examines intersections of gender and knowledge, focusing on feminist analyses of scientific epistemology and practice. Explores the implications of various feminist theories about the social meaning and gendered construction of scientific research. Particular focus is placed upon race, class, sexuality and cultural difference in scientific accounts of "human nature." Specific topics for students' research projects may include: the history and politics of sexual difference in scientific discourse; feminist perspectives on, and appropriations of, the concept of objectivity; the circulation of scientific findings and technologies in popular culture; and the formulation of alternative scientific methods and knowledge.


GNDR-G603: Contemporary Debates in Feminist Theory (3 credits)

33103          02:30P-05:00P   R      MM 139    Maher, J.                 

Explores classic and current feminist theories, asking questions about knowledge, subjectivity, sexuality, and ethics. Debates are situated within and against various intellectual movements, such as Marxism, post-structuralism, theories of race and ethnicity, postcolonial/transnational/diaspora and cultural studies, and others. Sexuality studies and queer theory’s relation to feminist praxis will form a key component of the course, as it juxtaposes classic social theory and feminist texts with more current works.


GNDR-G701: Graduate Topics in Gender Studies (3 credits)

31341          02:30P-05:00P   T      MM 139    Vaccaro, J.              

In CRAFT WORK we look at craft and material studies, and foreground the connections between craft, labor, and the haptic. Questions and ideas to examine: soft sculpture; soft subversions, architectonics of feelings; the gender and racial hierarchies between the fine and applied arts; emotion, feeling, and affect. Readings by: Lisa Robertson, Ann Cvetkovich, Felix Guattari, Elissa Auther, Immanuel Kant, Baruch Spinoza, and others.