The intersection of race, class, and gender in the lives of women of color in the United States from historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics include racism, classism, sexism, activism, sexuality, and inter-racial dynamics between women of color groups. Prerequisite: GWSS 200. Offered: jointly with GWSS 300.
This course explores the intersections of “race,” “class,” and “gender” as political and theoretical categories loaded with power. We will study historical and contemporary articulations of these categories in relation to social inequality. Doing so will require us to examine various dimensions of “race,” “class,” and “gender,” including: how they assign people to different bodies, how they are claimed as forms of personal identity, how material inequalities are created and maintained through them, and how they are socio-cultural formations around which groups mobilize for collective action.
Course goals include: 1) to understand “race,” “class,” and “gender” as historical and changing constructions of difference deeply entangled with social and economic relations; 2) to extend analysis of these social categories in the U.S. context to other geographic places and transnational linkages; 3) to sharpen critical reading and thinking skills, and explore forms of analysis, argument, representation, and expression in a variety of interdisciplinary approaches; and 4) to foster a class environment of respectful dialogue and intellectual exchange, in order to collaboratively engage in careful and complex future-thinking.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture and discussion. Attendance and active participation in class discussions by all students will be crucial to the success of our class meetings. You are expected to complete the readings by the day they are listed in the syllabus and to discuss them in depth. Over the course of the quarter, students will develop research projects of their own for the final paper.
Students should have a serious interest in the course topic. Critical thinking and clear expression of thought in discussion and writing will be stressed.
Class assignments and grading
Each participant will be expected to act as facilitator for one class during the quarter. There will also be a 45-minute midterm exam; two short response papers (4 pages each); and a final project/paper (8-10 pages).
Attendance and Participation (including EPosts): 15% Class Presentation/Facilitation: 15% Response Paper 1: 10% Midterm Exam: 15% Response Paper 2: 15% Final Paper: 30%