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. Offered: jointly with AES 322.
This course offers students an opportunity to think analytically about the ways that race, class and gender identities are constructed and invoked. The course is designed to expand students' awareness of how systems of inequality work, how these inequalities come to be accepted as "natural" and how they affect people's life circumstances. We will highlight the interesection of oppressions- that is, the ways that social categories such as race, class, gender, sexuality and nationality interact in peoples's lives. We will begin by placing the categories within their specific historical and material contexts. While we will focus on the United States, the course takes a global focus. Thus, we will pay particular attention to the the legacy of colonialism and empire. We will then turn to more contemporary forms of social identity. We will consider the ways that social inequalities have been institutionalized. We will reflect upon the cultural representations that we consume. We will consider the daily practices that we perform that maintain or challenge social norms. As we grapple with debates that have shaped scholarship over the past few decades, we will consider the benefits and limitations of relying on group identities to advocate for social change. One of the primary goals of the course is to assist students to develop their own set of interests. Thus, the course will offer students an opportunity to generate their own questions and to hone their abilities to think, to read and to write critically.
The course will be interactive and will involve lectures, small and large group discussions, films and debates.
Class Assignments and Grading
Students will be required to complete a midterm and final exam. In addition, the instructor will work with students to develop a research project. Students will then write a 8-10 page research paper.
Grades will be based on class participation, 2 exams and a research paper.