Courses

HUM 202: Gender, Media and Society

Gender, Media and Society is a course intended to appeal to a broad range of students regardless of their major who have a desire to explore, question, challenge and engage themselves and their surroundings. It is an exploration of gender issues in society with a particular focus on media. It aims to give students a broad understanding of gender, social construction, media representations of men and women (media- articles/literature, photographs, movies, documentaries, advertisements) and the consequences of these representations within the wider society. Students will learn how perceptions of gender and gender roles are socially constructed including beauty, body image and relationships. Students will be encouraged to apply the tools of analysis in their own written assignments and presentations, resisting gender stereotypes and working for change.

Prerequisite: None Credits: 3

 

HUM 255: Social Justice in Theory and Practice

HUM 255 is a service learning course which intends to appeal to students of all majors who are interested in applying theoretical knowledge to community service. In this course students will learn about gender, race, disability, and class. The focus is on the social construction of these concepts in the context of KRG, how these constructions normalize exploitative relations, and how to counteract these acts of exploitation. The theoretical part will be followed by a focused research project where students collect data about a particular issue that they want to explore. After identifying the problem students will then engage in community based service activities related to their research topic. As students engage in the field they will be writing introspective papers to reflect on their own social position in relations to others and to identify obstacles faced while trying to make a difference. This course encourages ethics of service and responsible citizenship.

Prerequisite: ENG 102 Credits: 3

 

SCI 280: Gender and Health in the Developing World

This course offers a holistic understanding of the impact of gender on health, particularly within a developing-world context. It will especially focus on women’s health concerns in relation to Middle Eastern, African and South Asian configurations of gender. We will explore, among other things, health concerns such as reproductive and mental health and gender-based violence. Class sessions will involve analyses of the socio-economic consequences of these negative health practices and forced displacement on women.
Our textual engagement will include theoretical explications, case studies, health reports by international agencies, and media coverage of women’s health issues. It is hoped that this course will inform the health discourse about women in this region, open up a dialogue about this important topic that often goes unnoticed, and shed light on the social injustice associated with mainstream health assumptions.  

Prerequisites: None Credits: 3

 

LIT 311: Literature of the Oppressed: Race and Gender   

This course introduces students to literature by writers from marginalised racial and gender groups. The literary texts will be supplemented by theoretical essays that will help us analyse them. The course will address how intersectionality—the overlapping of race and gender oppression— bears on our understanding of, and resistance to, oppression. Our readings will focus on the meaning of oppression, the ways in which it constructs social reality, and how these issues are represented in literature, particularly when approached through racial and gender lenses. The course will also deal with how literature becomes a site for resisting ad revising racial and gender stereotypes, and considering our moral responsibility to challenge oppressive realities.

Prerequisites: ENG 102 Credits: 3

 

LIT 400: Feminist Criticism and Women’s Writing

LIT 400 deals with women’s literature that deconstructs patriarchal forms of representation. It highlights theoretical debates initiated by feminists to understand the dynamics of women’s subordination, challenge the masculine symbolic order, counter gender stereotypes, and reclaim agency. The course introduces students to the history of women’s writing, the anxieties around finding their own voice, writing as an act of resistance, and the intersection between feminism, on the one hand, and psychoanalysis and postcolonial theory on the other. It examines the ways women writers have been excluded from the androcentric literary canon, the challenges they have faced while reclaiming the right to write and be recognized, and some of the theoretical approaches they have used to counter women’s subjugation. In the final section of the course students will read an example of feminist literary writing of the 20th century which outlines women’s struggle for freedom in a patriarchal society.

Prerequisites: ENG 203 or any 300-level LIT class Credits: 3

 

HST 451: Women and Gender in Ancient Greece

The study of womens roles and daily lives in ancient societies not only deepens our understanding of social history, but also focuses our attention on the categories of analysis we use for all aspects of historical inquiry. Asking about womens roles in the military history of Archaic Greece, for example, expands the investigation from the battlefield to the wider socio-economic framework of the region. Considering women in the economic nexus of the Greek Hellenistic era draws our attention to gendered crafts such as weaving; in Classical Corinth, the role of female temple prostitutes illuminates the political-religious system. After having taken this course, students will be able to think critically about women and gender as a historical force in the ancient world.  The framework of this course is the traditional historical survey with an emphasis on gender as a useful category of historical inquiry. Within each historical period, issues of gender shape the narration. This is not an add-and-stir history of women (i.e., simply inserting females unreflectively into categories of political and military history), but a gendered historiographic view of ancient Greek society.

Prerequisites: CIV 203 Credits: 3

 

REL 421: Gender in Islamic History

The first convert to Islam was a woman.  From Islam’s earliest days, women have played an important, if oft under-acknowledged role in the development of Muslim culture and civilization. The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the relation of Islam and gender. As such, it will focus on the central text of Islam, the Quran, as well as the life of the early Islamic community.  The course opens with an intensive reading textual analyses of gender in Islam’s scriptures.  We then move on to issues of interest to contemporary social scientists.  While the class reflects the bias in scholarship toward the study of women and femininity in Islam, the class also addresses masculine and transgendered perspectives.  A second goal of the course is to capture the diversity of gender in contemporary Islam, by emphasizing gendered experience in Muslim communities both inside and outside the Middle East.

Prerequisites: CIV 203 Credits: 3

 

LIT 350/ GEN 350: Gendered Representations of Genocide

Starting with theoretical and legal understandings of genocide and studying different examples of it, this course will move into addressing how the experiences of genocide, as well as its literary and cultural representations, are gendered. Through various literary and theoretical readings, the course will look at the ways in which  gendered analysis of genocide has developed, moving away from essentialism which represents women as passive victims of men’s brutality, and becoming more inclusive by addressing women’s role as perpetrators of genocide as well as men’s victimisation. It will also analyse how this gendered analysis plays out in the public sphere through literature, commemorations, monuments, and museums. Gendered representations of genocide gets students to take part in deconstructing the dominant gender narratives in genocidal contexts. It includes two mandatory field trips visiting monuments and museums about the Anfal genocide.

Prerequisites: ENG 102 Credits: 3