Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies
In this course, we will explore gender, as it is understood and enacted by different people in various historical moments, geographical locations, and cultural contexts, focusing particularly on the way gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, religion, sexuality, ability, and other markers of identity. We will think critically about oppression, activism, social change, and common assumptions about the world and people around us. One of our main goals in this course is to explore both the forces that feed into inequality and discrimination, and ways to resist, challenge, and overcome those forces. We will ask questions about bodies, work, families, identity, politics, medicine, history, and the media; our inquiries will largely be based in the United States, but we will also think about women’s movements and situations around the world. We will develop the vocabulary and tools to speak and think critically about oppression, patriarchy, and some of the issues that face us as both females and males today. This course will require sensitivity, respect, and substantial work in the form of reading, writing, and above all thinking. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for WMST 202.
Mary Simonson’s research interests include film, music, American cinema, entertainment in the first half of the twentieth century, and filmed dance. Her teaching and scholarship focus on representations and performances of gender and sexuality on the stage and the screen.