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Welcome to Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies!

About your course:  This course is an introduction to “Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies” (WGSS), a vibrant interdisciplinary field of study. Our course provides students with a foundation of knowledge and perspectives generated by feminist scholars and activists. These forms of knowledge and perspectives draw on theoretical frameworks that help us understand how gender and sexuality – in concert with other axes of difference – structure people’s lives, both today and in the past.

We explore theories about women and gender through interdisciplinary analyses, as well as disciplinary lenses such as anthropology, biology, political economy, history, literary studies, politics, philosophy, and sociology. Our course surveys a wide range of topics that have been key sites for the production, regulation, and transgression of gender, sexuality, and intersecting axes of difference (e.g., race, class, age, ability, nationality, religion, etc.). We focus especially on the ways that (a) ideas, identities, norms, and practices associated with gender and sexuality are embedded in social institutions; (b) how those institutions influence our lives; and (c) how they confer privileges to some groups and disadvantages to others. We analyze both interpersonal and structural forms of power (and their relationship to one another) by applying a feminist intersectional perspective to an analysis of identity and experience. Our course both identifies existing forms of inequalities, as well as ways in which feminists have challenged those inequalities.

Our class meets for lecture on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:25-12:15PM in LC102. Then (also on Tuesdays and Fridays) we have section from 12:30-1:20PM in LC109.

About your professor: Dr. Jessica N. Pabón is an Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, an affiliate of Latin American & Caribbean Studies, a queer boricua feminist, and a mamí. Her first book, Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora came out in June 2018!

Email (check the email policy)

I look forward to seeing you in office hours on Tuesdays 3:00-4:00PM, Wednesday 3:30-4:30PM, and Thursdays 3:00-4:00PM at Southside House, but you should make an appointment by visiting this online calendar.  If you check my schedule and can not see an office hour time slot, please email me to request an appointment.

We have one required book for this course that is available at the bookstore and for loan at the library.

Threshold Concepts in Women’s and Gender Studies: Ways of Seeing, Thinking, and Knowing edited byHolly Hassel and Christie Launius. (TC on syllabus)

Additional Readings
Required readings from sources other than textbooks will be posted on Blackboard (BB), listed as PDF, or Online on syllabus; you will receive the password in class.

We will be using Twitter! We will begin each class by tweeting one of our favorite quotes from the reading assigned for the day, using our course hashtag #wgsF18. We will end each class by tweeting something we’ve learned that day. Please note: if you want to protect your privacy on social media, please open a (new) Twitter account with an alter-ego. Did you know the library has iPads for check out if you need a mobile device.

We will use this Hawksite as the syllabus. Students are responsible for frequently checking the page.

In this course we will be discussing topics that are serious and hilarious, joyful and painful, personal and political, so our class has some ground rules for engagement:

  • Do your work.
  • Be present.
  • Be critical not cruel, generative not combative.

You can bring your laptops/iPads to class but if the privilege is abused I will ban them from the entire class. Let’s be responsible for our collective.