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FEMGEN 152: 'Tis all in pieces: Space and Gender on the Threshold of the Modern World (FEMGEN 252)

These dramatic words, spoken by the British poet John Donne, signal the onset of the Early Modern world and the profound reconfigurations of space and related structures of thought, including conceptions of the self and the encoding of gender roles. We will explore the vibrant Early Modern world in the context of space and representations of gender, sexuality, and race as manifest in unprecedented literary and artistic forms, such as Shakespeare¿s ¿Othello,¿ Marlowe¿s ¿Doctor Faustus,,¿ the poetry of John Donne, the art of Michelangelo and Caravaggio as well as key historical and cultural texts. And we will visit the Cantor Arts Center (on campus) for a guided tour and lecture on art and perspective. We also will read and discuss selected texts from the modern world, such as Samuel Beckett¿s ¿Waiting for Godot¿ and poetry and commentary by Adrienne Rich, to study both changes and continuities with the Early Modern period. We will consider the vital cognitive role of the reader or viewe more »
These dramatic words, spoken by the British poet John Donne, signal the onset of the Early Modern world and the profound reconfigurations of space and related structures of thought, including conceptions of the self and the encoding of gender roles. We will explore the vibrant Early Modern world in the context of space and representations of gender, sexuality, and race as manifest in unprecedented literary and artistic forms, such as Shakespeare¿s ¿Othello,¿ Marlowe¿s ¿Doctor Faustus,,¿ the poetry of John Donne, the art of Michelangelo and Caravaggio as well as key historical and cultural texts. And we will visit the Cantor Arts Center (on campus) for a guided tour and lecture on art and perspective. We also will read and discuss selected texts from the modern world, such as Samuel Beckett¿s ¿Waiting for Godot¿ and poetry and commentary by Adrienne Rich, to study both changes and continuities with the Early Modern period. We will consider the vital cognitive role of the reader or viewer in the formation of particular instances of artistic form, including recent---and highly thought-provoking---material from the neurosciences and cognitive studies.nnNote: Instructor will consider changes in meeting times/days to accommodate student schedules if feasible. Please send request to: hbrooks@stanford.edu.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

FEMGEN 159: James Baldwin & Twentieth Century Literature (AFRICAAM 159, ENGLISH 159)

Black, gay and gifted, Baldwin was hailed as a "spokesman for the race", although he personally, and controversially, eschewed titles and classifications of all kinds. This course examines his classic novels and essays as well his exciting work across many lesser-examined domains - poetry, music, theatre, sermon, photo-text, children's literature, public media, comedy and artistic collaboration. Placing his work in context with other writers of the 20C (Faulkner, Wright,Morrison) and capitalizing on a resurgence of interest in the writer (NYC just dedicated a year of celebration of Baldwin and there are 2 new journals dedicated to study of Baldwin), the course seeks to capture the power and influence of Baldwin's work during the Civil Rights era as well as his relevance in the "post-race" transnational 21st century, when his prescient questioning of the boundaries of race, sex, love, leadership and country assume new urgency.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Elam, M. (PI)

FEMGEN 160: Performance and History: Rethinking the Ballerina (DANCE 160, TAPS 160, TAPS 260)

The ballerina occupies a unique place in popular imagination as an object of over-determined femininity as well as an emblem of extreme physical accomplishment for the female dancer. This seminar is designed as an investigation into histories of the ballerina as an iconographic symbol and cultural reference point for challenges to political and gender ideals. Through readings, videos, discussions and viewings of live performances this class investigates pivotal works, artists and eras in the global histories of ballet from its origins as a symbol of patronage and power in the 15th century through to its radical experiments as a site of cultural obedience and disobedience in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

FEMGEN 160M: Introduction to Representations of the Middle East in Dance, Performance, & Popular Culture (CSRE 160M, DANCE 160M, TAPS 160M)

This course will introduce students to the ways in which the Middle East has been represented and performed by/in the 'West' through dance, performance, and popular culture in both historical and contemporary contexts. A brief look through today's media sources exposes a wide range of racialized and gendered representations of the Middle East that shape the way the world imagines the Middle East to be. As postcolonial theorist Edward Said explains, the framework we call Orientalism establishes the ontological character of the Orient and the Oriental as inherently `Other'. Starting with 19th century colonialism and continuing into the post-9/11 era, this course will trace the Western production, circulation, and consumption of representations of the Middle East as 'Other' in relation to global geopolitics. We will further examine dance forms produced in mid-twentieth century Iran and Egypt, with particular attention to nation-state building and constructions of gender. Finally, we will more »
This course will introduce students to the ways in which the Middle East has been represented and performed by/in the 'West' through dance, performance, and popular culture in both historical and contemporary contexts. A brief look through today's media sources exposes a wide range of racialized and gendered representations of the Middle East that shape the way the world imagines the Middle East to be. As postcolonial theorist Edward Said explains, the framework we call Orientalism establishes the ontological character of the Orient and the Oriental as inherently `Other'. Starting with 19th century colonialism and continuing into the post-9/11 era, this course will trace the Western production, circulation, and consumption of representations of the Middle East as 'Other' in relation to global geopolitics. We will further examine dance forms produced in mid-twentieth century Iran and Egypt, with particular attention to nation-state building and constructions of gender. Finally, we will examine artistic productions and practices from the Middle East and Middle Eastern diasporic communities that respond to colonialism, war, displacement, secularism, and Euro-American Empire. Using dance studies, postcolonial feminist, and critical race theoretical frameworks, we will consider the gender, racial, political, and cultural implications of selected performance works and practices in order to analyze how bodies produce meaning in dance, performance art, theater, film, photography, and new media. Students will engage in multiple modes of learning; the course will include lectures, engaged group discussions, viewing of live and recorded performance, embodied participation in dance practice, student oral presentations, and a variety of writing exercises. Course assignments will culminate in a final research project related to class themes and methods.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

FEMGEN 161D: Introduction to Dance Studies: Dancing Across Stages, Clubs, Screens, and Borders (CSRE 61, DANCE 161D, TAPS 161D)

This introduction to dance studies course explores dance practice and performance as means for producing cultural meaning. Through theoretical and historical texts and viewing live and recorded dance, we will develop tools for analyzing dance and understanding its place in social, cultural, and political structures. This uses dance and choreography as a lens to more deeply understand a wide range of identity and cultural formations, such as gender, race, sexuality, (dis)ability, (trans)nationality, and empire. We will analyze dancing bodies that move across stages, dance clubs, film screens, and border zones. We will examine dance from diverse locales and time periods including ballet, modern and contemporary dance, contact improvisation, folkloric dance, burlesque, street dance, queer club dance, drag performance, music videos, TV dance competitions, and intermedia/new media performance. In addition to providing theoretical and methodological grounding in dance studies, this course develops performance analysis skills and hones the ability to write critically and skillfully about dance. No previous experience in dance is necessary to successfully complete the course.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

FEMGEN 166: The Divine Feminine in India (RELIGST 166)

What happens when God is a woman? Is the Goddess a feminist? The Goddess, in her numerous incarnations, is foundational to much of Indian religiosity, whether Hindu, Buddhist, or even Jain¿and in turn, without her story, much of the theology and practice of these religions remains incomprehensible. This course examines the principal expressions of the theology and ritual worship of the Goddess in Indian history, from the Vedas to the Hindu Epics, to Indian philosophy, tantric ritual practice and modern global and new age movements in order to understand how the gendering of divinity affects theological speculation, religious experience, and embodied religious identity.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Fisher, E. (PI)

FEMGEN 176: Feminism and Contemporary Art (ARTHIST 176, ARTHIST 376, CSRE 167)

(Same as ARTHIST 176) The impact of second wave feminism on art making and art historical practice in the 70s, and its reiteration and transformation in contemporary feminist work. Topics: sexism and art history, feminist studio programs in the 70s, essentialism and self-representation, themes of domesticity, the body in feminist art making, bad girls, the exclusion of women of color and lesbians from the art historical mainstream, notions of performativity.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Lee, P. (PI)

FEMGEN 180: Gender Relations in Islam (RELIGST 180)

This course investigates the ways in which gender identities and relationships between men and women have been articulated, constructed, and refashioned throughout the Muslim world. Starting with problematizing the fixed notions of gender and sexuality, we map the attitudes toward these notions through visiting a diverse array of sources from the Qur¿an, Sunna, and legal documents to historical and anthropological case studies, literature, and film from South East Asia to Europe and North America. We examine the notions of femininity and masculinity in the Qur¿an, family laws, and attitudes toward homosexuality and transgendered populations. We read examples of ambiguous use of language with regards to gender and sexuality in Persian poetry and mystical traditions. We study the dynamic relationship between Islam and Feminism in the Muslim world. Finally, we witness the implications of these attitudes in our case studies and stories, from a divorce court in Iran to a wedding in Sudan.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Najafian, A. (PI)

FEMGEN 183: Re- Imagining American Borders (AMSTUD 183, CSRE 183)

How novelists, filmmakers, and poets perceive racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, and class borders in the context of a current volatile national discussion about the place of Americans both here and in the world. How Anna Deavere Smith, Sherman Alexie, Shailja Patel or Ta-Nehisi Coates consider redrawing such lines so that center and margin, or self and other, do not remain fixed and divided. How linguistic borderlines within multilingual literature by Caribbean, Arab, and Asian Americans function. Can Anzaldúa's 1986 conception of borderlands be constructed through the matrix of language, dreams, music, and cultural memories in these recent American narratives? Course includes creatively examining one's own identity.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Duffey, C. (PI)

FEMGEN 188Q: Imagining Women: Writers in Print and in Person (CSRE 188Q)

Gender roles, gender relations and sexual identity explored in contemporary literature and conversation with guest authors. Weekly meetings designated for book discussion and meeting with authors. Interest in writing and a curiosity about diverse women's lives would be helpful to students. Students will use such tools as close reading, research, analysis and imagination. Seminar requires strong voice of all participants. Oral presentations, discussion papers, final projects.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED, Writing 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Miner, V. (PI)
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