UB Gender Courses

As a research center rather than an academic department, the Gender Institute itself does not offer courses, but we promote curricular innovation and academic courses related to women, gender, and sexuality offered by departments and schools throughout the University at Buffalo. The courses featured here highlight just a few of UB's outstanding gender-related courses.

Information about UB's BA, MA, and PhD programs in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies can be found at https://arts-sciences.buffalo.edu/global-gender-sexuality.html.

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Spring 2022

This list of courses showcases a sampling of UB's gender-related curriculum. For more information please contact the instructor.

GRADUATE

Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

GGS 526 TUM (Seminar): Feminism, Art, and Culture
Wednesday 1:00 PM – 3:40 PM – Clemens 1004
Instructor: J. Tumbas

This seminar explores how feminist theory and activism transformed the history of art and visual culture from Simone de Beauvoir's landmark book The Second Sex (1949) to the present. We will consider the roles of gender, race, class, and sexuality, and think about how feminist art addressed, challenged, and changed discriminatory politics of difference. We will analyze artworks in relation to their historical and social contexts and from a variety of art historical methodologies; and we will examine feminist works in all media from painting and sculpture to performance, conceptual, and installation art, and from photography, film, and video to multimedia. Our discussions will be informed by first, second, and third-wave feminism, as well as queer theory and feminist activism.

GGS 560 A (Seminar): Women’s Studies Internship
Wednesday 6:00 PM – 8:40 PM - Clemens 206
Instructor: TBA

GGSS 496/560 is an internship course that works in partnership with the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women and Executive Director Dr. Karen King. The course offers advanced undergraduate and graduate students a unique experiential learning opportunity to put feminist theory into policy-making practice, using applied qualitative- and field-research skills to gain firsthand experience with the making of public policy that affects women’s empowerment in Erie County. Students enrolled in the course will work under the direction of Dr. King and the professor as researchers on a collaborative project set by Dr. King with the goal of producing a policy brief for use by Dr. King.  The course aims to provide students with an opportunity to be active participants in research and policy-making practices for the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, giving them first-hand experiences with the work of policy-making, as policy researchers and writers. Depending on the issue set by Dr. King, students might be in contact with local businesses, organizations, and representatives in order to contribute to research within the local government and community.

GGS 560 UGO (Seminar): Special Topics: Boccaccio’s Decameron
T R 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM – Baldy 110
Instructor: P. Ugolini

This class focuses on Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron, a collection of 100 short stories written in the mid fourteenth century and set during the Black Plague epidemic that ravaged Europe and Asia between (roughly) 1346 and 1353. To escape the plague, a group of ten young men and women find refuge in a villa outside of Florence and start telling each other stories, whose subjects range from tragic stories of love and loss, hilarious pranks, and misadventures with a happy ending. Thanks to its combination of intriguing events and fascinating characters, the Decameron offers a privileged point of view to explore early modern society. The short stories will serve as a starting point to explore the daily life of early modern men and women, with particular attention to topics such as the relationship between genders, religion, morality, politics, and -- last but not least -- life during a pandemic.

GGS 570 WEJ (Seminar): International Organizations, Gender & Sustainability
T R 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM – Park 145
Instructor: Wejnert, B.

This course explores the role of international organizations, including the United Nations, in addressing sustainability and gender equality. It exposes students to the mediating influence of international organizations, e.g., World Bank and the UN, on critical analysis and formulation of strategies and action plans for social change from a gender and sustainability perspective. The course examines historical origins, functions, the international and domestic political forces that impact the operations and effectiveness of international organizations, especially in the field of sustainable development and gender equality. Through weekly discussions, students explore the breadth of subject matter and the multidisciplinary nature of the scholarship. This course meets the requirements for GGS in two of its areas: women and global citizenship; and gender and public policy. This course is dual listed with GGS 487 and cross listed with EVS 570.

GGS 660 (Seminar): Special Topics: Gender and Genre: Global Women’s Voices
Tuesday 9:30 AM – 12:10 PM
Instructor: K. Winter

This seminar will explore how contemporary women writers from the United States and around the world give voice to major feminist concerns in the world today.  We will begin by asking how intersectional feminists imagine justice, the common good and a better society.  Then we will consider three central feminist issues:
I. Displacement
How do women writers portray the gendered impacts of displacement, immigration, and statelessness that result from colonialism, war, economic violence, climate change and patriarchal constructions of citizenship?
II. Constructions of gender, sexuality, and kinship
How do recent feminist writers portray, critique, revise and expand various cultural constructions of gender, sexuality, and kinship?
III. Gender-based violence
While the compulsory nature of systems of gender and sexuality inflicts harm on all humans, the asymmetrical value and power assigned to men compared to women and non-binary people normalizes aggression as a central component of masculinity. Examining sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape and gender-based murder, we will consider how gendered violence is reinforced by intersectional systems of oppression such as race, economics, and militarism.  We will explore how feminist writers envision strategies for creating justice, peace, and healing.
Throughout the course, in addition to analyzing what women writers say, we will consider how they say it by examining the forms and functions of genre.  How do genres such as autobiography, fiction, film, journalism, and history stake claims to truth? What types of truth are the authors attempting to convey?  How do they use rhetorical forms to persuade readers that their representations of reality are accurate? What counts as “evidence” in various genres?

UNDERGRADUATE

Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

GGS 101: Intro Gender & Women Studies
M W F 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
Instructor: K. Kagiavas

Introduces students to basic concepts in women's studies. Covers the history of the women's movement and its relation to the rise of women's studies as a discipline. Examines and discusses a multiplicity of 'recurring themes' affecting differing women's lives; including the social construction of gender, the impact of race, sexuality, reproduction, work, education, media, material condition (class), and women's agency. Discusses current controversies among feminists, and the broader political arena. Discovers how studying women's history challenges traditional notions of women and traditional notions of history.

GGS 103: Women's Bodies, Women's Health
M W F 5:00 PM - 6:20 PM
Instructor: Staff

This course provides an innovative and interdisciplinary introduction to women's bodies and health. The course starts from a foundational belief in the importance of studying women's experiences of their bodies and health. The main objective is to learn about how gender ideologies impact scientific research and practices around women's bodies, shaping women's abilities to learn about their bodies and their access to healthcare. This class is explicitly designed to both ground students in the best practices of scientific inquiry and to draw from work in the humanities and social sciences to understand how science is shaped by broader social beliefs and practices. Students will be able to use this perspective in discussions and activities that explore the role of gender, race, class, religion, and sexuality in shaping the study of women's bodies and health. The class will cover topics such as: women's health and disease, the anatomy of the female body; pregnancy and maternal health; and the need for a focus on the diversity of women's bodies and access to healthcare. This course also encourages students to examine what improvements can be made to scientific research and access to medical knowledge when it comes to women's health and care.

GGS 205: Women in the Global System
M W F 12:00 PM - 12:250 PM
Instructor: Staff

Explores how the current expansion of the world market is overturning the seclusion of women in traditional societies and looks at the consequences of globalization on the lives of women throughout the world. Women in developing countries share common patterns of location and differentiation within the international division of labor. Examines how women are struggling to represent their identities in the midst of rapid changes in their societies. Examines why more and more women are becoming active in the international human rights movement. Looks at how women are attempting to shape the discourse of development in different regions of the world economy. Intended to develop a multidisciplinary approach to gender and more specifically, to understand how gender is constructed by political, economic, and cultural discourses in industrialized and industrializing societies, and to understand the differences between the lived experiences of women in these societies, the heterogeneous nature of women based on class, race, religion, and nationality, and how women's lives are changing in the context of the global economy.

GGS 228: Intro to Feminist Theory
M W F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM 
Instructor: J. Mason

Introduces to the complexity of feminist thought and theorizing through a discussion of many of the major schools of feminist thought and past and present debates within feminist theorizing as it has developed both within the United States, and abroad. A solid grasp of the core theories, their fundamental approaches, their insights into social phenomenon and the key criticisms of each, will allow the student to enter into and participate in the ongoing conversations that characterizes feminist thought. Feminist theory has always developed in tandem with feminist movements and activism. Thus, throughout the course, students will not only learn about feminist theories, but also apply the tenets of different theories to current issues and modern problems. Theories are not meant to be passive ideas unrelated to our everyday reality, but are meant to be used as tools to analyze the world around us. As a critical theory, feminist theory aims not only to produce knowledge, but also to provide a base for action. Feminist theories ask us to rethink what we mean by sex and gender, how we understand our sexuality, the roles, status, and ideals assigned to men and women in our societies and how we reward and punish individuals that question, challenge or deviate from these roles. Feminist theory engages with issues of social inequality, oppression, and sexism, and invites us to imagine strategies for creating a world where there is more equality and liberation.

GGS 325: Violence In Gender World
T R 3:30 PM - 4:50 PM
Instructor: K. Winter

Gendered violence emerges from cultural ideologies that intersect with other cultural formations, including economics, race, religion, law, nationalism, militarism, environmental destruction and so on. Our readings and discussions will focus on three areas: 1. ideologies of gender that rationalize and encourage violence against women & LGBTQ persons; cultural spectacles glorifying gendered violence 2. forms of gendered violence, including domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, child marriage, female genital mutilation; slavery, human trafficking, labor exploitation, and the feminization of poverty and hunger; murder, including serial murders, honor killings, and genocide 3. women & LGBTQ persons as survivors, warriors, and resistors against violence as well as perpetrators of violence. 

For more information on the undergrauate classes the Department Global Gender and Sexuality Studies is offering spring, click here.

School of Social Work

SW130: Dismantling Anti-Blackness: On Becoming Antiracist 
T/R 2:00-3:20 PM
Professor: J. Diebold

This foundational course examines historic and contemporary anti-Black racism and white supremacy in the United States. Students will analyze policies and strategies to identify, challenge, and transform the values, structures, and behaviors that perpetuate systemic racism, white supremacy, and anti-blackness. Students will also engage in self-reflection, develop self- awareness, and participate in critical analysis of systems of privilege and oppression, as well as develop personal strategies for becoming antiracist and facilitating change in communities and society.

SW 140: Power to the People: Intro to Organizing & Advocacy Strategies Global Child Advocacy Issues
T/R 5:30-6:30 PM
Instructor L. Merriman

This course focuses on the nuts and bolts of organizing and the strategies that inform advocacy with an emphasis on the roles social capital has on networking effectively across groups and systems. Because the skills and tasks of organizing and advocacy are predominately to catalyze and agitate for change, students will examine relevant policies and learn how to identify and map the distribution of power they promote particularly as they influence access to service and support in neighborhoods and communities

SW 245: Global Child Advocacy Issues
T/R 2:20-3:35 PM | Seated
Instructor: S. Richards-Desai

This course is designed to increase student understanding of the adverse experience of children growing up in various countries.  The purpose of this course is to expose students to considerations of socioeconomics, health, culture, religion and politics and how these affect the welfare and well-being of children across the world.  This course examines advocacy efforts using a trauma-informed, human rights framework.

SW 309: Developing Leadership in Communities
M/W 6:00-7:20 PM | Seated
Instructor: J. Bieron

This course focuses on development of leadership skills and strategies that foster community engagement and strengthen the natural leadership of residents within communities. Students will examine theories of leadership and the ways in which they influence organizational structures that promote community well-being. This course will explore the mechanisms that support opportunities for collaboration across social, political, legal, and financial systems and the communication patterns that influence success.

For more information on the undergraduate classes the School of Social Work is offering spring, click here.

Fall 2021

GRADUATE

Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

GGS 441/521 Globalization and Gender

Course number: 23886
T Tu , 3:55 PM - 6:35 PM
Professor: Barbara Wejnert

Many scholars have sought to look at interconnections between worldwide globalization, poverty, and gender as interdependent explanatory factors guiding societies’ development. What are the fruits of such efforts?
This course explores the complex relationships between globalization, economic well-being, and gender and sustainable development from a national and global comparative perspective. It interrogates analytical and conceptual frameworks, definitions, and measurements of globalization enriched by conceptual investigations of a neoliberal world system and dependency theory to view how the complex relationships between these theories explain women’s socio-economic and political position in developing and developed countries. The class is centered on analyses of relevant readings that form a base for a class discussion about globalization and women’s experiences in globalized societies. It mainly focuses on policies and practices that shape people’s opportunities and life experiences and illustrate constraints and advancements that affect women’s positions worldwide. This course draws from multiple theoretical and conceptual frameworks and focuses on interdisciplinary social sciences, global development, and gender.

School of Law

LAW 822: Gender, Sexuality, & Law
Tuesday 9:00 -12:00
Professor: Michael Boucai

Focusing on the contemporary United States, this seminar studies the legal regulation of gender and sexuality. It covers a broad range of topics: the decline and resilience of marriage as a privileged site of sex, childbearing, and parenthood; feminist law reforms relating to sexual violence and harassment; legal and political conflicts over sex work and pornography; sexuality's prominent place in debates about the relationship between law and morality; clashes between religious exercise and sexual/reproductive liberty; the legality of discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and those categories’ intersections with race and class.

UNDERGRADUATE

For the full Undergraduate Course Catalog, click here.

Department of Africana and American Studies

AMS 301/GGS 301: Introduction to Native American Women
TR 12:45PM - 2:00PM
Instructor: Staff

This course traces historical periods that affected Indigenous women's lives and emphasizes current laws and policies that have impacted their families and communities. It focuses extensively on issues of gender and sexuality, including topics such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and contemporary women-led activist movements.

AAS 355: Race, Class, and Society
Wednesdays, 12:40PM-3:20PM
Professor: Y. Lulat

The principal purpose of this 4-credit hour course is to explore how the social structure functions—in terms of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and disability. In doing so, we will cover a range of issues that have historically shaped, and continue to shape, the lived experiences of all in this country (politically, economically, and socially). A key concept in this course will be intersectionality, and our approach will be both empirical and theoretical.

Course will be taught remotely.

Departments of Asian Studies/English

Three people dancing in Asian Dress.


AS221/ENG 222: Romance Traditions in Asia (Survey of Asian Literature)
MWF 1:50PM - 2:40PM
Professor: Walter Hakala







This course will introduce students to narratives of romance that span Asia’s wide variety of religious, literary, theatrical, and cinematic traditions. Rather than defining romance by what it contains, we will instead consider what romance as a genre does. Through this approach, it becomes possible to examine why certain narratives were compelling enough to be transmitted across and preserved within a diverse range of cultures and historical periods. “Texts” include English translations of a Sanskrit drama, The Arabian Nights, an early Japanese novel, recent Bollywood cinema, Korean television melodramas, and the worldwide Harlequin Romance phenomenon.

There are no prerequisites for this class.

This course is the same as ENG 222 and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.
Satisfies 200-level requirements for English and Asian Studies majors and minors. No prerequisite coursework or knowledge is expected prior to the start of the course.

Department of English

Virginia Woolf.


ENG 431: Author: Virginia Woolf & the Novel of Consciousness
MWF 1:50-2:40
Professor: Stacy Hubbard


According to Virginia Woolf, ““On or about December 1910 human nature changed.” Woolf announced this change, but she also helped to create it. Her sense of the radical break with history occurring in early twentieth century life led her to experiment with approaches to narrative that would embrace new understandings of psychic life, critical perspectives on the history of empire, and anti-Victorian conceptions of non-normative sexuality and gender fluidity.


In this course, we will explore Woolf’s major role in inventing and evolving the “novel of consciousness.” With psychoanalysis asserting novel paradigms for understanding memory, repression, sexual abuse, trauma, and homosexuality, Woolf judged that the old rules of realist fiction would no longer be adequate to the representation of psychic or social experience. Throughout her career, she experimented with the potential of narrative to imagine the movements of the individual mind and the delicate threads of connection between one mind and another, the possibilities for empathy and community. War was also a recurring topic in Woolf’s writings: she gave us some of literature’s most vivid depictions of war trauma and its most powerful arguments for dismantling the institutions that promote war. Further, she approached these problems from a feminist perspective, critiquing and satirizing patriarchal educational, literary, and political institutions. While she was one of the great recorders/inventors of private, interior life—of thoughts that “danced up and down, like a company of gnats, each separate, but all marvelously controlled in an invisible elastic net”--Woolf was also one of modernism’s major social critics and a founding figure of feminist literary studies. Woolf’s writing is by turns playful and tragic, tender and fierce. Her novels explore love and identity in its many forms, death and loss, mental illness, artistic ambition, colonialism, fashion, and gender. Their language is by turns luminously poetic, satirical, and witty.
We will read five of Woolf’s novels--Mrs. Dallloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves, and Between the Acts—and her influential feminist manifesto, A Room of One’s Own. We’ll also read selections from Woolf’s anti-war tract, Three Guineas, and a number of her essays, letters, and diary entries. Our discussions will occasionally expand to include Woolf’s Bloomsbury associates and contemporaries, such as her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell; her husband and co-founder of the Hogarth Press, Leonard Woolf; and her friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West.

Requirements include diligent preparation, attendance and participation; one brief oral presentation; frequent short informal writing tasks; and two analytical essays.

Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

AMS 301/GGS 301 Introduction to Native American Women

TR 12:45-2:00pm
Instructor: Staff

This course traces historical periods that affected Indigenous women's lives and emphasizes current laws and policies that have impacted their families and communities.  It focuses extensively on issues of gender and sexuality, including topics such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and contemporary women-led activist movements. 

GGS 350 Gender and Sexuality in Africa

Course number: 24057
T/TR 11:10-12:25
Professor: Dr. Mbah

This course examines gender and sexuality in African history through the lens of feminist studies, masculinity studies and queer theory, and with attention to the intersections of age/seniority, (dis)ability/able-bodiedness, and ethnicity/race. It introduces students to how Africans constructed gender and articulated sexuality through work, leisure, production, consumption, marriage, political rebellion, and religious practices. Students will understand how slavery, imperialism, and neo-liberal modernity have shaped the historical production and performances of gender identities and sexualities in Africa.

GGS 360 Women's Health: Problems and Practices

Course number: 17505
T. Th TuTh 12:45PM - 2:00PM
Professor: Barbara Wejnert

The concepts of health and women’s health are the prerequisite of modern, productive society, and they strongly interact with countries’ level of development and public health policies. In this course, we discover principal objectives of women’s health nationally and globally, survey how the objectives are met in the United States compared to developed and developing countries, and consider how to establish new programs and policies that protect and improve the health of women. Thus, this course addresses health systems, health policies, obstacles to societal health behaviors, and/or health conditions experienced in countries worldwide, from the Americas and Europe to Africa and Asia. The overall questions are: is current development sufficient to secure women’s health globally? What are the gains and the losses in terms of women’s health in modern societies? How the COVID pandemic affected women’s health within the USA and globally?

GGS 441/521 Globalization and Gender

Course number: 23886
T Tu , 3:55 PM - 6:35 PM
Professor: Barbara Wejnert

Many scholars have sought to look at interconnections between worldwide globalization, poverty, and gender as interdependent explanatory factors guiding societies’ development. What are the fruits of such efforts?
This course explores the complex relationships between globalization, economic well-being, and gender and sustainable development from a national and global comparative perspective. It interrogates analytical and conceptual frameworks, definitions, and measurements of globalization enriched by conceptual investigations of a neoliberal world system and dependency theory to view how the complex relationships between these theories explain women’s socio-economic and political position in developing and developed countries. The class is centered on analyses of relevant readings that form a base for a class discussion about globalization and women’s experiences in globalized societies. It mainly focuses on policies and practices that shape people’s opportunities and life experiences and illustrate constraints and advancements that affect women’s positions worldwide. This course draws from multiple theoretical and conceptual frameworks and focuses on interdisciplinary social sciences, global development, and gender.

Honors College

HON 214: Critical Policy Analysis in Education
T 4:00-4:50
Professor: Melinda Lemke

This course is designed to introduce students to critical policy analysis (CPA) within educational research. CPA begins with the assumption that the trajectory between policy formation and evaluation can only be understood by considering the varied historical, sociopolitical, economic, and cultural contexts within which policies unfold. To that end, this theoretical and methodological approach helps to uncouple from policy, those normative, but often hidden arrangements of power that have both unintended and arguably, intended discriminatory consequences for historically marginalized communities. Course readings largely draw from U.S. educational policy studies, which have utilized critical, critical race, feminist critical, and queer policy analysis frames; however, the course also incorporates interdisciplinary scholarship from feminist studies, law, public health, social work, and sociology. Course dialogue, activities, and assignments are structured to help students to develop critical sense-making skills about educational policy, processes, and actors, as well as to consider ways to meaningfully engage in co-constructed knowledge about specific policy topics, equity concerns within our local Buffalo-Niagara context, and the public good.

Department of Theatre and Dance

TH 220: Performing America
T/TH 9:35-10:50am
Professor: Eero Laine

Examines 20th century American drama and theatre performances as reflection on changing American identities. Looks at the ways in which plays and performances defined what it meant to be American, as well as how individual playwrights and theatre artists reshaped dramatic literature and theatre to represent their own diverse identities. Studies the variety of identities - racial, ethnic, gender, class, and religious - that emerge from the diversity of American theatre.

TH 424: Special Topics: Shakespeare & Identity
T/TH 12:45-2:00pm
Professor: Danielle Rosvally

Since King Lear first asked Who is it that can tell me who I am? readers and theatre-makers have turned to Shakespeare himself for the answer. In this class, we will examine the multitude of ways that different users of Shakespeare have sought for and/or found themselves within the canon. We will discuss Shakespeare as focus for identity in a global performance tradition, considering theatres from Northeast Asia, South Asia, and Latin America. We will then turn our attention to Shakespeare domestically and examine the many identities that intertwine with Shakespeare in performance within the US including: Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, and others.

Information about UB's BA, MA, and PhD programs in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies can be found at https://arts-sciences.buffalo.edu/global-gender-sexuality.html.

For a course list in the Global Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, click here.