Graduate Courses

Fall 2019

For additional course details, visit Yale Course Search.

WGSS 529 / GLBL 529: Sexuality, Gender, Health, and Human Rights 
Alice Miller (Th 9:25am-11:15am)

This course explores the application of human rights perspectives and practices to issues in regard to sexuality and health. Through reading, interactive discussion, paper presentation, and occasional outside speakers, students learn the tools and implications of applying rights and law to a range of sexuality and health-related topics. The overall goal is twofold: to engage students in the world of global sexual health and rights policy making as a field of social justice and public health action; and to introduce them to conceptual tools that can inform advocacy and policy formation and evaluation. Class participation, short reaction papers, and a final paper are required.

WGSS 697 / AMST 687 / HIST 723: Colonial Domesticity and Reproductive Relations 
Lisa Lowe (W 3:30pm-5:20pm)

This interdisciplinary seminar, in collaboration with the Center for Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM), is open to graduate students and pre- and postdoctoral fellows. In it, we examine the central importance of family, kinship, and domestic and reproductive labor to the cultural and social reproduction of racial colonialisms. Settler colonialism, colonial slavery, overseas empire, and globalization depend not only on the brute force of war, captivity, and occupation; they are also sustained and contested through culture, language, forms of family and household, education, and the social reproduction of race, gender, intimacy, and filiation. We trace a genealogy that considers the long history of colonial impositions of domesticity and family separations: from the violation and separation of enslaved women from their children, to compulsory boarding schools for Native Americans, racialized gendered divisions of care labor and reproductive surrogacy, transnational adoption, and migrant detention. This genealogy simultaneously includes less acknowledged yet longstanding alternative forms of kinship and relation, amalgams of domestic sociality, and nonbiological generation and affiliation. Readings include historical and anthropological studies of household and reproduction under various colonialisms (Ann Laura Stoler, Alys Weinbaum, Jennifer Morgan, Dorothy Roberts, Brenda Child, Kendra Field, Cathleen Cahill, Lisa Brooks, Amy Kaplan, Arissa Oh, Kalindi Vora, Rachel Buff), debates on social reproduction (Tithi Bhattacharya, Silvia Federici, Maria Mies, Ruha Benjamin, Laura Briggs, Alyosha Goldstein, Chandan Reddy, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Mary Romero), materials on alternative kinship and social relations (Saidiya Hartman, Kyla Schuller, Elizabeth Freeman, Fred Moten), and literary works (Mary Prince, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Patricia Powell, Patricia Park, Octavia Butler).

WGSS 722: Feminist and Queer Theories 
Evren Savci (T 3:30pm-5:20pm)

A graduate introduction to feminist and queer thought, organized according to a number of key terms and institutions around which feminist and queer thinking has clustered, such as the state; the law; family and kinship; religion; capitalism and labor; the body; language; knowledge; globalization and imperialism; militarism and security; knowledge; affect. The “conversations” that happen around each term speak to the richness of feminist and queer theories, the multidimensionality of feminist and queer intellectual and political concerns, and the “need to think our way out of these crises,” to paraphrase Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Mohanty. The class aims to leave students appreciating the hard labor of feminist and queer thought, and understanding the urgencies out of which such thinking emerges.

WGSS 767 / PSYC 777: Research Topics in Gender and Psychology
Marianne LaFrance (HTBA)

The “Gender Lab” meets weekly to consider research being done in the Psychology department that bears on some gender-related issue.

WGSS 850 / ENGL 982: Sex and Citizenship 
Jill Richards (M 1:30pm-3:20pm)

A survey of the ways that gender/sexuality is organized through and against the nation-state, with particular attention to citizenship, rights discourses, and global migration. The course looks to establish a foundational understanding of the conjunctures between liberal governance and the regulation of reproductive, sexual, and family life. At the same time, our wider conceptual arc takes up more recent critical debates about the entanglement of sexual intimacy, race, and national belonging during the territorial expansion of empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In this reconsideration of the geographies of sexual citizenship, we focus on British, Commonwealth, and postcolonial case studies in the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific. Texts include selections from legal history, travel narratives, life-writing, literature, the history of sexuality, sociology, anthropology, critical race theory, queer theory, and indigenous studies. Works by Mary Prince, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Saidiya Hartman, Mary Seacole, Ann Laura Stoler, Eve Sedgwick, Olive Schreiner, Jasbir Puar, Talal Asad, T.E. Lawrence, Audra Simpson, Glen Sean Coulthard, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Joanne Meyerowitz, Virginia Woolf, Karl Marx, Silvia Federici, Jean Rhys, Mahmood Mamdani, Lauren Berlant, Zoë Wicomb, Michel Foucault, Wendy Brown, Mohsin Hamid, Wilde v. Queensberry (1895), Maud Allan v. Pemberton Billing (1918).

WGSS 900: WGSS Certificate Workshop
Joseph Fischel (M 5:30pm-7pm)

Built around the WGSS graduate Colloquium and Working Group series, with the addition of several sessions on topics of interdisciplinary methodology, theory, and professionalization. Offered annually in either the fall or spring. Enrollment in one term of WGSS 900 is required of all students for completion of the certificate in WGSS. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

WGSS 905: Directed Reading
Staff (HTBA)


Spring 2020

WGSS 570 / SOCY 605: LGBTQ Population Health
John Pachankis (Th 1pm-2:50pm)

Sexual and gender minority individuals (e.g., those who identify as LGBTQ) represent a key health disparity population in the United States and worldwide, but high-quality evidence of this problem has historically been slow to accumulate. This course engages students in critically examining today’s rapidly expanding empirical knowledge regarding sexual and gender minority health by considering challenges to, and opportunities for, conducting this research with methodological rigor. Students consider social and ecological influences on sexual and gender minority health, including migration, community, and neighborhood influences. Social institutions, including religion, school, family, and close relationships, are examined as sources of both stress and support. Given the relevance of individual and collective identity and stress as mechanisms through which stigma impacts sexual and gender minority health, the empirical platform of the course is complemented by intersectionality theory, critical postmodern work on identity fluidity and multiplicity across the life course, and minority stress conceptualizations of health. Students apply lessons learned in the course to evaluating and developing policy and health care interventions for this increasingly visible segment of the global population. Also SBS 570.

WGSS 625: Sex and Global Politics
Graeme Reid (HTBA)

Examination of historical, cultural, and political aspects of sexual orientation, gender identity, and human rights in the context of globalization.

WGSS 633 / AMST 747 / ANTH 594: Affect and Materiality
Kathryn Dudley (T 1:30pm-3:20pm)

Recent scholarship in the fields of affect studies and the new materialisms raises important questions about the ethnographic encounter and the kind of knowledge it produces. Refusing to grant ontological status to classic oppositions between nature/culture, self/other, subject/object, and human/nonhuman, this work encourages anthropologically inclined ethnographers to rethink longstanding assumptions about the composition of the “social” and the “political” in an anthropocentric world that ignores the vulnerabilities and agential capacities of global ecosystems at its peril. Reading across ossifying disciplinary divides, this seminar examines the intellectual projects of writers such as Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, Lauren Berlant, and Kathleen Stewart, among others. Our objective is to theorize the intersection between public and private feelings and human and nonhuman materiality in ways that bring the political and aesthetic implications of ethnographic research and writing to the fore.

WGSS 651 / ANTH 651: Intersectionality and Women’s Health
Marcia Inhorn (W 3:30pm-5:20pm)

This interdisciplinary seminar explores how the intersections of race, class, gender, and other axes of “difference” (age, sexual orientation, disability status, nation, religion) affect women’s health, primarily in the contemporary United States. Recent feminist approaches to intersectionality and multiplicity of oppressions theory are introduced. In addition, the course demonstrates how anthropologists studying women’s health issues have contributed to social and feminist theory at the intersections of race, class, and gender.

WGSS 730 / HIST 943 / HSHM 736: Health Politics, Body Politics
Naomi Rogers (W 3:30pm-5:20pm)

A reading seminar on struggles to control, pathologize, and normalize human bodies, with a particular focus on science, medicine, and the state, both in North America and in a broader global health context. Topics include disease, race, and politics; repression and regulation of birth control; the politics of adoption; domestic and global population control; feminist health movements; and the pathologizing and identity politics of disabled people.

WGSS 764 / AMST 765 / ANTH 549: Personhood in the Americas
Ana Ramos-Zayas (W 3:30pm-5:20pm)

Who and what counts as a person? How do we know? When and how is personhood attributed? To what extent does place, and the hemispheric formation that is the Americas, shape personhood? Can personhood be “lost”? Is personhood only for the living, or is it a question for the dead too? What forms of self-fashioning does personhood require, and how have these changed across space and time? How do individuals construct selves and public personas according to socially accepted standards? This course is designed to offer a broad and historically grounded understanding of key interdisciplinary debates and themes associated with understandings of personhood, its social implications, and the relationship between the embodied self and collective identities. Topics include the role of the nation state, the law, and science in defining persons; rites of passage in the life cycle of persons, particularly at the beginning and end of life; the legibility and performance of personhood and self through language, cultivation, and person-person or person-nonperson relationships; “degrees” of personhood in relation to gender, race, class, and illness; incarceration and confinement and their relation to a “loss” of personhood; and transnational, institutional, and psychoanalytic productions of the person. Approaching the Americas from a hemispheric perspective, the course also aims to help students identify the methodological, ethical, and theoretical questions that come with using concepts such as person, individual, self, and subject and to assess the methodological and analytical advantages and/or disadvantages of one term over the other for specific research projects in specific fieldwork sites. Whom we consider a person, whom we label less than fully endowed, and the roles history, culture, and context play in the process are questions that inform some of the most urgent legal and political issues of our time. We look at texts in philosophy, anthropology, history, psychology, law, and popular culture.

WGSS 767 / PSYC 777: Research Topics in Gender and Psychology
Marianne LaFrance (HBTA)

The “Gender Lab” meets weekly to consider research being done in the Psychology department that bears on some gender-related issue.