SOC 356 (Course Number Pending): The Feminization of Poverty (XLIST GSS)
The impoverishment of women is a relatively new global phenomenon. This class engages with the different ways in which women are structurally made poorer, more economically vulnerable, and more physically precarious in the 21st century. What changes in our social and political spheres have rendered this violence? We explore the gendered welfare state, globalized markets for both legal goods and illicit services, migrant labor streams, rampant sexual assault in educational and vocational settings, and the disparity between womens’ work and women’s wage labor to better understand the marginalization of women as agents in the anarchic penal state of late capitalism.
WRI 101: #MeToo: Speaking Sexual Violence
This course examines the rhetoric of #MeToo, the most recent iteration of the movement against gender-based violence, in the context of earlier representations of sexual harassment and assault. We will begin by studying recent historical flashpoints in the national dialogue about sexual abuse, including the Anita Hill hearings (1991); David Mamet’s controversial play Oleanna (1992); President Bill Clinton’s impeachment (1998); and the Boston Globe’s expose on the Catholic Church (2002). Approaching #MeToo as a genre of storytelling still taking shape, we will uncover emerging tropes and patterns in the narration of experiences of sexual abuse, in media portrayals thereof, and in the critical backlash.
For their final project, students will perform close textual analyses of interviews with women faculty about their experiences of workplace sexual harassment and situate them with respect to the narrative priorities, possibilities, and limitations we have identified as shaping the broader movement.