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In this introduction to the critical study of gender and sexuality, we will examine the ways in which gender and sexuality have been fundamentally reorganized since the eighteenth century. Focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on Britain and the United States, we will use history, literature, and theory to deepen our understanding of these transformations. In particular, we will examine the emergence and transformation of various sexual and gender subcultures and their vibrant forms of cultural expression. The concepts and themes we explore will include attention to the role of the state, social constructionism, gender socialization, the rise of feminism, performance theory, and the disciplining of bodies and social desire. We will also place special emphasis on thinking about race and class, the playfulness of cultural expression, the politics of play, and the power of representation.
This course is an introduction to European history from around 1500 to the present. The central question that it addresses is how and why Europe⎯a small, relatively poor, and politically fragmented place⎯became by the nineteenth century the motor of globalization and a world power. Chief topics of the course include: the formation of overseas empires, family and marriage, gender relations, the French Revolution, liberalism and the industrial revolution, socialism and the rise of labor, the world wars, communism and capitalism, decolonization, the Cold War, and the European Union. We will approach these issues by reading a variety of texts—memoirs, novels, and primary source documents. The course material will be supplemented by visual sources: films, photographs, and paintings. You will also be required to read European newspapers to help you develop an understanding of contemporary Europe.
What can the study of the history of medicine tell us about the nature of power and the politics of race in the British Empire? How did medical theories of disease and healing shape ideas about colonial environments, populations, bodies, and racial differences in the imaginations of British colonizers? How did medicine and science function as tools of colonial domination and as part of broader “civilizing” projects, and what were the limits of such efforts at social control? Can the study of medical reforms and everyday life shed light on how colonial subjects conceptualized, challenged, and defined their own positions within the colonial social order?