Academic Courses & Programs

Feminist & Postcolonial Studies

American Romance At Home and Abroad
This course starts by examining a series of highly romanticized pop cultural images and stories, which originate in the United States, but are read, beloved and used to sell products all over the world, like the movie star James Dean, characters from the Wizard of Oz or songs from the television show Glee. This will allow us to sharpen our sense of global geography and encounter a few languages other than English, such as Spanish, Hausa, Afrikaans, Hindi-Urdu, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic and French; as well as figure out what makes for a truly global and, often, timeless, representation of American sexuality, whether heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgender. We then shift from studying pop cultural images and stories, which are exported out of the United States to the diaries, letters and memoirs of people who have recently moved into the United States. Here we will focus on the everyday lives of people who have migrated or immigrated for the explicit purpose of romantic freedom and encounter former sex trade workers and nannies, newly married couples and young and extended families, as well as starry eyed individuals looking for love. Emphasis will be placed upon people who have moved specifically to the five boroughs of New York City and upstate of New York from Uzbekistan, Liberia, Lima, Poland, Korea, Tibet and Ecuador (i.e., The New York Littles), to allow students the chance to directly engage with these stories and document them in words, sounds and images. Students will then use this ethnographic data to return to some of the original themes of the course and create some pop cultural images and stories about American romance of their own, ones that include the perspectives and experiences of individuals and communities newly settled within the United States. Both their ethnographic data and pop cultural creations will be archived on-line on a special course web page and, possibly, submitted for broadcast on public radio. • Developed at the Charles Warren Center for American Studies at Harvard University

Feminist Bohemians of the 1950s
This course explores how individual women defied social norms and legal boundaries to live an undomesticated life during a time when there was no active women's movement. Starting with the cross-country road trip across America made by French philosopher Simone De Beauvoir in 1947, (the exact same year American novelist Jack Kerouac famously made and documented his own nomadic adventures), and ending in Paris, where North American and British women moved in to the left bank neighborhoods once occupied by female (many of them lesbian) artists and writers in the 1920s it introduces the lesser known lives and work of photographer Vivian Maier and writer Lynn Barber alongside the already fabled Joyce Johnson and Sylvia Plath. It also includes the fictional writings of Richard Yates and young adult novelist Ellen Conford, as well as social scientific analyses by Anne Parsons and Jane Jacobs. Films will include Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie's Pull My Daisy and the 1959 Hollywood re-make of Jack Kerouac's novella The Subterraneans. • Developed at the Charles Warren Center for American Studies at Harvard University

Flying Blind, American Women in Place and Landscape
University of Wisconsin-Madison • University of Denver

The Judy Blume Revolution, An Introduction to Third Wave Feminisms
The objective of this course will be to understand how woman, identified by variable political and cultural markers such as race, class, religion, language, and education, resist or acquiesce to institutionalized sexism, both individually and collectively and in different historical and geographical contexts. In the first three units, we will focus on the social construction of gender by examining a series of social institutions and practices central to gender identification and stratification in the United States: science, beauty, sexuality, U.S, histories of slavery and abolitionism, capital formation and labour organizing, forced migration and immigration, contemporary storytelling, life stories and political events, white privilege, spirituality, romance, marriage, motherhood, education, work in the private sphere, sport, leisure, public workplaces, the law, public policies, politics, organized social movements, and second wave feminism. In the final unit, our analysis will be structured more historically so that we can consider how feminist ideas about gender identification and stratification are directly linked to key historical events, social movements and feminist cultural icons from the 1920s to the present including pre-women's suffrage and suffrage thinkers, the feminist avant garde, wartime feminism, the culture of true womanhood, women in American inner-cities, suburbia and rural places, lesbian culture, Marxist and socialist feminisms, feminist geographies, postcolonial and postmodern feminisms and girl culture. • University of Wisconsin-Madison

Queer Studies, Introductory
This course was the first of it's kind to be offered at both the University of Denver and the University of Wisconsin-Madison