Please consult the New School Course Catalog for a full list of current courses. Spring 2023 courses that count for the Gender and Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate are listed below; view an archive of past courses.
Spring 2023 Course
Gender and Its Discontents, GLIB 5406, UTNS 5406
McKenzie Wark, Professor, Culture and Media; Program Director, Gender Studies
This is the required core course for the university-wide graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies; it is open to all graduate students who are interested in sexuality and gender studies. Our starting point is the acknowledgment that sex- and gender-based modes of social organization are pervasive and, further, that their prominence and persistence are reflected in sex- and gender-conscious research across the humanities, the arts, the social sciences, design, and studies dedicated to social policies and innovative strategies for social intervention. We expand on this starting point by conducting an in-depth survey of influential theoretical approaches to sex, gender, and sexuality such as Marxist feminism, transgender studies, queer theory, and postcolonial/decolonial feminism and by paying attention to the significance of different approaches. Topics to be explored include but are not limited to equality and rights, exploitation and division of labor, the construction of gender, performativity, gender images, and narrative and identity.
Socialism and Anarchism, GPHI 6799, GPOL 6799
Chiara Bottici, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Nancy Fraser, Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science
In the long history of efforts to conceive alternatives to capitalism, two terms stand out: socialism and anarchism. But what is their relation to each other? Are they antithetical or complementary? What insights do they offer and what are their blind spots? Are there good reasons to prefer one to the other, especially at the present conjuncture? These questions form the heart of our seminar. We address them both historically and systematically. We begin with early texts, such as the Manifesto of the Equals (1796), in which anarchism and socialism are one and the same anti-capitalist philosophy, and then explore the historic debate between Marx and Bakunin focusing on the state and the role of the party, to which the split between the two perspectives is usually attributed. But we also examine exchanges between anarchists and socialists on other timely questions, including the family and ecology. Readings by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Karl Marx, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Friedrich Engels, Alexandra Kollontai, Emma Goldman, He Zhen, Maria Mies, David Graebner, Chiara Bottici, and others.
Rethinking Class, GPHI 6756
Nancy Fraser, Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science
The concept of class has had its ups and downs. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, it was widely viewed by leftists as the central fault line of capitalist societies, even as they debated how best to conceive it and how best to understand its relation to other politicized divides. Subsequently, however, class lost much of its conceptual cachet. The increased centrality of post–New Left struggles over gender, race, and empire brought suspicions of “class essentialism” and “class reductionism,” while neoliberalism weakened traditional labor radicalism and labor unions. By the end of the 20th century, class theory was widely neglected if not despised. Today, however, the fortunes of the category are on the rise again. With renewed interest in capitalism and socialism comes revived interest in class—both in orthodox and unorthodox guises. It's an opportune moment, therefore, to revisit class. In this seminar, we canvass major theoretical and practical debates surrounding this concept—both historical and contemporary. We reconsider, for example, the relative merits of structural definitions of class, as a relation to the means of production, versus cultural-political definitions of class, as something made by social actors—as well as the related distinction between “class-in-itself” and “class-for-itself.” We also revisit attempts to theorize intermediate classes and subproletarian strata, as well as various “new class” theories. Likewise, we take up current debates over class as one among several intersecting or interlocking systems of oppression. Finally, we evaluate my own recent proposal to develop a new, expanded conception of class, based on an broader view of capitalism and what counts as work. When finalized, the list of readings will likely include such thinkers as Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, W.E.B. DuBois, Nicos Poulantzas, E.P. Thompson, Joan W. Scott, Louis Althusser, Carolyn Steedman, Erik Olin Wright, Pierre Bourdieu, Cedric Robinson, Iris Marion Young, David Roediger, William Sewell Jr., Charles Mills, Lise Vogel, Ashley Bohrer, and me.
Politics of Futurity: 21st-Century Social Movements, GPOL 6122
Deva Woodly, Associate Professor of Politics
In this course, we explore approaches to political theory and practice that go beyond what Iris Young calls "the distributive paradigm" of both liberalism and 20th-century socialisms and seek to understand what a 21st-century paradigm that centers the politics of care might include. We discuss the way political horizons are constructed in popular discourse and political action; the structural relations of race, coloniality, and Indigeneity and what it would take to change those relations; abolition democracy; the politics of gender; disability justice; and the political economy of degrowth. The purpose of the course is to explore ideas that might shape the politics of the 21st century (and beyond) as well as the political consequences and possibilities implied by pursuing them.
Sociology of Work and Labor, GSOC 6143
Rachel Sherman, Michael E. Gellert Professor and Chair of Sociology
This course introduces Indigenous practices and systems of making, dating from pre-contact to the present day, that continue to shape the course of history. Indigenous communities throughout North and South America continue to influence global thinking in sustainable design and land-based practices, including agricultural health and environmental activism, and critical issues surrounding cultural advocacy, social justice, gender diversity, plurality, and inclusion. We study the distinctive differences between Indigenous communities throughout the Americas in areas ranging from craft to contemporary art. We explore the way traditional dress, regalia, and body adornment are revered in Indigenous societies as ritual and way of life, the ultimate expression of self-identity, belonging, healing, and storytelling through modes of making that connect to the land and the preservation of ancestral knowledge, taking fashion from a visual language into the spiritual realm. This course critiques and challenges Eurocentric worldviews, presenting fashion as a form of protest and examining concepts based in decolonization and the dismantling of imperialism, capitalism, and patriarchal systems of oppression.
Hollywood and the World, NINT 517
Nina Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs
This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the relationship between American cinema and world politics beginning with D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation of 1915. The principal purpose for students is to gain an understanding some of the broad themes of contemporary world politics, such as state and nationhood, nationalism, intelligence, conflict, globalization, colonization/decolonization, development/underdevelopment, security/insecurity, and, most profoundly, the politics of identity based on race, class, gender, and sexuality. We examine each of these themes through the lens of film theory, American cinema, and international political economy. Through lectures, discussions, film screenings, and classroom presentations, we analyze the ways in which American cinema has represented and constructed the world around us—sometimes realistically or even satirically and at other times fantastically. In our journeys into these themes, we visit some of the following "characters": Cleopatra, Rambo, Jason Bourne, and "Hollywood as American dream factory."
The Body: Aesthetics, Culture, and Politics in the 20th Century, GLIB 5841
Terri Gordon, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
“You do not realize how the headlines that make daily history affect the muscles of the human body,” the dancer Martha Graham once noted. This course examines the relationship between politics, social tensions, and cultural values and muscles, movement and skin, a relationship that has made the body one of the most visible signs of 20th-century culture. We study deployments of the body in Europe and the United States, covering the historical and contemporary avant-garde; body culture and life reform movements; war and propaganda; and cabaret, dance, and performance art. How can we “read” the body? How do representations of the body reflect and support prevalent notions of race, gender, and nation? In what ways do images of the body critique and subvert cultural norms? We study literature, history, art, and cultural documents, including articles in the press and political manifestoes. We examine fictional works by Hawthorne, Kafka, and Audre Lorde; artworks by Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman, and Orlan; and theoretical texts by Butler, Freud, Foucault, Sontag, and others. We also spend class time viewing painting, photography, and performance art.
Postcolonial and Feminist Theories in International Relations, NINT 6022
Sean Jacobs, Associate Professor of International Affairs
This course surveys postcolonial and feminist theories of international relations (IR) since the turn of the millennium. Although highly varied in scope and topic, concepts and methods, this literature converges on a perspective identified as “subaltern”: that is, from “inside” and “below.” Postcolonialists primarily center global relations between Self and Other in spaces racialized by Euro-American colonialism and imperialism; feminists mainly center relations between men and women, masculinity and femininity. Postcolonial feminists integrate the two literatures by intersecting race with gender to account for how and why world politics plays out the way it does. The course extends beyond the substance of the matter (e.g., race, gender, colonialism, imperialism) to show how IR concepts themselves are racialized and genderized, along with associated assumptions about class, nationality, and culture, not to mention norms, institutions, and practices. The course closes with an examination of recent attempts to develop “counter-hegemonic” theories of IR from sites identified as the Global South.
Gender, Culture, and Media, NMDS 5117
Josh Scannell, Assistant Professor of Media Studies
For historian Joan Scott, gender is a useful category for historical analysis. For transactivist Leslie Feinberg, gender is poetry. For Black feminists, such as Angela Davis and Kimberlé Crenshaw, gender is inextricable from race, class, and sexuality. In this course, we examine the complex and fluid concept of gender as it manifests in media forms in the widest sense (including human and cyber bodies, print and online news, graphic novels, movies, television, Web series, and performing arts). We study the ways in which gender identities are imposed, resisted, and lived, focusing on the role of media in transmitting, shaping, maintaining, and transforming representations of gender. We analyze gendered and racialized language and embodiment in the fields of art, activism, popular culture, and the law and consider how the intersection of gender and race affects the construction of media. The course provides an introduction to feminist approaches to media studies, drawing on Black feminism, queer theory, disability studies, psychoanalysis, memoir, and journalism. Note: This course was titled Gender and Visual Culture in fall 2019. The content overlaps significantly. Please email the instructor for more details.
Art in the Anthropocene: Earth, Ecologies, and Planetary Futures, PGHT 5711
Rory O'Dea, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art and Design
The contemporary concept of the Anthropocene envisions humanity as a geological force of nature that is uniquely responsible for and complicit in the radical transformations of the planet’s ecologies. In Art in the Anthropocene, we investigate the ways art and visual culture have profoundly shaped humans’ knowledge of and relationship to the nonhuman world. Integrating practice, history, and theory, this course brings together a multitude of disciplinary perspectives, including those of art history, deep ecology, ecofeminism, Marxist ecology, Indigenous knowledge systems, and new materialist theory, to critically examine and creatively reimagine the possibilities for being human and more than human in the world. Focusing on the historical genre of landscape painting, land art of the 1960s and 1970s, and contemporary eco-art, we examine the ways shifting representations of and direct engagements with earth in art have often reinforced and reproduced the anthropocentrism that forms the ideological origins of the current climate crisis. At the same time, the course fundamentally challenges the concept of the Anthropocene and explores the ways its universalizing vision of humanity fails to address the deeply unequal historical origins and contemporary impacts of climate change from the perspectives of race, class, and gender. Ultimately, we look to the pioneering work of 21st-century artists for new possibilities for radically transforming the relationships between the human and non-human worlds and creating a sustainable future for earth’s diverse ecosystems.