Five College Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Grounded in queer and feminist concerns with marriage and coupled forms of social belonging, this class will consider "monogamy" from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. From the history of marriage to the science of mating systems to the politics of polyamory, the class will explore monogamy's meanings. Students will become familiar with these and other debates about monogamy, a variety of critical approaches to reading and engaging them, and fields of resistance to a variety of "monogamy stories" within and beyond the academy. The course will draw in particular on feminist critiques of the nuclear family, queer historicizations of sexuality, and science studies approaches to frame critical questions about what monogamy is and what discourses surrounding it can do. Through historical analysis and critical theory, the class will foreground the racial and national formations that produce monogamy as we know it. Students will develop skills in critical science literacy, interdisciplinary and collaborative research methodologies, and writing in a variety of modalities.
Science was a central force in the ideologies of colonialism and the successes of colonial expansion. Postcolonial studies suggests that this colonial legacy lives on in postcolonial nations. In what ways does this colonial legacy shape postcolonial conceptions of the state and its citizens and subject formation? We will explore recent work in postcolonial feminist science studies by examining a range of postcolonial sites and a variety of scientific disciplines. Some of the questions we will explore are: postcolonial development, bioprospecting and biopiracy, pharmaceutical testing in postcolonial contexts, colonial sexual science and the history of sexuality, surrogacy, the rise of genomic sovereignty in postcolonial nations, GMOs and industrialized agriculture, and climate change. Throughout the course, students will engage with postcolonial feminist critiques of scientific epistemologies (theories of knowledge) and the universalizing metaphysics (theories of existence/reality/nature) they engender. This class will be team taught by Professors Jennifer Hamilton, Angie Willey, and Banu Subramaniam. We will combine with another section of the class based at UMass. Classes will meet at UMass from 4-6:30pm.