Practicing Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: The classroom, the field, the university

Joan Mitchell’s Wet Orange (1972)

Practicing Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies explores three interconnected spaces—the classroom, the field, and the university. We will move from practical, even personal, tactics and strategies—what to do in my classroom—to (inter)disciplinary imperatives and institutional structures—how fields are imagined and universities organized. The teaching practicum is designed for to prepare doctoral students and graduate certificate students in WGSS to teach in the field. To help students prepare for this possibility, we will spend several sessions working together to construct introductory and upper-level course syllabuses in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. We will explore how to teach various materials (cultural, historical, literary, political, theoretical) and how to design assignments with diverse learning outcomes. We will also have several opportunities to observe and discuss teaching in action. At the same time, we will consider broader questions about the university as an institution in the current moment, and the place of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies within the contemporary university. Along with a consideration of the changing practices and objects of feminist knowledge production, we will discuss the changing politics and economics of academia, and the impact of the wider academic milieu on what and how knowledge is produced. We will ask: what has women’s studies been; what kinds of interdisciplinarity or transdisciplinarity are possible in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and finally, what might women’s, gender, and sexuality studies become?

Practicing WGSS syllabus sp20