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Listen to some professors talk about what you will learn in their Maymester courses.

Maymester 2023

AAAD 231 African American History since 1865 (3)

This course focuses on African American history in the US, with an emphasis on postemancipation developments.

AAAD 290 Memory Work at Penn Center (3)

Engage with the history of the Penn Center at Wilson Library, before travelling to St. Helena Island, South Carolina to aid the Penn Center and local communities in preserving Gullah and Geechee heritage through newly discovered archival materials. Before it was the Penn Center, the Penn School was founded in 1862 as one of the first schools in the South for formerly enslaved West Africans. In 1948, Penn School transitioned into Penn Community Services, taking on the mantle of social justice and ushering in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conferences. Learn how memory can be activated in the service of historically Black spaces and places.

AMST 220 On the Question of the Animal: Contemporary Animal Studies (3)

This course is an introduction to “animal studies,” through animal rights, animal welfare, food studies, and the human/animal distinction in philosophical inquiry. We will read work from dog and horse trainers and explore the history of the American racetrack. This course builds a moral and ethical reasoning skill set.

AMST 256 Anti-’50s: Voices of a Counter Decade (3)***Canceled***

We remember the 1950s as a period of relative tranquility, happiness, optimism, and contentment. This course will consider a handful of countertexts: voices from literature, politics, and mass culture of the 1950s that for one or another reason found life in the postwar world repressive, empty, frightening, or insane and predicted the social and cultural revolutions that marked the decade that followed.

AMST 278 Crimes and Punishments (3) *

This course explores the social history and culture of crime, deviant behavior, and punishment in America between the pre-revolutionary period and today. It traces the history of longstanding institutions; examines elements of American history from a criminal justice perspective; and seeks historical origins and continuities for contemporary problems.

ANTH 102 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)

An introduction to non-Western cultures studied by anthropologists. Includes an in-depth focus on the cultural and social systems of several groups.

ANTH 149 Great Discoveries in Archeaology (3)

This course provides students with a detailed look at some of the most significant archaeological discoveries from around the world, including Neanderthals, Stonehenge, and the Egyptian pyramids. Morning

ANTH 237 Food, Environment, and Sustainability (3)

This course explores the nexus of agricultural, ecological, and food systems as they dynamically interact. The class examines case studies from North Carolina and other parts of the world. Themes include nutrition, food security, agroecology, and sustainable livelihoods. Students engage in readings, class projects, and hands-on activities in a laboratory setting.

ANTH 318 Human Growth and Development (3)

This course covers the comparative study of human growth and development from conception through adulthood. Special emphasis is placed on the evolutionary, biocultural, ecological, and social factors that influence growth.

ARTH 290 Loving Your Local Art Scene (3)

This in person course takes students on a tour of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, and Raleigh’s grassroots visual arts scenes, exploring everything from commercial galleries to artist-run non-profits to craft fairs to artists’ studios. We will use our local arts scene as a case study to map out how art worlds function. Course flyer.

ARTH 551 Introduction to Museum Studies (3)

Introduces careers in museum and other cultural institutions. Readings and interactions with museum professionals expose participants to curation, collection management, conservation, exhibition design, administration, publication, educational programming, and fundraising. Fulfills HIGH IMPACT general education requirement. Course flyer.

ASIA 425 (PWAD 425) (JWST 425) Beyond Hostilities: Israeli-Palestinian Exchanges and Partnerships in Film, Literature, and Music (3)

Focuses on the various collaborations, exchanges, and mutual enrichment between Israelis and Palestinians in the realm of culture, particularly literature and cinema. These connections include language (Israeli Jewish authors writing in Arabic and Palestinian writers who choose Hebrew as their language of expression), collaborating in filmmaking, and joint educational initiatives. Course flyer.

BIOL 476 Avian Biology (3)

Prerequisites, BIOL 101, and BIOL 101L or BIOL 102L. A study of avian evolution, anatomy, physiology, neurobiology, behavior, biogeography, and ecology.

CLAR 242 (ARTH 242) Egyptian Art and Archaeology (3)

A survey of the archaeological remains of ancient Egypt, from the earliest settlements of the Neolithic period until the end of the New Kingdom.
This course is an introductory survey of the archaeology, art and architecture of ancient Egypt, ranging in time from the prehistoric cultures of the Nile Valley through the New Kingdom. While the course will examine famous features and characters of ancient Egypt it will also provide a wide-ranging review of the archaeology of this remarkable land, including questions of ethics and the role of colonialism in the formation of the discipline.

COMM 150 Introduction to New Media Credits (3)

An introduction to the design, aesthetics, and analysis of various forms of digital media. Hands-on experience with different modes of creation, including graphics, web-based communication, and social media.

COMM 422 Family Communication (3)

Prerequisite, COMM 120. Growth in technologies, more frequent travel, and movements of products and people across the borders of nation states change concepts of family and community. Foregrounded by these realities, this course combines theories of family and communication with documentation of lived experience to interrogate family communication patterns in contemporary culture.

COMM 453 The History of New Media Technology in Everyday Life (3)

Prerequisite, COMM 140. The starting point for this course, chronologically and conceptually, is the emergence of popular media technology. Our purview includes transformative innovations in mediated communication, such as telephony and e-mail, alongside familiar media technologies such as televisions and computers.

DRAM 191 Technical Methods: Scenery (3)

No prerequisite required Introduction to the equipment, procedures, and personnel in the design and execution of plans for scenery, lighting, properties, and sound for theatrical productions. Students will learn the structure, tools, and safety aspects of the scene shop. They will then apply these skills while designing and building half-size scenery for a chosen play.

DRAM 245 Acting for the Camera (3)

No prerequisite required. The process of acting and its relationship to the technical and artistic demands of television/film production. Problems of continuity and out-of-sequence filming. Concentration and thinking on camera. Students will explore techniques to successfully navigate the invigorating chaos of a professional camera set. Each student will execute production roles from actor to cinematographer to holistically understand how to create an effective on-camera “take” culminating with an original scene in collaboration with DRAM 290 – Special Studies: Writing the Half-Hour Comedy for Television, and DRAM 300 – Directing. The environment will be highly collaborative, energized, and engaging for all.

DRAM 290 Special Studies: Writing the Half-Hour Comedy for Television (3)

The course is designed to provide students with the essential building blocks of successful television writing and train them to act as colleagues in a simulation of a professional Writer’s Room. Our ultimate goal is to create and produce an original TV scene acted by students from DRAM 245 – Acting for the Camera, and directed by students taking DRAM 300 -Directing, also Maymester classes.

DRAM 300 Directing (3)

No prerequisite required. This course is designed to give the director a detailed understanding of basic tools needed for storytelling, how to communicate ideas to actors, as well as way of bringing a strong point of view and thematic vision to the forefront of their work. In addition, students will incorporate framing devices and camera techniques in order to collaborate with DRAM 245 – Acting for the Camera, and DRAM 290 – Special Studies: Writing the Half-Hour Comedy for Television.

ECON 325 Entrepreneurship: Principles, Concepts, Frameworks, and Fluency (3)

This class provides a foundation in key principles, concepts, and fluency in entrepreneurship, specifically in the areas of design thinking, understanding consumers and customers, company strategy, and entrepreneurial finance and capital formation. Additionally, the class introduces important skills and tools important in startups and growth companies such as branding, storytelling and video making. Priority is given to students accepted into the Shuford Minor in Entrepreneurship. Honors version available.

ECON 468 Socialism, Planning, and the Contemporary Russian Economy (3)

Prerequisites, ECON 400, and 310 or 410; a grade of C or better in ECON 400, and 310 or 410 is required. Study of the principles, design, organization, and performance of state-controlled economies relying on planning or regulated markets, with an emphasis on continuity and post-communist transition.

ECON 490. Special Topics (3)

Prerequisite, ECON 400 and ECON 310 or 410 with a grade of C or better. Economics of the Wine Industry. This special topics course will apply microeconomic theory to the wine industry. We will examine the market for wine from both the perspective of consumers and producers. Specifically, we will explore the determinants of demand for wine and the relationship between price and quality, examine market structure in the wine industry and how this impacts wine firms’ production and pricing decisions, and we will examine the role of policy in affecting wine production and consumption.

EDUC 375 Identity and Sexuality (3)

This course will guide students in the examination of the vital role that sexuality, sexual identity, gender, race and class play in families, communities, and educational settings. These and other socio-cultural factors, which often intersect and are embedded in historic ways of constructing what it means to be “normal,” fundamentally shape how individuals understand themselves, their place in the world, as well as others around them.

EDUC 401 Child Development: Birth to Twelve (3)

This course examines the field of child development as it contributes to the teaching and learning of children in early childhood and elementary educational settings, ages prenatal to age 12.

ENGL 123 Introduction to Fiction (3)

Novels and shorter fiction by Defoe, Austen, Dickens, Faulkner, Wolfe, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and others. Honors version available. Offered mostly asynchronously (Maymester), and remote synchronous five days a week in the mornings (SSI).

ENGL 128 Major American Authors (3)

A study of approximately six major American authors drawn from Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Whitman, Clemens, Dickinson, Chesnutt, James, Eliot, Stein, Hemingway, O’Neill, Faulkner, Hurston, or others. California and the “New York Island” mark the boundaries along either side of America, and the Mason and Dixon line marks a physical boundary running across the middle. But beyond its geographic features, what is America? Did its Southern swamps spontaneously produce the writings of William Faulkner along with blues music? Did Willa Cather’s novels arise magically from the Midwestern plains? Do America’s urban novels tell a different American story from either of these? In this course we will examine aesthetic changes across the major literary movements of twentieth century American fiction, examining distinctively American themes such as the road, the cowboy, rags-to-riches, region, and nature. Offered fully asynchronously in SSI and mostly asynchronously in Maymester, with occasional meetings for an hour and a half, from late morning to afternoon.

ENGL 265 Literature and Race, Literature and Ethnicity (3)

Considers texts in a comparative ethnic/race studies framework and examines how these texts explore historical and contemporary connections between groups of people in the United States and the Americas. Offered mostly asynchronously, with occasional meetings Mon/Tues/Thurs for an hour and a half in the mornings.

ENGL 268 Medicine, Literature, and Culture (3)

An introduction to key topics that focus on questions of representation at the intersections of medicine, literature, and culture. Offered mostly asynchronously, with occasional meetings Mon/Wed for an hour and a half in the mornings.

GEOG 110 The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth’s Environmental Systems (3)

Emphasizes geographic patterns and interrelationships in energy, climate, terrain, and life. Develops integrative view of how atmospheric, hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes create global patterns in the environment. Incorporates influence of human activities on earth. This course will help understand the natural environment, both globally and in North Carolina. This Maymester section of the course will be a hands-on course, and the UNC Campus will be the learning laboratory.

GEOG 115 Maps: Geographic Information from Babylon to Google (3)

Introduces the science and art of map making and will lay the conceptual foundation necessary to understand how and why maps are made and used.

GEOG 121 Geographies of Globalization (3)

This course examines places and the connections between places to build critical understandings of the role of human geographies in global economic, political, social, and cultural systems.

Globalization is sometimes understood as the worldwide integration of national economies or experiences of “cultural diffusion,” but it is much more. In this course we will consider how seemingly unrelated people and places are connected in order to understand how globalization works and who it works for.  We will cover some of the things that make globalization possible, the everyday impacts of globalization, as well as alternative ways of envisioning and enacting global relationships.

Take this course if you are interested in:

  • How global power structures create unequal relationships between people and places
  • How globalization impacts gender, race, and class inequality
  • Different ways of envisioning global relationships and contesting inequality
  • Considering how globalization impacts your everyday life and your relationships to others across the world
  • The origins of global interconnection
  • The unique methods and approaches Geographers use and how you can apply them

We will cover a wide range of topics including global migration patterns, music and art, social movements, and housing inequality. Course flyer.

GEOG 390 Contemporary Topics in Geography (1-12)

Agroecology: Principles and Practice (GEOG 390) is an experiential course that explores the intersection of food cultivation, culture, and ecology. In it, we study the history, principles, and practices of Black and indigenous agroliberation movements (past and present); to put principle to practice, we will study and work on a Black-run freedom farm, which fulfills the APPLES service-learning components of this course. Instructor permission required

GEOG 429 Urban Political Geography: Durham, NC (3)

An interdisciplinary exploration of urban social problems, bridging the literature on urban geography with that on urban politics. Students will be required to complete 30 hours of service for an organization that works on an urban social issue. Course flyer.

GSLL 265 Hitler in Hollywood: Cinematic Representations of Nazi Germany (3)

An examination of selected cinematic representations (both American and German) of Nazi Germany in terms of their aesthetic properties and propagandistic value. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.

GLBL 221 The Migratory Experience (3)

The course will critically analyze the migrant experience in both North America and Europe-with an emphasis in North America. Migration is a calculated decision that individuals, families, and groups make in an effort to improve their living conditions. We will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the motivation of migrants, the nature of the migrant journey to their destination states, and their integration into their new societies. Specifically, we will cover causes of migration in their home country, immigrant incorporation in destination states, and the politics of backlash. The course is divided into four parts:
Part 1.
We will begin by examining migration theory through different academic disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, and international relations.
Part 2.
Once we have a good sense of how scholars study migration, we will explore the causes of international migration. Unlike common media conceptualizations where migrants are portrayed as agentless individual making a haphazard and aimless decision; the migratory experience is part of a strategy implemented by individuals to improve their household’s economic well-being.
Part 3.
We will go over a thorough account of the migratory experience by discussing the significant role of the U.S and European governments in influencing individuals’ decisions to migrate. We will review major policies implemented in home states, including those in North America and Europe.
Part 4.
We will finalize the course by understanding how migrants have been incorporated into their societies.

GLBL 450 Social Change in Times of Crisis: Knowledge, Action, and Ontology (3) ***Canceled***

Examines dominant, alternative, and emergent narratives of change and the future from around the world. Takes as a premise that we live in a period of multidimensional crises characterized by uncertainty and conflict about how to pursue sustainable economic, ecological, political, social, and cultural projects.
This course will explore a number of practices and imaginaries currently being elaborated and developed by social movements and other social actors engaged in social change work. This includes work with art, culture, science, meditation, nature and even food. We will be taking advantage of the Maymester format to have guest speakers, field trips and assignments that explore the work of current projects that can be considered to fall into this non-traditional vision of social change.

HIST 245 The US and the Cold War: Origins, Development, Legacy (3)

This is both a wide-ranging and detailed course that looks at the origins, the evolution, and the termination of the Cold War from 1945 to 1989/90. It also considers the “New Cold War” with Russia that developed in 2014. The course is based on an international and multinational perspective.

HIST 248 Guerillas and Counterinsurgencies in Latin America (PWAD 248) (3)

This course examines the leftist guerrilla movements that swept Latin America and the Caribbean during the latter half of the 20th century. Students will analyze the origins, trajectories, and legacies of these insurgencies, paying particular attention to the roles of race, class, and gender.

HNRS 334 Silicon Revolution (3)

MAYMESTER. Silicon Valley is celebrated as a global capital of high-tech innovation and transformative economic development. Business leaders and politicians in other regions have attempted to reproduce that accomplishment, almost always with limited success. Why has the task been so difficult? What combination of institutions, public policy, people, and geography transformed the orchards of Santa Clara County into the epicenter of a new knowledge economy? And what lessons can Silicon Valley teach us about the roles that government, universities, and private capital might play in inventing the future? These are the questions this course sets out to explore.
We’ll use the first week of class to immerse ourselves in the history of Silicon Valley. Then we’ll spend a week in San Francisco and Palo Alto, where we’ll visit with UNC alumni working in small start-ups, technology giants such as Google and Cisco, and venture capital and private equity firms. When we return to Chapel Hill, we’ll use our last week to take the measure of what we’ve learned and to connect lessons from Silicon Valley to the challenges of economic development in North Carolina.
Travel dates: We’ll travel to San Francisco on Saturday, May 20, and return on Saturday, May 27.
Costs: In addition to Summer School tuition, students will pay a program fee (currently estimated at $1,700 – the final cost will depend on hotel and transportation expenses, which have not yet been finalized) directly to Honors Carolina. The fee will cover the cost of airport transfers, lodging at the Cardinal Hotel in downtown Palo Alto, local transportation, and lunch and evening meals. It will not cover airfare, the cost of other meals, or incidental personal expenses. Scholarship support will be available.
Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. Students should click here to provide a brief statement of interest.

MATH 347 Linear Algebra for Applications (3)

The algebra of linear combination of vectors has numerous applications in the arts and sciences, most recently as a foundation for data science and artificial intelligence. Vectors can be used to represent visual images, musical scores, or medical cardiograms. Exploring the range of new entities (images, sounds, diagnoses) that can thus be obtained leads to consideration of matrices, linear systems of equations, best approximations, eigenvalues and algorithms for these procedures. This course presents the mathematical framework for linear algebra enhanced by numerous applications, with a focus on treating art images as data that can be processed to identify particular artists or even produce new works in a particular style. No prerequisites are required and computer programming and mathematical calculus concepts are introduced as needed throughout the course.

MEJO 121 Introduction to Digital Storytelling (3)

Restricted to declared journalism majors and minors. Introduces students to the tools and skills needed to engage in quality news-oriented storytelling with audio, video, and multimedia. Students will learn to deliver news stories using multiple platforms, taking advantage of the strengths of each.

MEJO 376 Sports Marketing and Advertising (3)

Examines the range of promotional techniques being used in the modern sports industry. Topics include sponsorships, advertising, merchandising, and the effects of commercialization.

MEJO 390 Advanced Data Reporting (3)

ONLINE. In this course, students pick up where MEJO 570 leaves off as they learn more advanced tips and tricks for finding and telling hidden stories with data. Topics covered will include collaborative project management and organization using Github, R Studio and R packages created by the Associated Press. Students will learn and practice web scraping, text analysis and geographic data analysis and basic statistical analysis using R.

MEJO 475 Concepts of Marketing (3)

Designed to provide the larger business context for students anticipating careers in advertising, public relations, and other media industries, the course teaches the vocabulary and basic concepts of marketing as it will be practiced.

NSCI 434 Cognitive Neuroscience (3)***Canceled***

Prerequisite, One of the following: NSCI 175, NSCI 222, NSCI 225, PSYC 220, or PSYC 230. Introduction to cognitive neuroscience. Higher mental processes including attention, memory, language, and consciousness will be covered, with an emphasis on the neural mechanisms that form the substrates of human cognition.

PHIL 155 Truth and Proof: Introduction to Mathematical Logic (3)

Introduces the theory of deductive reasoning, using a symbolic language to represent and evaluate patterns of reasoning. Covers sentential logic and first-order predicate logic.

PLAN 575 Real Estate Development (3)

Rigorous examination of real estate development from the entrepreneurial and public perspectives. Emphasis on risk management and the inherent uncertainties of development. The four dimensions of real estate are addressed: economic/market, legal/institutional, physical, and financial. Previously offered as PLAN 375.

PLCY 450 (PWAD 450) Internal and Interpersonal Conflict Management (3)

This course aims to provide students with the tools necessary to most effectively engage in interpersonal conflicts. Students engage with diverse conflict management practitioners–from formally incarcerated individuals to public policy negotiation to international conflict mediators and role-play cross-cultural communication, inter-governmental negotiations, human rights, and workplace negotiations. Students will learn new negotiation and mediation skills, build upon existing ones, and learn to cope with stress, discomfort, and emotions when in conflict.

The second half of the course will be dedicated to managing conflicts externally: How can we communicate our interests to others and understand theirs? What actions can we take with others to come to a mutually agreed solution? And what happens if we cannot resolve our disputes? Students will learn new negotiation skills, build upon existing ones, and learn how to cope with stress, discomfort, and emotions when in conflict. Previously offered as PLCY/PWAD 330. Course flyer.

PLCY 795 Leading for Impact Across Sectors (3)

This final MPP course will help students understand the power of cross-sector collaboration and effective strategies to lead social and environmental change across sectors. Co-taught by an academic and practitioners, the syllabus uses case studies, outside speakers, seminars, and debate to explore evolving models of cross sector collaboration to advance social impact. Students will learn the motivations, operations, and engagement models for stakeholders in different sectors and effective strategies to influence these stakeholders to advance societal change. Classes will provide tangible leadership skills that students can use to advance impact outside of the classroom.

POLI 100 American Democracy in Changing Times (3)

Why do Americans love democracy, but hate politics? Why are there only two political parties? Why do voters hate, yet respond to negative campaigning? This course will introduce students to politics in the United States, addressing these and many more questions about how American democracy works.

POLI 130 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)

This course examines the diversity of political arrangements in societies across the globe.

POLI 215 Political Psychology (3)

Findings of the behavioral sciences are examined as they relate to politics. Includes such issues as human nature, community, political socialization, alienation, mass movements, belief systems, and personality.

POLI 287 (PWAD 287) Strategy and International Relations (PWAD 287) (3)

Introduction to the study of strategic decision making in international relations, with an emphasis on the application of basic game theoretic models. Incorporates in-class simulations of international relations scenarios.

PSYC 435 Gender and Pronouns (3)

Prerequisites, PSYC 101. This course offers an inside look at pronouns from an interdisciplinary perspective. From a cognitive perspective, we examine major models of the role that pronouns play, and the mental processes involved in using them. From a social perspective, we examine the role pronouns play in marking gender identity, and how both language usage and gender concepts are currently in flux. Students also learn about research methods and conduct a novel empirical study.

PSYC 474 Digital Mental Health (3)

Prerequisites, PSYC 101. This course will provide an overview of the use of digital technologies to increase opportunities for training in, access to, and use of evidence-based mental health services. Coverage will include the current status of and future directions in research, innovations in service delivery, and policy implications. Special attention will be given to the evolution of the field, the potential costs and benefits, and the promise to address health disparities in particular.

PSYC 517 Addiction (3)

Prerequisite, PSYC 101. PSYC 245 and 270 recommended but not required. This course will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the etiology and treatment of addiction, along with exposure to real-life stories of addiction.

PWAD 250 Introduction in Peace and Security Studies (3)

In this course, we will examine global security challenges such as international wars, internal wars, non-state violence, economic disputes, financial crises, and problems of coordination and cooperation. We will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on lessons from political science, economics, history, sociology, and anthropology. We will begin by examining problems of international security, such as interstate crises and war, and develop an understanding of the bureaucracies tasked with managing these issues. In the second section of the course, we will first examine conflict associated with non-state actors, and will then discuss non-traditional security issues, such as financial crises and problems of common pooled resources. Throughout, we will use scientific research and historical analyses to gain a better grasp on the dynamics of security problems in the international system.

RELI 140 Religion in America (3)

An introduction to the history, themes, and issues in American religion from the precolonial period to the present. Honors version available.

RELI 162 Catholicism Today: An Introduction to the Contemporary Catholic Church (3)

This course provides students with a first glimpse and insight into the Catholic tradition, past, present, and future: its beliefs, structure, aims, successes, and failures.

RELI 220 Religion and Medicine (3) ***Canceled***

This course will deal with global interactions of religion, health care, medical ethics, disability, and the body in the past and present. Honors version available. Course flyer.

RELI 246 Supernatural Encounters: Zombies, Vampires, Demons, and the Occult in the Americas (3)

This course examines accounts of supernatural beings such as zombies and vampires and aims to understand them as popular ways of making sense of the world in the context of uneven and frequently unsettling processes of modernization, neoliberalism, and globalization.

SOCI 122 Race and Ethnicity (3) ***Canceled***

Examines race, racism, and privilege. Introduces major sociological concepts, debates, and evidence concerning the social construction of race, and the many manifestations of racism and privilege. The course highlights the asymmetrical power relations between groups that produce and sustain inequality while also considering the factors that lead to social change.

SOCI 274 Social and Economic Justice (3) ***Canceled***

Covers theory and practice of social and economic justice, including analyses of racial, gender, sexual, class, national, and other forms of justice, the history of influential movements for justice, and strategies of contemporary struggles. Students may not receive credit for both SOCI 273 and SOCI 274.

WGST 101 Introduction to Women Studies (3)

An interdisciplinary introduction to the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, this class explores feminist perspectives on intersecting inequalities based on gender, race, class, and sexuality. Topics include: work and labor; sexuality and sexual identity; gender relations; images of women and gender in literature, science and technology; religion; art; family; and the history of feminist struggles. Course readings are drawn from the humanities and the social sciences. Online section only.