UW students earn credit for learning 'technological activism,' various 'styles' of masculinity

Campus Reform did a deep dive into Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies courses offered by the University of Washington this summer and fall.

Classes included "Indigenous Feminisms," "Gender and Globalization," and "Masculinities: Constestation, Circulation, and Transformation.”

University of Washington students are delving into a plethora of unique “Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies” courses, focusing on such important subjects as “technological activism” and the “different styles” of masculinity during the summer and fall 2019 semesters.

Summer students studied subjects such as “Masculinities: Constestation, Circulation, and Transformation.” This course focused on the “different ways that masculinity is understood and represented historically and contemporarily.”  While the course centered mostly around the United States, the course description notes that it also addressed the “different styles” of masculinity and how they “travel” by way of media and immigration.  

“Gender and Globalization” was also a summer offering. Students in that course analyzed how globalization is “transforming the actual conditions of women’s lives,” looking at politics and gender ideologies. The class examined capitalism, “economic restructuring policies,” colonialism, and “resistance in consumer and environmental movements” through a feminist lens.

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Students seeking to learn more about the “politics of sexuality” did so in another summer course, titled, “Queer Desires.”  The course description promised that students learn about such topics as “intimacies and globalization,” “power and relationships,” and “normality and abnormality” as they relate to the “constitution of ‘queerness.’”  Students were to “interrogate” sexuality and queer studies via “activist writings” and scholarships.

The fall semester offers its own share of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies courses.

UW professor Luana Ross will teach young minds to “reconceptualize” feminisms through the lens of a “transnational indigenous framework” in a course titled “Indigenous Feminisms.”  Students are invited to learn about gender and sexuality, the “politics of reproduction,” and social and environmental justice from the supposed viewpoint of indigenous people.

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Students in search of a more interactive course format are free to take “Collaborations in Feminism and Technology,” where they will learn various ways that “activists” have utilized technology to advance feminist causes. Participants are expected to finish the course with a new-found knowledge of concepts such as “technological activism” and the “transformative potentials of new technologies” as they pertain to race, gender, and sexualities. 

For those just beginning to delve into such nuanced topics, the school offers an “Introduction to Transgender Studies” course, where they will learn to “blur” the “contested categories” of sex and gender, “complicating them with sexuality, race, class, ability, history, and location.”

“What does it mean to look beyond a simplistic binary of ‘man’ and ‘woman’?” that course description asks.

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Akanksha Misra, the graduate student who taught “Gender and Globalization,” provided Campus Reform with a copy of the syllabus for her course, but Campus Reform did not receive a response in time for press from any of the other instructors.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter:  @celinedryan