Women’s and Gender Studies Residency: Gender Roles and Identities: Evolution and Revolution

By Suzanne Lazar ’16, graduate student, SUNY Empire State College; editor, The Student Connection

December 22, 2017

During the 2018 Spring 1 Term, students can choose among seven studies using a blended model that combines an online component with one on-site meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

While on-site, students will meet with their selected study group, attend plenary sessions, hear from guest speakers, and engage in active learning. This unique mode of study will provide students with forums to discuss and learn about how gender roles and identities are socially constructed within specific cultural and historical contexts.

On-site: Meeting Friday-Saturday, March 2-3 at SUNY Empire State College 113 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Cost: SUNY tuition and a $50 residency fee Students are responsible for travel and lodging costs.

Students may use financial aid to cover the residency fee.

Transportation and Participation: Students traveling from a distance may apply for a $150 travel reimbursement (see website for details). Students are expected to participate in all scheduled activities.

Registration closes Jan 5, through regular Spring 1 Term registration.

Studies Offered

The following studies, offered through the residency, will each earn 4 credits. Students may only register for one of these studies. *Adaptable for graduate study

Crossing Boundaries: Space, Place and Identity in Black Women’s Writings

*Advanced, SUNY General Education Requirement – Humanities Faculty: Nadine Wedderburn

This study provides students an opportunity to explore how Black women’s experiences distinctively articulate negotiations of identity and belonging within transnational contexts. Using literary and cultural narratives, the study will pursue analyses of the construction of female subjectivity and draw attention to specialized knowledge created by Black women’s experiences in political, cultural, social and economic terms – whether they occur in Africa, the Caribbean, North/Central/South America or Europe.

Culture, Gender and Suicidal Behavior

*Advanced, SUNY General Education Requirement – N/A Faculty: Debra Kram-Fernandez

What are gendered notions of suicide? What impact do gender and culture have on the way one views suicide, or how one copes with life-stressors? How might understanding suicidal ideation and behaviors from different gendered and cultural lenses offer a glimpse at ways of building resilience in communities where suicide constitutes a significant social problem? Scholarly articles, as well as documents from popular culture (films, novels and memoirs), will help students to understand the interplay between culture, gender and suicidal behavior.

An academic lens can provide distance, but be aware that this topic is emotionally charged. Thinking about where we obtain support and how we care for ourselves will be important.

Gender, Health and Technologies

*Advanced, SUNY General Education Requirement – N/A Faculty: Anamaria Ross

This study encourages students to examine advances and trends pertaining to health, medical care, medical technologies and health/healing practices in cross-cultural perspective. Using a blend of anthropological and public health approaches, students explore changes and diversity in gender boundaries/roles, multiple perspectives on risk and safety, cultural expectations/ norms and global contrasts/inequalities. Readings address current phenomena such as transnational surrogacy, sexuality, medical tourism and global aging. Resources include client stories and perspectives of care providers, while interrogating how patient empowerment, genomic or personalized medicine, and the expanding universe of internet and social media interact with evolving gender identities.

Identity, Self and Gender in Literature and Film

*Advanced, SUNY General Education Requirement – The Arts or Humanities Faculty: Connelly Akstens

This study begins with the question: Is there an essential self? If not, then are our identity and gender simply products of cultural determinants? Are they performance, rather than expressions of a core, personal selfhood. In this study, students will examine texts, films and other cultural artifacts that seem to provoke these questions, even as they offer insights that may lead to productive conclusions. Students will pay particular attention to the status of literature in their own cultural context, and to its viability in a technological, consumer culture.

Mad Men, Mad Women: A History of Women in the 1960s

Introductory or Advanced, SUNY General Education Requirement – American History Faculty: Kate Dermody

This study will examine the history of women in the 1960s using the visual narrative of AMC’s Emmy Award-winning show, Mad Men. The backdrop – a fictional Madison Avenue advertising firm in March 1960 – on its surface seems to be a story of the “mad men.” Yet, a central focus of the show is the evolution of women’s lives in this dynamic period of American History. As a class, students will examine the transformation of the lives of the Mad Men women from 1960 to 1970. Students will look at the changing identities of these women and how they paved the way to greater equality for American women, and how these goals are still relevant today.

This “Was” a Man’s World – Women Tattooists

Introductory or Advanced, SUNY General Education Requirement – The Arts Faculty: Mary Ann Borden

For years, the artistry of women tattooists was veiled. Many learned their trade from husbands, lovers or by simply scratching themselves. They worked in backrooms or within the small closet-like dwellings/booths found behind barbershops, dock buildings, etc. – men still outnumber women within this international industry. This study will highlight the experiences, methods and artistic motifs of several women tattooist from throughout the world – their journey. Students also will explore the various marketing techniques/strategies utilized by tattoo shops to include web design, social media, conventions and periodicals. This study is for those interested in art, marketing and/or the evolving role of women within tattoo culture.

Women and Gendered Protest and Revolution

*Advanced, General Education Requirement – Social Sciences (partially) Faculty: Karen Garner

This study examines the histories, presents and possible futures of women’s gendered forms of protest and revolutionary activism, including women’s use of technology, art, story-telling, theatricalized forms of protest and their gendered bodies as sites of protest. Students will ask: How and why do ‘women,’ at different times and in different global locations, protest the status quo power relations or engage in revolution to up-end the status quo in specifically gendered or sexualized ways? This wide-ranging study will introduce students to critical social change theory and historic activist practices.

More Information

For more information visit Women's and Gender Studies Residency, email Womens.Studies@esc.edu, or call 518-783-6203, ext. 5944.

Other News

Happy New Year from The Student Connection Team: New Issues Return Jan. 25, 2018, By Suzanne Lazar ’16, student, School for Graduate Studies; editor, The Student Connection

Creative Corner

Social Corner

Article Contributors

Danielle Boardman

Suzanne Lazar

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