Course Calendar & Readings

This schedule is also on your syllabus; this page is where I’ll make any changes.

Everything below is subject to (slight!) changes. I’ll never make changes that require more work from you than I asked up front.


Unit I: Gender Myths & Gender Performance

Week 1 (August 26): Introductions, What is Gender, Course Stuff

Introductions & class community (anything to add?)


Watch Davis video & Glamrou video


What is gender, though?? What are its possibilities & limitations? You tell us!


(Short break: stretch, get water, hug a pet)


Today is Women’s Equality Day in the U.S.. In groups of 5, find & present two reasons that’s good and two reasons that’s limiting/exclusionary


Course stuff (syllabus, expectations, readings, etc.)


Two gender texts: Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and BTS’ “Butter


The videos we watched are: Angela Davis on feminist liberation and trans rights and Glamrou (Amrou al-Kadhi) on the politics of gender


For next week: Read Hubbard and Butler and watch Butler. Think about the way we are usually taught to think about gender (as rigid and binary) and how each of these writers/thinkers works to help us re-understand. (Please do note that Butler’s writing is not always as easy to understand as her speech, so understand what you can and bring in your questions about what you don’t!)


Don’t forget to join CUNY Commons (here is some help if you need it), and then I can invite you to our course site.


Also, create your Hypothesis account — we’ll start doing annotations and some in-class blogging practice next week


Week 2 (September 2): What is Gender part II (Davis, Stryker) & What is blogging

We’ll start with the Lorde questionnaire 


Discuss “Gender and Genitals: Constructs of Sex and Gender” (Hubbard) and Butler’s “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory”; watch Butler on gender performance & behavior


We’ll play with Hypothesis, too: add at least one annotation to Hubbard or Butler using Hypothesis. Topic idea: What are some myths we receive from society about gender and what is their impact?


We will also choose public writing research groups (7 groups of 5) and public writing research topics for your final project


In-class gender text exercise: how has Lil Nas X productively pushed on expectations of gender/(Black) masculinity/sexuality in “Old Town Road” and “Montero“? How is masculinity depicted and exploded in the two videos?


For next week: Read Davis and Stryker. Think about the function of gender roles (Why do we have them? What do they do for/to our society?), the myth of the gender binary, and the fact that everyone is always performing their own gender, whether they know it or not.


Bring in a gender text.


We’ll also do some in-class blogging and start talking about what public writing means.


Week 3 (September 9): Gender Myths & Theories

Discuss Davis Ch. 13 “The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework” (pp. 222-244), Stryker Ch 1 “An Introduction to Transgender Topics” (pp. 1-30), and Stryker Ch 2 “A Hundred Years of Transgender History” (pp. 31-58)


Create a class aspiration board


Gender text show and tell.


Brainstorm definitions/qualities of public writing. Find some good examples.


In-class blogging on Butler. How would you structure a blog post about either of these chapters? What do you need to think about (in terms of argument, audience, writing style?)


How do we make group projects work well? You tell me (and each other).


No class for Yom Kippur (September 16).

Take some time this week to collect your thoughts and ideas to bring to your group for our first Research Day.

Signpost questions you should be asking (individually and together): What do you need to know

about your topic in order to understand it? What do you need to know about in order to contextualize and discuss your topic? (Hat tip to Gwen Shaw)


For next week, watch Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson [free on YouTube] and read/watch Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson: Listen to the Newly Unearthed Interview with Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries.


Week 4: Research Day (September 23)

Start your research project — we’ll discuss it as a class up top and you’ll then have time to brainstorm with your group and share some of your thinking with the class


We’ll also discuss Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson — what did you learn about who she was?


Hypothesis annotation for the STAR interview


AND we will talk about how to cite sources in public writing.

For next week: read Davis, watch the First Wave talk, and think about how they each show us the racist cracks in what we are often taught about first-wave feminism


Group 1 draft blog posts due Tues, Oct. 5


Unit 2: Waves & Histories

Week 5 (October 7): The Lies of the Suffragists

Discuss Davis Ch. 2, 3, and 4 (pp. 30-86) and The Missing Waves of Feminism Symposium Series: The First Wave


Peer review for Group 1 blog posts


For next week: read Friedan and the Keywords gender essay. Think about the world Friedan is responding to and how American culture has and hasn’t changed since then. Watch AVP Courageous Conversations – Disclosure.



Group 1 blog posts due Oct. 12; Group 2 & 3 comments due Oct. 13


Week 6 (October 14): WWII, Friedan, and Sixties Feminism

Read this section from The Feminine Mystique — what’s missing? And what do you know about the world she’s responding to? & Hypothesis annotations


Gender essay from Keywords for American Studies. What kinds of public audiences is

Snorton writing for? & Hypothesis annotations


Discuss AVP panel — how did it expand your understanding of trans representation (and myths about trans people) on screen and in our culture?

Peer review for Group 2 blog posts


In-class gender text exercises: the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Shangri-Las “Leader of the Pack”


For next week: Read Hill Collins, Anzaldúa, & the Combahee statement. Bring in a gender text.


Signpost questions you should be asking for your research project: Have we finalized our basic argument? Do we have a short list of reliable sources to cite?


Group 2 draft blog posts due Tues, Oct. 19


Week 7 (October 21): Black Liberation, Womanism, Combahee

Discuss “Black Women in the Matrix of Domination” from Black Feminist Thought; “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers” (Anzaldúa), and Combahee River Collective statement


Hypothesis annotations on Anzaldúa and Combahee


Final public writing project update: each group gives a 5 minute overview of where they are


Look at Online Exhibition – Angela Davis OUTspoken — GLBT Historical Society


In-class gender text exercise: Lizzo’s “Juice”

Gender text show and tell


For next week: Bring your project materials and ideas for another Research Day!


Group 2 blog posts due Oct. 26; Group 1 & 3 comments due Oct. 27

Week 8 (October 28): Research Day — bring your project materials and be ready to work with your group! You can bring me into your breakout room to help with brainstorming and ask questions about ideas or materials you’ve brought.


For next week: Read Stryker and the Queer Keywords essay, and watch Sylvia Rivera documentary. Think about what liberation means for trans people, and how Tongson structures her essay.



Unit 3: Feminism and Trans Liberation

Week 9 (November 4): Stonewall and Trans Rights

Discuss Stryker Ch 3. “Transgender Liberation” and Ch. 4. “The Difficult Decade” (pp.

59-121); “Queer” Keywords essay from Keywords in American Studies [Tongson]


              In-class blogging & Hypothesis annotations: What makes Tongson’s essay effective public writing? Why are Stryker and Davis’ books not considered public writing?


Peer review for Group 3 blog posts


In-class gender text exercise: Cobain in lingerie


Signpost questions you should be asking for your research project: What is the state of our rough draft? What editing/revising is needed to make sure our point is interesting, well argued, and supported by evidence, and that our writing is clear and vivacious?


For next week: Read Stryker & watch Sylvia Rivera: She Was More Than Stonewall, and think about meanings and manifestations of trans liberation



Group 3 draft blog posts due Tues, Nov. 9


Week 10 (November 11): Meanings of Queerness

Discuss Stryker Ch. 5 “The Current Wave” (pp. 121-155) and Sylvia Rivera documentary


In class, we will read and annotate Serano’s “Thoughts about Transphobia, TERFs, and TUMFs


In class, we’ll also watch and discuss Bob the Drag Queen, Peppermint, and Davis interview at the Black Queer Town Hall


In-class gender text exercise: Against Me!’s “True Trans Soul Rebel


For next week: Bring in a gender text (written, sung, filmed, or otherwise) that you think tells us something about plural feminisms and/or feminist culture.

Group 3 blog posts due Nov. 16; Group 1 & 2 comments due Nov. 17


Week 11 (November 18): Plural Feminisms & Feminist Culture (& Gender Texts) – Show and Tell

Ahmed’s “Feminist Snap”

Riot Grrls

Watch Beyond #StopAsianHate: Criminalization, Gender, & Asian Abolition Feminism


Listen to Cameron Esposito interviewing Saaed Jones. Listen for: gender, performance, the dude hug backslap, the performance of masculinity, accepting compliments from women but not men


In class, we will read and annotate Butler’s anti-transphobia interview in the New Statesman


Last research group projects update! Where is your group on your writing together, and what advice do you need from me or the class to get where you want to go?


No class (November 25) — Happy Thanksgiving!


Unit 4: Research Presentations

We’ll do 45 min per panel — your group will have 25 minutes to present your work and then we’ll have 20 minutes for your classmates to ask constructive questions.

Week 12 (December 3): 2 panels (Group 1 and Group 2)


Week 13 (December 9): 3 panels (Groups 3, 4, and 5)


Week 14 (December 16): 2 panels (Groups 6 and 7)


Final personal reflection due December 20; Group research projects due December 20


Have a wonderful winter break!