COOL CLASSES: “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender”

Students in this course, which explores the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, and embodiment in our time, bring the personal into the classroom and to take what they learn out into the world.

Class name: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender

Taught by: Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and Coordinator of Gender and Sexuality Studies Anne Balay

Here’s what Balay had to say about her class:

This class aims to give Bi-Co students a chance to explore the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, and embodiment in our time. Our focus is principally on the USA, though we make some forays into international conversations. Readings are drawn from a smattering of the most recent developments in academic research and theory, as well as from science fiction, popular culture, and new media. We work to bring the personal into the classroom, and to take what we learn out into the world. For example, we travelled to Bethlehem, Pa., to tour a steel mill museum under the guidance of a retired steelworker. (See photo, above.)

Following the election, students hungered for a chance to burst out of what feels like a restrictive, protective, College-focused world. We sought a way to meet people where they are—people who feel trapped by economic and labor policies of the past 30 years, and who might have voted for Trump. We read an article contrasting reflection and diffraction, and this is our idea of how to look at the world and see something other than ourselves reflected back. As this example shows, much of this class is student led, and responds to unfolding history, within a feminist context.

This class is an opportunity to think with students about the most pressing issues facing us. And who wouldn’t want to do that?


See what other courses Independent College Programs is offering this semester.

Photo of the class visit to Bethlehem’s Steel Stacks by Patrick Montero. (From left) Sarah Ledger, Alex Berndt, Lucas Richie, Rosemary Cohen, Shirah Kraus, Calvin Trisolini, Kaitlin Guild, guest speaker James Hallerman, Sara Helin-Long, Anne Balay, Sophie Mongoven, Isabella Canelo Gordon, Alie Lin and Connie Lam.

 Cool Classes is a series that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford experience