GWSS 490 A: Special Topics In Women Studies

Meeting Time: 
WF 1:30pm - 3:20pm
MGH 287
Joint Sections: 
GWSS 590 D
Sasha Su-Ling Welland

Syllabus Description:

This craft-based workshop supports advanced undergraduate and graduate students to develop ethnographic research within creative formats alternative to the predominant practice of analytic, propositional prose. It provides a collaborative environment for students to explore the relationship between ethnographic content and form, or put another way, the relationship between cultural aesthetics/poetics and ethnographic representation. As a GWSS offering, the studio centers critical feminist praxis in terms of research ethics, audience, knowledge production, and social justice.

For undergraduates, this studio course guides students in creating a capstone project, different from but possibly complementary to an honors or senior portfolio. For graduate students, it provides a way to practice or prototype modes of ethnographic inquiry and representation they want to incorporate or develop further through dissertation research.

Prerequisites & Process

In order to participate, students must have a well-defined project based on some previous ethnographic research and a preliminary proposal for the medium in which they intend to work, such as creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry, photography, performance, video, audio, or some combination thereof. Previous research can include interviews, oral history, auto-ethnography, participant observation, etc. The focus of the workshop will be on sharing resources and models; iteratively producing and revising well-defined projects that can be completed within ten weeks; and providing constructive feedback to fellow participants.


In order to maintain a workshop environment, the course is limited to 15 students. Registration is by add code from instructor only. In order to apply, please submit a project proposal by February 16 to Applications (500 words or less) should describe the ethnographic research already completed or underway and a proposal for how you want to develop this material, including the medium you will use and a rationale for why you have chosen it. Participants will be admitted based on the level of preparation and thought demonstrated in their proposals. Add codes will be issued by February 23.


For more about the history of the course, see “Ethnography Unbound: Experiments in New Scholarship.”

Catalog Description: 
Exploration of specific problems and issues relevant to the study of women. Offered by visiting or resident faculty members. Primarily for upper-division and graduate students.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
February 6, 2018 - 9:17pm