“This is who we are, Mama. Real women.” This declaration made by America Ferrera’s character Ana in the 2002 coming-of-age film Real Women Have Curves marks a powerful turning point for Ana as she stands up for all women who have been made to feel ashamed for their bodies, their choices, their desires, or their differences. The journey from childhood to adulthood, from innocence to experience, that the film traces is a movement from shame to self-acceptance and pride, a not uncommon story of growing up for American women. In our online course let’s explore how women use the coming-of-age narrative to portray diverse experiences of growing up in the U.S. What do their stories tell us about identity, difference, and gender roles? What is their relationship and responsibility to active feminist movements? What are the range of possibilities for “This is who we are”? You’ll have opportunities to apply historical, cultural, formal, and feminist theoretical knowledge to a critical analysis of the following primary works: Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, and Helena María Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus.
Multicultural, Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP) courses examine the social construction of collective identities, the emergence of representative voices from varying social and cultural standpoints, and the effects of prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. The purpose of courses in this category is to analyze the general principles underlying tolerance, or the lack of it.
US: Difference, Inequality, and Agency courses focus on race and ethnicity in the United States by considering two or more racial and ethnic groups.
Gender, Ability, Queer Studies, and/or Sexuality courses focus on the ways that issues of sexuality, gender, queerness, and disability are represented, critiqued, and developed in media and literature.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.