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Lisa Moore Interim, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

CWGS Signature Courses

“I am really grateful that I was able to take what I learned from this class and show my sisters back at home and see the shock but also the excitement that they have when they tell their friends about what they’ve learned. I am so happy that I was able to learn and apply what I learned back at home and feel that sense of achievement.”
–Student in Gender, Media, and Human Rights, Fall 2011

“I always knew that I wanted to be a lawyer, but thinking about these things has made me interested in becoming a human rights attorney or advocate.”
– Student in
Women for Sale?
Spring 2012

“We cover really hard and difficult material, […] but at the end of the day, I know I am learning a lot and becoming more prepared to deal with these issues.”
– Student in Women for Sale? Spring 2012, reported in The Daily Texan, 12 April 2012

The CWGS Embrey Critical Human Rights Initiative recruits and supports faculty to create new Signature Courses on gender and racial justice. Every student in their first year at UT must take a Signature Course through the School of Undergraduate Studies. Signature Courses introduce students to critical thinking, information literacy, campus resources, and innovative faculty. CWGS ECHRI-supported Signature Courses uniquely develop students’ awareness of gender and racial justice issues and build their skills for civic engagement as changemakers. These courses also create space, by providing research funds, for faculty to develop and teach new courses; and CWGS MA students serve as TAs for these courses in order to build their skills as interdisciplinary teachers of gender and racial justice issues.

Students in CWGS-ECHRI-supported Signature Courses document increases in their:
 · awareness of and ability to talk about gender and racial justice;
 · commitment to speaking up for others’ rights by writing letters to organizations, businesses, and newspapers;
 · interest in and knowledge about political races and candidates;
 · involvement in gender and racial justice organizations and career paths; and
 · media literacy.

Our faculty are offering exciting CWGS ECHRI-Supported Signature Courses:

FALL 2012:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Neville Hoad, English

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Human Rights: Law, Literature, and Culture
In this course we will investigate the recent history of human rights discourse in relation to the terms sexual orientation and gender diversity in a variety of legal, social, medical, political and academic contexts. Interspersed with the readings we will hear from a series of guest speakers from campus and community advocacy groups to illustrate the local valences of gender identity and sexual orientation human rights.

Pascale Bos, Germanic Studies
Sexual Violence in War
This course surveys both a set of historical case studies and the scholarship and popular representations of cases of sexual violence in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. This overview allows us to both better understand how this violence is and is not situational, but historically unique, and how feminist explanations of this violence as either a continuation of "everyday sexual violence" or as separate from such violence and unique to war have helped or hindered in matters of understanding, prevention, legal prosecution, and aid to victims. We will consider sexual violence directed at both women and men.

Noël Busch-Armendariz, Laurie Cook Heffron, Social Work, and Bruce Kellison, Business
Teaching this course for the second time:Women for Sale?

SPRING 2013: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sofian Merabet, Anthropology
Gender in the Contemporary Muslim World
This course examines the use of textual and visual material in debates about gender, sexuality, and morality and explores the interplay of cultural, social, political, and economic factors in shaping women's and men's lives in the Muslim world. Although special attention will be paid to the historical processes associated with colonialism and nation-building, we will also consider the local feminist movements, including Islamist, human rights, and LGBTQ based, that have developed to address issues of gender and sexuality.

Héctor Domínguez Ruvalcaba, Spanish & Portuguese
Feminicides and Human Rights Activism in Mexico and Central America
This signature course introduces students to one of the most concerning issues of gender violence in Latin America: feminicides, or the systematic women killings in Mexico and Central America, and its implications in activism and public debates on gender justice. The class will discuss films, chronicles, essays, and testimonies, as well as documents related to Human Rights organizations, courts resolutions, and official statements.

Tatiana Kuzmic, Slavic Studies, and Jennifer Beer, Psychology
Teaching this course for the second time:Sex and the Russian City
Neville Hoad, English
Teaching this course for the second time:Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Human Rights: Law, Literature, and Culture

FALL 2013: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Naomi Paik, American Studies
Gender, Migration, and Rights
This interdisciplinary course examines the relationship between gender, the movement of people across national borders, and rights discourses, with particular attention paid to human rights discourse. We will consider how gender impacts the reasons why people migrate, how they migrate, how their rights (as refugees, as migrants, as workers, as citizens, as humans) are recognized, and how they can find redress for rights violations.
Tasha Philpot, Government
African-American Women and the Struggle for Political Incorporation
This course explores how racial, gender, and class dynamics in the United States have shaped Black women’s participation in the American Political System.  We will critically examine what impact Black women’s position as a marginalized group has had on their ability to benefit from citizenship and equal protection under the law and how this has affected their political behavior.  Topics will include Black women’s engagement in protest politics, social movements, electoral politics, judicial politics, and nontraditional forms of political activism.  Further, this course will discuss how representations of Black women’s aesthetics, sexuality, and reproductive behavior have been used to shape historical and contemporary policy debates.


Sofian Merabet, Anthropology
Teaching this course for the second time:Gender in the Contemporary Muslim World

Becky Bigler, Psychology
Teaching this course for the second time:Media, Gender Development, and Human Rights

SPRING 2014: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sharmila Rudrappa, Sociology
War and Asian Americans

Shannon Speed and Christen Smith, Anthropology
Women of Color and the State: Incarceration and Detention in the Americas

Héctor Domínguez Ruvalcaba, Spanish & Portuguese
Teaching this course for the second time:Feminicides and Human Rights Activism in Mexico and Central America

Pascale Bos, Germanic Studies
Teaching this course for the second time:Sexual Violence in War

FALL 2014: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sharmila Rudrappa, Sociology
Teaching this course for the second time:War and Asian Americans

Naomi Paik, American Studies
Teaching this course for the second time:Gender, Migration, and Rights

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