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Top 10 Utterly Ridiculous Gender Studies Courses

Posted on August 12 2010 8:00 am
Jenn escaped blue state academia for redder pastures in the South. Follow her on Twitter and read more of her work at

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5. Smith College – Feminisms and the Fate of the Planet

Mother Earth is on the brink and only one thing can bring her back: Ecofeminism! (Or should that be “ecofeminisms“?

We begin this course by sifting the earth between our fingers as part of a community learning partnership with area farms in Holyoke, Hadley, and other neighboring towns. Using women’s movements and feminisms across the globe as our lens, this course develops an understanding of current trends in globalization. This lens also allows us to map the history of transnational connections between people, ideas and movements from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Through films, memoirs, fiction, ethnography, witty diatribes and graphic novels, this course explores women’s activism on the land of laborers, and in their lives. Students will develop research projects in consultation with area farms, link their local research with global agricultural movements, write papers and give one oral presentation.

“We begin this course by sifting the earth between our fingers”? Is “sifting” some sort of scientific measurement now? That this Smith College professor wasn’t embarrassed to write that tells you everything you need to know about this course.

And in case you’re wondering what feminism and environmentalism have to do with each another anyway, here it is in a nutshell: The earth is oppressed and chicks are oppressed (by the patriarchy, of course). So naturally, the subjugation of women can’t end until we free the planet from her patriarchal bonds. It’s likely Cap and Trade is integral to the process.

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