|Semester and Year||FA 2010|
|Time||4:55 PM - 6:10 PM|
The concept of “family” is contentious: politicians seek to define it, marketers struggle to reach it, media makers attempt to represent it, and many individuals hope to transcend it. This course offers both a critical examination of family and an introduction to the academic disciplines that study it. In the United States, legal, social, and personal definitions of family are constantly being established and abandoned, expanded and limited. This fluidity exists partly because historical processes such as slavery, immigration, and demands for gay rights can re-shape popular conceptualizations of family. Likewise, academic disciplines such as history, sociology, biology, law, literature, and literary theory routinely offer new and sometimes contradictory ways of understanding family. This course will use these disciplines to illuminate the complicated ideas and emotions that can surround what arguably are our closest relationships. Works we may study include Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale , George Chauncey's Why Marriage? , and the photography of Sally Mann.
First-Year Program: Interdisciplinary Seminars (FIRST-UG)