SP.691 Studies in Women's Life Narratives: Interrogating Marriage: Case Studies in American Law and Culture

As taught in: Fall 2007

The back of of a man's shirt featuring stencils of two same-sex couples and the message Marriage Equality Now.

From the marriage equality march/rally in Seattle, Washington. (Image courtesy of Michael Hanscom on Flickr.)

Level:

Graduate

Instructors:

Prof. Leonard Buckle

Prof. Renee Bergland

Prof. Suzann Thomas-Buckle

Course Features

Course Description

Is marriage a patriarchal institution? Much feminist scholarship has characterized it that way, but now in the context of the recent Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, the meaning of marriage itself demands serious re-examination. This course will discuss history, literature, film, and legal scholarship, making use of cross-cultural, sociological, anthropological, and many other theoretical approaches to the marriage question from 1630 to the present. As it turns out, sex, marriage, and the family have never been stable institutions; to the contrary, they have continued to function as flash points for the very social and cultural questions that are central to gender studies scholarship.