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MALS 70000  – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies: Women, Gender and Fascism in 20th Century Europe
Mondays: 6:30 to 8:30, Room 4419

Prof. Aránzazu Borrachero
Email: aborrachero@gc.cuny.edu
Office: Room 4104 (Mondays, 5:00-6:00 and by appointment)

Inspired by Foucault’s theories of discursive formation, we will examine the gender discourses that 20th century Spanish, Italian and German fascist dictatorships developed, and their important role within the nation-building plans of those regimes. What can we learn by looking at these discourses from a gender-studies perspective? What comparisons can we make with contemporary gender discourses in the Western world? We will read current scholarship from various disciplines on women, gender and fascism and we will interpret related art, political propaganda, commercial advertising and film. We will begin studying Francoist Spain (1936-1975) and its National Catholicism ideology, a repressive system that predicated the natural subordination of women to men, and pervaded all aspects of women’s lives: education, sexuality, marriage, labor, and citizenship. We will analyze textual, visual and audio-visual representations of Spanish women created by social agents such as the Catholic Church, fascist women organizations, and economic interests. The class methodology will include independent reading, class discussions, short written reflections, presentations, and a final project. The analysis of gender practices in Spain will prepare students to conduct their own intellectual inquiry of the Italian and German fascist gender agendas. Each student’s research will contribute to the whole group’s compilation of a bibliography for the study of gender discourses and representations under the Italian and German dictatorships. Class readings will be in English, but students will be encouraged to conduct research in Spanish, German and Italian if they know any of those languages.

Learning Outcomes:

This course will give students the opportunity to analyze the link between gender discourses and the historical realities that help shape them. By the end of the semester, students should be able to: (1) provide factual knowledge about the period under discussion; (2) explain and analyze the relation between state interests and gender discourses and practices for the period studied and beyond; (3) write focused and engaging reaction and research papers; (3) develop and deliver focused and engaging oral presentations; (4) conduct in-depth research for papers and oral presentations.

Students’ ability to meet the learning outcomes of this course will be evaluated through class participation, oral presentations, and written assignments.

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