teaching

Awards

In the AY 16-17, Prof. Shomali received the Outstanding Faculty Ally award at University of Maryland Baltimore County’s  (UMBC) Lavender Celebration, UMBC’s yearly event honoring LGBTQIA students, faculty, and staff.

Fall 2018

  • Intro to Gender and Women’s Studies: Gender and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to thinking about identity and power in an intersectional manner. Interdisciplinarity implies that the field draws its methods of study from multiple disciplines, like English, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, History, Ethnic Studies, Communications, Law, and Cultural Studies. Intersectionality implies that the topics of study, “women” and “gender,” cannot be effectively discussed without also attending to their formation and interaction with other identity markers, like race, class, ability, sexuality, nationality, and so on. We will adopt an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach to thinking about women and gender, primarily in the US context, with some attention to global and transnational approaches. We will consider major concepts and debates with the field of feminist, women, and gender studies; we will review feminist histories in the US; and we will consider what feminist practices might look like inside and outside of the academy.
  • Theories of Feminism: This course examines significant conversations and debates in feminist social and political theory since the mid-twentieth century. We will read foundational and cutting edge scholarship by feminist thinkers, analyze the theoretical perspectives they represent, discuss the commonalities and differences between them, and use theory to understand and respond to contemporary practices, objects, and events. Our readings center trans, queer, and women of color perspectives, draw from U.S. and transnational writers, use interdisciplinary methods, and emphasize intersectional analyses. Throughout the course we will have the opportunity to question, critique, and expand how we use and understand the two keywords of the course: feminism and theory.

Spring 2019

  • Trans/national Femininities: this course studies femininity in a trans/national context. Here, trans suggests that we will not be looking at femininity as necessarily or inherently attached to bodies assigned female at birth. Instead, we will think about femininity as a gender category that is performed by and written on many kinds of bodies. The term “transnational” suggests that we will attempt to talk about femininity not only in the context of the US and the “western” world but across different nations and within a broader socio-cultural framework. We will consider a broad range of disciplinary accounts of femininity in the US and beyond. We will also discuss how class, bodily comportment, ability, and religion affect feminine performance and feminine/feminist/queer politics.
  • Arab and Muslim Experiences in the U.S.:  this course introduces students to Arab and Muslim experiences in the U.S. via the study of literature, film, and art created by Arab and Muslim Americans.  The course takes a historical approach and looks at texts that concern major historical events in Arab and Muslim American history. The course focuses on the production of Arab and Muslim Americans instead of productions about those communities to investigate how these authors and artists choose to navigate their representation in their cultural milieu: we will discuss how artists and writers are both responding to and refusing racism and Orientalism around their identities while challenging and shifting gendered, sexual, and cultural norms from within their communities.  Part of our task will be an attempt to understand the tenuous categories of Arab and Muslim, with attention to how they overlap and how they do not, and with how they intersect with other axis of identity. Between the art and the analytic, the course ultimately asks: what can we learn about culture, art, and identity from Arab and Muslim cultural productions? How does power work in these formations and their pairings? Does the study of these artistic endeavors yield alternate stories of becoming, of Arabness or Islam, of America?

Previous Classes

  • Trans/national Femininities (Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018)
  • Theories of Feminism (Fall 2017, Spring 2018)
  • Introduction to Critical Sexuality Studies (Spring 2017)
  • Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies (Fall 2016)
  • Race, Gender, and the Media (Fall 2016)
  • Trans/National Femininity (Spring 2016, Spring 2017)
  • Introduction to College Composition (Fall 2011, Winter 2012)
  • Race, Gender, and Sexuality (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2008, Winter 2009)
  • Introduction to Disability Studies (Winter and Summer 2008, Winter 2009)
  • Introduction to Women’s Studies (Winter, 2009, Fall 2007, Winter 2006, Spring 2006)
  • Philosophy in Film (Fall 2008)
  • Philosophy in Literature (Winter 2008)
  • Introduction to Ethics (Fall 2007)
  • US Women Writers: Text and Context (Spring 2007, Winter 2007, Fall 2006)

for fun