Course number: WMST 20095
Semester: Spring 2017
Title: Hillary Clinton Case Study—Perspectives on Gender and Power
Instructor: Suzanne Holt, PhD, professor, coordinator of Women’s Studies
Description: Set up as a case study, this special topics course looks at Hillary Clinton, beginning with the presidential race. Students do both individual inquiries and group/collective studies of such topics as gender, power, high-stakes contests, media perspectives, demographics, misogyny and backlash.
Film: Primary Colors
Readings: Required readings cover academic papers, press coverage, post-election analyses and third-party–authored works on Hillary Clinton. Optional texts from the suggested book list include Clinton’s memoirs, Hard Choices (2014) and Living History (2003).
Projects: Throughout the course, students will serve on panels, discuss weekly themes and prepare individual case studies for presentation near semester end.
Purpose: The course places Hillary Clinton in context. The focus is not only on the facts of her career and races for the U.S. presidency, but also on what’s been said and written, how “the people” finally voted. We lived through this—and won’t soon forget it—but few would claim to fully understand it. Clinton essentially disappeared as a real woman, replaced in public imagination by media representations, age-old stereotypes and insinuating memes.
Outcome: By highlighting Clinton as both a cultural and political figure, students will be able to better recognize the deep, historical roots of sexism and the struggle for women—even powerful women—to overcome ingrained ideas of their natures and capabilities.