Introduction to the course

Analytical frameworks

Neoliberalism and inequity

Health and human rights

"Women's rights are human rights"

Inequity and health


Required Readings

Teghtsoonian, Katherine. "Depression and Mental Health in Neoliberal Times: A Critical Analysis of Policy and Discourse." Social Science & Medicine 69, no 1. (2009): 28–35.

Roberts, D. E. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. Pantheon, 1997. ISBN: 9780679442264. [Excerpt: Introduction]

Cottingham, Jane, Adrienne Germain, et al. "Use of Human Rights to Meet the Unmet Need for Family Planning." The Lancet 380, no. 9837 (2012): 172–80. [Lancet Series 5 Papers about Family Planning]

Recommended Readings and Key Reference Documents / Resources

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Framework of Actions for the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development: Beyond 2014 (PDF - 4.5MB)

Grodin, Michael, Daniel Tarantola, eds. Health and Human Rights in a Changing World. Routledge, 2013, p. 647. ISBN: 9780415503990.

Website / Journal Resources

Health and Human Rights Syllabi Database. University of Southern California Global Health, November 2013.

"Special Issue on Health Rights Litigation." Health and Human Rights Journal 16, no. 2 (2014).

Videos shown in class

Klein, Naomi. "Global Neoliberalism." April 23, 2012. YouTube. Accessed May 13, 2015. 

Eigenberger, Martin. "Neoliberalism as a Water Balloon." October 11, 2011. YouTube. Accessed May 13, 2015. 

Bunch, Charlotte. "Women's Rights Are Human Rights." Makers. 

2 Analytical framework: Structural critiques of capitalism and mechanisms of exclusion 1

Required Readings

Williams, David R., Yan Yu, et al. "Racial Differences in Physical and Mental Health Socio-economic Status, Stress and Discrimination." Journal of Health Psychology 2, no. 3 (1997): 335–51.

Lauderdale, Diane S. "Birth Outcomes for Arabic-named Women in California Before and After September 11." Demography, 43 no. 1 (2006): 185–201.

Sue, Derald Wing, Christina M. Capodilupo, et al. "Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life Implications for Clinical Practice." American Psychologists 62, no. 4 (2007): 271–86.

Sawyer, Pamela J., Brenda Major, et al. "Discrimination and the Stress Response: Psychological and Physiological Consequences of Anticipating Prejudice and Interethnic Interactions." American Journal of Public Health 102, no. 5 (2012): 1020–26.

Recommended Readings

Stuber, J., S. Galea, et al. "The Association Between Multiple Domains of Discrimination and Self Assessed Health: A Multilevel Analysis of Latinos and Blacks in Four Low-income New York City Neighborhoods." Health Services Research 38, no. 6p2 (2003): 1735–60.

Carter, R. T. "Racism and Psychological and Emotional Injury: Recognizing and Assessing Race-based Traumatic Stress." The Counseling Psychologist 35, no. 1 (2007): 13–105.

Ro, Annie, and Kyung-Hee Choi. "Effects of Gender Discrimination and Reported Stress on Drug Use among Racially / Ethnically Diverse Women in Northern California." Women's Health Issues: Official Publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health 20, no. 3 (2010): 211–18.

McCabe, Janice. "Racial and Gender Micro Aggressions on a Predominantly White Campus: Experiences of Black, Latino and White Undergraduates." Race, Gender and Class 16, no. 1–2 (2009): 133–51.

3 Analytical framework (cont.): Structural critiques of capitalism mechanisms of exclusion II

Required Readings

David, E. J. R. "What is Internalized Oppression, and So What?" In Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups. Edited by E. J. R David and Annie O Derthick. Springer Publishing Company, 2014. [Preview with Google Books]

Delgado, Payan, and Bacon. "Self-Hatred, Self-Doubt, and Assimilation in Latina / o Communities." In Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups. Edited by E. J. R. David. Springer Publishing Company, 2014.

Blascovich, J., S. J. Spencer, et al. "African Americans and High Blood Pressure: The Role of Stereotype Threat." Psychological Science 12, no. 3 (2001): 225–29.

Schmader, T., and M. Johns. "Converging Evidence that Stereotype Threat Reduces Working Memory Capacity." Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 85, no. 3 (2003): 440–52.

Bearman, Amorheim. "Girls, Women and Internalized Oppression." In Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups. Springer Publishing Company, 2014. [Preview with Google Books]

Recommended Readings

Baily, Williams, and Favors. "Internalized Racial Oppression in the African-American Community." In Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups. Springer Publishing Company, 2014. [Preview with Google Books]

Revollo, H. W., A. Qureshi, et al. "Acculturative Stress as a Risk Factor of Depression and Anxiety in the Latin American Immigrant Population." International Review of Psychiatry 23, no. 1 (2011): 84–92.

Contrada, Richard J., et al. "Ethnicity-Related Sources of Stress and their Effects on Well-being." Current Directions in Psychological Science 9, no. 4 (2000): 136–39.

Gomez, J., R. Miranda, et al. "Acculturative Stress, Perceived Discrimination, and Vulnerability to Suicide Attempts Among Emerging Adults." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 40, no. 11 (2011): 1465–76.

Brown, T. N., D. R. Williams, et al. ""Being Black and Feeling Blue": The Mental Health Consequences of Racial Discrimination." Race and Society 2, no. 2 (2000): 117–31.


Shame, silence and secrecy: The case of menstrual health


Required Readings

Sommer, M., and M. Sahin. "Overcoming the Taboo: Advancing the Global Agenda for Menstrual Hygiene Management for Schoolgirls." American Journal of Public Health 103, no. 9 (2013): 1556–59.

Kristof, N. "A Strategy for Keeping Girls in African Schools," New York Times, February 27, 2010. [Op-Ed]

Kissling, Elizabeth. "Pills, Periods, and Postfeminism: The New Politics of Marketing Birth Control." Feminist Media Studies 13, no. 3 (2013): 490–504.

Bobel, C. "Feminist Engagements with Menstruation." In New blood: Third-Wave feminism and the Politics of Menstruation. Rutgers University Press, 2010, pp. 28–41. ISBN: 9780813547541. [Preview with Google Books]

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) Fact Sheet: "The Menstrual Cycle: A Feminist Lifespan Perspective" (PDF)

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Menstrual Hygiene Management Infographic (PDF)

Film shown in class

Chesler, Giovanna. Period: The End of Menstruation? Cinema Guild, 2006.


Corporate obstetrics and care-less maternity; or how childbirth went to the industrial north


Required Readings

Stapleton, Susan Rutledge, Cara Osborne, et al. "Outcomes of Care in Birth Centers: Demonstration of a Durable Model." Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health 58, no. 1 (2013): 3–14.

Amnesty International. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA" (PDF - 1.8MB) [Report] March 2010, p. 154. [Also see Updates; Proposed Legislation].

Jonge, A. de, J. Mesman, et al. "Severe Adverse Maternal Outcomes Among Low Risk Women with Planned Home Versus Hospital Births in the Netherlands: Nationwide Cohort Study." The British Medical Journal (2013): 346. See also: Letter (Published 13 June 2013)

Hodges, Susan, and Henci Goer. "Effects of Hospital Economics on Maternity Care," Citizens for Midwifery, February 26, 2004.

DeKoninck, Maria. "Reflections on the Transfer of Progress: The Case of Reproduction." In The Politics of Women's Health: Exploring Agency and Autonomy. Edited by Susan Sherwin. Temple University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9781566396332. [Preview with Google Books] [Feminist Health Ethics Network]

Recommended Readings

Dinis, S. G., and A. F. Oliveira. "Gender Violence and Reproductive Health." International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 63, Supplement 1 (1998): S33–42.

Margulis, Jennifer. The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don't Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth and Baby Before Their Bottom Line. Scribner, 2013. ISBN: 9781451636086. [Preview with Google Books] (In conjunction with Brandeis University Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism)

Positive Birth Stories

Required Film to Watch Online

Pascal-Bonnaro, Debra. Orgasmic Birth or Organic Birth.

Recommended Films

Robinson, Mike. "Dead Mums Don't Cry." Bullfrog Films, 2006.

"Freedom for Birth: The Mother's Revolution" [U.K.] [One World Birth]

Website Resources / Reference Guides

This American Life. "Back to School." Episode 474. WBEZ. September 14, 2012.

"Creating Secure Infant Attachment."

Childbirth Connection

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve (PDF)." [PDF downloadable]

The Lancet Series: Midwifery, 2014

Birth by the Numbers. See here Youtube Video featuring Prof Gene Declercq, BUSPH

Vedam S., K. Stoll, et al. "Home Birth: An Annotated Guide to the Literature (PDF)." Midwifery Program, Department of Family Practice, The University of British Columbia, 2013.

Film shown in class (clips)

Biasucchi, Cara. Born in Brazil (Nascendo no Brasil). Cara Mia Media, 2002.


Reproductive justice and the abortion wars: The color of resistance

Invited Guest Speaker: Loretta Ross, Founder of SisterSong, Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, Activist in Residence, Smith College.


Required Readings

Ross, Loretta. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."The Color of Choice: White Supremacy and Reproductive Justice." (PDF) In The Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology. Edited by Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. South End Press, 2006, pp. 53–65. ISBN: 9780896087620.

Fried, Marlene. "Reproductive Rights in the Post-Roe Era." American Journal of Public Health 103, no. 1 (2013): 10–14. [Safeguarding Abortion

Gruskin, Sofia. "Safeguarding Abortion: A Matter of Reproductive Rights." American Journal of Public Health 103, no. 1 (2013): 4. [AJPH Associate Editor] and [Editor's Choice].

Recommended Readings

Arcana, Judith. What If Your Mother? Chicory Blue Press, 2005. ISBN: 9781887344111. (Poetry About Abortion) 

Ramanathan, Mala, P. Sankara Sarma, et al. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."Situational Analysis of MTP Services in Kerala Provider Perspectives." (PDF) 2003 [India] [Executive Summary]

Website Reports: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Global network generates and publishes reports and alerts on abortion status, rights and laws from countries all over the globe, North and South.

Recommended Films

Jane: An Abortion Service. Directed by Kate Kirtz and Nell Lundy. Color, 60 min. 1995. [USA activism]

Like A Ship In The Night. Directed by Melissa Thompson. Color, 30min. 2006. [Ireland-made]

Abortion Stories from North and South. Directed by Gail Singer. Color, 55 min. 1984. [National Film Board of Canada]

Film shown in class (clips / trailer)

Reproductive Justice Project. Sophia Smith Production. Smith College Library, 2014.


Where fat phobia and public policy meet: The case of the "obesity epidemic"


Required Readings

Saguy, A. "Humiliating Fat People is Hazardous to Our Health." Zocalo Public Square, December 17, 2013.

Bahadur, Nina. "14 Painful Examples of Everyday Fat-Shaming." The Huffington Post, January 2014.

Brewis, Alexandra A., Amber Wutich, et. al. "Body Norms an Fat Stigma in Global Perspective." Current Anthropology 52, no. 2 (2011): 269-76.

Kwan, Samantha. "Framing the Fat Body: Contested Meanings Between Government, Activists, and Industry." Sociological Inquiry 79, no. 1 (2009): 25–50.

SWS Fact Sheet. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."Size Discrimination and Health at Every Size." (PDF)

Bass, Margaret. "On Being a Fat Black Girl in a Fat-hating Culture." In Recovering the Black Female Body: Self Representations by African American Women. Edited by Michael Bennett, and Vanessa D. Dickerson. Rutgers University Pres, 2000, pp. 219–30. ISBN: 9780813528397.

Recommended Readings

Saguy, Abigail. What's Wrong with Fat? Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN: 9780199377114.

Harper, A. Breeze, ed. Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak. Lantern Books, 2010. ISBN: 9781590561454. [Preview with Google Books]

Film shown in class

Robertson, Dylan. The Size of It. Filmmakers Library, 2002.

8 Student presentations of Op-Eds No readings were assigned.

When bodies don't fit: The case of intersex

Guest speaker: Esther Morris Leidolf, Intersex rights activist


Required Readings

Karkazis, K. A. Chapters 4 and 5 in Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience. Duke University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780822343189.

Liedolf, Esther Morris. "Intersex? Not My Problem." In Embodied Resistance: Challenging the Norms, Breaking the Rules. Edited by C. Bobel, and S. Kawan. Vanderbilt University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780826517876. [Preview with Google Books]

SWS Fact Sheet:
Kelly, Maura. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."Intersex." (PDF) Sociologists for Women in Society Fact Sheet, 2007.

Film shown in class
Lahood, Grant. Intersexion. Ponsonby Productions. 2012.


Violence against women: The case of harassment


Required Readings

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Report of The Defense Task Force on Sexual Harassment & Violence at the Military Service Academies (PDF - 8.4MB) June 2005 (retrieved on 2011–03–10)

Nelson, T. S. Chapter 1 in For Love of Country: Confronting Rape and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military. Routledge, 2002, pp. 1–15. ISBN: 9780789012210. [Preview with Google Books]

McMahon, Sarah. "Changing Perceptions of Sexual Violence Over Time. Harrisburg, PA: VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence." October, 2011.

Anonymous. "Dear Harvard: You Win," The Harvard Crimson, March 31, 2014.

Smith, Andrea. "Without Bureaucracy, Beyond Inclusion: Re-Centering Feminism." Left Turn, June 2006 [U.S. Women of color organize against VAW]

Applebaum, Binyamin, and Sheryl Gay Stolberg. "At I.M.F., Men on Prowl and Women on Guard," The New York Times, May 19, 2011.

Recommended Readings

Levy, Ariel. "Trial by Twitter." The New Yorker, August 5, 2013. [Reportage on college campus rape in Ohio.]

Corrin, Chris. "International and Local Interventions to Reduce Gender-based Conflict in Post-conflict Situations." Eldis Online Information, 2004.

Gingerich, Tara, and Jennifer Leaning. "The Use of Rape as a Weapon of War in Darfur, Sudan." Prepared for U.S. Agency for International Development / October 2004. [With assistance from Physicians for Human Rights, Boston, MA]

Nikolic-Ristanovic, Vesna. "Sex Trafficking: The Impact of War, Militarism and Globalization in Eastern Europe." Journal for Political Theory and Research on Globalization 17, 2003. Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library, [Belgrade University]. Issue title: Gender and Globalisms.

Film shown in class

Mock, Freida. Anita: Speaking Truth to Power. Phase4Films, 2013.


Marginalization gender and violence

Guest speaker: James Gilligan, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor in the School of Law, and Collegiate Professor in the School of Arts and Science at New York University.

Required Readings

Gilligan, James. "A New Theory of Violence." In Preventing Violence. Thames & Hudson, 2001. ISBN: 9780500282786.

Domínguez, Silvia, and Cecilia Menjívar. "Beyond Individual and Visible Acts of Violence: A Framework to Examine the Lives of Women in Low-income Neighborhoods." Women's Studies International Forum 44 (2014): 184–95.

Harding, David J. "Violence, Older Peers, and the Socialization of Adolescent Boys in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods." American Sociological Review 74, no. 3 (2009): 445–64.

Derber, Charles. Chapters 1 and 5 in The Wilding of America. Money, Mayham, and the New American Dream. Worth Publishers, 2014. ISBN: 9781464105432.

Recommended Readings

Miller, Jody. Chapters 1 and 2 in Getting Played: African-American Girls, Urban Inequality and Gendered Violence. New York University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780814756980. [Preview with Google Books]

Jones, Nikki. ""It's Not Where You Live, It's How You Live": How Young Women Negotiate Conflict and Violence in the Inner City." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 595, no. 1 (2004): 49–62.

Anderson, Elijah. Chapter 1 in Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of Inner City. W. W. Norton and Company, 2000. ISBN: 9780393320787.


Bottom lines over better lives? The case of big pharma's role in shaping mental and physical health diagnosis and treatment.

Guest speaker: Eric Brown, Biochemical Engineer


Required Readings

Bell, Susan E., and Anne E. Figert. "Medicalization and Pharmaceuticalization at the Intersections: Looking Backward, Sideways and Forward." Social Science and Medicine 75, no. 5 (2012): 775–83.

Cosgrove, L., and S. Krimsky. "A Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Panel Members' Financial Associations with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists." Public Library of Science Medicine 9, no. 3 (2012): e1001190.

Richman, L. S., G. Bennett, et al. "Discrimination, Dispositions, and Cardiovascular Responses to Stress." Health Psychology 26, no. 6 (2007): 675–83.

Hartley, Heather. "Big Pharma" in our Bedrooms: An Analysis of the Medicalization of Women's Sexual Problems." In Gender Perspectives on Health and Medicine (Advances in Gender Research). Vol. 7. Edited by Marcia Texler Segal, Vasilikie Demos, and J. J. Kronenfeld. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2003, pp. 89–129. ISBN: 9780762310586.

Sulik, G. "Consuming Medicine, Selling Survivorship." In Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women's Health. Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780199933990. [Preview with Google Books]

Steel-Saccio, Eva. "The Rise (and Rise) of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill has Redefined Masculinity - and Not for the Better - While Pfizer Laughs all the Way to the Bank," MotherJones, September, 2004.

Recommended Readings

Sawyer, P. J., B. Major, et al. "Discrimination and the Stress Response: Psychological and Physiological Consequences of Anticipating Prejudice in Interethnic Interactions." American Journal of Public Health 102, no. 5 (2012): 1020–26.

Film shown in class

Ridberg, Ronit. Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs. Media Education Foundation, 2006.

13–14 Presentations of / discussions of research paper No readings assigned.