UNIT 1: Care Studies


WEEK 1  Introduction

Jan. 12 (T)  Introduction and Discussion of course themes/goals

Jan. 14 (Th) Carol Gilligan, selections from In A Different Voice


WEEK 2 Care as Ethic and Philosophy

Jan. 19 (T) Joan C. Tronto, selections from Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care ADD/DROP ENDS

Jan. 21 (Th) Sara Ruddick “Care as Labor and Relationship”


WEEK 3 Gender and the (Professional) Labor of Caregiving

Jan. 26 (T) Diemut Grace Bubeck “Justice and the Labor of Care” (pp. 160-185); Emily Abel, selection from Hearts of Wisdom: American Women Caring for Kin 1850-1940 (pp. 37-60)

Jan. 28 (Th) Susan Reverby, selection from Ordered to Care: “Introduction: The dilemma of caring” (p. 1-7) and “Conclusion: Beyond the Obligation to Care” (p. 199-207); Arlene R. Hochschild “The Culture of Politics: Traditional, Postmodern, Cold Modern, and Warm Modern Ideals of Care” (pp. 213-226); Nel Noddings “The Caring Professional” from Caregiving (p. 160-173)


WEEK 4 The Right to Care and Caring Societies

Feb. 2 (T) Eva Kittay, selections from Love’s Labour, (p. 23-48, 64-74) and “The Public Conception of Social Cooperation” (p. 104-108); Robin West “The Right to Care” (pp. 88-114)

Feb. 4 (Th) Review of “Care Studies” & In-Class Work on “Annotating Care Studies” Group projects

SCREENING: Milos Foreman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest @ 7pm in White Hall 111    (also available via DVD from Library or to stream as a rental for $3.99 from



UNIT 2: Fictions of Care in American Culture

WEEK 5 Care, Control and Institutional Spaces

Feb. 9 (T) Selections from Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; selection from Erving Goffman “On the Characteristics of Total Institutions”  

Recommended Reading (not required): Irving Zola “Medicine as a Form of Social Control” (pp. 487-503)

DUE: Group Post for “Annotating Care Studies” 

Feb. 11 (Th)  Selections from Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Leslie Fiedler “Images of the Nurse in Fiction and Popular Culture”; selection from Susan Gelfand Malka’s Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-wave Feminism 


WEEK 6 The Asylum Strikes Back? Debates Over Care & The Institution Today 

Feb. 16 (T)

Discussion of alternative stories of Care and the Institution (Gender and Race) via in-class viewings of contextual film clips from The Caretakers and Hurry Tomorrow 

DUE: “Caring About Care” 

Feb. 18 (Th) In-Class Debate on the Asylum as a space for care informed by the following readings:

“Improving Long-term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum” JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)  

“America’s Largest Mental Hospital is a Jail”

Christine Montross “The Modern Asylum” 

“Letter to the Editor: Can There Be Good Mental Asylums” 

“Bringing Back Asylums Will Not Help Mentally Ill People”

“We Don’t Need ‘Modern Asylums'”


WEEK 7 Forced to Care: Race, Gender & The Historical Labor of Care

Feb. 23 (T) Susan Nussbaum’s No One As Nasty (p. 343-393)

Feb. 25 (Th) Nussbaum cont’d.; Klein and Boris “Organizing Home Care”; Evelyn Nakano Glenn, “From Servitude to Service Work: Historical Continuities in the Racial Division of Paid Reproductive Labor”

Recommended Reading:

WEEK 8 Black Women’s Caregiving & the “Mammy” Myth

Mar. 1 (T) Isabel Dysdale “The Negro Nurse”; Victoria Earle Matthews “Aunt Lindy”; Kimberly Wallace Sanders, selection from Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender, and Southern Identity

Mar. 3 (Th) selection from Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition; Booker T. Washington “Training Colored Nurses at Tuskegee”; Mary Elizabeth Carnegie “The Path We Tread”




WEEK 9 Elder Care 

Mar 15 (T) Sarah Leavitt Tangles: Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me;  Selection from Scott McCloud Understanding Comics (p. 1-59, Chapters 1 & 2)

Mar 17 (Th) Leavitt Tangles: Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me cont’d.; selection from Ann Burack-Weiss’s The Caregiver’s Tale: Loss and Renewal in Memoirs of Family Life (p. 64-71); selection from Marion Cohen’s Dirty Details: The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse (p. 86-109)


WEEK 10 Children Caring for Parents

Mar. 22 (T) Leavitt Tangles: Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me cont’d; selection from Ann Burack-Weiss’s The Caregiver’s Tale: Loss and Renewal in Memoirs of Family Life (p. 72-82); selection from Emily K. Abel’s Who Cares for the Elderly?: Public Policy and the Experiences of Adult Daughters (pp. 99-114);

Recommended Reading:

Mar. 24 (Th) Leavitt Tangles: Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me cont’d.; selection from Lauren Kessler’s Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s: One Daughter’s Hopeful Story  


WEEK 11Disability, Care, and The Desire for Independence

Mar. 29 (T) Susan Nussbaum Good Kings, Bad Kings (p. 1-125); “I’m Disabled but My Body Still Belongs to Me” 

DUE: Close-Reading Care


Mar. 31 (Th) Susan Nussbaum Good Kings, Bad Kings (p. 125-200); Heather Vogel “Unrestrained” Pro Publica

Recommended Reading:


Apr. 5 (T) Susan Nussbaum Good Kings, Bad Kings (p. 200-300); Tobin Siebers “A Sexual Culture for Disabled People”; selection from Michael Gill’s Already Doing It: Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency. 

Apr. 7 (Th) Guest Speaker: Kayla Whaley on youth, fiction, disability and care

Recommended Readings:

Kayla Whaley “Beyond Ableism and Ignorance: Disability and Fiction” 

Kayla Whaley “Nobody Catcalls the Woman in the Wheelchair”


UNIT 3: Discovering & Curating Fictions of Care


Apr. 12 (T) Brainstorming & Workshop w/ Research Librarian




Ap. 19 (T) Presentations

Apr. 21 (Th) Wrap-up & Evaluations (Final Day of Class)


May 3 (T) Final Projects and Course Reflections due