Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Program

The Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice (RHRJ) certificate provides undergraduate students at the Five Colleges with an opportunity to develop a strong understanding of the social, economic, legal, and political conditions that influence reproduction in the U.S. and transnationally.

Scholarship on RHRJ issues examines the impact of reproductive policies not only on individuals, but also on communities, with particular attention to communities that have been historically marginalized. The field also includes study of the history of social movements for reproductive empowerment, including the movements for women's liberation, disability rights, racial justice, economic justice, LGBTQ rights, and the women's health, reproductive freedom, and reproductive justice movements.

By completing a special project and interdisciplinary coursework, students are prepared for graduate school, as well as careers in law, science, medicine, health, politics, social work, and community organizing:

  • Understand how race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality influence reproduction
  • Examine the hyper-medicalization of childbirth for some and the lack of reproductive health care for others
  • Understand reproductive technologies and their impact on kinship structures and welfare and childcare policies
  • Investigate how the health care industry, the prison industrial complex, and the foster care system influence reproductive decisions and policies
  • Learn to think critically about the legal barriers to reproductive health care
  • Be able to use human rights and reproductive justice analyses to frame social policy

Similar to an academic minor, the Five College RHRJ certificate enables students to investigate these issues beyond what might be available on their individual campus.

Please submit this Student Interest Form to let us know that you are interested in pursuing the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Certificate.

The certificate is available to undergraduate students at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Students from all campuses as encouraged to join in RHRJ activities and courses.

On This Page

Read our Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives Matter ~

Watch a recording of our panel from October 2020, The Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Future of Feminist Jurisprudence.

RHRJ Certificate Advisors and Steering Committee

Amrita Basu, Political Science (on sabbatical Spring 2021 and Fall 2021)
Sheila Jaswal, Biochemistry-Biophysics
Kristen Luschen, American Studies (not accepting new advisees during AY 2020-21)
Jen Manion, History
Leah Schmalzbauer, Anthropology and Sociology, American Studies, Latinx and Latin American Studies
Christine N. Peralta*, History, Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies

*Steering Committee Member

Elizabeth Conlisk, Public Health
Marlene Gerber Fried*, Philosophy, Civil Liberties and Public Policy
Pam Stone, Anthropology

*Steering Committee Member

Cora Fernandez Anderson*, Comparative and Reproductive Politics
Jacquelyne Luce, Gender Studies
Liz Markovits, Politics

*Steering Committee Member

Carrie Baker*, Study of Women and Gender
Leslie King, Sociology

*Steering Committee Member

Laura Briggs, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Aline Gubrium, Public Health
Betsy Krause, Anthropology
Kirsten Leng, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (on leave during AY 2021-22)
Jennifer L. Nye*, History
Banu Subramaniam, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Svati Shah, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Favorite Iradukunda, Nursing

*Steering Committee Member

Marisa Pizzi, Deputy Director, Collective Power for Reproductive Justice
Jacquelyn Luce, Director, Five College Women’s Studies Research Center

Certificate

Focus of Study

Students pursuing the RHRJ certificate take courses across a wide variety of academic disciplines that address diverse issues such as:

  • the biology of reproduction
  • legal barriers to abortion and birth control
  • the hyper-medicalization of childbirth
  • reproductive health care access
  • reproductive technologies and kinship structures
  • welfare policy
  • childcare and childcare policies
  • reproduction and labor
  • gender justice
  • adoption

Students also learn to think critically about social institutions such as science, medicine, technology, schools, housing, law enforcement, labor and prisons that produce racial and class differentiation in childhood and beyond.

Through the required special project component, students are encouraged to take what they learn out of the classroom and into an appropriate community-engaged experience where they can connect their academic pursuits with policy and advocacy work. Students work with their certificate advisor to connect with campus-based centers, as well as local and national policy and advocacy organizations, to pursue internships and other opportunities and learn through hands-on experience.

RHRJ Graduates

Students who complete the interdisciplinary RHRJ program gain knowledge and experience that prepares them for graduate school and for careers in law, science, medicine, health, politics, social work and community organizing. They will be able to:

  • Understand the ways that race, class, sexuality and nation influence the reproduction of individuals and communities
  • Address questions about how people engage with having and raising children in different circumstances
  • Learn about the impact of reproductive policies on individuals and communities, with particular attention to diverse and marginalized ethnic groups, cultures and nations
  • Use human rights and reproductive justice analyses to frame social policy
  • Become effective practitioners, researchers, policy makers and advocates

Certificate Requirements

There are two components to the RHRJ certificate: courses and a special project.

1. Complete at least 6 approved courses, including:

  • One foundational course
  • One transnational/global course
  • One upper-level (300 or above) course

foundational course has 90–100% reproductive health, rights, and justice content, as reflected in the course title and description. Foundational courses introduce students to reproductive politics, including the reproductive health, rights and justice frameworks; introduce students to thinking intersectionally about reproductive issues, for example, how gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability and nationality intersect to shape women’s experiences of reproductive oppression, and their resistance strategies; and teach students to think systemically about reproductive issues, rather than just individually, that is, about the impact of reproductive politics not only on individuals, but also on communities, and how social, economic, legal and political conditions impact reproduction. The material may be covered through any disciplinary or interdisciplinary lens, including history, sociology, legal studies, public policy, women, gender and sexuality studies, political science, journalism, religious studies, American studies, transnational studies, etc. 

transnational/global course has 25% reproductive health, rights, and justice content, as defined above, with a transnational/global (i.e. non-U.S.) focus. 

An additional course has 25% reproductive health, rights, and justice content, as defined above.

All courses used to fulfill the certificate requirements must be selected from the courses currently approved to count toward this certificate by the RHRJ steering committee.

2. Complete a special project

Students must also complete a special project that will help them gain an experiential understanding of reproductive health, rights and/or justice among community-based groups.  This requirement may be completed through an independent study project, thesis or other course work that engages the student with issues of reproductive health, rights or justice and meaningfully incorporates the perspectives of community-based groups. However, this special project will only receive academic credit at Amherst College if it is part of a regularly offered course or a special topics course of which the experiential component is only one part.  Students must consult with their RHRJ advisor about how to fulfill this requirement.

Courses

Please note that this list may not include all courses that meet the certificate requirements.  If you have questions about what courses can count toward the certificate, please contact your RHRJ certificate advisor.

Spring 2022 RHRJ Courses: Foundational

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
AMST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
BLST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
SWAG-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

1
4.00

Marlene Fried

01:00PM-02:20PM TU;01:00PM-02:20PM TH

Hampshire College
334519

Franklin Patterson Hall 106;Franklin Patterson Hall 106

mgfSS@hampshire.edu
Abortion rights continue to be contested in the U.S. and throughout the world. Since it was legalized in the U.S. in 1973, there have been significant erosions in abortion rights and access, and today, legal abortion itself is facing direct challenges from state laws, some of which are already slated to be heard by the Supreme Court. Harassment of abortion clinics, providers, and clinic personnel by opponents of abortion is routine, and there have been several instances of deadly violence. This course examines abortion politics in the U.S. before before legalization to the present. We view the abortion battle in the U.S. in the wider framework of reproductive justice. Specific topics of inquiry include: abortion worldwide, coercive contraception and sterilization abuse, welfare rights, population control, incarceration and reproduction, and the criminalization of pregnancy. We explore the ethical, political and legal dimensions of the issue and investigate anti-abortion organizing and the resistance to it from the abortion rights and reproductive justice movements.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Pamela Stone

MW 10:00AM-11:15AM

Mount Holyoke College
116411
pstone@mtholyoke.edu
This course focuses on the biological and cultural components of childbirth through evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives. From the evolution of the pelvis to how nutrition, growth and development, health, trauma and cultural contexts can affect successful childbirth, we explore the birth process in the ancient world, historical trends, and recent dialogues surrounding the technocratic model of birth, to understand the changing focus of birth as female centered to a medical condition. Indigenous birthing customs and beliefs from a number of different cultural contexts will be considered, as well as contemporary rates of maternal mortality to understand the risks facing some today.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Loretta Ross

TU TH 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
SWG-241-01-202203
lross22@smith.edu
This course will analyze the history, prevalence, and current manifestations of the white supremacist movement by examining ideological components, tactics and strategies, and its relationship to mainstream politics. We will also research and discuss the relationship between white supremacy and white privilege, and explore how to build a human rights movement to counter the white supremacist movement in the U.S. Students will develop analytical writing and research skills, while engaging in multiple cultural perspectives. The overall goal is to develop the capacity to understand the range of possible responses to white supremacy, both its legal and extralegal forms. Enrollment limited to 50.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Carrie N. Baker

TU TH 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
SWG-271-01-202203
cbaker@smith.edu
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of reproductive health, rights and justice in the United States, examining history, activism, law, policy, and public discourses related to reproduction. A central framework for analysis is how gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability and nationality intersect to shape people’s experiences of reproductive oppression and their resistance strategies. Topics include eugenics and the birth control movement; the reproductive rights and justice movements; U.S. population control policies; criminalization of pregnant people; fetal personhood and birth parents’ citizenship; the medicalization of reproduction; reproductive technologies; the influence of disability, incarceration and poverty on pregnancy and parenting; the anti-abortion movement; and reproductive coercion and violence. Prerequisite SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Jennifer Nye

TU TH 10:00AM 11:15AM

UMass Amherst
30399
jlnye@history.umass.edu
This course will explore the history of reproductive rights law in the United States, centering the reading of statutes, court decisions, amicus briefs, and law review articles. We will look at the progression of cases and legal reasoning involving a wide variety of reproductive rights issues, including forced sterilization, contraception, abortion, forced pregnancy/c-sections, policing pregnancy (through welfare law, employment policies and criminal law), and reproductive technologies. We will pay particular attention to how differently situated women were/are treated differently by the law, particularly on the basis of age, class, race, sexual orientation, and ability. We will also examine the role lawyers have historically played in advancing (or constraining) the goals of the reproductive rights movement(s) and explore the effectiveness of litigation as a strategy to secure these rights. Finally, we will consider the question of reproductive rights versus reproductive justice and whether reproductive justice can be obtained through advocating for reproductive rights
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Aline Gubrium

M 4:00PM 6:30PM

UMass Amherst
30688

Arnold Room 108

agubrium@schoolph.umass.edu
The interface of social and clinical issues, health policy, research, and community health education in the area of women's health across the lifespan. Also open to seniors from the Five Colleges.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Laura Briggs

TU TH 10:00AM 11:15AM

UMass Amherst
36343

South College Room W101

ljbriggs@wost.umass.edu
What is health? What makes health a matter of feminism? And what might a feminist health politics look like? These questions lay at the heart of this course. In Feminist Health Politics, we will examine how health becomes defined, and will question whether health and disease are objectively measured conditions or subjective states. We will also consider why and how definitions and standards of health have changed over time; why and how standards and adjudications of health vary according to gender, race, sexuality, class, and nationality; and how definitions of health affect the way we value certain bodies and ways of living. Additionally, we will explore how knowledge about health is created; how environmental conditions, social location, politics, and economic conditions affect health; how various groups have fought for changes to health care practices and delivery; and how experiences of health and illness have been reported and represented.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Spring 2022 RHRJ Courses: Transnational/Global

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
AMST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
BLST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Amrita Basu

W 02:00 PM-04:45 PM

Amherst College
POSC-407-01-2122S
abasu@amherst.edu
SWAG-400-01, POSC-407-01

(Offered as SWAG 400 and POSC 407) The topic will vary from year to year. The past decade has witnessed the dramatic rise of populist parties, movements, and leaders. One of their defining attributes, and a key reason for their success, is their affective character. Rather than laying out policy proposals for rational deliberation and critical consent, they touch and excite people in an intimate way through their oratory and bodily comportment. Gender and sexuality play a key role in these visceral appeals. We will explore the ways populists enact hegemonic forms of masculinity and femininity and employ binary constructions of gender to differentiate allies from enemies.

Although we sometimes mistakenly assume that populist leaders draw on a common script, populist performances are most effective when they mine national memories, anxieties, and aspirations. We will analyze significant differences in the gendered styles of male and female populist leaders within and across nations. We will also examine how progressive movements among LGBTQ groups, feminists, and racial/religious minorities have employed gender and sexuality to challenge right-wing populists. Our approach will be comparative, cross-national, and interdisciplinary. The seminar will culminate in a final research paper.

Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Basu.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
SWAG-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Amrita Basu

W 02:00 PM-04:45 PM

Amherst College
SWAG-400-01-2122S
abasu@amherst.edu
SWAG-400-01, POSC-407-01

(Offered as SWAG 400 and POSC 407) The topic will vary from year to year. The past decade has witnessed the dramatic rise of populist parties, movements, and leaders. One of their defining attributes, and a key reason for their success, is their affective character. Rather than laying out policy proposals for rational deliberation and critical consent, they touch and excite people in an intimate way through their oratory and bodily comportment. Gender and sexuality play a key role in these visceral appeals. We will explore the ways populists enact hegemonic forms of masculinity and femininity and employ binary constructions of gender to differentiate allies from enemies.

Although we sometimes mistakenly assume that populist leaders draw on a common script, populist performances are most effective when they mine national memories, anxieties, and aspirations. We will analyze significant differences in the gendered styles of male and female populist leaders within and across nations. We will also examine how progressive movements among LGBTQ groups, feminists, and racial/religious minorities have employed gender and sexuality to challenge right-wing populists. Our approach will be comparative, cross-national, and interdisciplinary. The seminar will culminate in a final research paper.

Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Basu.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Cora Fernandez Anderson

TTH 01:45PM-03:00PM

Mount Holyoke College
116854
canderso@mtholyoke.edu
The Americas have been characterized by the strictness of their laws in the criminalization of abortion. In some countries abortion is criminalized even when the woman's life is at risk. What role have women's movements played in advancing abortion rights? What has mattered most for a movement's success, its internal characteristics or external forces? Has the way the movement framed its demands mattered? How has the political influence of the Catholic and Evangelical churches influenced policies in this area? We will answer these questions by exploring examples from across the region through primary and secondary sources.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Leslie L. King

M W 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
SOC-232-01-202203
lesking@smith.edu
This course introduces students to environmental, economic, feminist and nationalist perspectives on population growth and decline. We examine current population trends and processes (fertility, mortality and migration) and consider the social, political, economic and environmental implications of those trends. The course also provides an overview of various sources of demographic data as well as basic demographic methods. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Payal Banerjee

TU TH 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
SOC-237-01-202203
pbanerje@smith.edu
This course engages with the various dimensions of globalization through the lens of gender, race and class relations. We study how gender and race intersect in global manufacturing and supply chains as well as in the transnational politics of representation and access in global media, culture, consumption, fashion, food, water, war and dissenting voices. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 25.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Spring 2022 RHRJ Courses: Additional

01
4.00

Jennifer A. Hamilton

TTH 03:00 PM-04:20 PM

Amherst College
AMST-370-01-2122S
jhamilton@amherst.edu
AMST-370-01, SWAG-372-01

(Offered as SWAG 372 and AMST 370) This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Indigenous feminisms, and explores how questions of sex, gender, and sexuality have been articulated in relation to concerns such as sovereignty, colonization, and imperialism. We will explore how Indigenous feminists engage with or challenge other modes of feminist thought and activism. We will focus on how Indigenous ways of knowing and being can challenge how we conduct research and produce knowledge. While we will concentrate on work produced within the context of Native North America, we will also be attentive to transnational dimensions of Indigenous feminist histories, political movements, and world-building. Specific topics include movements to recognize missing and murdered Indigenous women; Indigenous feminist science and technology studies; and, Indigenous futurisms.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Hamilton.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Kristin Bumiller

T 01:30 PM-04:00 PM

Amherst College
LJST-374-01-2122S
kbumiller@amherst.edu
POSC-374-01, LJST-374-01, EDST-374-01

(Offered as POSC 374, LJST 374, and EDST 374) This seminar explores the role of rights in addressing inequality, discrimination, and violence. This course will trace the evolution of rights focused legal strategies aimed at addressing injustice coupled with race, gender, disability, and citizenship status. We will evaluate how rights-based activism often creates a gap between expectation and realization. This evaluation will consider when and how rights are most efficacious in producing social change and the possibility of unintended consequences.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Requisite: One introductory POSC course or its equivalent. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Bumiller.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Kristin Bumiller

T 01:30 PM-04:00 PM

Amherst College
POSC-374-01-2122S
kbumiller@amherst.edu
POSC-374-01, LJST-374-01, EDST-374-01

(Offered as POSC 374, LJST 374, and EDST 374) This seminar explores the role of rights in addressing inequality, discrimination, and violence. This course will trace the evolution of rights focused legal strategies aimed at addressing injustice coupled with race, gender, disability, and citizenship status. We will evaluate how rights-based activism often creates a gap between expectation and realization. This evaluation will consider when and how rights are most efficacious in producing social change and the possibility of unintended consequences.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Requisite: One introductory POSC course or its equivalent. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Bumiller.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Jennifer A. Hamilton

TTH 03:00 PM-04:20 PM

Amherst College
SWAG-372-01-2122S
jhamilton@amherst.edu
AMST-370-01, SWAG-372-01

(Offered as SWAG 372 and AMST 370) This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Indigenous feminisms, and explores how questions of sex, gender, and sexuality have been articulated in relation to concerns such as sovereignty, colonization, and imperialism. We will explore how Indigenous feminists engage with or challenge other modes of feminist thought and activism. We will focus on how Indigenous ways of knowing and being can challenge how we conduct research and produce knowledge. While we will concentrate on work produced within the context of Native North America, we will also be attentive to transnational dimensions of Indigenous feminist histories, political movements, and world-building. Specific topics include movements to recognize missing and murdered Indigenous women; Indigenous feminist science and technology studies; and, Indigenous futurisms.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Hamilton.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

03
4.00

Jacquelyne Luce

TTH 10:00AM-11:15AM

Mount Holyoke College
116732
jluce@mtholyoke.edu
This course is designed to introduce students to social, cultural, historical, and political perspectives on gender and its construction. Through discussion and writing, we will explore the intersections among gender, race, class, and sexuality in multiple settings and contexts. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to a variety of questions, we will consider the distinctions between sex and gender, women's economic status, the making of masculinity, sexual violence, queer movements, racism, and the challenges of feminist activism across nations, and possibilities for change. We will also examine the development of feminist theory, including its promises and challenges.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Vanessa Rosa

T 01:30PM-04:20PM

Mount Holyoke College
116526
vrosa@mtholyoke.edu
116526,116997,116724
What is Latina Feminism? How does it differ from and/or intersect with "other" feminisms? In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between Latina feminist theory, knowledge production, and social change in the United States. This interdisciplinary course explores Latina feminism in relation to methodology and epistemology through a historical lens. This will help us to better understand how Latina feminist approaches can inform our research questions, allow us to analyze women's experiences and women's history, and challenge patriarchy and gender inequality. We will explore topics related to knowledge production, philosophies of the "self," positionality, inequality, the body, reproductive justice, representation, and community. Our approach in this class will employ an intersectional approach to feminist theory that understands the interconnectedness between multiple forms of oppression, including race, class, sexuality, and ability. Our goal is to develop a robust understanding of how Latina feminist methodologies and epistemologies can be tools for social change.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Pinky Hota

TU TH 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
ANT-238-01-202203
phota@smith.edu
Anthropology vitally understands bodies as socially meaningful, and as sites for the inculcation of ethical and political identities through processes of embodiment, which break down divides between body as natural and body as socially constituted. In this class, we engage these anthropological understandings to read how bodies are invoked, disciplined and reshaped in prisons and classrooms, market economies and multicultural democracies, religious and ethical movements, and the performance of gender and sexuality, disease and disability. Through these accounts of the body as an object of social analysis and as a vehicle for politics, we learn fundamental social theoretical and anthropological tenets about the embodiment of power, contemporary politics as forms of "biopolitics," and the deconstruction of the normative body.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Jennifer Mary Guglielmo

TU 1:20 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
HST-383dw-01-202203
jgugliel@smith.edu
This is an advanced research seminar in which students work closely with archival materials from the Sophia Smith Collection and other archives to explore histories of resistance, collective action and grassroots organizing among domestic workers in the United States, from the mid-18th century to the present. Domestic work has historically been done by women of color and been among the lowest paid, most vulnerable and exploited forms of labor. Your research will assist the National Domestic Workers Alliance, as they incorporate history into their political education curriculum and use history as an organizing tool in their current campaigns. Recommended: previous course in U.S. women’s history and/or relevant coursework in HST, SWG, AFR, SOC, LAS, etc. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Vanessa Mohr Adel

M W 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
SOC-224-01-202203
vadel@smith.edu
This course examines social structures and meanings that shape contemporary family life. Students look at the ways that race, class and gender shape the ways that family is organized and experienced. Topics include the social construction of family, family care networks, parenthood, family policy, globalization and work. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Carrie N. Baker

TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
SWG-150-01-202203
cbaker@smith.edu
An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of the study of women and gender through a critical examination of feminist histories, issues and practices. Focus on the U.S. with some attention to the global context. Primarily for first- and second-year students. Enrollment limited to 25.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

02
4.00

Kevin Henderson

M W 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
SWG-150-02-202203
khenderson@smith.edu
An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of the study of women and gender through a critical examination of feminist histories, issues and practices. Focus on the U.S. with some attention to the global context. Primarily for first- and second-year students. Enrollment limited to 25.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Elisabeth Brownell Armstrong

TU TH 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
SWG-238-01-202203
earmstro@smith.edu
Flickers of global finance capital across computer screens cannot compare to the travel preparations of women migrating from rural homes to work at computer chip factories. Yet both movements, of capital and people, constitute vital facets of globalization in our current era. This course centers on the political linkages and economic theories that address the politics of women, gender relations and capitalism. We will research social movements that challenge the raced, classed and gendered inequities, and the costs of maintaining order. We will assess the alternatives proposed by social movements like the landless workers movement (MST) in Brazil, and economic shifts like the workers cooperative movement. Assignments include community-based research on local and global political movements, short papers, class-led discussions & written reflections.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Kelly P. Anderson

M W 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
SWG-270-01-202203
kpanders@smith.edu
Grounding our work in the current scholarship in lesbian history, this course explores lesbian, queer and bisexual communities, cultures and activism. While becoming familiar with the existing narratives about lesbian/queer lives, students are introduced to the method of oral history as a key documentation strategy in the production of lesbian history. How do we need to adapt our research methods, including oral history, in order to talk about lesbian/queer lives? Our texts include secondary literature on 20th-century lesbian cultures and communities, oral history theory and methodology, and primary sources from the Sophia Smith Collection (SSC). Students conduct, transcribe, edit and interpret their own interviews for their final project. The oral histories from this course are archived with the Documenting Lesbian Lives collection in the SSC. Prerequisite: SWG 150 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Jennifer M. DeClue

W 1:20 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
SWG-303-01-202203
jdeclue@smith.edu
Students in this course gain a thorough and sustained understanding of queer of color critique by tracking this theoretical framework from its emergence in women of color feminism through the contemporary moment using historical and canonical texts along with the most cutting-edge scholarship being produced in the field. In our exploration of this critical framework, we engage with independent films, novels and short stories, popular music, as well as television and digital media platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. We discuss what is ruptured and what is generated at intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality. Prerequisites: SWG 150. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Kelly P. Anderson

M W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
SWG-305-01-202203
kpanders@smith.edu
This course is an advanced seminar in the growing field of queer American history. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the histories of same-sex desire, practice, and identity, as well as gender transgressions, from the late 19th century to the present. Using a wide range of sources, including archival documents, films, work by historians, and oral histories, we will investigate how and why people with same-sex desire and non-normative gender expressions formed communities, struggled against bigotry, and organized movements for social and political change. This course will pay close attention to the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality and the ways that difference has shaped queer history. Prerequisite: SWG 150. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Laura Ciolkowski

TU TH 11:30AM 12:45PM

UMass Amherst
36354

South College Room W219

lciolkowski@umass.edu
There are currently over 2 million people living in prisons and jails across the United States - more incarcerated people per capita than any other country in the world. What is the carceral state and how do particular gendered and racialized bodies get caught up in its logics? How do gender, race, sexuality, and class shape systems of discipline, punishment, surveillance, and control? What is "anti-carceral feminism" and what are some of the abolitionist critiques of the prison industrial complex? This course approaches the issue of mass incarceration through the lens of feminist social justice theory, gender and sexuality studies, and critical race theory. An intersectional and deeply interdisciplinary exploration of the carceral, the course draws on literature, memoir, film, history, social science, psychology, art and popular media to interrogate and explore the many dimensions of mass incarceration in the US.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Frequently Asked Questions

We strongly suggest you declare your interest as early as you can and get an advisor for the program.

  • Fill out the Student Interest Form as soon as possible.
  • Contact an RHRJ advisor to arrange an initial consultation.
  • Download the Certificate Completion Form to keep track of your progress as you consult with your RHRJ certificate advisor and complete the requirements.

If you have identified a course that does not appear on the list of approved courses but that you think might be used to satisfy a certificate requirement, talk to your RHRJ advisor to gain special permission. (Courses not on the course list may be approved for inclusion by campus program advisors in consultation with the RHRJ steering committee.)

Use the cross-registration procedures set up by the registrar at your home campus to enroll in a course at another campus. Learn about procedures, helpful tips and links at the Five College Guide to Cross Registration.

Some instructors of courses approved for the RHRJ certificate may hold spots in their classes for qualified Five College students. Check to make sure you have fulfilled the prerequisites for the class. It's also a good idea to contact the instructor early to say that you hope to use the course to satisfy an RHRJ requirement.

Not necessarily. It is recommended, but not required, for students to study beyond their home campus. One of the greatest benefits to students pursuing the certificate is their access to interdisciplinary courses at five highly regarded institutions, as well as the networking opportunities with professors and peers. For that reason, we encourage students to take advantage of the wide variety of reproductive health and rights courses available in the consortium.

This requirement may be completed through an independent study project, thesis, Division III project or other activity outside the classroom that engages the student with issues of reproductive health, rights or justice, and meaningfully incorporates the perspectives of community-based groups. Students are encouraged to fulfill the requirement through participation in an appropriate community-engaged experience or internship selected in consultation with their RHRJ advisor. Students completing the requirement in this way will be required to document their experience through supervisor evaluation and a short essay reflecting on the experience.

On this page, you can find resources to help you find internships and other community-engaged activities. If you want to do a research project, the content should be at least 25% related to reproductive health, rights, and justice, although we would hope that it would be more fully focused on reproductive health, rights, and justice. Consult with an RHRJ advisor for help in choosing your special project and confirming that it meets the certificate requirements.  Amherst College students will only receive academic credit at Amherst College if it is part of a regularly offered course or a special topics course of which the experiential component is only one part.  

No, but if you are looking to study or work internationally or in a community health setting, it’s highly recommended. Many community outreach–oriented positions require second language skills.

You should submit the following documents to your RHRJ advisor by November 1st for Fall graduates and April 1st for Spring graduates:

  1. The Certificate Completion Form (below)
  2. An unofficial copy of your transcript
  3. Special Project reflection essay (3-5 pgs.)
  4. Special Project Supervisor Evaluation, either the completed Special Project Supervisor Evaluation Form OR a letter, email, or other type of evaluation from the supervisor stating what work the student completed and that it was completed satisfactorily.

Note: Students who complete a thesis or other major piece of writing for their Special Project do not have to complete the reflection essay or the supervisor evaluation. However, these students should submit the final thesis or writing to their RHRJ Advisor for review. Please only submit your materials to your advisor during the semester you expect to graduate (even if you complete the requirement prior to this time), as Five Colleges cannot process Completion Forms prior to the semester of your graduation. Your advisor will review your materials, and approve your certificate completion. Once approved, the RHRJ program assistant will notify Five Colleges that you have completed the requirements and have been approved to receive the certificate. This happens once a year in late April/early May. A hard copy of the certificate will be mailed to you from the Five Colleges central office, typically in July.

We coordinate with the registrar's office at each campus to make sure the certificate appears on the transcript of each graduating student receiving the RHRJ certificate, as long as there is space (some schools only include two to three qualifications on the transcript). We send out paper certificates each July for all graduates receiving the certificate that year.

Online courses can be counted toward the certificate if they are three credits or more, if the policy of your home institution allows you to count online courses toward your degree and with the approval of your RHRJ advisor.

If you want to use a course you have taken (or plan to take) at another college or university toward the certificate requirements, consult with your RHRJ advisor. Your advisor may want to see a copy of the course description, syllabus and any work you completed for the course. The advisor may use their discretion, in consultation with the RHRJ Steering Committee, to decide whether the course will qualify for your RHRJ certificate requirements.

You will need to follow your home campus’s rules about this, but in most cases you can. Contact your home campus registrar's office for more information.

Whatever you choose to pursue after graduation, the interdisciplinary nature of the certificate will give you a solid background in the social, economic, legal and political conditions that influence human reproduction in both U.S. and transnational contexts. In addition, the RHRJ certificate represents a breadth and depth of knowledge beyond your individual major, as well as a commitment to social justice and change.

Yes. More and more medical programs are realizing the value of a liberal arts education that can move beyond a solely disease-based model to one that is both effective and culturally competent. Understanding the socio-cultural forces that impact patients’ lives is crucial to providing good care.

Likely yes. If you have done work in women’s and gender studies, Afro-American studies, international studies, sociology or public health, some of the classes on your transcript may already fulfill the certificate requirements. It’s ideal to go into the certificate with intention, but the requirements are doable. Your campus advisor can work through this with you.

Yes, the RHRJ certificate is available to undergraduate students enrolled at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Please contact an RHRJ certificate advisor at your campus, or email Ray Rennard at Five College Academic Programs.

Student Profiles

The Five College Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice program has only been around for a few years, but our students are already making an impact on and off campus. Below, read profiles of current students and recent graduates to learn about their course of study and plans for the future, and the value of studying reproductive justice.

"A liberal arts education,” says Sarah Flores Shannon ’17, “is about giving people the tools they need in order to make the best decisions for themselves—and for the world around them.”

The anthropology major from Falls Church, Va., looks at much of the world through that broad, interdisciplinary lens, both in and out of the classroom.

An anthropology major with a focus on reproductive justice in the U.S. and abroad, Flores Shannon is also the first Smith student to graduate with a Five College certificate in Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice. The certificate’s experiential requirement prompted Flores Shannon to spend her junior year in Havana—making her the first person in her family to travel to Cuba since her mother left the island nation nearly 60 years ago.

March 2021 update:

In case you missed it, here is a recent Washington Post op-ed by the first RHRJ Certificate graduate from Smith College, Sarah Flores Shannon. Sarah is currently the senior field coordinator for the Virginia office of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. The Latina Institute builds Latina/x power to fight for the fundamental human right to reproductive health, dignity, and justice.  It is a national organization headquartered in New York City, with offices in Washington, D.C., Florida, New York, Texas, and Virginia. Congratulations to Sarah and Smith College—it’s so wonderful to see Certificate graduates doing great work in the world!

Article credit: Aria Bracci

From reproductive justice to immigration law, Nargis Aslami's activism spans from present organizing to future practice. She discusses how the Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, as well as other resources at UMass, have built a foundation for her work. Nargis was the recipient of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts Achievement Award, the Henry and Jean Hall Humanities and Fine Arts Scholarship Fund Award, and William F. Field Alumni Scholar Award and will be serving as a Legal Assistant Intern for Student Legal Services in Fall 2017.

What led you to declare a major in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass?

I took "Intro to Women’s Studies" freshman year, second semester, as a Gen. Ed. It was so cool. All the content was really interesting, and it was what I was passionate about—I just didn’t know it coming into college. I was initially an English major.

We talked about sexism, and that’s so basic, but it still was shocking to me that there was an academic discipline that studied this. I had no idea that this existed in the first place, but then I came in, and I took this class, and we talked about all of these incredibly real things that no one talks about, that nobody talked to us about in high school. It was really great and super important. It made me feel something (whereas reading James Joyce doesn’t make me feel anything, you know?). That doesn’t have an impact on my life, but Women’s Studies? This is real stuff that we’re talking about, and we’re trying to change the world. That’s why I switched into WGSS.

How did your WGSS classes motivate you to pursue further work outside of the classroom?

For me, reading isn’t enough. It’s really good to build your knowledge and be educated on these topics—that happens in the classroom, and that’s really important. But when we’re sitting in the classroom and learning about disproportionately high rates of homelessness and incarceration in communities of color, that’s just not enough, and WGSS majors are in this field of study because they want to be making some sort of tangible change.

Reading about Foucault is really great and important, but what is that doing? It’s frustrating sitting in a class and reading about all of these systems of oppression and recognizing that there are reasons why sexual violence exists. What are we doing to stop it? What are we doing to decrease those numbers of people that are being assaulted? I do value the academic theory and having this theoretical knowledge because it informs activism, and it informs the practical work that we’re doing, but in a time like this, when real people are being targeted, the practical work is important.

In what ways do your studies overlap with the work that you’ve done?

I think that my studies overlap primarily with my work at CLPP [Civil Liberties and Public Policy], especially because what I’m studying in the classroom is reproductive justice—it is reproductive rights—and that’s what I’m working with at CLPP. A lot of the stuff that I learn in the classroom provides me with information to take to Student Group and information to relay to the students that I’m planning these meetings for. It’s really great. It’s really helpful.

Sexual assault obviously revolves around misogyny, internalized homophobia and blatant homophobia, racism. It all relies on these systems of oppression that exist, and these forms of discrimination that are out there. It just informs the way that people choose to display their power over people. So, yes, theory is important. Foucault is important in this instance. If you’re thinking about Foucault and his theory of power and how there’s power everywhere you go—you’re never free from power—that’s true, especially in terms of sexual violence. You are always one step below somebody else in the hierarchy of power.

So, in some instances, my studies are informing what I’m doing, and in some instances, what I’m doing is a repetition of my studies.

How did you first get involved with Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP), the organization that you work for at Hampshire College?

I was taking Theories of Social Justice, a WGSS class with Ann Ferguson, and she provided the students with an option to do a practicum—she had several different organizations to choose from. There was Arise for Social Justice, some others, and then there was CLPP. I had just read Killing the Black Body, so reproductive justice and rights were on my mind. This was a really great opportunity to get involved, and I had this professor who could guide me through the process of getting involved, so I joined the Student Group, which is what I now direct.

When I first joined, it was a weekly meeting in the Spring semester. I was on the Abortion Speakout committee, and I helped plan the Abortion Speakout for the conference. That was the first.

And now you just finished planning and running the annual CLPP conference! What was the most rewarding part of this challenging process?

Honestly, the most rewarding thing was seeing all of these students organize their specific events. It was remarkable to see how much power students have, how much they can do, and how little we give them credit for. It was remarkable to see the students on the Support Team be there every minute of the conference; there was someone always there. They were well-equipped. They were ready to go. They had their phones. They had their cute little fanny packs and their resource bags. It was incredible.

I haven’t been to many conferences, but I personally would never have thought of creating a Support Team for a conference in the way that we have it at CLPP—the way that we always have two to four people on shift, ready to go and provide these people with support. They go to a training during the weekend to be able to provide the support. And our entertainment committee—they put on this incredible event.

In addition to being on the same stage as Wendy Davis and Shanelle Matthews—it’s just incredible being on the same stage as those people—the most rewarding part of it was seeing that I spent this entire year leading this Student Group, and they killed it. It was so incredible to see that students can do so much if we give them the space to do it. I’m just so proud.

Any given week, you find yourself commuting between two towns, two campuses, and various roles as student, intern, hotline operator, and co-coordinator. How do you stay motivated?

People have been asking me this question a lot, and I keep asking myself the same thing. There’s a difference between staying motivated and just “keeping on keeping on.” This work is real life. There’s no stopping. There’s no, “If I take a step back…” I can’t take a step back. Yes, the work will keep happening, but we need as many people as we can get involved to stay involved and to keep doing this work.

We need people doing this work, and I want to be doing this work, and I keep doing it. And it’s hard. It’s exhausting.  But people need to be doing it, and so I’m doing it.

You plan to go to law school after graduation. How do you plan to apply a law degree to your social justice work?

I’m really excited about this. Still working it out. I’m viewing the law as a tool. That’s really downplaying this whole process, because law school is expensive and I’m spending three years of my life going after this degree. So it’s not just a tool, but it’s one more thing that I can add to this collection of tools and skills that I have, in order to continue making change. Being able to understand the Constitution, being able to understand if Trump’s immigration ban is unconstitutional—I need to go to law school to understand this, and I want to do that.

I want to be able to say, “This is not okay because of this,” and not just because I morally oppose this ban, but because it is inherently, legally not acceptable. Sometimes that’s the only way you can stop something. You have to go to court. You have to have a judge, a Supreme Court justice, say, in a court opinion, this is illegal, and you can’t move forward with this.

There’s that whole conflict of needing to compromise and “work within the system”—a system that I don’t agree with. But I hope that once I get this law degree and I understand the law, I’ll be able to take down these policies and laws that, morally, I know are wrong but I want to take a step further. I want to actually take it to court and be able to say, “This is wrong, not just because it hurts me and a lot of people, but because it’s against the Constitution or against this precedent that you already had, that you already put in a Supreme Court opinion.”

Not only do I want to take these awful things to court, but I also just want to be a person that can provide legal services to undocumented immigrants or a survivor of domestic violence or a person that was assaulted—anything. I just want to work with the people that don’t have these resources available to them. And, hopefully, I will be in a financial situation at some point where I can do this pro bono. But who knows?

--

This article was originally published on the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts website in spring 2017, and is republished here by permission. See https://www.umass.edu/hfa/profile/nargis-aslami-18

Reproductive Politics Faculty Seminar

The Five College Reproductive Politics Faculty Seminar provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to share knowledge about the work being done locally and internationally in the field of reproductive politics, as well as to discuss challenges and opportunities for collaboration. Numerous faculty who have presented their work-in-progress at a seminar have gone on to publish articles and books. Members of the Reproductive Politics Faculty Seminar conceived of the undergraduate Five College certificate in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice, wrote the proposal, and shepherded the Certificate into existence in 2015. Finally, the Reproductive Politics Faculty Seminar serves as an intellectual and scholarly support and community for faculty teaching courses for the Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Certificate Program. We aim to hold at least two seminars per academic year and are appreciative of the administrative and financial support provided by the Five College Consortium.  

Resources

Five College Resources

Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science - Complementary certificate program to the Reproductive Justice certificate. Focuses more broadly on public health. Hosts events during the academic year.

Five College Women’s Studies Research Center - Hosts events by Five College faculty and visiting scholars. Located on the Hampshire College campus.

Sophia Smith Collection - Women’s history archive located at Smith College. Has many notable personal archives (Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem) as well as archives from women’s and reproductive health and justice organizations. Has a significant periodicals collection and can also help students with research. 

Meridians - Feminist transnational academic journal based at Smith College.

Collective Power for Reproductive Justice - Reproductive justice organization based at Hampshire College that works with the Five Colleges, surrounding community and beyond to train and support new activists. Home to the Reproductive Rights Activists Service Corps paid summer internship program, as well as a student group, which hosts events and trainings throughout the academic year.

Population and Development (PopDev) program - Program based at Hampshire that rethinks population and environmental justice through a feminist lens. Hosts events and trainings throughout the Five Colleges. 

Center for Women and Community - Offers training, support, events and counseling to the Five College community and beyond. Home to the Women of Color Leadership Network. Located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Stonewall Center - Provides LGBTQIA+ programming, resources and support to the Five College community and beyond. Located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The CLPP student organizing group consists of activists from the Five Colleges and broader community who want to develop their skills to organize for reproductive and social justice. During the Fall semester, the CLPP student group members facilitate Reproductive Justice trainings for the community, and the group meets regularly to dialogue and discuss current issues and organize local CLPP events. During the Spring semester, the student organizing group works as the driving force behind the annual activist conference, From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom.  The group meets weekly and maintains a listserv.

Amherst College Resources

Center for Community Engagement - Home of community-based learning courses at Amherst.

Amherst College Career Center - Career development office of Amherst. Offers some summer funding for internships.

Women’s and Gender Center - The Women's and Gender Center seeks to foster a critical awareness of gender and create an intentional space, accessible to students of all genders, that will serve as a resource and forum for topics and issues related specifically to women and, more broadly, to the experience of gender. The Center promotes learning about and exploring gender through personal experience, academic inquiry, community organizing, activism and discussion. The Center promotes learning about and exploring gender through personal experience, academic inquiry, community organizing, activism and discussion. Hosts an annual Reproductive Justice Week, a week of programs focusing on reproductive justice, abortion access, contraception, safe birth access, as well as empowering and supporting students.

Amherst College Reproductive Justice Alliance - The Reproductive Justice Alliance is a club on campus which began in the Fall of 2016. It includes members of all gender identities and expressions who have a passion for social justice. Some of the projects we worked on last year include a coat hanger necklace fundraiser which raised money for Planned Parenthood and a Reproductive Justice 5K which raised money for the Prison Birth Project.

Hampshire College Resources

Community Partnerships for Social Change (CPSC) - Home of community-engaged learning at Hampshire. Offers community-based internships, paid summer internship opportunities, trainings and resources for community organizing. 

Career Options Resource Center (CORC) - Hampshire’s career development office.

Mount Holyoke College Resources

Community-Based Learning (CBL) - Home of community-based courses, independent studies, research and service projects and paid year-long fellowship opportunities with area organizations. 

McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives - Home of study abroad and international programs at Mount Holyoke. Focus on international engagement and cross-cultural exchange. Hosts events, discussions and visiting scholars.

Mount Holyoke Career Development Center - Career development office of Mount Holyoke. Provides stipend for unpaid internships through Lynk Universal Application Funding program. 

MHC Planned Parenthood Generation Action - A student organization at Mount Holyoke College that organizes, advocates, and educates about reproductive rights and sexual health. MHC PPGA is a chapter of the nationwide network of young activists who organize events on their campuses to mobilize advocates for reproductive freedom. Find them on Instagram and Linktree.

Smith College Resources

Lewis Global Studies Center - Home of study abroad and international programs at Smith. Focus on international engagement and cross-cultural exchange. Hosts events and discussions on campus. 

Jandon Center for Community Engagement - Brings together Smith students and faculty with community members to build relationships for shared learning and growth. Has pre-existing relationships with program partners and placement partners in local area. Home of community-based courses and community-based participatory research.

Lazarus Center for Career Development - Career development office of Smith. Home to Praxis program, which offer Smith students a paid stipend for otherwise unpaid summer internships.

Smith Students for Reproductive Justice - Through SSRJ, Smith students engage with a network of college students across the country organizing events on their campuses to raise public awareness about reproductive health and rights, educate young people at concerts about sexual health, work with and support their local Planned Parenthood health centers, and mobilize advocates of reproductive rights. Find them on Facebook.

University of Massachusetts Amherst Resources

Center for Education Policy and Advocacy - CEPA is an agency of the Student Government Association that collaborates with a variety of other campus departments, programs, RSOs, and agencies to identify and research campus related issues that could be effectively addressed through policy restructuring or reform. Based on CEPA's research, policy proposals, reports, and recommendations are developed to assist in building a campus environment that is inclusive of and responsive to the diverse needs of UMass students who come from a multitude of cultures and backgrounds.

Community Engagement & Service Learning (CESL) - Program working for a more just society by (1) engaging students in a curriculum that includes significant public work—UMass CESL deepens our students' education and prepares them for lives of active and engaged citizenship  and (2) deploying the creative energy of students and faculty to address community needs and aspirations in our region, our state, and beyond. We provide resources that improve people's lives. Offers a Community Engagement & Service Learning Certificate and a Community Scholars Program for first year students and sophomores to be a part of a small learning community of students committed to social justice.

UMass Career Services - UMass Amherst career development office. Offers information about internships and co-op placements.

Pre-Law Advising Office - Provides UMass students and alumni with a full range of information and options counseling regarding legal careers and the law school admissions process. Offers one-on-one assistance in all aspects of law school applications. Provides regular updates about events and news relevant to legal education and the law school admissions process via a listserv.

UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL) - Competitive leadership training and professional development program that seeks to prepare more students from the state’s flagship, public university for public leadership after graduation. By introducing these students to public leaders and providing opportunities for them to see first-hand the benefits of public service, UWiL provides models and pathways into leadership for young people – all while helping to address the gender gap in politics and creating a pipeline from public education into public service. Applications accepted annually from August 1 through October 15.

UMass Students for Reproductive Justice - Organizes, advocates and educates the Umass community around issues of reproductive justice, reproductive rights, and sexual health.  Affiliate group of Planned Parenthood.  Meets 2x per month on Wednesdays; see website for more info. Find them on Facebook.

Contact Us

Program Co-Chairs:

Cora Fernandez-AndersonAssistant Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke

Jennifer L. Nye, Lecturer in Law and Social Justice, Department of History, UMass Amherst

Program Assistant:

Linda Hillenbrand, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, UMass Amherst

Five College Staff Liaison:

Rebecca Thomas, Academic Programs Coordinator

Connect:

To join the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice mailing list, please send an email to lindah@umass.edu with "RHRJ listserv request" in the subject line.

Find us on Facebook!