國際婦女之聲有幾個目標。 它透過來自亞洲,非洲,中東,拉丁美洲和北美洲的當代婦女作家向學生介紹多種作品。 重點放在非西方作家的作品。 之所以會選擇這些作品，主要是想鼓勵學生透過閱讀這些作品，去思考這些作品如何反映出其不同的文化遺產，而且就某種程度上而言，我們得以發現一種超越民族文化的女性之聲。 藉由課堂授課和閱讀, 學生了解這些作者描述的每個國家的歷史文化。 這門課程的主題，是在研究每位作家如何受到殖民主義,宗教,國家形成和語言的影響。 另外,學生也檢視女性在父系文化內的社會化模式；以及作者她們在那些想像世界中, 如何消弭或釐清她們所虛擬的角色人物在愛情,職業,身分,性別角色,婚姻和政治…等領域中交錯的關係
上這堂課，學生需要不斷的溝通與討論。除了成為更會思考的讀者之外,我們也期許學生能成為一位有能力且富有自信的寫作能手。 學生可以在做他們的作業時，同時修改他們的報告。 學生上這堂課將有許多機會發言及辯論。藉此訓練，學生可以培養口頭報告技巧。該技巧乃是未來成功的基本條件，一旦他們離開麻省理工學院，仍得以受用。 本班最多只收25個學生，每個學生都會實際參與課堂上的討論。
從學期一開始到結束，上這門課的學生必須針對每次閱讀繳交簡短的讀書心得報告。 這些心得報告將被讀取但不計分。 課表旁邊如果有標註3 個星號，表示要交這些心得報告的日期。 寫心得報告讓學生可以整理她們的想法與回應，以便參加課堂上的討論; 因此,繳交心得報告當天必須於上課時繳交,不可遲交。 除非有充分正當的理由,否則不交報告的學生就會被扣分。 讀書心得報告應避免寫作品的摘要大綱。 以下幾點為閱讀及撰寫心得報告須注意的地方：
上這堂課的同學本學期須繳交4 份較長的論文(每份約 5-6 頁)。 前3 份論文的初稿須依照課程表的日期交出，而論文指導教授將針對各位論文的初稿開會討論。然後各位重寫論文初稿並依照課表的日期繳交。雖然各位無需繳交第四份論文之初稿，但各位仍可在交論文前與指導教授討論該份論文之撰寫事宜。
每次上課時間約一到一個半鐘頭。每次上課都會簡短講授作者所陳述的國家之歷史、地理及政治背景。課堂授課也會帶到作者的寫作風格和作者在她自己國家的文學史所佔的地位。若該堂課有排定授課小組報告，該組將主持課堂約45分鐘。大部分上課時間都是在討論 – 不是全班一起討論就是各組向全班回報其討論結果。討論的形式將於上課中發佈。
International Women's Voices has several objectives. It introduces students to a variety of works by contemporary women writers from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. The emphasis is on non-western writers. The readings are chosen to encourage students to think about how each author's work reflects a distinct cultural heritage and to what extent, if any, we can identify a female voice that transcends national cultures. In lectures and readings distributed in class, students learn about the history and culture of each of the countries these authors represent. The way in which colonialism, religion, nation formation and language influence each writer is a major concern of this course. In addition, students examine the patterns of socialization of women in patriarchal cultures, and how, in the imaginary world, authors resolve or understand the relationship of the characters to love, work, identity, sex roles, marriage and politics.
This class is a communication intensive course. In addition to becoming more thoughtful readers, students are expected to become a more able and more confident writers. Assignments are designed to allow for revision of each paper. The class will also offer opportunities for speaking and debating so that students can build oral presentation skills that are essential for success once they leave MIT. The class is limited to 25 students and there is substantial classroom discussion.
There are no prerequisites for this course. It is meant for undergraduates who like to read and who are curious about cultures other than their own.
Summary of Major Assignments
Throughout the semester students are asked to submit short reading response essays on every work. These essays will be read, but not graded. Three asterisks on the syllabus indicate days on which these short responses must be submitted. One purpose of the responses is to get your thoughts and reactions together for class discussion; therefore, they must be submitted when you come to class - not a few days or an hour later. Unless you have a convincing excuse, failure to turn-in a response paper will lower your grade. These response papers should avoid summarizing the works. Here are some things to consider while reading and writing the short responses:
There will be four longer papers (5-6 pages) required in the course of the semester. For the first three papers you will submit the first version of the paper on the date indicated on the syllabus. Our writing tutor will have conferences with you regarding your first versions. Then you will re-write the paper for submission on the date indicated on the syllabus. There is no required draft for the fourth paper but you are welcome to meet with the tutor before it is submitted.
The class will divide itself into groups. Each group will be responsible for teaching one class. The group will meet to discuss the reading and to outline its teaching plan; the group will prepare "thought questions" on the reading and distribute them at the class meeting prior to discussion of the book. Teaching groups will meet with the instructor before they finalize their teaching plans. Groups should obtain and distribute bibliography on the author and/or the culture under discussion through library work. Students are not required to submit a journal entry on the book for which their teaching group is responsible.
Each class is 1-1/2 hours. There will be short lectures to provide background on the history, geography and politics of the countries represented by the authors. Lectures will also contextualize the author's style and place in the literary history of her country. When teaching group presentations are scheduled, students will lead 45 minutes of the class. Most class time will be spent in discussion - either with the whole group - or with the class divided into smaller groups that report back to the whole. Frameworks for these discussions will be distributed in class.
Basis for Grade
Students are expected to attend all classes since class discussion is central to the course. Unexcused absences will automatically lower your grade.
Since this HASS-D subject is communication intensive there is no final exam.
Other General Course Guidelines
If at any time during the semester you find yourself having trouble with work for the class, let me know right away - not at the end when it is too late. If you have any suggestions regarding any aspect of the course - how it is taught, organized, etc. - feel free to let me know either by seeing me or by attaching a note to your journal.