Faculty Feature: Laurie Nisonoff
Laurie Nisonoff, professor of economics, holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.Phil. from Yale University, where she was a doctoral candidate.
She was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship in women’s studies, and in 1993-94 a fellow of the Five Colleges Women’s Studies Research Center.
She has been an editor of the Review of Radical Political Economics, recently editing a special issue on “Women in the International Economy” and another in Urban Political Economy. She is a co-editor of The Women, Gender and Development Reader (ZED 1997).
Her teaching and research interests include women and economic development; U.S. labor and economic history; women’s studies; labor and community studies; and public policy issues.
For more on Laurie Nisonoff, visit her hampedia page.
Controversies in U.S. Economic and Social History (Spring 2013)
This course addresses the development of the United States economy and society from the colonial period to the present. Focusing on the development of capitalism, it provides students with an introduction to economic and historical analysis. Students study the interrelationship among society, economy and the state, the transformation of agriculture, and the response of workers to capitalism. Issues of gender, race, class, and ethnicity figure prominently in this course. This is designed to be a core course for students concentrating in economics, politics, and history. Students work on developing research skills in economics and historical methodologies. Classes have a lecture/discussion format. Students are expected to attend class regularly, lead occasional discussions, and write several papers including responses to films, a mid-term take home exam and a final research paper.
Third World, Second Sex: Does Economic Development Enrich or Impoverish Women’s Lives? (Fall 2011)
What happens to women when societies “modernize” and industrialize their economies? Is capitalist economic development a step forward or a step backward for women in industrialized and developing countries? In this seminar we look at debates about how some trends in worldwide capitalist development affect women’s status, roles and access to resources, and locate the debates in historical context. In the “global assembly line” debate we look at women’s changing work roles. We ask whether women workers in textile and electronics factories gain valuable skills, power and resources through these jobs, or whether they are super-exploited by multinational corporations. In the population control debate, we ask whether population policies improve the health and living standards of women and their families or whether the main effect of these policies is to control women, reinforcing their subordinate positions in society. Other topics include the effects of economic change on family forms, the nature of women’s work in the so-called “informal sector,” and what’s happening to women in the current worldwide economic crisis. We will use journal articles, short fiction, videos, and The Women Gender & Development Reader to explore these issues.