Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Courses
Confronting Inequality: Women in Contemporary American Society
(3 Cr.) (LER - DIV)
An interdisciplinary examination of contemporary women’s experience drawing on a variety of sources—scholarly journals, autobiography, fiction, poetry, political analysis—with an emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity. Focus is on issues such as sexualities, labor force, family, motherhood, education, cultural images, health, sexual violence, and political activism. Fall semester.Department.
Women’s Experiences in Global Perspectives
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #9 and #10)
An interdisciplinary examination of women’s status and activism worldwide, including regional and local comparisons and the roles of government, nongovernmental, and international organizations in shaping women’s experiences. Spring semester.François.
Politics for Every Woman
(3 Cr.) (LER) (LER–SSC AND DIV)
Designed primarily for non-majors interested in enhancing their political awareness and skills as citizens and women. Relates traditional political concepts to practical politics for women in their many roles. Topics include the development of the concept of sisterhood and its relationship to political life and women’s identity; issues such as rape, health care, equal rights, consumer affairs, welfare, and day care; avenues for political activity, such as volunteer associations and women’s organizations; political campaigns; direct and indirect action techniques for political change; and alternatives to radical feminism. Guest speakers, field trips, and films. Spring semester.Githens.
Maintaining the Status Quo: Power and Privilege in the United States
(4 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #7 and #10)
This course will examine the history of privilege and its evolution from the 18th century to today. By reading historical documents, literature, biographies and sociological studies, students will explore and analyze inequalities in education, housing, jobs and examine both the means through which inequalities continue to be rationalized and the means through which they are being changed. This course serves as the writing proficiency for the program. Prerequisite: college writing proficiency, sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. Fall and Spring semester. Bess.
Latin American Women Voices: Argentina and Uruguay
A detailed introduction to the role of different women’s groups in Argentina and Uruguay as protagonists of social movements. Personal narratives, fiction, film, history, and political activism will provide the framework for examining women’s participation in the human rights and social movements. Prerequisite course to the three-week intensive study abroad during the January intersession in Argentina and Uruguay. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Francois, Murphy.
Women and Literature
Topic for 2009-10 will be posted in the registration booklet. Spring semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years.Department.
Is There Life Beyond the Looking Glass? Gender, Identity, and Race in Caribbean Culture
An interdisciplinary examination of women, their families, and society in Caribbean culture. Emphasis is given to the process of representation and self-portraiture of women in the works of contemporary Caribbean women writers, including Jean Rhys, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Ramabai Espinet, Ana Lydia Vega, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, and Jamaica Kincaid, as well as to the themes of colonialism, resistance, migration, and exile. Prerequisite: WS 100, WS 150, or sophomore standing. Spring semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years.François.
Gender and Sexuality Studies
An interdisciplinary examination of theories of sexuality and their impact on specific historical and contemporary sociopolitical movements and issues, such as marriage equality, sexual identity, motherhood, prostitution, race and sexual politics, formations of femininity and masculinity, youth access to sexual health education, and constructions of desire. With an emphasis on racial and cultural diversity in a US context, this course will engage with history and theory, expressions in the arts, personal narratives, contemporary social debates, and legal discourses. Prerequisite: WS 100 or WS 150 or permission of instructor. Spring semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Lewis.
Women, Peace, and Protest: Latin American Women and the Search for Social Justice
Examination of women’s participation in the human rights, social, and economic movements. Focus on understanding if, why, and under what circumstances gender becomes a central force in the development of these movements. We will address three questions: Has the involvement of women helped to define the human rights movement in Latin America? To what extent have feminist theory and theories of the state accounted for the nature of women’s protest? How and why were women instrumental in the political process that led from authoritarian to democratic rule in their countries? This course focuses primarily (but not exclusively) on women’s movements in the southern cone countries: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Fall semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. François.
Becoming Visible: Fictions of International Female Identity
(3 Cr.) (LER–DIV AND TXT)
This course looks at the social, cultural, and political construction of femininity within different sociopolitical contexts. We read an internationally diverse range of women writers from various countries from the non-Western world. Thus we can explore the concept of female marginality in various modalities and its relationship to questions of power and gender formation. We look at the geographical, political, personal and imaginative space women occupy and discuss how women move through the world both literally and figuratively. Fall semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. François.
Contemporary Brazilian Voices
Brazil is a country rich in haunting paradoxes, contradictions, awesome in its diversity and multiplicity with renowned writers, artists, and grassroots activists mostly unfamiliar to Americans. This interdisciplinary course aims to introduce students to selected contemporary Brazilian women writers, activists, and artists with emphasis on the complex web interconnecting and disconnecting representations of nationality, geography, race, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexuality. It is organized around a cultural/women’s studies perspective, taking as a point of departure and returning to the dis-junctures between popular film constructions of Brazil and its people, in particular Brazilian women, by U.S./European filmmakers and representations by Brazilian themselves. Analyses of texts, films, telenovelas, music, and dance will center on fantasies/quests of female subjectivity or stardom in specific historical and contemporary contexts, as opposed to pervasive and entrenched national myths of racial democracy and pluralistic identities. Fall semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. François.
Contemporary Feminisms: Diverse Voices
(3 Cr.) (LER–DIV)
An examination of feminists’ analyses of women’s status in America since the 1960s. This course focuses on issues raised and analytic frameworks used by Latina, African American, Native American, Asian American, and European American women in seeking to improve women’s status and in theorizing gender inequalities. Prerequisite: WS 100 or WS 150 or sophomore standing. Spring semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years.Department.
African American Women’s History
This course will examine the social, political, and cultural history of African American women in the United States from the Colonial period through the present. Special attention will be given to the construction of race and the diversity of African American women’s experiences in the United States. Fall semester. Offered 2012-2013 and alternate years. .
Internship with Women Public Officials
Internship working with women in public leadership positions combined with individual conferences or seminars focusing on governmental issues confronting women public officials and featuring briefings by political leaders. May be taken for letter grade only. Prerequisite: PSC 100. Variable semesters. Githens.
Gender Identity, Expression, and the Body
This course will examine the social constructions of sex and gender, and will explore gender identity and expression, non-conforming gendered bodies, variance, ambiguity, performance, and embodiments. This course will employ an intersectional approach that evaluates the science of biological sex, race, class, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of identity using methods of inquiry from feminist studies, LGBT studies, queer theory, performance studies, and popular culture discourses. Prerequisite: WS 100, 150, or permission of the instructor. Fall semester. Next offered Fall 2013. Lewis.
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #10) (LER-DIV)
What is the meaning of faith for black women as they struggle for life and freedom? This course attempts to answer this question as it explores black women’s religious/theological experience from a Christian perspective. Attention is given to the nature of the social/historical struggle that informs black women’s understandings of themselves in relationship to God, church, and community. Focus is given to four distinct periods in black women’s history: the Antebellum period, the period of the Great Migration, the Civil Rights era, and the contemporary situation. Reflective of the womanist tradition, this course accesses various media forms to discern the womanist religious experience. Prerequisite: one course in women, gender, and sexuality studies or religion and sophomore standing. Spring semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Douglas.
Gender and Migration in a Global Perspective: I Detect an ‘Accent’ Where are You Originally From?
Dominating recent policy discussion both in North America and Europe, migration has proven to be one of the most difficult and controversial topics of our time. This interdisciplinary course seeks to uncover recurrent and recognizable patterns and to create a dialogue that takes into account issues of gender, geography, race, and sexuality. Exploring the fundamental connections between gender and immigration it looks at how women and their bodies dramatize “the achievements” and/or “failures” of the nation and how these “successes” or “failures” figure differently in transnational contexts. It looks at how archaic hetero-normative images of family, the language of victim-hood, the erotics of immigration, and anxiety permeate national discourses of migration and how immigration laws are explicitly gendered but framed as gender neutral. Finally it considers how economic factors, geography, empire-building, political imperatives, racism, sexism, and the exploitation of national principles of security affect the contemporary lived experience of migration. Faller. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. François.
Women and Environmental Justice
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #10 and #11) (LER-DIV and LER-ENV)
Environmental issues do not affect all of us equally. In the United States, poor and minority groups are disproportionately impacted by pollution, toxic dumping, mountaintop removal and other issues. For women, there are reproductive implications, as well as health issues. This course will examine both articles on environmental issues and imaginative writing (novels, poetry, etc.) depicting the environment’s affect on working-class and poor people’s lives. The course will address national and international concerns. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Fall semester and alternative years. Tokarczyk.
Women and Gender in Modern European History
This course examines modern Europe through the lens of women and gender, including topics such as the Enlightenment and women’s rights, masculinity in revolutionary politics, Victorian domesticity, the rise of consumer cultures, discourses on sex, reproduction and women’s bodies, the effects of colonialism on gender ideology, suffrage campaigns, gender politics during and after the two world wars, and negotiating gender across the Cold War divide of Eastern and Western Europe. Prerequisite: HIS 117. Spring semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years.Fraser.
Towards Collective Liberation: Activism and Organizing
Taking an intersectional and interdisciplinary feminist perspective, this course will examine the ways in which gender, sexuality, culture, race-ethnicity, and class shape political consciousness in the U.S.Topics include the evolution of conflicts and coalitions within organizations and social movements, neoliberal and progressive discourses around feminism, marriage equality, racial profiling, war, immigration, poverty, urban education, and health care, and the transformation of divisions into catalysts for vision, strategy, and implementing change through organizing. This course will engage the debate between community activists and academic theorists while highlighting coalition work and multi-issue approaches. Prerequisite: WS 100 or 150 or permission of instructor. Spring. First Offered 2014. Lewis.
Fall semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Department.
Women and the Law
Focus on current issues involving women and the law including family law, reproductive rights, violence against women, employment, pregnancy, pensions, sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and women in poverty. Prerequisite: WS 100 or WS 150 or sophomore standing. Fall semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Department.
Law, Ethics, and Public Policy: Current Issues
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #10)(LER–TXT)
An examination of the legal, ethical, and public policy questions raised by controversial contemporary issues. Topic: abortion and reproductive technology. Focus on the impact of these issues on women’s lives. Prerequisite: WS 100 or WS 150 or sophomore standing. Fall semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years.Department.
Gender, Work, and Family
Examination of gender expectations and experiences in work and family.. Review of theories explaining effects of gender on employment and family life. Issues discussed include occupational segregation, pay inequities, household division of labor, intimate partner violence, and alternate family forms. Prerequisite: SOC 106, ANT 107, WS 100 or WS 150. Fall semester. Offered 2013-2014 and alternate years. Shope, Smith.
Intensive Course Abroad: Argentina and Uruguay
Course includes a three-week intensive course abroad during the winter intersession or summer. Three-week intensive course in Argentina and Uruguay. This course will encourage a great deal of interdisciplinary study among students by examining contemporary women’s activism in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. The course integrates readings and lectures by historians, political scientists, women’s groups, and human rights activists. Summer 2009.François and Murphy.
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #10)
A philosophical study of questions of gender and gender inequality. The class will explore social constructions of femininity and masculinity, theories of masculine privilege, and various, competing strategies for resistance. Students will reflect on gender in relation to other social inequalities, with particular attention to sexuality and heterosexism. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or permission of the instructor. Fall semester, alternate years. Grebowicz.
Women of North Africa and the Middle East
This course examines the role of women in the greater Middle East region, from the pre-Islamic period through the present. Using primary sources, memoirs, and visual material, the course compares and examines the impact of religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), empire, slavery, colonialism, and nationalism on women in Arab, Iranian, Israeli, and Turkish civil society and history. Prerequisite: WS 150, a 100-level history course, or sophomore standing. Spring semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years.François.
Internship in Women’s Studies
Placements in settings where issues of past and present concern to women can be studied. Prerequisite: one course in women’s studies. Graded pass/no pass only.Department.
Seminar in Selected Topics in Women’s Studies
An interdisciplinary seminar aimed at integrating theoretical approaches and research on women that have emerged from a number of academic disciplines Prerequisite: WS 100 or WS 150. Spring semester.
Transnational Feminist Theory and Women’s Activism
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #7 and #10)
Crossing the boundaries of nationality, ethnicity, citizenship, sexuality, and genre, this course brings together a plurality of women’s voices of the non-Western world that counter colonial, post-colonial, multinational, and masculine paradigms of “otherness.” The central aims are to examine the extent to which their activism and theoretical thinking grew out of historical conditions, to establish a dialog that forms the wide-ranging spectrum of women’s experiences across the globe, and to assess these social and political writings for national change in the 21st century. Prerequisite: junior standing. Fall semester. François.
Comparative Public Policy and Gender
Examination of the public policy process in comparative perspective, focusing on four policy areas affecting women: population control, employment, education, and health care. The role of women in the formulation and implementation of public policies in these areas. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Githens.
Women and Film
This course will examine the relationship between women and the film industry, from the days of silent film to the 21st century. We will look at the roles women have played, both in front of and behind the camera-from the female star of the classical Hollywood "woman's" film of the 1930's-1940's, and the iconic stereotypes that have pervaded Hollywood gendered discourse, to the re-emergent role of women as directors, screenwriters, and producers in contemporary Hollywood and world cinemas. Interrogating the role of women as icons, producers, and consumers, we will try to understand where we came from and how we got to the here and now. Hollywood, independent, and international film will be examined. Prerequisites: COM 239 and/or 245, or WS 230; departmental and college writing proficiency; junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor. Repeatable if the topic is different. Variable semesters: Peroutka, Burton.
Gender and Media in the Global South
This course explores the complex relationships among media images, cultural values, and development of gendered identities in the global south. We will examine media—both visual and print—in their various representations. We will look at the transformation of women on the screen and the empowerment of women both in front of and behind the camera. Film screenings, readings, and discussions by female directors will address the contemporary sites of dynamic tensions between the local and the global and the religious and the secular; the public sphere; the role of broadcast media, the Internet (cyber-Islam galaxy); and the exposure to information and ideas that challenge norms. Prerequisite: WS 282 or COM 257. Fall semester. Offered 2012-13.François.
Women, Art, and Society
An examination of the role women have played as producers and consumers and as the subject matter of the visual arts in the Western tradition. Emphasis on the treatment of women’s contributions to the visual arts and on issues of gender and ideology within the discipline of art history. Prerequisite: one 200-level art history course or junior standing or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Offered 2013-2014 and alternate years. Husch.
Internship in Women’s Studies
Prerequisite: WS 290 or permission of the director. May be taken for letter grade or pass/no pass.Department.
Advanced Independent Work
Courses of Special Interest to Women's Studies Majors
- COM 213. Making Sense of Popular Culture
- COM 245. Film Theory and History II
- COM 301. Problems in Human Communication
- COM 307. Special Topics in Film
- ENG 226. Nonfiction Prose
- ENG 272. Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
- ENG 361. Studies in Fiction
- FR 330. Special Topics in French Literature
- FR 351. Topics in Francophone African Literature and Cinema
- HIS 215. Social History of Europe: 1750-2000
- HIS 255. Architectural Space and the American Family Experience
- PSC 202. Contemporary Political Thought
- PSC 224. European Politics
- PSC 225. British Politics
- PSC 271. Civil Rights in the American Constitutional System
- PSC 321. Terrorism, Political Violence, and Revolution
- PCE 251. Human Rights
- PCE 310. International Human Rights Law
Philosophy and Religion
- PHL 115. Race, Gender, and Sexuality
- PSY 220. Personality Theory
- PSY 225. Myths and Mysteries of Human Relationships
- PSY 226. Topics in Relational Psychology
- SOC 221. Courtship, Marriage, and Family
- SOC 225. FromWomb to Tomb: Perspectives on the Lifecourse
- SOC 228. Social Problems
- SOC 240. The Social Construction of Human Sexuality
- SOC 245. Wealth, Power, and Prestige
- SOC 250. Criminal Justice
- SOC 260. Deviance and Social Control
- SOC 271. Protest! Legacy of the Sixties
- SOC 387. Seminar in Social Psychology
- SOC 392. Seminar: Domestic Violence