WS 100. Confronting Inequality: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary American Society (3 Cr.) (LER - DIV)
This introductory course is an interdisciplinary examination of contemporary issues in women, gender, and sexuality studies, drawing on a variety of sources - scholarly journals, autobiography, fiction, poetry, political analysis, and pop-culture discourses - with an emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity in American society. This course explores a variety of topics, including sexualities, gender in the labor force, family, motherhood, masculinity, education, cultural images, health, sexual violence, creativity, and political activism. Fall semester. Lewis.

WS 150. Women's Experiences in Global Perspectives (3 Cr.) (LER DIV)
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. Fall/Spring semester. TBA.

WS 192. 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.

WS 205. 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 race-based privilege and its evolution from the nineteenth century to today. By reading historical documents, biography and socio-economic studies, students will explore samples of structural violence in education, housing and employment. They will analyze the means through which injustices have been challenged. This course serves as the WID course for PCE and WGS. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Fall and Spring semester.

WS 222. Women and Literature (3 Cr.) (LER DIV)
Topic: Working Class Women's Literature. For too long the working class has been used as a coded term for white male blue-collar workers. Women, including women of color, form a large part of the working class. In literary works - fiction, poetry, and memoirs - these women represent themselves and their communities. Yet many readers are not even aware that the category "working-class women's literature" exists. In ENG/WS 222 we'll begin by talking about just what we mean by working-class women's literature. We will then look at several literary works in their historical and cultural context. Writers we'll study include Sandra Cisneros, Rebecca Harding Davis, Dorothy Allison, and June Jordan Next offered Fall 2016. Tokarczyk.

WS 224. Is There Life Beyond the Looking Glass? Gender, Identity, and Race in Caribbean Culture (3 Cr.) 
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 or WS 150 or sophomore standing. Fall semester. Offered 2015-16 and alternate years. François.

WS 225. Gender and Sexuality Studies (3 Cr.) 
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.

WS 226. Women, Peace, and Protest: Latin American Women and the Search for Social Justice (3 Cr.) 
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: WS 150 and a HIS or LAM 100-level course. Spring semester. Offered 2014-15 and alternate years. François.

WS 227. Becoming Visible: Fictions of International Female Identity (3 Cr.) (LER-DIV AND TXT credit for either only if course taken prior to fall 2015)
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. Prerequisites: ENG 120 or WRT 181, and sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Fall semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. François.

WS 229. Contemporary Brazilian Voices (3 Cr.) 
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. Prerequisite: Any WS, SOC, PSC, or LAM course at the 100-level and sophomore standing. Spring semester. Offered 2014-15 and alternate years. François.

WS 230. Intersectionality: Diverse Feminisms (3 Cr.) (LER-DIV)
This course examines intersectional feminist theory in the United States, tracing its emergence in foundational texts from the 1960's and 70's, through contemporary intersectional discourses on race, class, gender, and sexuality. This course focuses on issues raised and analytic frameworks used by women of color and queer scholars, activists, and artists seeking to theorize power, critique privilege, examine identity, and envision liberation.  Prerequisite: WS 100 or WS 150 or sophomore standing. Offered Fall 2016 and alternate years. Lewis.

WS 232. African American Women's History (3 Cr.) 
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. Spring semester. Offered 2012-2013 and alternate years. Lewis.

WS 235. Gender Identity, Expression, and the Body (3 Cr.) 
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. Lewis.

WS 236. Womanist Theology (3 Cr.) (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. Fall 2015 and alternate years thereafter. Douglas.

WS 237. Gender and Migration in a Global Perspective: I Detect an 'Accent' Where are You Originally From? (3 Cr.) (LER DIV)
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. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, and WS 150 or a 100-level PCE studies course or permission from the instructor. Fall semester. Offered 2014-15 and alternate years. François.

WS 238. Psychology of Women (4 Cr.) 
Examination of sociocultural and biological influences on the psychological development of women. Topics will include feminist scholarship and research; gender role socialization; women's health and well-being; sexuality; and close relationships and family dynamics. Prerequisite: PSY 111. Spring semester. Grayman-Simpson.

WS 242. Women and Environmental Justice (3 Cr.) (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 effect 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. Tokarczyk.

WS 248. Towards Collective Liberation: Activism and Organizing (4 Cr.) 
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.

WS 250. Special Topics (4 Cr.) 
Topics vary by term.

WS 253. Haitian History and the Culture of Resistance (4 Cr.) 
This course examines Haitian history through various forms of creative expression that serve as forms of political, economic or epistemological resistance. The course addresses Haiti's long history of resistance and social justice action before and since its birth as a nation in 1804. Of particular interest will be issues of nationalism, colonialism/racism, difference/identity, resources/wealth/environmental degradation, U.S. occupations (military and non-profit), displacement, trauma, geo-psychoanalytic space, exile and globalization. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Spring semester every other year. Bess, Francois.

WS 265. Law, Ethics, and Public Policy: Current Issues (3 Cr.) (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.

WS 270. Gender, Work, and Family (3 Cr.) 
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.

WS 271. Out of the Shadows: Women in Russia (3 Cr.) 
Taught in English. This course will explore the role of Russian women in the world by carefully examining the significance of their contributions from diverse perspectives, including feminist methodology. WS 271 is a hybrid section that is cross-listed with FRO 102. Each student in WS 271 is expected to act as a mentor to a freshman in the FRO section. Additional credit (1) available for working in Russian. No prerequisites. Offered Fall 2015 and every fall. Czeczulin.

WS 273. Queer(y)ing Religion (3 Cr.) 
What does human sexuality have to do with God? What has been the meaning of sexuality within the Christian tradition? How has Christianity shaped the meaning of sexuality for society? These are some of the questions this course explores as it examines sexuality and the Christian tradition in relation to matters of homosexuality. Special attention will be given to theological and biblical concerns.  Prerequisite: sophomore standing.   Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Spring 2016 and alternate semesters thereafter. Douglas.

WS 276. Feminist Philosophy (3 Cr.) 
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.

WS 282. Women of North Africa and the Middle East (3 Cr.) 
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 2015-16 and alternate years. François.

WS 299. Independent Work (1.5-4 Cr.) 

WS 300. Seminar in Selected Topics in Women's Studies (3 Cr.) 
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.

WS 320. Transnational Feminist Theory and Women's Activism (3 Cr.) 
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; WS 150, WS 235, or a PCE 200-level course. Fall semester. François.

WS 325. Women and Film (4 Cr.) 
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 examine Hollywood, independent, and international film. 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. Offered alternate years. Burton.

WS 390. Internship in Women's Studies (3-4 Cr.) 
Prerequisite: Permission of the director. May be taken for letter grade or pass/no pass.

WS 399. Advanced Independent Work (3-4 Cr.) 

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

Political Science

  • 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

Peace Studies

  • 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