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Undergraduate Course Information

WGS 165/Gendered History of Food

(same as HIS 196)

An introduction to the history of food consumption and preparation in the Western world, and its place in defining gender roles; food as part of religious ceremony; development of table manners; the politics of breast-feeding; the changing of kitchen roles; and the history of eating disorders.

WGS 166/Documenting US Women’s History

(same as HIS 165 when topic is ” Documenting US Women’s History)

In this course, students will learn Women’s US History by reading, researching and analyzing the  primary resources of important events and movements. Utilizing primary documents from course texts, the On-line Archival Collections, as well as other sources, students will understand the motivation, impact, and long-term ramifications of women’s US history.

WGS 167/Gender, US History, and Film

(same as HIS 365 when topic is “Gender, US History, and Film”)

More than any other medium, the motion pictures fostered new ideals and images of modern womanhood and manhood in the United States.  Film also  interpreted current and historical events and forged historical interpretations and quite a few historical myths or “truisms”.  Through the twentieth century, gender representations on the screen bore a complex relationship to the social, economic, and political transformations marking the lives and consciousness of American men and women.  This course explores the history of American gender in the 20th century through film.  It treats the motion pictures as a primary source that, juxtaposed with other kinds of historical evidence, opens a window onto gendered work, leisure, sexuality, family life, and politics.  We will view how Hollywood has shaped not only our historical perceptions, but also our gendered expectations.

WGS 168/Gender, History and US Immigration

(same as HIS 165 when topic is “Gender, History and US Immigration)

This course examines the history of immigration to the United States in various time periods and for various ethnicities/nationalities.  It considers the causes of immigration, the social, cultural and economic adaptation of various groups, return migration, the significance of race, the varied experience of different immigrant groups, the development of ethnic group identities, changing American policy and attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic groups, and the impact of immigration and ethnicity on American society and culture.  It also focuses on the role of gender in both the migration and adaptation experiences and seeks to understand how gender determines these historical experiences.

WGS 175/Feminist Ethics in Nursing Care

This course provides an introduction to feminist perspectives in nursing ethics and decision-making, guided by the questions:  Who and what define what is ethical and what is not?  How do the personal and the professional intertwine in ethical choices and actions? We will begin by differentiating between moral and ethical issues in nursing and studying the differences and correspondences among various ethical approaches, then go on to explore the historical impact of feminist theories on the ethical standards of the profession.

WGS 200/Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The preliminary course to the interdisciplinary field of WGSS provides students with an introduction to the literature and the historical evolution of the discipline, as well as an understanding of how scholars and students in the field analyze women, gender, and feminism.  This introductory course encourages students to rethink and reevaluate much of what they have experienced and learned and to gain the critical vocabulary and analytic skills to question the gendered world in which they live.

WGS 209/Reproductive Justice: Transnational Perspectives

This course examines the politics of women’s reproductive justice around the world. Approaching reproductive justice from an interdisciplinary framework, students will examine the ways reproduction is culturally defined and constructed through the lenses of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality. We will also investigate how ideas, ideologies, and narratives about reproduction travel across borders and boundaries. Our exploration into reproductive politics will rely on knowledge-production from a variety of sources: academic disciplines, ethnographic studies, popular narratives, and personal stories. In particular, we will study: the relationship between reproduction, race, and the nation; the global politics of reproduction; reproductive rights and the rhetoric of “choice”; abortion access and historical debates; fetal imagery and personhood; the rise of reproductive technologies; the construction of “epidemics” surrounding teenage pregnancy and population control; birth practices and businesses; and potential reproductive dystopian futures.

WGS 210/Women and Health: Power, Politics, and Change

This course concerns the domain of women’s bodies and the ongoing struggle for sovereignty over their bodies.  Students will examine how in addition to pathophysiology, women’s health is impacted by social constructs, specifically history, politics, economics, and research.  As a result of this exploration, students will enhance their ability to care for themselves and for others, to use and understand power and empowerment of self and others, and to advocate and to be an activist for themselves and for others.

WGS 211/British and American Women Writers

(Same as LIT 211)

A careful exploration of literary and gender studies focusing specifically on British and American women writers from the 17th century to the present. Looking specifically at the intricacies of gendered expression in England and America, this interdisciplinary study delves into the lives and writings of women by looking at the wide spectrum of literary styles and genres they employed.  These include the autobiographical traditions, as evidenced in such primary documents as diaries, Indian captivity narratives, and spiritual memoirs; the ever-expanding corpus of fiction including short stories, novellas, and novels; and the diverse range that is exhibited in women’s essays, drama, and poetry.  Ultimately, this course addresses the historical, literary, and cultural influences that shaped women’s lives and writings in this remarkable body of literature.

WGS 220/Gender and Popular Culture

A critical examination of the messages and “knowledge” that popular culture employs, disseminates, and constructs about men and women, masculinity and femininity.  The course takes its objects of study from a wide range of sources, including advertisements, magazines, television, film, cyberspace, hip hop, and sports. Be ready to watch TV, go to the movies, and listen to music as a scholar of gender.

WGS 222/Non-Violence and Peace Action

(Same as HGS 210)

WGS 222 offers an overview of key areas of theory and practice in Peace and Justice Studies, a growing interdisciplinary field with applications from the local community to international relations. Aimed at achieving social transformation through active nonviolence, peace studies promotes in-depth understanding of structures that promote and perpetuate violence and offers methods for transforming the terms of conflict.

WGS 225/ Gender and Children’s Literature

In this course, students will develop a critical appreciation of the roles of children’s literature in the social construction of gender–not only how it prescribes or resists normative gender roles, but how it represents the subjective experience of growing up gendered.  With a grounding in gender theory and critical texts, students will explore the early beginnings of children’s literature in folklore and fairy tales, then move on to modern classics and contemporary favorites, limiting our scope to works for young children and pre-teens.

WGS 230/Gendered Technoculture: Feminism, Gender, and Technology

What is the relationship between gender and technology?  How is technology informed by gender?  How is something as difficult to define as “technology” categorized as male and/or female in our minds?  How do our perceptions of technology change depending on the user?  Why do we imbue inanimate objects with gendered characteristics?  How do new technologies alter or influence our ideas about gender and about what is “gender appropriate?” These are some of the questions we will explore in this course.  Using feminist theories and methodologies, we will investigate the ways in which our technological world is gendered, and how to apply this theory to analyze and critique our high-tech world.

WGS 235/Gender and Violence

An exploration of the relationship between gender and violence.  The course is comprised of theoretical perspectives as well as the study of specific forms of violence.  Topics include:  domestic and intimate partner violence; sexual violence; child abuse; socially institutionalized forms of violence against women; attitudes and reactions to violence; national and global contexts of violence, and men and violence.

WGS 236/Feminist Disability Studies

This course encourages students to rethink what they have come to know about disability as well as feminist studies. Students will immerse themselves in the multifaceted sociocultural dimensions of disability, including gender, sexuality, race, and other aspects of identity, while drawing from scholarly materials in history, religion, anthropology, law, sociology, psychology, and education. Disability is defined widely to include physical, sensory, mobility, cognitive/intellectual, mental/emotional and learning disabilities, in addition to chronic illnesses–all the ways in which a person’s body and mind may be perceived and experienced as different from the “norm.”  Students gain the critical vocabulary and analytical skills to question the world in which they live, as well as their own experience with disability and/or ablism, and to make informed judgments and interactions with other individuals of varying abilities in both their personal and professional lives.

WGS 237/The Body Monument in Ancient Greece

(Same as CLS 237)

Visiting the major sites of Athens, Olympia, Mycenae, Epidauros and Crete, we will study the visual and literary record for changing Greek perceptions of and attitudes toward the body in its relationship to other bodies and natural and cultural spaces.  Encountering ancient Greece in the flesh, we interrogate also the contemporary experience ourselves as inheritors of the Classical tradition and critique Western idealized visions of ancient Greek politics and culture; their embodiment in the timeless beauty of Greek art; and the sociopolitical systems they naturalize.

WGS 240/Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Studies

Providing an introduction to a quickly evolving field of study, this course explores gay and lesbian identity, culture, and politics from many disciplinary points of view.  A single course might explore a wide range of subjects, such as Walt Whitman’s poetry, the history of lesbian bar culture, the politics of gay marriage, visibility on TV, and Heather Has Two Mommies.

WGS241/Introduction to Sexuality Studies

This course serves as an introduction to an examination of sexuality from a social perspective. We will engage in critical analyses of the existing organization and social meaning of sexuality, sexual identities, and sexual practices (as opposed to discussing merely descriptive accounts of doing sex). Sexuality Studies brings together a variety of intellectual perspectives from the humanities and social sciences; thus, our exploration of “the social construction of sexuality” will draw from scholarly fields as diverse as literature, history, religion, anthropology, law, sociology, psychology, and education, in addition to feminist, queer, and media studies. Topics covered will also be diverse and include: sexual bodies and behaviors; intimacies; sexual identities; sexual institutions and sexual commerce; sexual cultures; sexual regulation and inequality; and global and transnational sexualities, among other topics.

WGS 250/Politics of Sexuality

The political nature of personal life is a central critical concept of Women’s and Gender Studies.  Politics of Sexuality introduces students to implications of this concept through the study of contested topics concerning sexuality, such as gendered sexual socialization, sexual violence, family structures, poverty and welfare, sexual identities, transgenderism, commodification, risky sexual behaviors, STDs, sexual exploitation, pornography, prostitution, and the traffic in women.  Students learn how social norms, political currents, economic practices, and state policies construct their lived realities, governing choices they may have considered natural, private, and individual. They learn to articulate what is at stake in these issues from a variety of standpoints as preparation for making their own informed judgments.

WGS 252/Gender, Race, and Cultural Production

(same as AAS 252)

This course provides an overview of the various performance genre made popular in the late nineteenth through early twentieth centuries by African Americans. The course will make explicit connections between black diasporic cultural production and intellectualism during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance.

WGS 255/Shakespeare and Gender

(same as LIT 255)

In this class, students explore the cultural work performed in the areas of gender and sexuality, as well as developing an ability to read early modern English and learning the conventions of each subgenre of Shakespeare play: comedy, tragedy, history, and romance. Class readings will include
excerpts from early modern documents that provide a context for the plays.

WGS 260/Women of African Descent in Global Perspective

(same as AAS 280)

A global, cross-cultural survey of the lives and contributions of women of African ancestry.  Emphasis will be placed upon shared elements of African culture that, when impacted by colonialism and/or the Atlantic slave trade, resulted in similar types of resistance to oppression, and analogous cultural expression among the women of four locales-Africa, South America and The Caribbean, North America and Europe.  Theoretical methodologies, historical narrative, literature, demographic data, material culture, representations of self, and representations by others will be explored to illuminate history, cultural artifacts, cultural retentions, and self-concept.

WGS 271 Gender and Language

(same as WLC 271 and ANT 271)

Since its inception in the 1970s, the field of gender and language has grown to encompass a broad range of disciplines (sociolinguistics, anthropology, psychology, communication studies, literature, women’s studies, etc.) and theoretical interests. This course will provide an overview of key themes in gender and language research. From this overview we will see that there is ongoing discussion about both the most effective approach to the study of gender and language, and about the theoretical underpinnings which are evoked by, for example, various definitions of key concepts such as “gender.” Particular attention will be given in the course to approaches to language and gender that have developed within sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology and which focus on the way in which both language and gender are embedded in structures of power, authority, and social inequality, and with conflicts over these social structures.

WGS 280/Feminism and Philosophy

(Same as PHL 280)

This course examines the role of the female and the feminine in both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions, uncovering the ways in which women are either included or excluded in the development of a society’s fundamental assumptions about itself.  The methodology will be historical, thematic, and comparative.  Beginning with poststructuralist feminist perspectives the course moves backward to the ancient Greeks to show the philosophical origins of this orientation.  From the primary exclusions of women from language, reason, and the ideologies that historically accompany them, the course examines questions of women’s subjectivity, and agency in the political realm.

WGS 302/Women in the US to 1900

(same as His 385)

This course will examine the history of women in the United States from before European contact to the present.  We will explore the diverse ways in which women have lived, worked and contributed to the history of the U.S.  While we will be looking at some of the “great women” of U.S. history, the course will focus more on aspects of the general experiences of women and their political, social, cultural and familial relationships.

WGS 303/Women in the 20th Century US

(same as His 384)

An examination of the history of women in the United States in the 20th century with special emphasis on their roles in political and social movements.  We will explore the diverse ways in which women have lived, worked and contributed to the history of the U.S. in the 20th century.  While we will be looking at some of the “great women” of U.S. history, the course will focus more on aspects of the general experiences of women and their political, social, cultural and familial relationships.

WGS 304/Women in Classical Art

This course is designed for undergraduate upper level students.  We will be investigating the representation of women in ancient sculpture, painting, and the minor arts, as well as the architecture and structure of ancient houses and other spaces used by women.  In addition, the roles of women as patrons of the arts will be examined.  Emphasis will be placed on the interpretation of art and architecture in relation to the social and cultural roles that women fulfilled in the Greek and Roman worlds.

WGS 305/Looking at Women: Representation, Feminisms, and Film

(same as AAH 343 and COM 343)

Explores the enormous impact feminism has had on film theory, criticism, and production.  Various feminist approaches to the study and production of “cinematic apparatus” will be explored including structuralism, issues of representation, spectatorship, questions of ethnicity and hybrid sexualities. Screenings and readings will cover a wide range of positions and strategies as we investigate Hollywood and independent films as well as new media forms.

WGS 306/Sex and Gender in Greco-Roman Antiquity

(same as CLS 325)

This course will examine the topic of ancient sexuality both for its own sake, as historical knowledge, and as it relates to our own attitudes, values, and practices, as a sort of “dialogue” between past and present.  We will consider a variety of sources that highlight ancient ways of thinking about gender and sexuality:  literary, legal, and medical texts; art including ancient graffiti; architecture; and inscriptions.

WGS 307/Gender, Sexuality, and Pop Music in the 1980s

(same as MUS 355)

The focus of this course is on the ways in which select music artists who were in the popular spotlight in the 1980s constructed, conformed to, problematized, critiqued, and/or subverted traditional categories of gender and sexuality. Major themes include the presentation (and representation) of masculinities, misogyny, compulsory heterosexuality, articulations of feminism(s), queer(ing) strategies, and the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. Our primary texts will be album releases, music videos, and live performance footage from the 1980s, drawn from an array of artists: Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, the Eurythmics (featuring Annie Lennox), the Go-Go’s, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, L.L. Cool J, Madonna, the Pet Shop Boys, Poison, Prince, Queen Latifah, Salt ‘N Pepa, Bruce Springsteen, and Tina Turner. These sources will be supported by academic, critical, and popular writings that enrich understanding of the musical, historical, socio-cultural, and political contexts of ’80s popular music.

WGS 310/Women in Eastern Europe: 1848–Present

(same as HIS 324 and HON 337)

Focuses on women’s history in Eastern Europe in order to understand how the dual forces of nationalism and communism were largely constructed around gendered concerns such as reproduction, family structure, and access to power.

WGS 311/Gender and Migration

(Same as ANT 311)

Examines the role of women in migration both past and present.  It takes a global approach, investigating the lives of women from many different societies.  It also takes a comparative approach, exploring the similarities and differences of female international migrants from different cultural and class backgrounds.

WGS 314/Women’s Autobiographies, Diaries, and Letters

(same as LIT 319)

An examination of women’s autobiographical literature throughout many different time periods.  Drawing from a wide spectrum of primary and manuscript sources, we will study such representative works as 17th century Puritan women’s Indian captivity narratives, 18th century cross-dressed women’s Revolutionary War memoirs, 19th century slave narratives, Victorian maidservants’ journals, women’s pioneer diaries of westward migration and expansion, and 20th century women’s “fictional autobiographies.” The reading of these sources will be accompanied by rigorous research of secondary texts, incorporating the study of gender, history, and culture in relation to the primary works.  Ultimately, the class will explore the contemporary and rising field of autobiographical literary criticism, applying many theoretical perspectives to this ever-expanding corpus of women’s literature and life-writing across the ages.

WGS 317/The Witch in Literature

(same as LIT 317)

The witch has been a figure in literary history since the beginning of time. Who is she, and what does she embody?  Who creates her, and to what end?  This course will explore the socio-historical constructions of this figure and trace her through a wide spectrum of literary texts, including legal and historical treatises, fairy tales, short stories, drama, film, children’s literature, poetry, and even cartoons.  Ultimately, we will analyze the literary cultures which have persisted in creating, recreating, and reviving this timeless, powerful, and equally feared character throughout the ages.

WGS 320/Men and Masculinities: Literary Perspectives

(same as LIT 315)

This course focuses on representations of men and masculinities in literary texts. The course texts range across a variety of literary traditions and genres and, depending upon the particular semester, may be organized around a theme such as violence, love, or solitude. Students will be prepared theoretically and methodologically to analyze representations of gender in narrative and poetry.  The overarching goal of the class is to learn about, and reflect upon, the significance of gender in our lives, history and culture.

WGS 321 Gender and Disability: Literary Perspectives
(same as CMP 321)

This course will analyze how gender intersects with the perception and representation of physical or mental impairment, difference, and/or ability in world literature. By examining how disability is represented in texts from different cultures, time periods, and literary genres or traditions, this course will study how definitions of disability and/or bodily difference (as well as intersecting cultural conceptions of “normal” and able-bodiedness) are socially scripted. 

WGS 325/Feminist Theories

Prerequisite: At least one WGS course

Explores the diverse ways in which feminist theorists conceptualize women’s status in society, systems of inequality, and the category of “woman” itself. Students will gain an understanding of evolving ideas and debates in feminist theory, relate those to feminist practices, and develop their own theoretical abilities.  The course will address the social construction of gender, the relation between feminist theory and activism, and how feminists have responded to issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality in current feminist thinking, as well as the classic feminist texts.

WGS 326/Feminist Methodologies

Prerequisite: At least two WGS courses

Feminist Methodologies will provide WGSS with an understanding and knowledge of the research methods feminist scholars use and prepare students to apply these methods in their own research projects.  The course focuses on the obligations of feminist researchers, the core issues in various feminist epistemologies, and feminist perspectives on various research methods and how feminist scholars challenge dominant theories of knowledge and the major methodologies employed in the social sciences.

WGS 327/European Social History Since 1789

(same as HIS 327)

An examination of the social changes that have occurred in Europe since the French Revolution. Topics include the history of families, gender roles, class divisions, racial ideologies, religion, work and leisure.

WGS 328/ Gender in 20th Century U.S.

(Same as HIS 365/North American and US History- when title is: Gender in 20th  Century U.S.)

Gender in 20th Century United States examines the lives of Americans as men and women.  It explores the ways in which gender determines and is determined by historical experiences.  It employs feminist and historical theories and methodologies in the examination of the sex/gender/race system of US politics, economics, culture and society and gives students an alternative lens from which to view history.  The focus on gender expands the notion of what is historically significant to include the history of the family, sexuality and friendship, rather than primarily military and political history.  Students are encouraged to discover the important roles gender plays and has played in cultural negotiation and interaction.  Additionally, students will also be challenged to discover how notions of masculinity and femininity have affected women’s and men’s lives, as well as other areas of life, including diplomacy, policies, religion, and the economy.

WGS 329/Gender in US Society

(Same as SOC 334)

An examination of the significance of gender in different areas of contemporary American life.  Covers basic concepts, historical perspectives, and changing patterns in attitudes and behavior, drawing on current trends in scholarship, theory, and activism around prominent social issues. Topics include socialization, mass media, the family, work, and sexuality. Special attention is given to intersectional issues across a range of social systems and institutions.

WGS 330/Gender and Public Policy

Prerequisite: WGS 200 or permission on instructor

This course seeks to clarify the relationship between state power and gender relations through an examination of major policy issues related to gender inequality, including welfare policy, labor politics, reproductive rights, sexual violence, and domestic violence.

WGS 333/Body Image, Culture, and Society

(Same as SOC 333)

This course is intended to engage you in critical thinking about the sociocultural context of the idealized images of gendered bodies around you as well as individual decisions you make affecting your own body. It is, simultaneously, a case study in the dynamics of social power.

WGS 335/AAS 335 Caribbean Woman Writers

Anglophone and English translations of Hispanophone and Lusophone writings by Caribbean women writers of African descent will be examined.  Post-colonial and Africana feminist literary criticism will be used to explore the intersectionalities of race, gender, class, and sexuality on this literature as well as its connection to the writings African and other Diaspora women.

WGS 340/Gay and Lesbian History

(same as HIS 397)

This course looks at the history of gay men and lesbians.  It also considers the unique ways in which gays and lesbians have contributed to the history and culture of their region and national identity while maintaining a diverse subculture.  The course explores the different historical and social roles of gays and lesbians and how they survived under oppressions that ranged from the denial of civic and civil rights to execution.  At the completion of this course, students will have expanded the traditional historical narrative by recognizing the presence and agency of gays and lesbians.

WGS 341/Queer Literature

(same as LIT 313)

Queer Literature primarily reflects on “literary” texts (novels, poems, and plays), considering the aesthetics, politics, and history of queer literary production and consumption.  With recent advances in cultural studies and queer studies, this course will also embrace works that are sometimes situated outside of traditional definitions of “literary” (children’s books, movies, and pulp fiction), with an examination of the course theme from a variety of literary methodologies, such as reader response criticism and discourse analysis.

WGS 342/LGBTQ Issues in Education

This course examines LGBTQ issues within the context and concerns of K-12 schooling/education. Specifically, we will focus on several themes: heterosexism in schools; homophobic and transphobic forms of bullying and violence; the history of LGBTQ educational struggles; emerging legal rights of LGBTQ students and teachers; the coming out process in high school; LGBTQ and teacher education; queer pedagogies; the politics of gay-straight alliances; the politics of queer youth (sub)cultures and online media; and LGBTQ activism in schools.

WGS 343/Queer Studies

This course serves as an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of queer studies, a critical approach to thinking about sexuality that emerged in academic and activist contexts in the early 1990s as a critique of normative models of sex, gender, and sexuality.   This course will survey a cross section of queer thought, ranging from some of its earliest expressions by writers such as Foucault, Sedgwick and Butler to some of its contemporary manifestations and innovations (e.g., Jack Halberstam’s Gaga Feminism:  Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal).

WGS 344/Transgender Studies

This course examines the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies. It provides an overview of major concepts, terms, and debates, as well as a cross-section of recent scholarly work and a snapshot of emerging trends, within this rapidly evolving field of study. One general focus of the course is to examine the ongoing development of the concept of transgender as it is situated across historical, social, cultural, legal, biomedical, and political contexts and discussions within the scholarly literature and beyond. Questions raised during the semester include: What is transgender studies and how does it differ from other forms of scholarship within gender and sexuality studies? In what complex ways is the concept of transgender “remapping” the relationship among biological sex, gender, and sexuality, as well as reconstituting the meanings of these categories? How does trans politics relate to feminist politics, to queer politics, and to anti-racist politics? Is the term transgender useful in describing non-Western embodiments?

WGS 350/Gender Equity in the Classroom

This course examines theoretical writings on feminist pedagogy and also addresses practical issues related to teaching Women’s and Gender Studies.  Participants will develop familiarity with  feminist pedagogies and their significance for the field of Women’s and Gender Studies; interpret their own educational experiences within the context of feminist reflections on education; formulate their own philosophies of education; and develop and test pedagogical strategies for developing critical consciousness about social inequalities.

WGS 351/Gender Gap in Science Careers

(same as PSY 351)

This course will increase students’ awareness of the gender gap in science and will highlight how gender influences our biology, cognitions, and how we are socialized (or not) into participating in science and science-based careers. We will start by discussing the state of the gap and historical trends. Then, we will discuss different possible explanations and solutions, and evaluate the strength of each theoretical perspective. For example, we will discuss socio-cultural factors (e.g., peers, family, teachers and classrooms, colleges and universities, stereotypes, beliefs about ability, and gender roles), biological factors (e.g., hormones, including prenatal effects, and brain anatomy  and physiology), cognitive factors (e.g., spatial and mathematical abilities), and evolutionary factors. All of these factors involve gender differences, which may or may not be contributing to preferences, course selections, and career choices.

WGS 355/Women, Gender, and Work
(Same as ECO 325)

An examination of the economic basis of policy debated on gender inequality in the labor market and in the workplace. Perfect competition and strategic competition theories of gender inequality are studied and contrasted. Topics include the wage gap, occupational distribution, labor force participation, productivity differentials, working conditions, and international comparison.

WGS 360/Literature by Latinas and Latin-American Women

(same as LIT 334)

A comparative study of Latina and Latin-American women’s literature in English.  The course is open to a wide range of literary traditions, nations, time periods, and genres including those specific to non-Western and post-Colonial cultures.  The focus varies by semester.  It may include works by Isabel Allende, Julia Alverez, Gloria Anzaldua, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, Laura Esquivel, Rosario Ferre, Cristina Garcia, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Elena Poniatowska, and others.

WGS 361/African American Women’s History

(Same as AAS 376/HIS 365 when topic is African American Women’s History)

A study of the experience of African American women in the United States, from both historical and contemporary perspectives.  Through a survey of critical time periods, key social institutions, and crystallizing experiences, the course will explicate the role of African American women in shaping present American society.  Readings, lectures, discussions, recordings and movies will be used to present a comprehensive and cohesive understanding of the historical experiences of African American Women.

WGS 362/History of Black Lives Matter:  Intersectional Anti-Racism and Violence Studies

(Same as AAS 362)

In this course, students critically analyze scholarly and activist writings that expose and interrogate anti-black ideologies and violence in the United States from slavery to the present. The discourses of marginalized and traditionally unheard voices critique and challenge the racist discourses that animate, perpetuate, and justify structural racism. Students gain an understanding that racist violence is historical, ongoing, ideologically premised, institutionalized, and enmeshed with multiple oppressions, including sexism, classism, heterosexism, and cissexism; therefore, effective activist responses to anti-black violence must be intersectional and inclusive.

WGS 363/Slavery and Black Womanhood

(Same as HIS 373)

Harriet Jacobs laments in her 1861 slave narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl that “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women”.  Enslaved women in early and antebellum America not only endured the legal classification of being chattel property, but also the legal vulnerability of being sexual objects. The everyday sexual violation of black women by slaveholders, overseers, and others, not only tested legal definitions of sexual assault and rape, but also shaped the lives of enslaved women. Using primary source materials, biographies, monographs, and small group discussion, students will examine the challenges that enslaved black women faced in the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century. Specifically, this course will focus on unpaid labor, rape, exclusion from first-wave feminism, resistance, incarceration, and reproduction as core experiences of black girlhood and womanhood.

WGS 365/Black Feminist Thought

(same as AAS 375)

Prerequisite: WGS 260/AAS/280, WGS 375, or by permission of the instructor

Traces the evolution of feminist consciousness among Africana women.  Students will trace the thoughts, social and political activism and ideologies generated by women of African ancestry from the early 19th Century free black “feminist abolitionists” to contemporary times.  “Womanist,” “Feminist,” “Critical Race Feminist,” and “Black Feminist” ideologies will be emphasized through course readings and assignments that explore the emergence and perpetuation of an Africana women’s feminist consciousness.

WGS 366/Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health

(Same as PSY 336)

This seminar will provide students with the opportunity for in-depth study of a specific topic within counseling and clinical psychology.  Specifically: This course will cover current issues in LGBTQI mental health, including theories of sexual and gender minority stress and identity development, research on mental and physical health in this population, coping and protective factors, and treatments.

WGS 373/Women and Spirituality:  The Feminine Divine  

(same as REL 373)

This course focuses on the intersections of feminism and spirituality, examines the experiences of women in a variety of spiritual traditions, and examines how worldview is shaped by historical context. The question of how feminists connect to, critique, transform, and remember spiritual experiences will be considered. The course explores several aspects of spirituality including language, ritual, and creativity; it also considers what happens when feminists alter, shape, retell and interpret rituals and traditions.

WGS 374/Ecofeminism

Building on the core precept that the domination of women and the domination of nature are fundamentally connected, ecofeminism offers a distinctive, interdisciplinary lens on the world, drawing on not only feminism and ecology, but also historical analysis, philosophy of science, cultural study, the arts, community development, spirituality, and a commitment to challenging oppression in all its forms.  Through readings in the various disciplinary threads that inform ecofeminism, we will explore ways in which systemic social inequalities shape human relationships to the natural environments; challenge common abuses of the environment and offer alternatives; and study current movements globally.

WGS 375/Transnational Feminisms

“Transnational feminisms” refers to the growing transnational network of movements and organizations working on behalf of women at many levels of civil and state society, from grassroots organizing to global governance, together with a growing body of writing and research on women’s status, gender oppression, and priorities for change around the world.  This course’s purpose is to prepare students, as world citizens, to participate in this network by exposing them not only to issues and movements but also to the conceptual, methodological, and affective challenges of building solidarity across a vast range of differences—differences in identity, locale, worldview, focus, strategy, and standpoint in relation to global systems of power.  This course may be repeated for credit, as topic changes.

WGS 376/Global Women Writers

(same as LIT 316)

Explores various literatures from around the world, encouraging students to examine the politics of gender, culture, and nation as well as the intersections of those systems of power.  The explorations will cover a large range of topics, from arranged marriages to women in war in a variety of geographical areas around the world, particularly focusing on non-Western literatures.  Common themes include feminist politics, post and neo/colonialisms, reproductive rights, translation, globalization, and activism.

WGS 377/Gender Politics of Development    

This course analyzes the changing roles, opportunities and expectations of African women and men as societies undergo social upheavals associated with colonialism, independence, restructuring, conflict, development, globalization, neo-liberalism, climate change and the resultant impact this has on gender relations and power.  Topics include changing gender roles in the global political economy given the ongoing processes of globalization, participation and policy initiatives at the global level, international human rights concerns, and the role of the United Nations in addressing women’s global empowerment.

WGS 378/Women in the World

(Same as SOC 303)

This course examines gender in a comparative and global context framed by interdisciplinary perspectives from sociology, anthropology, psychology, and cultural studies. Studies social construction of gender across cultures and globalization as a web of complex forces shaping gender-construction activities and institutions. Students compare experiences with other cultures and analyze work, play, and intimacy and institutional structures, including religion, politics, military, media, and the economy.

WGS 379/Asian American Literature

(same as LIT 379)

This course examines how issues of identity (class, race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity) have intersected with debates about literary history and tradition (aesthetics, canonicity, and questions of cultural “value”) in Asian American literature.  Although the selected course materials and assignments may vary from semester to semester, each offering of this course focuses on the issues, contexts and representations that have shaped Asian American literature over a period of at least 50 years.  In particular, this course focuses on how the Asian American literary tradition and its surrounding contexts have changed in response to, among other things, new patterns of immigration and new debates about the scope, definition and value of the overarching term “Asian American.”

WGS 380/Gender and Democracy

(same as HON 338)

Scholars and policy makers alike have acknowledged the centrality of gender in debates about the meaning of democracy in our changing world.  Men’s and women’s access to political power and economic opportunity, and the role of reproduction in citizenship, are among the manifold topics that highlight the complexity of what we call “democracy.” The course will take up these issues in several key locations.

WGS 391/Independent Study in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Independent study credit is available; see WGSS department chair for approval.

 WGS 393/Independent Research in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

See WGSS department chair for approval.

WGS 398/Feminism in the Workplace: Field Study in Women’s and Gender Studies
Prerequisite: At least two WGS courses

This internship course is a chance for students to consolidate and enrich their undergraduate learning while building the transition to life beyond college. A WGSS education trains students to think critically and act strategically on issues of social inequity, particularly relating to gender and sexuality. Graduates enter a wide variety of careers. WGS 398, therefore, focuses not on the nature and demands of particular worksites, but on work itself and organizational practices that arise from feminist theory and scholarship. The course is designed for students of junior or senior standing who are WGS majors or minors, as well as for W.I.L.L. students.

WGS 399/Internship in Women’s and Gender Studies
See WGSS department chair for approval.

WGS 404/Women in Classical Art

(Same as AAH 404)

This course is designed for undergraduate upper level students.  We will be investigating the representation of women in ancient sculpture, painting, and the minor arts, as well as the architecture and structure of ancient houses and other spaces used by women.  In addition, the roles of women as patrons of the arts will be examined.  Emphasis will be placed on the interpretation of art and architecture in relation to the social and cultural roles that women fulfilled in the Greek and Roman worlds.

WGS 470/Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies

Focuses on a special topic in Women’s and Gender Studies. This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes.

WGS 496 Honors Independent Research
Prerequisites: WGS 325 Feminist Theories, WGS 326 Intersectional Qualitative Research Methods (or equivalent), WGS 498 Senior Capstone.
Departmental Honors is open to any WGSS major with a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major and the permission of the department chair. Honors projects are extended research papers written under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students begin their honors projects while enrolled in WGS 495 Senior Capstone and complete their projects while enrolled in WGS 497. A departmental committee of 2-3 members will approve project proposals and evaluate the completed work in conjunction with the faculty mentor. For more information, please contact the department chair.


WGS 498/Senior Seminar: Methods and Theory

Prerequisite: WGS 325

This course is the capstone course for the WGSS major. Students are expected to use the expertise gained from their previous WGSS courses to research and write their senior theses. Drawing on the methodologies and theories learned in previously taken courses, students work in a small focused seminar that not only emphasizes their own work but also constructively critiques the work of their peers. Students will produce a research paper (25+ pages) applying feminist theories and methodologies. In addition, they will share their work with other students, providing analysis and critiques of one another’s papers in progress.

WGS 499/Women’s Leadership and Social Change

Prerequisites: WGS 200 and 325

In this W.I.L.L. capstone seminar course, students will experience the interfaces between empirical knowledge and social policies through selecting, organizing, and implementing a class activism project. This course is the culmination of the W.I.L.L. program in which students will expand and enhance their leadership skills using acquired strategies and tactics to influence social, political, or economic change.