2013-2014

Women’s and Gender Studies

Feminist scholarship, which arose in the late twentieth century in response to the historically masculine bias of the academy, explores the important but often hidden ways that gender and gender inequality have shaped, and been shaped by, our cultural, social, and personal worlds. In recent years, scholars in the field have increasingly recognized that gender and gender inequality cannot be understood in abstraction from other axes of social identity and power, especially those of race, class, sexual orientation, and nation. Thus, the program in Women's and Gender Studies offers students the opportunity to examine, from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, gender's intersections with other dimensions of social power and identity. In addition to addressing these intersections, courses may focus on developments within feminist thought, on applications of feminist scholarship to a particular field of study, or on selected topics concerning gender and gender inequality. All Women's and Gender Studies classes encourage students to think systematically and critically about gender and to confront the challenges of moving toward a more equitable world.

Requirements for the Women's and Gender Studies Program Major (9 Credits)

There are 9 credits required for the WGS major [prerequisites are listed in brackets behind each course]

1. Students must take at least one of the following courses: (1)

  • WGS 134 (AR) Thinking Sex (1)
  • WGS 245 Feminism, Gender, and Society (1)

2. Students must take the following three required courses: (3)

  • WGS 353W Feminist Theory (1) [WGS 134 or WGS 245]
  • One disciplinary methods/theory course (should be chosen in consultation with an advisor and dependent on WGS interests and proposed senior thesis) [WGS 134 or WGS 245--NOTE: Some courses also require WGS 353W]
    • Courses that will count (additional courses considered by petition):
      • AES 330 Theory and Methods of American Ethnic Studies (1) [AES 150; junior or senior standing; and at least one elective course in AES]
      • ANTH 361W Ethnographic Methods (1) [ANTH 371]
      • ARTH 362W Theories and Methodologies of Art History (1) [A 200-level art history course]
      • ENGL 202W (IT) Introduction to Literary Theory (1) [ENGL 201]
      • HIST 306 History through Biography: Women in World History (1) [no prerequisites]
      • HIST 393 Oral History: Theory, Methods, Practice (1) [junior or senior status, or consent of instructor]
      • PHIL 335 History, Sexuality, and Power (1) [One Philosophy course or consent of instructor; closed to first year students]
      • PSYC 252W (QA) Research Methods and Analysis I (1) [PSYC 210 or consent of instructor]
      • RHET 261W Rhetorical Criticism (1) [no prerequisites]
      • SOC 401W (QA) Quantitative Methods in Social Research (1) [SOC 301 (or equivalent) and SOC 303 or WGS 353W]
      • SOC 402W Qualitative Methods in Social Research (1) [SOC 303 or WGS 353W]
      • NOTE: Departments whose method courses will count in the WGS major have all be contacted, and all courses listed above have been approved for use in the WGS major by their respective departments.
  • WGS 499 Senior Thesis [WGS 353W and at least one disciplinary methods course plus senior standing]

3. Five additional courses of the following: (5)

  • ANTH 345 Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective (1) [no prerequisites, though ANTH 150 or courses in Women's Studies are recommended]
  • CHNSE 258 (US) Gender and Mass Media in Asia (1)
  • CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem) Women in Roman Literature and Life (1) [no prerequisites]
  • CLAS 260 (IT; 4th Sem) Gender and Sexuality in Greek Society (1) [no prerequisites]
  • ENGL 116W (IT) Topics in Am. Lit.: Peculiar Intimacies (1) [no prerequisites]
  • ENGL 355W Feminist Film Criticism (1) [Previous course in ENGL, FILM, or WGS, or consent of instructor]
  • ENGL 373 Contemporary Literature: Post-Slavery Fiction (topic dependent-only Post-Slavery Fiction) (1) [A 100- or 200-level English course in literature]
  • ENGL 381 Latin @ Countercultures Digital Research Project (1) [ENGL 201 or AES 150]
  • ENGL 438 Literature and Sexuality [ENGL 201 or ENGL 202W, or consent of instructor]
  • FREN 437 (IT) Female Voices in African Literature and Film (1) [FREN 340]
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: Gender and Society in East Asia (topic dependent) (1) [freshmen and sophomores only]
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: Gender and Power in Modern Africa (topic dependent) (1) [freshmen and sophomores only]
  • HIST 262 American Women's History (1) [no prerequisites]
  • HIST 306 History through Biography: Women in World History (1) (may count as methods/theory course instead) [no prerequisites]
  • HIST 375 Women and Gender in Medieval Europe (1) [no prerequisites]
  • HUM 497W Humanities Senior Seminar: Our Bodies Ourselves (topic dependent) (1) [no prerequisites]
  • PHIL 335 History, Sexuality and Power (1) (may count as methods/theory course instead) [One philosophy course or consent of instructor; closed to first-year students]
  • POLI 351W Women in American Politics (1) [POLI 210 or consent of instructor]
  • POLI 384 Transnational Feminist Politics (1) [Any WGS course or POLI 214, POLI 216, POLI 218 or consent of instructor]
  • PSYC 354 (US) Psychology of Women and Gender (1) [PSYC 210 or consent of instructor]
  • REL 256 (IT) Goddesses and Ghosts: Images of Women in Chinese Traditions (1) [no prerequisites]
  • REL 336 Women in World Religion (1) [no prerequisites]
  • RHET 317 Citizenship and the Public Sphere (1) [RHET 231, RHET 261W, RHET 326, WGS 245 or WGS 353W or consent of instructor]
  • RHET 336 Rhetoric of US Women's Rights Before 1920 (1) [no first-year students]
  • RHET 337 Rhetoric of US Women's Rights Since 1920 (1) [no first-year students]
  • RHET 350 Topics in Rhetoric and Media Studies: Race, Gender and the Public Sphere (topic depending) (1) [RHET 231 or RHET 261W according to topic focus on theory or criticism, or consent of instructor]
  • RHET 350 Topics in Rhetoric and Media Studies: Rhetoric of U.S. Women's Rights I (1785-present) (topic depending) (1) [RHET 231 or RHET 261W according to topic focus on theory or criticism, or consent of instructor]
  • RHET 355 (US) Rhetorics of Sex and Gender (1) [RHET 231, RHET 326, or WGS course]
  • RUSS 245W (IT) From Russia with Love: Family and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature (1) [no prerequisites]
  • SOC 121 (US) Gender in Society (1) [freshmen and sophomores only]
  • SOC 328 Families (1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course or consent of instructor]
  • SOC 334 Inequality in Society (1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course]
  • SOC 358 Special Topics in Sociology: (topic depending) (.5-1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course)
  • SOC 362 Sexualities (1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course]
  • SPAN 435 Contemporary Latin American Women Writers (1)
  • SPAN 438 Contemporary Spanish Women Writers (1) [SPAN 340, SPAN 352, SPAN 353, SPAN 355, SPAN 356, or consent of instructor]
  • SPAN 445 Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature (topic dependent) (1) [SPAN 340, SPAN 352, SPAN 353, SPAN 355, SPAN 356, or consent of instructor]
  • WGS 258 (TH) Women in the Arts (1) [no prerequisites]
  • WGS 342 Topics in Feminist Analysis (1) [closed to first-year students; two previous courses focusing on feminist scholarship or instructor's permission; may be taken a second time]
  • WGS 390 Independent Study in Women's and Gender Studies (1) [WGS major or minor and consent of instructor]
  • WGS 394 Internship in Women's and Gender Studies (1) [WGS 353W, junior or senior standing, or consent of department chair]
  • No more than 4 total courses at the 100-200 level and no more then 3 courses with same departmental prefix (other than WGS) can count toward the WGS major.

Requirements for the Women's and Gender Studies Program Minor (5 Credits)

There are 5 credits required for the WGS minor [prerequisites are listed in brackets behind each course]

1. Students must take at least one of the following courses: (1)

  • WGS 134 (AR) Thinking Sex (1)
  • WGS 245 Feminism, Gender, and Society (1)

2. Students must take the following required course: (1)

3. Three additional courses of the following, at least one of which must be at the 300 level or higher: (3)

  • ANTH 345 Sex and Gender in Anthropological Perspective (1) [no prerequisites, though ANTH 150 or courses in Women's Studies are recommended]
  • CHNSE 258 (US) Gender and Mass Media in Asia (1)
  • CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem) Women in Roman Literature and Life (1) [no prerequisites]
  • CLAS 260 (IT; 4th Sem) Gender and Sexuality in Greek Society (1) [no prerequisites]
  • ENGL 116W (IT) Topics in Am. Lit.: Peculiar Intimacies (1) [no prerequisites]
  • ENGL 355W Feminist Film Criticism (1) [Previous course in ENGL, FILM, or WGS, or consent of instructor]
  • ENGL 373 Contemporary Literature: Post-Slavery Fiction (topic dependent-only Post-Slavery Fiction) (1) [A 100- or 200-level English course in literature]
  • ENGL 381 Latin @ Countercultures Digital Research Project (1) [ENGL 201 or AES 150]
  • ENGL 438 Literature and Sexuality [ENGL 201 or ENGL 202W, or consent of instructor]
  • FREN 437 (IT) Female Voices in African Literature and Film (1) [FREN 340]
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: Gender and Society in East Asia (topic dependent) (1) [freshmen and sophomores only]
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: Gender and Power in Modern Africa (topic dependent) (1) [freshmen and sophomores only]
  • HIST 262 American Women's History (1) [no prerequisites]
  • HIST 306 History through Biography: Women in World History (1) (may count as methods/theory course instead) [no prerequisites]
  • HIST 375 Women and Gender in Medieval Europe (1) [no prerequisites]
  • HUM 497W Humanities Senior Seminar: Our Bodies Ourselves (topic dependent) (1) [no prerequisites]
  • PHIL 335 History, Sexuality and Power (1) (may count as methods/theory course instead) [One philosophy course or consent of instructor; closed to first-year students]
  • POLI 351W Women in American Politics (1) [POLI 210 or consent of instructor]
  • POLI 384 Transnational Feminist Politics (1) [Any WGS course or POLI 214, POLI 216, POLI 218 or consent of instructor]
  • PSYC 354 (US) Psychology of Women and Gender (1) [PSYC 210 or consent of instructor]
  • REL 256 (IT) Goddesses and Ghosts: Images of Women in Chinese Traditions (1) [no prerequisites]
  • REL 336 Women in World Religion (1) [no prerequisites]
  • RHET 317 Citizenship and the Public Sphere (1) [RHET 231, RHET 261W, RHET 326, WGS 245 or WGS 353W or consent of instructor]
  • RHET 336 Rhetoric of US Women's Rights Before 1920 (1) [no first-year students]
  • RHET 337 Rhetoric of US Women's Rights Since 1920 (1) [no first-year students]
  • RHET 350 Topics in Rhetoric and Media Studies: Race, Gender and the Public Sphere (topic depending) (1) [RHET 231 or RHET 261W according to topic focus on theory or criticism, or consent of instructor]
  • RHET 350 Topics in Rhetoric and Media Studies: Rhetoric of U.S. Women's Rights I (1785-present) (topic depending) (1) [RHET 231 or RHET 261W according to topic focus on theory or criticism, or consent of instructor]
  • RHET 355 (US) Rhetorics of Sex and Gender (1) [RHET 231, RHET 326, or WGS course]
  • RUSS 245W (IT) From Russia with Love: Family and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature (1) [no prerequisites]
  • SOC 121 (US) Gender in Society (1) [freshmen and sophomores only]
  • SOC 328 Families (1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course or consent of instructor]
  • SOC 334 Inequality in Society (1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course]
  • SOC 358 Special Topics in Sociology: (topic depending) (.5-1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course)
  • SOC 362 Sexualities (1) [SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course]
  • SPAN 435 Contemporary Latin American Women Writers (1)
  • SPAN 438 Contemporary Spanish Women Writers (1) [SPAN 340, SPAN 352, SPAN 353, SPAN 355, SPAN 356, or consent of instructor]
  • SPAN 445 Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature (topic dependent) (1) [SPAN 340, SPAN 352, SPAN 353, SPAN 355, SPAN 356, or consent of instructor]
  • WGS 258 (TH) Women in the Arts (1) [no prerequisites]
  • WGS 342 Topics in Feminist Analysis (1) [closed to first-year students; two previous courses focusing on feminist scholarship or instructor's permission; may be taken a second time]
  • WGS 390 Independent Study in Women's and Gender Studies (1) [WGS major or minor and consent of instructor]
  • WGS 394 Internship in Women's and Gender Studies (1) [WGS 353W, junior or senior standing, or consent of department chair]

Indicators of Achievement

Student Learning Outcomes for the Women's and Gender Studies Major

  1. Identify and analyze a diverse range of historical and contemporary feminisms
  2. Articulate and apply theories of feminism and gender to a variety of social, political, and cultural issues
  3. Recognize and analyze intersections between gender and other axes of social identity and power such as race, class, or nation
  4. Integrate knowledge, perspectives, and/or methods from multiple academic disciplines
  5. Experience community engagement on behalf of gender equity

Course Listings

WGS 134 (AR) Thinking Sex (1)

This course examines assumptions, arguments, evidence and underlying values about biological sex differences, sexuality and gender construction and asks: Who is a woman? Is sex a stable category? What is the future of sex and why does it matter? Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches, we further analyze the packaging of sex by consumer culture, global markets and social movements with the goal of exposing some of the varied uses of sex and the implications of what we view as sex differences.

  • Prerequisite: Open to 1st and 2nd year students only.
  • General Education Requirement: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

WGS 245 Feminism, Gender and Society (1)

This interdisciplinary course will explore the ways that gender inequality structures aspects of personal lives and social institutions. We will examine a variety of feminist perspectives on work, family, sexuality and culture and will consider the role of class, race and ethnicity in feminist thought. Emphases will vary with instructor.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Michel, Markowitz, Dunlap

WGS 258 (TH) Women in the Arts (1)

This seminar in women's history examines the lives and contributions of women in the fine arts primarily in Western Europe from the medieval period through the twenty-first century. A series of case studies facilitates historical understanding of women fine artists in the church, in secular society, in the domestic sphere, and in popular culture. Topics include: women's artistic products (music compositions; works of visual art; literature and poetry; videos); women's lives as fine artists in their respective historical period, demographic, and cultural milieu; women's representations of themselves as fine artists in letters and other documents; and present-day biographical narratives of women fine artists.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Thinking Historically
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Duerksen

WGS 342 Topics in Feminist Analysis (1)

This course provides an opportunity for qualified students to examine, from an interdisciplinary perspective, a particular topic in feminist analysis. Seminar topics and staff will change from year to year. Closed to freshmen. May be taken a second time.

  • Prerequisite: Two previous courses focusing on feminist scholarship or instructor's permission
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Markowitz

WGS 353W Feminist Theory (1)

This interdisciplinary course will examine such basic issues as gender difference and its relationship to women's subordination; the intersections of gender with other dimensions of social identity and power (e.g., class, race/ethnicity, sexuality, nation); the way gendered discourse shapes social reality. These issues will be discussed from a variety of feminist theoretical perspective (e.g., those influenced by liberalism, Marxism/socialism, psychoanalysis, radical feminism, post-modernism, and post-colonialism). Closed to freshmen.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: One previous Women's Studies course
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Staff

WGS 358 Topics in Women's and Gender Studies (1)

This course enables faculty and students to focus on a specific topic in Women's and Gender Studies within an interdisciplinary framework. Topics will involve an exploration of some combination of sex, gender, sexuality. Designation of specific topics and relevant cases and theories will be made at the time of course offering.

  • Prerequisite: One credit in Women's and Gender Studies or consent of instructor.
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

WGS 390 Independent Study in Women's and Gender Studies (1)

Qualified students will undertake a program of independent research with a Women's and Gender Studies faculty member. Closed to freshmen.

  • Prerequisite: WGS major or minor and consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

WGS 394 Internship in Women's and Gender Studies (.5-1)

The Internship in Women's and Gender Studies course allows students the opportunity to obtain applied experience at an agency or in a social setting where women's or gender issues are prominent. This will allow WGS students the opportunity to go beyond the classroom, thus enabling students to translate and apply knowledge gained in WGS courses into social world experiences.

  • Prerequisite: WGS 353W and junior or senior standing, or consent of Department Chair
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

WGS 499 Senior Thesis (1)

Senior Women's and Gender Studies major will research and write senior papers on topics of their choice.

  • Prerequisite: WGS 353W and at least one disciplinary methods course plus senior standing
  • Offering: Every Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

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