Course Descriptions

WGS 134 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.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: Open to 1st and 2nd year students only
  • 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.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Michel, Dunlap

WGS 258 Women in the Arts (1)

This seminar in women’s history examines the lives and contributions of women, primarily in western Europe, in the fine arts 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: historiography of women; women’s artistic products (music compositions, 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: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Duerksen

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; Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: WGS 134 or WGS 245
  • 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
  • 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 499W Senior Thesis (1)

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

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: WGS 353W and at least one disciplinary methods course plus senior standing
  • Offering: Every Fall
  • Instructor: Staff