Academic Programs

Emily Evans ('12) working in Peru

Women's studies minor Emily Evans working in Peru.

Women's Studies Courses

WS 1004 Introduction to Women’s Studies
An introduction to the study of women in society emphasizing the current attempt of feminist literature in various disciplines to explore new ways of looking at the human experience from the perspective of women.

WS 2004 Feminist Philosophies
Covering authors from the 1700s through the present, this course will present a survey, exploration, and critical assessment of the varieties of philosophical thought orbiting around what have been known as the ’woman question’ and ’feminism.’ Topics may include educational reform, suffrage, equal rights, psychoanalysis, socialism, radical feminism, post-modernism, and feminist critiques of popular culture. Also listed as PHIL 2004. IV

WS 2134 Immigration, Gender, and Race
This class will investigate how gender and race shape immigration patterns, how they are incorporated into the dynamics of corporate globalization, and how they operate in immigrant social networks. We will cover topics such as employment, family, identity, sexuality, immigrant social life, globalization, and transnationalism. While examining the history of immigration in the U.S and other countries, we will analyze how economic status, citizenship, and privilege become enmeshed in vectors of power such as gender, race, and nation. Also listed as SOC 2154. IV

WS 2144 Women’s Literature
A survey of major issues in the study of women in literature, covering a representative sample of women writers. Questions will be raised about the nature and effects of patriarchal thinking on women and women writers, about the ways in which women’s problems emerge in women’s writing, and about the ways in which women writers image reality. Prerequisite: At least one ENG course. WS 1004 is recommended preparation. Also listed as ENG 2144. IV; V

WS 2154 American Women Writers and Ethnicity
A study of prose and poetry written by women in America: African-American, Asian, Chicana, American Indian, West and East Indian. The course will focus on questions raised about historicity, race, class, and gender, and the function of writing in addressing such social dynamics. Beyond this inquiry, the course will address issues related to compound identities and communities, class position and education, the construction of sexuality, the formation of collective ethnic or racial consciousness, and women’s communities. Writers may include Hurston, Larsen, Morrison, Kingston, Erdrich, Andalzua, Muhkerjee, and others. Also listed as ENG 2154. IV; V

WS 2294 Special Topics in Women’s Studies
An intensive study and exploration into specific topics in women’s studies that are not fully treated in other courses. May be related to a particular issue, historical period, or geographical area. Usually offered in May term, topics change and will be announced in advance. May be repeated for credit provided the period or topic is different. IV

WS 2314 Gender and Children’s Literature
Acquaints the student with issues related to the construction of gender in literature for children and young adults. The focus may change from term to term, so that gender issues in specific genres can be explored in-depth. Students will complete group projects and reflections on films and readings. Prerequisite: EDU 1004, 2024, WS 1004 or permission of instructor. Also listed as EDU 2314. IV

WS 2414 Sociology of Gender
Intensive study of how social relations between males and females are organized, lived, and understood in the United States, with some emphasis on historical and cross-cultural comparison. Topics include gender socialization, masculinity and femininity, gender at work and in the family, and sex and gender inequality and change. Prerequisite: SOC 1004. Also listed as SOC 2414. IV; V

WS 2524 Psychology of Gender
Provides students with an overview of psychological research and theory on gender. The course provides analysis of the myths and stereotypes associated with women and men in society, the social and psychological gender differences that have been identified in the research, and the evidence and theoretical arguments concerning the origin and functional implications of these differences. Prerequisite: PSY 1004. Also listed as PSY 2524. IV

WS 2534 "Doing Gender" in Marriage
An examination of the ways in which gender is activated and enacted in the institution of marriage in the United States from psychological, sociological, and historical perspectives. Uses a feminist lens to emphasize the roles of psychological and interactional processes between partners, and of cultural narratives and social institutions, in the experience of "doing gender" in marriage. Promotes the goals of authenticity and mindful decision-making as strategies for maximizing success in long-term partnerships. Prerequisite: PSY 1004. Also listed as PSY 2534. IV

WS 2554 Human Sexuality
Explores the psychological and physiological aspects of human sexual behavior. Emphasis is placed on the cultural and biological diversity of sexual expression. Prerequisite: PSY 1004. Also listed as PSY 2504. IV

WS 2714 Jane Austen and Film
Examines what Jane Austen’s novels and their film adaptations reveal about both Regency England and the contemporary world. The course explores the novels in their original cultural contexts and asks how these novels speak to the interests, desires, and problems of today’s culture. Students will read in detail four of Austen’s novels and discuss the efforts of twentieth-century filmmakers to capture, edit, and update Austen’s humor and wit for today’s audiences. Also listed as ENG 2714. IV

WS 2934 Gender, Culture, and the Social Body
Investigates sociological and anthropological perspectives on the body. Topics include an analysis of body modification and alteration, (diet, exercise, bodybuilding, scarification), and bodily decoration (tattooing, body paint, jewelry, ceremonial clothing). The course poses questions such as: How are issues of power and domination written into cultural scripts about ideal forms? How does bodily decoration convey gendered meanings and statuses? Explores how processes of development and capitalism have transformed understandings and attitudes about beauty, clothing, and the ’ideal’ body. Prerequisite: ANTH 1024 or SOC 1004. Also listed as ANTH 2934 and SOC 2934. IV

WS 3044 Gender and Communication
The study of the role communication plays in genderization and the role gender plays in communication. Focus on relational interaction in interpersonal and organization contexts, on mass media messages, and on issues of socialization and power. Also listed as WRC 3044. IV; V

WS 3044 Gender and Communication
The study of the role communication plays in the socialization of gender and the role gender plays in communication. Focus on relational interaction in interpersonal, educational, familiy and organization contexts, on mass media messages, and on issues of power and critique. Also listed as WS 3044. Prerequisite: WRC 1004, WS 1004, or permission of instructor. IV; V

WS 3124 Women in American Life and Thought
An examination of the role of women in American life and thought involving an analysis of the changing roles of women from the colonial era to the present. Focus on the varieties of women’s experiences at every level of social life, in the professions, and in the family, as well as women’s struggle for suffrage and equal rights. Prerequisite: HIST 1154 or WS 1004. Also listed as HIST 3124. IV; V

WS 3134 Women in Art
A study of major issues about women and art from the Renaissance to the present. Discussion will center on the nature of images made by women and on the social, political, and economic forces that shape women’s work. Special emphasis will be placed on women as patrons, collectors, and models. Seminar format with extensive readings and research paper. Also listed as ART 3124. Prerequisite: ARTH 1124, 2144, or WS 1004. IV; V

WS 3144 Gender in European History
Investigates how understandings of gender have affected European women and men from the Enlightenment to the contemporary era. Topics covered may include the relationship of gender to the revolution, industrialization, imperialism, totalitarianism, and total war, as well as the role of gender in everyday life. Prerequisite: HIST 1024, 2144, 2154, WS 1004, or permission of instructor. Also listed as HIST 3144. IV

WS 3154 Religion and Gender in Popular Culture:
This course uses famous and relevant popular culture as a medium for the study of religion and gender at an elevated level. Students will be expected to have some familiarity of the popular culture to be examined prior to the class. The class will build from other religion courses, namely Intro and Gender Roles in two specific ways. It will focus on theory coupled with its application in a variety of religious traditions with concentrations on religion, gender, social justice, race, and culture with a view to understanding their intersection. Prerequisites: Any one of the following classes or permission from the Instructor: REL 1014; REL 2154; WS 1004; WS 2004/PHIL 2004; WS 2044; WS 2294; WS 2414/SOC2414; WS2524/PSY 2524; WS 2934; WS 3204; WS 3244; WS 3514; WS 3534. IV; V

WS 3204 Reading and Representing Women’s Lives
Directed toward students with previous work in women’s studies scholarship and is open to students from any major discipline. Explores and critically assesses certain interdisciplinary aspects of women’s studies that relate to the "reading" and representing of women’s lives. Examines women’s lives in the United States, and considers the possibilities and problematics of locating similarities and differences among women in specific global contexts. Topics may include women’s historical movements, global feminism, equal rights, health and bioethics, violence against women, and feminist critiques of fine art and popular culture. IV; V

WS 3234 Feminist Rhetorics
Aristotle is commonly referred to as the father of rhetoric, but what about rhetoric’s mothers-not to mention daughters, sisters, girlfriends, aunts? Women’s voices were long excluded or erased from the recording or telling of histories of rhetoric, but feminist rhetorical scholars have sought to re(dis)cover these women’s voices and to retell their stories. And more recently, feminist rhetorical scholars have pushed at the boundaries of gender and looked to explore what role feminist rhetorics might play in an increasingly digital and transnational world. This course considers a range of historical and contemporary views of feminist rhetorics-including texts from/about women and feminist rhetors as well as key texts about the development of the field-and asks students to contribute their own voices and scholarly work to these ongoing conversations. Prerequisite: FYS 1104. Also listed as WRC 3234. IV

WS 3244 Global Feminisms
Designed to introduce students to women’s issues, experiences, and activities from outside of the United States, focusing on areas generally understood to be part of the "Third World." Using an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, students will draw on various methods of analyzing and understanding the production of gender relations and the webs of power within which women’s lives are situated. Cultural dimensions of gender and power will also be considered. Topics studied may include colonialism, globalization, maternity and reproductive rights, violence, population and poverty, sexuality and sex work, women’s activism, and grassroots cooperatives. Each time the course is taught, the focus is on three major world regions, exploring the above issues within each one. Also listed as ANTH 3244. Prerequisite: WS 1004 or PHIL 2004. III A or IV; V

WS 3424 Women in Education
Examines the impact of women on philosophical foundations in the field of education and the subtle forms of sexism that undermine the education of girls and young women in current educational contexts. Students will examine work of historical and contemporary women philosophers to understand their unique contributions to the field of education. Students will also examine developmental needs of girls and current research on gender inequities within schools. Prerequisite: Completion of Area II Social Science and EDU 2014. Also listed as EDU 3424. IV; V

WS 3434 Queer Theory
In addition to tracing the history and origins of queer theory, questions we will pursue include: whether knowledge/theory is "sexed"; who gets to theorize about whom and why; whether queer theory differs from gender theory and/or lesbian/gay/bisexual studies; the political implications of queer theory; the roles of race and class in queer theory; whether queer theory is feminist; and whether or not the recent cultural fascination with queerness signals a weakening of heternosexism in our society. Also listed as PHIL 3434. IV

WS 3514 Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective
Provides analysis of the cultural conditions (both material and ideological) that shape the meanings underlying masculinity and femininity in various cultural contexts. Perspectives from Marxist and feminist theory, political economy, psychodynamic/psychological anthropology, and evolutionary psychology are utilized to understand gendered differences in cultural behavior. Prerequisites: ANTH 1024 or WS 1004; and at least 1 2000 level or above anthropology course. Also listed as ANTH 3504. III A or IV; V

WS 3534 Black Feminist Theory
Examines critical and theoretical issues in Black feminism from the 19C to the present, focusing on the influential contemporary black feminist intellectual tradition that emerged in the 1970s. From this perspective, students will explore certain themes and topics, such as work, family, politics, and community, through reading the writings of Black feminists. We will also study the ways in which women and men have worked together, towards the eradication of race and gender inequality, among other systems of oppression, which have historically subjugated Black women. Although emphasis will be placed on Black feminist traditions in the United States and Britain, at the end of the semester we will consider Black feminism in global perspective. Prerequisite: WS 1004, PHIL 2004/WS 2004, or permission of instructor. Also listed as PHIL 3534. III B or IV.

WS 4204 Internship in Women’s Studies
The internship program is designed to provide students with opportunities for learning and working in organizations in ways that connect their course work in women’s studies to specific issues in community settings; this may include legal, medical, governmental, political, educational, or other organizations. Working with a women’s studies faculty member, the student will design a project based on volunteer work in a community organization serving the needs of women. Throughout the term, the faculty member will closely supervise the student’s work. CR/NC grading. Prerequisites: Three courses in the women’s studies minor, including WS 1004, declared women’s studies minor, and permission of the instructor.

WS 4244 Directed Study in Women’s Studies
Individual student reading and research in a selected area of women’s studies. Allows students to supplement their study of women’s studies in areas not covered by existing course offerings. The project must be approved by the Director of Women’s Studies as well as the student’s academic advisor prior to the student’s registration for the course. The directed study will be executed under the supervision of the appropriate faculty member. Prerequisites: Four courses in the women’s studies minor, including WS 1004, declared women’s studies minor, and permission of the instructor.

WS 4294 Advanced Studies in Women’s Studies
This interdisciplinary course provides students with an examination of significant issues at the forefront of feminist theory and research, as well as the principal theoretical debates in women’s studies. The course includes an overview of current research in women’s studies, emphasizing theoretical and methodological issues, the development of women’s studies as a field, the relationship of women’s studies to traditional fields, and the nature of interdisciplinary research. It is designed primarily to encourage students to engage more deeply with questions that arise from the study of women’s studies, as well as provide occasion for students to reflect on work done throughout the major or minor. The course also includes an independent, advanced research project, the topic of which will be chosen in close consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing in women’s studies and permission of instructor. IV

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