2023-2024 Course Catalog

Women's and Gender Studies (BA)

The major in women’s and gender studies offers students the opportunity for the interdisciplinary study of women, transgender, and gender diverse individuals' contributions to society and their experiences in diverse cultures, polities, and historical periods. Students seek to understand the intersectional scholarship on women, transgender, and gender diverse individuals, and the new intellectual frameworks, methodologies, and feminist and queer theories that examine gender as a social construct and a?hierarchical system of power. They analyze critically the representations and voices of women, transgender, and gender diverse individuals in literature, history, arts, and religious and philosophical traditions, in social and political theory and practice, and in the sciences, and they are encouraged to enunciate their own approaches to reshaping society.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the historic and socio–cultural construction of gender, .historic and contemporary women of importance as well as crucial moments in women’s history and feminist activism.
  • Define the complex intersectionality of social groups (e.g., race, class, gender, sexuality, worldview and faith communities, etc.). 
  • Analyze media, marketing, art, culture, politics through a gendered lens, as well as the diverse strategies through which feminists work and have worked to increase women’s the agency of women, transgender, and gender diverse individuals at local, national, and global level, and in personal as well as communal contexts. 
  •  Interpret feminist theory and analyze texts through a feminist lens. 
  • Perform  multiple skills for working toward social change as well as personal growth and wellbeing. 

Curriculum

+Major Requirements

12 courses, including 6 credits Writing Intensive courses, Internship, and Integrative Capstone Seminar (36 credits)

WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

Examines the role and status of women in society using a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Students will examine materials that present and challenge cultural assumptions of the nature and roles of women and consider diversity among women.

3
CST183 Representations of Race and Gender

This course introduces students to the methodology of cultural studies. In this survey students learn those skills essential to analyzing social constructions of identity. Specific attention is paid to diverse texts, including film, in order to locate how representations of race, gender, ethnicity, and "otherness" are culturally produced and disseminated.

3
WGS201W Feminist Theory

This course is designed to provide students with a critical introduction to the historical development and current controversies of feminist theory including global feminism and women's bodies as a site of contestation. It includes a comprehensive summary of the diverse and interdisciplinary philosophical strains that make up the intellectual heritage of modern feminism.

Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's Studies
  • CST183 Representations of Race and Gender
  • WST101 Introduction to Women's Studies
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • 3
    WGS322W Social Welfare: Women and Policy

    This course is designed to examine current issues and policies that impact the lives of women and to explore methods of creating or modifying policies. This course will utilize a comparative policy framework to explore the strengths and weaknesses of current interventions regarding their promotion of social and economic justice.

    3
    INTWGS303 Internship - Women's and Gender Studies

    Internship - Women's and Gender Studies

    3
    WGS490 Integrative Capstone

    The integrative capstone, undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional. The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience. Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theater production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • ENG350W Seminar in Literary Theory and Scholarly Writing
  • 3
    ----------------------
    One of the following:
    BUS310W Business Resarch and Analytics

    This course introduces traditional business research methods and business analytics as two sets of tools underlying data-driven business decision making. Students will practice analyzing data, reporting results, interpreting findings, and developing actionable recommendations.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • BUS110 Business Statistics
  • MTH110 Elementary Statistics
  • PSY213 Statistics and Research Design
  • 3
    ENG350W Seminar in Literary Theory and Scholarly Writing

    An advanced course in writing literary analysis and methods of literary research; required of all junior English majors and interdepartmental majors before enrollment in the tutorial. Second-term junior status is required.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • ENG100 Multicultural Literature
  • ENG100 Introduction to Literary Studies
  • 3
    POL311W Selected Topics in Social Science Research

    The course introduces methods and approaches used to describe, explain, and evaluate social science research. Students will get an introduction to an instructor chosen research topic. Students will learn to formulate questions, create a literature review, gather and evaluate evidence and provide feedback on outside research concerning the selected course topic.

    3
    PSY314W Foundations of Behavioral Research

    This course examines the scientific method employed by social scientists. Topics include types of variables, validity and reliability, research ethics, experimentation, and field research. Students will conduct research and write scientific papers in areas of social science.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PSY213 Statistics and Research Design
  • 3
    ----------------------
    5 approved WST/WGS Electives (This list is not exhaustive):
    ART213 Special Topics

    Special Topics

    3
    ART230W Women and Art

    Women and Art addresses the work of women artists from the Renaissance to the present and images of women in Western art. Feminist approaches to the history of art are examined critically to determine their contribution to the history of art. This is a writing intensive course.

    3
    BIO218 Women's Health Issues

    This course examines the biology of women, both cis gender and people within trans communities, providing a framework for the discussion of health issues, current research, treatments, and historical perspectives. Aspects of reproductive life and an examination of psychological, sociological and cultural influence.

    3
    CRM220 Women and the Criminal Justice System

    This course focuses on three aspects of women's involvement in the criminal justice system: as victims, offenders, and professionals. Coverage will include theories and facts about women offenders, the impact of crime on women victims and survivors, and special issues facing women who pursue careers in policing, corrections and law.

    3
    CST215 Perspectives in Queer Theory

    This course examines the cultural representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in literature, film, history and social movements. We will explore how gender and sexual identities intersect with race, class and ethnicity. Finally, students will become conversant with the arguments and critical terms used in the field of queer theory.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • 3
    ENG220 Gender and Sexuality in Speculative Fiction

    This course focuses on speculative fiction genres (which include but are not limited to science fiction, fantasy, and futurism). Course materials examine issues of gender and sexuality and how writers working in these genres envision alternative gendered realities through their constructions of language, the body, sensuality, identity, etc.

    3
    ENG262 Introduction to Women Writers

    Examining writers from Mary Wollstonecraft to the present, this course delineates the features of a literary tradition specific to women writing in English. Students study novels, essays, and poetry.

    3
    ENG385 Toni Morrison Seminar

    This seminar is a study of Toni Morrison’s literature within the context of African-American critical theory. Through Morrison’s work, students will engage in current issues regarding the politics of language, narrative authority, historical revision, the production of meaning, and African-American subjectivity.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • 3
    ENG452 Ecofeminist Literature

    This course brings together theoretical, nonfictional, and fictional approaches to the study of women and the environment. Students will examine how diverse ecofeminist writers problematize, resituate, and reclaim the woman/nature paradigm--a construct historically based in patriarchal culture. This course focuses particularly on how representations of women and environment (ranging from the traditional to the radical) can help students rethink and reimagine their relationship to the ecological world.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • ENG287 African-American Writers
  • ENG207 British Writers I
  • 3
    FDT225 Female Narration: Race and Gender in Women's Films

    This course looks predominantly at films directed by women who have worked out strategies for feminist film practice. The course will focus on the relationship between representations of women and the socio-political structures in which women live. It will also focus on the need for women, if they wish to affect perception of self and other, us and them, to take up the means of production. Exposing the sexual stratagems in various contemporary societies' permits women filmmakers to recreate the world in their own image. Study of traditional portrayals of women will support understanding of the differences between subject and object position. Negotiating these often-conflicting spaces allows students to comprehend the multiple mediations that structure a critical consciousness. Such awareness allows questions of responsibility in a world of diverse values and perspectives. The course is organized as a reading, viewing, and lecture, experience.

    3
    HIS220 U.S. Women's History

    This course explores women’s historical experiences in the United States, from Native American women in the pre-colonial era to the present. It investigates the interaction of gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexuality and the ways that these relationships have shaped women’s lives socially, economically, and politically.

    3
    IND247 Intergroup Dialogue Seminar

    Students participate in conversations and readings across social identities, discuss and explore experiences across social identities and institutional contexts, and examine historical, psychological, and sociological materials leading to understanding of self and other. Social identity topics will rotate and focus on one identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.).

    3
    MUS150 History of Rock, Pop and Soul

    This course explores the evolution of American and British popular music from about 1950 to the present day. Musical styles are studied and contextualized with an examination of related cultural, social and political trends. Attention is given to issues and constructions of race and gender as they relate to course material, particularly the changing role and status of women in American and British popular music. This course also introduces fundamental music terminology that is germane to the study of popular music.

    3
    PHI218 Ethics and Women's Issues

    A discussion-based course that focuses upon issues of particular relevance to women. Topics discussed may include equality, affirmative action and comparative worth, social and gender roles, feminism, love, sexuality, family, work, caring and justice, pornography, fashion and beauty, abortion, reproduction, and ecofeminism.

    3
    PHI241 Love, Sex, and Friendship

    This course is an intensive philosophical inquiry into the concepts of love, friendship, and sex and how these are connected. It examines ideas on relationship, intimacy, and personal fulfillment by some of the best thinkers in the western intellectual tradition. It also explores some puzzling contemporary problems surrounding relationships.

    3
    PHI300 Womanist and Liberation Theology

    Womanist theology is a liberation theology that analyses politically oppressive structures, cultural habits, and race and gender constructs, and the ways these forces can shape experiences of faith. This course offers opportunities to engage and confront unjust and repressive theologies in ways that support greater inclusion and well-being.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • 3
    POL262 Women and Politics

    Does gender make a difference in politics? Are women different from men in their political behavior? Do women contribute different norms, rules, and outcomes within political institutions? Students become familiar with the literature on, and conduct research projects in a specific aspect of, women's involvement in politics.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • POL101 American Government and Public Policy
  • 3
    PSY236 Psychology of Gender and Sexuality

    This course is an introduction to psychological, social, and cultural aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity, with an emphasis on examining sexual orientation and gender identity from a psychological perspective. Topics will include historical perspectives on sexual orientation and gender identity and basic research methods.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PSY101 General Psychology
  • 3
    SWK102 Introduction to Social Work, Social Justice and Social Issues

    This course examines selected social issues as well as related social welfare policies and programs. It introduces the profession of social work, key aspects of the professional knowledge base, fields of practice, and populations served by social workers. This course is appropriate for students who are considering social work as a profession and as well as for those with an interest in related fields such as psychology, counseling, and public policy.

    3
    SWK321 Social Welfare and Social Justice

    This course examines the history, development, context, and current status of the American social welfare system. The American system is compared with policies and programs in other countries. The specifics of major welfare programs such as Social Security and Temporary Aid to Needy Families are explored.

    3
    WGS202 Women's Leadership in the 21st Century

    This interdisciplinary seminar provides a foundation in leadership theory and models, including women's diverse ways of leading; women's roles as leaders and agents of change; feminist leadership styles and agendas; and the impact of intersectional identities (such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion and worldview) on leadership styles and agendas.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • CST183 Representations of Race and Gender
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • 3
    WGS210 Narratives of Girlhood: Perils and Possibilities

    Girlhood is a condition of precarity and potential. Through close study of multiple narratives and analyses, this course asks: How do intersectional identity categories impact girls' ability to navigate adolescence? What health and safety challenges do grils face? How might social institutions evolve to care for and empower girls?

    3
    WGS365 Gendered Resistance, Riots, and Rebellions

    This course explores gendered resistance to social, political, and economic inequalities from the twentieth century through the present. The class examines leaders and issues in both organized movements, as well as events often labeled as riots or rebellions, and considers how we understand different attempts to challenge systems of power.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • 3

    +Minor Requirements

    6 courses: including
    WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

    Examines the role and status of women in society using a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Students will examine materials that present and challenge cultural assumptions of the nature and roles of women and consider diversity among women.

    3
    WGS201W Feminist Theory

    This course is designed to provide students with a critical introduction to the historical development and current controversies of feminist theory including global feminism and women's bodies as a site of contestation. It includes a comprehensive summary of the diverse and interdisciplinary philosophical strains that make up the intellectual heritage of modern feminism.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's Studies
  • CST183 Representations of Race and Gender
  • WST101 Introduction to Women's Studies
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • 3
    WGS322W Social Welfare: Women and Policy

    This course is designed to examine current issues and policies that impact the lives of women and to explore methods of creating or modifying policies. This course will utilize a comparative policy framework to explore the strengths and weaknesses of current interventions regarding their promotion of social and economic justice.

    3
    3 electives chosen from the list below:
    ART213 Special Topics

    Special Topics

    3
    ART230W Women and Art

    Women and Art addresses the work of women artists from the Renaissance to the present and images of women in Western art. Feminist approaches to the history of art are examined critically to determine their contribution to the history of art. This is a writing intensive course.

    3
    BIO218 Women's Health Issues

    This course examines the biology of women, both cis gender and people within trans communities, providing a framework for the discussion of health issues, current research, treatments, and historical perspectives. Aspects of reproductive life and an examination of psychological, sociological and cultural influence.

    3
    CRM220 Women and the Criminal Justice System

    This course focuses on three aspects of women's involvement in the criminal justice system: as victims, offenders, and professionals. Coverage will include theories and facts about women offenders, the impact of crime on women victims and survivors, and special issues facing women who pursue careers in policing, corrections and law.

    3
    CST183 Representations of Race and Gender

    This course introduces students to the methodology of cultural studies. In this survey students learn those skills essential to analyzing social constructions of identity. Specific attention is paid to diverse texts, including film, in order to locate how representations of race, gender, ethnicity, and "otherness" are culturally produced and disseminated.

    3
    CST215 Perspectives in Queer Theory

    This course examines the cultural representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in literature, film, history and social movements. We will explore how gender and sexual identities intersect with race, class and ethnicity. Finally, students will become conversant with the arguments and critical terms used in the field of queer theory.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • 3
    ENG220 Gender and Sexuality in Speculative Fiction

    This course focuses on speculative fiction genres (which include but are not limited to science fiction, fantasy, and futurism). Course materials examine issues of gender and sexuality and how writers working in these genres envision alternative gendered realities through their constructions of language, the body, sensuality, identity, etc.

    3
    ENG262 Introduction to Women Writers

    Examining writers from Mary Wollstonecraft to the present, this course delineates the features of a literary tradition specific to women writing in English. Students study novels, essays, and poetry.

    3
    ENG385 Toni Morrison Seminar

    This seminar is a study of Toni Morrison’s literature within the context of African-American critical theory. Through Morrison’s work, students will engage in current issues regarding the politics of language, narrative authority, historical revision, the production of meaning, and African-American subjectivity.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • 3
    ENG452 Ecofeminist Literature

    This course brings together theoretical, nonfictional, and fictional approaches to the study of women and the environment. Students will examine how diverse ecofeminist writers problematize, resituate, and reclaim the woman/nature paradigm--a construct historically based in patriarchal culture. This course focuses particularly on how representations of women and environment (ranging from the traditional to the radical) can help students rethink and reimagine their relationship to the ecological world.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • ENG287 African-American Writers
  • ENG207 British Writers I
  • 3
    FDT225 Female Narration: Race and Gender in Women's Films

    This course looks predominantly at films directed by women who have worked out strategies for feminist film practice. The course will focus on the relationship between representations of women and the socio-political structures in which women live. It will also focus on the need for women, if they wish to affect perception of self and other, us and them, to take up the means of production. Exposing the sexual stratagems in various contemporary societies' permits women filmmakers to recreate the world in their own image. Study of traditional portrayals of women will support understanding of the differences between subject and object position. Negotiating these often-conflicting spaces allows students to comprehend the multiple mediations that structure a critical consciousness. Such awareness allows questions of responsibility in a world of diverse values and perspectives. The course is organized as a reading, viewing, and lecture, experience.

    3
    HIS213 Special Topics

    Special Topics

    3
    IND247 Intergroup Dialogue Seminar

    Students participate in conversations and readings across social identities, discuss and explore experiences across social identities and institutional contexts, and examine historical, psychological, and sociological materials leading to understanding of self and other. Social identity topics will rotate and focus on one identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.).

    3
    MUS150 History of Rock, Pop and Soul

    This course explores the evolution of American and British popular music from about 1950 to the present day. Musical styles are studied and contextualized with an examination of related cultural, social and political trends. Attention is given to issues and constructions of race and gender as they relate to course material, particularly the changing role and status of women in American and British popular music. This course also introduces fundamental music terminology that is germane to the study of popular music.

    3
    PHI218 Ethics and Women's Issues

    A discussion-based course that focuses upon issues of particular relevance to women. Topics discussed may include equality, affirmative action and comparative worth, social and gender roles, feminism, love, sexuality, family, work, caring and justice, pornography, fashion and beauty, abortion, reproduction, and ecofeminism.

    3
    PHI241 Love, Sex, and Friendship

    This course is an intensive philosophical inquiry into the concepts of love, friendship, and sex and how these are connected. It examines ideas on relationship, intimacy, and personal fulfillment by some of the best thinkers in the western intellectual tradition. It also explores some puzzling contemporary problems surrounding relationships.

    3
    PHI300 Womanist and Liberation Theology

    Womanist theology is a liberation theology that analyses politically oppressive structures, cultural habits, and race and gender constructs, and the ways these forces can shape experiences of faith. This course offers opportunities to engage and confront unjust and repressive theologies in ways that support greater inclusion and well-being.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • 3
    POL262 Women and Politics

    Does gender make a difference in politics? Are women different from men in their political behavior? Do women contribute different norms, rules, and outcomes within political institutions? Students become familiar with the literature on, and conduct research projects in a specific aspect of, women's involvement in politics.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • POL101 American Government and Public Policy
  • 3
    PSY236 Psychology of Gender and Sexuality

    This course is an introduction to psychological, social, and cultural aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity, with an emphasis on examining sexual orientation and gender identity from a psychological perspective. Topics will include historical perspectives on sexual orientation and gender identity and basic research methods.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PSY101 General Psychology
  • 3
    SWK102 Introduction to Social Work, Social Justice and Social Issues

    This course examines selected social issues as well as related social welfare policies and programs. It introduces the profession of social work, key aspects of the professional knowledge base, fields of practice, and populations served by social workers. This course is appropriate for students who are considering social work as a profession and as well as for those with an interest in related fields such as psychology, counseling, and public policy.

    3
    SWK321 Social Welfare and Social Justice

    This course examines the history, development, context, and current status of the American social welfare system. The American system is compared with policies and programs in other countries. The specifics of major welfare programs such as Social Security and Temporary Aid to Needy Families are explored.

    3
    WGS202 Women's Leadership in the 21st Century

    This interdisciplinary seminar provides a foundation in leadership theory and models, including women's diverse ways of leading; women's roles as leaders and agents of change; feminist leadership styles and agendas; and the impact of intersectional identities (such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion and worldview) on leadership styles and agendas.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • CST183 Representations of Race and Gender
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • 3
    WGS365 Gendered Resistance, Riots, and Rebellions

    This course explores gendered resistance to social, political, and economic inequalities from the twentieth century through the present. The class examines leaders and issues in both organized movements, as well as events often labeled as riots or rebellions, and considers how we understand different attempts to challenge systems of power.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • ENG105 First-Year Writing
  • WGS101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • 3
    WGS210 Narratives of Girlhood: Perils and Possibilities

    Girlhood is a condition of precarity and potential. Through close study of multiple narratives and analyses, this course asks: How do intersectional identity categories impact girls' ability to navigate adolescence? What health and safety challenges do grils face? How might social institutions evolve to care for and empower girls?

    3

    +Women's Leadership Certificate

    Women's Leadership Certificate