2021-2022 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’s contributions to society and women’s experience in diverse cultures, polities and historical periods. Students seek to understand the new scholarship on women and the new intellectual frameworks, methodologies, and feminist theories that examine gender as a social construct. They analyze critically the representations of women in literature and the arts, in social and political theory and practice, and in the sciences, and they are encouraged to rethink their own responsibility for reshaping society.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historic and socio–cultural construction of gender.
  • Understand and apply feminist theory.
  • Produce gender–driven analyses of media, marketing, art, culture, and politics.
  • Grasp the complex intersectionality of social groups (e.g., race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.).
  • Identify historic and contemporary women of importance as well as crucial moments in women’s history and feminist activism.
  • Analyze the diverse strategies through which feminists work and have worked to increase women’s agency at local, national, and global level.
  • Develop multiple skills for working toward social change.


+Major Requirements

12 courses, including:
INTWGS 303 - Internship (3)
WGS 101 - Introduction to Women's Studies (3)
WGS 201W - Feminist Theory (3)
WGS 322W - Women and Policy (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.

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.

6 courses from the following:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ENG419 Frontier Women

An impressive number of narratives, novels, diaries, and poems recording the responses of women to the American frontier have become available in recent years. By reading about these frontier experiences, and examining differences in perception and conception based apparently on gender, students will better understand how the frontier functioned within American culture and what "cultural work" these texts accomplished.

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.

ENV242 Women and the Global Environment

This course will examine contemporary global environmental issues from a gendered perspective. It will address the following question: How does environmental change impact women’s lives, women’s health, women’s community roles, and how are women offering leadership to address these problems and offer alternative solutions at the global, national, and local levels? The course will examine these issues from a North/South perspective, examining how northern countries' consumption and policies are impacting women in poor and transitional countries. It will also focus on key environmental concerns, from climate change, resource extraction, population, consumption, and toxic contamination.

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.

PSY236 Psychology of Women

The course examines current theory and research on the psychology of women. topics include the development of gender roles, gender comparisons, women and work, love relationships, women's physical and mental health, violence against women, and women in later adulthood. Students who take this course should acquire an understanding of what it means to be a female in North America.


+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.

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.

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 electives chosen from the list of major electives.

+Women's Leadership Certificate

Women's Leadership Certificate