Women's and Gender Studies majors choose one of the following four-course concentrations. An individualized concentration is also available. These lists may not include recently added courses, so majors should check with a department advisor for any updates.
International Perspectives Concentration
Four courses from the following list:
Gender, Culture, and the Arts Concentration
Four courses from the following list:
Gender and Human Development Concentration
Four courses from the following list:
Social Justice and Public Policy Concentration
Four courses from the following list:
Theoretical Perspectives Concentration
Four courses from the following list:
Perspectives on Race and Class Concentration
Four courses from the following list:
Four courses to be chosen by the student from the list of courses approved for the major. These courses must be approved, in writing, by a Department of Women’s and Gender Studies faculty advisor.
TOPICS IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE
See schedule for current offerings
TOPICS IN MODERN BRITISH LITERATURE
Selected authors, genres, and topics in twentieth-century British literature.
GENDER, VIOLENCE AND RESISTANCE
This course explores the social and cultural contexts of interpersonal violence in women's lives, with a focus on domestic violence, rape, harassment. The course seeks to understand how gender, race, class, sexuality, and national differences and inequalities shape the experiences of violence, the social and institutional responses to violence, and strategies for resistance and change.
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST: BEYOND THE VEIL
This course explores how Middle Eastern Women have been represented in the media outside of the Middle East, by Arab women scholars, and "Third World" feminists and challenges these representations by focusing on issues such as veiling, the everyday lives of Middle Eastern Women, political activism, literary works, economics and social class, and media representations.
WOMEN IN THEATRE: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
This course examines the concepts of gender and theatrical performance with reference to history, culture, critical response, viewer interpretation, and identity in a global context. Students will study character as a dramatic construct with respect to gender, race, and class; it examines how dramatic images are as diverse as their cultural contexts; explores the concepts of reader and viewer response to theater; and interrogates the relationship between the American theatrical image and the larger global context within which images are created.
GROWING UP FEMALE IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT
This course will address issues related to growing up female and coming of age in the 21st century within a global context. We will focus on the following questions, what does it mean to be female, a girl, a young woman in diverse cultural and cultural contexts, examining the ways in which community, family, peers, schools and relationships with others, popular culture and public policy influence their lived experiences, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, choices and possibilities. The analytical framework will be rooted in understanding how the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, religion, and belief systems influence notions of the self, the body, and the construction of female identities.
WOMEN AND FILM
This course explores one or more ways in which film as art, as cultural product, or as industry has dealt with women, as subjects, artists, consumers or critics of film.
WOMEN ACROSS CULTURES (CROSS-LISTED AS MLS 441, WGS 490)
A critical analysis of the experiences of women around the world in diverse social contexts, examined through different disciplines, with a special emphasis on economics, politics and culture. Focus is on African, Asian and Latin American cultures and nondominant groups within western societies. (Cross-listed as WGS 490 and MLS 441)
ANTHROPOLOGY OF GENDER
This course examines women's lives cross-culturally using anthropological theories of gender construction to discuss the different meanings of womanhood.
FRENCH/FRANCOPHONE WOMEN WRITERS
Studies in literary, cultural and social issues.
WOMEN WRITERS OF GERMAN EXPRESSION
Studies in literature and social issues from all periods of German, Austrian and Swiss history.
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE WOMEN
Gender roles and ideologies in pre-modern and early modern Europe, from ancient Mediterranean and Germanic women to high Medieval ladies, nuns, serfs, and city women, from early feminism to the restrictions and opportunities brought by the Renaissance and Reformation. Emphasis on primary sources, especially women's writings.
WOMEN IN MODERN EUROPE, 1800-PRESENT
This course will explore the diversity of women's and girls' experiences across Europe as they negotiate between public and private spheres, daily life and great events, Europe and the world. Themes may include industrialization, suffrage, imperialism, "new women," facism, and communism.
WOMEN IN HISTORY
A comparative study of women's social, cultural, political, economic roles over time in three parts of the world.
CULTURE AND GENDER IN JAPAN
Examines gender and society in early modern and modern Japanese history [c.1600-present].
HST 199 or HST 299 is a prerequisite for this class.
GLOBAL GENDER ISSUES
This course examines how inequalities between women and men are connected to the global politics of power, security, the political economy, and ecology. It focuses on the theoretical and practical linkages between "women's issues" and political matters such as wars of secession, arms proliferation, global economic recessions, and environmental degradation. Questions of the nature of power, abuses of human rights, the human costs of global inequality, and the meaning of a just world order are explored.
MUSLIM WOMEN IN TEXTS (CROSS-LISTED AS REL 272)
Explores major current approaches to the study of Muslim women, focusing on the Qur'anic conversation on women, on the commentaries provided by men, and on the emerging voices of Muslim women and non-Muslims. Cross-listed as REL 272.
HISPANIC WOMEN WRITERS
Topics include: Latina, Latin American, and Peninsular writers.
FEMALE IDENTITIES: YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE
This course is an introduction to Young Adult Literature as a genre and explores how this literature relates to adolescent girls' experiences in diverse cultural contexts. It addresses themes related to physical and emotional development, the development of personal values and beliefs; the construction of identity; beliefs and attitudes about the body; interpersonal relationships; gender and sexuality; and coping with change, death, belonging, alienation, and escape. Course materials are multicultural with a focus upon the experiences of female adolescents in terms of ethnicity, culture, gender, religion, disability, as well as other dimensions of difference within national and international contexts.
DECONSTRUCTING THE DIVA
This course studies the figure of the diva as a powerful cultural text, central to both understanding historical conceptions of socially normative femininity and to uncovering and examining our own present-day conceptions of what it means to be feminine, to be a woman. Through fiction, drama, biography, autobiography, film, audio recordings, gender and performance theory, the course explores representations of the diva in literature, art, and popular and high culture.
CONTEMPORARY KNITTING: GENDER, CRAFT, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
This course will explore the gendered history of knitting and its contemporary popularity as both a creative leisure-time activity and a means of providing community service. The social history and social construction of a gendered division of labor surrounding knitting, with its complexities, provide the theoretical foundation of the course. Students will learn the basic techniques of knitting and will be expected to practice their new skills in- and out-side of the classroom. They will reach a level of proficiency sufficient to producing a minimum of three contributions to service knitting projects.
TOPICS ON WOMEN AND ART
This class considers both the history of women artists and representations of women from cultures around the world, from prehistory to the contemporary era. In addition, it will introduce feminist methodologies that can be applied to specific case studies, such as problems of biography for women artists, depictions of sexual violence in art, performing gender in visual images, feminist activist collaborations and gendered spaces (the museum, cyberspace, architecture, etc.) Topics may vary term to term, depending on the instructor's area of expertise. Formerly ART 381.
THE LITERATURE OF IDENTITY
Cross-cultural study of self-discovery and identity as manifested in the literatures of self-awareness and self-definition (African-American, Hispanic, gay/lesbian, etc.).
Cross-cultural synchronic or diachronic study of feminist literature.
WOMEN AND LITERATURE
Study of literature by women, with attention to the literary traditions of women's literature, historical and theoretical perspectives on women as writers and readers, and issues of feminist literary history and criticism.
ADMINISTRATIVE THEORY AND BEHAVIOR
This course concerns theoretical concepts and empirical research relating to administrative behavior in organizations with special reference to educational organizations. Concepts are examined within the typical decisional framework of supervisors, chief school business officers, principles, and superintendents, and similar positions in the helping professions. Assignments are individualized.
Status as an Advanced Masters Education student is a prerequisite for this class.
WOMEN AND MUSIC
(4 credits) A survey exploring the roles of women musicians in their societies. This course may only be used as a free elective for students in the School of Music. Arts and Literature.
GROWING UP FEMALE IN AMERICA
This course examines what it means to grow up female in the contemporary U.S. It explores the ways in which girls develop and are socialized through childhood and adolescence, focusing on how families, schools, peers, and the larger culture influence young women?s lives and the ways in which race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation affect their growth and learning and how their interaction might affect the behaviors and choices of young women as they mature.
GENDER AND EDUCATION
This course examines gender as a social construct and its meanings within the context of educational institutions, its implications for teaching and learning, and organizational practices that may oppress and/or empower groups or individuals. Emphasis is given to social forces within the larger society that affect education and schooling; sex-stereotyping and gender bias; teacher behaviors; attitudes, practices, and expectations; student motivation and achievement; principles of non-sexist education; gender bias in settings outside of schools; current issues in the media and popular culture; and the ways in which gender bias and sexism interact with other forms of prejudice, inequality, and oppression.
GENDER AND FAMILIES
Gender and Families is an upper-level undergraduate course that considers issues raised by the diverse roles that women, men, and children play in families. It focuses particular attention on the social construction of gender in families, and examines families in their social, economic, and political contexts. Topics covered include adult intimate relationships, the social construction of motherhood and fatherhood, and shifting gender relations of power in families, family stress and adaptation, and the impact of social policies on families' lives.
REPRESENTATIONS OF THE BODY
This course reflects the current explosion of intellectual interest in the body as a site of cultural meaning. We will enter this discussion by examining how the body, which seems to be a natural, universal fact, is also a deeply cultural symbolic construction. The readings attempt to capture the complexity of this evolving field using a multidisciplinary approach, including such fields as history, art, medicine, philosophy, religion, sociology, women's studies, and cultural studies. The course addresses the questions of how the body is socially created and sustained. It explores those questions in terms of tensions between nature and culture (to what extent is the body natural? cultural?), body and spirit (what does human "embodiment" mean? are we our physical bodies -and nothing else?), and how discourses of power converge in and on the body (gender/race/class/age/ability). Course topics include: the meaning of physical pain in Western history; the personal experience of and social construction of race in the U.S., with its background assumptions about skin color; the social constructions of gender, sexualities, and sexual desire; personal experience and the cultural "readings" and representations of male and female, old, disabled, and transgressive bodies; socio-cultural "readings" of physical violence pertaining to both victim and perpetrator.
GENDER AND COMMUNICATION (Formerly CMNS 361)
A review of the differences in communication patterns between women and men. Topics covered include language and language usage differences, interaction patterns, gender social movements, and perceptions of the sexes generated through language and communication. (Formerly CMNS 361)
GROWING UP LATINO/LATINA IN THE U.S.
A critical as well as a community based examination of the experiences of growing up as a Latino/Latina person in the United States.
MOTHERHOOD IN LATINO COMMUNITIES
This is an intellectual, as well as a community based exploration of motherhood in Latino communities and the theories of motherhood in feminist criticism throughout Latin America. Other topics: fatherhood, the extended family and the community as family.
Historical, cultural, psychological and physiological aspects of human sexuality. Cannot be used as psychology major course.
PSY 105 or PSY 106 is a prerequisite for this class.
PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN
A review of research and theory on women, including sexist bias in methodology, violence and discrimination against women, gender differences in power and nonverbal behavior in relationships.
PSY 105 or 106 is a prerequisite for this class.
SOCIOLOGY OF WOMEN
Cross-cultural analysis of women's roles. How various social institutions the media, work, the family, education, religion treat sex-role distinctions and how the women's movement is attempting to confront them.
GENDER AND SOCIETY
A consideration of the development of sex roles, gender identity and sexual behavior in a social context; how gender roles are shaped by families, youth culture, and the life cycle.
Ideas, theories and research on families. Topics include change and variety in family patterns, fertility and child rearing.
SOC 101 or SOC 105 is a prerequisite for this class.
AGING AND THE LIFE COURSE
A look at the changing age composition of the population; meaning and societal definition of aging, the different types of responses to growing older and the various social programs designed for older people. Introduction to life course theories.
This course introduces students to the wide array of feminist thinking regarding ideologies of race, racism, white privilege, ethnocentrism, racial and ethnic identifications, and their relationship to gender, class, sexual and national identities and locations. The ways that racism has divided women's movements and feminist organizations will be examined along with the work of feminist scholars, writers, activists, and advocates who have articulated explicitly anti-racist theories, analyses, and programs within the U.S. as well as internationally.
WOMEN AND LAW
This course investigates the variety of ways in which women come into relation with the law, e.g., through laws and judicial decisions dealing with equal opportunity. Cross-listed as PSC 363.
CREATING CHANGE: CONTEMPORARY GLBT POLITICS
This course explores the historical roots and contemporary realities of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) politics, nationally and internationally. GLBT groups and individuals are gaining political recognition, challenging institutions, and creating change by asserting claims to rights and protections under law. Such issues as hate crimes, marriage, AIDS, and ballot initiatives over non-discrimination law and policy have entered the political mainstream since the 1970's. This course examines the GLBT movement, its political and social strategies, conflicts and issues, and the political roles played by its members as participants in political culture. Cross-listed as PSC 312 and LGQ 332.
SEXUAL JUSTICE: LESBIANS, GAYS AND THE LAW (CROSS-LISTED AS WGS 438)
This course examines the historical and contemporary relationships between lesbians, gays, and the law in the U.S., focusing on the intersections of power, sexuality, and identity with issues of sexuality-based discrimination. It focuses on case law, along with social science and legal literature, seeking out a diversity of voices and experiences. Primary emphasis will be on cases that have come before the U.S. Supreme Court since the mid-1950's, with particular attention paid to how groups and individuals have reached out to the court system for redress of injustice and how these groups and individuals have exercised or failed to exercise power within the legal process. The U.S. legal system has reflected a complex set of social and institutional arrangements with regard to sexuality. This course explores the evolution and current construction of these arrangements, how power is allocated and adjudicated, and how law may be used to resist and dismantle pervasive discrimination.
BLACK FEMINIST THEORY
This course engages with the multiple versions of woman-centered theory and practice developed in the writings; activism, and other creative work of Black, particularly African American women, from the mid-nineteenth century to the twenty-first. While not all of these theorists would use the word <<feminist>> all have in common the aim of empowering women's lives, advocating for women for equal economic, political, and cultural access.
TOPICS IN LITERATURE
See schedule for current offerings.
ECONOMICS AND GENDER
This course covers economic trends concerning women in the economy and examines economic analyses of gender issues, with special emphasis on gender issues in the work place. The increase in the number of women in the work place has been a major change in labor markets, affecting workers, employers and families. Different economic perspectives are examined to give students an understanding of the range of contributions by economists to this field. The course also examines feminist economics which raises concerns about economic analysis in general and as it is applied to this field.
ECO 105, ECO 106 and (MAT 130 or equivalent) are a prerequisite for this class.
WOMEN IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
The history of women's work, family, and political lives in America.
CONSTRUCTING LATINO COMMUNITIES
This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to Latino Studies. It explores the socio-historical background of the major Latino groups in the United States, and the economic, political, and cultural factors that converge to shape Latino group identity. This course examines contemporary issues affecting Latinos including the evolution of Latino ethnicity, immigration, transnationalism and the formation of Latino communities, activism, and media representations of Latinos.
WOMEN AND POLITICS
This course explores the ways in which women interpret, gain access to, and use political power. It focuses on sex- and gender-based differences in the political socialization process, and their implications for the participation and organization of women. Gender-related legislation and "women's'' political issues are also evaluated. Particular attention is given to women and politics in the United States.
This course explores theoretical issues regarding women's moral experience and feminist approaches to liberation from various forms of socio-cultural and political oppression. It explores the moral status of women from their own experiences and perspectives, in contrast to traditional Western ethics' characterizations. It examines and evaluates the ethic of care as an alternative moral perspective and investigates a variety of themes and values discerned in women's moral experiences. It explores feminist ethical perspectives on oppressive social practices, such as racism and violence against women, and examines the ethical dimensions of difference among women.
QUEER THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION (FORMERLY WMS 284)
This course examines some of the central texts of queer theory in order to contextualize and historicize the notion of homosexuality as a primary category of identity. The issue of sexual normativity as it relates to gay and lesbian assimilation will also be discussed. Because of the significant relationship of gender and sexuality, we will also examine theories of embodiment and take up the debates around the politics of intersex and transgender identities.
ISSUES IN SEX AND GENDER
A philosophical investigation into the nature of sex and gender and the role they play in defining human identity.
PHILOSOPHY AND WOMEN
An examination of the unique contribution which women have made, and can make, to philosophy and the study of values.
A study and critique of various feminist theories of ethics.
FEMINIST ETHICS (CROSS-LISTED WITH WGS 310/410 & MLS 477)
An investigation of theoretical issues regarding women's moral experiences and of feminist ethical arguments combatting various forms of oppression.
A study and critique of issues related to women and of their philosophical presuppositions and consequences.
WOMEN AND RELIGION
A study of the historical and contemporary roles and contributions of women within major religious traditions, especially Christianity and Judaism.
An exploration of women's experience as a primary resource and norm for theology, focusing on themes of inclusion, exclusion, representation and liberation in particular social, political and historical contexts.