Students wishing to attain the Women's and Gender Studies minor are required to successfully complete 24 credit hours (six classes): the three core classes listed below and three general electives approved for the Women's and Gender Studies major.
This course will introduce students to Women's & Gender Studies by exploring a range of issues that contemporary women face through experiences stratified by race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability. Topics will include women's identities; body image and the media; women's sexuality; intimate relationships and families; women, violence and criminalization; women's work, wage discrimination, and welfare reform; women's health issues, such as reproductive rights, and medical research. Participants will have opportunities to examine ways that this stratification interacts in varied eras, cultures, and sub-cultures to shape women's lives. Students will engage in an activist focus as they are introduced to the layers of oppression that affect many women's lives, from the personal to the global. As they analyze social, cultural, and political issues through "gendered lenses", participants may expand a view of their personal lives to include a framework that encourages resilient responses to such oppression.
WOMEN'S STUDIES IN TRANSNATIONAL CONTEXTS
This course is a transnational approach to Women's & Gender Studies, examining how goods, money, and media images of women cross national in new ways. A further focus is on how this transformation of national boundaries depends not only upon political changes but also upon economic and cultural shifts. This transnational perspective pays attention to the inequalities and differences intersecting race, class, and gender that arise from new forms of globalization as well as from older histories of colonialism and racism. The course is designed to give the student an in-depth look at a world of connections that do not necessarily create similarities in how women variously experience that world. It introduces students to research by and about women that reflects transnationality in all of its possibilities and challenges.
GENDER EQUITY IN SCOTLAND
This course explores issues of gender equity in Scotland today and their relation to the gender and human rights policy agenda of the United Nations. While in Chicago students will examine theoretical models upon which the Scottish gender equity agenda is based, and then travel to Scotland, where students will witness first hand the realities and experiences of institutionalizing those mechanisms. The course offers students experiential learning opportunities as they meet key players in Scots academic and policy communities who have been integrally involved in Gender Equity Initiatives
This course introduces feminist theories and methodologies with an emphasis on how theoretical frameworks shape specific research, policies, and praxis. The course will provide an introductory exploration of feminist frameworks in relationship to specific issues and questions within women's studies, with some attention to the resulting research/analytic methods. The class will delineate, analyze and compare the underlying assumptions and frameworks of a variety of feminist theories (i.e. historical materialist, liberal, radical, standpoint and identity-based, critical race, postcolonial, and transnational theoretical frameworks) in relation to a set of issues and questions (e.g. violence against women, sex discrimination, reproductive rights). The class will explore the relationship between these frameworks and knowledge production, public policy, and social change efforts within transnational contexts. Thus, the students will be able to discern how theories frame research questions and methods, as well as how they frame policy issues and action proposals; and students will be able to analyze the theoretical frameworks comparatively.