Women's and Gender Studies (WS)

WS 100. Special Topics.1 Credit.

Offered: As needed

WS 101. Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies.3 Credits.

This team-taught interdisciplinary course uses lively discussion and compelling readings to consider women's studies in its broad outlines. The participants discuss sexuality, economic and political power, the female body, images of beauty, psychology of gender and the development of feminism through course materials that include novels, social science research, poetry, historical writings and political manifestos.

Offered: Every year
UC: Humanities

WS 200. Special Topics in Womens' Studies.3 Credits.

Offered: As needed

WS 210. Human Sexuality (PS 210).3 Credits.

This course focuses on human sexuality as it develops and changes throughout the lifespan, starting with prenatal development and ending with sexuality of the aging. Additional special topics include sexual dysfunction, sexual variance and the law.

Prerequisites: Take PS101 or WS101;
Offered: Every year, Spring

WS 219. Women in Political Thought (PO 219).3 Credits.

Students explore different approaches to explain the status of women. Theoretical perspectives that students consider may include: liberal feminism, radical feminism, Marxist/socialist feminism, feminism of care, conservative feminism and global feminism, among others. Students critically evaluate political concepts such as freedom, equality, rights and oppression, as well as learn about how different thinkers have conceptualized gender, politics, power and the role of the state. The course requires careful reading, intensive class discussion and multiple writing assignments.

Prerequisites: Take PO 101 or PO 131 or PL 101 or PS 101 or SO 101 or WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

WS 232. Women in the Criminal Justice System (CJ/SO 232).3 Credits.

This course examines the changing patterns of women's criminality, the experiences of women who are processed as crime victims, and the evolution of women's role in law, law enforcement and corrections.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall

WS 235. Literature by Women (EN 235).3 Credits.

Virginia Woolf wrote that, for most of history, "Anonymous" was a woman. The last two centuries have energetically recovered the writings of women and shifted them into equal stature with literature written by men. With the question of what it means to extract a canon of literature defined by gender as its center, this course allows students to consider the ways in which women have contributed a language and form to the literary tradition. In particular, the course explores the process by which this literature, often written from the margins of experience, has shaped how we read today. Varied female authors are discussed, including Woolf, the Brontës, Emily Dickinson, Zora Neal Hurston, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, Jamaica Kincaid, Leila Abouzeid, and Maxine Hong Kingston, among others.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Humanities

WS 250. Gender and the Law (LE 250).3 Credits.

This course focuses on legal issues regarding gender, including the differential treatment of women and men in the legal system, and contemporary responses to gender issues in society.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

WS 255. Sociology of Families (SO 255).3 Credits.

In this introductory course, students study families in the U.S. Topics include the ways in which families have evolved over time and the effect of economic and social factors (such as race, class, and gender) on family life. Students learn about families in other cultures and current issues facing families.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or WS 101;
Offered: Every year, All
UC: Social Sciences

WS 262. Psychology of Women (PS 262).3 Credits.

This course presents a study of sex and gender. Issues of women's development are surveyed: socialization, menstruation, self-concept, menopause, productive and reproductive roles and the changing conceptions of femininity and masculinity.

Prerequisites: Take PS 101 or WS 101;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences

WS 285. Protest and Change (SO285).3 Credits.

This course presents a systematic exploration of the causes and conditions of major social changes. Social movements such as the civil rights and women's movements are studied in terms of their capacity to respond to and generate additional change.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or WS 101;
Offered: Every other year
UC: Social Sciences

WS 300. Special Topics.3 Credits.

Prerequisite will be determined by offering department.

Offered: As needed

WS 301. Seminar in Women's Studies.3 Credits.

This seminar provides an opportunity for students to explore a subject (for example: 20th-century women poets, feminist issues from a global perspective) on an advanced level through interdisciplinary readings. Feminist theory is used to analyze materials that cover literature, psychology, history, political science, sociology and communications. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for making decisions about how the material is taught, and for working together to "own" the experience of scholarship. This course is required of women's studies minors. Junior or senior status is required.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

WS 304. Sociology of Gender (SO 304).3 Credits.

This course focuses on how society constructs notions/images of femininity and masculinity and how this influences our lives. Students look at cultural views of language, body and the media, as well as theoretical approaches to understanding the complexities of gender distinctions in our society.

Prerequisites: Take 2 courses from subject WS;
Offered: Every year

WS 308. U.S. Women's History (HS 308).3 Credits.

This course covers the experience of women in America before 1900. Women's work in the family and community is stressed. Individual research is required.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every year, All

WS 309. Women in America: 1920-Present (HS309).3 Credits.

This course covers the experience of women from the beginnings of the "jazz age" to the end of the century.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every year, All

WS 310. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender, Sex, and Sexuality (AN 310).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the social and cultural constructions of gender, sex and sexuality around the world. Students discover the way anthropologists approach these topics. They explore the constructions as they relate to notions of biology, family, households, work, migration, inequality/inequity, economics and class status, violence, and race and ethnicity. Discussions focus on what gender, sex and sexuality are, what they mean and how they theoretically and practically matter as categories.

Prerequisites: Take 6 credits from subjects AN SO or WS;
Offered: Every year, Fall

WS 311. Diversity in the Media (MSS 311).3 Credits.

This course examines the role of media in the construction of social categories such as gender, race, class and sexual orientation, focusing primarily on the first two. Students learn about the media as one of a number of social institutions including religion, education and family, which influence our understanding of cultural difference. The course presents a variety of perspectives that address diversity in relation to both print and electronic media, emphasizing popular culture. Media diversity issues are analyzed in relation to ownership, representation, audience reception, and the media workforce. Junior standing required.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101 MSS 101 or JRN 160; Take MSS 220;
Offered: Every year, Spring

WS 315. Women Artists (AR 325).3 Credits.

This art history course focuses on the lives and artwork of women such as Hildegard von Bingen, Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keefe.

Prerequisites: Take AR 102 AR 103 AR 104 AR 105 or WS 101;
Offered: As needed

WS 326. Witches and Werewolves in the Early Modern World (HS 326).3 Credits.

This course explores the general belief in witchcraft and other supernatural creatures in the larger context of religion and culture in the early modern world. Participants examine how belief in the supernatural led to a widespread fear and persecution of individuals deemed witches or other consorts of the devil. Using the groundbreaking work of historians, and the primary documents of the period, this course examines the origins and processes of the witch trials. Since approximately 75 percent of those in Europe accused of witchcraft were women, the course examines how gender, misogyny and scapegoating shaped the persecution and prosecution of the more vulnerable members of premodern society. More broadly, the class examines how Christianity both affirmed and condemned these beliefs and practices and how people used "superstition" to make sense of the world around them.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

WS 330. Philosophy and Gender (PL 330).3 Credits.

Students investigate the notions of sex and gender and the debate over social versus biological underpinnings of expressions of masculinity and femininity. The relevance of historical views on sex, gender and relations between the sexes to current patterns and developments are considered. Issues facing men and women, as well as policies and reforms designed to address them are examined. Participants also consider the intersection between sex/gender and race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation. Finally, students consider the impact of gendered perspectives on contemporary philosophy, especially epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. Junior standing (or department approval)required.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

WS 335. Images of Women in Psychology and Literature (EN 335).3 Credits.

This seminar considers the ways in which psychology and literature depict the female experience. Using readings in both traditional and feminist psychological and literary theory, the course analyzes literary texts by and about women. Topics include: gender and genre, female identity formation and the minority experience.

Prerequisites: Take PS 101 or WS 101 and one 200-level English course;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

WS 338. American Literature by Women of Color (EN 338).3 Credits.

This course presents a study of the diverse literary traditions, themes and narrative strategies employed by non-traditional American women. The ways race, ethnicity and gender affect form, content, language and style of the literature are examined. Writers include: Silko, Erdrich, Morrison, Walker, Angelou, Giovanni, Tan, Kingston, Yamamoto, Cisneros and Viramontes.

Prerequisites: Take one 200-level WS course;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

WS 345. Media Audiences (MSS 345).3 Credits.

This course examines popular, institutional and academic perspectives on media audiences in the U.S. and abroad. Central topics include how people choose and interpret media content, how marketers and media producers perceive audiences and how media researchers attempt to understand audiences. The course also considers popular assumptions about media effects on audiences and includes an in-depth analysis of fan cultures. Junior standing required.

Prerequisites: Take EN 102 or EN 103H and COM 120 or WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Fall

WS 355. Latin American Women Film Directors (LAS 355).3 Credits.

The course explores the contributions of women filmmakers to cinema in Latin America and the Caribbean and traces the history of the medium in the region. From the golden age of Mexican cinema to the politically and socially engaged efforts of filmmakers in Argentina, Brazil and Cuba, films in Latin America historically have been a reflection of the socioeconomic forces at work in the region. The work of women filmmakers is also a reflection of those forces. In the course, students screen important works by women filmmakers and study how they fit (or don't fit) into the framework created by critics, filmmakers and the public.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101;
Offered: As needed

WS 370. Intimate Partner Violence Seminar (PS 370).3 Credits.

This seminar addresses the prevalence, causes and consequences of partner abuse. Etiological models of partner violence are examined from social perspectives (feminist, socioeconomic, anthropological and evolutionary theory), and psychological perspectives (personality disorders, perceived causes and justification of violence). The impact of violence on victims (physical and psychological consequences) is addressed.

Prerequisites: Take two 200-level courses from subjects SO WS PS or CJ;
Offered: As needed, Fall

WS 384. Gay and Lesbian Identities and Communities in the 20th Century (SO 384/PS 384).3 Credits.

This course explores the social, socioeconomic, historical, psychological, and political factors that have contributed to our understanding of what it means to be gay or lesbian today. Psychological research on gay and lesbian identity development, the social construction of identity, and the psychological, social, and political benefits associated with "identifying" as gay or lesbian, are discussed. The course explores historical events that led to the development of gay and lesbian communities and the benefits of being involved in these communities. The course also explores how the gay and lesbian community has become more mainstream, in both positive and negative ways.

Prerequisites: Take WS 101 and sophmore standing.
Offered: As needed

WS 387. Women and Public Policy (PO 387).3 Credits.

Students examine the major public policy issues affecting gender relations in the United States today, including: reproductive rights and abortion, labor policy, welfare policy, sexual and domestic violence. Students discover the process by which issues of importance to gender equality have historically emerged on the public agenda, the ways in which policy debate is shaped once an issue becomes a public problem and the competing policy paradigms surrounding these controversial policy issues.

Prerequisites: Take PO 131 or WS 101;
Offered: Every other year, Spring

WS 395. Feminist Theory and the Body.4 Credits.

This course will introduce students to various feminist critiques of the body. Students will examine how feminism has re-conceptualized the body, and become familiar with the body's linkages to race, class, sexuality, and dis/ability. By studying feminist theory, students will investigate how the body has been used as a site of cultural, political, social, and biomedical meaning as well as a site of performance, commodification and systemic violence. Students will gain an understanding of how bodies are influenced and expressed socially; and therefore, be able to conduct and apply scholarly feminist research that is inclusive of theories of the body. This course is for degree completion students only.

Offered: As needed

WS 398. Internship in Women's Studies.1-3 Credits.

Offered: As needed

WS 399. Independent Study.3-6 Credits.

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Offered: As needed

WS 499. Independent Study.3-6 Credits.

Offered: As needed