Courses of Study

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Majors and Minors


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WOMEN'S, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES

 

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program is a feminist interdisciplinary program designed to acquaint students with scholarship on women, gender, sexuality, and feminist theory. WGSS courses examine the way gender is culturally constructed and the relation of gender to other systems of social difference, such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. WGSS scholarship covers a variety of theoretical and empirical studies from within both traditional disciplines and interdisciplinary frames. In addition to the core WGSS courses, the program offers a wide range of cross-listed courses taught by faculty members from many departments and programs, and students are encouraged to develop a broad foundation through study in several fields. A WGSS major or minor graduates with a program of study that is often unique to the student’s developing interests. Students may pursue a major or a minor in WGSS. Descriptions for courses cross-listed with WGSS are listed under the various departments.

REQUIREMENTS +

Requirements for the Major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Twelve courses, including an introductory course (typically WGSS 201); a course in feminist theory (typically WGSS 311); a senior seminar (typically WGSS 493); and nine additional courses designated as WGSS courses or courses cross-listed under WGSS, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. Students may also petition the program director to have a non-listed course counted toward the major by demonstrating that the majority of their own course work is on WGSS topics.

Students may count toward fulfillment of the major requirements a maximum of one semester of independent study (WGSS 491 or 492) or four credits of Senior Scholars work (if approved by the WGSS coordinating committee).

The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses taken toward fulfillment of the major. Courses counted toward the major may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Honors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Students majoring in WGSS may apply to participate in the honors program their senior year by submitting a formal statement of their intention to the WGSS coordinating committee by April 15 of their junior year. The written proposal must include a description of the proposed work, a timeline, and the agreement of a faculty sponsor and a secondary faculty reader. A 3.50 major average at the end of the junior year is a condition for entry into the program. By the beginning of the senior year, students must develop and circulate to the WGSS coordinating committee a prospectus for the project, written in consultation with the project’s faculty advisor. A 3.50 major average at the end of the senior year and a public oral presentation of the project are conditions for successful completion of this program. Honors course credits do not count toward elective credits in the major. The final project will usually consist of 50 pages or more of superior quality.

Requirements for the Minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Six courses, including an introductory course (typically WGSS 201); a course in feminist theory (typically WGSS 311); and a senior seminar (typically WGSS 493); and three additional courses designated as WGSS courses or cross-listed under WGSS, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. No more than one semester of independent study (WGSS 491 or 492) may be counted toward fulfillment of the minor requirements.

The point scale for retention of the minor applies to all courses taken toward fulfillment of the minor. Courses counted toward the minor may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

OTHER APPLICABLE COURSES +

Courses from other departments that may be applied to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major or minor

(Note: As course offerings change yearly, this list may not be exhaustive.) 
  • American Studies 
    • 115 The Image of Women and Men in American Film
    • 275 Gender and Popular Culture
    • 334 Film and Society
    • 393 American Masculinities
  • Anthropology 
    • 373 The Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality
    • 452 Anthropology of Power
  • Biology 
    • 115 Biology of Women
    • 245 Biology of Race and Gender
  • Economics 
    • 254 The Economics of Women, Men, and Work
  • Education 
    • 231 Teaching for Social Justice
    • 332 Women, Girls, and the Culture of Education
  • English 
    • 336 Early American Women Writers
    • 343 African-American Literature
    • 348 Postcolonial Literature
    • 412 Shakespeare (when appropriate)
    • 413 Author Course (when appropriate)
    • 429 Passionate Expression: Love, Sex, and Sexuality in Western Literature
    • 493 Seminar (when appropriate)
  • Environmental Studies
    • 113 Women Working for the Environment
  • French 
    • 358 Passionate Discontent: The 19th-Century Epidemic
  • History 
    • 231 American Women’s History, to 1870
    • 232 American Women’s History, 1870 to the Present
    • 245 Science, Race, and Gender
    • 413 Seminar: Joan of Arc: History, Legend, and Film
  • Philosophy
     
    • 215 Feminist Philosophies
  • Psychology 
    • 352 Sex and Gender Seminar
  • Religious Studies
     
    • 257 Women in American Religion
    • 275 Contemporary Wicca: Formalists, Feminists, and Free Spirits
    • 312 South Asian Women at the Crossroads: Tradition and Modernity
  • Sociology
    • 276 Sociology of Gender
    • 355 African-American Women and Social Change
    • 375 Contemporary Family Relations: Mothers and Daughters
  • Spanish
     
    • 276 U.S. Latina/Chicana Women Writers
    • 334 Women in Hispanic Texts
    • 493B The Latina Body Seminar
  • Theater and Dance 
    • 349 Topics in Dramatic Literature (when appropriate)

 

Faculty

 

Colby College reserves the right in its sole judgement to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, academic schedule, fees, deposits, or any other matters in this catalogue.