Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program


Courses of Study

WG201fs    Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of women's, gender, and sexuality studies, using classical and contemporary texts. An examination of the variety of feminist and queer theoretical approaches to understanding gendered and sexual lives in historical contexts. Four credit hours. U. Arellano, Thomas
[WG211]    Women in Myth and Fairy Tale How are women represented in the myths and fairy tales of U.S. cultures? What is the impact of these images on our selves and our societies? What are some alternatives to the images we are familiar with? How are women using myths and fairy tales to deconstruct oppressive images based on cultural stereotypes? These questions are explored through close examination of ancient and contemporary versions of the stories of Psyche, Beauty, and Inanna. American Indian stories and feminist fairy tales provide alternative images for discussion, as do various video versions of the stories. Normally offered every other year. Three credit hours. L.
WG223j    Critical Race Feminisms and Tap Dance An introduction to critical race feminism and tap dance. Students will learn about the history of tap dance in the United States and abroad, black feminist thought, the concept of intersectionality, and the hypervisibility of raced bodies. Students will learn to perform and name basic tap skills and the "shim sham shimmy," a dance historically performed by African-American female tap dancers in Harlem; to perform a visual cultural analysis; to understand and think critically about concepts from critical race theory, black feminist thought, and feminist performance theory; and to know the history of tap dance and its significance to racial politics in the United States. Previously listed as WG297 (JP 2014). Three credit hours. A, U. Thomas
WG225f    Gender and Politicized Religion An analysis of gender, politicized religion, and secularism in a global context. We will look at justifications for patriarchal state practices that stem from particular interpretations of religious texts. We will explore feminist critiques of religious fundamentalisms, ways in which religion shapes gender roles, and international networking for both religious freedom and women's empowerment. Students will understand the concept of politicized religion in different nation-state contexts, locate how secularism is practiced differently based on particular religious, historical, and political contexts, and critically examine feminist activism globally. Four credit hours. I. Thomas
WG232s    Queer Identities and Politics Discussion-based course considering central writers in queer studies, with an emphasis on historical and theoretical work on sex, gender, and sexuality. Topics include gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, and queer political movement and theory; sexual identities and feminism; sexual identities and the law; alternative family practices; and queer theory in academia. Four credit hours. U. Arellano
[WG275]    Gender and Popular Culture Listed as American Studies 275. Four credit hours. U.
[WG276]    Sociology of Gender Listed as Sociology 276. Four credit hours. S, U.
WG311f    Feminist Theories and Methodologies Takes an interdisciplinary, intersectional, and progressively transnational approach to feminist theory of the past three decades. Equally premised in the convictions that the "personal is political" and "the political is gendered." Fosters critical consciousness of the many and varied ways in which sex, gender, and sexuality shape our daily lives. Taking seriously the challenges posed from within and outside feminism to acknowledge and grapple with the gaps between theory and practice born of the many and varied differences between and among women, we closely examine not only what Estelle Freedman terms the "historical case for feminism" but also the historical case for feminist theory. Prerequisite: Junior standing as a WGSS major or minor. Four credit hours. U. Thomas
WG317s    Boys to Men A focus on the thoughts, feelings, physical responses, life choices, and aspirations of boys and men. Explores, from an explicitly feminist and social justice perspective, how power, privilege, and difference shape boys' and men's lives, and how the social construction and reproduction of masculinity differ based on sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, and age. Particular attention to the problem of men's violence against women and other men. Students lead discussion groups with boys in local schools and after-school programs. Previously listed as WG217. Four credit hours. U. Tappan
[WG335]    Girls, Activism, and Popular Culture Provides students with the opportunity to explore how dominant cultural constructions of girlhood and popular culture impact girls' sense of agency and their chosen forms of activism. We will examine how girls accommodate, negotiate, and/or resist prevailing ideals of "girlhood," and critically examine girl-defined activism, with particular attention to social networking and media production. We will work together to create an on-campus action, participate in a current girl-driven movement via blogging, and apply feminist and developmental theories and approaches to an activist project with local girls. Prerequisite: Education 213 or 215, or Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 201. Four credit hours. U.
[WG341]    Gender and Human Rights Examines gender and human rights through articles in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Focusing each week on a particular article of the declaration, we will examine feminist activism in the context of women's rights as human rights; question how, who, and what are protected by the declaration; and bring the particular into conversation with the universal. Students will understand the concept of universal human rights, analyze human rights abuses from multidisciplinary perspectives, and critically analyze feminist activism for social justice across local and global contexts. Four credit hours. S, I.
WG343s    Native and Postcolonial Feminisms Covers many canonical postcolonial and indigenous feminist texts. While indigenous and postcolonial feminists share a gendered analysis of colonial practices, there are also inherent tensions between them wrought from the geographic and historic particularities of state formations. We will question how coloniality, decoloniality, and settler governance circulate (or not) between indigenous and postcolonial feminisms. How is decoloniality similar/different? What do these similarities/differences mean for transnational feminist organizing? What types of competing imaginaries are at play in decolonial futures? Previously listed as WG398 (Spring 2017). Origins theme course. Four credit hours. I. Thomas
[WG344]    Sociology of Sexualities Listed as Sociology 344. Four credit hours.
[WG483]    Senior Honors Project An independent research project on an approved topic, conducted in close consultation with a faculty tutor and culminating in a substantial written thesis. Students are responsible for selecting their faculty tutor and submitting their proposal by April 15 of their junior year. A 3.5 major average at the end of the senior year is a condition of successful completion of the program. Prerequisite: Senior standing, a 3.5 major average at the end of the junior year, and permission of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Three or four credit hours.
WG491f, 492s    Independent Study Individual study of special problems in women's, gender, and sexuality studies in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. The instructor must be one of the faculty members in the program. Prerequisite: Women's, gender, and sexuality studies major or minor, permission of the instructor, and approval of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Three or four credit hours. Faculty
WG493s    Seminar: Identity Formation, Social Movement, and Gender An examination of current debates about social and political identity in an effort to understand the terrain of these debates by examining (and in some cases forcing) conversations between and among projects that attempt to offer ways of thinking about the relationship between identity formation and social movements. Students will complete an independent project on a topic of their own choosing. Prerequisite: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major or minor. Four credit hours. Arellano