Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program


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. The program mission is to teach students about the ways gender is culturally constructed and intersects with other systems of social difference such as race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and ability.

A WGSS major graduates with a strong grounding in a variety of feminist research methodologies. Core courses train students in interdisciplinary methods and rigorous theoretical reading and writing. Students draw on courses in other programs and departments for training in empirical methods and for topical breadth. A WGSS major graduates having completed a program that is tailored to the student’s developing interests. Our program’s graduates are trained to think independently, courageously, and boldly about their own subjectivities and the world around them.

Faculty

Director,  Professor Mark Tappan (Education)
Appointments in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Assistant Professor Sonja Thomas; Faculty Fellow, Myrl Beam
Program Faculty for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Professors Debra Barbezat (Economics), Kimberly Besio (East Asian Studies), Lyn Mikel Brown (Education), Cedric Gael Bryant (English), Debra Campbell (Religious Studies), Ben Fallaw (Latin American Studies), James Fleming (Science, Technology, and Society), Cheryl Townsend Gilkes (Sociology and African-American Studies), Jill Gordon (Philosophy), Paul Josephson (History), Elizabeth Leonard (History), Phyllis Mannocchi (English), Mary Beth Mills (Anthropology), Jorge Olivares (Spanish), Laurie Osborne (English), Adrianna Paliyenko (French), Tamae Prindle (East Asian Studies), Nikky Singh (Religious Studies), Mark Tappan (Education), and Larissa Taylor (History); Associate Professors Lisa Arellano (American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Tilar Mazzeo (English), Margaret McFadden (American Studies), Tarja Raag (Psychology), Anindyo Roy (English), Elizabeth Sagaser (English), Laura Saltz (American Studies), Betty Sasaki (Spanish), Katherine Stubbs (English), Andrea Tilden (Biology), and John Turner (History); Assistant Professors Dean Allbritton (Spanish), Emma García (Spanish), and Sonja Thomas (Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies); Faculty Member without Rank Marilyn Pukkila (Library)


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 comprehensive.

American Studies

  • 275 Gender and Popular Culture
  • 334 Film and Society: Films of the 1940s

Anthropology

  • 373 The Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality

Cinema Studies

  • 215 The Image of Women and Men in American Film

Economics

  • 254 The Economics of Women, Men, and Work

Education

  • 231 Teaching for Social Justice
  • 332 Practicum in Girls’ Development and Education

English

  • 336 Early American Women Writers
  • 412 Shakespeare (when appropriate)
  • 413 Author Course (when appropriate)
  • 429 Passionate Expression: Love, Sex, and Sexuality in Western Literature
  • 493 Seminar (when appropriate)

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
  • 381 Women and Gender in Islam
  • 413 Seminar: Joan of Arc: History, Legend, and Film

Music

  • 172 Music and Gender

Philosophy

  • 215 Feminist Philosophies
  • 217 Feminism and Science

Psychology

  • 352A Sex and Gender Seminar

Religious Studies

  • 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
  • 493 Seminar: (De)Constructing Femininities

Theater and Dance

  • 349 Topics in Dramatic Literature (when appropriate)