Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGS)

Note: Cross-listed courses are available in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. For more information, consult the listing in the appropriate department.

WGS 177. Independent Studies. (0-5)

WGS 201. Introduction to Women's Studies. (3) (MPF, MPT)

Interdisciplinary introduction to the study of women which focuses on determinants and expressions of women's roles. IC, IIC, IIIB. CAS-C.

WGS 202. Introduction to GLBT Studies. (3) (MPF)

Introduction to the scholarly field of GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Studies. Provides the intellectual foundation for the further study of non-normative genders and sexualities. IC, IIB. CAS-B.

WGS 203. Sociology of Gender. (3) (MPT)

Description and analysis of gender in human society with special attention to constraints placed on both males and females by current socialization practices, and to issues in equality from historic as well as contemporary perspectives. IC. CAS-C.
Cross-listed with SOC.

WGS 204. Gender, Science, & Technology. (3)

WGS 204 will introduce students to the study of science and technology from the critical lens of interdisciplinary gender studies. We will explore questions such as: What does science tell us about the nature of sex or gender differences? How have ideas about gender and sexuality structured the basic practices and language of science and technology? What are feminist critiques of science and technology? How have women contributed to science (especially in contexts where they were barred from doing so)? And what does a feminist science look like? Why have women and people of color been, historically, underrepresented in STEM disciplines and what can be done to change this underrepresentation? CAS-QL.

WGS 211. Writing with Purpose: Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Communication. (3)

This is an intermediate level course which enables students to investigate and discuss interdisciplinary practices of knowledge creation and dissemination. Students will practice a variety of writing and other communication strategies necessary for the effective dissemination of ideas to interdisciplinary audiences and the general public, and can expect to gain experience in working with a wide spectrum of interdisciplinary research, tools and methods while engaging intellectually in interdisciplinary modes of thinking, reading, listening, and speaking. ADVW.
Cross-listed with AAA/AMS/BWS/LAS.

WGS 221. Sexualities. (3)

Introduction to the study of human sexual behavior with particular attention paid to the issues of gender development; premarital, marital, and post-marital sexual patterns; birth control; sexual dysfunction; cross-cultural sexual patterns; and alternative sexual lifestyles.
Cross-listed with FSW and SOC.

WGS 232. Women Writers. (3) (MPT)

Introduction to women's writing in English. Readings may include poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction by women writers from various historical periods and national traditions. IC. CAS-B-LIT.
Cross-listed with ENG 232.

WGS 235. Women in Antiquity. (3) (MPT)

Study of the status of women in the Greek and Roman world from Bronze age through early centuries of Christianity conducted in light of literary, artistic, and archaeological evidence in order to increase knowledge and understanding of Greek and Roman family and social life and of our own society as well.
Cross-listed with CLS 235.

WGS 237. GLBTQ Literature. (3)

Study of literature by and about sexual minorities, including Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer identities, cultural contexts, and social movements. CAS-B-LIT.
Cross-listed with ENG.

WGS 243. Women's Health Care: Problems and Practices. (3)

Examines health and medical problems or concerns of women. Current controversial issues and misconceptions revealed in such topics as sexuality, rape, obstetrical and gynecological procedures, cancer detection and treatment, menopause, and psychotherapy. Women's health movement is introduced; health care delivery system scrutinized from the point of view of the female consumer.
Cross-listed with KNH.

WGS 277. Independent Studies. (0-5)

WGS 278. Women and (Dis)ability: Fictions and Contaminations of Identity. (3)

Provides a critical analysis of the historical, sociological, cultural, media and educational images and representations of women with disabilities. Current research and theories from Disabilities Studies and Womens Studies will serve as the lenses for the exploration of disability as a social construct. The course will focus on exploration of oppressive social forces embedded in the re/presentations of and by women with disabilities which transform and complicate such images.
Cross-listed with DST/EDP.

WGS 287. Enter the Diva: Women in Music. (3) (MPF)

American women in music from 1900 to present. Women have made considerable contributions to the various genres and traditions that define American music. From popular forms to concert music there are numerous women who have constructed a musical discourse that chronicles their experiences in America and their conceptions of womanhood. This course is designed to chronicle the experiences of these women musicians and vocalists and discuss their musical approaches. Discussions include traditional music practices as well as contemporary popular music styles. IIA, IIB.
Prerequisite: MUS 135, 185 or 189, or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with MUS.

WGS 301. Women and Difference: Intersections of Race, Class, and Sexuality. (3)

Investigation of the interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to the interplay of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other aspects of social identity in women's lives; analysis of the ways social difference is defined, used, and experienced. Emphasis on feminist and womanist theories that take into account the interdependence of multiple categories of social difference. Open to majors and minors or other students with permission of instructor. IC.
Prerequisite: WGS 201.

WGS 302. Geography and Gender. (3)

This class adopts a geographic approach to the study of gender relations. The role of space and place in shaping the diversity of gender relations throughout the world will be considered. Through case studies the importance of gender relations in understanding a variety of issues will be stressed. Overall, we will explore how geography shapes gender relations and how gender produces a variety of geographies. IC.
Cross-listed with GEO.

WGS 309. Native American Women. (3) (MPT)

A survey of writings and film by and about Native American women. The objective of the course is to provide students with a broad overview of Native American perspectives on a variety of topics including indigenous viewpoints on research methods, environmental activism, politics and policy, and critical analysis. IC. CAS-C.
Cross-listed with GEO.

WGS 313. Marriage Across Cultures. (3)

This class engages feminist theory and gender studies to explore the consequences of different types of marital formations (polygamous as well as monogamous) for the lives of women and men in selected Western and non-Western cultures. IC. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with AAA/REL.

WGS 323. Women/Gender in Modern Europe. (3)

History of women and gender in Western society from the time of the French Revolution, 1789, to the present.

WGS 325. Identity, Race, Gender, Class. (3) (MPT)

Develops conceptual tools and critical perspectives that enable students to better understand and analyze the processes through which identities are constructed and experienced. Learning activities facilitate analysis of individual identities as experienced through the life cycle and across diverse cultural and subcultural contexts, and build a systematic understanding of the processes and dynamics through which identities and identity groups develop and interact. IC. CAS-C.
Cross-listed with ATH/BWS/LAS.

WGS 326. Psychology of Gender. (3)

Review and integration of emerging theory and research about women and their behavior, with particular attention to uniquely female experiences throughout the life cycle and to the influences that affect women in contemporary society.
Prerequisites: PSY 221 and PSY 294.
Cross-listed with PSY.

WGS 333. Religion, Dress, and Status. (3) (MPT)

Displays of status through constrictive dress and gender segregation will be explored with reference to religion, gender, and class. Course will explore the topic through selected case studies, several of which involve Islamic cultures.
Cross-listed with REL.

WGS 334. Women's Religious Experiences in the Ancient Mediterranean World. (3) (MPT)

Places women's lives and cultic experiences at the center, introducing a range of religious traditions from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Israel, and Egypt, to Greece and Rome, as the database for an analysis of women's relationships to myths, temple cults, festivals, mystery rites, domestic cult, private and immigrant cults, and magic from the second millennium BCE to the 4th century CE. The course emphasizes the application of modern critical approaches to the ancient evidence including material culture and epigraphy.
Cross-listed with REL.

WGS 336. Ancient Sexualities. (3)

This course examines the written and visual evidence for ancient sexual practices, as well as ancient attitudes towards these practices as found in ancient law, philosophy, love poetry, novels, and other texts. Our reading of primary sources will be informed by modern writings on gender and sexuality. We will also engage with recent debates about the ideologies reflected in ancient codes of sexual conduct. Through a close reading of a variety of ancient Greek and Roman texts and images, together with contemporary interpretive readings, we will attempt to reach not only a fuller understanding of some central features of the cultures of Greece and Rome, but also, by holding up the mirror of antiquity to our own beliefs and practices, to arrive at a more critical consideration of how we think about sex and gender today.
Cross-listed with CLS.

WGS 340. Internship. (0-20)

WGS 345. Women, Religion and Social Change in America. (3) (MPT)

An exploration of various ways in which women lifted their own voices, engaged with societal issues, and constructed their communities and themselves through the institutions and frameworks of religion in America.
Cross-listed with AMS/REL.

WGS 346. Global Gender Politics. (3) (MPT)

Examination of the role of women in political participation, political protest, and political and economic development worldwide. Explores the usefulness of gender as a conceptual tool for comparative analysis, and uses case study material from the developed and developing world to examine how women's involvement in politics both shapes and is shaped by various political contexts.
Cross-listed with POL.

WGS 348. Gender Politics & Policy in the United States. (3)

Addresses the role of gender in American politics. Topics include the history of women’s rights in American politics, differences between the political behavior of men and women, the role of gender in elections and in leadership, and current policies that affect women.
Prerequisite: POL 241 or WGS 201.
Cross-listed with POL 348.

WGS 350B. Women in Film. (3)

In-depth and concentrated studies in film.

WGS 351. Cultural Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Asian/America. (3)

Intensive interdisciplinary study of imaginative representations of the encounters between "Asia" and "America," broadly conceived, particularly the entangled relations among their diverse constituencies in the contexts of colonialism and globalization. Key topics include feminist critique of gendered violence and human rights issues; Euro-American militarism and sex tourism; the emergence of new categories of sex, gender, and kinship as lived experiences mediated by transnational consumer culture and institutional structures; masculinity and Asian diasporic nationalisms; pan-Asian movements against racism, colonialism, and neoliberalism both in Asia and the U.S.; and the emergence of new critical, artistic and aesthetic practices. IC.
Cross-listed with AAA and ENG.

WGS 355. Feminist Theory. (3) (MPT)

Examination of major writing by contemporary feminist thinkers. Traditional philosophical questions, such as justice, freedom, nature of a person, and relationship of an individual to society, are raised in context relevant to both male and female students.
Cross-listed with PHL.

WGS 356. Women and Gender in Film. (3)

This course explores the construction of gender and representations of women in film in two contexts: in mainstream Hollywood cinema and in experimental and independent films. While not providing an extensive history of women in film, the course provides a sampling of iconic films—from early cinema to the present—to critically examine how women are portrayed throughout the twentieth century and in various genres, in films made by both men and women. Course readings engage theoretical and practical points of contact within cinema, including feminist film theory, postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis, queer theory, and critical race theory. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with ENG 356 and FST 356.

WGS 361. Couple Relationships: Diversity and Change. (3)

Investigation of intimate couple relationships in their many diverse forms. Focuses on social and psychological factors influencing development and maintenance of such couple relationships as dating, cohabitation, and marriage. General principles are discussed as well as factors that are more specific to certain age groups, relationship types, or sociocultural settings. IC.
Prerequisite: three hours of social science.
Cross-listed with FSW.

WGS 369. Sexuality, Youth, Education. (3)

This interdisciplinary course utilizes insights from a variety of areas - such as literature, sociology, popular culture, law, and medicine - to analyze how contemporary discourses of sexuality are viewed from multiple perspectives. The course investigates how discourses of sexuality co-mingle with discourses of youth with special attention to the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, nationality and ability. Working from a Critical Youth Studies (CYS) framework and similar theoretical positions, the course privileges scholarship and community-based educational models which foreground issues of equity, social justice, and youth participatory activism.

WGS 370. Selected Topics in Women's Studies. (3)

Examines specific aspects of women's roles, status, and experiences.

WGS 375. (Dis)Ability Allies: To be or not to be? Developing Identity and Pride from Practice. (3)

Explores what it means to be ally to/in/with the disability community in America. The course emphasizes identity formation and how that formation can inform the construction of the ally identity. Through deconstructing learned values, knowledge, and images of disability that mitigate ally behavior, students discover the micro and macro structures that support ally behavior. By exploring how social control and social change have worked in other civil rights movements, students understand the necessity of identifying and including allies in the disability movement for civil rights. IC. CAS-C.
Cross-listed with DST/EDP/SOC.

WGS 377. Independent Studies. (0-5)

WGS 382. Women in American History. (3) (MPT)

Survey of the history of women's lives and roles in American society from colonial period to present. Emphasis on examining women's individual and collective roles in private and public spheres and on exploring how specific economic and political transformations have affected women's lives. IC. CAS-B.Cross-listed with AMS and HST.

WGS 383. Brazilian Women through Literature and Film. (3) (MPF)

Addresses questions about gender, race, class and stereotype of women's bodies in 20th-century Brazil. IIB, IIIB. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with BWS/ENG/FST/POR.

WGS 392. Sex and Gender in American Culture. (3) (MPT)

Examination of change over time in the construction of sexual norms, attitudes, and behaviors in American culture, as well as of gender roles. Covers the period just prior to the Indian-European encounter to the present. IC. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with AMS/HST.

WGS 401. The Role of Women in a Transforming Society. (3) (MPC)

Review of current and historically significant feminist writings on the ways in which patriarchal structures of authority affect what students know about women's experiences. Students position themselves as creators of knowledge about women's experiences and as members of self-critical communities of activists who are transforming society and women's positions in that society. Includes readings, discussions, and individual and group projects. Students learn to celebrate similarities in experiences and perspectives, and to understand and appreciate differences.
Prerequisite: WGS 201 and at least 12 semester hours in WGS courses, or permission of instructor.

WGS 402/WGS 502. Engaged Learning Practicum. (1-6; maximum 6)

This course connects feminist theory and practice, and is designed around Service-Learning at a practicum site. The readings explore leadership, feminist grassroots organizing, service learning and civic engagement, feminist activism, and difference and cultural competence. Students will have the opportunity to translate the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking they have learned in the classroom to actual practice, to observe and work with professionals who are addressing women's/gender issues in the field, and to reflect on their own roles as future leaders and professionals.
Prerequisite: WGS 201 or 202 or 301.
Cross-listed with BWS.

WGS 406. Indigenous Peoples and Their Sacred Lands. (3)

An in depth look at topics related to policy and land management practices that impact indigenous peoples nationally, as well as internationally. The major focus of the various case studies is on designated sacred lands of Native American tribes within the United States. The course provides students with interdisciplinary training about indigenous cultures and human rights.
Cross-listed with GEO 406/GEO 506.

WGS 432. Feminism and the Diaspora: U.S. Women of Color. (3)

Concerns issues of language, history, geography, social-psychology, and culture for U.S. women of color (black, Asian-American, Latina, American Indian, and others). Includes works by and about women on gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other differences. IC.
Cross-listed with BWS/ENG.

WGS 435/WGS 535. Queer Theory. (3)

Analysis of how gender and sexuality have informed our understandings of cultural texts and contexts. Emphasizes how discourses of gender and sexuality function within a variety of historical, cultural, and/or aesthetic traditions. IC.
Cross-listed with ENG.

WGS 436/WGS 536. Women, Gender and the Environment. (3) (MPT)

Seminar discussing literature on the role of women in their relationships with natural resources as advocates, practitioners, and scholars. Ideas on ecofeminism will be introduced from more-developed "north" and developing "south" perspectives, and then directed toward the study of gender and development, and participatory tools in gender analysis. IC. CAS-C.
Cross-listed with GEO.

WGS 437/WGS 537. Black Feminist Theory. (3)

Examines critical and theoretical issues in black feminism from slavery to the present. One of the central goals of the course is to interrogate race, gender, class, and sexuality in the context of black women's thoughts and experiences. The class will read, discuss and analyze a wide variety of texts including critical essays, films, selected fiction, print and visual media. IC.
Cross-listed with BWS/ENG.

WGS 442/WGS 542. Women and Theatre: The Politics of Representation. (3)

Examines the ways in which gender is a performed cultural construct, made up of learned values and beliefs. Also introduces ideas about race, ethnicity, and sexuality, and the ways in which these contribute to the cultural construction of identity. Uses theatre to examine societal patterns of power and assumptions about suitable roles and behavior for women. The course will engage students in both text-based and performance-based activities, helping students practice embodying and responding to texts in bold, experimental, intellectually rigorous ways. An optional graduate student component will help those students develop their own ways to teach these materials in the future.
Cross-listed with THE.

WGS 450/WGS 550. Topics in Women's History. (3; maximum 12) (MPT)

In-depth study of a selected topic in the history of women, focusing on either a specific period and place, or a theme.
Cross-listed with HST.

WGS 451/WGS 551. Family Violence. (3) (MPC)

Analysis of research and theory on family violence, including physical abuse of children, sexual abuse, neglect, premarital abuse, wife abuse, gay/lesbian battering, elder abuse, prevention, and intervention. Basic framework is ecological/feminist, emphasizing an examination of family dynamics as well as broader historical, social, and patriarchal contexts.
Cross-listed with FSW/SOC.

WGS 461. Gender, Sexuality and Media. (3) (MPT)

Examines how media help to shape notions of gender in society, how gender ideologies influence mass media perspectives and practices, and how mediated representations may reinforce or challenge social hierarchies based in differences of gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation. IC.
Cross-listed with MAC.

WGS 463/WGS 563. Gender and Aging. (3) (MPT)

Examination of how gender constructions shape the aging process, with particular focus on how various social, psychological, physical, and cultural factors affect men, women, and transgendered persons differently as they grow older.
Prerequisite: GTY 154.
Cross-listed with SOC.

WGS 470. Senior Thesis in Women's Studies. (3-4)

Focuses on the production of the senior thesis. Senior theses may report the results of original research, critical analysis, activist work and/or creation of art, music, performance, fiction, or other forms. Periodic meetings provide a forum to discuss progress and problems, share with peers the process of framing and implementing a project, research, and writing, and practice presenting results. The course culminates in a public presentation of results.
Prerequisite: Senior capstone in WGS (WGS 401 or WGS 370E).

WGS 475/WGS 575. Women, Gender Relations, and Sport. (3)

Explores the meanings of women's participation in sport and physical activity using sociological, feminist, and cultural studies perspectives. Special consideration given to the ideological significance of sport in U.S. culture and ways in which sporting women accept and challenge contemporary gender relations. IC.
Prerequisite: junior or graduate standing.
Cross-listed with KNH.

WGS 477. Independent Studies. (0-5)

WGS 497/WGS 597. Methods of Social Justice Inquiry. (3)

Historical and critical overview of methods of inquiry used by scholars and activists seeking social justice, with emphasis on Participatory Action Research, Narrative Analysis, Community Psychology, Institutional Ethnography, and Mixed-methods designs. Examines methodologies of previous and current research as framed by social constructionist epistemology, interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks, cultural values, and politics of advocacy for equity and fairness. Provides mentoring in application of techniques.
Cross-listed with FSW/SJS/PSY.

WGS 601. Introduction To Women's Studies. (3)

A seminar that focuses on Women's Studies as an academic project and a force for social change in the U.S., tracing its historical development and identifying some of its central issues. Readings, discussion, and assignments help students understand the impact of Women's Studies upon academia and upon their own lives.

WGS 602. Feminist Theory & Methodology. (3)

A seminar that investigates major research methods (empirical studies, case studies, ethnographies, rhetorical analyses, textual and historical studies) as they are theorized and practiced within contemporary feminism. As an interdisciplinary project, feminist academic research includes work from psychology, sociology, literary studies, languages, the arts, anthropology, philosophy, education, mathematics, political science and law, and the sciences. This seminar highlights the ways in which research methodology and theorizing are informed by feminist analyses of institutional power, social difference, and position of the researcher.

WGS 677. Independent Studies. (0-5)

WGS 785. Theory Gender, Sex, Ed. (3)

This course examines the multiple, changing meanings and political effects of gender and sexuality in various socio-cultural and educational contexts. It foregrounds analysis of how social institutions, such as education, the law, family and economy, and cultural representations, such as literary and popular media, shape competing concepts of gender and sexuality. The course readings and collective dialogue place particular attention on feminist scholarship on women, girls and sexual minorities.
Cross-listed with EDL 785.