WGST - Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


2017-2018 UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG

Effective 1 June 2017 through 31 May 2018

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


Course Descriptions

WGST 1010 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Around the World (3)

This course introduces students to current debates concerning the status and rights of women and LGBT people in the United States and around the world. Students will study how cultural, historical, political, and geographical factors affect the lives and roles of women and LGBT people in different countries. Students will also study the evolution of feminism and different women, gender, or sexuality-focused activism across the globe. Finally, students will consider what advantages and what dangers an increasingly global society poses specifically to women and LGBT people.

WGST 1020 Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to concepts and issues from feminist scholarship in a variety of disciplines, providing an introduction to critical thinking about the sex/gender system and gendered structural constraints faced by men and women. The course will focus on the intersections of gender and race, ethnicity, social class, sexuality, and ability status within the United States and around the world.

WGST 2000 Topics in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)

An intermediate-level exploration of topics related to women, gender, and sexuality. Repeatable up to two times when content differs.

WGST 2010 Feminist and Gender Theory (3)

Feminism. Few words provoke the anger, fear, frustration, celebration, and qualification that the "F" word does, and this course deals with the term head on. Students will learn several theories of feminism, critically analyze them, and apply them to concrete social and political problems. Theory will be used as a tool for clarifying and demystifying oppressive patterns of thought, and as a tool for creating liberating alternatives. This course is cross-listed with PHIL 2370.

WGST 2030 Introduction to LGBTQ Studies (3)

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying the identities, experiences, and histories of LGBTQ people across the globe.

WGST 2040 Queer Theory (3)

This introductory level course will give students a solid theoretical foundation in the field of queer studies. After a brief exploration of some of the foundational works in queer theory, students will focus on the relationships - and disagreements - between queer theory and other social and cultural theories. Rather than understanding queer theory as a singular or coherent school of thought, students will problematize queer theory as a field and a mode of analysis. Students will discuss theoretical issues in a quest to develop an understanding of the politics of queer sexuality.

WGST 2050 Topics in LGBTQ Studies (3)

An intermediate-level exploration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Questioning, lntersex, Asexual Studies and related topics. Topics vary each semester; the courses provide students with a strong foundation for knowledge in LGBTQ Studies. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Repeatable up to two times when content differs.

WGST 2060 Politics and Gender (3)

This course focuses on the women's movement as a social movement, investigating how the lives of individuals and the workings of the state have been affected by that movement. After studying the history of the American feminist movement, we will examine women's political participation and presence in public office. We will also discuss various governmental policy arenas that have been of particular interest to feminist activists. This course is cross-listed with POLT 2060.

WGST 2080 LGBTQ Persons and the Law (3)

This course introduces students to the basic history, function and substance of U.S. laws regarding the rights of LGBTQ people. Students will be introduced to legal terminology and public policy issues in this area as well as to past and current legal events and cases regarding the status of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer individuals and their interactions with the law.

WGST 2260 Men & Masculinities (3)

This course examines men and masculinities through a critical lens, looking carefully at an institutionalized system of behaviors and beliefs that is assumed to be a natural phenomenon (as well as culturally universal and historically eternal). The goal of the course is to reach an understanding of various masculine behaviors, myths, ideologies, and experiences; to comprehend the relationship between masculine practice and social power; and to delineate choices for future directions in the behavior and belief systems of individual men and the society at large. The course is necessarily interdisciplinary, and will utilize the tools and methods of sociology, anthropology, psychology, and history as needed.

WGST 2275 LGBTQ Families (3)

This course seeks to educate students in the social institutions of marriage and family. Students will think about these institutions from a data-driven and empirical perspective, looking at the history of marriage and family with primary attention to the issue of "same-sex" marriage. This course will consider perspectives from social scientists and social critics who question the functionality of marriage. Moreover, a human rights framework will be used to discuss the idea of marriage and family "rights." Students will examine several historical and contemporary case studies, and will explore different theories about the role and functioning of the institutions of marriage and family.

WGST 2320 Women in World Religions (3)

This course uses anthropological and sociological approaches to explore the ways that women in world religions apply feminist theory to religious and cultural practices.

WGST 2325 Goddesses (3)

Goddess worship played a significant role in the lives of peoples in antiquity and enjoys a contemporary revival. What is the nature of this worship? Is it inclusive or exclusive of cultic behavior toward male deities? In this course, students will learn how to reconstruct some of the beliefs of ancient peoples from archaeological evidence and ancient documents as they examine the role and influence of the feminine goddess in ancient cultures. We will look at the ideas of the sacred feminine and practices of worship which include sexual rites, women's rituals, prayer, hymns and devotion -- all attached to a powerful group of divine females. We will examine how scholars reconstruct the lives of women from their portrayal as deities.

WGST 2350 LGBTQ Cultural History (3)

This course will take an historical and cross-cultural approach to the rise of LGBTQ subjectivities. Units will include: the ancient world and its approach to same-sex love; the rise of same-sex consciousness in nineteenth century Europe, its spread to other locations, and the emergence of non-hetero non-binary subjectivities in the US; an examination of multiple forms taken by same-sex sexuality and transgender identities in multiple cultural areas, such as Papua New Guinea, the Arab world, Brazil, East Asia; and the more recent development of more complex identity patterns related to homosexual, transsexual, transgender, drag, asexual, pansexual and other subjectivities.

WGST 2370 U.S. Women's History (3)

This course examines the lives of women in America during the years from the Revolution to the present day. We will investigate the ways in which women have functioned as agents of historical change, as their lives and actions have both impacted and been impacted by major historical events. Particular attention will be paid to the changing nature of the family, changes to the work women did (both paid and unpaid), and the involvement of women in social and political reform. We will also investigate the diversity of women's experiences in the past. Just as today, "women" cannot be spoken of as a monolithic block - women throughout America's history have been divided and often had difficulty uniting across lines of class, race, and ethnicity. This course is cross-listed with HIST 2370.

WGST 2475 Bisexualities (3)

In this course, students will explore the historical, social, cultural and political contexts of the lives of bisexual women, men and trans folks. The focus will be on people's lives in the late nineteenth, twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, examined via autobiographical and scholarly accounts. Students will attend to the diversity of people's experiences, particularly with respect to race/ethnicity, social class and age.

WGST 2610 Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Social Justice Organizations (3)

This course will examine contemporary issues related to gender and sexuality in the foundation and leadership of social justice organizations. We will examine the social justice organization's role in promoting such issues as women's and LGBTQ global political participation, economic opportunities, access to education, messages about sexual and gender violence, reproductive justice, and amnesty. Students will be challenged to "put their passions into practice" by applying their increased knowledge of social justice organizations to the creation of their own organization, including a final presentation that could be made to potential funders. We will also focus on aspects of governance unique to feminist organizations.

WGST 2620 Women and the Law (3)

Women still face substantial obstacles in every area of political, social, and economic life, yet most people continue to deny that gender inequality is a serious problem. The legal system perpetuates this denial as well, and historically has attempted to discount or justify gender discrimination. This course will focus on the past and current developments of laws, programs, and institutions which impact gender issues. It will focus on the social and legal implications of gender-based rulings and will explore the factors which underlie such rulings.

WGST 2680 Transnational Feminism (3)

This course examines the historical contexts, political institutions, and colonialist or imperialist practices in different international cultural contexts and how these impact understandings of gender, citizenship, or women's participation in social reform and activism.

WGST 3000 Issues in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)

An advanced-level exploration of issues related to women, gender, and sexuality. Repeatable up to two times when content differs. 

WGST 3050 Issues in LGBTQ Studies (3)

An advanced-level, in-depth exploration of issues and topics related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Questioning, lntersex, and Asexual Studies. Issues vary each semester; the courses examine sexualities and identities through multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Repeatable up to two times when content differs.

WGST 3080 Theorizing Sexualities (3)

How are sexualities configured? That is, what are the frames through which we come to understand and/or interpret sexualities? In this course, students explore the multiple ways in which sexualities come to be produced, reproduced, and negotiated in our everyday lives. Rather than assume a hetero/homo binary as a starting point, students instead take this division to be the end point. examining how this framing has come to exist. Some of the ways in which the course interrogates sexualities include: biological, social /cultural, through nationalism (nation-state), development, and neoliberalism.

WGST 3200 Gender and Sexuality in the Arts (3)

This course explores artists and artistic movements that address issues of gender and sexuality. The course focuses on art forms from such fields as dance, theatre, music, visual arts or performance art. Students will analyze artistic work and correlative scholarship from other fields, such as performance studies, theatre history, dance studies, and art history. Repeatable when content differs.

WGST 3230 Domestic Violence (3)

In order to better understand the present condition of women and the violence that is perpetrated against them, this course will investigate the history of violence against women, the current status of this violence, and the community response. In this course, women will be studied as victims, survivors, activists, advocates, and, due to the systemic nature of this struggle, experts on the topic. The feminist theories applied in the couse include women and children at the center of the circle, gender inequality as the source of continued oppression, and the role of holding men accountable in order for change to take place.

WGST 3235 Cross-Cultural Masculinities (3)

How can we know which aspects of men's behavior are cultural or social, and which are from a biological template for being a man? If we claim that gender is a social and cultural construct, what exactly does that mean? By careful examination of cross-cultural ethnographies, we will seek to understand the forces and factors that produce a particular masculinity, a particular sexuality, and a particular personality out of the raw material of a boy as he is made into a man. The purpose of this course is 1) to examine cultural variations in the lived experiences of men; 2) to demonstrate the cultural construction of masculinities and men's lives in specific socio-historical circumstances; and 3) to approach the study of masculinities across disciplines, across cultures, and across time. This course is cross-listed with ANTH 3230.

WGST 3270 Female Sexuality and Society (3)

This course will examine the relationship between female sexuality and its social, historical, and ideological contexts. Course materials will provide feminist analyses of the changing social organization and cultural meaning of women's bodies, sexual desires, and sexual practices.

WGST 3350 Feminist Criminology (3)

This course takes an interdisciplinary lens to analyze the role that gender plays in the law and in the criminal justice system. The course primarily analyzes women's and girl's experiences with the criminal justice system both as offenders and victims; the role of gender in the lives of male victims, offenders, criminality will also be considered. The course will analyze gender and social control, incorporating both traditional and feminist theoretical accounts of women's and men's deviance and conformity.

WGST 3370 Feminist Philosophy (3)

This course considers what it means to engage in philosophical thinking from positions of the "Other" in the mainstream Western tradition. Students are introduced to influential texts in feminist philosophy and identify interlocking threads of connection between various oppressed groups, aiding analyses of sexism, heterosexism, racism, classism, ableism and colonialism. This course is cross-listed with PHIL 3370.

WGST 3630 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Practicum (1-6)

In the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies practicum, students will link the intellectual and the experiential, creating personalized learning experiences. Students choose and are placed in work environments which are related to and augment their study of topics related to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The student will work in the community "on-site" at a social change organization, in furtherance of personal career and research goals, while also aiming to develop a rapport with practicum site staff and/or clients built on trust and mutual respect, in order to foster personalized learning. Requires prior, ongoing and follow-up consultation with an appropriate faculty member approved by the WGST program director. May be repeated for credit with permission of program director.

WGST 3710 Feminist Research Methods (1)

This one-credit hour course will introduce students to methodological issues raised in and by the field of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and guide students toward the production of a preliminary feminist research project proposal.

WGST 4000 Advanced Research Topics in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)

An advanced, in-depth analysis of a specific area or issue pertaining to women, gender and sexuality, leading to an independent research project. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

WGST 4220 Gender, Justice, and Human Rights (3)

This course will help students become knowledgeable about the tremendous range of women's and feminist activism globally. Students will analyze cultural, economic, and political conditions that promote women's rights globally. Women are claiming a new voice in society by spearheading egalitarian movements for social change. This course will analyze how gender, justice, and human rights are influenced by the intervention of the state, international agencies, globalization, and other international actors.

WGST 4240 Feminism and Families (3)

Many sources in popular culture would have us believe that feminists don't like families, and are anti-marriage and anti-children. This course will examine these myths by 1) reading excerpts from classic first-wave and second-wave feminists that address issues about women and families; 2) reviewing the changes in family life that feminists have sought and successfully won (e.g., increased lesbian and gay parenting, father's increased participation in child-rearing, more recognition that domestic labor is not merely "women's work"); 3) exploring contemporary feminist perspectives on families; 4) looking toward the future and asking what remains to be done to improve families for women. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor.

WGST 4330 Global Sex/Gender Systems (3)

This course will take a cross cultural, multi-disciplinary approach to sex (female/male) and gender (feminine/masculine). Themes of the course include: the meaning of the social construction of sex and gender; theoretical explanations for gender inequality; global variations in sex/gender systems, with some attention to the current state of masculine/feminine, female/male relations in the United States. How are the expectations of females and males structured differently across time and space? What approaches do other cultural systems take to alternative sexualities? Under what circumstances is coercion or violence a central structuring process in maintaining a sex/gender system? This course is cross-listed with ANTH 4330.

WGST 4650 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Capstone (3)

Provides a culminating experience for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors, allowing students to critically analyze, interpret, and integrate interdisciplinary source materials in preparation for graduate school or a career. Students will demonstrate mastery of the methods, theory, and content areas of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor.