Women's and Gender Studies (WMST)

WMST 100     Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies  (4)

This course provides an introduction to contemporary analyses of women's economic, cultural, biological, environmental, and political conditions. We will explore commonalities and differences among women, both in the United States and in other nations. In so doing, we will engage the concept of gender as an historical and critical category relating to a woman's ethnicity, class, sexuality, and race. The course also will examine varieties of recent feminist thought, paying particular attention to the impact of this scholarship on traditional academic disciplines. Open only to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors.

WMST 111     Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies  (4)

A survey of the history, politics, culture, psychology, biology, and literature of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. Readings and lectures focusing on works by and about LGBT people.

WMST 160     Introduction to Black Women's Studies  (4)

This introductory course explores the interlocking forms of oppression circumscribing Black women’s lives in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which their lived experiences and social realities are influenced by constructions of race, gender, class, sexuality, and other markers of difference. It contextualizes Black women’s struggles for social justice historically within the broader narratives of Black freedom struggles and the Women’s Rights Movement. It underscores the ways in which despite their marginalized status, Black women have used their agency within both the private and public realms to interrogate, challenge, and resist their subordination and subvert the status quo, particularly as it is reinforced in negative constructions of Black female identity.

WMST 220     The Politics of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights  (4)

This interdisciplinary course approaches the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights from a humanistic social science perspective. Topics include U.S. cultural politics and LGBT social movements; visual culture, social action, and social change; the politics of queer identity; law and public policy of concern to diverse LGBT communities; and LGBT rights from international and global perspectives.

WMST 251     Black Masculinity in the United States  (4)

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of constructions of Black masculinity in the United States from the twentieth century through the present. Autobiographical accounts are used to examine historical and current definitions of Black manhood that challenge and reinforce understandings of what it means to be both Black and male.

WMST 340     African American Women's Short Stories  (4)

Focusing on the literary contributions of 20th century African American women fiction writers, this course specifically examines the shared and distinctive ways in which Black women writers represent the politics of Black womanhood in their short stories. This genre is an essential part of the Black women’s literary tradition that is often left unexplored. Collectively, these texts contribute to a radical literary tradition that implores readers to consider the way(s) in which race, gender, class, and/or sexuality inform the fictional lives of Black women and the lives of the writers. In addition to analyzing representations of Black female identity within the works of several prominent writers, the course traces specific themes such as power, privilege, and perspective.

WMST 351     Toni Morrison  (4)

This course explores selected fiction by Toni Morrison and some of the literary criticism that surrounds her work. It examines Morrison's treatment of race, class, gender, and sexuality in her fiction, and also considers some of her nonfiction, interviews, and speeches to gain a clearer understanding of her contributions to the American literary canon and the African American literary tradition.

WMST 400     Senior Seminar  (4)

An interdisciplinary research seminar required of all seniors majoring in women's and gender studies. Students engage in research on a topic of interest, culminating in a substantial thesis. The thesis must advance a lucid research question and interrogate a range of sources that bridge disciplinary boundaries and reflect feminist theory and/or methodology. Students take this course in the fall of the senior year. The course serves as the writing intensive credit within the major as well as providing the basis for an oral presentation and defense in the spring of the senior year. Open only to students pursuing majors in women's and gender studies.

WMST 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

Advanced work for women's studies. This course may be repeated once for credit when the topic differs. Prerequisite: Instructor prerequisite override required.

WMST 448     Women's and Gender Studies Seminar  (4)

An interdisciplinary seminar for students completing the major or the minor in women's and gender studies and for other interested students with the permission of the instructor. Topics will vary. Open only to seniors pursuing programs in women's and gender studies.