Women's and Gender Studies
Women's and gender studies invites students to use gender as a fundamental category of analysis to understand the operations of power between men, women, and transgender individuals in past and present societies and to recognize how gender has informed and interacted with diverse axes of identification including sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age, nationality, and religion. Majors will study the methods and theoretical paradigms of feminist and queer research, focusing on how theorists and scholars in the interdisciplinary field of women's and gender studies have critically engaged, challenged, and revised categories of philosophical and political thought, including liberalism, socialism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, and post-colonialism. They will learn how feminist methodologies have reshaped the ways we approach knowledge in the traditional disciplines and how they form the basis of gender, sexuality, queer, and masculinity studies. Students are encouraged to investigate historical and contemporary contributions of women as well as the significance of gender as a cultural construction in the social and natural sciences, in the arts and literature, and in religion. They will also analyze the multiple ways in which gender influences our individual and collective assumptions in local and global contexts and informs diverse political and social debates.
Professors: Berebitsky, Mansker (Chair), Mohiuddin, Murdock, Parker
Associate Professors: Sandlin, Thurman, Tucker, Whitmer
Assistant Professors: Craighill, C. Thompson
Requirements for the Major in Women's and Gender Studies
The major requires successful completion of the following:
|WMST 100||Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies 1||4|
|WMST 400||Senior Seminar 2||4|
|WMST 448||Women's and Gender Studies Seminar 3||4|
|Select at least one course in feminist methods and theory: 4,5||4|
|Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective|
|Gender and Class in Latin America|
|Gender and Sexuality in Japanese Culture|
|Women in U.S. History, 1600-1870|
|Women in U.S. History, 1870 to the Present|
|European Women in War, Revolution, and Terrorism|
|Youth and Families in Early Modern Europe|
|Sexuality and the Self in Modern Europe|
|Marriage and Imagined Families in the Modern World|
|Body Film: Representing the Body in Contemporary World Cinema|
|Psychology of Gender|
|Gender and Sex in the New Testament|
|Feminist and Womanist Religious Ethics|
|Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies|
|Select three additional approved electives in Women's and Gender Studies 5||12|
|Select three additional approved electives numbered 200 or above in Women's and Gender Studies or from the wide array of courses offered in the college 5||12|
|Total Semester Hours||40|
|A comprehensive examination 6|
Generally, majors should complete WMST 100 by the end of the sophomore year .
Majors are required to enroll in WMST 400 in the fall of the senior year. In the course, students write an interdisciplinary research paper of 20-25 pages that is informed by feminist methods and theory. This project will be developed in close consultation with both a Women's and Gender Studies-affiliated faculty member of the student's choice and the Women's and Gender Studies Program Chair, who will serve as either the primary or secondary reader of the paper. Students are required to meet with the Women's and Gender Studies Program Chair and their thesis advisor before entering their senior year and will be asked to submit a short project proposal to these two faculty members for their approval in April of their junior year. Grades will be determined by the two faculty readers.
Majors are required to enroll in WMST 448 in the spring of the senior year.
Majors should complete the Feminist Methods and Theory course by the end of the junior year. This course introduces students to feminist methods and theoretical frameworks as they have been employed in specific time periods and in local, national, and/or transnational contexts. Students will interrogate the ways in which feminist theorists in the past and present have challenged and subverted knowledge in the traditional disciplines as well as how they have critically engaged and shaped a variety of political, social, and analytical categories of thought. The courses in this category focus on how theory emerges from and informs practice.
No more than four courses may be taken in any single department/program outside of women's and gender studies. Students may take no more than three courses for the major at the 100 level.
Majors take a comprehensive examination in the second semester of their senior year. This exam consists of both the student's research paper completed in WMST 400 and an oral presentation and defense of this paper to the faculty of the Women's and Gender Studies Steering Committee. In order to advance to the oral component of the comprehensive exam, a student must have achieved a grade of C or higher on the senior research paper. Students may achieve grades of pass, fail, or distinction on the oral presentation and defense portion of the comprehensive exam. These grades will be determined by the Women's and Gender Studies Steering Committee.
Students who meet the following conditions receive honors in the major: (1) a grade of at least B+ on the senior seminar research paper (2) distinction on the comprehensive examination and (3) a grade point average of at least 3.50 in the major.
Requirements for the Minor in Women's and Gender Studies
The minor requires successful completion of the following:
|WMST 100||Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies 1||4|
|WMST 448||Women's and Gender Studies Seminar 1||4|
|Select four approved electives in Women's and Gender Studies 2||16|
|Total Semester Hours||24|
For a course not on the approved list to be counted in fulfillment of the minor, the course must be approved in advance (i.e., before the student registers for it) by the Women’s and Gender Studies Committee. Approval is given after consultation with the instructor and agreement that in the context of the course the student completes either a major project or major paper on a topic relevant to women’s and gender studies. Departmental independent studies may be included.
Women's and Gender Studies Courses
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 101 Sex and Gender Around the World: Common Issues and Diverse Perspectives (4)
This team-taught, multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural seminar examines gender issues related to employment and earnings, changing family roles, religion and culture, literature and language, poverty and hunger, and political power and legal systems. The seminar focuses on the many voices and stakeholders involved in such issues -- policy makers and practitioners, male and female, non-west and west, international agencies and governments, and non-profits and the private sector. An integral part of the seminar will be co-curricular activities at the local, national, and international levels, including participation in gender studies conferences, field trips, service learning, and exposure to international films.
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 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. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Professor consent and 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.
Related Courses Attributed to Women's and Gender Studies
ANTH 203 The Anthropology of Gender (4)
A study of the varied ways cultures define gender. Using an evolutionary perspective, the course will evaluate changing modes of subsistence, division of labor, and power structures as they pertain to cultural concepts of gender. Anthropological case studies will help foster an understanding of the complex and interrelated aspects of gender as it actually affects individual human beings.
ANTH 290 Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective (4)
A comparison of women's experiences of family, work, religion, development and war across diverse world regions to see how these can differ widely from one society to another. Anthropological writings and films are used to learn the concepts and perspectives necessary for the exploration of women's similarities and differences. Discussion-centered learning and student research papers help involve students actively in the collective construction of knowledge about women's lives around the world. This course cannot be taken for credit by any student who has earned credit for ANTH 321. Prerequisite: ANTH 104 or WMST 100 or INGS 200.
ANTH 311 Gender and Class in Latin America (4)
An examination of gender relations in diverse Latin American contexts. The history of anthropological scholarship on gender and class in the region, as well as contemporary theories of how gender, social class, race/ethnicity, and sexuality intertwine in human experience are key foci of the course. Detailed ethnographic case studies from Amerindian, Afro-Latino, and Mestizo cultural contexts help students apply broader theories to the analysis of gender relations as they are conceptualized by these different groups in Latin America. Prerequisite: ANTH 104 or INGS 200 or WMST 100.
ARTH 322 Art and Devotion in Late Medieval and Early Modern Northern Europe (4)
This seminar explores the devotional art, literature, and thought of northern Europe in the late thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. Manuscript illumination and female piety will be especially emphasized. Prerequisite: ARTH 103 or ARTH 104 or HUMN 102.
ASIA 205 Modern China through Fiction and Film (4)
How do film and literature inform our understanding of the evolving concepts of art, ideology and material conditions in modern China? How have literary and cinematic representations changed over the last century to accommodate and facilitate social transformations? What are the characteristics of the cultural productions from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan? This course helps students develop a critical sense and appreciation for Chinese cinema and literature. Taught in English.
ASIA 235 Love in Modern Japan (4)
What does it mean to love someone? Despite its apparent universality, "love" is in fact a highly malleable concept whose definition can vary greatly. In Japan, the conceptualization of love transformed radically in the modern era. This course explores how literary representations of love in Japan reflect not only this transformation but also the struggles it entailed. Issues of particular interest in the course include the interconnection between assumptions about gender and the definition of love, the relationship between marriage and love, the role of sexuality in love, and the relationship between the West and Japan.
ASIA 320 Gender and Sexuality in Japanese Culture (4)
This course examines aspects of Japanese culture by devoting special attention to issues of gender and sexuality. Students read primary texts from pre-modern and modern literature, drama, and manga (graphic novel) in English translation, together with critical essays on gender theory. In-class screenings of short films, anime (animated film), and documentaries help to illustrate some concepts and practices introduced in the readings. Taught in English.
CLST 350 Women and Gender in Classical Antiquity (4)
This course examines the lives of women in the ancient world and their representation in the literature of Greece and Rome. It explores how the Greeks and Romans constructed both female and male gender and what behavioral and sexual norms they assigned to each. Reading assignments include wide-ranging selections from Greek and Roman poetry (epic, drama, lyric, and elegy) and prose (philosophy, history, and oratory). Subjects addressed include gender stereotypes and ideals, power-relations of gender, the social conditions of women, familial roles, and male and female sexuality.
ECON 309 Women in the Economy (4)
This study of the relative economic status of women and men in the U.S., and how it has changed over time, focuses on sex differentials in earnings, occupational distribution, labor force participation and unemployment rates, levels and types of education and experience. Includes an analysis of the reasons for such differentials (e.g., the motivations for discrimination), their history, and cross-cultural variations in female status (with particular emphasis on Africa and Asia). Analyzes the effect of law and policy in the U.S. on the status of women. Prerequisite: ECON 101.
ENGL 207 Women in Literature (4)
A consideration of the role of women in literature. Topics include Gothic fiction, nineteenth and twentieth century women writers, and women in fiction. Drawing on authors of both genders, the course considers gender relations, the historic role of women, the special challenges that have faced women writers, and the role of women in fiction. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G1 including AP or IB credit.
ENGL 330 The Life and Literature of Tennessee Williams (4)
A study of the major dramatic works of Tennessee Williams, as well as his poetry and fiction. The course also examines Williams' life and his impact on twentieth-century American literature and theatre. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 352 Chaucer (4)
A study of the Canterbury Tales and other poems by Chaucer. A term paper is usually expected. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 353 English Drama to 1642 (4)
A study of the drama of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, excluding the works of Shakespeare but including tragedies by Kyd, Marlowe, and Webster, and comedies by Jonson and Beaumont. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 357 Shakespeare I (4)
A study of several plays written before 1600. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 358 Shakespeare II (4)
A study of several plays after 1600. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 359 Renaissance Literature I (4)
A study of the major sixteenth-century genres, with emphasis on sources, developments, and defining concerns. Readings include the sonnets of Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare; the mythological verse narratives of Marlowe and Shakespeare; the pastoral poems of Spenser; and Books I and III of Spenser's Faerie Queene. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 380 Whitman and Dickinson (4)
A study of the first two important American poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, whose expansive free verse and tight, elliptical lyrics defined the possibilities for American poets for the next hundred years. This course examines in detail the careers and major works of these poets, with brief consideration of their contemporaries and literary heirs. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 383 Contemporary British Fiction (4)
A consideration of British fiction from the 1930s to the present. The course will begin with the ending of high modernism and will consider the new kinds of fiction that emerge from the radical innovations of Joyce, Woolf and others as well as changing cultural conditions, including Britain's decline as a political and economic power. Authors may include Greene, Orwell, Bowen, Waugh, Murdoch, Rushdie, and others. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 390 Modern Drama (4)
An exploration of the development of Modern Drama from Ibsen's ground-breaking naturalism to contemporary drama's new variations. The course will emphasize the relationship between the theater and society and issues of performance, as well as close study of the plays themselves. Authors covered are both British and American and may include Wilde, Shaw, Beckett, Williams, Stoppard, and others. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
ENGL 399 World Literature in English (4)
A study of twentieth-century literature written in English from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean, concentrating on colonial and post-colonial themes, as well as issues of gender, politics, and nationalism. Possible authors include Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, J. M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, V. S. Naipaul, and Derek Walcott. Prerequisite: One course in English with attribute GFWI.
HIST 112 Women Changing the World: Gender and Social Movements (4)
This course examines women's participation in social and political movements throughout the world since the late eighteenth century in order to understand how gender (the set of beliefs each culture has regarding male and female difference) has affected women's involvement. The course explores a variety of gender-based arguments that women have used to bring social change, assessing whether these approaches are effective or ultimately limit women to a narrow range of issues. Some attention is paid to how gender affects men's involvement in social movements. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.
HIST 120 Children and Childhood in History (4)
This course focuses on the lived experiences of children and traces the emergence of a new "ideology of childhood" in the early modern world (c. 1300 to 1800). The course examines the major social, political and economic changes that unfolded throughout this period, including related programs of religious, scientific, and educational reform, and studies how these changes affected children's roles or status within families and communities-in-transition. It also asks whether a fundamental change in the meaning of childhood by 1800 corresponded to the emergence of an increasingly global, colonial, and industrial world order. Open only to first-year students and sophomores.
HIST 213 Early Modern Courts (4)
A survey of courtly life in Europe between 1450 and 1750. The course considers the role of the courtier, the ways in which art, drama, and ritual promoted the power of the monarch, the mechanics and implications of patronage, changing notions of monarchial authority, and the relation between courtly culture and civility. Special attention is paid to Spanish and English courtly culture in the sixteenth century and French courtly culture in the seventeenth century. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 237 Women in U.S. History, 1600-1870 (4)
A survey of the history of American women which will consider how women experienced colonization, American expansion, the industrial revolution, war, and changes in the culture's understanding of gender roles and the family. The course also explores how differences in race, ethnicity, and class affected women's experience. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 238 Women in U.S. History, 1870 to the Present (4)
A survey of the major changes in American women's lives since the end of the last century, including increased access to education, movement into the labor market, and changes in reproductive behavior and in their role within the family. Special consideration will be given to the movements for women's rights. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 241 Global Women’s Movements since 1840 (4)
An exploration of 19th and 20th century women¿s movements around the world. This global history provides the foundation of women's widespread involvement today in such transnational movements as environmentalism and the defense of human rights. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 270 European Women in War, Revolution, and Terrorism (4)
This course surveys European women's gendered experiences of war, revolution, and terrorism from the French Revolution to the present. Adopting gender analysis as its methodological framework, it focuses on the changing constructions of femininity and masculinity in relation to major global upheavals and theories of violence in the modern world The course examines the impact of such developments on the lives of European women of different socioeconomic, regional, and racial backgrounds. Topics covered include the Russian Revolutions, World Wars I and II, global terrorism of the 1970s, and contemporary European feminist politics of immigration and the veil. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 305 Medieval Women -- In Their Own Words (4)
This course closely analyzes the relatively rare sources that allow historians to see the experience of medieval women through the eyes of the women themselves rather than through the prescriptive lens of the men who held most forms of power in their society: a ninth-century woman's book of advice for her son, surviving letters and spiritual writings, wills, and the legal records that show both the vulnerability of women and their readiness to bend and break the law. Case studies of individual women are employed, along with critical analysis of different categories of source material. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 313 Youth and Families in Early Modern Europe (4)
This research seminar explores the social and cultural history of early modern European communities (c. 1400 to 1750) by using gender, age and emotion as tools of historical analysis. Key topics include: Renaissance debates about the education of girls and boys, families, fathers and feeling in the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, popular and learned stereotypes of the female witch, youth gangs and child-circulation. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 315 Saints, Witches, and Heretics in Early Modern Europe (4)
A seminar on how the concepts of sainthood, witchcraft, and heresy changed and developed in the period of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations. The course explores the Catholic definition of heresy, responses to individual heretics (including Martin Luther), and the spirituality of Counter Reformation saints. It considers the Protestant attack on the cult of the saints, the reasons why the witch hunt was particularly extreme in countries that embraced Protestantism, and how examples of "true" and "false" religion helped to shape Protestant and Catholic identities. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 318 African American Women and Religion (4)
This class will examine African American Women's participation and critical role in religious life in America. It will explore black women's place in the formation of revival culture, the creation of religious ritual, and the institutional establishment of the black churches. Further, it will investigate black women's vital role in the dissemination of religious values within and between generations. Through biography and autobiography, this course shall address the ways in which black women have appropriated religious language and sensibility in constructing the narratives of their lives. In sum, it will explore the myriad ways African American women contested and critiqued their place in the church and the community, while simultaneously supporting and furthering black churches and promoting the health of religious life. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 349 American Women’s Cultural and Intellectual History (4)
The seminar examines women's involvement in American literary and artistic movements and in the development of distinct American ideas and social structures from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. The course will focus on notable individuals as well as broad themes such as consumerism and leisure, representations of women, and sexuality and reproduction. Emphasis will be on reading, papers and discussion. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 358 Women in Latin America (4)
A seminar on the history of Latin American women from the seventeenth century to the present, examining the tension in Latin American countries concerning the role of women, their relationship to the family, and their desire for equality. The course explores controversies over the legal status of women, education, employment, and participation in political life. Students will examine several theoretical approaches to gender studies together with specific case studies. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 367 Writing the Nation: Literature, Nationalism and Search for Identity in Latin America (1810-Present) (4)
A study of national projects in Latin America from 1810 to the present. Topics include Bolivar, the wars of independence, nineteenth-century visions of progress, Vasconcelos' concept of The Cosmic Race, and contemporary movements for the inclusion of women, blacks, Native Americans, gays, and other marginalized groups in a common Latin American culture. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 375 The Outlaw in American Culture (4)
This survey approaches the outlaw both as imagined in fiction, film, and music and as a real historical subject. Special attention is paid to how changing understandings of the "outlaw" correspond to specific moments in American history such as the settling of the West, gangsterism in the Great Depression, the rise of Black Power, and the development of new technology involving internet hacktivists. Legal and other-than-legal responses to the outlaw are also considered. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 378 Sexuality and the Self in Modern Europe (4)
This seminar investigates how and why sexuality became the key to selfhood in modern Europe. Drawing on the tools of gender analysis and cultural history, students explore the ways in which political, socioeconomic and cultural tensions of particular historical moments were manifested in the sexuality of individuals. Students also examine a variety of primary sources from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries to consider how individuals defined themselves through sexuality and how definitions were imposed on them by a variety of institutions and authority figures. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 379 Honor, Shame, and Violence in Modern Europe (4)
This course treats honor as a tool for understanding change and continuity in European society from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Honor and shame are viewed as conduits that allow students to explore broader sexual, gender, class and political developments. Particular attention is given to ways in which honor functioned differently in the public ideologies and private lives of dominant and marginal social groups. This course also explores the relationship of violence to the cult of honor. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
HIST 380 Crimes and Scandals in the Historical Imagination, 18th–20th Centuries (4)
An investigation of the ways historians read past crimes and scandals for evidence of broader social, political, and cultural anxieties and desires. Focusing less on details of incidents themselves than on the debates and public interpretation surrounding them, this seminar deals with crimes such as those committed by Jack the Ripper or French murderesses at the end of the nineteenth century. In addition to analyzing secondary sources dealing with crime and scandal, students scrutinize a variety of primary documents such as trial records, medical and judicial debates, scientific analysis of criminality, memoirs of notorious criminals and detective novels. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.
ITAL 325 Women Writers in Early Modern Italy (4)
A study of poetry, plays, letters, treatises, and prose written by Italian women in the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries. Students examine the varied ways in which women in early modern Italy engaged questions of gender, aesthetics, ethics, and philosophy in their writings, encountered here in translation.
PHIL 240 Controversies in Feminist Ethics (4)
An examination of the debates and issues that are central to feminist ethics. Topics covered include some of the following feminist challenges to traditional Western ethical theories: that traditional ethical theories have overlooked the significance of the emotions for moral reasoning and justification, that traditional theories have incorrectly emphasized justice, universality, and impartiality rather than care and attachments to particular individuals, and that Western ethics includes problematic assumptions about the atomistic nature of human beings. The course also explores the contemporary debates surrounding applied issues of particular interest to feminist authors, such as filial obligations, marriage, sexuality, abortion, prostitution, and pornography.
POLS 210 The Politics of Poverty and Inequality (4)
An introduction to the study of a significant social problem: poverty. Course topics include the development of an economic underclass in the United States and the programmatic response of government, the feminization of poverty, the causes of persistent rural and urban poverty, race and poverty in the South, and the connections between poverty in the U.S. and the international trade regime. Not open for credit to students who have earned credit for POLS 310.
POLS 303 Women and Politics (4)
A study of leading women political theorists (and, thereby, major currents of contemporary social thought as well) including liberalism, socialism, and post-modernism. The reading list will include selections from authors beginning with Mary Wollstonecraft, but will focus primarily on late twentieth-century writers such as Heidi Hartmann, Monique Wittig, Luce Irigary, Carole Pateman, Alison Jaggar, and bell hooks. Not open to new first-year students.
POLS 307 Women in American Politics (4)
An analysis of the role of gender in American politics, specifically how gender affects the political activities of American residents, political candidates, and elected officeholders. Students evaluate differences in men's and women's political participation, party affiliations, and campaign strategies and styles. They also examine reasons for women's political underrepresentation and implications of gender inequality in political office holding. Not open to new first-year students.
POLS 314 Civil Wars (4)
This course examines the causes, patterns, and resolutions of civil wars and insurgency movements in comparative perspective, drawing on a diverse set of cases from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. The course's introductory portion is dedicated to conceptualizing and categorizing civil wars by their intensity, types of violence, nature of combat, and types of combatants. A principal question driving the inquiry is why the level of violence -- measured by the number of casualties, refugees, and other victims of war -- is higher in some places than others within the same country or region. This question is addressed through critical assessment of the most prominent conventional and revisionist theories of civil wars, theories highlighting either local or national influences. Not open to new first-year students.
POLS 318 Comparative Politics: South America and Mexico (4)
A general survey of political life in Latin America, as well as specific study of the most important countries-Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. Determinants and outcomes of political process are studied, as well as the political process itself. Consideration is given to both domestic and foreign influences and policies. Not open to new first-year students.
POLS 319 Global Gender Issues (4)
Recent U.N. studies document the continuing systematic inequality that exists between men and women around the world. Approaching the study of sex-based inequality from a cross-cultural perspective reflects the reality that it is a universal phenomenon, but with complex and varied roots. The course will include an analysis of the ways in which this inequality impacts political decision-making, political representation, and public policy relevant to women and families. The course will also include the study of how factors such as race, class, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, and social forces such as global capitalism, militarism, and nationalism interact with gender and affect the economic and political status of women and men around the world. Not open to new first-year students.
POLS 338 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights (4)
This course examines Supreme Court cases related to equality: by situating cases within varying theories of constitutional interpretation, and by assessing the socio-political implications of those decisions. Civil rights are specific governmental provisions to secure individual entitlements, as exemplified by the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws." Claims centering on race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability are examined, along with other claims of equality arising from the Fifteenth Amendment's prohibition of voting discrimination. The course emphasizes, above all, the political role of the judiciary. This course may not be taken by students who have taken POLS 332. Not open to new first-year students.
POLS 344 Myth America (4)
This course is concerned with myths that have played a prominent role in our nation's self-conception and its political rhetoric -- such as the myth of the frontier, the myth of success, and the notion of the American dream. We will examine 1) the changing historical meanings of these myths from the colonial period to the twentieth century and 2) the gender aspects of these myths. Not open to new first-year students.
POLS 346 Contemporary Social Movements (4)
This course examines 1) some of the major social and political ideologies of the 20th century (such as liberalism, socialism, nationalism, feminism, environmentalism); 2) theories of social and political movements in modern societies and market democracies; and 3) concrete examples of such social and political movements in the contemporary world. Not open to new first-year students.
PSYC 214 The Psychology of Eating Disorders and Obesity (4)
An examination of the etiology of eating disorders and obesity, derived from the empirical literature and with consideration of psychological, neurobiological, and sociocultural explanations for such disorders. The course critically evaluates primary research literature concerning risk factors for developing documented eating disorder (anorexia nervosa, bulima nervosa, binge eating disorder), as well as newly proposed diagnostic categories (e.g., orthorexia). A multicultural perspective is emphasized, and the relation of disordered eating to issues such as socio-economic status, race and ethnicity, and gender is addressed. Multiple theoretical explanations for disordered eating—including psychodynamic, family systems, cognitive, relational-cultural, and behavioral theories--are critically examined. Empirically validated treatments and standardized prevention programs are also introduced and critiqued. Students conduct research using archival data to investigate specific risk and protective factors in the dev. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.
PSYC 218 Psychology of Violence (4)
Explores the application of psychological theories and research to the major forms of violence. Such forms include youth violence, family violence, bullying, suicide, homicide, workplace violence, war, and ethnic conflict. The course reviews and critiques major etiological models including social cognitive, behavioral, and physiological. It also presents current major models of prevention and treatment, including psycho-educational, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems. Specific prevention and intervention topics such as conflict resolution are addressed. Readings emphasize the scientific study of violence through empirical research, including randomized controlled trials to evaluate programs. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or PSYC 101.
PSYC 412 Psychology of Gender (4)
A comparison of different theoretical perspectives on sex and gender and a critical examination of research on gender differences and similarities in human behavior. Patterns of public attitudes regarding gender will also be discussed. Prerequisite: Four courses in psychology and/or women's and gender studies.
RELG 143 Introduction to the Bible I: Old Testament (4)
An examination of the origins, nature, and content of representative literature from the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Old Testament, and cognate literature. Attention is paid to issues of critical reading and theological interpretation of Jewish scriptures. Not open for credit to students who have completed RELG 141.
RELG 144 Introduction to the Bible II: New Testament (4)
An examination of the origins, nature, and content of representative literature from the New Testament and Hellenistic literature. Attention is paid to issues of critical reading and theological interpretation of Christian scripture.
RELG 222 Gender and Sex in the New Testament (4)
An examination of how gender and sex are constructed in selected texts from the New Testament. Exploring the intersection of biblical studies and gender studies, this course incorporates the perspectives of feminist theory, masculinity studies, queer theory, and the history of sexuality. Focus is on situating biblical texts in the context of ancient Mediterranean cultures. Attention is also given to the influence of modern understandings of gender and sexuality on the interpretation of biblical texts and to the use of biblical texts in contemporary debates over gender roles and sexual practices. Prerequisite: One course in religion, philosophy, or humanities.
RELG 223 Feminist and Womanist Religious Ethics (4)
Examination of contemporary Jewish and Christian feminist and Black womanist ethics. Focus will be upon religious and non-religious ethical thought as it relates to the construction of gender identity, and the implications for an understanding of economic justice, racism, familial relations and gendered participation with religious traditions and theological communities. Authors include Katie Canon, Sharon Welch, Delores Williams, Judith Plaskow, Rachel Adler and Audre Lourde.
RUSN 354 Real Men, Real Women? Gender in 20th and 21st-Century Russian Literature and Culture (4)
An exploration of the contentious topic of gender in a Russian context through the examination of an array of representations of masculinity and femininity in Russian prose, poetry and film of the twentieth century. Students assess what it means and has meant to be a Russian man or woman; in the process, they may challenge some Western assumptions about gender constructs. Through analyzing and identifying the characteristics of ideal/real men and women, the course considers how and whether gender stereotypes are reinforced in the works of contemporary authors. This course does not satisfy the foreign language requirement.
SPAN 364 Spanish Women Writers (4)
Selected readings from Spanish women authors who represent various genres and time periods. In relation to each period, the course examines how selected writers portray gender, sexuality, social class, and other issues in their work. The course uses primary and secondary texts related to the authors and/or the period under consideration. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 387 Latin American Women Authors (4)
Readings from Latin American women authors who represent various regions, genres, and time periods. Examines the portrayal of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, social class, and other issues in their work. Readings in literary theory and criticism help with the interpretations of the primary texts. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 388 Women Authors of the Hispanic Caribbean and Diaspora (4)
This course highlights the work of women authors from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, on the islands and in the United States. Key issues include gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, migration, and biculturalism. Includes several literary genres and film with an emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 389 U.S. Latino and Latina Literature and Culture (4)
A panoramic survey of the cultural production of Latinos and Latinas, or Hispanics, in the United States. Representative works from various literary genres, films, and the visual arts serve as the basis for the examination of recurring themes, which include: identity and self-definition, biculturalism, exile, migration, social class, political and social engagement, race, gender, and sexuality. Taught in English. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 203 or higher or placement.
SPAN 403 Sexual Alterity in Contemporary Spanish-American Fiction (4)
A study of the most recent fiction from 1990 to the present of the Spanish American Post Boom (which began in earnest in the early 1980s). Of special interest are those works which portray "other" kinds of sexuality, "lifestyles", genders and sexual practices. General literary theory and practical criticism concerning each work serve as a base for in-class discussion. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 407 Writing the Nation: Literature, Nationalism and Search for Identity in Latin America (1810-Present) (4)
A study of national projects in Latin America from 1810 to the present. Topics include Bolivar, the wars of independence, nineteenth-century visions of progress, Vasconcelos' concept of The Cosmic Race, and contemporary movements for the inclusion of women, blacks, Native Americans, gays, and other marginalized groups in a common Latin American culture. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.