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Women's Studies Program

Department of Literature and Language

For more information on courses offered by Women's Studies check out the course guide: The Beacon.

WMST 2010 - Introduction to Women's Studies (3 credits)
This introduction to the interdisciplinary academic field has a triple focus: integrating information about women's contributions to culture and history into the curriculum, uncovering and understanding structures of oppression (gender, race, and class), and exploring possibilities for change. Topics for reading and discussion will be drawn from material on social structures, law, language, history, religion, philosophy, the healing professions, and the arts. Articulating questions and points of view regarding issues related to gender is stressed.

WMST 2020 - Women in Global Perspective (3 credits)
Emphasizes diversity of women's experience in non-western, nonindustrialized societies. Concentrates on women's participation in, interaction with, and resistance to patriarchal structures that inhibit economic, political, and human rights for women. Fall 2016: WMST 2020 NGO Special Project

WMST 3330 - Feminist Thought and Practice (3 credits)
Prerequisites: WMST 2010 or WMST 2020. Explores a variety of theoretical frameworks for studying women and gender and links feminist theory to social action and civic responsibility.

WMST 4247 - History of Women in U. S., Settlement to 1945 (3 credits)
An investigation of the social, economic, and political roles of women in the life of the nation, from European contact with Native Americans to the end of World War II.

WMST 4500 - Women's Studies Senior Capstone (3 credits)
Prerequisites: WMST 2010 and WMST 2020. A synthesis course through which students draw from their individual courses of study to develop and pursue social justice, professional, and/or advanced educational objectives.

WMST 4950 - Issues in Women's Movement (3 credits)
Prerequisites: WMST 2010 or WMST 2020. Studies of various themes and issues related to women's social movement(s). This course may be repeated under different subtitles.

WMST 2110 – Sex, Gender, & the Body (3 credits)
Sex, Gender, and the Body is a lower-level course that substantively engages issues of gender diversity, sexual orientation, and non-normative embodiment, with particular emphasis on disability as it interacts with gender, race, class, and sexuality. It provides intellectual space for students to deeply consider the experiences of people and communities shaped by these minority modes of embodiment. Developing knowledge of and sensitivity towards these types of diverse embodiment is essential for students seeking careers through multiple disciplinary paths, from the helping professions to medicine, law, and business. Sex, Gender, and the Body utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing conceptual tools gleaned from disability studies, gender and sexuality studies, and feminist theory to bear on first-person accounts of transgender, queer, and intersex subjects who are, for instance, battling breast cancer, struggling with cerebral palsy, dealing with mental illness, or managing livable lives while paraplegic. Because of this unique approach, the course familiarizes students with concepts central to women's, gender, and sexuality studies while also enabling them to hone skills germane to literary, cultural, social, and historical analysis.

WMST 4957/5957 – Special Topics: Queer Studies (3 credits)
This course is an in-depth, upper-level introduction to the interdisciplinary field of queer studies. It familiarizes students with the key thinkers, concepts, debates, and research methods that have structured queer studies over the past 25 years. Simultaneously historical and theoretical, this course pays special attention to the socio-political situations and LGBTQIA activist efforts that have influenced the development of this field of study. We will address topics including, but not limited to, the following: gender performativity, heteronormativity/homonormativity, disidentification, homonationalism, queer embodiment, and trans* politics. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

WMST 4957/5957 – Special Topics: Gender in Transition (3 credits)
This course tracks the phenomena of gender transition across multiple spaces, times, and academic disciplines. Beginning with an examination of the linked, but distinct, terminological histories of the words 'transsexual' and 'transgender,' the course moves on to examine the sometimes tendentious relationships between feminist political theory and trans* issues; the occurrence of structural and everyday violence in trans* lives; trans* political critique and resistance; trans* issues and identities in transnational contexts; and queer/trans* cultural productions that re-vision the ontology of sex and gender differences, embodiment, and trans* politics. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

WMST 4957/5957 –Special Topics: Queering the Cannon: LGBTQ Literature (3 credits)
In this course, we will read important gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, and transgender writers in light of shifting social, political, economic, and cultural contexts from 1880s to present. While we will take an historical, comparative approach, the primary aim of the class is to introduce students to some of the major critical debates in literary, gender, and sexuality studies and to put those ideas in conversation with our study of LGBTQIA literature. Topics addressed will include, but are not limited to, (queer) authorship, (queer) archive, (queer) canonicity, identity markers and transgressive identities, sexual inversion, and the ways in which historical contingencies, political debates, and scientific theories inform literature and how literature informs politics, public opinion, science, and the law. Genres include novel, memoir, drama, autobiography, poetry, picture book, and film.


Proposed Courses for Spring 2016

WMST 4210 – Research Methods (3 credits)
This course examines interdisciplinary research methods in the field of women's, gender, and sexuality studies, such as community-based research, action/participatory research, decolonial methodologies, and transnational activism.

WMST 3410 – Gender and Violence (3 credits)
An exploration of the intersections of gender and violence with an examination of forms and types of violence, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual harassment as well as socio-cultural, sexual, economic, political, and epistemic violence.

WMST 3110 – Men and Masculinity Studies (3 credits)
An introduction to the field of masculinity studies, which is an interdisciplinary field of cultural, social, historical, political, psychological, economic, and artistic analysis that interrogates the constructions of masculinity in communities across the world and at various times in history.


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