Courses

J-Term 2020

Course Descriptions

WGS 3210 Gender, Sport & Film

Bonnie Hagerman

Sports, and various sports figures, have often been the subject of film – both in documentary form and Hollywood blockblusters. This course will examine how film has incorporated issues of gender, and we will compare those productions that portray women’s sports and the female athletes and see how they stack up against those productions featuring male athletes and men’s sports. We will also explore important intersections of race, sexuality, equality and place as we look to determine what actually makes a film a true “sports film.”

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4800 Gender-Based Violence

Lisa Speidel

This course encourages students to engage in critical thought about gender based violence in the United States and to examine the various approaches to and theories of prevention efforts. The structure of the course is divided into three parts. First, the meanings and nature of interpersonal and sexual violence will be established, including the effects of being the target of violence and the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/sexual orientation. Second, the course will focus on the historical meaning of prevention which focused on potential victims, such as the victim control model, risk reduction rhetoric, and self-defense classes. In addition, an analysis of the criminal justice system as a form of prevention will be addressed. The third section of the course will consist of exploring contemporary definitions of prevention and leading national programs focused on changing perpetrator behavior and cultural systems that support gender based violence. 

Course Category: Gender Concentration

Spring 2020

Course Descriptions

NOTE: Third- and Fourth-Year Majors and Minors have priority registration for the first two days of class registration, 11/4/2019 and 11/5/2019. The limitation is removed on the third day of class registration, 11/6/2019, and WGS classes are then open to the entire College

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies

Instructor Varies

An introduction to gender and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) studies, including the fields of women’s studies, feminist studies, & masculinity studies. Students will examine historical movements, theoretical issues, & contemporary debates, especially as they pertain to issues of inequality & to the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, & nationalism. Emphasis will vary according to the interdisciplinary expertise & research focus of the instructor.

Special Note: Required for all WGS majors and minors, Intro courses do not count toward concentrations.

WGS 2600 Human Sexualities

Lisa Speidel

Examines human sexuality from psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and historical perspectives. Topics include sexual research and theoretical perspectives, sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual health, intimacy, communication, patterns of sexual response and pleasure and sexual problems and therapies. Course will also include examination of the development of sexuality and the intersections of other identities, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality and the law, sexual assault, and other social issues in sexuality. This course will focus on creating a safe environment for honest and authentic conversations about the issues.  Confidentiality and respect will be emphasized to create a community of trust. Students will learn about these issues of sexuality through discussion, experiential activities, film, readings, research, reflective writing and guest speakers.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 2894 Gender, Body Image, and Activism

Karlin Luedtke

What is the relationship between body image and identity? How does one affect, constrain, and inform the other?  The development of body image is a complex process influenced by messages we receive from family, friends, peers, health care practitioners, teachers, and mass media to name a few. Messages are also constructed and interpreted differently depending on one's gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ableism.

WGS 3105 Issues in LGBTQ Studies

Doug Meyer

This course is an interdisciplinary analysis of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) Studies.  We will study  historical events and political, literary, and artistic figures and works; contemporary social and political issues; the meaning and development of sexual and gender identities; and different disciplinary definitions of meaning and knowledge.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3140 Border Crossings: Women, Literature, and Islam

Farzaneh Milani

This course will focus on a bloodless, non-violent revolution that is shaking the foundation of the Islamic Middle East and North Africa--women's literature. Hidden behind real or imaginary walls, veils, and silences, the Middle Eastern and North African women have suffered yet another distortion of their identity, mainly the critical neglect surrounding their literature.  For centuries, however, and especially in the last few decades, women have made their voices heard through their writings.  They have seized every opportunity to break away from the silence that has veiled them at home or abroad.  This course, in a small way, is an attempt to remedy this oversight.  It examines the rhetoric and poetics of sex segregation, voice, visibility, and mobility in a spectrum of genres that includes folklore, novel, short story, poetry, biography, autobiography, and essay. This course fulfills the global requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3220 Global Perspectives on Gender and Sport

Bonnie Hagerman

This course will examine female athletes from a global perspective, comparing and contrasting their experiences, and placing them in historical perspective. Among the topics we will consider will be a look at Saudi Arabian sportswomen and their recent entry into the Olympic Games; an examination of the pros and cons of Chinese sports schools; an exploration of the post-apartheid athletic landscape of South Africa, and a discussion of the struggle of Iranian women to compete at the highest levels of sport even as they struggle against clothing restrictions.  As we consider the global experience and how it differs from continent to continent, county to country, and region to region, we will consider not only issues of gender, but race, class, and sexuality as well.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3240 Gender, Race, and Sport: A History of African American Sportswomen

Bonnie Hagerman

This course seeks to explore the intersection of gender and race in sport, specifically examining the African-American experience in sport. This course will ask students to consider whether sport was (and continues to be) the great equalizer for both African-American sportsmen and sportswomen, and to evaluate their portrayals (or lack thereof) in both the white and black media. We’ll consider athletic greats Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson, as well as lesser known athletes Jack Johnson and Ora Mae Washington—why are some athletes destined to be celebrated while others are forgotten? We will also explore the activism of Muhammad Ali and Venus Williams, and the gendered differences of their campaigns, as well as the importance of sport as a platform for voicing inequality as we look not only at breaking color barriers during Jim Crow America, but “The Black Power Salute” of the 1960s, and taking a knee in 2016. Through primary source readings, documentaries and discussion we’ll seek to put the African-American sporting experience in context to see just how far athletes of color have actually come in the American sporting arena.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: The Politics of Motherhood

Abby Palko

What makes a good mother? Not everyone will become a mother, but everyone has a mother. How does culture shape mothering practices? How do mothering practices shape culture? Working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, Super moms vs. slacker moms – multiple rounds of the so-called Mommy Wars have played out in the US in the past few decades to great media attention. How do we begin to make sense of the numerous, disparate cultural notions of what a mother should do and be? Other important questions we might ask include: Is there a difference between “childfree” and “childless”? Is a child better served by a working mother or a stay-at-home mother? What are the impacts on children of “traditional” and “nontraditional” family structures? (and how do we define “traditional”?) How do race, economic class, educational attainment, sexual orientation impact women’s mothering practices?

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Queer European History

Tom Butcher

This course will examine LGBTQ persons, issues, and events in Europe, focusing mostly on 1850 to the present. Topics to be covered will include the history of anti-sodomy and marriage laws; the evolution of cultural and scientific understandings of sex, sexuality, and gender, including ideas of trans-ness; and the history of LGBTQ activism, both legal and cultural, going up to the present day. We will be focusing in particular on Germany and the UK, but other countries will enter our examination as well.

WGS 3612 Gender and Sexuality in the United States, 1865-Present

Gillet Rosenblith

This course will explore the significance of gender in United States from the Civil War to the present.  We will ask how people’s ideas about gender structured society and how social relations defined what it meant to be a man or a woman. Readings and discussion will focus on three particular areas of inquiry: the rights and obligations of citizenship; the value and division of labor; and the configuration of emotional life (including familial relationships, erotic desires, and individual aspirations). Resisting any transhistorical definition of womanhood, we will investigate how understandings of gender developed in relation to racial, ethnic, class, and regional differences. The goal of this course is to become adept at generating your own historical analysis through the study of primary documents. This course fulfills the second writing requirement.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration, Gender Concentration

WGS 3750 Women, Childhood, Autobiography

Lorna Martens

Cross-cultural readings in women’s childhood narratives. Emphasis on formal as well as thematic aspects.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3800 Queer Theory

Andre Cavalcante

This course introduces students to some of the key and some of the controversial theoretical texts that make up the emerging field of queer theory. We will consider the beginnings of queer theory and also look at more recent work in fields such as queer gothic and phenomenology. The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on literary and aesthetic criticisms that may shift according to the instructor's areas of expertise. The goal of the course is to develop critical practice by working through a variety of perspectives, not only across academic disciplines but also across cultures. Insofar as queer theory reads for the often unseen, or submerged, reality embedded in cultural texts, contexts, and literatures, we will engage conscious critical practice in the class. This course fulfils the Second Writing Requirement.

Special Note: Queer or Feminist Theory is required for all WGS majors/minors.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3810 Feminist Theory

Denise Walsh

This course provides an overview of the historical bases and contemporary developments in feminist theorizing and analyze a range of theories on gender, including liberal, Marxist, radical, difference, and postmodernist feminist theories. We will explore how feminist theories apply to contemporary debates on the body, sexuality, colonialism, globalization and transnationalism. Throughout the course we will incorporate analysis of race, class, and national differences as well as cross-cultural perspectives.

Special Note: This, or Queer Theory, required for all WGS majors and minors.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3814 Gender, Sexuality, Identity in Premodern France

Deborah McGrady

This course will explore religious, social, scientific and legal views on gender, sexuality and identity that may extend from medieval through early modern Europe with an emphasis on the French tradition. Readings will include literary texts and cultural documents as well as current scholarship on questions of sexuality, gender, and identity politics.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration

WGS 4500 Topics in WGS: Violence Against Sexual Minorities

Doug Meyer

This course emphasizes violence against minority groups. Particular attention will be paid to violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, although the class will also focus on forms of abuse against other historically-marginalized groups. Topics covered will include racist and sexist violence, sexualized abuse, including rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, and the politics of hate crime. 

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Gender and Housing

Gillet Rosenblith

This course will ask what “home” has meant to different groups of Americans from the end of the Civil War to present, taking particular interest in how gender has interacted with housing policies and concepts of home. We will explore subtopics including: shantytowns and settlement houses; public housing; criminality; the Great Migration; the GI Bill and suburbanization; urban uprisings, urban renewal, and the Fair Housing Act; second wave feminism and housing; gentrification; and evictions. Throughout the course, we will think about how people’s definitions of home have changed over time. We will also examine how varying political entities deployed images of home over time, and what repercussions these deployments incurred, with particular regard for racial, gender, and socioeconomic consequences.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Should Women Vote? The History of Suffrage and Anti-Suffrage

Cori Field

The Nineteenth Amendment, ratified a hundred years ago, specifies that the right to vote shall not be denied "on account of sex."  Why did most American voters oppose this amendment for so long?  What finally led to its passage in 1920?  Why, a century later, are so many women citizens either unable or unwilling to vote?  In this course, you will answer these questions by designing an exhibit on the history of suffrage and anti-suffrage from materials in the UVA Special Collections Library.  This exhibit will be on display in the summer of 2020 for the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4700 Men and Masculinities

Lisa Speidel

Typically, men are dealt with in a way that casually presents them as representative of humanity.   This course addresses the various ways that men are also “gendered,” and can be the subject of inquiries of gender, sexuality, inequality, and privilege in their own right. This course fulfills the second writing requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4800 Gender-Based Violence

Lisa Speidel

This course encourages students to engage in critical thought about gender based violence in the United States and to examine the various approaches to and theories of prevention efforts. The structure of the course is divided into three parts. First, the meanings and nature of interpersonal and sexual violence will be established, including the effects of being the target of violence and the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/sexual orientation. Second, the course will focus on the historical meaning of prevention which focused on potential victims, such as the victim control model, risk reduction rhetoric, and self-defense classes. In addition, an analysis of the criminal justice system as a form of prevention will be addressed. The third section of the course will consist of exploring contemporary definitions of prevention and leading national programs focused on changing perpetrator behavior and cultural systems that support gender based violence. 

Course Category: Gender Concentration

J-Term 2019

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender & Sexuality Studies

Instructor Varies

An introduction to gender and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) studies, including the fields of women’s studies, feminist studies, & masculinity studies. Students will examine historical movements, theoretical issues, & contemporary debates, especially as they pertain to issues of inequality & to the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, & nationalism. Emphasis will vary according to the interdisciplinary expertise & research focus of the instructor. 

Special Note: Required for all WGS majors and minors, Intro courses do not count toward concentrations

WGS 3210 Gender, Sport, and Film 

Bonnie Hagerman

Sports, and various sports figures, have often been the subject of film – both in documentary form and Hollywood blockblusters. This course will examine how film has incorporated issues of gender, and we will compare those productions that portray women’s sports and the female athletes and see how they stack up against those productions featuring male athletes and men’s sports. We will also explore important intersections of race, sexuality, equality and place as we look to determine what actually makes a film a true “sports film.”

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4800 Gender-Based Violence 

Lisa Speidel

This course encourages students to engage in critical thought about gender based violence in the United States and to examine the various approaches to and theories of prevention efforts. The structure of the course is divided into three parts. First, the meanings and nature of interpersonal and sexual violence will be established, including the effects of being the target of violence and the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/sexual orientation. Second, the course will focus on the historical meaning of prevention which focused on potential victims, such as the victim control model, risk reduction rhetoric, and self-defense classes. In addition, an analysis of the criminal justice system as a form of prevention will be addressed. The third section of the course will consist of exploring contemporary definitions of prevention and leading national programs focused on changing perpetrator behavior and cultural systems that support gender based violence. 

Course Category: Gender Concentration

 

Fall 2019

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Instructor varies

An introduction to gender and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) studies, including the fields of women’s studies, feminist studies, & masculinity studies. Students will examine historical movements, theoretical issues, & contemporary debates, especially as they pertain to issues of inequality & to the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, & nationalism. Emphasis will vary according to the interdisciplinary expertise & research focus of the instructor.

Special Note: Required for all WGS majors and minors, Intro courses do not count toward concentrations

WGS 2500 Topics in WGS: Human Sexualities

Lisa Speidel

Examines human sexuality from psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and historical perspectives. Topics include sexual research and theoretical perspectives, sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual health, intimacy, communication, patterns of sexual response and pleasure and sexual problems and therapies. Course will also include examination of the development of sexuality and the intersections of other identities, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality and the law, sexual assault, and other social issues in sexuality. This course will focus on creating a safe environment for honest and authentic conversations about the issues.  Confidentiality and respect will be emphasized to create a community of trust. Students will learn about these issues of sexuality through discussion, experiential activities, film, readings, research, reflective writing and guest speakers.

WGS 2897 Gender Violence and Social Justice

Claire Kaplan

Introduction to dynamics of gender-based violence, the political and cultural structures that perpetuate it, and avenues for achieving social justice. Students will think critically about the (largely) domestic impact of this violence, and develop a practical understanding of how it intersects with other forms of oppression, by applying theory to real-world problems through experiential learning projects in the community and at the University.

Special Note: Internship courses do not count towards either concentration

WGS 3105 Issues in LGBTQ Studies

Andre Cavalcante

This course is an interdisciplinary analysis of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) Studies.  We will study  historical events and political, literary, and artistic figures and works; contemporary social and political issues; the meaning and development of sexual and gender identities; and different disciplinary definitions of meaning and knowledge.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3110 Queer American History

Doug Meyer

Course focuses on 20th century history of LGBTQ activism,  but will include formation of heterosexual and homosexual identities and historical constructions of sexual practices prior to the 1900s. From 20th c. the course will focus on the Homophile Movement, Gay Liberation, and ACT UP, among other activist movements. Although primary emphasis will be placed on historical activism, contemporary movements regarding LGBTQ-rights will be included. Will be given a permanent course number in future semesters.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3230 Gender and the Olympic Games

Bonnie Hagerman

In ancient Greece, women risked death if they participated in or even attended the Olympic Games. As Pierre de Coubertin looked to revive the games in 1896, he thought women better suited to cheering on the male victors, than to competing themselves. This course will explore women’s early participation in the Olympic Games, the pressures upon Olympic sportswomen to be feminine, and the important intersections of race, class, place and sexual orientation. We will also consider the future of the Olympic Games, its global reach, and women’s place in this brave new world, both as athletes and administrators. This course fulfills the Global Requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3500 Topics in WGS: Women in Ancient Greece & Rome

Guilio Celotto

This course will examine issues of sex, sexuality, and gender in the ancient societies of Greece and Rome through the study of science, literature, and art. The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the sources and the current debates focusing on the representation of men and women, and the perception of masculinity and femininity in two cultures that have profoundly influenced Western thought.

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: TV Series in Italy & the Globe

Francesca Calamita

This course considers representations of sex, gender and racial identities in Italian films, television, advertisements and other forms of visual culture. With a focus on the contemporary Italian context, students will explore issues of intersectionality from a global perspective. What can Italian critically acclaimed and more mainstream works tell us about diversity and inclusion in the worldwide context?

WGS 3800 Queer Theory

Doug Meyer

This course introduces students to some of the key and some of the controversial theoretical texts that make up the emerging field of queer theory.  We will consider the beginnings of queer theory and also look at more recent work in fields such as queer gothic and phenomenology. The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on literary and aesthetic criticisms that may shift according the instructor's areas of expertise. The goal of the course is to develop critical practice by working through a variety of perspectives, not only across academic disciplines but also across cultures. Insofar as queer theory reads for the often unseen, or submerged, reality embedded in cultural texts, contexts, and literatures, we will engage conscious critical practice in the class: active reading and informed discussion. As of Fall 2015: This course fulfils the Second Writing Requirement

Special Note: Queer or Feminist Theory is required for all WGS majors/minors.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3810 Feminist Theory

Instructor Varies

This course provides an overview of the historical bases and contemporary developments in feminist theorizing and analyze a range of theories on gender, including liberal, Marxist, radical, difference, and postmodernist feminist theories. We will explore how feminist theories apply to contemporary debates on the body, sexuality, colonialism, globalization and transnationalism. Throughout the course we will incorporate analysis of race, class, and national differences as well as cross-cultural perspectives.

Special Note: This, or Queer Theory, required for all WGS majors and minors.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4350 Comparitive Gender Stratification

Rae Blumberg

The course examines (1) theories of gender stratification, (2) the extent of, and changes in , gender stratification in the U.S. and (3) a cross-cultural look at the extent of gender stratification from our hunting-and-gathering ancestors to today’s information/biotech society.  The course will also (4) look at contemporary examples of both local level gender equality/near equality and extreme gender inequality (e.g., in Taliban Afghanistan).

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4500 Topics in WGS: Gender and Sexuality in South Asian Cinema

Geeta Patel

Gender and sexuality have been seminal to South Asian cinema from its inception.  This course will encompass fiction and documentary, independent movies and small scale movies made in Mumbai, Bengali cinema and the cinemas of the south.  Issues will include transgender activism, family dramas, social and national change, re-envisioned sexualities, the good woman and the courtesan.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Gender & Sexuality in Islamic Culture

Feyza Burak Adli

This course examines the politics of gender and sexuality in various Muslim societies since the 19th century. It covers a range of topics and themes, including: historical, theological, political, and anthropological accounts of gender discourse; various feminist movements; and sexuality, marriage,family, masculinity, and LGBTQ issues. Of particular interest is how social and state actors have attempted to mobilize gender for political gain.

Course Category: Global Requirement

WGS 4620 Black Feminist Theory

Lanice Avery

This course critically examines key ideas, issues, and debates in contemporary Black feminist thought. With a particular focus on Black feminist understandings of intersectionality and womanism, the course examines how Black feminist thinkers interrogate specific concepts including Black womanhood, sexual mythologies and vulnerabilities, class distinctions, colorism, leadership, crime and punishment, and popular culture.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4700 Men and Masculinities

Lisa Speidel

Typically, men are dealt with in a way that casually presents them as representative of humanity.   This course addresses the various ways that men are also “gendered,” and can be the subject of inquiries of gender, sexuality, inequality, and privilege in their own right.
This course fulfills the second writing requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 7500 Approaches to Gender & Sexuality Studies

Denise Walsh

This course is a graduate-only advanced introduction to the field of contemporary feminist and queer theories,especially in areas where these two fields have made critical interventions. The main goal of the course is to provide students with a foundationin the methods and content of feminist and queer theory.

Affiliated Courses

 

Anthropology

ANTH 2420          Language and Gender                                            Staff                                                

ANTH 3129          Marriage, Mortality, Fertility                                     John Shepherd                                 

 

Arabic in Translation

ARTR 3350           Introduction to Arab Women's Literature              Suja Sawafta                                    

 

Chinese in Translation

CHTR 3840           Writing Women in Modern China                         Staff                                                      

CHTR 5840           Writing Women in Modern China                         Staff                                                     

 

Classics

CLAS 3040            Women & Gender in Ancient Greece & Rome   Giulio Celotto                               

 

Education-Human Services

EDHS 2891           Issues Facing Adolescent Girls                           Melissa Levy                                   

 

History-United States History

HIUS 3611            Gender & Sexuality in AM, 1600-1865                 Caroline Janney                      

       

Religion-Buddhism

RELB 3150            Seminar in Buddhism and Gender                       Jue Liang                                             

 

Sociology

SOC 2320             Gender and Society                                              Jennifer Bair                                       

SOC 4350             Comparative Gender Stratification                        Rae Blumberg                                   

 

University Seminar

USEM 1580          Contemporary Per on Social Jus                            Lisa Speidel     

Spring 2019

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies

Instructor varies

An introduction to gender and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) studies, including the fields of women’s studies, feminist studies, & masculinity studies. Students will examine historical movements, theoretical issues, & contemporary debates, especially as they pertain to issues of inequality & to the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, & nationalism. Emphasis will vary according to the interdisciplinary expertise & research focus of the instructor. 

Special Note: Required for all WGS majors and minors, Intro courses do not count toward concentrations

WGS 2500 Topics in WGS: Human Sexualities

Lisa Speidel

Examines human sexuality from psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and historical perspectives. Topics include sexual research and theoretical perspectives, sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual health, intimacy, communication, patterns of sexual response and pleasure and sexual problems and therapies. Course will also include examination of the development of sexuality and the intersections of other identities, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality and the law, sexual assault, and other social issues in sexuality. This course will focus on creating a safe environment for honest and authentic conversations about the issues.  Confidentiality and respect will be emphasized to create a community of trust. Students will learn about these issues of sexuality through discussion, experiential activities, film, readings, research, reflective writing and guest speakers.

WGS 2559 New Course in WGS: Gender, Body Image, and Activism

Amy Chestnutt

What is the relationship between body image and identity? How does one affect, constrain, and inform the other?  The development of body image is a complex process influenced by messages we receive from family, friends, peers, health care practitioners, teachers, and mass media to name a few. Messages are also constructed and interpreted differently depending on one's gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ableism.

WGS 2559 New Course in WGS: Women's Center Senior Internship

Jaronda Miller

This course provides academic credit and support to students who are serving as returning interns in the Women's Center internship program.

WGS 2896 Front Lines of Social Change II

Abby Palko

The course is designed to increase students’ insight into social problems.  The course is divided into two parts. The first half of the semester we will focus in class on four problem areas that have a local and/or global focus: sex trafficking, gender and immigrant status, minority women and mental health, and transgender oppression,. The second half of the semester will consist of an externship to local organizations working in the areas we covered.

WGS 3105 Issues in LGBTQ Studies

Doug Meyer

This course is an interdisciplinary analysis of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) Studies.  We will study  historical events and political, literary, and artistic figures and works; contemporary social and political issues; the meaning and development of sexual and gender identities; and different disciplinary definitions of meaning and knowledge.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3115 Work, Women's Work and Women Workers in South Asia

Sree Sathiamma

What is ‘work’? Are women seen as ‘workers’? Are there women who do not ‘work’? What is the history of paid, less paid, and unpaid work? This course focuses on new trends in the relationship between gender, class and work; and will reveal emerging possibilities in knowledge and practice through changes or reversal in the gender order and its impact on work and its relationship with capital.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3200 Women, Sport & Gender

Bonnie Hagerman

This course traces the history of American female athletes from the late 1800s through the early 21st century. By gaining an historical understanding of the contributions of female athletes, we will explore the social, political, economic, and cultural constraints that have been placed on sportswomen, and their attempts to transcend such limitations. We will use gender as a means of understanding the evolution of female athletes, and will also trace the manner by which issues of class and race inform sportswomen’s journeys over time, particularly with regard to issues of femininity and homophobia. This course fulfills the second writing requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3340 Transnational Feminism

Amanda Davis

This course places women, feminism, and activism in a transnational perspective, and offers students the opportunity to examine how issues considered critical to the field of gender studies are impacting women’s lives globally in contemporary national contexts. We will look closely at how violence, economic marginality, intersections of race and gender, and varied strategies for development are affecting women in specific geographical locations. 

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Men, Women, and US Politics

Jennifer Lawless

This course evaluates political representation in the United States through a gendered lens. Two themes will guide the analysis. First, we will focus on fundamental gender differences that affect the various steps of the political process. Next, we will address the representational implications of any gender differences we uncover, concentrating not only on substantive policy, but also on the non-policy benefits that might be conferred when more women have political power.

WGS 3800 Queer Theory

Doug Meyer

This course introduces students to some of the key and some of the controversial theoretical texts that make up the emerging field of queer theory.  We will consider the beginnings of queer theory and also look at more recent work in fields such as queer gothic and phenomenology. The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on literary and aesthetic criticisms that may shift according the instructor's areas of expertise. The goal of the course is to develop critical practice by working through a variety of perspectives, not only across academic disciplines but also across cultures. Insofar as queer theory reads for the often unseen, or submerged, reality embedded in cultural texts, contexts, and literatures, we will engage conscious critical practice in the class:  active reading and informed discussion.
as of Fall 2015: This course fulfils the Second Writing Requirement

Special Note: Queer or Feminist Theory is required for all WGS majors/minors.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3810 Feminist Theory

Instructor Varies

This course provides an overview of the historical bases and contemporary developments in feminist theorizing and analyze a range of theories on gender, including liberal, Marxist, radical, difference, and postmodernist feminist theories. We will explore how feminist theories apply to contemporary debates on the body, sexuality, colonialism, globalization and transnationalism. Throughout the course we will incorporate analysis of race, class, and national differences as well as cross-cultural perspectives.

Special Note: This, or Queer Theory, required for all WGS majors and minors.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3814 Gender, Sexuality, Identity in Premodern France

Deborah McGrady

This course will explore religious, social, scientific and legal views on gender, sexuality and identity that may extend from medieval through early modern Europe with an emphasis on the French tradition. Readings will include literary texts and cultural documents as well as current scholarship on questions of sexuality, gender, and identity politics.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration

WGS 4500 Topics in WGS: Violence Against Sexual Minorities

Doug Meyer

This course emphasizes violence against minority groups. Particular attention will be paid to violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, although the class will also focus on forms of abuse against other historically-marginalized groups. Topics covered will include racist and sexist violence, sexualized abuse, including rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, and the politics of hate crime. 

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Gender and Nationalism in the Middle East

Feyza Burak Adli

This course will provide an overview of the politics of gender and nationalism in the Middle East. We will examine the ways in which nationalism articulates with gender and sexuality. What are the implications of gendered constructions of national identity? How are the discourses of nation-states gendered? How does the state regulate sexuality, family, and citizenship? What are the effects of nationalist discourses on the emergence of new masculinities and femininities? We will analyze women's engagement in politics, feminist movements and civil society. What are the roles of women in nationalist movements? What are the advantages and limits of women’s public participation and empowerment? The course will also cover topics related to gender and nationalism in the Middle East, such as colonialism, postcolonialism, modernity, secularism, and Islamism.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 4700 Men and Masculinities

Lisa Speidel

Typically, men are dealt with in a way that casually presents them as representative of humanity.   This course addresses the various ways that men are also “gendered,” and can be the subject of inquiries of gender, sexuality, inequality, and privilege in their own right.
This course fulfills the second writing requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4800 Gender Based Violence

Lisa Speidel

This course encourages students to engage in critical thought about gender based violence in the United States and to examine the various approaches to and theories of prevention efforts. The structure of the course is divided into three parts. First, the meanings and nature of interpersonal and sexual violence will be established, including the effects of being the target of violence and the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/sexual orientation. Second, the course will focus on the historical meaning of prevention which focused on potential victims, such as the victim control model, risk reduction rhetoric, and self-defense classes. In addition, an analysis of the criminal justice system as a form of prevention will be addressed. The third section of the course will consist of exploring contemporary definitions of prevention and leading national programs focused on changing perpetrator behavior and cultural systems that support gender based violence. 

Special Note: J-term course does not fill global requirement

Course Category: Gender Concentration

Fall 2018

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Instructor varies

An introduction to gender and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) studies, including the fields of women’s studies, feminist studies, & masculinity studies. Students will examine historical movements, theoretical issues, & contemporary debates, especially as they pertain to issues of inequality & to the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, & nationalism. Emphasis will vary according to the interdisciplinary expertise & research focus of the instructor. 

Special Note: Required for all WGS majors and minors, Intro courses do not count toward concentrations

WGS 2224 Black Femininities and Masculinities in US Media

Lisa Shutt

Addresses the role the media played in creating images and understandings of "Blackness" in the US, particularly where it converges with poular ideologies about gender. 

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 2500 Topics in Women, Gender & Sexuality: Human Sexualities

Lisa Speidel

Examines human sexuality from psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and historical perspectives. Topics include sexual research and theoretical perspectives, sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual health, intimacy, communication, patterns of sexual response and pleasure and sexual problems and therapies. Course will also include examination of the development of sexuality and the intersections of other identities, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality and the law, sexual assault, and other social issues in sexuality. This course will focus on creating a safe environment for honest and authentic conversations about the issues.  Confidentiality and respect will be emphasized to create a community of trust. Students will learn about these issues of sexuality through discussion, experiential activities, film, readings, research, reflective writing and guest speakers.

WGS 2559 New Course in WGS: Women's Center Senior Internship

Abby Palko

This course provides academic credit and support to students who are serving as returning interns in the Women's Center internship program.

WGS 2891 Issues Facing Adolescent Girls I

Melissa Levy

This course provides an opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills through involvement in academic service learning. Students will explore the psychological, social, and cultural issues affecting adolescent girls and apply this understanding through service with the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP), a mentoring program that pairs middle school girls with college women for a year. As we delve into theory and research on adolescent development, effective mentoring practices, and leadership development, students will test their theoretical knowledge and its application by serving as a Big Sister to an area middle school girl. The class pays special attention to the ways that racial, economic, and ethnic differences affect girls’ voice and self-concept during this developmental phase.  

Special Note: Instructor Permission. Combined with EDHS 2891 (however WGS majors should sign up under WGS). Internship courses do not count towards either concentration.

WGS 2893 Fostering Leadership in Women and Girls I

Jaronda Miller-Bryant

In this course students explore the psychological, social, and cultural issues affecting adolescent girls and apply this understanding through service with the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP), a mentoring program that pairs middle school girls with college women for a year. A continuation of EDHS/WGS 2891 Issues Facing Adolescent Girls, the 3 credit class in the Fall is for students learning to be facilitators of mentoring groups and developing leadership skills through . Students attend a weekly one-hour class and two-hour mentoring group, and spend four hours a month one-on-one with their mentee. For those not able to mentor, they can meet the class requirements by being involved in the YWLP research team.

Special Note: Internship courses do not count towards either concentration

WGS 2895 Front Lines of Social Change I

Jaronda Miller-Bryant

This course is for undergraduate students who have committed to a yearlong internship with the Women’s Center. While analyzing the role of the intersectionality of race, class and gender and the deep connection to advocating for social change, interns will be exposed to experiential learning on Grounds in the community and abroad. We see our interns as ambassadors for the university. The purpose of this course is to give the interns the tools to incorporate scholarship into their internship experience.

Special Note: Internship courses do not count towards either concentration

WGS 2897 Gender Violence and Social Justice

Claire Kaplan

Introduction to dynamics of gender-based violence, the political and cultural structures that perpetuate it, and avenues for achieving social justice. Students will think critically about the (largely) domestic impact of this violence, and develop a practical understanding of how it intersects with other forms of oppression, by applying theory to real-world problems through experiential learning projects in the community and at the University.

WGS 3105 Issues in LGBTQ Studies

Andre Cavalcante

This course is an interdisciplinary analysis of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) Studies.  We will study  historical events and political, literary, and artistic figures and works; contemporary social and political issues; the meaning and development of sexual and gender identities; and different disciplinary definitions of meaning and knowledge.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3110 Queer American History

Doug Meyer

Course focuses on 20th century history of LGBTQ activism,  but will include formation of heterosexual and homosexual identities and historical constructions of sexual practices prior to the 1900s. From 20th c. the course will focus on the Homophile Movement, Gay Liberation, and ACT UP, among other activist movements. Although primary emphasis will be placed on historical activism, contemporary movements regarding LGBTQ-rights will be included. Will be given a permanent course number in future semesters.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3220 Global Perspective on Gender & Sport

Bonnie Hagerman

This course will examine female athletes from a global perspective, comparing and contrasting their experiences, and placing them in historical perspective. Among the topics we will consider will be a look at Saudi Arabian sportswomen and their recent entry into the Olympic Games; an examination of the pros and cons of Chinese sports schools; an exploration of the post-apartheid athletic landscape of South Africa, and a discussion of the struggle of Iranian women to compete at the highest levels of sport even as they struggle against clothing restrictions.  As we consider the global experience and how it differs from continent to continent, county to country, and region to region, we will consider not only issues of gender, but race, class, and sexuality as well. This course fulfills the global requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Italy on Screen

Francesca Calamita

This course considers representations of sex, gender and racial identities in Italian films, television, advertisements and other forms of visual culture. With a focus on the contemporary Italian context, students will explore issues of intersectionality from a global perspective. What can Italian critically acclaimed and more mainstream works tell us about diversity and inclusion in the worldwide context?

WGS 3800 Queer Theory

Doug Meyer

This course introduces students to some of the key and some of the controversial theoretical texts that make up the emerging field of queer theory.  We will consider the beginnings of queer theory and also look at more recent work in fields such as queer gothic and phenomenology. The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on literary and aesthetic criticisms that may shift according the instructor's areas of expertise. The goal of the course is to develop critical practice by working through a variety of perspectives, not only across academic disciplines but also across cultures. Insofar as queer theory reads for the often unseen, or submerged, reality embedded in cultural texts, contexts, and literatures, we will engage conscious critical practice in the class: active reading and informed discussion. As of Fall 2015: This course fulfils the Second Writing Requirement

Special Note: Queer or Feminist Theory is required for all WGS majors/minors.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3810 Feminist Theory

Instructor Varies

This course provides an overview of the historical bases and contemporary developments in feminist theorizing and analyze a range of theories on gender, including liberal, Marxist, radical, difference, and postmodernist feminist theories. We will explore how feminist theories apply to contemporary debates on the body, sexuality, colonialism, globalization and transnationalism. Throughout the course we will incorporate analysis of race, class, and national differences as well as cross-cultural perspectives.

Special Note: This, or Queer Theory, required for all WGS majors and minors.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4101 Issues in Women's Autobiographies

Amanda Davis

This course focuses on women's autobiographical texts and the diverse ways authors explore issues surrounding identity, power, and resistance in their narratives. We will read compelling accounts of imprisonment, reservation life, political detention, and more, while closely examining women's participation in ongoing struggles for social justice. 

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4350 Comparitive Gender Stratification

Rae Blumberg

The course examines (1) theories of gender stratification, (2) the extent of, and changes in , gender stratification in the U.S. and (3) a cross-cultural look at the extent of gender stratification from our hunting-and-gathering ancestors to today’s information/biotech society.  The course will also (4) look at contemporary examples of both local level gender equality/near equality and extreme gender inequality (e.g., in Taliban Afghanistan).

Course Cateogory: Gender Concentration

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Gender & Sexuality in Islamic Culture

Feyza Burak-Adli

This course examines the politics of gender and sexuality in various Muslim societies since the 19th century. It covers a range of topics and themes, including: historical, theological, political, and anthropological accounts of gender discourse; various feminist movements; and sexuality, marriage,family, masculinity, and LGBTQ issues. Of particular interest is how social and state actors have attempted to mobilize gender for political gain.

Course Category: Global Requirement

WGS 4620 Black Feminist Theory

Lanice Avery

This course critically examines key ideas, issues, and debates in contemporary Black feminist thought. With a particular focus on Black feminist understandings of intersectionality and womanism, the course examines how Black feminist thinkers interrogate specific concepts including Black womanhood, sexual mythologies and vulnerabilities, class distinctions, colorism, leadership, crime and punishment, and popular culture.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4700 Men and Masculinities

Lisa Speidel

Typically, men are dealt with in a way that casually presents them as representative of humanity.   This course addresses the various ways that men are also “gendered,” and can be the subject of inquiries of gender, sexuality, inequality, and privilege in their own right. This course fulfills the second writing requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 7500 Approaches to Gender & Sexuality Studies

Denise Walsh

This course is a graduate-only advanced introduction to the field of contemporary feminist and queer theories,especially in areas where these two fields have made critical interventions. The main goal of the course is to provide students with a foundationin the methods and content of feminist and queer theory.