Courses

Spring 2022 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Intro to Gender & Sexuality Studies

Bonnie Hagerman

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 2559 New Course in Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Lily van Diepen

Topic: Race and Power in Gender and Sexuality

This course offers a study of race and racialization in relation to gender and sexuality. We will consider how the concept of race shapes relationships between gendered selfhood and society, how it informs identity and experiences of the erotic, and how racialized gender and sexuality are created, maintained, and monitored. Applying an interdisciplinary perspective, we will consider how race and and power are reproduced and resisted through gender.

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 3105 Issues in LGBTQ Studies

Matthew Chin

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 3240 Gender, Race, and Sport: a History of African American Sportswoman

Bonnie Hagerman

Course Category: Gender Concentration

This course seeks to explore the intersection of gender and race in sport, specifically examining the African-American female 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—and a stand—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.

WGS 3340 Transnational Feminism

Domale Keys

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 3409 LGBTQ Issues in the Media

Andre Cavalcante

This course will explore the complex cultural dynamics of LGBTQ media visibility, along with its social, political, and psychological implications for LGBTQ audiences.  It explores four domains:  (1) the question of LGBT media visibility (2) the complex processes of inclusion, normalization, and assimilation in popular culture (3) media industries and the LGBT market (4) the relationship between digital media, LGBT audiences, and everyday life.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3500 Topics in Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Karen Myers

Topic: Women in Ancient Greece and Rome.

Nota Bene: This is a combined section class.

This course will focus on Women's roles and lives in Ancient Greece and Rome. Students will be introduced to the primary material on women and gender in antiquity and to current debates about it.  We will examine the Cultural Identity or Ideal constructed for women and men in Ancient literature in comparison with the historical evidence and analyze how the cultural categories of male and female were delineated and deployed in various social, political, and literary contexts.

WGS 3559 Topics in Gender & Sexuality Studies

Pleasure Activism Across Time

Lisa Spiedel

The history of white supremacy & theheteropatriarchy includes denying sexual pleasure of marginalized communities. A major benefit of pleasure is empowerment, which threatens power structures & leads to restrictive practices & laws. This course focuses on queer activists & feminists of color who examine pleasure, systemic oppression, & the connection of inner desires & needs -physical, mental, & emotional -as a part of enacting social change.

 

Reproductive Justice

Brittany Leach

This course will examine reproductive health and politics domestically and globally, primarily from a reproductive justice perspective that views reproductive rights broadly and in connection with other issues of social justice (such as racism, colonialism, economic and environmental injustice, etc). Specific topics include birth control, population control, abortion, sterilization abuse, eugenics, miscarriage, birth, and reproductive technology.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

 

Feminism, Capitalism, and Alternatives

Brittany Leach

This course will examine feminist perspectives on economic issues and systems in theory and practice. Theoretical traditions will include feminist strands of welfare-state liberalism, neoliberalism, Marxism, social democracy/democratic socialism, post-colonialism, and anarchism. Topics will include work/life balance, the global economy, the commons, social reproduction, alternative economies, and feminist futures.

WGS 3612 Gender and Sexuality in the US, 1865 to Present

Bonnie Hagerman

Note: this is a combined section class

This course will explore the significance of gender and sexuality in the United States from the Civil War to the present. We will ask, on the one hand, how people’s ideas about manhood, womanhood, and sexuality structured society and, on the other, 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 sexual beliefs, practices, and identities.

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

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 4500 WGS Topics Course: Violence - 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. 

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS

Global Men and Masculinities

Lisa Spiedel

This course examines central topics in global masculinity studies by expanding students’ awareness of non-US cultures. A panoramic view of masculinity from various countries, cultures and traditions enables further examination of beliefs in “manhood.” Themes will include the intersection between masculinity and colonization, nationalism, hegemony, fatherhood, marriage, initiation rituals, war/warriors, violence and health.

 

Campus Sexual Violence

Domale Keys

Through a black feminist lens, we will explore the colonial origins of sexual violence in the US and investigate the various ways it manifests in higher education and beyond. This includes examining the various representations of women in the U.S., especially black women, the role the carceral state plays in the issue, and ways Black woman combat misrepresentations of themselves through organizing against gender-based violence. 

 

Black Geographies

Kat Cosby

This course will interrogate Black geographies in the Americas and the ways in which traditional geographies adhere to a racial-sexual logic. Through an interdisciplinary approach, we will examine Black thinkers' and scholars’ concepts of geography and how their interventions allow us to think differently about place, space, and Blackness. Topics include maroon communities, abolition geography, plantation geographies, and demonic grounds.

WGS 7500 Island Intimacies

Matthew Chin

This interdisciplinary course explores the relationships among the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans through an investigation of how Chinese diaspora functions within and across different island formations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on Cuba, Hawaii, and Seychelles, it examines dynamics of connection and disconnection among Chinese diasporas across these different islands as well as the relationships of accommodation and conflict between the Chinese and the different ethno-racial groups within their host societies. This course uses intimacy as a framework and the methods of historiography and comparative racialization to map these relations across geographically and linguistically (Spanish, French, English) distinct sites. Ultimately, this course mobilizes the island intimacies of Chinese diaspora to make sense of the relationships among the racial orders of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Affiliated Courses   

AAS 2224 Black Femininities and Masculinities in the US Media

Lisa Shutt

This course, taught as a lower-level seminar, will address the role the media has played in creating images and understandings of 'Blackness' in the United States, particularly where it converges with popular ideologies about gender.

 

CLAS 3040 Women and Gender in Ancient Greece and Rome

Karen Myers

This course focuses on women's roles and lives in Ancient Greece and Rome. Students are introduced to the primary material (textual and material) on women in antiquity and to current debates about it. Subjects addressed will include sexual stereotypes and ideals, power-relations of gender, familial roles, social and economic status, social and political history, visual art, medical theory, and religion. For more details on this class, please visit the department website at http://www.virginia.edu/classics/.

 

HIUS 3612 Gender and Sexuality in America, 1865 to Present

Bonnie Hagerman

Studies the evolution of women's roles in American society with particular attention to the experiences of women of different races, classes, and ethnic groups.

 

JPTR 3020 Survey of Modern Japanese Literature

Anri Yasuda

This is an introductory course to Japanese literary traditions from the late 19th century to the present. By reading a broad range of writings including political accounts, fictional narratives and poetic prose, the course examines how a variety of writing practices contributed to the production of modern Japanese literature. No knowledge of Japanese is required.

 

JPTR 5020 Survey of Modern Japanese Literature

Anri Yasuda

This is an introductory course to Japanese literary traditions from the late 19th century to the present. By reading a broad range of writings including political accounts, fictional narratives and poetic prose, the course examines how a variety of writing practices contributed to the production of modern Japanese literature. No knowledge of Japanese is required.

 

RELJ 2030 Judaism, Roots, and Rebellion

Elizabeth Alexander

What does it mean to construct one's identity in dialogue with ancient texts and traditions? Can the gap between ancient and contemporary be bridged? Or must texts and traditions born of a remote time and place remain hopelessly irrelevant to contemporary life? This course explores these questions by examining the myriad ways that contemporary Jews balance the complexities of modern life with the demands of an ancient heritage.

 

RELJ 3390 Jewish Feminism

Vanessa Ochs

Jewish Feminism

 

SLFK 2120 Russian Folklore

Stanley Stepanic

What is folklore exactly? Further, what is it in the Russian context? This course is a thorough overview of different types of folklore throughout Russian history. We will cover a brief history of Russia from pre-Christian times and continue into a thorough analysis of various examples of Russian folklore. This will include narrative folklore (folktales, fairy tales, songs, etc.), material folklore (house structures and layout, clothing, etc.), and social folklore (weddings, funerals, etc.). Students will also be expected to investigate their own ethnic backgrounds through paper topics based on what is learned in the course.

 

SOC 2052 Sociology of the Family

William Wilcox

 Comparison of family organizations in relation to other social institutions in various societies; an introduction to the theory of kinship and marriage systems.

 

SOC 2320 Gender and Society

Elissa Zeno

Gender and Society

 

USEM 1580 Dream-Life

Julia Gutterman

Dreams, at once elusive and powerfully present, have puzzled and inspired generations of philosophers, psychologists, political thinkers, literary writers, and artists. 'Dream-Life' will explore the world of dreams in texts and films as diverse as Calderón de la Barca’s Life is a Dream (1635) or Charlotte Beradt’s documentation The Third Reich of Dreams. Students will document and reflect on their own dreams by keeping a dream journal.

 

USEM 1580 Around Grounds: Art, Arch, and History at UVA

Dylan Rogers

This seminar explores the histories of UVA, from its Monacan origins, the labor of enslaved people, its art and architecture, to issues impacting the local community today. We will use buildings, objects, archives, and people to tell stories that have been forgotten—or never told in the first place. Each class meeting will include in-class discussion paired with visits around Grounds and Charlottesville, to engage more fully with topics on-site.               

J-Term 2021 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

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 3559 New Courses in Women, Gender and Sexuality, Topic: The Politics of Motherhood

Abby Palko

Motherhood, mothering practices, and maternal identities have long been crucial elements of human existence that have not received the level of attention or support that their importance calls for. This course takes an interdisciplinary look (inc. anthropology, feminist theory, media studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology) at scholarly conceptualizations of “good” mothering and analyzes depictions of mothering practices.

Course Category: Sexuality 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 2021 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Matthew Chin

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.

WGS 2700 Men & 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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

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 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 Persectives 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 3340 Transnational Feminism

TBD

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 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 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

TBD

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 3897 Gender, VIolence and Social Justice

Lisa Speidel

In an effort to streamline our offerings, we are looking to propose that we take the 2000-level “Gender Violence and Social Justice” and the 4000-level “Gender-Based Violence” and essentially combine them into a 3000-level course, keeping the title of “Gender Violence and Social Justice”; we then plan to deactivate Gender-Based Violence once we have this approval. There is marked overlap in the two courses in terms of content and approaches, so we propose one course at the 3000-level that would still attract students from outside the Major but allow the instructor to encourage students to engage in the critical thinking and written/oral communication skills that are demanded at the 3000-level.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Intersectionality: A US History

Cori Field

This course explores the writing and activist strategies of nineteenth-century women and gender nonconforming people in the Unites States who articulated early visions of intersectional feminism.  We will consider Black, Indigenous, immigrant, working-class, gender nonconforming, disabled, and old women who articulated distinct but sometimes allied visions of liberation.  Students will complete a twenty-page paper based on archival research.  This class fulfills the second writing requirement.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Gender and Espionage

Bonnie Hagerman

TBD

Course Category: TBD

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.

Summer 2021 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

Session I

WGS 3340 Transnational Feminism

Laura Ornee

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

Bonnie Hagerman

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 3810 Feminist Theory

Brittany Leach

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

Session II

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies

Lisa Speidel

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 3559 New Courses in WGS: Gender and Health

Emma Potter

TBD

Course Category: Gender Concentration

Session III

WGS 2700 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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3105 Issues in LGBTQ Studies

Bailey Troia

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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

Spring 2021 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Intro to Gender & Sexuality Studies

Bonnie Hagerman

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 2700 Men & 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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3105 Issues in LGBTQ Studies

Matthew Chin

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 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 3340 Transnational Feminism

Brittany Leach

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 3409 LGBTQ Issues in the Media

Andre Cavalcante

This course will explore the complex cultural dynamics of LGBTQ media visibility, along with its social, political, and psychological implications for LGBTQ audiences.  It explores four domains:  (1) the question of LGBT media visibility (2) the complex processes of inclusion, normalization, and assimilation in popular culture (3) media industries and the LGBT market (4) the relationship between digital media, LGBT audiences, and everyday life.

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3559 Topics in Gender & Sexuality Studies: History of American College Women

Bonnie Hagerman

From Female Seminaries to the beginning of co-education, this course will explore the history of women who wanted to pursue higher education in the United States more broadly and at the University of Virginia in particular. We will examine the importance of the Seven Sisters, land grant colleges, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities and how Title IX affected the sports landscape of higher education. We will also consider the landscape of higher education. We will also consider the landscape of sexual violence female students have had to confront on American college campuses as well as other challenges like integration and co-education.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3559 Topics in Gender & Sexuality Studies: Reproductive Justice

Brittany Leach

This course will examine reproductive health and politics domestically and globally, primarily from a reproductive justice perspective that views reproductive rights broadly and in connection with other issues of social justice (such as racism, colonialism, economic and environmental injustice, etc). Specific topics include birth control, population control, abortion, sterilization abuse, eugenics, miscarriage, birth, and reproductive technology.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3559 Gender & Sexuality in Islamic Culture

Maryam Zehtabi

This course examines the politics of gender and sexuality in varous 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 attemped to mobilize gender for political gain.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3611 Gender and Sexuality in the US, 1600-1865

Cori Field

This course explores the significance of gender and sexuality in the territory of the present-day U.S. during the period from the first European settlements to the Civil War.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration

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

Brittany Leach

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 3897 Gender, Violence and Social Justice

Lisa Speidel

In an effort to streamline our offerings, we are looking to propose that we take the 2000-level “Gender Violence and Social Justice” and the 4000-level “Gender-Based Violence” and essentially combine them into a 3000-level course, keeping the title of “Gender Violence and Social Justice”; we then plan to deactivate Gender-Based Violence once we have this approval. There is marked overlap in the two courses in terms of content and approaches, so we propose one course at the 3000-level that would still attract students from outside the Major but allow the instructor to encourage students to engage in the critical thinking and written/oral communication skills that are demanded at the 3000-level.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 4500 WGS Topics Course: 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. 

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 4500 Gender 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 Global History of Intimacies

Matthew Chin

This course focuses on embodied forms of closeness that take shape across different spaces and times. It will consider theories of history, temporality, intimacy, and globality and explore methods of historical inquiry that may be used to construct accounts of intimate relations in the past. It will then mobilize these theories and methods to analyze historical case studies of intimacy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in relationship to African enslavement and Asian indentureship in the Americas as well as US-Philippine and French-Algerian imperialisms. Inspired by postcolonial, feminist, and queer approaches, our critical and interdisciplinary conversations will allow us to consider the complexities, contradictions, and problems that arise from attempts to both describe and analyze formations of intimacy in the past.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 4559 Global History of Aging, Gender & Sexuality

Cori Field

This course will take a global approach to understanding the shifting intersections of age, race, and gender from the sixteenth-century to the present in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.  Through a series of case studies, we will explore the social history of older women in various contexts, literary representations of women's aging, and visual images.  We will consider foundational concepts and new developments in the interdisciplinary field of feminist age studies and pose questions about how age impacts health, sexuality, family life, political involvement, and spirituality.  Throughout, we will pay particular attention to how beliefs about age shape racial and class formations in different parts of the world.  
Students will complete a twenty-page research paper on a topic of their choosing related to older women.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration, Global Requirement

Affiliated Courses

African American and African Studies
AAS 2224-001     Black Femininities and Masculinities in the US Media Lisa Shutt                                
AAS 2224-002     Black Femininities and Masculinities in the US Media Lisa Shutt                                  

Anthropology
ANTH 2420-100 Language and Gender    LEC                                         Grace Reynolds                             
ANTH 2420-101 Language and Gender    DISC                                       Staff                                                  
ANTH 2420-102 Language and Gender    DISC                                       Staff                                           
ANTH 2420-103 Language and Gender    DISC                                       Staff                                                 

History-United States History
HIUS 3611            Gender & Sexuality in AM, 1600-1865                      Cori Field                                           
HIUS 3611            Gender and Sexuality in the US, 1600-1865 Disc  Daniele Celano                             
HIUS 3611            Gender and Sexuality in the US, 1600-1865 Disc  Daniele Celano                             
HIUS 3611            Gender and Sexuality in the US, 1600-1865 Disc  Daniele Celano                              

Japanese in Translation
JPTR 5390            Women in Modern Japanese Literature                 Anri Yasuda                                 

Media Studies
MDST 3409          LGBTQ Issues in the Media                                           Andre Cavalcante                         

Psychology
PSYC 4603 Psychology of Sexual Orientation                                        Charlotte Patterson                   

South Asian Literature in Translation
SATR 3000           Women Writing in India & Pakistan: 1947-Pres    Mehr Farooqi                               

Sociology
SOC 2320-100     Gender and Society         LEC                                         David Skubby                                
SOC 2320-101     Gender and Society         DISC                                       Staff                                                  
SOC 2320-102     Gender and Society         DISC                                       Staff                                                   
SOC 2320-103     Gender and Society         DISC                                       Staff                                                   
SOC 4350             Comparative Gender Stratification                           Rae Blumberg                                 

Spanish
SPAN 4621 Latin American Women Poets                                             Gustavo Pellon                                 

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

Fall 2020 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

WGS 2100 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Bonnie Hagerman

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.

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

Matthew Chin

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 3200 Women, Gender and Sport

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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3340 Transnational Feminism

Brittany Leach

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: Women's Health

Emma Potter

This course introduces students to the history of women’s health in the US, interrogates the power structures that shape it, and focuses attention to critical issues and disparities in women’s health across the life course. That is, this course unpacks how health - often considered a matter of personal responsibility – is also a cultural artifact. Using an intersectional lens, students will examine course materials from a variety of disciplines and develop skills with professional, academic, and personal applications.

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 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

Brittany Leach

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 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: Global Gender and Art

Aidyn Mills

This course introduces feminist art as a practice and mode of inquiry through which aesthetics and form interact with ideology and politics. We will focus specifically on contemporary art, including events and performances, to look beyond materiality and representation, and consider art as process and female artists as agents. As such, we consider a diversity of media, emblematic of women’s capacity to disrupt, shift, and query aesthetic and social conventions in creative and visionary ways.We will also consider art cross-culturally, to grasp the differences and similarities in how categories and conventions of gender, sexuality, race, class, and nationality are engaged through artistic practice.

Course Category: Gender, Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Global Men and Masculinity

Lisa Speidel

What is understood as “masculine” has varied throughout time as well as across cultural contexts and distinct social groupings, but we often focus primarily on dominant Western narratives about masculinity and how this impacts society. Such a focus ignores the evidence and research for a larger range of masculine constructs and the cultural flexibility in how masculinities exist. This course takes a panoramic view of perceptions of masculinity.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, 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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 7500 Approaches to Gender & Sexuality Studies

Cori Field

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.

Summer 2020

Course Descriptions

Session I

WGS 3230 Gender and the Olympics

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, Global Requirement

WGS 3340 Transnational Feminism

Laura Ornee

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

Session II

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 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

Session III

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 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.

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 11/6/2019. The limitation is removed on the third day of class registration, 11/7/2019, and WGS classes are open to all students.

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 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.