Fall 2016 Courses


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 2893 Fostering Leadership in Women and Girls I

Melissa Levy

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 3140 Border Crossings: Women, Islam and literature in the Middle East and North Africa

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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3220 Global Perspectives 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.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 3500 Topics in WGS: Women and Visual Arts

Alberto McKelligan

This course will provide an introduction to feminist theory and visual culture by focusing on the relationships between several key feminist concerns, including gender, sexuality, and difference.  Readings in the course will examine how these concerns have played a role in the production, distribution, and reception of the visual arts over a wide variety of time periods and geographic locations.  Students will familiarize themselves with historical examples of "feminist artistic practice," as well as contemporary examples of visual culture that continue earlier investigations carried out by previous generations of artists.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Queer European History

Doug Meyer

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

Course Category: Sexuality Concentration

WGS 3770 Women Writers: Women on Women

Lorna Martens

This course focuses on women writers from any era who address the topic of femininity:  what it means or implies to be a woman.

Course Category: Gender 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

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 Comparative 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 4559 New Course in WGS: Global History of Black Girlhood

Cori Field

Scholars working on the history of black girls in the US, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa have created a vibrant new field of black girl studies. Combining insights from black feminism and the history of childhood, these scholars have centered black girls’ experience as a means of reframing our understanding of citizenship, labor, and creativity.

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

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 4610 LGBTQ Communities: Race, Class, Gender

Doug Meyer

This course examines the historical and continuing role of LGBTQ communities in U.S. society.  Topics covered will include changes that have taken place over time, LGBTQ-rights as a social movement, and homelessness as an LGBTQ-rights issue.  Particular emphasis will be placed on power relations in LGBTQ communities, including the role of racism, classism, and sexism.  

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration

WGS 4650 Gender, Poetry, and Mindfulness

Geeta Patel

The course integrates mindfulness training with interpretation of art, literature, and writing.  Course material is global in scope, incorporating diverse works from Urdu poetry to Japanese haikus, including texts and mindfulness exercises from Tibet. Students will practice mindfulness to enhance their understanding of writers’ and artists’ personal, historical, cultural, and gender perspectives.

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 5140 Advanced Border Crossings: Women, Islam and literature in the Middle East and North Africa

Fazaneh Milani

A focus on a bloodless, non-violent revolution that is shaking the foundation of the Islamic Middle East and North Africa, a revolution with women writers at the forefront. An examination of 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 section is for graduate students only.

Special Note: Instructor Consent Required

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement