Fall 2017 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 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 2300 Women and Gender in the Deaf World

Shilpa Lacy

This course examines the roles of women inside and outside the Deaf World .  It begins with a brief overview of Deaf culture and American Sign Language (ASL),which leadsto a consideration of how language and cultural barriers perpetuate the roles defined for and by d/Deaf women within Deaf and hearing societies. We use works from many sources and several disciplines that showcase the sociopolitical and cultural issues d/Deaf women from all walks of American life, both past and present, have faced primarily within the context of American and hearing cultures. We examine a variety of issues such as violence against women, sexuality, race, class, education, and work.  Disparities between gender roles and sociocultural levels (i.e. differences between d/Deaf and hearing women) in the Deaf community and society at large will be explored to increase our understanding of the spectrum of experiences of d/Deaf American women.  

WGS 2891 Issues Facing Adolescent Girls I

Edith Lawrence and 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 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 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, Global Requirement

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Incarcerated Women

Amanda Davis

This course centers on the increasing number of women and juvenile girls who are incarcerated in the United States, and the now more than one million women under some form of correctional supervision in America. We will also explore such areas as feminist approaches to women and crime, racialized representations of criminality, and the impact of gender, race, and class on the criminal justice system.

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: My Body, My Choice: Women's Rights in Modern Italy

Francesca Calamita

This course explores how modern Italian literature, cinema and the arts have represented the quest for women’s rights from bodily autonomy to equal pay as well as emergencies related to women’s socio-cultural perception such as the high rate of feminicide, rape and other forms of gender-based violence. What can Italian literature, cinema and arts from the recent past teach us about the global backlash of patriarchy against women in the 2010s?

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Queer European History

Tom Butcher

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

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Women and Music

Elizabeth Flood

This course examines women’s engagements with the sounds, social practices, production, and representation of music. Our case studies draw on popular, vernacular ("folk"), and classical music from the U.S. and around the world, focusing on the 1920s to the present. We will address how music-making can both express and inform gender, and how ideas about gender and sexuality shape musical environments. Previous musical knowledge is not required

WGS 3559 New Course in WGS: Ethnography of Gender and Sexuality

Elizabeth Flood

“Ethnography” is a powerful tool for analyzing people and culture. It is both a method of research and a genre of writing. This course examines the theories, methods, and ethics involved in ethnographic research on gender and sexuality. It addresses questions such as: is research gendered? What can ethnography teach us about gender or sexuality?What is feminist ethnography? Students will conduct ethnographic research in the UVa/local community.  

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 4559 New Course in WGS: 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.

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Indigenous Women & Globalization

Melissa Gismondi

This course looks at the various ways that globalization--broadly conceived--has shaped the lives, experiences, cultures, and communities of Indigenous women throughout history and to the present. It embraces a fluid definition of globalization as a process underway since the 15th century (if not before) that establishes exchanges, connections, movements and interactions between and among diverse peoples. As a result, the course sees colonialism and the colonization of Indigenous lands as a pivotal component of globalization. Equally, this course explores the diverse ways that Indigenous women have experienced, embraced, contested, resisted and responded to globalization. 

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 7559 Advanced 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.