Fall 2019 Courses


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



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                                                     



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                      



RELB 3150            Seminar in Buddhism and Gender                       Jue Liang                                             



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