Spring 2017 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 2224 Black Femininities and Masculinities in US Media

Lisa Shutt

Addresses 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.

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 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 3200 Women, Gender and Sports

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 3500 Topics in WGS: Women Writing for Change

Abby Arnold

This course examines the rhetorical choices Western women have made from Medieval times to the present to create public arguments for social change, in the face of cultural pressure to remain silent. Analyzes how women writers deliberately worked with narratives of gender, as well as traditional and alternative texts. Explores how those decisions shape expectations of women in the public sphere today.

Course Category: Gender Concentration

WGS 3612 Gender and Sexuality in the US, 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: Gender Concentration, Sexuality Concentration 

WGS 3680 Eve's Sinful Bite: Foodscapes in Women's Writing

Francesca Calamita

This course explores how Italian women writers have represented food in their short stories, novels and autobiographies in dialogue with the culture and society from late nineteenth century to the present. These lectures will offer a close reading of the symbolic meaning of food in narrative and the way it intersects with Italian women’s socio-cultural history, addressing issues of gender, identity and politics of the body.

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 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 Cpncentration

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 4200 Sex and Gender Go to the Movies

Andrea Press

In this course, we will examine the ways in which popular Hollywood film helps to define cultural ideas about gender differences both in the U.S. and globally.  We will also look at the ways in which feminists have responded to these definitions, by criticizing existing media images and by creating some alternatives of their own. We will examine the notion that film might influence our development as gendered individuals, looking at those who have argued both for and against this notion. Throughout the course we will consider the issue of the representation of minorities in the dominant media, and examine some newly created alternative representation. This course fulfills the Second Writing Requirement.

Special Note: Combined with MDST 4200

Course Category: Gender 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 Courses in WGS: Islam & Feminism

Feyza Burak Adli

This course will examine the diversity of women’s status, roles, problems and experiences in Muslim societies. We will look at various trajectories of feminism in different parts of the Middle East. The topics will include Islamic feminism, identity politics, orientalism, colonialism, sexuality, femininity, masculinity, veiling, activism, subjectivity, agency, piety, secularism, modernity, nationalism, neoliberalism, civil society and the state.

WGS 4559 New Courses in WGS: Latina and Latin American Women Artists

Alberto McKelligan Hernandez

This course will focus on the artistic production, distribution, and reception of modern women artists in the Latin American region, as well as explore the contributions of Latina and Chicana artists in the United States . Through a close examination of particular case studies, students will learn how Latina and Latin American women artists challenged traditional understandings of artistic practice, exploring and critiquing women's social roles in the process.  Issues of race, class, gender, national/cultural identity will be emphasized throughout the course, linking these concepts to the visual and artistic projects of different generations of Latina and Latin American artists. 

Course Category: Gender Concentration, Global Requirement

WGS 4655 Early Modern Theater: The Drama of Marriage

Adrienne Ward

Course will investigate marriage as represented on the early modern European stage.  Italian, Spanish, French and English plays comprise our subject matter.  We'll consider the legal, social, and cultural history of matrimony to background our study of the stageworks; we will analyze scripts and performances to learn how dramatic and theatrical convention intersected w/ marital institution and negotiations, onstage and off.

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 4750 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