Spring 2018 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 2500 Topics in WGS: Choice and Sexuality

Holly Runde

This course will introduce and familiarize students with French literature and fim via its representation of the reproductive and sexual body. We will study the ways in which literature, arts, and the humanities in general are vital to  the expression of the intimate and personal. The works selected will give students a broad understanding of both French cultural and of the evolving representations of sexuality and reproduction in literature.

WGS 2559 New Course in WGS: Gender, Body Image, and Activism

Amy Chestnutt and 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 2559 New Course in WGS: Prevention of Gender based Violence

Claire Kaplan

This course is open to undergraduate students who wish to reduce gender-based violence through peer education and engagement. This course will introduce students to various theories on the causes of gender-based violence as well as evidence-based intervention strategies, including public health approaches to violence prevention, and effective program planning.

WGS 2896 Front Lines of Social Change II: Social Justice in our Community

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, 

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 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 3750 Women, Childhood, Autobiography

Lorna Martens

Cross-cultural readings in women’s childhood narratives. Emphasis on formal as well as thematic aspects.

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 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 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: Race, Gender and Sport

Bonnie Hagerman

This course traces the history of American female athletes from the late 1800s through the early 21st century. We will use gender as a means of understanding the evolution of the female athlete 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.

WGS 4559 New Course in WGS: Sound/Body/Gender

Bonnie Gordon

Can you hear gender? How do bodies experience sound? Why do so many operas stage rape, and how do they resonate with current political discussions? How does Beyoncé use sound to feminist ends in Lemonade? Through readings, class presentations, discussions, blog posts, and analytical papers, you will develop your own understanding of key methods and terms used by music scholars and critics, gender theorists, and activists.

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