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

Amy Chestnutt

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: Women's Center Senior Internship

Jaronda Miller

This course provides academic credit and support to students who are serving as returning interns in the Women's Center internship program.

WGS 2896 Front Lines of Social Change II

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, Global Requirement

WGS 3200 Women, Sport & Gender

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 3559 New Course in WGS: Men, Women, and US Politics

Jennifer Lawless

This course evaluates political representation in the United States through a gendered lens. Two themes will guide the analysis. First, we will focus on fundamental gender differences that affect the various steps of the political process. Next, we will address the representational implications of any gender differences we uncover, concentrating not only on substantive policy, but also on the non-policy benefits that might be conferred when more women have political power.

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 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: 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 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 4800 Gender Based Violence

Lisa Speidel

This course encourages students to engage in critical thought about gender based violence in the United States and to examine the various approaches to and theories of prevention efforts. The structure of the course is divided into three parts. First, the meanings and nature of interpersonal and sexual violence will be established, including the effects of being the target of violence and the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/sexual orientation. Second, the course will focus on the historical meaning of prevention which focused on potential victims, such as the victim control model, risk reduction rhetoric, and self-defense classes. In addition, an analysis of the criminal justice system as a form of prevention will be addressed. The third section of the course will consist of exploring contemporary definitions of prevention and leading national programs focused on changing perpetrator behavior and cultural systems that support gender based violence. 

Special Note: J-term course does not fill global requirement

Course Category: Gender Concentration