Courses in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
A WSS 100X Women Creating Change (3)
This is a gateway course to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Through the use of biographies, media, artifacts, oral histories, etc., students will recognize diverse ways that women contribute to and change culture and societies. Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary features of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies as an academic field of study.
A WSS 101/101Z Introduction to Feminisms (3)
The origins and development of feminist thought, with emphasis on the political, social, and economic conditions of contemporary women’s lives in the United States and abroad. Emphasis on student exploration of issues that confront women and men across the range of their differences in race, class and sexual orientation, and that produce multiple orientations to feminism. Based on a pedagogy of peer-learning; co-facilitated by undergraduate members of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Teaching Internship working under the supervision of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies faculty and graduate students from related departments. Only one version of A WSS 101 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 109X Women, Biology and Health (3)
This introduction to an integrated approach to women’s biology analyzes biological and social influences affecting women’s physical and mental health. Attention is given to similarities and differences in biology and health across gender, racial/ethnic, and class groupings. Intended for freshmen and sophomores.
A WSS 202/202Z Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer Studies (LGBTQ) (3)
Topics may include the history of lesbian and gay culture(s) in the U.S., lesbian and gay civil rights movements, questions of sexual identity formation in historical and cultural contexts, lesbian and gay literature, and how these communities have responded to societal issues such as racism, classism, sexism, healthcare crises, and anti-gay violence. Only one version of A WSS 202 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 210 Current Issues in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (3)
An introduction to issues of concern to contemporary women and men. Within the context of difference identified by race, class, and sexuality, the course is organized around a variety of topics, which may include the following: body politics; relationships, families, and households; living in a global economy; work, wages, and welfare; women’s health; women and crime; environmental concerns; masculinities; artistic and musical expression; and making change in one’s community. Designed for but not limited to non-majors.
A WSS 217 (= A MUS 217) Women and Music (3)
An examination of the contributions of women in music through a historical survey of Western art music and a brief survey of popular and non-Western music. Works by women composers as well as other phases of women’s activities as musicians will be studied. Live performances and interviews will be arranged when possible. Only one version of A WSS 217 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 220/220Z Introduction to Feminist Theory (3)
Offers multidisciplinary, introductory perspectives on intersectional feminist theory and considers the range of frameworks for analysis from the beginnings of “second wave” feminism to the present, including liberal, lesbian/radical, socialist/materialist, women of color, psychoanalytic, standpoint, and ecofeminist perspectives. Only one version of A WSS 220 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 240 (= A AFS 240 & A LCS 240) Classism, Racism, and Sexism: Issues (3)
Analyzes the connections between and among classism, racism, sexism, and heterosexism and homophobia, their mutually reinforcing nature, and the tensions arising from their interrelations. Particular attention will be given to the ideological and personal aspects of these phenomena, as well as to their institutional guises in American society. Only one version of A WSS 240 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 241/241Z Science, Technology, and Social Justice (3)
What does inequality look like in the 21st century? Through critical reading of science and technology reporting, popular media (including film, video, and the web), scholarly articles, and speculative fiction, Science, Technology, and Social Justice will explore how science and technology can serve to perpetuate—or challenge!—oppression in the information age. Feminist science and technology scholarship will be used as the framework for exploring topics such as new reproductive technologies, environmental racism, “mythological” measurements (from IQ tests to DNA samples), organ harvesting, the “digital divide,” electronic surveillance, bio- and nanotechnology. Only one version of A WSS 241 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 248 (= A JST 248) Gender and Jewish Women in Historical Perspective (3)
Examines gender and Jewish women in historical perspective from the biblical period through the early 21st century. Texts will include biblical passages, talmudic legislation and interpretation, medieval documents, early modern and modern memoirs, letters, poetry and fiction, and feature and documentary films. Only one version of A WSS 248 and A JST 248 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 260 (= A HIS 259) History of U.S. Women and Social Change (3)
With an emphasis on the diversity of U.S. women, this course examines the social, historical, and economic forces that have shaped U.S. women’s lives from about 1800-1970 and the contexts within which women have participated in and sometimes led social and political movements. Only one version of A WSS 260 may be taken for credit.
T WSS 260 (= T HIS 259) History of Women and Social Change (3)
T WSS 260 is the Honors College version of A WSS 260; only one version may be taken for credit.
A WSS 262 (= A SOC 262) Sociology of Gender (3)
This course examines how gender is socially constructed in contemporary U.S. society. The course examines how gender orders our everyday lives-our sense of self, our friendships, romances, conversations, clothing, body image, entertainment, work, sexuality, and parenthood. Students will learn how conceptions about gender create and enforce a system of gender difference and inequality. This course will examine the lives, experiences and representations of heterosexual and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons. The course will reveal the “common sense” world of gender that surrounds us by exposing the workings of institutions such as the family, the classroom, the workplace, and the media. Throughout the course we will emphasize the ways in which people experience gender opportunities and constraints differently according to their race, gender, class, and sexuality. Only one version of A WSS 262 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A SOC 115 or permission of instructor.
A WSS 270 (= A EAS 270) Women in East Asian Literature (3)
By examining literary pieces from China and Japan, this course will examine the constraints of patriarchy, vestiges of matriliny, functions served by portrayals of women, and treat questions such as: What can one deduce from early literary sources concerning women and their societies? Why do some people perceive gender related issues certain ways? and Why are women depicted certain ways? Conducted in English; no prior knowledge of the East Asian languages or cultures is required. Only one version of A EAS 270 and A WSS 270 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 280 Society’s Nightmare: Images of Gender, Race, and Class in Horror Fiction (3)
Horror fiction and film are among the most popular genres, as well as the most powerful and disturbing, in American cultural life. Stephen King, Anne Rice, and others have risen to success by creating finely crafted expressions of the nightmare of the inner lives of their readers. This course explores what 20th century horror fiction and films tell us about the inner life of the century.
A WSS 292 Feminism in Action (3)
This course will immerse students in conversations about and models for feminist action, practices, and engagements with diverse communities addressing social inequalities and social justice issues concerning the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, and other factors. Students will have opportunities to connect classroom learning with outside players and communities engaging feminist practice, which - at the discretion of the instructor - may include social media, current events, field studies, community engagement projects, films, events and/or guest lectures. S/U graded.
A WSS 308 Global Perspectives on Women (3)
The course addresses women’s issues in the local context of women’s movements in several regions and countries around the world as articulated by feminist scholars within those countries, with some attention to the relationship between U.S. women and global feminist struggles. Interdisciplinary readings, including fiction and feminist theory, bring the perspective of gender to global/international political and economic structures. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
A WSS 309 Activism and Health (3)
This course investigates current concerns about health through transnational feminist analysis and activism in the context of social change movements. Feminist and related movements for social justice have long recognized health as a basic human right. Many of the world’s nations, however, including the United States, do not. Topics will vary with current critical issues but may include achievements and struggles of women’s health movements; the control of birthing practices and reproduction; illness and mortality across socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, sexualities, and geographic regions; and scientific evidence, cultural beliefs, and economic interests in different healthcare systems. Mainly for sophomores and juniors. Prerequisite(s): preferably at least one course in women’s, gender and sexuality studies or health/biology. A WSS 109 is the best preparation for this course.
A WSS 310 Introduction to Feminist Pedagogy (3)
In-depth study of issues central to contemporary feminism, with special emphasis on group process, self-motivated learning and social change through education. For students who wish to prepare to co-facilitate A WSS 101 or 101Z as members of the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Teaching Internship. Prerequisite(s): A WSS 101 or 101Z and either A WSS 220 or A WSS 360, which may be taken concurrently with A WSS 310, and permission of Chair of the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department.
A WSS 320 Feminist Pedagogy in Theory (3)
Continuation of A WSS 310 for students who are members of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Teaching Internship. Theory is discussed in the context of students serving as facilitators in sections of A WSS 101. Students work under supervision in a collaborative, collective mode of shared responsibility and leadership. Taken concurrently with A WSS 322Y. Prerequisite(s): A WSS 310 and 360, and permission of chair.
A WSS 322Y Feminist Pedagogy in Practice (3)
With preparation from A WSS 310 and, concurrently A WSS 320, students serve as facilitators in sections of A WSS 101 under faculty supervision. This course can be taken only once for credit. Prerequisite(s): A WSS 310 and 360, and permission of Chair of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
A WSS 326 (= A SOC 326) Sociology of Race, Gender, and Class (3)
Examination of contemporary social constructions of race, gender, and class (primarily) in the United States. Analysis of race, gender, and class as interlocking systems that stratify society. Discussion of key institutions that construct race, gender, and class — especially the media, education, and the political economy. Focus on: both oppressed and privileged positions in the social hierarchies; how we learn about our own and others’ race/ethnicity, gender, and social class; how being a member of a particular social category (e.g., a woman or a man; a white person or a person of color; rich, poor, or middle class) affects perspectives and opportunities. Prerequisite(s): A SOC 115.
A WSS 328 (= A GOG 328 & A USP 328) Gender, Space, and Place (3)
Power relations and categories of social difference are reflected by dramatic inequalities in local environments, and in the quantity and quality of available space. This course examines, through the lenses of feminist geography and planning, how space is invested with social meaning. It discusses how the built environment affects and reflects relations of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, and considers how these social classifications produce “geographies of difference.” Gender is also related to nationalism, colonialism, “geographic skills,” and feminist research methodologies. Only one version of A WSS 328 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A GOG/A USP 125 or A USP 201, or permission of instructor.
A WSS 333 (= R POS 333) Women and the Law (3)
This course surveys the relationship between women and the law, looking at the way that women have been defined as legal subjects over time and through intersections of gender, sexual orientation, race, and class. The course focuses on the United States, but may also include discussion of women’s status in international law and cross-national comparisons of legal policies. Only one version of A WSS 333 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): R POS 101 and junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor.
A WSS 336/336W/336Y/336Z (= A MUS 336/336W/336Y/336Z) Representations: Music, Gender, Race, and Class (3)
This course will examine portrayals of gender, race and class across a wide range of musical media, including film, opera, theater, and song. Through a series of theoretical readings and listening/viewing assignments, we will investigate historical and contemporary issues concerning self-representation and the representation of others. Who has the right to speak, and for whom? How can music convey ideas about identity? The many ways music communicates meaning will be explored through lectures, discussion, small-group presentations, and independent writing projects. Only one version of A WSS 336 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A MUS 100 or permission of instructor.
A WSS 344/344Z (= A SOC 344/344Z) Sociology of Women in the Political Economy (3)
The different economic roles women play. The socio-historical determinants of these roles and their implications for the individual and society. Only one version of A WSS 344 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A SOC 115 or permission of instructor.
A WSS 350 (= A PHI 350) Philosophy and Feminism (3)
This course will focus both on philosophical literature relevant to fundamental issues in feminist theory (such as how to understand sex, gender, and oppression), as well as feminist critiques of various fields in philosophy (such as epistemology, philosophy of science, ethics, and political philosophy). Only one version of A PHI 350 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy or women's, gender and sexuality studies.
A WSS 360 Feminist Social and Political Thought (3)
Study of the sources of contemporary feminist thought and the directions feminism has taken since the 60s. Contemporary feminism analyzed both as a historical movement and as a body of political theory. Particular attention will be paid to diversity within feminist theory and its differences with traditional political theory. Prerequisite(s): A WSS 101 or 220 or R POS 101, or permission of instructor.
A WSS 362 (= A ENG 362) Critical Approaches to Gender and Sexuality in Literature (3)
Examination of the role of Anglophone literary texts from any period(s) in the construction of gender and sexuality, with an emphasis on study of interpretive strategies provided by various critical discourses. Topics to be discussed may include, among others: aesthetic movements; historical problems; cultural texts; political questions. Only one version of A WSS 362 may be taken for credit.
A WSS 363 (= A SOC 362) Sociology of Sexualities (3)
This course reviews the core of the sociology of sexuality from a socio-historical perspective. Among the topics to be discussed are the theoretical approaches to sexuality, the making of sexual identities, the relationship between sexuality and social institutions, and sexual politics and ethics. Specific examples include hip-hop sexualities, gay marriage, sexual tourism, transgender identities, and heterosexual intimacy. Only one version of A WSS 362 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A SOC 115.
A WSS 366 (= A ENG 366) Critical Approaches to Ethnicity in Literature (3)
Examination of constructions of "race" and/or "ethnicity" as presented in Anglophone literature. Topics to be discussed may include, among others: how markers of nationality are related to issues of sexuality, class, and other cultural-historical ways of accounting for the complex questions that surround identity. May be repeated once for credit when content varies.
A WSS 368 (= A ENG 368) Women Writers (3)
Selected works of English and/or American women writers in the context of the literary and cultural conditions confronting them. The course focuses on the development of a female tradition in literature and on the narrative, poetic, and/or dramatic styles of expression, voice and values of women writers. May be repeated once for credit when content varies.
A WSS 380 (= A JRL 381) Women and the Media (3)
(Formerly A JRL/A WSS 281.) This course will explore how intersections of race, gender, class, nationality, sexuality, age, and (dis)ability shape representations of women in mass media and popular culture. We will also learn to research and analyze various media sources, as well as engage in creative projects to examine such representations and challenge issues of sexual objectification and societal dominance. Recommended (as opposed to required) courses prior to or during enrollment: A WSS 101, A WSS 220, or A WSS/A AFS/A LCS 240. Only one of A WSS 281, A WSS 380, A JRL 281 or A JRL 381 may be taken for credit
A WSS 381 (= A ANT 381) Anthropology of Gender (3)
The history of and current trends in anthropological theories of gender. Specific issues are raised in the form of questions, including: On what bases is gender identity constructed? What factors affect the relative status of men and women in different cultures? How many genders are there? What constitutes "femininity" and "masculinity" cross-culturally? Theoretical issues in the literature are linked to policy debates throughout the world, such as those over gay families, female genital cutting, abortion, and the use of new reproductive technologies. Only one version of A WSS 381 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): one course in anthropology or sociology.
A WSS 385 (= A MUS 385) Music, Power, and Digital Tech (3)
An introduction to critical digital studies in music and gaming. Music and technology, freedom of expression and equity, sound studies and apps, are explored using inter-disciplinary thinking from ethnomusicology, feminist studies, the digital humanities, sociology, human-computer interaction, and more. A pressing, real-world ethical issue in music and/or gaming is studied each term. Making content like the people we study is a critical research method. Only one version may be taken for credit.
A WSS 397 Independent Study (1–4)
Study by a student in an area of special interest not treated in courses currently offered. Work performed under direction of a professor chosen by the student on a topic approved by the program. May be repeated with approval. Prerequisite(s): permission of Chair of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department.
A WSS 399 Topics in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (1–3)
Consideration of topics or issues in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. May be taken more than once when content varies. Consult fall and spring schedule of classes for specific topics and prerequisites.
A WSS 401/401Z Feminist Science, Technology, and Biomedicine Studies (3)
In this course we will focus on the interplay between science, technology, and medicine, on the one hand, and gender on the other - always with attention to the ways in which gender intersects with other axes of social division and inequality such as race, class, nation, sexuality, age, health, and ability status. In particular, feminist theorists have long engaged the biomedical sciences and biotechnologies as sites for critical reflection on the epistemologies and ontologies of gender. Further, as loci of shifting social, cultural and institutional forms, biotechnologies continue to generate new possibilities for living alongside new inequalities, thereby providing fertile ground for new theorizing on the mutual shaping of gender and technology. We begin with classic critiques of science and biomedicine stemming from feminist theory and then move to current iterations of core conceptual ideas that continue to underpin conversations on gender and biomedicine. In the second half of the course, the class will take up ethics in medical research and justice as sites of contestation towards alternative science and knowledge production practices.
A WSS 412 Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics in the Asian Diaspora (3)
This course has an emphasis on historical perspectives as well as the intersections of gender, class, and race/ethnicity. It studies the phenomenon of the Asian Diaspora dating from late 18th century to the present. Topics include: immigration laws; labor and work; family and community formation; the processes of reconstruction of history and memory; politics of media representation. In a given semester, the focus may be on Asians in one geographic region such as the Americas, Europe, Africa, or the Pacific Rim. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
A WSS 416 (= A ENG 416) Topics in Gender, Sexuality, Race, or Class (3)
Focused examination of topics in the study of gender, sexuality, race and/or class, as they are positioned and defined in literary or other texts from any period(s) or geographic region(s). Individual semesters may focus on, among other areas: a particular historical period, genre, or theme; theories of gender, sexuality, race, and/or class as related to literary or other forms of representation; a particular cultural problem. May be repeated once for credit when content varies. Prerequisite(s): senior standing, at least one literature course, and permission of instructor.
A WSS 430Z (= A LCS 430Z) Environmental Justice: Racism, Classism, Sexism (3)
In Environmental Justice: Racism, Classism, and Sexism, we will explore how racism, classism, and sexism impact current environmental “events,” including environmental policy-making, public health outcomes, and the rhetoric and politics of environmentalism. Surveying the development of environmental awareness among the public, philosophies behind such awarenesses, and resulting shifts in policy, we will focus on the growth of the environmental justice movement, and will consider how various groups have addressed environmental degradation and injustice. Also under consideration will be a set of related issues: how globalization has impacted these events, the feminist critique of science and its impact, relationships between grass-roots activism (for example, native American activists and other Environmental Justice groups) and between these groups and more scholarly approaches, and contributions by artists, labor-rights groups, religious leaders, animal rights activists, and deep ecologists. Prerequisite(s): Students, at whatever level, are welcome. The requirements will differ for graduate and undergraduate students. For example, graduate students will be reading more theoretical articles, and will be responsible for explaining these to the undergraduate students. In addition, graduate students will be required to submit a final research paper that is much longer (12-20 pages) than that required for undergraduate students. Only one version of A WSS 430Z may be taken for credit.
A WSS 433 (= R POS 433) Women, Politics, and Power (3)
Examines the role of women within American society; identifies the systematic factors that have contributed to women’s sociopolitical exclusion; investigates selected contemporary ideologies that posit a redefinition of the power relationships within society as the primary political objective. Only one version of A WSS 433 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): R POS 101 or permission of instructor.
A WSS 450 The Literature of Feminism: An Interdisciplinary Seminar (3)
Draws upon the entire body of writing (fictional and nonfictional) that concerns feminism. In different semesters, focuses on different themes, periods, ideas, or issues related to feminism. Combines readings, lectures, seminar discussions, and research. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.
A WSS 451 (= A HIS 451 & A LCS 451) Gender & Class in Latin American Development (3)
The study of the historical interplays of cultural, ideological, and structural factors affecting women’s lives during the course of Latin America’s experience with modernization and industrialization during the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics covered may include: household work, paid work, migration, growth of female headed households, women’s political participation, and women’s participation in social movements. Only one version of A WSS 451 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): any course in LACS and/or women’s studies and/or history.
A WSS 461 (= A ARH 461) Women in Cinema (3)
This course provides an introduction to women in cinema with an emphasis on images of women in film and films directed by women. Drawing upon film history and feminist film theory, this course takes on the construction of femininity and embodiment on screen as well as the role of the camera, the anticipated or implied spectator, and the film industry at large in those representations. Students will also examine alternatives to the traditional visual relationships and gender dynamics emphasized by Hollywood and other film industries, and will become familiar with experimental, animated, and feminist counter-cinema as important instances of visual culture that either transgress or work through issues of gender and the gaze differently. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior status and either A ARH 260 or six credits of A WSS coursework.
A WSS 465 Topics in Feminist Theory (3)
Considers topics or issues in feminist theory and/or the history of feminist thought, selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Consult fall and spring schedule of classes for the specific topics and prerequisites. Prerequisite(s): A WSS 100 or A WSS 101 or A WSS 240.
A WSS 475 (= A ARH 475) Women in Art from the Renaissance to Impressionism (3)
Examines representations of women in European and North American art from the Renaissance through Impressionism. Special attention is given to works made by women, and to the problem of how women artists negotiated their position as both subjects and objects of artistic depiction. While women artists faced challenges to their authority on every level - material, theoretical, and ideological - the course explores the inventive ways they reconfigured, or even challenged, traditional expectations. Only one version of A ARH 475 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing plus either one 100 or 200 level Art History course or 6 credits of Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies courses; or permission of instructor.
A WSS 476 (= A ARH 476) Women in Art from the New Woman to Now (3)
This course examines the ways in which women artists living within diverse historical and cultural contexts gained social agency through visual imagery and material construction. Beginning with the "New Woman" movement around the turn of the 20th century, it examines women's contribution to avant-garde movements in Europe and North America; the feminist art movement of the 1960s and 70s; "post-modern" feminist art which critiqued the very notion of social identity; and women artists' continuing efforts to enrich, question, and challenge the global art world of the 21st century. May not be taken by students with credit for A ARH 475 prior to Fall 2014. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing plus either one 100 or 200 level Art History course or 6 credits of Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies courses; or permission of instructor.
A WSS 490Z Research Seminar in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (3)
Seminar in the theory and practice of Women’s Studies research to examine what distinguishes Women’s Studies from other disciplines; the relationship between feminist research and community/political activism; how feminist research is changing the traditional disciplines and the methods used in research. Prerequisite(s): senior standing or permission of instructor.
A WSS 492Y Internship in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (3)
The Internship in Women’s Studies has two components. (1) Work experience in a placement related to student’s interests in career development and social justice. Interns are expected to spend eight (8) hours per week at their placements. Each student works closely with a feminist mentor who provides guidance on projects as well as an analysis of the structure and function of the organization and its role in social change. (2) Academic seminar where students meet together weekly to apply feminist theory, praxis, and analysis to their placement. Assignments include preparing a resume, analyzing current issues of workplace and economic justice, career development, assessing skills for and barriers to career development, and planning for graduate or professional school. The Internship is a requirement for the major but is open to any responsible junior or senior who has taken a course in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Prerequisite(s): permission of Internship Director is required; placements must be arranged during advanced registration. Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher.
A WSS 495 Honors Project (3)
Independent research project required for successful completion of Women’s Studies Honors. In order to register for this course, students must present a written prospectus of their project to the Director of the Women’s Studies Honors Program. Students complete their Honors Project under the supervision of the Director of the Honors Program and an Honors Project Adviser. Honors students will present their projects to Women’s Studies faculty and students upon completion of their work. Prerequisite(s): Admission to Women’s Studies Honors Program and A WSS 490Z (may be taken concurrently).
A WSS 497 Topics in LGBTQ Studies (3)
Considers topics or issues in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer studies selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Consult fall and spring schedule of classes for the specific topics and prerequisites.
A WSS 498 Topics in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (3)
Considers topics or issues in Women’s Studies selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Consult fall and spring schedule of classes for specific topics and prerequisites.