WGSS 100: Introduction to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
WGSS 200: Feminist Practices, Writing and Research
WGSS 300: Feminist Perspectives and Theories
WGSS 400: Senior Seminar
Six Elective Courses:
At least one from each of these four thematic categories, with two of the electives at the 300- or 400-level:
Histories, Theories, Representations
Transnational and Global Perspectives
Sexualities and Gendered Pluralities
Intersectionalities, Institutions and Power
Note: Although a single course may have designations for multiple thematics, it can only count as one course toward the major or minor.
Final reflective essay
1) Histories, Theories, Representations –
Introduces key histories, theoretical debates, and cultural artifacts that inform past, present and future feminist perspectives. May include: historical analysis of diverse gendered experience and social movements; distinct feminist theoretical traditions; artistic, literary or cultural movements; WGSS field perspectives on relevant phenomena such as media representation, war, memory, consumerism, colonialism, environmentalism, urbanization, online culture, technology, disability, science and incarceration.
2) Transnational and Global Perspectives
Examines how gendered, sexualized and racialized differences shape the way transnational forces create power inequalities that drive the asymmetrical flow of people, ideals, capital, discourses and institutions across and within borders. May be transnational, comparative or focused on one nonwestern perspective. Among other emphases, may encompass the interface between intersectional gender studies and: indigeneity; development; colonial pasts and postcolonial presents; international human rights; globalized economic structures; critical approaches to neoliberalism, empire and the nation-state.
3) Sexual and Gendered Pluralities
Explores how practices, identities, behaviors, and representations of diverse sexualities, erotic practices and gendered expressions shape and are shaped by political, cultural, social, religious, and economic practices of societies across time and space. Develops diverse understandings of sexual and transgender expression as they are embedded in racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographical, historical and political contexts.
4) Intersectionalities, Institutions and Power.
Examines how interlocking systems of power shape the shifting significance of bodies, differences, opportunity, and marginalizations. Offerings may emphasize the significance of overlapping ethnic, racial, ability-based, classed, citizenship, sexual and gendered categories, as well as variations within and beyond them. Courses may also focus on how institutions such as the family, religion, nation-state, law, government, politics, and economics structure diverse gendered and sexualized power relationships.
Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Minor Requirements:
WGSS 200 or 300
Four electives, at least two in two of the four thematic categories
Final reflective essay
Sexuality Studies (SXST) Minor Requirements:
WGSS 208: Introduction to Sexuality Studies
WGSS 200 or 300
Queer Perspectives Requirement – 200- or 300-level
Two electives from the Sexualities and Gendered Pluralities Thematic
One elective from WGSS or another department with WGSS approval
Final reflective essay
A student pursuing honors must enroll for a one semester, independent study that will culminate in a well-researched, sophisticated, and clearly written thesis ranging from 50-75 pages. Students can self-nominate, but will be officially selected based on performance in the Senior Seminar, especially the research paper, which must show strong potential for further development toward a thesis. The selection is also based on the department faculty's assessment of the student's academic ability and potential for successfully completing the project. Once accepted, the student will work closely with one advisor but will receive guidance and resources from other members of the department. The project must be completed by two weeks prior to the last class day in the spring semester of the senior year, so that the professor and students have time to prepare for an oral defense. The committee will be comprised of two department faculty members and a third faculty member who contributes to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Only the best projects will be granted Honors, but any student who completes the project will receive credit for the one semester of independent study.
If a student is pursuing honors in two majors through an interdisciplinary thesis, the project must be of a significant length and scope to qualify for honors in two departments. The specific criteria must be established and mutually agreed upon by the student and the advisors of both departments.
All students must successfully complete an internship for transcript notation approved by the department chair and the internship office.
100 Introduction to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course offers an introduction to central concepts, questions and debates in gender and sexuality studies from US, Women of Color, queer and transnational perspectives. Throughout the semester we will explore the construction and maintenance of norms governing sex, gender, and sexuality, with an emphasis on how opportunity and inequality operate through categories of race, ethnicity, class, ability and nationality. After an introduction to some of the main concepts guiding scholarship in the field of feminist studies (the centrality of difference; social and political constructions of gender and sex; representation; privilege and power; intersectionality; globalization; transnationalism), we will consider how power inequalities attached to interlocking categories of difference shape key feminist areas of inquiry, including questions of: work, resource allocation, sexuality, queerness, reproduction, marriage, gendered violence, militarization, consumerism, resistance and community sustainability.
Attributes: Social Sciences (Division II)
101 Topics in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course will focus on specific topics within women’s, gender and sexuality studies in the arts and humanities.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year
102 Topics in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course will focus on specific topics within women's, gender and sexuality studies in the social sciences.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Social Sciences (Division II)
135 Psychology of Women and Gender
See course description with PSYC 135 listing.
Attributes: AMST Struct & Instit Elective, Appropriate for First-Year, PSYC 100-level Group 3, Social Sciences (Division II), US Diversity, WGSS Sexualities/Gendered Plur
200 Feminist Practices, Writing and Research
Building upon the key concepts and modes of inquire introduced in the WGSS Introductory course, WGSS 200 deepens students’ understanding of how feminist perspectives on power, experience, and inequality uniquely shape how scholars approach research questions, writing practices, methods and knowledge production. Approaches may include feminist approaches to memoir, oral histories, grassroots and online activism, blogging, visual culture, ethnography, archival research, space, art, literary analysis, and policy studies.
Prerequisite: 100, which can be taken concurrently.
Attributes: Writing in the Discipline
201 Topics in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course will focus on specific topics within women’s, gender and sexuality studies in the humanities, such as feminist philosophy, literature by women, and gender and sexuality in art.
Attributes: Humanities (Division I A)
202 Topics in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course will focus on specific topics within women’s, gender and sexuality studies in the social sciences, such as gender and transnationalism, reproductive justice, European feminism, black feminist thought, gender in Africa, Jewish masculinities and gender and politics in social movements.
Attributes: Social Sciences (Division II)
206 Fat Studies
This course introduces students to an emerging academic field, Fat Studies. By drawing from historical, cultural, and social texts, Fat Studies explores the meaning of fatness within the U.S. and also from comparative global perspectives. Students will examine the development of fat stigma and the ways it intersects with gendered, racial, ethnic and class constructions. Not a biomedical study of the “obesity epidemic,” this course instead will interrogate the very vocabulary used to describe our current “crisis.” Finally, students will become familiar with the wide range of activists whose work has challenged fat stigma and developed alternative models of health and beauty.
This course is cross-listed as AMST 200.
Attributes: Health Studies Elective, Social Sciences (Division II), WGSS Intersect/Instit/Power
208 Introduction to Sexuality Studies
This course explores how practices, identities, behaviors, and representations of sexualities shape and are shaped by political, cultural, social, religious, medical and economic practices of societies across time and space. It will put sexuality at the center of analysis, but will develop understandings of sexuality as they are related to sex, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, nationality and geographical location. Students will explore the historical and social processes through which diverse behaviors are and are not designated as sexual. They will then analyze how these designations influence a range of institutional forces and social phenomena. Possible topics include: medicine, environmentalism, colonialism and nation-building, STI and HIV transmission, public health campaigns, art and literary production, visual and popular culture, community development, family structure, human rights frameworks, and law or policy.
Attributes: Comparative Civilizations, Humanities (Division I A), Social Sciences (Division II), US Diversity
220 History of American Feminism
This course will emphasize such topics as the 19th century women's movement, the suffrage movement, radical and liberal feminism, and African-American feminism. We will pay particular attention to the diversity of women's experiences in the United States and to women's multiple and often conflicting responses to patriarchy and other forms of oppression.
Prerequisite: One course in WGSS or HIST or permission of the instructor.
Attributes: AMST Struct & Instit Elective, WGSS Hist/Theories/Represent
300 Feminist Perspectives and Theories
This course deepens students’ understandings of how feminist perspectives situate power and privilege in relationship to interlocking categories of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability and nation. Through foundational theoretical texts, it expands students’ understandings of significant theoretical frameworks that inform women’s, gender, critical race and sexuality studies, as well as debates and tensions within them. Frameworks may include political activisms, materialist feminism, standpoint epistemologies, critiques of scientific objectivity, intersectionality, postcolonialism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, transnational critique and feminist legal theory. Helps students develop more nuanced understandings of the relationship between everyday experiences, political institutions, forms of resistance and theoretical meaning-making.
Prerequisite: WGSS 100 and 200 or, permission of instructor.
301 Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course will focus on specialized topics within Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, such as black power, sexuality and prostitution in Haiti, sexuality, gender and sex in religion, gender and sexual identity, consumerism, nationalism and gender and society and the sexes.
Prerequisite: one WGSS course.
302 Topics in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course will focus on specific topics within women’s, gender and sexuality studies in the social sciences.
Prerequisite: At least one WGSS course; others dependent upon topic.
305 Gender and Sexual Identities
See course description with Psychology 435 listing.
Prerequisites: 200 or PSYC 202, or permission of the instructor.
Attributes: AMST Struct & Instit Elective, US Diversity, WGSS Sexualities/Gendered Plur
400 Senior Seminar
All topics will draw upon the knowledge of the history and theories of feminism and will be interdisciplinary in nature.
Prerequisite: 100, 200 and 300 or permission of the instructor.