Women's and Gender Studies, BA
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Major: Women's and Gender Studies
The goal of the Women's and Gender Studies Program is to educate students in interdisciplinary approaches to feminist and queer theories of gender, sexuality, culture, and society. The program is committed to the study of women, the LGBTQ+ community, and sexuality. Students are exposed to a variety of forms of critical thinking in relation to:
- the social construction of knowledge and philosophy
- intersections of race/ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexuality in social systems of power and privilege
- historicized and cross-cultural accounts of gender and gender inequality
- literary criticism
- approaches to science and medicine informed by "feminist empiricism" and "feminist standpoint" theories
- contemporary theories of art, performance, language, jurisprudence, social science, and religion in the context of women's experience
- studies of the body as a focal point for theorizing relations among the arts and sciences
- social justice and activism as it pertains to women and gender both locally and globally
Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to think critically and creatively within a framework employing gender as a central category of analysis. The program is set up to test and challenge the technologies and limitations of gender roles in a multitude of cultural and historical settings. It is designed to familiarize students with the analytical and hermeneutic tools of research and interpretation, and to create awareness of the ethical, political, and aesthetic dimensions of gender in history and culture.
For undergraduate policies and procedures, please review the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.
Accelerated Master's Programs
Undergraduate students may participate in accelerated programs toward graduate or professional degrees. For more information and details of the policies and procedures related to accelerated studies, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.
Renee M. Sentilles, PhD
Henry Eldridge Bourne Professor of History, Department of History; Co-Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program
Justine Howe, PhD
Armington Professor; Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies; Co-Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program
Katia Almeida, PhD
Senior Instructor, Department of Anthropology
Karen Beckwith, PhD
Flora Stone Mather Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science
Elizabeth S. Bolman, PhD
Elsie B. Smith Chair in the Liberal Arts, and Chair, Department of Art History and Art
Joy Bostic, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies; Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Susan S. Case, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Organizational Behavior, Weatherhead School of Management
Gabriela Copertari, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Margaretmary Daley, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Ananya Dasgupta, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of History
Gilbert Doho, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures; Director, Ethnic Studies Program
Elina Gertsman, PhD
Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Professor in Catholic Studies II, Department of Art History and Art
Laura E. Hengehold, PhD
Professor, Department of Philosophy
Susan W. Hinze, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Heather McKee Hurwitz, PhD
Full-time Lecturer, Department of Sociology
Megan Swihart Jewell, PhD
Senior Instructor, Department of English
Jacqueline C. Nanfito, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Lisa Nielson, PhD
Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Music
Gabrielle Parkin, PhD
Full-time Lecturer, Department of English
Liz Roccoforte, MA
Director, LGBT Center
Charles Rosenblatt, PhD
Professor and Ohio Eminent Scholar in Condensed Matter Physics, Department of Physics
Lihong Shi, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Athena Vrettos, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of English; Academic Representative, Women's and Gender Studies Program
Mary Grimm, MA
Associate Professor, Department of English
Students seeking to complete this major and degree program must meet the general requirements for bachelor's degrees and the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences. Students completing this program as a secondary major while completing another undergraduate degree program do not need to satisfy the latter set of requirements.
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program offers a major leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The program offers a sound course of study with a disciplinary concentration grounding the program's interdisciplinary objectives. Up to six credit hours in required or elective courses for another major may also be applied to the Women’s and Gender Studies major.
In the two required courses, students become fluent in current tools of research and interpretation employed in women’s and gender studies.
|Required Course 1:|
|WGST 201/HSTY 270/ENGL/PHIL/RLGN 270||Introduction to Gender Studies||3|
|Required Course 2: One of the following:||3|
|History of Black Women in the U.S.|
|Gender, Inequality, and Globalization|
|Women in American History I|
|Women in American History II|
|Gender and Sex Differences: Cross-cultural Perspective|
|Elective courses: WGST majors must distribute their courses among the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. They must take at least one course in each of these three areas. In two of the areas, they must take two courses. Consult one of the program's academic representatives with questions about the curriculum. Majors and minors in WGST may also conduct an Independent Study (WGST 399) and/or a SAGES Capstone (WGST 396) with program faculty.||24|
WGST (Women and Gender Studies Program)
WGST 124. Sex and the City: Gender and Urban History. 3 Units.
Gender is an identity and an experience written onto the spaces of the city. The urban landscape--with its streets, buildings, bridges, parks and squares--shapes and reflects gender identities and sexual relations. This course examines the relationship between gender and urban space from the 19th century to the present, giving special attention to the city of Cleveland. Using Cleveland as our case study, this course will explore some of the many ways in which cities and the inhabitants of cities have been historically sexed, gendered, and sexualized. We will explore the ways in which gender was reflected and constructed by the built environment, as well as how urban space and urban life shaped gender and sexual identities. The course is organized thematically and explores different aspects of city life such as prostitution, urban crime, labor, politics, urban renewal and decay, consumption and leisure and the ways in which sex and gender intersects with these issues. Offered as HSTY 124 and WGST 124.
WGST 201. Introduction to Gender Studies. 3 Units.
This course introduces women and men students to the methods and concepts of gender studies, women's studies, and feminist theory. An interdisciplinary course, it covers approaches used in literary criticism, history, philosophy, political science, sociology, anthropology, psychology, film studies, cultural studies, art history, and religion. It is the required introductory course for students taking the women's and gender studies major. Offered as ENGL 270, HSTY 270, PHIL 270, RLGN 270, SOCI 201, and WGST 201. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement. Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS.
WGST 219. Islam in America. 3 Units.
The United States is home to one of the most diverse Muslim communities in the world. Using a variety of primary and secondary sources, this course examines the rich history of Islam in the United States, from the 18th century to the present, as it relates to key moments within American politics, religion and culture, and to transnational developments in Islamic thought and practice. We will also explore important issues within contemporary Muslim communities, including gender, shari'a, and religious pluralism. In addition to studying the experiences of Muslim immigrants, students will also investigate the vital role of African-American Muslims and converts in the development of American Muslim institutions, beliefs and rituals. This course will also introduce students to the history of Islam in Cleveland, and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to original research on Muslim communities in our city. Offered as AFST 219, HSTY 279, RLGN 219, and WGST 219. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 227. Women, Gender, and Islam. 3 Units.
Women and gender are central to understanding Muslim societies, past and present. From debates about the veil to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, gendered concerns have been especially prominent in contemporary debates about the status of Islam in the modern world. How have Muslim thinkers interpreted Islamic scriptures with respect to topics such as marriage, child custody, inheritance, and sexuality? How is masculinity and femininity constructed? In what ways do their interpretations reflect the political, economic, and social conditions in which they lived? How does gender structure authority and power in Muslim communities? How and why have Muslim women become so important in contemporary debates over religious and national identity around the world? This course begins by examining the position of women and gender in the foundational Islamic texts, the Qur'an and Sunna (the practice of the Prophet Muhammad), and pre-modern interpretations of them. Then we will explore marriage and divorce in Muslim jurisprudence, in order to examine themes such as women's spiritual capacities, female leadership, sexuality, and slavery. Next, we will turn to the headscarf as a lens though which to explore modern configurations of gender and sexuality, as they intersect with conceptions of national belonging, religious identity, and individual freedom. Finally, we will study contemporary debates over polygyny, homosexuality, and female religious authority. There are no prerequisites for this course. No prior knowledge of Islam is expected. Offered as RLGN 227 and WGST 227. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 228. Sociology of Sexuality. 3 Units.
This course analyzes the issues of sex and sexuality from a sociological point of view. It is centered on the notion that what we consider to be 'normal' or 'natural' about sex and sexuality is, in reality, socially constructed. One's viewpoint on the issues surrounding sexuality are influenced by the social context in which they live, as opposed to the purely biological viewpoint that presupposes some sense of normalcy or naturalness regarding sexual relations. A range of topics will be covered, including readings that discuss the variations of sexuality and the notions of sexual ''deviance" in order to explore the cultural and societal variation that exists along the lines of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and disability. Offered as SOCI 228 and WGST 228.
WGST 239. International Comparative Family Policy. 3 Units.
This course focuses on the connections between public policies and families and the values that enter into policy debates and family choices. It provides conceptual frameworks that can be used to identify and understand some of the influences underlying policy choices affecting families and also frameworks for evaluating the consequences of these choices for families of diverse structures, socio-economic statuses, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. We will apply this framework to topics such as maternity leave, child care, income assistance, and marriage promotion. We will compare U.S. policies to those of other industrialized countries, especially those in Italy. You will end the semester by conducting research on a social policy topic that we have not covered during the semester from understanding the initial social problem all the way through to making a policy recommendation to help you learn to explore a new topic independently. Central to the course are the intersections between families and governments via policy outputs, and the roles that citizens and family professionals can play in improving them. Using UNICEF resources, located in Florence, Italy, we will delve into evidence-based approaches for ameliorating suffering in young families across the globe. Using Florence as a classroom, we will explore differences in family life between the U.S. and Italy as a means to understand the ways in which the state must respond to differing cultures and needs. At the Innocenti Museum, in the same building as UNICEF's research offices, we will see an orphanage that began operations in 1445 and functioned as an orphanage and hospital until 1875, making it the oldest public institution in Italy. The building has been dedicated to the protection of children's rights and education since that time, and provides a backdrop for an early understanding of ways to think about family policy. Offered as SOCI 239 and WGST 239. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 252. Soul Murder: Religion and Sexual Abuse. 3 Units.
This seminar traces anthropological questions about religious-trauma, -memory, and -suffering through the lens of clergy sexual abuse. How is religious sexual abuse different than non-religious contexts? What can survivors teach us about the resilience of the human spirit? What are the racial dynamics of the recent Roman Catholic crisis? What flaws has it exposed in our criminal justice system? To answer questions like these, we will (i) begin the semester with anthropological studies of religion and trauma. Then we will (ii) examine grand jury investigations in the United States. Prepared by these theoretical and historical texts, we will (iii) evaluate case studies from the Roman Catholic context, including sexual abuse by nuns. We will use these examples to evaluate (iv) representations of the crisis in film and news media. Finally, we will (v) compare the Catholic crisis to recent sexual abuse scandals in American Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant communities. The comparative literature will include readings by Veena Das (cultural anthropology), Levinas (philosophy), Kathryn Lofton (religious studies), Timothy Lytton (law), Fortune (theology), and Frawley-O'Dea (psychology). Primary sources will include excerpts from special prosecutors and grand juries in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. Films will include "Doubt" and "Spotlight." By the end of the course, students will: - Know how to research and critique the legal, spiritual, and theoretical consequences of religious sexual abuse. - Be able to debate multiple theories of religion and trauma. - Be able to analyze data that is emotionally difficult and legally complex. Our seminars will include discussions, short writing assignments, collaborative work, and presentations. Offered as RLGN 252 and WGST 252. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 257. Women's Histories in South Asia. 3 Units.
This course traces the history of women in South Asia from pre-colonial times to the present. Themes explored in the course will include (but not be limited to): the historical transformations of institutions shaping women's lives such as state, family, religious and legal traditions; the impact of colonialism, nationalism, and decolonization on women, as well as the history of women's movements in various parts of South Asia. As we acquaint ourselves with the vibrant historiography on women in South Asia, we will also examine the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in writing histories using the analytical lens of gender. While a significant portion of the readings will focus on South Asia, we will occasionally bring in insights from histories of women in other parts of the world to help develop comparative perspectives and evaluate the South Asian cases and examples within the broader field of women's history. Offered as HSTY 157 and WGST 257. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 268. Women in the Bible: Ethnographic Approaches to Rite and Ritual, Story, Song, and Art. 3 Units.
Examination of women in Jewish and Christian Biblical texts, along with their Jewish, Christian (and occasionally Muslim) interpretations. Discussion of how these traditions have shaped images of, and attitudes toward, women in western civilization. Offered as RLGN 268, WGST 268, and JDST 268.
WGST 273. Race and Gender in Popular Culture. 3 Units.
This course explores how notions of race and gender have been constructed, reflected and contested through American popular culture from the nineteenth century to the present. A special focus will be given to the reciprocal relationship between culture, politics and the economy, and the ways in which class, gendered, and racial identities reflected and shaped them. We will examine how different forms of popular culture, broadly defined as both cultural artifacts and as cultural practices provide us with new types of historical sources and how historians are using them to rethink historical questions such as labor struggles, empire, immigration, and democracy. Readings includes both primary and secondary documents and topics are organized chronology. In considering the multifaceted aspects of popular culture, we will examine how it became a useful prism to shape, express and influence notions of gender, sexuality, and race. Offered as HSTY 273 and WGST 273. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 302. The Lemonade Class: Religion, Race, Sex and Black Music. 3 Units.
Charles Long suggests that black musical forms are creative responses to the particular circumstances of black peoples' presence in the U.S and black notions of the sacred. In April of 2016, Beyoncé released her visual album Lemonade two days after the death of Prince. This course is organized around the album's title cuts and links these two artists together in an examination of religion and musical performance as creative response to the racial and gendered conditions of black life. The course investigates how both artists have used music as a platform to explore issues of race, gender, commerce, sexuality, power and divinity. The course also looks at examples from the works of earlier artists who address similar themes such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Little Richard, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin. Offered as AFST 302, ETHS 302, MUHI 316, RLGN 302, RLGN 402, and WGST 302. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 308. Immigration and the Paris Experience. 3 Units.
Three-week immersion learning experience living and studying in Paris. The focus of the course is the culture, literature, and the arts of the African, Arab, and Asian communities of Paris. At least half of the course looks at issues surrounding immigration that affect women in particular. Students spend a minimum of fifteen hours per week visiting cultural centers and museums and interviewing authors and students about the immigrant experience. Assigned readings complement course activities. Students enrolled in FRCH 308/408 do coursework in French. WLIT 308/408, ETHS 308, and WGST 308 students have the option of completing coursework in English. Graduate students have additional course requirements. Offered as FRCH 308, WLIT 308, ETHS 308, WGST 308, FRCH 408, and WLIT 408. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 314. Innovation and French Science: Past, Present, and Future. 3 Units.
The French scientific enterprise over the past 250 years has been buffeted by politics, war, civil unrest, and economic and societal changes. This study abroad course examines the evolution of science in France in light of these influences, how women have play an outsized role relative to the U.S., and the centrality of the French to humanity's scientific endeavor over the centuries. Students will visit many important scientific venues, both historical and modern, around Paris and elsewhere in the country. Readings from a variety of sources -- scientific, literary, historical -- and informal meetings with French scientists, engineers, and students will provide a comprehensive portrait of French science and scientific history from a variety of perspectives. The course will be conducted in English, although there is ample opportunity to interact in French if the student desires. The course meets the CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement and may meet breadth requirements in certain programs. Not available for credit to students who have completed FRCH 328/428, PHYS 333, WGST 333, or WLIT 353/453. Offered as CHEM 314, HSTY 314, PHYS 314, and WGST 314. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 315A. International Bioethics Policy and Practice: Women's Health in the Netherlands. 3 Units.
This 3-credit course allows students to familiarize themselves with social policies and practices related to women's health in the United States and the Netherlands. Issues covered in the course include birth control and family planning, abortion, prenatal testing, childbirth, health care disparities, cosmetic surgery, prostitution and trafficking in women. This course also addresses the US and Dutch national policies regarding the public provision of health care for women. The course places an emphasis on the ways in which social norms shape policies over time, which political actors are involved in shaping women's health policy, and the balance between women's health as a matter of the public good or individual responsibility. This course substantively explores gender-specific cultural values and practices in relation to women's health in the United States and the Netherlands and will help students develop the analytical skills necessary for evaluating social policy and ethical issues related to women's health. Offered as BETH 315A, BETH 415A and WGST 315A. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 318. History of Black Women in the U.S.. 3 Units.
Chronologically arranged around specific issues in black women's history organizations, participation in community and political movements, labor experiences, and expressive culture. The course will use a variety of materials, including autobiography, literature, music, and film. Offered as AFST 318, ETHS 318, HSTY 318, and WGST 318.
WGST 325. Philosophy of Feminism. 3 Units.
Dimensions of gender difference. Definition of feminism. Critical examination of feminist critiques of culture, including especially politics, ideology, epistemology, ethics, and psychology. Readings from traditional and contemporary sources. Offered as PHIL 325, PHIL 425 and WGST 325. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement. Prereq: PHIL 101.
WGST 326. Gender, Inequality, and Globalization. 3 Units.
Using a sociological perspective, this course examines how major societal institutions, including the economy, polity, medicine, religion, education and family, are structured to reproduce gendered inequalities across the globe. Attention is given to the intersections of race/ethnicity, social class, gender and sexuality in social systems of power and privilege. Of critical importance is how gender figures in the relationship between Economic North and Economic South countries. We will elucidate how gender norms vary by culture and exert profound influence on the daily, lived experiences of women and men. The course will be informed by recent scholarship on feminism, women's movements, and globalization. Offered as SOCI 326 and WGST 326. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement. Prereq: SOCI 101 or permission of program director.
WGST 333. Science and Technology in France. 3 Units.
This course is an exploration of the development of science and technology in France, from their rise in the 18th and 19th centuries to their recent renaissance, from both a scientific and a humanities perspective. A significant component will focus on the contributions of women to science in France. Site visits in France will include the Marie Curie laboratory, the Pasteur Institute, and the Museum of Natural History. Readings will come from the fields of history of science, French cultural history, and French literature. Offered as FRCH 328, FRCH 428, WGST 333, WLIT 353 and WLIT 453. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 337. Women in the Arab World. 3 Units.
The purpose of this course is twofold: It is a course that allows students an in-depth look at the diverse women who represent a number of cultures in the Arab world in nations from the Mashrek to the Maghreb. The second primary goal of the course is to study such women through the eyes of leading Arab women theorists who have made an impact not only in their own countries, but also on disciplines intersecting with women's studies worldwide. We will study the Arab woman's place in her respective society, in political and economic systems, in education, and in the family. We will also analyze her contributions to art and literature as well as to the sciences. The course will provide an overview of the Arab woman throughout history, from her origins to her place within recent movements within the Arab Spring and other current world events. As Arab women are Muslim, Christian, and Jewish, views of women within these major world religions will also be taken into account as we study the Arab woman as well as religion's impact on culture in the Middle East and in the Maghreb in particular. In the course, we will utilize theoretical texts, but also case studies as well as examples from media and the arts. During the semester, we will take advantage of teleconferencing opportunities between CWRU and two major academic units for Women's Studies in the Arab world: The Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) in Beirut, Lebanon, and the University of Jordan's Center for Women's Studies in Amman. Offered as FRCH 337, FRCH 437, ARAB 337, ETHS 337 and WGST 337. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 342. Latin American Feminist Voices. 3 Units.
Examination of the awakening of feminine and feminist consciousness in the literary production of Latin American women writers, particularly from the 1920s to the present. Close attention paid to the dominant themes of love and dependency; imagination as evasion; alienation and rebellion; sexuality and power; the search for identity and the self-preservation of subjectivity. Readings include prose, poetry, and dramatic texts of female Latin American writers contributing to the emerging of feminist ideologies and the mapping of feminist identities. Offered as SPAN 342, SPAN 442, ETHS 342, and WGST 342. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 345. Topics in LGBTQ Studies. 3 Units.
This course will focus on selected topics in the study of LGBTQ literature, film, theory, and culture. Individual courses may focus on such topics as queer theory, LGBTQ literature, queer cinema, gay and lesbian poetry, LGBTQ graphic novels, the AIDS memoir, AIDS/Gay Drama, and queer rhetoric and protest. Maximum 6 credits. Offered as ENGL 345, ENGL 445 and WGST 345. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement. Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS.
WGST 346. Women, Power, and Politics. 3 Units.
Women, Power, and Politics involves a critical examination of the impact of gender on the forms and distributions of power and politics, with primary reference to the experience of women in the United States. Major concerns of the course include the political meanings and import of "sex," "gender," and "politics;" the relationship between women and the state; how women organize collectively to influence state policies; and how the state facilitates and constrains women's access to and exercise of political power. The course is organized around four foci central to the study of women and politics. The first section of the course focuses on the meanings of "women," "gender," and "politics." In this section, we will consider how these concepts intersect and the ways in which each may be used to deepen our understanding of the workings of governments and political systems, and of women's relative political powerlessness. The second section of the course employs these concepts to understand the (re) emergence of the US feminist movement, its meanings, practices, and goals, and its transformation across US political history. In the third section, we turn to conventional electoral politics, focusing on women's candidacies, their campaigns, and women's voting behavior. In the final section of the course, we consider those general factors that might provide for increased gender equality and improved life status for women, in global, comparative perspective. Offered as POSC 346, POSC 446 and WGST 346. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar.
WGST 349. The Arab World Experience. 3 Units.
Taught and led by Case faculty, The Arab World Experience is a spring semester course with a spring break study abroad component in a Middle Eastern or North African country supplemented by course meetings before and after travel. It will rotate among countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, etc. and be taught by faculty with appropriate area expertise in Arabic, Women's and Gender Studies, and/or Ethnic Studies. The course focuses on topics such as history, politics, culture, and gender relations within the society of study. Workload and learning outcomes are commensurate with a semester-long three credit hour course. Guest lectures in the host country are an important component of the course as they bring a fresh, authentic perspective to the aforementioned topics discussed. There will be three three-hour meetings prior to travel, required reading, and one three-hour meeting after travel. In the host country, students will spend seven days (five-eight hours per day) in seminars, discussions, and site visits. Student grades are determined on the basis of participation, attendance, a daily experiential learning journal, interviews with guest speakers, and a final exam. Offered as ARAB 349, ETHS 349 and WGST 349. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 352. African Feminisms. 3 Units.
This course traces the history of African feminism from its origins within traditions through to a more contemporary theoretical analysis of gender, marriage, and motherhood seen from a Afrocentric perspective. Approaches studied are those that pertain to anthropology, history, literature, sociology, and culture. African feminist theory of scholars such as Filomina Steady, Cheikh Anta Diop, Buchi Emecheta, Ifi Amadiume, Obioma Nnameka, Oyeronko Oyewumi, and Calixthe Beyala will be studied and there will be some comparative analysis of Western theories to show how African feminisms are clearly distinct. Theories on these feminisms will be presented, and in the process, students will look at cases of women in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal. It is commonly believed that African women were defined for a long time according to constructs of Western anthropology. This course will thus look at social institutions such as woman-to-woman marriage, matriarchy, and various women's rituals in order to identify African constructs of gender, family, kinship, marriage, and motherhood. Offered as ETHS 352 and WGST 352. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 353. Women in American History I. 3 Units.
The images and realities of women's social, political, and economic lives in early America. Uses primary documents and biographers to observe individuals and groups of women in relation to legal, religious, and social restrictions. Offered as HSTY 353, WGST 353, and HSTY 453. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 354. Women in American History II. 3 Units.
With HSTY 353, forms a two-semester introduction to women's studies. The politics of suffrage and the modern woman's efforts to balance marriage, motherhood, and career. (HSTY 353 not a prerequisite.) Offered as HSTY 354, WGST 354, and HSTY 454. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 355. Hindu and Jain Bioethics: Special Focus on Women's and Gender Studies. 3 Units.
This course will provide both an introduction to basic Hinduism and Jainism and an introduction to Hindu and Jain bioethics. We will focus primarily on bioethical issues that pertain to women and that are gender related. These issues include abortion, menstruation, surrogacy, intersex, and other topics of controversy. Offered as ETHS 353, RLGN 353, RLGN 453, and WGST 355. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 360. Global Politics of Reproduction. 3 Units.
This course offers an anthropological examination of reproductive politics around the world. It explores historical, cultural, socioeconomic, political, and technological factors contributing to reproductive activities. After introducing the anthropological approaches to the study of reproduction, the course will delve into the ways to regulate reproduction in historical and contemporary times, various factors contributing to fertility change, state intervention in reproduction, and assisted reproductive technologies. Offered as ANTH 360, ANTH 460, and WGST 360. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 363. Gender and Sexuality in America. 3 Units.
This multicultural seminar uses a mixture of historical text, gender theory, personal biography, and artistic expression to explore changing notions of gender and sexuality over the past two centuries in the United States. Offered as HSTY 363, HSTY 463 and WGST 363. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 365. Gender and Sex Differences: Cross-cultural Perspective. 3 Units.
Gender roles and sex differences throughout the life cycle considered from a cross-cultural perspective. Major approaches to explaining sex roles discussed in light of information from both Western and non-Western cultures. Offered as ANTH 365, ANTH 465 and WGST 365.
WGST 370. Navigating Gender in Organizations. 3 Units.
The purpose of this course is to prepare students to succeed in the workforce by understanding and exploring the opportunities and challenges of work across the lifespan and developing necessary skills to be effective. The course broadens understanding of gender dynamics and gendered structures in the workplace, intersections of gender with other identities, and the leadership and managerial issues affecting women and men in work organizations. The course helps students create a personal framework for how to develop a successful, happy and integrated work life in the global economy. Offered as ORBH 370 and WGST 370. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 372. Work and Family: U.S. and Abroad. 3 Units.
Covers the impact on human lives of the interface between work and family; the different ways gender structures the experience of work and family depending upon racial and ethnic background, social class, age, and partner preference; the impact of historical context on work-family experiences; work-family policies in the United States and other countries. Offered as SOCI 372, WGST 372, and SOCI 472.
WGST 373. Women and Medicine in the United States. 3 Units.
Students in this seminar will investigate the experiences of American women as practitioners and as patients. We will meet weekly in the Dittrick Medical Museum for discussion of texts and use artifacts from the museum's collection. After a unit exploring how the female body was viewed by medical theorists from the Galenic period to the nineteenth-century, we will look at midwives, college-trained female doctors and nurses, and health advocacy among poor populations. We will then look at women's experiences in terms of menstruation, childbearing, and menopause, before exploring the cultural relationship between women and psychological disorders. Offered as HSTY 373, HSTY 473, and WGST 373. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
WGST 374. American Women's Poetry. 3 Units.
This course surveys American women's poetry from the seventeenth century to the present. We will read a range of poetry illustrating the roles of women poets in the development of the nation's literary, cultural, and social history. We will pay close attention to how women poets use traditional and innovative poetic forms to represent lived experiences and to engage the political realities of their varying historical moments Offered as ENGL 373, ENGL 473, and WGST 374. Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS.
WGST 384. Sociology of Sex(es), Gender(s) and Sexuality(ies). 3 Units.
Gender is an organizing principle of society and affects every element of social life. Ideas about gender and sexuality shape identity and suffuse interactions, institutions and the societies within which we live. These ideas vary from individual to individual, but also across time and place. This course surveys research on sex, gender and sexuality with the goal of providing students with a theoretical grounding for analyzing sex, gender and sexuality from a sociological perspective. We will explore outdated theories like essentialism and biological determinism, and newer theories rooted in social constructionism. Central to this course is intersectionality, a theoretical perspective that reveals ways in which race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and other social categories are inextricably connected and form interlocking systems of inequality. Additional topics to be explored include: the sexual revolution, the hook-up culture, gendered families, gendered health, occupational segregation, sexual harassment and gendered violence, reproduction, social change and feminist activism. Offered as SOCI 384, SOCI 484, and WGST 384. Prereq: SOCI 101.
WGST 396. SAGES Capstone. 3 Units.
Capstone experience in the fields of Women's and Gender Studies for an in-depth, independent project of particular interest to the student. Students are strongly encouraged to work with a WGST program faculty member, but some projects may be supervised by faculty in other areas or by other qualified professionals. All capstones require a WGST faculty advisor's approval of the proposal prior to registration. Open to juniors and seniors majoring in Women's and Gender Studies. Counts as SAGES Senior Capstone. Prereq: WGST 201; Junior or Senior standing with major/minor in WGST.
WGST 399. Independent Study. 1 - 3 Units.
Independent research project in the fields of Women's and Gender Studies. Project proposals must be approved by a WGST faculty advisor. Students are strongly encouraged to work with a WGST program faculty member, but some projects may be supervised by faculty in other areas for by other qualified professionals with a WGST faculty advisor's approval. Credit varies with the scope and depth of the project. Prereq: WGST 201.