Course Offerings

Women’s Studies courses that will be offered in Spring 2017:

  • WS 102 – Gender and Sexuality II: An Interdisciplinary Introduction
    A1: T/Th 9:30-10:45, Belle
  • WS 213 – Sexism in the Twenty-First Century
    A1: M/W 12:20-1:35, Balser
  • WS 214 – Creating Women
    A1: T/Th 2:00-3:15, Swedberg
  • WS 305 – Critical Issues in Women’s Studies
    A1: Religion and Sexuality.
    T 3:30-6:15, Petro
    B1: Diversity is not a Trending Topic: African American, Women, and LGBTQ+ Filmmakers in Hollywood
    M/W/F 9:05-9:55, Leventer
    C1: Found in Translation? Immigrant Women in Literature.
    T/Th 11:00-12:15, Garcia De La Puente
    D1: Gender in East Asian Film.
    T/Th 11:00-12:15, Yang
    E1: Gender and Globalization in the Middle East Through Film
    T, TR 2:00-3:25, Micallef
  • WS 326 – Arts of Gender
    A1: T/Th 3:30-6:15, Monk
  • WS 340 – Women, Race, and Gender in Mass Media
    A1: W 2:30-5:15, Gottfried
    B1: T/Th 3:30-4:45, Gottfried
  • WS 350/a> – Women and Politics
    A1: T 12:30-3:15, Balser
  • WS 352 – American Masculinities
    A1: T/Th 2:00-3:15, Gottfried
  • WS 396 – Philosophy of Sex and Gender
    A1: T/Th 2:00-3:15, Sreedhar
  • WS 450 – Internships: Women, Gender and Social Change
    A1: W 2:30-5:15, Balser
  • WS 451 – Fashion as History
    A1: Th 12:30-3:15, Chernock

NOTE: Courses from other disciplines may be taken for WGS minor credit. Please click on the link on the right to see a list of those courses.

CAS WS 101 A1- Gender and Sexuality I: An Interdisciplinary Introduction
Introduction to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, integrating approaches from the natural and social sciences and humanities, focused on the origins, diversity, and expression of gendered and sexed individuals. Topics include the evolutionary origin of sexes; evolution, development, and social construction of sex differences; sexual differences, similarities, and diversity in bodies, brains, behavior, and artistic and intellectual expressions. Team-taught. Students who complete both halves of the two-semester sequence WS 101/102 receive divisional studies credit for two courses, from two different divisions: Natural Science (without lab), Social Science, and/or Humanities. Neither WS 101 nor WS 102 alone carries divisional studies credit.

CAS WS 102 A1 – Gender and Sexuality II: An Interdisciplinary Introduction
Introduction to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, focused on communities and institutions. Integrates approaches from the natural and social sciences and humanities, including evolutionary, historical, and cross-cultural analyses, feminist and queer theory. Topics include human reproductive biology; patriarchy and sexual violence; parenting, kinship structures, and forms of intimacy; sexual selection; the construction of gender identity and sexual orientation; evolutionary medicine; and the relationship of academic research to social activism. Team-taught. Students who complete both halves of the two-semester sequence WS 101/102 receive divisional studies credit for two courses, from two different divisions: Natural Science (without lab), Social Science, and/or Humanities. Neither WS 101 nor WS 102 alone carries divisional studies credit. 4 cr. 2nd sem.

CAS WS 213 A1 & B1- Sexism in the Twenty-First Century Examines the dynamics of contemporary institutions as they affect women’s and men’s lives, particularly in the United States– the economy, politics, mass media and culture, the beautification industry, sex industries, and hook-up culture– through the intersections of race, class, ethnicity, and sexual identity. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Cannot be taken for credit in addition to CAS WS 113.

CAS WS 214 A1, B1, & C1- Creating Women: Gendering Literature, Art, and Music Voices and visions of women writers, artists, and musicians. Considers how women’s artistic productions contribute to understanding the social, cultural, and political history of women, with special attention to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class. Carries CAS Humanities divisional credit.

CAS WS 241 – Sociology of Gender An introduction to the social construction of sex and gender with a focus on the economic, political, social, and cultural forces that shape gender relations. Examines gender as a social structure that patterns institutional inequalities and everyday interactions on society. Also offered as CAS SO 241.

CAS WS 244 – The Evolutionary Biology of Human Variation Addresses human biological variation. An introduction to the fundamentals of comparative biology, evolutionary theory, and genetics and considers how research in these fields informs some of our most culturally-engaged identities: race, sex, gender, sexuality, and body type. Carries natural sciences divisional credit (without lab) in CAS. Also offered as CAS AN 233.

CAS WS 305 Critical Issues in Women’s Studies. An interdisciplinary exploration of current topics in women’s studies. Five topics are offered Fall 2016:

  • Section A1: Religion and Sexuality: This seminar examines religion and sexuality in the modern U.S., with comparative examples drawn from other historical and national contexts. We read feminist and queer theory alongside religious and secular cases. Topics include the formation of bodies and identities; religion and desire; religious protest and AIDS activism; sexual and gender regulation; camp; religion and sexual violence; gay rights; pornography; visual art and performance; race. Cross-listed with CAS WS305.
  • Section B1: Diversity is not a Trending Topic: African American, Women, and LGBTQ+ Filmmakers in Hollywood After Katheryn Bigelow’s historic Best Director Academy Award win in 2008, critics predicted a new era of inclusion in Hollywood—how did we get from there to here, with prominent black actors boycotting the 2015 ceremony? Were these boycotts inevitable or might the history of Hollywood tell a different story? These questions anchor WS 305, which pulls back the curtain on Hollywood to examine the work of women, African American, and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Formulated around paradoxes, this class seeks to trouble the categories of “woman” “LGBTQ+” and “African American,” noting their limitations while at the same time tracing the often-overlapping bio/filmographies of filmmakers marked by their gender, race, and/or sexuality. Using tools from a variety of disciplines—feminist, queer, and critical race theory, the examination of primary documents, and close analysis—students will explore how minority filmmakers have reflected, rejected, and/or changed the status quo from the silent era to today.
  • Section C1: Found in Translation? Immigrant Women in Literature. Study literature about immigration. The focus is Eastern European (ie. Russian, Polish) novels written by woman authors who reflect on the experience of adapting to North American life. We also examine some Asian and Hispanic writers. Taught in English. Also offered as WS 305, LR 456 A1.
  • Section D1: Gender in East Asian Film. How have cinematic images represented changing gender norms in East Asia? In what ways have East Asian film directors recast Hollywood’s portrayal of Asians? Topics include masculinity, Orientalism, racism, modern girls, motherhood, queer cinema, marriage. No prior knowledge of East Asian languages or history is required.
  • Section E1: This course explores the intersection of gender, sexuality and globalization in the products of the four most developed film industries in the Middle East: Egyptian, Iranian, Israeli and Turkish. We will analyze how the films contributed to the construction or deconstruction of gender and sexual norms in the late 20th and early 21st century. We will interrogate the role of globalization in the films’ views on the basic building blocks of society or gender roles.

CAS WS 326 – Arts of Gender How have the arts influenced our understandings of gender and sexuality? This course examines representations of gender and sexuality in diverse art forms, including drama, dance, film, and literature, and how art reflects historical constructions of gender. Discussions of dramatic and literary texts will be supplemented by film screenings, performance events, and readings in feminist and queer theory. Also offered as CAS EN 326.

  • Spring 2017 Topic: Queer Literature and Film. This course provides an overview of same-sex attraction in literature from the Greeks (Plato and Sappho) to the present. Readings in Whitman, Dickinson, Radclyffe Hall, Oscar Wilde, E. M. Forster, Jeanette Winterson, Alan Hollinghurst, and others. We will also study queer identities in film from the silent period to the 21st century. The focus will be on the history of queer representations in both media. Weekly screenings. Fulfills Diverse Literature requirement for English majors.

CAS WS 340 A1 & B1 – Women, Race, and Gender in Mass Media.  Develops student’s media literacy through hands on analysis of media and pop culture representations of women, femininity, and race; their relation to women’s lived experiences; and the place of “feminine” values in contemporary culture.

CAS WS 344 A1 – Images of Women in Popular Fiction Formulaic genres – fairy tales, romance fiction, detective novels, horror stories, and science fiction–offer a medium for tracing the development of representations of women. Course analyzes women’s roles and functions in these genres, focusing on novels by American authors.

CAS WS 345 – Gender and War Examines gender constructions in world politics. Topics include gender biases in international relations theories, female and males roles in war, and rape as an instrument of warfare. Also assesses roles of women as leaders, actors, and objects of foreign policy. Also offered as IR 518 and PO 583

CAS WS 346 A1- Women & Film
Explores how the medium of film has shaped and been shaped by cultural perceptions of women. Readings provide background for interpretation of films ranging from screwball comedy to film noir, “women’s films,” and films by women directors.

CAS WS 348 A1 – Gender and International Development Analysis of significant gender disparities worldwide in education, livelihoods, crisis settings, and political voice. Interdisciplinary approach combines discussion of novels, films, research on development, and lessons from field experience. Ideas on the advancement of gender equality and women’s socio-economic empowerment.

CAS WS 350 A1 – Women and Politics Readings, discussion, and field research on issues of women’s relationship to the processes of political influence, change, and empowerment. Analysis of public policy related to women and children. Also offered as CAS PO 309.

CAS WS 352 A1 – American Masculinities Considers the biological and social organization of masculinities; the ways culture reproduces/articulates masculinities, particularly with regard to race and class; how masculine identities are expressed; male privilege; alternative masculinities; and what is at stake in negotiating contemporary masculinities. Also offered as CAS SO 352.

CAS WS 356 A1 – Women and Comedy in America Considers how comedy is marked by gender and allows women to defy the expectations of femininity and transmute aggression into humor; what women find funny; and how women use the power of humor for survival, resistance, subversion, and truth-telling.

CAS WS 360 A1- Global Feminism: Race and Gender in International Perspectives Exploration of critical issues concerning women, gender, and race throughout the world. Topics include women and the global economy, health care, reproduction, the dynamics of sexism, violence against women, international women’s movements and political/institutional change. Also offered as IR358.

CAS WS 434 A1 – Monarchy in Modern Britain

CAS WS 435 A1 – Histories of Human Rights

CAS WS 450 A1 – Internships: Women, Gender and Social Change This seminar will place students in local internships involving community organizing, electoral politics, advocacy groups, public polity, and leadership training. Students will have the opportunity to directly experience the processes involved in trying to make social changes related to class, race, sexuality, women, and gender. In weekly seminar meetings, students will also study key ideas and concepts related to the experiential component, to social change, and to the critical analysis of the contemporary society.

CAS WS 451 A1 – Fashion as History This seminar treats clothing and other products of material culture as historical documents. The seminar explores what clothing can tell us about key developments in the modern period relating to trade and commerce, empire, gender, class, industry, revolution, nation-building, identity politics and globalization. Also offered as CAS HI 451.

CAS WS 594 A1 – Historical Traditions of Feminist Theory Explore selected writing from the history of feminist theory, 18th century to the rise of the late-20th century feminist movement, to understand the richness of that history and the varieties of approaches theorists took in understanding and resisting gender-based oppression. Meets with CAS PO 594.


* WS 101 & 102 are NOT prerequisites for WS courses.