Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

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  • CAS WS 101: Gender and Sexuality I: An Interdisciplinary Introduction
    This course is the first semester of a two-semester introduction to women's, gender, and sexuality studies, that considers the origins, diversity, and expression of gendered and sexed individuals. Topics include the evolutionary origin of sexes; evolution, development, and social construction of sex, gender, and sexuality; sexual difference, similarities and diversity in bodies, brains, and behavior. This interdisciplinary introduction is the required year-long gateway sequence for the minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 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. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Scientific Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS WS 102: Gender and Sexuality II: An Interdisciplinary Introduction
    This course is the second semester of a two-semester introduction to women's, gender, and sexuality studies, integrating approaches from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, with a focus on society and social relationships. We examine questions relating to violence, inequality, and family formation through an interdisciplinary gender lens. 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. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS WS 200: Thinking Queerly: An Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
    Explores historical and contemporary debates regarding LGBTQ identity, community, and politics through the relevant interdisciplinary (and often, competing) theories and research. Students gain skills in digital/multimedia expression through the development of a collaborative LGBTQ online magazine. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Digital/Multimedia Expression.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
  • CAS WS 213: Resistance, Protest, and Empowerment: Global Women's Movements
    Explores how global expressions of sexism shape all of our lives, experiences, and life chances, with particular attention to how race, class, and sexuality intersect with gender to shape social inequalities. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
  • CAS WS 233: 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. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS WS 240: Sexuality and Social Life
    Introduction to sociological perspectives on sexuality. Historical and comparative analysis of sexuality, with a focus on the social and cultural institutions that shape sexuality in the contemporary U.S. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Also offered as CAS SO 240. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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. Carries social sciences divisional credit in CAS. Also offered as CAS SO 241. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, The Individual in Community, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS WS 263: The Behavioral Biology of Women
    An exploration of female behavioral biology focusing on evolutionary, physiological, and biosocial aspects of women's lives from puberty through pregnancy, birth, lactation, menopause, and aging. Examples are drawn from traditional and industrialized societies, and data from nonhuman primates are considered. Also offered as CAS AN 263. Effective Spring 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS WS 300: WGS Topics in Literature and the Humanities
    Topics in women's, gender, and sexuality studies relevant to literature and the humanities. May be repeated for credit as topics change.
  • CAS WS 302: WGS Topics in the Social Sciences
    Topics in women's, gender, and sexuality studies relevant to the social sciences. May be repeated for credit as topics change.
  • CAS WS 303: WGS Topics in Film and Media
    Topics in women's, gender, and sexuality studies relevant to film and media. May be repeated for credit as topics change.
  • CAS WS 310: London Women's Social History from Aphra Behn to The Blitz
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the London History & Literature Programme.
    Examines the lives of women in London over the past three centuries from a social history perspective. Students work with primary source materials. Also offered as CAS HI 249E. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS WS 317: Gender and Crime
    Examines social forces shaping gender discrepancies in crime. Using a feminist lens, students explore how cultural ideologies about masculinity and femininity shape criminalization, victimization, and offending. Topics include the gendered contexts of crime and punishment, gender-based violence, and intimate labor.
  • CAS WS 325: Bombs and Bombshells: Gender, Armed Conflict, and Political Violence
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: sophomore, junior, or senior standing.
    Delve into the world of Black Widows and Demon Lovers. Using empirical research, case studies, and drama, this course separates fact from fiction to examine gender and its intersections between recruitment, motivations, and conditions under which women behave violently.
  • CAS WS 326: Arts of Gender
    Examines representations of gender and sexuality in diverse art forms, including drama, dance, film, and literature, and how art reflects historical constructions of gender. Topic for Fall 2021: Gendered Utopias, Gendered Dystopias. Is it possible to create spaces where women, non-binary and queer people, and other outsiders thrive, or do all paths lead inexorably to a dystopian future? Texts include non-fiction by Delany and Nelson and speculative fiction by Atwood and Butler. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, The Individual in Community.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • The Individual in Community
  • CAS WS 327: Immigrant Women in Literature: Found in Translation?
    This course explores literature about migration created by women primarily from Eastern Europe. We read autobiographical narratives that focus on the shaping of transcultural identity with an eye to the problem of translation as a linguistic, cultural, and personal phenomenon. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Historical Consciousness, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS WS 328: Madonnas, Martyrs, and MILFs: Gender and Motherhood
    Examines the ways that motherhood--the roles, expectations, and assumptions that shape what counts as both "good" and "bad" mothering--is currently understood. Three key questions drive our exploration: How does culture shape mothering practices? How do mothering practices shape culture? How do race, economic class, educational attainment, and sexual orientation impact how motherhood is constructed? Discussions of related topics such as fathering, maternal body image, celebrity profiles, mother blame, parenting roles, and the economic costs of motherhood are explored. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, The Individual in Community, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • The Individual in Community
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS WS 329: LGBTQI+ Representation in Film
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: sophomore, junior, or senior standing.
    Queer films challenge norms and undermine categories of gender and sex. Drawing on scholarship from a variety of disciplines the course explores sexual identity and representation in relation to history and other constituting experiences of race, class, gender, and nationality.
  • CAS WS 330: Transforming Life: Anthropology of New Medical Technologies
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120); recommend CAS AN101 and AN102
    Seminar anthropologically compares the role of science and medicine in society and troubles what is natural and moral, e.g., about gender, person hood, kinship, and community, using case studies of new reproductive technologies in Asia, the Middle East, and North America. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Writing- Intensive Course.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS WS 335: Sociology of Race, Class & Gender
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: At least one prior 100- or 200-level sociology course, or CAS WS 101/102.
    No one of us is one thing, one identity, nor motivated by one singular interest, nor privileged or subjugated by one singular form of power, but how do those multiple forms of ourselves affect how we are advantaged, disadvantaged, viewed, and understood by the social world? Our social world, is, by default, a vast web of social intersections between and across groups with shared, overlapping, and conflicting identities. Race, class and gender affect nearly all of our lived experiences and greatly complicate and nuance concepts of diversity and difference. Also offered as CAS AA 335 and CAS SO 335. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, The Individual in Community, Historical Consciousness.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • The Individual in Community
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression