Open to people of all genders, our Women's and Gender Studies Department offers engaging courses that develop our multicultural perspectives. Our courses engage students in the study of women's experiences and the gendered structure of society across disciplines. They enable students to become more reflective about their own lives and the lives of people everywhere. Courses encourage each student to serve as an active citizen in the world.
Many of the courses available to students are cross-listed with Political Science; History; English; Languages, Literature, and Cultures; Sociology; Theology; Philosophy, Psychology; and Communication, among others.
For the purposes of the Women's and Gender Studies Major or Minor students may take these courses under either the Women's and Gender Studies number or the Department number.
WGST 197 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
3 credit hrs
Examines issues concerning women in a variety of disciplines, including the humanities, the social sciences, the sciences, and art. Special focus given to enabling students to recognize and critically analyze the notion of gender and patterns of gender roles. Fulfills Cultural Diversity requirement.
WGST 293 Images of Women in the Christian Tradition
Cross-listed with THEO-220, 3 credit hrs
This course exposes students to a representative array of written and visual material by and/or about women in Christianity, from late antiquity to the present. Topics include the theology of sex and gender, male-female relations, women's roles within the Church, and recurring images of women such as Eve and Mary.
WGST 293 Cross Cultural Perspectives on Human Sexuality
Cross-listed with SOC-223, 3 credit hrs
This course examines human sexuality in an anthropological context, highlighting the importance of integrating biological and cultural aspects of sexuality. Broad perspectives on sexual behavioral patterns across, and within, human cultures are taken. Topics include sexuality in an evolutionary perspective, the physiology of sex, human sexual practices around the world, and gendered sexuality.
WGST 301 Women in Art
Cross-listed with ARH-301, 3 credit hrs
The role of women in art as symbol/image, artist, or patron from the ancient world to the present. Examples drawn from architecture, painting, sculpture, film and television, in a discussion of images created by women that are both positive and negative.
WGST 323 Gender and Society
Cross-listed with SOC 323, 3 credit hrs
Examination of the impact of large-scale forces on how gender roles are structured and enacted in our society. We are born male or female; we become masculine or feminine. What does this statement mean for individuals and for society? What are the consequences of gender - as a social construct, as a learned set of behaviors, as an important way of categorizing people - for individuals, for groups, and for cultures? What are the sociological, economic and political consequences of gender? These are some of the questions we shall address.
WGST 330 Intercultural Communication
Cross-listed with CMM 330; AAM 293, 3 credit hrs
Introduces the role of culture in the process of human interaction and encourages in-depth analysis of the unique challenges posed by intercultural encounters. Develops a better understanding of culture and the many ways in which it influences interaction between individuals and groups.
WGST 332 Biblical Women: Mary and Her Sisters
Cross-listed with THEO-332, 3 credit hrs
This course examines the characters and stories of selected women as recounted in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, and the New Testament. In an effort to expose students to multiple ways of reading and thinking about scripture, this course engages with a variety of methodological approaches while seeking to draw attention to the theological, historical, and cultural significance of selected Biblical women and their stories.
WGST 335 Music of Women Composers
Cross-listed with MUSC-335, 3 credit hrs
A survey course studying representative music written by women composers from the Middle Ages to the present. Keyboard, vocal, and instrumental works will be examined. Writings about specific women composers will be discussed, and recordings and scores will be compared with works from the music history canon. Course work will require reading, listening to specific works, and attendance at concerts.
WGST 344 Marriage and Family
Cross-listed with SOC-343, 3 credit hrs
Examination of theories and data on different types of families, role assignments, and role definitions, pertaining to various types of societies through space and time. The family has been a contentious topic in the media and in politics for some time. In this course we will examine what social scientists can contribute to the discussion. You will become familiar with theory and research on a wide range of familial topics, including the history and definition of family, family diversity in the U.S. and globally, and marital inequality.
WGST 365 Women's Lives
Cross-listed with ASTD 365, 3 credit hrs
This course examines women's lives in the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century United States. Looking at a wide range of different kinds of texts, including novels, photographs, essays, speeches, letters, short stories, autobiographies and slave narratives, we will examine how women from diverse social positions produced, promoted and challenged representations of womanhood.
WGST 372 Renaissance and Modern Political Theories
Cross-listed with POL-372, 3 credit hrs
Examines the works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Taylor and Mill, among others, focusing on different notions of justice, law, freedom, and community. Particular attention is paid to the public and private contexts and gendered political roles associated with modern political thought.
WGST 375 Women in Literature
Cross-listed with ENGL 376, 3 credit hrs
Designed to give students the opportunity to read and compare writings by contemporary minority women. A related focus is on seeing how the subject and text can be products of external cultural control particularly when perceived as "difference." The students will also examine to what extent each author resists forces that oppress her and recovers (or uncovers) her authentic experiences.
WGST 376 Women in Modern Europe
Cross-listed with HIST-375, 3 credit hrs
Examine women's contributions to European history from the Enlightenment to the present; gender and European politics, society, work, and family; history of the European feminist movement.
WGST 385 Feminism in Action
Cross-listed with POLS 385, SOC 393, 3 credit hrs
This course addresses feminist activism in different locations, on a wide range of issues, and in a variety of forms. It gives students the opportunity to both study the scholarship of activism and participate in various feminist actions in the community & on campus.
WGST 390 Feminist Theory: Gender Justice
Cross-listed with POLS 376, 3 credit hrs
This course examines various ways of understanding gender by looking at a variety of theories and philosophical perspectives within feminists thought, especially as it is formed by political philosophy including liberal, radical, Marxist and postmodern feminism.
WGST 393 U. S. Women's History
Cross-listed with HIST 359, 3 credit hrs
This course focuses on the roles and experiences of women in major events and developments in U.S. history. Examining women of different social classes, races, immigrant status, ages, and sexual orientation.
WGST 393 Writing Sex in the Middle Ages
Cross-listed with ENGL-345, 3 credit hrs
The course will explore some of the richest and most provocative texts of the European Middle Ages through their representations of sexuality and gender, and through their fascination with relations between writing and desire. Readings will supply a practical introduction to some of the most productive critical approaches currently brought to bear on these texts, deriving from (among other domains) feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory and anthropology.
WGST 393 Christian Women: Warriors, Pioneers, and Prophets
Cross-listed with THEO-349, 3 credit hrs
This course examines the place of women in Christian history, with particular attention to the roles women have played, to the challenges women have faced, and to the innovations women have made in the Church. Over the course of the semester, we will consider a number of themes and issues characteristics of women's experience in Christian history-including the prohibition against women's preaching, the masculinization of the female martyr, the somatic emphasis of women's spirituality, among others-as we trace the tradition from its Gospel roots, to the Middle Ages, through the Reformation, up to the modern period and the contemporary debate on women's ordination in the Catholic Church.
WGST 393 Race & Gender in US Politics
Cross-listed with POLS 393, AAM 393, 3 credit hrs
This is a course in minority women and American politics. A range of topics will be discussed which should inform you of the role of minority women in American politics from the Founding to the present including women's and racial/ethnic minorities participation as citizens, voters, activists, and elites. Centering primarily on intersectionality theory and its lived consequences, we will explore political movements; minority women's political participation; and the experiences of women and racial/ethnic minorities as candidates and officeholders.
WGST 401 Cultural Social Analyses
Cross-listed with POL 300, 3 credit hours
The course will give students experience in performing cultural analysis. Beginning with data that describes social-political order, students will examine how data tells a story about gender, ethnicities, and classes based on empirical scientific observations. The second half of the course will give students hands on experience in the cultural analyses of the politics of language and narratives by drawing on discourse analysis, semiotics, and poststructuralism to decode cultures. A key question is: How do languages enable societies to create understandings of justice and moral authority?
WGST 420 Psychology of Women
Cross-listed with PSY-426, 3 credit hrs
The study of girls' and women's development, including gender roles, gender role stereotyping, the biology of being female, psychological theories about gender, violence against women, women in families, in relationships, and in the workplace. The course addresses women's diversity by race, ethnicity, culture, age, nationality, sexual orientation, and economic condition.
WGST 430 Gender and Communication
Cross-listed with CMM-430, 3 credit hrs
Focuses on interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary American society. Exploring ways communication in institutions and society creates and perpetuates gender roles. We will consider the socially created gender differences in public and private settings and how this affects success, satisfaction and self-esteem. Connection of theory and research to our lives.
WGST 431 Contemporary Women Writers in France/Quebec
Cross-listed with FREN-431, 3 credit hrs
20th-Century Women's fiction in French, examined in light of French and Québécois feminist theory. De Beauvoir, Duras, Sarraute, Brossard, Maillet, Cixous, Irigaray, Redonnet, etc. Taught in French.
WGST 433 Psychology of Oppression
Cross-listed with PSY 433, AAM-433, 3 credit hrs
The purpose of this course is to expose students to various perspectives of oppression. Students will explore the consciousness of both the oppressor and the oppressed in various dyads. Some key concepts of the course include economics, social constructionism, ‘ism', prejudice, discrimination, privilege, cultural ideology, and social identity.
WGST 449 18th and 19th Century Women Writers
Cross-listed with ENGL-449, 3 credit hrs
An examination of the woman writer and literary tradition in the 18th and 19th centuries, including such writers as Eliza Haywood, Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Christina Rossetti.
WGST 445 American Political Thought
Cross-listed with POL-475, 3 credit hrs
From 1765 to the present. Eighteenth century consensus, nationalism versus sectionalism, nineteenth century reform movements, pragmatism and progressivism, current liberalism and conservatism.
WGST 461 Female/Expatriate Modernism
Cross-listed with ENGL-461, 3 credit hrs
As a course in "expatriate modernism," this course will focus on the role culture plays in textual production. As a course in "female modernism," this course will focus on questions of gender-in terms of issues such as textual production, voice, structure, positioning of the "I," and canon formation. To focus our study even more fully, we'll concentrate on texts that create or respond to the detective genre (loosely defined) to see how culture is gendered, classed, and racialized.
WGST 477 Spanish Women Poets
Cross-listed with SPAN-477, 3 credit hrs
Historical analysis and literary interpretation of a representative selection of modern and contemporary Spanish women poetry. Discussion of the topics and preoccupations present in their work, and analysis of their contribution to reformulating the male canon in general. Authors: Carolina Coronado, Rosalia de Castro, Concha Zardoya, Gloria Fuertes, Maria Victoria Atencia.
WGST 481 Feminist Philosophy
Cross-listed PHIL-481, 3 credit hrs
Feminism brings to philosophy numerous methods for asking and answering questions, and also an array of unique topics for intellectual dialog. Feminist thought both draws upon and adds to the standing philosophical canon. In light of this, the philosophy of feminism course provides an introduction to the feminist thought on a variety of philosophical issues, focusing upon the study and critique of feminist views on oppression, knowledge, and experience. .
WGST 485 Women's and Gender Studies Capstone
3 credit hrs
The purpose of this course is to consolidate what you have learned in your Women's and Gender Studies courses, and help prepare you for your future - whatever that may be. First, we will explore some past issues in the development of the Women's Movement and Women's Studies. Second, we will examine some current issues with an eye to where the Movement and Women's studies might be going in the next decade. Third, you will have an opportunity to synthesize the ideas, theories, skills, and information you have derived from your Women's and Gender Studies courses and to apply that synthesis to a semester-long project..
WGST 490 Black Women in Society
Cross-listed with AAM-490, 3 credit hrs
This course is designed to provide an interdisciplinary approach for the study of African women in the context of a changing society and the impact of the context from social, historical, cultural, political and economic perspectives. Attention will be devoted to the examination of relationships that have emerged between systems and societal conditions.
WGST 493 Contemporary-Spanish Women
Cross-listed with SPAN-439, 3 credit hrs
The course seeks to familiarize students with the work of a representative number of Spain's contemporary women writers. Through the analytical reading of exiled authors, authors of the so called generation of the mid century, the generation of 68 and of the most recent generation of women authors, the student will gain knowledge of the situation of women's writing after the Spanish Civil War and of its evolution to the present. The course will study the most salient features and tendencies in the writing of women authors from the postwar to the present. Critical and theoretical feminist readings will be used in the examination of the female perspective of their reality and their choices in the literary expression of that reality.
WGST 493 French Women Writers Before 1900
Cross-listed with FREN-493, 3 credit hrs
This course is a seminar, designed to introduce students to the topic of women in modern (i.e. 18th- and 19th-century) France. In this course, we read fiction and political writings of prominent pre-20th-century French women writers, from the influential salonnière Mme d'Epinay to the symbol of 19th-century feminism, George Sand.
WGST 493 Race, Gender, Class & Criminal Justice
Cross-listed with SOC-440, 3 credit hrs
This is an advanced seminar in race, gender, class and criminal justice. The course material examines, in various ways, the concept of difference. Readings focus on the influence of three primary socio-demographic characteristics-race, gender, class-as pertaining to offenders, victims, and/or criminal justice system decision makers. Other important concepts covered in this course include: fairness, justice, equality, discretion, and equity..
WGST 493 Jane Austen and Her Predecessors
Cross-listed with ENGL-449, 3 credit hrs
An exploration of five of Jane Austen's novels as well as fiction by Charlotte Lennox and Fanny Burney. The purpose is to develop an understanding of Austen's work in its social and cultural context.
WGST 493 Maternal-Child Health Nursing Theory
Cross-listed with NURS-433, 3 credit hrs
This course uses a family-centered approach to the study of the health care needs of women, infants, children, and adolescents. Emphasis is placed on theoretical knowledge and research findings as the basis for nursing strategies to promote, maintain, and restore health. Priority is given to significant health care issues within these populations.
WGST 493 Renaissance Women and The Arts
Cross-listed with ARHA-452, 3 credit hrs
The course explores the roles women hold in art. Images of women allow students to see how the culture presented female role models. Women patrons will present gender related issues while a look at female artists will reveal the success stories of a few women.
WGST 493 Women and Social Movements
Cross-listed with HIST-493, 3 credit hrs
This course trains students to organize into historical projects primary documents concerning the history of modern American women's social movements, and then to mount them on the Internet.
WGST 493 Women's Health
Cross-listed with NURS-497, 3 credit hrs
This course will focus on health care issues affecting women throughout the life span. Strategies and behaviors necessary to maintain a state of health and wellness, as well as, those needed to cope with common alterations in health. The impact of societal trends in health care, along with current research in women's health will be examined.
WGST 496 Women Leadership Internship
Cross-listed with POLS-496, 1-6 credit hrs
Interns work with women in leadership positions in governmental or nongovernmental civic organizations, or collaborate on research projects related to women leaders in the public sector. Students keep journals and write and essay relating their experiences to assigned readings on gender justice and the role of women in public policy.
WGST 498 Independent Study
1-6 credit hrs
A variable credit independent study. Students should meet with the Women's Studies Director to register for this class.
*This is a list of past and present Women's and Gender Studies courses. Not all the following courses are taught every semester.
WGST 501 Feminist Theory
3 credit hrs
Feminist theory will begin with the history of feminist scholarship from the pre-modern and 19th century and move on to examine liberal feminism, socialist/marxist feminism, radical feminism, postmodern feminism, and global feminism. Critical reviews of each theory will include issues of race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, and spirituality.
WGST 502 Feminist Epistemology
3 credit hrs
The course will examine how feminist scholarship has recontextualized epistemological issues in the philosophy of science, eco-feminism, hermeneutics, mysticism, and phenomenology. Students will write and present a paper to demonstrate their integration of feminist theory and feminist epistemological issues with their chosen field of study.
WGST 593 Women in the Early Church
Cross-listed with THEO 539, 3 credit hrs
Approaching material from a theological and historical perspective, in this course students will gain an appreciation for the different roles, identities, opportunities, and restrictions women experienced in the early Christian period (circa 50-700 C.E.). Beginning with a study of representations of women in the ancient Mediterranean world (among Jews and "pagans"), the course then examines how women are portrayed in the different writings of the New Testament. It moves into the study of feminine images in both "orthodox" and "heretical" texts, martyr stories, the rise of the ascetic movement, and early examples of saints' lives (hagiography). This course also considers various roles women held as ministers, evangelizers, and missionaries in the early Church.
WGST 593 French Women Writers before 1900
Cross-listed with FREN 593, 3 credit hrs
Taught in French: Qu'est-ce que la féminité? Que veut la femme - et de quoi écrit-elle, si ce qu'elle veut, c'est écrire? Comment une idée de la différence entre "masculin" et "féminin" détermine-t-elle et les structures sociales, et la structure du récit? Ce cours présente une introduction à la littérature et à l'histoire des femmes. Dans le cours, nous analysons la définition de la féminité selon surtout les auteurs femmes. Non que les femmes qui écrivent soient totalement affranchies du discours normatif sur la féminité! Pour mieux dégager la "nature" de la femme, nous développons l'idée du genre comme outil analytique. Diverses stratégies seront accueillies et étudiées -- analyse du discours, perspectives psychanalytique et (bien sûr) féministe.
WGST 693 Romanticism
Cross-listed with ENGL 650, 3 credit hrs
Once viewed primarily as a golden age of poetry, the Romantic period now is recognized as a pivotal epoch in the development of the novel. The didactic novel form inherited from eighteenth-century writers like Richardson and Lennox continued to be influential, as the novels of manners by writers such as Frances Burney and Jane Austen attest. At the same time, the Romantic era saw an explosion of subgenres in prose fiction: the national tale, the historical novel, the "Jacobin" novel, the "Anti-Jacobin" novel, and new forms of Gothic fiction all competed for the attention, and patronage, of the Georgian reading public. The increasing popularity of these genres offered new opportunities to a growing class of women writers, in particular, who seized on the novel's comparative youth as a form to advance their own professional aspirations and ideological agendas.
WGST 693 Feminism & History of Ethics Seminar
Cross-listed with PHIL 636, 3 credit hrs
In this seminar, we will consider some of the classic texts in moral philosophy, paired with their authors' writings on women, as well as responses by feminists to each author's work. A fundamental guiding question throughout the seminar will be to what extent do views about gender matter for moral theory. This seminar presupposes adequate preparation in philosophy for graduate-level work.
WGST 793 Intimate Partner Violence
Cross-listed with SWRK 771, 3 credit hrs
The focus of this course is on ways to reduce the incidence and impact of intimate partner violence. Students address and examine the theoretical understandings of violence against women and other intimate partner violence as well as the need for direct services, community organizing and public policy changes that will help end intimate partner violence. The relationship between oppression and violence against women and intimate partner violence is examined. The student use of self in relation to social work values and ethics especially related to social justice is explored.
WGST 790 Feminist Approach: Not for Women Only
Cross-listed with SWRK 790, 3 credit hrs (Interim Class)
Much confusion, discomfort and debate besiege the term "feminist." Reactions range from hostility to the passionate embrace of principles and concepts. The current realities of the social work profession are reflected in the predominance of women as workers and clients. This course is designed to clarify feminist issues and to illustrate how a feminist perspective in social work practice can facilitate personal and social change. This course will explore the characteristics, values, techniques, research, and aims of feminist social work practice and how it is distinguished from other perspectives.