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Gender and Women's Studies

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Gender & Women's Studies

Course Descriptions

Winter 2015 Courses

GWST 2230: Gender in a New Era of Empire (CRN 3426)
Monday/Wednesday, 2:00-3:50pm, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

This course examines the concept of empire in the 21st-Century through a transnational feminist analysis of international state politics, corporate globalization, and cultural imperialism, focusing on how these forces have converged to move people, ideas, and ideologies across and between state borders in recent years. Emphasizing the cultural dimensions of imperialism, it explores how new forms of commercial empire and militarism rely upon and influence gendered, sexed, raced, and national identities, differences, and inequities across the globe, as well as racial, gendered, and sexual modes of conquest and imperialism. Prerequisite: GWST 1112

GWST 2700: Topics in GWST: Feminist Inquiry and Investigation: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (CRN 3241)
Tuesday/Thursday, 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

This hands-on class will introduce the basic tenets of qualitative research methods (i.e., ethnography, visual analysis, interviews, archival research, etc.) from a feminist perspective. Students will be asked to think about and evaluate the power dynamics at stake in academic research as we work alongside our community partner to investigate issues of social inequality and provide solutions for change.

GWST 3950: Theories in GWST (CRN 2961)
Tuesday/Thursday, 2:00-3:50pm, 4 credits, Heike Peckruhn

This course examines the major theoretical approaches (feminist, womanist, queer, etc.) to understanding gender and other intersecting systems of oppression and privilege. It explores the historical evolution of the theoretical traditions that have informed feminism, queer theory, and gender and women's studies, as well as examining more recent developments within these fields of inquiry. Students apply these theories to a range of texts, empirical data and/or the experiential world. This course may be repeated for credit as long as course subtitles are different. Prerequisite: GWST 1112.

GWST 2982: Colloquium in GWST: International Men of Mystery (CRN 2053)
Wednesday, 4:00-5:50pm, 2 credits, Arianna Nowakowski

This course will evaluate the ways in which masculinities are constructed, performed, and carefully resisted in different societies around the world, and will consider the interconnectedness of these constructions with domestic and international political processes. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which categories of analysis such as ethnicity, class, religion, and sexuality are interconnected with understandings of masculinity in different parts of the world and in light of an increasingly globalized international society. 

GWST 3975: Capstone Seminar (CRN 2885)
Friday, 12:00-3:50pm, 4 credits, Hava Gordon

This course provides students the opportunity to complete a substantial final project for their degree in gender and women’s studies, which may take the form of preparation for a thesis, community-based research or service project, or a substantial creative or research project. Students work closely with the director of the program or a faculty member affiliated with the program to devise these projects after spending the first part of the course exploring recent research within the field of gender and women’s studies. Prerequisites: GWST major or minor, GWST 1112, GWST 3950, senior standing, or permission of instructor

GWST 1015: Voice and Gender (CRN 3538)
Tuesday/Thursday, 8:00-9:50am, 4 credits, TBA

In this course, students explore gender in personal and political contexts with the intent of developing their individual voices in these arenas. Students learn to express creatively their voice through strengthening both their written and oral communication skills. This course also discusses gender issues prevalent in today’s society and significant moments in rhetorical history that have impacted these issues. Cross-listed with COMN 1015 (CRN 2343).

GWST 2212: Gender, Communication and Culture (CRN 5104)
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:00-1:50pm, 4 credits, Pavithra Prasad

This course considers how gender is created, maintained, repaired, and transformed through communication in particular relational, cultural, social, and historical contexts. This course is designed to help students develop thoughtful answers to the following questions: What is gender, how do we acquire it, how do cultural structures and practices normalize and reproduce it, and how do we change and/or maintain it to better serve ourselves and our communities? Throughout the term, we explore how dynamic communicative interactions create, sustain, and subvert femininities and masculinities "from the ground up." This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. Cross-listed with COMN 2210 (CRN 4775).

GWST 2280: Gender in the Economy (CRN 4600)
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:00-1:50pm, 4 credits, Paula Cole

This course moves beyond the traditionally male-dominated view of the economy to explore economic life through a gendered lens. A gendered perspective challenges us to see economic theory, markets, work, development, and policy in new ways. Gendered economic analysis expands the focus of economics from strictly wants, scarcity, and choice to include needs, abundance, and social provisioning in its scope. Cross-listed with ECON 2280 (CRN 2179).

GWST 2220: Sociology of Childhood (CRN 4601)
Tuesday/Thursday, 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, Amie Levesque

This course explores the social meanings of childhood. In this course we will examine aspects of the symbolic meanings of childhood as well as the experiences of being a child. The commercialization of childhood through marketing to children, contradictory messages about children as innocent or problematic, the experience of gender socialization for children, and the expectations of creating perfect children will be explored in detail. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with SOCI 2220 (CRN 4473).

GWST 2765: The Female Offender (CRN 4834)
Tuesday/Thursday, 8:00am-9:50am, 4 credits, Lisa Pasko

Female offenders are one of the fastest growing segments in both the juvenile and adult justice systems. This course introduces students to debates and issues surrounding girls, women, and crime; explores different theoretical perspectives of gender and crime; and examines the impact of gender on the construction and treatment of female offenders by the justice system. In addition, this course specifically looks at girls' and women's pathways to offending and incarcerations; understanding girls' violence in the inner city; exploring the reality of prison life for women, with a particular focus on the gender-sensitive programming for incarcerated mothers; and ending with an examination of how capital punishment has affected women offenders historically and contemporarily. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with SOCI 2765 (CRN 3291).

SOCI 2701.13: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline: Race, Gender and Intersectionality in the Time of Mass Criminalization (CRN 4477)
Monday/Wednesday, 2:00-3:50pm, 4 credits, Subini Annamma

The course uses sociocultural and critical race frameworks to introduce students to the phenomenon of the school to prison pipeline and links this to both micro and macro processes, or the local and the global trends. Local examinations will include how the pipeline is enacted in schools through mechanisms such as racial and gender disproportionality in disciplinary actions, special education assignment, and referral to law enforcement. Moreover it will examine intersectional identities (e.g., race, ability, and gender) to explore the less visible global connections between the pipeline and larger trends of mass criminalization and incarceration in the United States. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 or permission of instructor.

ASEM 2687: Sex and Globalization (CRN 2696)
Monday/Wednesday, 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

Over the last thirty years scholars from a variety of disparate fields have laid claim to the study of the complex, pervasive phenomena that many now simply refer to as “globalization.”  More recently, however, feminist scholars in these same fields have argued that globalization is also an inherently gendered (and sexed and raced) phenomenon that has profound consequences on people’s livelihoods, identities, and well-being around the world. This course will examine globalization as a process that centers upon these gendered, raced, and sexual differences.  You will be introduced to range of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and asked to consider the following questions:  What does a gendered analysis of globalization look like?  How does it enhance our understanding of the ways power, privilege and inequality manifest themselves in different parts of the world?   In what ways do women and men get enlisted to support (both physically and symbolically) global commerce, migration, and war? You may get major credit for an ASEM if it is taken after your ASEM requirement is met.

Archived Courses

Fall 2014

GWST 1112: Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies
Tuesday/Thursday, 10-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz (CRN 2703)
Tuesday/Thursday, 12-1:50pm, 4 credits, Hava Gordon (CRN 3214)

This course fulfills an SI: Society core curriculum requirement.

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Gender and Women's Studies. All cultures engage in a complex process of assigning cultural values and social roles which vary according to the cultural environment in which human interaction occurs. Among these, the process of translating biological differences into a complex system of gender remains one of the most important. Gender and Women's Studies aims to understand how this process of 'gendering' occurs. This course also explores how this system of meaning relates to other systems of allocating power, including socioeconomic class, social status, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and nationality. Using this lens, this course explores contemporary social developments and problems. This class presents students with a variety of texts from sociological articles to literary fictions, and documentary and fictional cinema to explore gender from many directions.

GWST 2700: Topics in GWST: Performing Gender in the Wild West (CRN 2976)
Tuesday/Thursday, 4:00-5:50pm, 4 credits, Susan Tyburski

This course will cover themes of colonization, race relations, masculinities, femininities, and sexualities in the context of the wild west.

GWST 3873: The Goddess in Art (CRN 4789)
Tuesday/Thursday, 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, M.E. Warlick

This course surveys the image of the goddess in art from prehistoric times until the present day from a feminist perspective. Beginning with anthropological and art historical theories about the numerous female figurines of Paleolithic and Neolithic times, the course continues to explore representations of female goddesses from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Greece, and Rome. Polarized images of Eve, the Virgin Mary and several female saints during the Middle Ages will be examined. From the Renaissance through the Baroque periods, classical goddesses, especially Venus/Aphrodite, are revived and adapted to both Christian and secular contexts. Images of the sexualized female body will be explored, along with its counterpart, the witch, who was persecuted during the 16th and 17th centuries. This course is interspersed with examples of contemporary art inspired by the "Great Goddess," especially by feminist artists of the 1970s and 1980s. Some discussion of the goddess as she appears in contemporary popular culture concludes the class. Cross-listed with ARTH 3873.

GWST 1015: Voice and Gender
Monday/Wednesday, 8:00-9:50am, 4 credits, TBA (CRN 4792)
Monday/Wednesday, 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, TBA (CRN 4795)

In this course, students explore gender in personal and political contexts with the intent of developing their individual voices in these arenas. Students learn to express creatively their voice through strengthening both their written and oral communication skills. This course also discusses gender issues prevalent in today's society and significant moments in rhetorical history that have impacted these issues. Cross-listed with COMN 1015.

GWST 2212: GWST Gender, Communication, Culture (CRN 4796)
Tuesday/Thursday, 12-1:50 pm, 4 credits, Pavithra Prasad

This course focuses on the interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary U.S. society. This implies four priorities for the class. First, the course explores multiple ways communication in families, media, and society in general creates and perpetuates gender roles. Second, the course considers how we enact socially created gender differences in public and private settings and how this affects success, satisfaction, and self-esteem. Third, the course connects theory and research to our personal lives. Throughout the quarter, the course considers not only what IS in terms of gender roles, but also what might be and how we, as change agents, may act to improve our individual and collective lives. Fourth, the course connects course content to student service learning experiences. Simultaneously, service informs academic content. All students volunteer across the quarter at a community organization and reflect on these experiences on a regular basis, using course materials as a basis for analysis and understanding. This course has a required service learning project. Cross-listed with COMN 2210.

GWST 2420: Social Inequality (CRN 4797)
Tuesday/Thursday, 8:00-9:50am, 4 credits, Amie Levesque

Dimensions of social class and its effect on economic, political and social institutions as well as style of life. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 and sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Cross listed with SOCI 2420.

GWST 2730: Gender in Society (CRN 5218)
Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, Amie Levesque

How the biological fact of sex is transformed into socially created gender roles. How individuals learn they are male and female, and how their behaviors are learned. A look at gender distinctions built into language, education, mass media, religion, law, health systems and the workplace,  Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with SOCI 2730.

Spring 2014

GWST 1112: Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies (CRN 2808)
Mondays/Wednesdays, 10-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Gender and Women's Studies. All cultures engage in a complex process of assigning cultural values and social roles which vary according to the cultural environment in which human interaction occurs. Among these, the process of translating biological differences into a complex system of gender remains one of the most important. Gender and Women's Studies aims to understand how this process of 'gendering' occurs. This course also explores how this system of meaning relates to other systems of allocating power, including socioeconomic class, social status, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and nationality. Using this lens, this course explores contemporary social developments and problems. This class presents students with a variety of texts from sociological articles to literary fictions, and documentary and fictional cinema to explore gender from many directions.

GWST 2215: Selling Sex, Gender, and the American Dream: 1950-Present (CRN 3457)
Mondays/Wednesdays, 2-3:50pm, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

This course analyzes how commercial culture has evolved into the defining cornerstone of American life over the last sixty years. In the first half of the quarter, we will examine key historical moments (including the Cold War, the Civil Rights/Women's and Gay Liberation movements) and investigate how women, ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community became important "consumer citizens" in the United States. The second half of the quarter will examine these same social groups from a contemporary perspective, and the degree to which globalization, "multiculturalism" and "going green" have emerged as dominant tropes in contemporary commercial culture. By moving from past to present, students will gain an understanding of the complex connections between consumption and U.S. nation-building, as well the consequences "shopping" and the accumulation of "stuff" have had in both shaping and reconfiguring understandings of what it means to live the "American Dream."

GWST 2983: GWST Colloquium: B'hoys to Men: 19th Century Masculinities (CRN 1598)
Tuesdays, 8-9:50am, 2 credits, Charlotte Quinney

This course will explore the various attempts to construct and define masculine power and identity in nineteenth-century America. For example, we will analyze the formation of class identities and the professionalization of manhood, showing how working-class identity was articulated as nationalistic, patriotic, and in opposition to racial and ethnic groups such as the Irish and the Chinese. We will investigate how patriarchy was often cloaked in the benevolent rhetoric of paternalism, and how the notion of the family was fraught with irony in the slaveholding South. This class will trace the decline of gentility and middle-class manhood in the Wild West, as well as exploring masculine indulgence in sentimentality, friendship, and fraternalism. The focus of this course is masculine identity as expressed in literature, pornography, politics, reform movements, protest, labor, and entertainment, as well as an analysis of male sexuality, body politics, performativity and masquerade, and the intersectionality of gender, race and class.

Winter 2014

GWST 3950: Theories in Gender and Women's Studies (CRN 3348)
Monday, 6-9:50pm, 4 credits, Jodie Kreider
Prerequisite: GWST 1112.

This course is an overview of a number of different manifestations of gender theory. The course is divided into four parts: feminist theory, masculinity theory, queer theory, and international perspectives. We will be covering some of the foundational approaches to questions of sexuality and gender identity, as well as exploring examples of these questions through select works of literature and film. This course may be repeated for credit as long as course subtitles are different.

GWST 2230: Gender in a New Era of Empire (CRN 4531)
Monday/Wednesday, 2-3:50pm, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

What does empire look like in the twenty-first century? More importantly, what might a feminist analysis tell us about the ways international state politics, corporate globalization, and cultural imperialism have converged to help move people, ideas, and goods across and between state borders? To help answer these questions, this class will examine notions of cultural imperialism within the context of the United States. Our ultimate goal is to understand how new forms of commercial empire and U.S. militarism are deeply intertwined to the racial, gendered, and sexual modes of conquest and imperialism in the past. By moving from past to present, students will be asked to rethink their understanding of U.S. nationalism, cultural imperialism, and militarism within a feminist framework that accounts for power and inequalities and various configurations of gender, sex, and racialized identities.

GWST 2700: Topics: Enacting Gender Violence: Law, Literature and Theater (CRN 4317)
Tuesday/Thursday, 4-5:50pm, 4 credits, Susan Tyburski

This course will use an interdisciplinary lens to explore how law, literature and popular culture shape gender norms, enact gender violence and provide space(s) for resistance. We will consider the following questions: How does the law perpetrate, enact, protect against, punish, and redress gender violence? What role does stigma play in gender violence? What can an exploration of select legal and literary texts teach us about the intersections of racial, gender and economic violence? What can we learn from literary and theatrical enactments of trials involving gender violence? How does our adversary system of justice inflict violence on offenders, victims, their families and communities? How do documentary theater productions, such as The Laramie Project and 8, creatively reorder legal enactments, and what is the effect of such creative reordering? Finally, how do law and literature provide spaces for resisting gender violence?

GWST 1015: Voice and Gender (CRN 2496)
Tuesday/Thursday, 8-9:50am, 4 credits, Shadee Abdi

In this course, students explore gender in personal and political contexts with the intent of developing their individual voices in these arenas. Students learn to express creatively their voice through strengthening both their written and oral communication skills. This course also discusses gender issues prevalent in today's society and significant moments in rhetorical history that have impacted these issues.

GWST 2982: Colloquium: Queer(ing) Sexualities and Religion (CRN 2168)

Wednesday, 4-5:50pm, 2 credits, Heike Peckruhn

This course will examine sexualities and religion from queer perspectives. Critical investigations will center around how religion and sexuality interrelate and inform one another in regards to construction of genders and sexual expressions, how sexualities can queer religion, and how religious practices can queer our understanding of sexuality. Western constructions of sexuality and Christian religious beliefs/practices will be a focus, though other religious practices will be considered depending on student interest.

GWST 3975: Capstone Seminar (CRN 3206)
2 credits, Hava Gordon

ASEM 2687: Sex and Globalization (CRN 2910)
Monday/Wednesday, 10-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

Over the last thirty years scholars from a variety of disparate fields have laid claim to the study of the complex, pervasive phenomena that many now simply refer to as "globalization." More recently, however, feminist scholars in these same fields have argued that globalization is also an inherently gendered (and sexed and raced) phenomenon that has profound consequences on people's livelihoods, identities, and well-being around the world. This course will examine globalization as a process that centers upon these gendered, raced, and sexual differences. You will be introduced to range of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and asked to consider the following questions: What does a gendered analysis of globalization look like? How does it enhance our understanding of the ways power, privilege and inequality manifest themselves in different parts of the world? In what ways do women and men get enlisted to support (both physically and symbolically) global commerce, migration, and war?