Women's Studies


Course Descriptions

WS 1003 – Introduction to Women’s Studies – 3 credit hours
An introduction to the subject matter and methods of the discipline of Women’s Studies, especially the practice of placing women’s experiences at the center of feminist critical inquiry.  Introduces the idea of gender as a cultural phenomenon involving difference as well as power and privilege and explores issues at the center of women’s experiences, including work, education, sexuality, family, and violence.  Particular attention is paid to the multiplicity of women’s identities and the interconnectedness of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class, and sexuality.  Course rotation: Fall.  General Education: Core – Application & Integration of Knowledge.

WS 1013 – Women in Global Perspective – 3 credit hours
An introduction to the discipline of global Women’s Studies.  Introduces students to the practice of placing women’s experiences at the center of critical inquiry by exploring the cultural constructions and implications of gender in various global regions and by analyzing experiences of women around the world from a feminist perspective.  Also examines how women’s movements across the globe practice the desire for social justice.  
Course rotation: Spring.  General Education: Core – Engaged Local & Global Citizenship.

WS 2203 – Gender & Popular Culture – 3 credit hours

Examines various aspects of popular culture from a feminist perspective, including how popular culture reflects and shapes cultural constructions of gender and women’s experiences.  Enhances students’ ability to analyze a wide range of cultural practices and institutions through a lens of gender that is sensitive to power and privilege.  Particular attention is paid to the multiplicity of women’s identities and the interconnectedness of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class, and sexuality.  Prerequisites: WS 1003 or WS 1013 or instructor’s permission.  Course rotation: Alternate fall.  General Education: Intermediate – Engaged Local & Global Citizenship.

WS 2213 – Gender & Politics – 3 credit hours

Examines the dynamic relationship between cultural constructions of gender and political practice in the United States from a feminist perspective.  Enhances students’ ability to analyze a wide range of cultural practices and institutions through a lens of gender that is sensitive to power and privilege.  Particular attention is paid to the multiplicity of women’s identities and the interconnectedness of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class, and sexuality.  Prerequisites: WS 1003 or WS 1013 or instructor’s permission.  Course rotation: Alternate fall.  General Education: Intermediate – Inquiry & Analysis.

WS 3203 – Feminist Theory & Practice – 3 credit hours

Introduces students to the major tenets of and debates in contemporary feminist theories and practices.  Facilitates the application of various feminist theories in analyses of cultural constructions of gender and pivotal issues at the center of women’s experiences and explores the integral relationship between feminist theory and practice.  Students also develop their own feminist critical perspectives, and they study trends in and learn to create effective feminist academic writing.  Particular attention is paid to the multiplicity of women’s identities and the interconnectedness of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class, and sexuality.  Prerequisites: ENGL 1023 and WS 1003 or WS 1013 and WS 2203 or WS 2213 or instructor’s permission.  Course rotation: Alternate years.  General Education: Intermediate – Communication.

WS 3213 – Women, Violence & Feminist Activism – 3 credit hours

Explores the cultural constructions and implications of gender by examining various forms of violence against women from a feminist theoretical perspective, sensitive to inequalities that produce a climate of violence.  Particular attention is paid to how violence against women intersects with other issues central to women’s identities and experiences, including race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, religion, nationality, health, family, work, and education.  Students also study diverse feminist activist strategies for combating violence against women and engage in a substantive research project with a service-learning component.  Prerequisites: ENGL 1023 and WS 1003 or WS 1013 and WS 2203 or WS 2213 or instructor’s permission.  Course rotation: Spring.  General Education: Intermediate – Application & Integration of Knowledge.

WS 3803 – Special Topics – 3 credit hours
Examines the depth and diversity of Women’s Studies that may fall outside the range of listed courses.  Special Topics will be offered on an irregular basis, and topics will vary according to instructor.  
Prerequisite: WS 1003.

WS 4903 – Women’s Studies Seminar – 3 credit hours

A capstone course that gives students the opportunity to integrate the concepts and skills that they learned in core and intermediate women’s studies courses, especially those that have prepared them to place women’s experiences at the center of critical inquiry, to analyze problems through the lens of gender, and to use feminist theoretical concepts and activist strategies.  Students utilize these skills to engage in advanced study of gender issues specifically relevant to their major fields of study as well as their personal and professional lives and to develop individual research projects with a service-learning component.  Prerequisites: ENGL 1023, WS 1003, WS 1013, one 2000-level WS course, and one 3000-level WS course or instructor’s permission.  Course rotation: Spring.  General Education: Mastery – Application & Integration of Knowledge.