academic catalogue

2023-2024 Catalogue

Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS) Course Descriptions

WGS 200: Women’s Movements of the United States.
Goal: To explore in an interdisciplinary and historical context the wide range of social and cultural issues and the associated activisms which have affected women's experiences, value, and status focused on US societal contexts. (Note: United States emphasis.)
Content: This course will center on the early women’s movements (1800s-mid-1900s), examining the important issues of concern and making connections to those experienced today. Topics to be explored may include gender roles and images in history, language, literature, news, media, religion, art, and science; sexuality, family, reproduction, and parenthood; work, employment, and the economics; law, rights, government, and politics; past feminist movements. Methods include cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural study of women's lives, intersectional gender analysis, and questioning the role that gender plays in an individual's lived experience and a community's position in society. (Note: You may not take WGS 200 if you have taken WST 200: Women, Culture, & Society.)
Prerequisite(s): None.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Historical Events & Phenomena; (HUM).
Credit: 3 hours.
WGS 250: Global Feminisims.
Goal: To enhance understanding of the socio-cultural differences and similarities among women situated in particular patriarchies. (Note: Non-Western emphasis.)
Content: Through an intersectional, theoretical focus on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, social economic class, (dis)ability, etc., students will explore the historical root systems, institutional structures, and lived experiences of a diversity of girls and women around the world. (Note: You may not take WGS 250 if you have taken WST 250: Cross-Cultural Perspectives of Women.)
Prerequisite(s): None.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing Perspectives; Diverse & Interdependent World; (HUM).
Credit: 3 hours.

WGS 305: Mediating Genders.
Goal: To analyze mediated representations of gender from critical cultural and feminist theoretical perspectives.
Content: An advanced focus on media representations, this course will take an intersectional approach to understand the cross-influence and perception of gender expectations that intersect with other identities. Topics would include representations of race, queer identities, ages, (dis)abilities, nationalities, etc., violence in the media, stereotypes & tropes, etc. in a variety of media platforms.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing Perspectives; Women's Experiences; (HUM).  
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as COM 305.

WGS 338: Identity, Power, & Culture.
Goal: To analyze societal position, ideology and dynamics from critical cultural and feminist theoretical perspectives.
Content: This course will focus on cultural, rhetorical discourses in the United States with a feminist, intersectional approach. Working through contemporary conversations and controversies with an eye to past positionality and knowledge creation, topics will include critical theory, the social construction of reality, race, class, queer, and citizen/immigrant identities as historical sites of oppression, and US ideology, narratives, & social change.
Prerequisites: COM 214, COM 215, COM 216, WGS 200, or WGS 250. Or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as COM 338.

WGS 401: Senior Seminar.
Goal: Provides an integrative capstone experience for majors, allowing them to develop and share significant independent projects in a workshop setting.
Content: This course encourages students to apply their accumulated knowledge and make connections among the various parts of their course of study in Women, Gender, and Sexuality and throughout their liberal arts education. Student workshops will be facilitated by the WGS faculty, and independent research and writing will be conducted; some projects may need consultation with a chosen advisor. Content may vary from year to year.
Prerequisites: Senior standing and successful completion of WGS 200, WGS 250, and one 300-level WGS course, or permission of instructor.
Credit: 1 hour.

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