Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)

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WGS 100 | WOMEN'S LIVES:RACE/CLASS/GENDER | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will introduce students to Women's & Gender Studies by exploring a range of issues that contemporary women face through experiences stratified by race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability. Topics will include women's identities; body image and the media; women's sexuality; intimate relationships and families; women, violence and criminalization; women's work, wage discrimination, and welfare reform; women's health issues, such as reproductive rights, and medical research. Participants will have opportunities to examine ways that this stratification interacts in varied eras, cultures, and sub-cultures to shape women's lives. Students will engage in an activist focus as they are introduced to the layers of oppression that affect many women's lives, from the personal to the global. As they analyze social, cultural, and political issues through "gendered lenses", participants may expand a view of their personal lives to include a framework that encourages resilient responses to such oppression.

WGS 105 | DATING IN COLLEGE: ENDING VIOLENCE AND CREATING CHANGE | 2 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Growing out of a decade-long community-based service learning program held in Chicago high schools entitled "Take Back the Halls: Ending Violence in Relationships and Schools," this college course brings topics of activism, community, and ending violence into a university setting. In this course, we will meet weekly to examine personal, interpersonal, and institutionalized systems of oppression including issues of domestic violence, sexual violence, racism, homophobia, and sexism, among others. We will explore how these issues intersect with one another and will formulate strategies on how to activate against forms of violence and systems of oppression. The course will operate as a seminar in which we will discuss these issues in relation to readings, popular media, and personal lived experience.

WGS 200 | WOMEN'S STUDIES IN TRANSNATIONAL CONTEXTS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is a transnational approach to Women's & Gender Studies, examining how goods, money, and media images of women cross national in new ways. A further focus is on how this transformation of national boundaries depends not only upon political changes but also upon economic and cultural shifts. This transnational perspective pays attention to the inequalities and differences intersecting race, class, and gender that arise from new forms of globalization as well as from older histories of colonialism and racism. The course is designed to give the student an in-depth look at a world of connections that do not necessarily create similarities in how women variously experience that world. It introduces students to research by and about women that reflects transnationality in all of its possibilities and challenges.

WGS 212 | GROWING UP FEMALE IN THE U.S. | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines what it means to grow up female in the contemporary U.S. It explores the ways in which girls develop and are socialized through childhood and adolescence, focusing on how families, schools, peers, and the larger culture influence young women's lives and the ways in which race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation affect their growth and learning and how their interaction might affect the behaviors and choices of young women as they mature.

WGS 215 | GENDER AND EDUCATION | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines gender as a social construct and its meanings within the context of educational institutions, its implications for teaching and learning, and organizational practices that may oppress and/or empower groups or individuals. Emphasis is given to social forces within the larger society that affect education and schooling; sex-stereotyping and gender bias; teacher behaviors; attitudes, practices, and expectations; student motivation and achievement; principles of non-sexist education; gender bias in settings outside of schools; current issues in the media and popular culture; and the ways in which gender bias and sexism interact with other forms of prejudice, inequality, and oppression.

WGS 219 | WOMEN AND SCIENCE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

In this course, we will examine the evolving relationship between women and science. There are growing opportunities for and representation of women in scientific fields in many parts of the world, but there are historical contexts that should be considered and remaining challenges that are being addressed. We will begin the course with a review of the scientific method-- what is this process and what about it has enabled it to attain legitimacy as a way of knowing the world? We will also learn about female scientists in the fields of environmental geography and ecology who have broken gender norms and boundaries and made notable scientific contributions. Students will learn through several case studies of both well-known scientists as well as those who are less widely recognized. Finally, we will examine aspects of science and culture that have impacted women's participation and achievements.

WGS 225 | CONSTRUCTING GENDER AND SEXUALITY | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will explore through interdisciplinary theory and research how gender and sexuality are socially constructed. It will examine how such constructions have evolved over time and how individuals of diverse identities and cultural backgrounds have been affected by the changes. Discussion will focus on the roles played by powerful societal institutions (e.g. religious, political, and medical) in effectively defining what is considered gender-appropriate behavior and legitimate sexual expression. Finally, the activism of recent social movements to psychological and politically empower individuals who are neither heterosexual nor traditionally masculine or feminine will be explored.

WGS 230 | CONTESTED BODIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will consider the theories and practices of differential embodiments and the experiences of bodies that don't fit the norm: queer bodies, fat bodies, transgender bodies, bodies of color. In Western/Global North cultures, the mind is given more importance than the body, and historically, oppressed groups have been associated more with bodies than minds. The course will aid in understanding and questioning the dominant norms that promote "normal" bodies and normative embodiment and offer alternative theories and practices of embodiment. Students interested in the performing arts, social and health sciences, fat studies and disability studies, as well as women's and gender studies students will find valuable frameworks in this class.

WGS 249 | GENDER AND POLITICS IN IRELAND | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores the relationship between gender and politics in Ireland, focusing on the political history of gender relations in Ireland, women's political involvement throughout the enormous changes of the 20th Century, and contemporary legal and public policy issues related to sex/gender. The attitudes and behaviors of women as voters, activists, officeholders and peace activists will be examined, as will Ireland's place in global gender issues. We will pay particular attention to the changes that have taken place since Ireland's entry into the EU, the "Celtic Tiger" transformations of the Irish economy, and the impact of the recent worldwide economic recession on gender and politics in Ireland, along with the efforts of women, North and South, to further the process of peace in the North, which has been wracked by violence for several decades. Cross-listed with IRE 249.

WGS 250 | FEMINIST FRAMEWORKS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course introduces feminist theories and methodologies with an emphasis on how theoretical frameworks shape specific research, policies, and praxis. The course will provide an introductory exploration of feminist frameworks in relationship to specific issues and questions within women's studies, with some attention to the resulting research/analytic methods. The class will delineate, analyze and compare the underlying assumptions and frameworks of a variety of feminist theories (i.e. historical materialist, liberal, radical, standpoint and identity-based, critical race, postcolonial, and transnational theoretical frameworks) in relation to a set of issues and questions (e.g. violence against women, sex discrimination, reproductive rights). The class will explore the relationship between these frameworks and knowledge production, public policy, and social change efforts within national and transnational contexts. Thus, the students will be able to discern how theories frame research questions and methods, as well as how they frame policy issues and action proposals; and students will be able to analyze the theoretical frameworks comparatively.

WGS 255 | DECONSTRUCTING THE DIVA | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course studies the figure of the diva as a powerful cultural text, central to both understanding historical conceptions of socially normative femininity and to uncovering and examining our own present-day conceptions of what it means to be feminine, to be a woman. Through fiction, drama, biography, autobiography, film, audio recordings, and gender, the course explores representations of the diva in literature, art, and popular and high culture. The goal of this course is to investigate the ways that "diva" has actually been code for women (and sometimes men) behaving outside of societal norms. Students will do this both historically and thematically, uncovering a path in which "women behaving badly" are routinely censured, and silenced. Students will also investigate how women both resist and re-appropriate this label. This course also seeks to explore the lives of both extraordinary and ordinary women, contextualizing the historical moments that they both contested and were sometimes consumed by.

WGS 260 | GENDER, SEXUALITY AND VIOLENCE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores the social, political, and cultural contexts of interpersonal violence with a focus on sexual violence and dating violence among and against adolescents and young adults. This course also will emphasize activist strategies and anti-violence movements.

WGS 270 | WOMEN IN CARIBBEAN SOCIETIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This is a survey course which focuses on the diverse social, cultural and political realities of women in the Caribbean region across and within historical periods marked by colonialism, slavery and indentureship; anti-colonial, nationalist and labor movements; economic globalization and the emergence of the postcolony. Drawing on primary documents, images, feminist postcolonial writings, the course investigates how women of indigenous, African, Chinese, Indian and multiracial (or "mixed") descent have been positioned within various societies, and in relationship to each other. Topics covered include visual representations of women, gender and sexuality; forms of resistance and political engagement; motherhood, reproduction and the State; women in various religious traditions; work and economic status; social class, color and femininities; popular culture.

WGS 275 | BLACK FEMINIST THEORIES IN A U.S. CONTEXT | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course introduces students to the major figures, statements, and movements that shape Black feminist thinking, writing and activism in the United States. Issues examined may include social and economic equity, beauty and voice, activism and social change; and the exploration of identity and subjectivity through the lens of intersectionality, including race, gender, sexual orientation, class, citizenship, and immigrant status. Throughout we will consider how Black feminist thought is situated in larger frameworks of Western feminist thought and its linkages with international feminist discourses.

WGS 290 | SPECIAL TOPICS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

See course schedule for current offerings.

WGS 300 | FEMINIST THEORIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Disagreements about what counts as feminist theory have raged as the borders of feminist discourse have shifted over the past two and a half decades. Yet most feminists continue to insist that sex/gender be considered basic categories of analysis and theory. Broadly conceived, feminist theory--historical or contemporary--represents an attempt to understand and interpret the roots and causes of women's place in the world. This course examines how different theoretical perspectives address gender, class, racial, and sexual inequalities and the method(s) proposed for social change. Students will be required to critically engage these theories in terms of how they address the commonalities and differences among women, especially insofar as these are grounded in race, class, and sexual identifications and dissonances. This course is a core requirement for the Women's & Gender Studies major.

WGS 250 is a prerequisite for this course.

WGS 303 | GENDER, VIOLENCE AND RESISTANCE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores the social and cultural contexts of interpersonal violence in women's lives, with a focus on domestic violence, rape, harassment. The course seeks to understand how gender, race, class, sexuality, and national differences and inequalities shape the experiences of violence, the social and institutional responses to violence, and strategies for resistance and change.

WGS 305 | MOTHERING, WORK, AND REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines the institution of motherhood and gendered and racialized divisions of labor through the framework of reproductive justice in a cross-cultural and transnational perspective. What does mothering have to do with the feminization of poverty? How does the labor of mothers impact struggles for social justice and equality? Why is making visible the work of mothering critical to the pursuit of economic justice? What are the entanglements of mothering in relation to queerness as well as heterosexuality? Central topics will include ideas about motherwork, sexuality, labor and wealth inequalities, marriage, reproductive rights and politics, and capitalism with attention to the imperatives of gender, racial, and economic justice. This course includes interdisciplinary scholarship drawing from history, popular culture, autobiography, critical race theory, feminist economics, and motherhood studies.

WGS 306 | GENDER AND FAMILIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Gender and Families is an upper-level undergraduate course that considers issues raised by the diverse roles that women, men, and children play in families. It focuses particular attention on the social construction of gender in families, and examines families in their social, economic, and political contexts. Topics covered include adult intimate relationships, the social construction of motherhood and fatherhood, and shifting gender relations of power in families, family stress and adaptation, and the impact of social policies on families' lives.

WGS 307 | WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST: BEYOND THE VEIL | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores how Middle Eastern Women have been represented in the media outside of the Middle East, by Arab women scholars, and "Third World" feminists and challenges these representations by focusing on issues such as veiling, the everyday lives of Middle Eastern Women, political activism, literary works, economics and social class, and media representations.

WGS 310 | FEMINIST ETHICS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores theoretical issues regarding women's moral experience and feminist approaches to liberation from various forms of socio-cultural and political oppression. It explores the moral status of women from their own experiences and perspectives, in contrast to traditional Western ethics' characterizations, as well as feminist ethical perspectives on oppressive social practices, such as racism and violence against women, and the ethical dimensions of difference among women.

WGS 314 | ANTIRACIST FEMINISMS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course introduces students to the wide array of feminist thinking regarding ideologies of race, racism, white privilege, ethnocentrism, racial and ethnic identifications, and their relationship to gender, class, sexual and national identities and locations. The ways that racism has divided women's movements and feminist organizations will be examined along with the work of feminist scholars, writers, activists, and advocates who have articulated explicitly anti-racist theories, analyses, and programs within the U.S. as well as internationally.

WGS 316 | REPRESENTATIONS OF THE BODY | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course reflects the current explosion of intellectual interest in the body as a site of cultural meaning. The course addresses the questions of how the body is socially created and sustained. It explores those questions in terms of tensions between nature and culture, body and spirit, and how discourses of power converge in and on the body.

WGS 320 | TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE: THEORY AND PRACTICE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course introduces students to transformative justice responses to violence that do not rely on state institutions. These include collective processes for support and healing, intervention, accountability, and prevention. The pedagogical praxis of learning will be through communal peacemaking circles and collective strategy sessions to create community responses to violence. Cross-listed as WGS 420.

WGS 322 | FEMALE IDENTITIES: YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is an introduction to Young Adult Literature as a genre and explores how this literature relates to adolescent girls' experiences in diverse cultural contexts. It addresses themes related to physical and emotional development, the development of personal values and beliefs; the construction of identity; beliefs and attitudes about the body; interpersonal relationships; gender and sexuality; and coping with change, death, belonging, alienation, and escape. Course materials are multicultural with a focus upon the experiences of female adolescents in terms of ethnicity, culture, gender, religion, disability, as well as other dimensions of difference within national and international contexts.

WGS 324 | WOMEN IN THEATRE: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines the concepts of gender and theatrical performance with reference to history, culture, critical response, viewer interpretation, and identity in a global context. Students will study character as a dramatic construct with respect to gender, race, and class; it examines how dramatic images are as diverse as their cultural contexts; explores the concepts of reader and viewer response to theater; and interrogates the relationship between the American theatrical image and the larger global context within which images are created.

WGS 326 | WOMEN AND LAW | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course investigates the variety of ways in which women come into relation with the law, e.g., through laws and judicial decisions dealing with equal opportunity. Cross-listed as PSC 363.

WGS 330 | LESBIAN LIVES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores constructions of lesbian lives, politics, and communities in the U.S. using the political cartoons of artist Alison Bechdel as a primary text, along with theoretical and historical readings. Students examine the constructions of identities and politics within lesbian culture, paying particular attention to how these have changed and evolved over time, and how community can be created and sustained. Cross-listed with WGS 430.

WGS 332 | CREATING CHANGE: CONTEMPORARY GLBT POLITICS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores the historical roots and contemporary realities of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) politics, nationally and internationally. GLBT groups and individuals are gaining political recognition, challenging institutions, and creating change by asserting claims to rights and protections under law. Such issues as hate crimes, marriage, AIDS, and ballot initiatives over non-discrimination law and policy have entered the political mainstream since the 1970's. This course examines the GLBT movement, its political and social strategies, conflicts and issues, and the political roles played by its members as participants in political culture. Cross-listed as PSC 312 and LGQ 332.

WGS 334 | GIRLHOOD ALL AROUND THE WORLD | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will address issues related to growing up female and coming of age in the 21st century within a global context. We will focus on the following questions, what does it mean to be female, a girl, a young woman in diverse cultural and cultural contexts, examining the ways in which community, family, peers, schools and relationships with others, popular culture and public policy influence their lived experiences, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, choices and possibilities. The analytical framework will be rooted in understanding how the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, religion, and belief systems influence notions of the self, the body, and the construction of female identities.

WGS 336 | WOMEN AND FILM | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course engages in the practice of critical literacy in the viewing of films, U.S. based and international, with attention to issues of representation, images, construction of identities and circulation of messages about what it means be to female in the contemporary world. Central topics will include issues and ideas about film as art, as a cultural product, and as an industry. Various genres of films will be examined and the course will also explore women as subjects, actors, producers and critics of film.

WGS 338 | SEXUAL JUSTICE: LESBIANS, GAYS AND THE LAW | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines the historical and contemporary relationships between lesbians, gays, and the law in the U.S., focusing on the intersections of power, sexuality, and identity with issues of sexuality-based discrimination. It focuses on case law, along with social science and legal literature, seeking out a diversity of voices and experiences. Primary emphasis will be on cases that have come before the U.S. Supreme Court since the mid-1950's, with particular attention paid to how groups and individuals have reached out to the court system for redress of injustice and how these groups and individuals have exercised or failed to exercise power within the legal process. Cross-listed with LGQ 338.

WGS 342 | QUEER PIONEERS: CULTURE, GENDER, AND POLITICAL ACTIVISM | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines some of the historical roots and contemporary realities of lesbian and gay politics in the United States through the biographies of pioneering individuals whose lives and work shaped an ongoing struggle for civil rights and social justice. The biographies of individuals who, as activists and artists, rose to challenge the conventions of culture, gender, and political exclusion will be studied in-depth to both illuminate the politics of social movement and suggest how these diverse individuals and experiences may influence past and future efforts for cultural and political change. Cross-listed with LGQ 319.

WGS 345 | WOMEN, WAR AND RESISTANCE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course aims to make feminist sense of contemporary wars and conflicts. It analyzes the intersections between gender, race, class, and ethnicity in national conflicts. The class traces the gendered processes of defining citizenship, national identity and security, and examines the role of institutions like the military in the construction of femininity and masculinity. The course focuses on the gendered impact of war and conflict through examining torture, mass rape, genocide, and refugee displacement.

WGS 352 | GENDER, COMMUNITY, AND ACTIVISM: COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING IN WGS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Gender, Community, and Activism : Community-Based Learning in WGS is an interdisciplinary experiential/service learning seminar designed for undergraduate and graduate students in the field of Women's and Gender Studies. In an effort to provide students with an experience that integrates the feminist-informed theoretical work of the classroom with practical application in the community, the course will pair students with internship opportunities at community-based organizations that focus on a cause/issue related to their particular area of scholarly interest. The course is designed to encourage learning by doing and reflecting, where students will be asked to reflect on their internship experiences outside of the classroom through course readings, written assignments, and class discussion.

WGS 354 | CONTEMPORARY KNITTING: GENDER, CRAFT, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will explore the gendered history of knitting and its contemporary popularity as both a creative leisure-time activity and a means of providing community service. The social history and social construction of a gendered division of labor surrounding knitting, with its complexities, provide the theoretical foundation of the course. Students will learn the basic techniques of knitting and will be expected to practice their new skills in- and out-side of the classroom. They will reach a level of proficiency sufficient to producing a minimum of three contributions to service knitting projects.

WGS 355 | WOMEN AND ART | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This class considers both the history of women artists and representations of women from other cultures around the world, from prehistory to the contemporary era. In addition, it will introduce feminist methodologies that can be applied to specific case studies. Cross-listed with HAA 366, WGS 455 and MLS 474.

100/200-level History of Art and Architecture course or instructor permission is a prerequisite for this course.

WGS 362 | INTRODUCTION TO TRANSGENDER STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course considers the emerging interdisciplinary field of transgender studies and its indebtedness to transgender history and activism, paying particular attention to the relationship between trans studies in the academy and in queer and feminist communities. Introducing the student to the relationship between trans studies and feminist studies, philosophy, science and LGBTQ studies, we won't attempt to justify trans existence or identity but rather address the interlocking structures that both survey and exclude trans bodies. Cross-listed with LGQ 362.

WGS 363 | GLOBALLY QUEER: TRANSNATIONAL LGBTQ POLITICS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores how political issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities and individuals are linked to global and transnational politics of citizenship, power, security, and political economy. It focuses on how gender roles, relationships, and identities are constructed, deployed, challenged, and resisted around the world, paying particular attention to how these systems and structures are interconnected. Cross-listed as WGS 463.

WGS 364 | POLITICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This class explores the interplay of political, social, economic and aesthetic factors in feminist autobiography from a transnational perspective. We examine the ways that women's autobiography is being used to write themselves into history. Story is integral in the process of healing and building solidarity and coalitions for gender based organizing. Further, autobiography creates a space for the "alter-history" to be told: the absence of testimony and experience is created for others to gain hope, strength, and deeper understanding of others and themselves. Various forms and critiques of feminist autobiographies are explored, and how each impacts the political possibilities for readers. Cross-listed with PAX 364.

WGS 375 | FEMINISMS OF THE BLACK DIASPORA | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is designed to offer a critical examination of black women's experiences and thought within a global and transnational framework. The course examines works by and about black women in diverse social, political, and geographical contexts: the continent of Africa, Western Europe, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Australia. Topics to be explored will include issues of politics and ideology; power and inequality based on intersectionality of race and other dimension of identity; agency, activism, and social movements; the mass media, popular culture and social policies. Cross-listed with WGS 475.

WGS 378 | UTOPIAN AND DYSTOPIAN LITERATURE AND FILM: GENDER, RACE AND BEYOND | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

What does the future hold for humankind on this planet and elsewhere? What will life be like in the not too distant as well as far distant futures? How will societies be organized? What kinds of cultural milieus will shape life and living? How will identities be articulated and negotiated? Who will govern? Who will be in resistance? Who will be present and who will be absent? How will things come to be? These questions will form the core of our study of a genre devoted to social commentary, envisioning vastly different ideas about the future, emergent from 20th century works.

WGS 386 | BLACK WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES: VARIABLE TOPICS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Topics vary. This course is designed to address issues related to the particular experiences of women in the Black Diaspora. Topics will vary in terms of their particular focus in addressing issues that are important to understanding Black women's experiences in a US context and globally--making interconnections to the experiences of women of other ethnic, cultural, and national backgrounds. The course will provide occasions for students to study and examine issues such as Black women's cultural criticism, Black women in the arts, engagement in activism and social and political movements--literature and the media. Cross-listed with WGS 486 and ABD 386.

WGS 387 | TEEN VIOLENCE PREVENTION | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is an interdisciplinary experiential/service learning seminar in which students will participate in, and critically reflect upon, a relationship violence prevention program in Chicago area high schools. This class will explore adolescent development, considering the ways in which economic, social, political and cultural contexts influence that development. In addition, we will focus on adolescent relationships, group work with teens, aggression and violence in intimate -- in particular teen -- relationships, and evaluation of programs to prevent teen violence. Each week students will address a set of theoretical and/or practical themes that in some way relate to teen violence and aggression, as well as prevention of such violence. Discussions of each theme will draw on course readings, lecture materials, and perhaps most importantly, students' experiences working with teens in schools.

WGS 388 | QUEER THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines some of the central texts of queer theory in order to contextualize and historicize the notion of homosexuality as a primary category of identity. The issue of sexual normativity as it relates to gay and lesbian assimilation will also be discussed. Because of the significant relationship of gender and sexuality, we will also examine theories of embodiment and take up the debates around the politics of intersex and transgender identities. Formerly WMS 284.

WGS 390 | WOMEN ACROSS CULTURES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

A critical analysis of the experiences of women around the world in diverse social contexts, examined through different disciplines, with a special emphasis on economics, politics and culture. Focus is on African, Asian and Latin American cultures and nondominant groups within western societies. (Cross-listed as WGS 490 and MLS 441)

WGS 391 | METHODS AND SCHOLARSHIP IN WOMEN'S STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

An exploration of the transforming effects that feminist methodologies and scholarship have had in the social sciences and humanities. This course emphasizes interdisciplinary research approaches, feminist publishing, and the interplay of research and activism, as it prepares students to write a research proposal. Not recommended for non-majors. (Cross-listed as WGS 491)

WGS 392 | INTERNSHIP | 1-4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

By arrangement. Variable credit.

WGS 394 | WOMEN, SELF, AND SOCIETY SEMINAR | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Women, Self and Society Seminar (cross-listed as Women's and Gender Studies 480 and Master's of Liberal Studies 468). Variable Topics. See course schedule for current offerings.

WGS 395 | WOMEN'S STUDIES ADVANCED SEMINAR | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

The Advanced Seminar emphasizes interdisciplinary methodology and students' independent research. Designed to be an integrating experience, the seminar will focus on discussion, response to research, and blending theory and application.The primary goal of the Advanced Seminar is the successful completion of a project or thesis reflecting your knowledge and passionate interests developed in your Women's and Gender Studies major, and it is designed to facilitate this process. Not recommended for non-majors.

WGS 391 or instructor permission is a prerequisite for this course.

WGS 398 | TRAVEL/STUDY | 1-4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

(Cross-listed with WGS 498)

WGS 399 | INDEPENDENT STUDY | 1-6 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

By arrangement. Variable credit.

WGS 400 | FEMINIST THEORIES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course is designed to provide you with an introduction to the development of some contemporary feminist theories: local, global, transnational. The theories are interpretive frameworks to analyze, understand and act in the world. The theorists/writers offer concepts to critically analyze structures and practices of oppression, privilege, resilience, and resistance; they provide frameworks for conducting feminist research, advocacy, and activism for personal, social, intellectual, and/or political change and transformation. In this course, we will examine how these theoretical perspectives seek to understand and address various systems of inequality and power and the method(s) that we - theorists, scholars, researchers, advocates, activists, artists, writers - propose for change. We will discuss how these various feminisms continue to develop and evolve in relation to one another and to changing historical, political, social, economic contexts. Cross-listed with MLS 440.

WGS 405 | MOTHERING. WORK AND REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course examines the institution of motherhood and gendered and racialized divisions of labor through the framework of reproductive justice in a cross-cultural and transnational perspective. What does mothering have to do with the feminization of poverty? How does the labor of mothers impact struggles for social justice and equality? Why is making visible the work of mothering critical to the pursuit of economic justice? What are the entanglements of mothering in relation to queerness as well as heterosexuality? Central topics will include ideas about motherwork, sexuality, labor and wealth inequalities, marriage, reproductive rights and politics, and capitalism with attention to the imperatives of gender, racial, and economic justice. This course includes interdisciplinary scholarship drawing from history, popular culture, autobiography, critical race theory, feminist economics, and motherhood studies.

WGS 406 | GENDER AND FAMILIES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course considers issues raised by the diverse roles that women, men, and children play in families. It focuses particular attention on the social construction of gender in families, and examines families in their social, economic, and political contexts. Topics covered include adult intimate relationships, the social construction of motherhood and fatherhood, and shifting gender relations of power in families, family stress and adaptation, and the impact of social policies on families' lives.

WGS 407 | WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST: BEYOND THE VEIL | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course explores how Middle Eastern Women have been represented in the media outside of the Middle East, by Arab women scholars, and "Third World" feminists and challenges these representations by focusing on issues such as veiling, the everyday lives of Middle Eastern Women, political activism, literary works, economics and social class, and media representations.

WGS 410 | FEMINIST ETHICS | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course explores theoretical issues regarding women's moral experience and feminist approaches to liberation from various forms of socio-cultural and political oppression. It explores the moral status of women from their own experiences and perspectives, in contrast to traditional Western ethics' characterizations, as well as feminist ethical perspectives on oppressive social practices, such as racism and violence against women, and the ethical dimensions of difference among women.

WGS 414 | ANTIRACIST FEMINISMS | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course introduces students to the wide array of feminist thinking regarding ideologies of race, racism, white privilege, ethnocentrism, racial and ethnic identifications, and their relationship to gender, class, sexual and national identities and locations. The ways that racism has divided women's movements and feminist organizations will be examined along with the work of feminist scholars, writers, activists, and advocates who have articulated explicitly anti-racist theories, analyses, and programs within the U.S. as well as internationally.

WGS 415 | FEMINIST GENEALOGIES IN WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course introduces graduate students to the field of Women's and Gender Studies. It delves into the divergent ways in which scholars have approached the intellectual project of studying women and gender. Through tracing the historical growth and development of the discipline and its institutionalization, the course explores how attention to intersectional, transnational, and queer feminisms have expanded the field and its topics of study.

WGS 416 | REPRESENTATIONS OF THE BODY | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course reflects the current explosion of intellectual interest in the body as a site of cultural meaning. The course addresses the questions of how the body is socially created and sustained. It explores those questions in terms of tensions between nature and culture, body and spirit, and how discourses of power converge in and on the body.

WGS 420 | TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE: THEORY AND PRACTICE | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course introduces students to transformative justice responses to violence that do not rely on state institutions. These include collective processes for support and healing, intervention, accountability, and prevention. The pedagogical praxis of learning will be through communal peacemaking circles and collective strategy sessions to create community responses to violence. Cross-listed with WGS 320.

WGS 422 | FEMALE IDENTITIES: YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course is an introduction to Young Adult Literature as a genre and explores how this literature relates to adolescent girls' experiences in diverse cultural contexts. It addresses themes related to physical and emotional development, the development of personal values and beliefs; the construction of identity; beliefs and attitudes about the body; interpersonal relationships; gender and sexuality; and coping with change, death, belonging, alienation, and escape. Course materials are multicultural with a focus upon the experiences of female adolescents in terms of ethnicity, culture, gender, religion, disability, as well as other dimensions of difference within national and international contexts.

WGS 424 | WOMEN IN THEATRE: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course examines the concepts of gender and theatrical performance with reference to history, culture, critical response, viewer interpretation, and identity in a global context. Students will study character as a dramatic construct with respect to gender, race, and class; it examines how dramatic images are as diverse as their cultural contexts; explores the concepts of reader and viewer response to theater; and interrogates the relationship between the American theatrical image and the larger global context within which images are created.

WGS 426 | WOMEN AND LAW | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course investigates the variety of ways in which women come into relation with the law, e.g., through laws and judicial decisions dealing with equal opportunity.

WGS 430 | LESBIAN LIVES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course explores constructions of lesbian lives, politics, and communities in the U.S. using the political cartoons of artist Alison Bechdel as a primary text, along with theoretical and historical readings. Students examine the constructions of identities and politics within lesbian culture, paying particular attention to how these have changed and evolved over time, and how community can be created and sustained. Cross-listed with WGS 330.

WGS 440 | GENDERED COMMUNICATION | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Examines research into the ways the various aspects of communication are affected by and affect the social construction of gender. Topics covered include language and language usage differences, interaction patterns and perceptions of the sexes generated through language and communication. (Cross-listed as CMNS 523)

WGS 445 | WOMEN, WAR AND RESISTANCE | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course aims to make feminist sense of contemporary wars and conflicts. It analyzes the intersections between gender, race, class, and ethnicity in national conflicts. The class traces the gendered processes of defining citizenship, national identity and security, and examines the role of institutions like the military in the construction of femininity and masculinity. The course focuses on the gendered impact of war and conflict through examining torture, mass rape, genocide, and refugee displacement. Cross-listed as WGS 345.

WGS 452 | GENDER, COMMUNITY, AND ACTIVISM: COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING IN WGS | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Gender, Community, and Activism : Community-Based Learning in WGS is an interdisciplinary experiential/service learning seminar designed for undergraduate and graduate students in the field of Women's and Gender Studies. In an effort to provide students with an experience that integrates the feminist-informed theoretical work of the classroom with practical application in the community, the course will pair students with internship opportunities at community-based organizations that focus on a cause/issue related to their particular area of scholarly interest. The course is designed to encourage learning by doing and reflecting, where students will be asked to reflect on their internship experiences outside of the classroom through course readings, written assignments, and class discussion.

WGS 455 | WOMEN AND ART | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Examines the work of the most significant women artists from the Renaissance to the present. It will also investigate how women have been represented in Western art by both male and female artists. Cross-listed as MLS 474.

WGS 460 | GENDER AND SOCIETY | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Attention to the growing literature and empirical research on changing patterns in economic, psychological, and social outcomes for women and men. Consideration of various theories of gender differentiation and equality. (Cross-listed as MLS 447 and SOC 470)

WGS 462 | INTRODUCTION TO TRANSGENDER STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course considers the emerging interdisciplinary field of transgender studies and its indebtedness to transgender history and activism, paying particular attention to the relationship between trans studies in the academy and in queer and feminist communities. Introducing the student to the relationship between trans studies and feminist studies, philosophy, science and LGBTQ studies, we won't attempt to justify trans existence or identity but rather address the interlocking structures that both survey and exclude trans bodies.

WGS 463 | GLOBALLY QUEER: TRANSNATIONAL LGBTQ POLITICS | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course explores how political issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities and individuals are linked to global and transnational politics of citizenship, power, security, and political economy. It focuses on how gender roles, relationships, and identities are constructed, deployed, challenged, and resisted around the world, paying particular attention to how these systems and structures are interconnected. Cross-listed as WGS 363.

WGS 464 | POLITICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This class explores the interplay of political, social, economic and aesthetic factors in feminist autobiography from a transnational perspective. We examine the ways that women's autobiography is being used to write themselves into history. Story is integral in the process of healing and building solidarity and coalitions for gender based organizing. Further, autobiography creates a space for the "alter-history" to be told: the absence of testimony and experience is created for others to gain hope, strength, and deeper understanding of others and themselves. Various forms and critiques of feminist autobiographies are explored, and how each impacts the political possibilities for readers.

WGS 465 | GLOBALIZATION, TRANSNATIONALISM, AND GENDER | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course examines how gender-based inequities are linked to global and transnational politics of power, security, political economy, militarism, and ecology. There will be a focus on how gender roles, relationships, and identities are constructed, deployed, challenged, and resisted around the globe, paying particular attention to how systems and structures of gender, race, class, sexuality, age, ability, culture, religion, nation etc. are interconnected. It will explore how resistance to structural inequities is constructed within and across national boundaries, paying particular attention to the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide and how the responses of NGOs to crises (e.g., nuclearism, uneven economic development, environmental degradation) highlight the shortcomings of state-centered decision making.

WGS 470 | ADVANCED PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN AND GENDER | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

A review of research and theory on women's and gender, including sexist biases and methodology, feminist therapy, violence against women, and gender differences in the development of power and sexuality. Cross-listed as MLS 478 and PSY 561.

WGS 473 | SEMINAR IN GRADUATE PROPOSAL WRITING | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This is a required proposal writing course designed for graduate students in Women's and Gender Studies. The class will provide space for discussion, shared experiences and intellectual resources for students to be able to write effective proposals for their final MA projects or research grants grounded in feminist praxis. The main objective of the class will be to provide a structured process toward constructing proposals collaboratively, highlighting practices of peer feedback.

WGS 400 and WGS 491 are prerequisites for this class.

WGS 475 | FEMINISMS OF THE BLACK DIASPORA | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course is designed to offer a critical examination of black women's experiences and thought within a global and transnational framework. The course examines works by and about black women in diverse social, political, and geographical contexts: the continent of Africa, Western Europe, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Australia. Topics to be explored will include issues of politics and ideology; power and inequality based on intersectionality of race and other dimension of identity; agency, activism, and social movements; the mass media, popular culture and social policies. Cross-listed with WGS 375.

WGS 478 | UTOPIAN & DYSTOPIAN LITERATURE AND FILM: GENDER, RACE AND BEYOND | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

What does the future hold for humankind on this planet and elsewhere? What will life be like in the not too distant as well as far distant futures? How will societies be organized? What kinds of cultural milieus will shape life and living? How will identities be articulated and negotiated? Who will govern? Who will be in resistance? Who will be present and who will be absent? How will things come to be? These questions will form the core of our study of a genre devoted to social commentary, envisioning vastly different ideas about the future, emergent from 20th century works.

WGS 480 | SELECTED TOPICS: WOMEN, SELF AND SOCIETY | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Topics vary. See schedule for current offerings. [Cross-listed as MLS 468 and WGS 394].

WGS 485 | WOMEN, GENDER, AGENCY, AND SOCIAL CHANGE | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course will examine women's individual and collective involvement in social, economic, and political resistance and change. The course will focus on women's participation with attention to the ways that gender shapes the history and development of social movements organized at local, national, regional and global levels, within and across differences of race, class, ethnicity, nationality, religion, geographic location and sexuality. Concrete examples of women's and gender movements within particular historical and geographical contexts, including within Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the United States, among others, will be highlighted.

WGS 486 | BLACK WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES: VARIABLE TOPICS | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Topics vary. This course is designed to address issues related to the particular experiences of women in the Black Diaspora. Topics will vary in terms of their particular focus in addressing issues that are important to understanding Black women's experiences in a US context and globally: making interconnections to the experiences of women of other ethnic, cultural, and national backgrounds. The course will provide occasions for students to study and examine issues such as Black women's cultural criticism, Black women in the arts, engagement in activism and social and political movements --literature and the media.

WGS 488 | QUEER THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course examines some of the central texts of queer theory in order to contextualize and historicize the notion of homosexuality as a primary category of identity. The issue of sexual normativity as it relates to gay and lesbian assimilation will also be discussed. Because of the significant relationship of gender and sexuality, we will also examine theories of embodiment and take up the debates around the politics of intersex and transgender identities.

WGS 490 | WOMEN ACROSS CULTURES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

A critical analysis of the roles of women in societies around the world, with special emphasis on economics, politics and culture. Focus is on African, Asian and Latin American cultures and nondominant groups within Western societies. Topics vary each quarter. (Cross-listed as MLS 441 and WGS 390)

WGS 491 | METHODS AND SCHOLARSHIP IN WOMEN'S & GENDER STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

An exploration of the transforming effects that feminist methodologies and scholarship have had in the social sciences and humanities. This course emphasizes interdisciplinary research approaches, feminist publishing, and the interplay of research and activism, as it prepares students to write a research proposal.

WGS 400 is a prerequisite for this course.

WGS 493 | FINAL PROJECT INDEPENDENT RESEARCH | 4-8 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This course involves individual investigation and research (toward completion of the Master's thesis, project, or portfolio) under the supervision of a faculty member. A minimum of 4 credit hours required. Course can be repeated for a total of 8 credit hours.

WGS 495 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Topics vary. See schedule for current offerings.

WGS 496 | CANDIDACY CONTINUATION | 0 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This 0-credit hour course is available to master's degree candidates who are actively working toward the completion of a thesis, project, or portfolio. Enrollment in this course is limited to three quarters and requires thesis/project advisor and graduate director approval and demonstration to them of work each quarter. Enrollment in this course allows access to the library and other campus facilities. This course carries and requires the equivalent of half-time enrollment status. The student may be eligible for loan deferment and student loans. This course is graded as pass/fail. (0 credit hours)

WGS 497 | CANDIDACY MAINTENANCE | 0 quarter hours

(Graduate)

This 0-credit hour course is available to graduate students who are not registered for a course in a given quarter but need to maintain active university status. Enrollment in this course is limited to three quarters and requires permission of the graduate director. Enrollment in this course allows access to the library and other campus facilities. This course does not carry an equivalent enrollment status and students in it are not eligible for loan deferment or student loans. This course is not graded. (0 credit hours)

WGS 498 | FOREIGN STUDY | 4 quarter hours

(Graduate)

Foreign Study.

WGS 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY | 12.00 quarter hours

(Graduate)