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Women’s Studies Course Descriptions

WMS 1000 Women and Society: An Introduction to Women’s Studies
3 credits
An introduction to the field of Women’s Studies which focuses on the social and psychological implications of gender differences as culturally defined. The course will examine past and present literature, social institutions, intellectual history, and the contributions of women to science, art, and other disciplines. Distribution Requirement: GN.

WMS-HIS 1402 United States Women’s History to 1865
3 credits
An introductory survey course exploring how racial, class, and regional differences shaped the lives of different groups of American women from the early seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. Distribution Requirement: US.

WMS-AMS 2015 Gender and Nature
3 credits
This course introduces students to a selection of American writers, artists and naturalists whose work explores the relationship between the natural world, ways of understanding and relating to the natural world, and gender. Through the material covered in this course we will explore the ways in which the constructed ideas of “nature” and “gender” have been intertwined in American culture, how certain assumptions about the essential nature of women and men have shaped opportunities for women and men to explore, study and know the natural world, and how the gendering of nature has shaped discussions of environmental topics and issues. Distribution Requirement: US.

WMS-HIS 1403 United States Women’s History: 1865 to the Present
3 credits
An introductory survey of the work and family roles of different groups of American women from the post-Civil War era to the present. This course also discusses the historical development of the modern feminist movement in the United States. Distribution Requirement: US.

WMS-HIS 2115 Women in Asia Pre-Modern
3 credits
The principal goal of this course is to emphasize the value of comparative study for a meaningful understanding of different social and cultural traditions especially as they relate to the roles and status of women in Asia. This course will focus on the pre-modern period, a period that covers from the pre-imperial period of Confucius to the closing days of the dynastic system. Distribution Requirement: NW. Meets W-Course Requirement. Offered Term I and Term II.

WMS-HIS 2116 Women in Asia Modern
3 credits
The principal goal of this course is to emphasize the value of comparative study for a meaningful understanding of different social and cultural traditions especially as they relate to the roles and status of women in Asia. This course will focus on the modern period, a period that covers from closing days of the dynastic system, through the period of Western imperialism, to the middle of the twentieth century. Distribution Requirement: NW. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Offered Terms I and II.

WMS-PSY 2150 Psychology of Women
3 credits
This course takes a lifespan and thematic approach to the female experience. Topics include sexual dimorphism, childhood experiences, role identification, moral development, sexuality, motherhood, career options, aging, and the interplay of gender and psychological disorders. Prerequisites: Any of the following: PSY 1010, SOC 1010, or WMS 1000.

WMS-PSC 2400 Women in U.S. Politics
3 credits
The course examines women in contemporary American politics by first looking to the early foundations of feminist theory and a brief history of the women’s movement. It also examines the differences in behavior between the genders noted in much scholarly work in Political Science. The course concludes with an examination of the role of women in recent American campaigns and asks what the future holds for women in politics. Prerequisite: PSC 1040 or Permission of the Instructor. Distribution Requirement: US. Offered as needed.

WMS-SSC 2200 Women in the Military
3 credits
Covers the historical experience of women in the military in a variety of civilizations and conflicts. Special attention to women’s direct role in the practice of war and their leadership. Other topics include, military ethics, “Just War” theory, and the controversial debates concerning women in combat and military leadership. Distribution Requirement: GN. Offered Term I and Term II.

WMS-AMS 2410 Gender and Utopia in America
3 credits
A study of the tradition of utopian thinking in American culture and how that tradition has dealt with questions of gender. Distribution Requirement: US.

WMS-ANT 3040 The Anthropology of Gender
3 credits
Discussion of the cultural construction of gender roles in simple, tribal, modernizing, and industrial societies; traditional gender roles and the impact of social and cultural change. Prerequisite: Any lower division Social Science course or permission of instructor.

WMS-ENG 3075 Twentieth Century British Women Writers
3 credits
A study of selected writings by Twentieth Century British women authors, with attention to prominent themes, contemporary theoretical issues, literary techniques and genres, and relevant cultural and historical contexts. Readings will vary, but they will included such authors as Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, Angela Carter, A.S. Byatt, Pat Barker, Jeanette Winterson, and Zadie Smith. Readings may be supplemented with selected works of contemporary feminist theory and criticism and with the writings of relevant Twentieth Century pre-cursors, such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Charlotte Bronte. Prerequisite: WRT 1020 and one prior course in literature. Offered Term I and Term II.

WMS-SPA 3155 Contemporary Latina Literature
3 credits
Contemporary Latina Literature investigates the literary expressions of women writers born in the US of Hispanic heritage and who write in English. It studies a variety of genres and a diverse range of Latina ethnic groups in the United States. The course discusses topics such as the construction of identity in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and class; bilingualism; the experience of the exile, the immigrant, and the refugee; feminism; and activism. Prerequisites: SPA 3030 or SPA 3040 for Spanish majors. WRT 1020 for non-Spanish majors. Offered Term I and Term II.

WMS-HIS 3205 Origins of American Feminism, 1780s to the 1920s
3 credits
An exploration of the political, economic, and cultural conditions which promoted organized feminism in the United States from the 1780s to the 1920s. Topics discussed include: How does one define feminism? Who were the leading early feminists? What role did the antislavery movement, the Civil War, the emergence of corporate capitalism, and the development of birth control have on the struggle for women’s rights? Fulfills W-Course Requirement.

WMS-SOC 3300 Gender and Society
3 credits
The course will analyze the social construction of gender, looking at gender socialization, gender performance, social reproduction, and the role of social institutions in the maintenance of gender differences. Will also deconstruct basic binary ideas of gender using cross-cultural and historical material. Prerequisite: SOC 1010. Offered as needed.

WMS-PHR 3333 Feminist Philosophy
3 credits
This course serves as an introduction to feminist thought as it relates to perennial philosophical questions. This course will be an historical and topical introduction, but we will focus on recent feminist thought in the United States and Europe. We will situate these questions through an historical examination of authors representing perspective of Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism, Multiculturalism, and Postmodernism. Prerequisites: WMS 1000 or one PHR course or the permission of the instructor. Offered in Term I and Term II.

WMS 4590 Feminist Issues and Theories
3 credits
A capstone seminar which integrates the theories and ideas introduced in previous coursework in Women’s Studies. Will focus on feminist theoretical approaches and on major issues confronting women today, relating them to past history and future prospects.