Department of Women's and Gender Studies

College of Arts and Humanities

143 Main Hall
610-436-2464
Women's and Gender Studies
Simon Ruchti, Chairperson

The Women’s and Gender Studies department consists of an interrelated group of courses offered in a wide variety of academic disciplines. The department operates under the supervision of the Women’s and Gender Studies Steering Committee. This department is envisaged both as an enrichment to liberal education and as a pre-professional field. The social transformation that is taking place in society and in intellectual life is making study in this area an asset in many arenas.

The aim of the department is to integrate the perception and experience of women into the curriculum and to encourage inquiry into previously neglected areas, such as women’s history, women’s literature and art, psychology of women, and women’s position in society.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Department provides an excellent learning environment that places an analysis of structural inequality, with a primary focus on gender inequality, at the center of the curriculum. It prepares students for careers, graduate study, and life choices through an interdisciplinary curriculum that establishes feminist values in its pedagogy and content. Women’s and Gender Studies faculty are productive teacher-scholars who provide leadership and scholarship for integrating gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, nationality, and disability issues into the curriculum.

Major in Women's and Gender Studies

Minor in Women's and Gender Studies

Graduate Opportunities

See the graduate catalog for more information on the Women's and Gender Studies program.

All undergraduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the undergraduate catalog.  Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department program(s) may be listed below.

Professors

Kevin B. Aptowicz (2005)

B.S., Columbia University; M.S., University of Colorado; Ph.D., Yale University

Jen S. Bacon (2000)

B.A., University of South Carolina; M.A., University of Cincinnati; Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Eleanor Brown (2005)

B.A., Haverford College; Ph.D., University of Delaware

Virginia M. Da Costa (1998)

B.A., State University of New York at Albany; M.A., California State University at Long Beach; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Joy Fritschle (2007)

B.A., Humboldt State University; M.S., University of Memphis; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Susan Gans (1997)

B.A., New York University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago

Karin E. Gedge (1997)

B.A., Lake Forest College; M.A., State University of New York at Brockport; Ph.D., Yale University

Lauri Hyers (2004)

B.A., Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Jane E. Jeffrey (1991)

B.A., Memphis State; M.A., Ph.D., University of Iowa

Lisa A. Kirschenbaum (1996)

A.B., Brown University; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Rodney Mader (1999)

Chairperson, English

B.A., Ph.D., Temple University

Deborah Mahlstedt (1988)

B.S., State University of New York at Rockport; M.Ed., Ph.D., Temple University

Lisa Millhous (1999)

B.A., Macalester College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Cherise Pollard (1999)

B.A., Rutgers - The State University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Ruth Porritt (1991)

B.A., John Carroll University; Ph.D., Purdue University

Geetha Ramanathan (1987)

M.A., University of Bombay; A.M., University of Illinois; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Stacey Schlau (1985)

Graduate Coordinator, Languages and Cultures

B.A., M.A., Queens College; Ph.D., City University of New York

Frauke I. Schnell (1992)

B.A., University of Tuebingen (Germany); M.A., Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook

Eleanor F. Shevlin (2001)

Graduate Coordinator, English

A.B., Georgetown University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Maryland

Linda S. Stevenson (2002)

Chairperson, Political Science

B.A., College of Wooster; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Maria Van Liew (1998)

Graduate Coordinator, Languages and Cultures

B.A., Clark University; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

Associate Professors

Page W. Buck (2008)

B.A., Middlebury College; M.S.S., Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College

Kristen B. Crossney (2008)

B.S., University of Maryland-Baltimore County; M.A., Temple University; Ph.D., Rutgers University

Martha Donkor (2014)

B.A., University of Cape Coast; M.A., University of Guelph; Ph.D., University of Toronto

Erin Hurt (2010)

Assistant Chairperson, English

B.A., University of North Texas; M.A., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Deborah Ann Mandel (2012)

B.S.N., Kean University; M.S.N., University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., Rutgers University

Merry G. Perry (2002)

B.S., M.A., Ph.D., University of South Florida

Lisa C. Ruchti (2007)

B.A., Bowling Green State University; M.A., University of Cincinnati; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

E. Simon Ruchti (2011)

Chairperson, Women's and Gender Studies

B.A., Mount Holyoke College; M.A., New York University; Ph.D., Ohio University

Nancy J. Rumfield (1986)

B.F.A., Moore College of Art; M.S., West Chester University; Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University

Helen Schroepfer (2005)

B.A., College of St. Benedict/St. John's University; M.A., St. Mary's Seminar and University; Ph.D., Temple University

Chris Stangl (2006)

B.S., Drake University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Cassie Ann Striblen (2010)

B.A., Ohio University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati

Assistant Professors

Jacqueline S. Hodes (2012)

Graduate Coordinator, Educational Foundations and Policy Studies

Assistant Chairperson, Educational Foundations and Policy Studies

B.A., M.Ed., Ed.D., University of Delaware

Dean J. Johnson (2013)

B.A., Manchester University; M.A., Bethany Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Denver

Tabassum Ruby (2016)

B.A. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; M.A. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; Ph.D. York University, Toronto

Julie B. Wiest (2013)

B.S., University of Tennessee; M.A., University of Georgia; Ph.D., University of Tennessee

WOS

WOS 100. Body Politics: Gender, Culture, and Representation. 3 Credits.

This course examines the body as a contested site of both pleasure and oppression. Considerable focus will be placed on the impact of culture on our understandings of the body, including ideas about gender, race, and sexuality. Students of all genders will be encouraged to explore how their own body image has been shaped by social norms that are simultaneously accepted and resisted. This course thereby provides an opportunity to question a variety of norms surrounding the body, including ideas about beauty, size, shape and ability.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement.
Typically offered in Fall.

WOS 225. Intro to Women's and Gender Studies. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary course designed to enable students to analyze the lived experience of women, to evaluate the impact of gender, to question the implications of changing cultural patterns, and to sample first-hand efforts for social change. Satisfies interdisciplinary requirement. Offered every semester.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement, Interdisciplinary Requirement, Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

WOS 250. Women's Self Representation. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary approach to ways women record their lives.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement, Interdisciplinary Requirement, Writing Emphasis.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

WOS 276. Sexual Identity. 3 Credits.

Interdisciplinary introduction to meanings attached to human sexuality, exploring intersections between theories of sexual identity and theories of gender, class, race, ethnicity, age, and nationality.
Gen Ed Attribute: Interdisciplinary Requirement.
Typically offered in Spring.

WOS 305. Intellectual Roots of Western Feminism. 3 Credits.

The course examines the major issues and themes that have historically been included in feminist theorizing about women's situation and experiences, including: ethical foundations, the origins of patriarchy, feminist epistemology, education, body issues, issues of difference, religion, civil rights, and psychological development. Chronologically, the course covers from the enlightenment (Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women) through Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement.
Typically offered in Fall.

WOS 306. Transnational Feminisms. 3 Credits.

This course explores current issues and debates relating to the gendered effects of globalization and women's political responses to it and dynamically re-conceptualizes the relationship between women and nation; between gender and globalization; and between feminist theory and practice.
Typically offered in Fall.

WOS 310. Women and Activism. 3 Credits.

Although often misrepresented or ignored, women were and continue to be active in a wide range of social justice movements. This course focuses specifically upon women activists in the United States and their resistance to structural inequalities based upon gender. In addition to social justice movements focused on sexism, this course uses intersectional theory to recognize the feminist value of women who work against racial, economic, sexual, and other oppressions.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 310 requires a prerequisite of WOS 225 or WOS 250.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement, Writing Emphasis.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

WOS 315. Women of the Global South. 3 Credits.

This course will examine the nature of women's lives in the global South, focusing on topics such as family, education, health, development policies, and political change. Geographic areas studied include Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement, Interdisciplinary Requirement.
Typically offered in Fall.

WOS 320. Independent Study. 3 Credits.

Independent research and study for upper-division students. Topic to be approved by supervising faculty member.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 320 requires prerequisite of WOS 225.
Typically offered in Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

WOS 325. Special Topics. 3 Credits.

Selected (and changing) topics, e.g., Ethnic Women; Women and Work; Love and Sexuality. Offered as projected enrollments warrant.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

WOS 326. Women and Witchcraft in Africa. 3 Credits.

This course utilizes witchcraft belief and accusation as a lens through which to examine the oppression of women in sub-Saharan Africa. It examines historical and contemporary beliefs and manifestations of witchcraft, and analyzes the centrality of women (and children) as victims. It also examines the impact of witchcraft accusation on women's social and economic development.
Typically offered in Spring.

WOS 329. Gender and Peace. 3 Credits.

An examination of the ways in which social constructions of gender intersect with perceptions and the experience of war.
Gen Ed Attribute: Interdisciplinary Requirement.
Typically offered in Spring.

WOS 335. Gender, Race and Science. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary course on the role of gender and race in the formation of science.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement, Interdisciplinary Requirement.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

WOS 350. Lesbian Studies. 3 Credits.

This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to lesbian studies that focuses on the historical and contemporary diversity of lesbian genders and sexualities, especially as shaped by race, class, culture, and nation. Special attention will be placed upon lesbian activism as well as contestations within lesbian communities about racism, classism, and cissexism.
Gen Ed Attribute: Interdisciplinary Requirement.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

WOS 366. Gender,Labor and Globalization. 3 Credits.

Sociological and feminist analysis of global labor issues such as immigration, citizenship, motherhood, childcare, emotional labor, guest workers, commodification, and exploitation.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 366 requires a prerequisite of SOC 200 or permission of instructor.
Typically offered in Fall.
Cross listed courses SOC 366, WOS 366.

WOS 400. Internship. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to allow students the opportunity to put into practice, outside the academic setting, the knowledge regarding women's experiences gained in other courses. Some possible sites might be a women's health clinic, a business, a newspaper, a social service agency, or an electoral campaign. There will be both an on-site and a faculty supervisor.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 400 requires prerequisite of WOS 225 and two other women's studies courses.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

WOS 405. Feminist Theory. 3 Credits.

Designed to introduce and discuss basic questions in contemporary feminist theory, the course will explore different philosophies of feminism and include such issues as motherhood, intersections with other theories of oppression, and body politics.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 405 requires prerequisite of WOS 225.
Typically offered in Spring.
Cross listed courses WOS 405, PHI 405.

WOS 410. Senior colloquium. 3 Credits.

Sample topics include global feminism, mothering, the experiences of women of color, and feminist utopias.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 410 requires prerequisite of WOS 225 and two other women's studies courses.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

WOS 415. Senior Project. 3 Credits.

Preparation of research in any area of women's studies, to be decided by student and adviser. Supervision includes exercises in method and bibliography. Usually, a lengthy research paper will be the final result.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 415 requires prerequisite of WOS 225 and two other women's studies courses.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.