Women's Studies (WOS)

College of Arts and Humanities

How to Read Course Descriptions

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.
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 critically engages a range of transnational feminist theories, movements, and praxis to analyze structures of power shaping people's lives in global contexts. The course seeks to decenter a body of feminist scholarship that often assumes shared visions of gender equality. Such studies conceptualize gender issues and concerns through a Eurocentric/colonial viewpoint by overlooking differences among people with respect to race, class, sexuality, and nationality. Course readings explore the ethics of cross-cultural knowledge production, activism, warfare, commodification of women's bodies, sexualities, and local resources. The main goals of the course are to expose students to a broad range of feminist thought and action and locate transnational feminist theories in relation to colonial and post-colonial narratives. It urges students to examine their own positions within global systems that connect the (often uneven) exchange of persons, capital, and ways of knowing.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement.
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.

A 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 381. The Forgotten Queens of Islam. 3 Credits.

For the past 1, 400 years, women have had a profound impact on institutions and ideologies in the Islamic world. They have mastered branches of knowledge, produced works of culture, amassed wealth, and even ruled as queens. In this course, students will read about prominent women's lives in historical texts from the Islamic world, focusing on the period from 600-1700 CE. Students will learn to read these historical texts "against the grain" through the lens of feminist history, which uses female perspectives to reframe and reconfigure our understanding of the past. By the end of the course, students will be equipped to analyze the various forms of power that have historically been available (and unavailable) to women in the Islamic Middle East, and to assess the many ways women have navigated unequal power structures in order to participate in their polities.
Gen Ed Attribute: Arabic Culture Cluster, Diversity Requirement, Foreign Language Culture Cluster.
Typically offered in Spring.
Cross listed courses HIS 381, WOS 381.

WOS 385. Feminist Theory. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the development of contemporary feminist theoretical constructs, beginning in the 1970s. Students will study classic feminist theories and ideas from this period. They will use a feminist pedagogy which emphasizes learning that is collaborative and student-centered. We value participatory, experiential, diverse, and student-centered knowledge production. Because we believe that students serve as sources of knowledge for themselves and each other, we encourage students to take initiative in and responsibility for the learning process.
Pre / Co requisites: WOS 385 requires a prerequisite of WOS 305.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Cross listed courses WOS 385, PHI 385.

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 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.