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Women's and Gender Studies

The Women’s and Gender Studies (WST) minor integrates social science, science and humanistic approaches by using women’s experience and feminist theory to analyze themes in the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. The Women’s Studies minor further emphasizes the interdisciplinary study of women and gender, and an inclusive study of women that acknowledges differences such as race, class, sexuality, and national belonging. Women's Studies develops students' skills of critical thinking and reading, communication and analysis, writing and research, imagination and creative expression.

Women's and Gender Studies is a flexible, versatile field of study that can be used in many careers. Women's Studies provides students a strong education in writing, critical thinking, research, public presentation, and leadership skills that are valuable in many fields. In addition, many employers are increasingly aware that they need to deal with gender and diversity issues in the workplace.

Course Descriptions

WST 2500 - Introduction to Women’s Studies (3-0-3)

In this course we will examine women and gender from an interdisciplinary perspective, borrowing from Humanities and Social Science fields such as English, psychology, philosophy, art history, sociology, film studies, women’s health, and cultural studies. At the same time, we will consider the ways that gender roles vary across time and in different cultural contexts, paying particular attention to analysis of interrelated gender, race, sexuality, and class oppressions. Prerequisite(s): CRIT 1101 (C) and ENGL 1102 (C).

WST 3300 - Women and Sport (3-0-3)

This course provides an introduction to current debates and scholarship in the field of women and sport. The course examines the cultural production of the female athlete and explores the underpinning historical, social, economic and political implications of women in sports. Topics include: media representations of female athletes, media coverage of women’s sport, women’s sporting bodies, female physicality, and the iconic image of the athlete in U.S. culture.

WST 3400 - Gender, Culture, and Globalization (3-0-3)

This course will review recent scholarship on globalization, gender and culture in several advanced and developing countries. Putting gender at the center of globalization discourses highlights the historical and cultural variability of gender relations intersecting with class, race and nationality, and highlights the impact of restructuring on workers, organizations and institutions at the local, national and regional levels. Topics for the course will include: ERSAP (Economic Reform and Structural Adjustment Programs), transnational families, migration, global gender gap, sex segregated employment, the service economy, and cultural flow of commodities, capital, information, technology, and labor.

WST 3410 - U.S. Women of Colors (3-0-3)

This course provides students with a better understanding of the unique positionalities and standpoints of women of colors living in the U.S. and focuses on Native American, African American, Latina and Asian American women. The historical and contemporary experiences of U.S. women of colors will be at the center of the course, and students will use critical theories of race, class, gender and sexuality to examine these experiences in terms of the contributions U.S. women of colors have made in shaping the nation. Course content and class discussions will focus on visual representations, ethnographies and writings of U.S. women of colors.

AFAM 3510/WST 2510—Black Feminist Theory and Womanist Theory

This course will review the scholarship in Black Feminist Theory and Womanist Theory. Beginning with the early black feminists, such as Barbara Christian, the class will focus on the progression of the theory and led into more contemporary scholars. The tenants of womanism, and possibly Africana womanism, will be enumerated, along with the scholars in the field.

WST 3500 - Feminist Theory (3-0-3)

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of western and non-western feminist thinkers from a variety of disciplines. Students will be trained to use theory as a tool of analysis. Through the lens of interdisciplinary feminist theory students will critically examine and explore global, social, and cultural issues. Prerequisite(s): WST 2500 (C) or PHIL 2010 (C) or PHIL 2040 (C).

WST 4010 - Feminist Media Studies (3-0-3)

This course explores the intersection of media culture (i.e., production, representation, reception, and identity), commercial media imperatives, feminism, and gender, examining the development, direction and contributions of scholarly/research approaches to these areas. Topics include: feminist media histories, gender roles in the media, feminist cultural studies, women and advertising, cultivation theory, the culture industry, agency through consumption and decades of women on television.

WST 4800 - Special Topics in Women’s Studies (3-0-3)

This course will be conducted as a revolving- topics seminar that may be repeated when topics vary. Topics will address relevant themes in Women’s Studies; for example, possible themes might include major historical and/or cultural movements, women’s work, women’s creative works, representations of women, or women in cross- cultural perspectives, as facilitated by the direction and expertise of the instructor. Prerequisite(s): WST 2500 (C).