1 semester, 3 credits
This course is an interdisciplinary survey of some of the major concepts and theories in the academic field of women's studies. Using material from the social sciences, literature, and the arts, this course will describe the position of women in contemporary society, examine explanations for the causes and consequences of this position, and discuss approaches to change that have been suggested. Emphasis will be placed on the commonalities and differences among women, with particular attention given to the ways class, culture, race, and ethnicity affect women's lives and experiences.
WMS 114 — The History of Women's Art
An introduction to art by women as seen against a background of shifting social status and mainstream artistic currents. Same as ARH 114.
WMS 224 – Women and Music
This course will focus on the musical education of women and their involvement in music from the Middle Ages through the present time. The variety of music careers, including composing, performing, and teaching, will be emphasized. Same as MSC 224.
WMS 225 — Women and the American Experience
This course will explore the contribution of women to the American historical experience from the beginnings of American History to the Civil War and examine the impact of changes in American politics, economics, and society on the lives of women and their families. Same as HIS 225.
WMS 226 — Women and the Modern American Experience
This course will survey the contribution of women to the American historical experience in the period since the Civil War and will examine the impact of changes in American politics, economics, and society on the lives of women and their families. Specific areas of inquiry will include the emergence of the modern American family, the ways in which industrialization and the emergence of a working class culture were conditioned by factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, and region. Students will also examine the impact of the upheavals of the twentieth century, including two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Cold War. Finally, students will examine the origins of modern feminism and anti-feminism. Same as HIS 226.
WMS 260 – Women in Dance and Sport
Women have made tremendous strides in both dance and sport over the past century. This course will study the achievements of and challenges to women in dance and sport, with a focus on contemporary artists and athletes. A historical background of dance and sport will provide the foundation for analysis of some contemporary issues in these fields. Same as TDF 260
WMS 301 - Current Issues in Social Work
1 semester, 3 credits
This elective offers an in-depth examination and analysis of specific contemporary problems, their scope, their social policy implications, and the role of social work in addressing these problems. Recent offerings include topics such as alcohol and substance abuse, violence against women, confronting HIV/AIDS, child welfare and youth-at-risk, and international human services. Same as SWK 301.
WMS 303 - Sociology of the Family
Family patterns and processes in selected societies. Uniformities and variations in structures are considered. The family is analyzed as a social institution and as a form of intimate behavior. Various alternatives to the family are explored, and issues related to human sexuality and gender-role behavior are examined. The course will focus on race, class, and gender. Same as SOC 301.
WMS 305 – Psychology of Women
A critical survey of current views in the psychological study of women. Factors related to female development as well as issues of particular relevance to the behavior of women (achievement, materialism, marital roles, etc.) will be discussed. No prerequisite for WMS students. Same as PSY 305.
WMS 313 - The Power of Whiteness
Historical development of "whiteness" within the context of colonialism, slavery, imperialism and globalization and their aftermaths as a way of understanding the culture environments and processes of ethno racial and gender-sexual identity formation today. Hegemonic whiteness is deconstructed and challenged. Whiteness is examined as an unnamed, unmarked category, "whites are just normal," that carries powers and privileges. Same as AMS 313, BLS, 313, GST 313, and SOC 313.
WMS 318 - Globalization and Social Justice
With the fall of socialist states, capitalist markets, economic relations, and consumerism have become truly global. Examines the political, cultural, and economic origins, consequences, and responses (with specific concern for the prospects for social justice, democracy and equality) in the rich and poor countries of the world; the impacts on workers; the ecological, resource, and environmental implications; and anti-corporate globalization resistance movements. Same as AMS 318, GST 381, SOC 318.
WMS 320 – Women in the Arts, 1960–Present
The 20th Century has seen a significant increase in the contribution of women to the arts. This course will examine this contribution through a detailed analysis of the most prominent and influential of these works in a variety of media, including the visual, performing, and literary arts. Each artist's work will be considered not only in and of itself, but also as representative of its media, and against a backdrop of historical, sociological, and political circumstances surrounding female achievement. Same as ARH 320 and TDF 320.
WMS 324 – Sociology of Women and Men in Society
This course analyzes the social, cultural, political, and economic roles of women and men cross-culturally and historically in societies such as the United States, Europe, the former Soviet Union, China, Latin America, the Middle East, and certain small subsistence-level societies. Structural and cultural causes and consequences of different forms of gender stratification are emphasized. Same as SOC 324.
WMS 325 – African-American Women
Focuses on sociological analyses of the constructions and reconstructions of African American women, examining the interrelationships of gender, race, caste, class, racism, and sexism in the United States, past and present. Topics will include the family, male-female relations, poverty, discrimination, social movements, with particular emphasis on origins, consequences, social and individual changes and resistance to change, sociological, Afro-centric, and feminist theories. Same as BLS 325, SOC 325.
WMS 326 - Contemporary Women Philosophers
An in-depth investigation of selected women philosophers and their contributions to contemporary thought. The course may include the study of philosophers such as Elizabeth Anscombe, Simone de Beauvoir, Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt, and Edith Stein. Same as PHL 326.
WMS 334 – Men and Women in Medieval Society
This course considers the status, experiences, and opportunities of men and women in the context of marriage, sexuality, and family life influenced from the time of the Roman Republic to the 13th century. Attention also is given to the major impact of the Catholic Church upon the development of marital and familial institutions. Same as HIS 334.
WMS 345 - The Consumer Society
Consumption and consumerism are driving forces sustaining the expansionist logic of advanced capitalism and globalization. Consumption of commodities has become the basis for the formation of ever-changing individual and group identities. Examines the historical development of consumerism, theoretical approaches to understanding the political, social, economic, individual and very importantly, the environmental consequences of consumerism. Same as AMS 345, GST 345 and SOC 345.
WMS 352 - Global Feminisms in the Age of Empires and Beyond
Addresses the relationship between feminism, colonialism, and postcolonialism. The legacies of the unequal relationship between Western and non‐western feminists often weighed heavily on emergent feminisms in postcolonial societies, and feminism took on new forms in response to those legacies. Course incorporates historiography, literary fiction, and film focused on the British and French empires. Not open to freshmen. Same as HIS 352.
WMS 354 – Nineteenth-Century British Novel
This course concentrates on the major novelists of nineteenth century England, paying special attention to the Victorian period. Authors include Austen, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Thackery, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy. In the past, discussion topics have included variations on the marriage plot, representations of the Victorian family, the formation of and challenges to narrative conventions, and the relationship between author and audience. Same as ENG 354.
WMS 369 – Women in Literature
Women in Literature explores great works of fiction, poetry, and drama to examine images of women in their social-historical and philosophical contexts. A background in classical literature and myth is followed by a careful examination of works by women writers who may include Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, George Eliot, the Brontes, Edith Wharton, Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Lillian Hellman, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, and various contemporary poets. Same as ENG 369.
WMS 376 - Toni Morrison
This course examines a selection of novels by the 1993 Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. It analyzes her dialogue with African American and American history, with an emphasis on individual and communal trauma, memory, and healing. Selected, accessible Morrison scholarship will be studied as well, with a focus on race, class, and gender and on Morrison’s strategies as a creative writer.
We will read eight of the ten novels that Morrison has published so far—The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, and A Mercy. We will study Morrison as a literary author who, while writing about history and society, creates memorable portraits of individuals who are caught in swirls of social currents beyond their immediate control and find themselves responding, willingly or unwillingly, to such vicissitudes. Morrison’s multivoiced and multilayered lyrical prose offers endless opportunities for discussions of literary style.
This course is both reading-intensive and writing-intensive. Each weekly session will be run as a discussion, initiated by a student presentation and by focus questions posted on the course web site. The coursework will include two critically engaged short essays and one research paper. Cross-listed with AMS, BLS, and ENG. Fulfills Diversity Proficiency.
WMS 380 - Gender and Politics
A study of the political significance of the treatment, roles, and status of women, with emphasis on the United States. Examination of the meaning of gender, sexism, and feminism. Same as PSC 380.
WMS 451 - Women and Family Issues Internship
Offers students interested in the Women's Studies Program an opportunity to use their academic knowledge and skills by working in a local agency/organization. Students must 1) have an appropriate site location set up 2) obtain approval from the intern faculty advisor. Same as SOC 451. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.
WMS 470 - Special Topics in Women's Studies
A seminar setting involving in-depth analysis of topics of contemporary interest in the interdisciplinary field of Women's Studies, these courses are offered at the discretion of the Director in consultation with the WMS Executive Committee. Some examples of the courses are: Feminism, History and Popular Culture; Fairytales, Fantasies and Feminism; Gender, Race & Class Issues in Education; Masculinity, Femininity and Body in Popular Culture; Gender, Health and Technology; Women and Mass Media; Women in Service.
WMS 489: Capstone in Women's Studies
A requirement for the major or the minor in Women's Studies, the Capstone Seminar focuses all the theory, research, and reading WMS students have experienced on issues and topics that vary by semester. Offers a culmination of WMS study, research, writing, and collaborative work and presentations in a seminar setting. Prerequisite: WMS 101.
WMS 490: Independent Study in Women's Studies
This course allows highly motivated students to pursue in depth a topic in the interdisciplinary field of Women's Studies under the direction of one or more members of the faculty. Proposals for such work, including specific objectives, should be made in writing prior to course registration. Depending on topic and at the discretion of the director of Women's Studies, the course may be considered either as an elective Women's Studies course in humanities or social science. Prerequisites: WMS 101, 489 and permission of sponsoring faculty member(s).