College of Arts and Sciences

Course Information

Fall 2018 Courses:

                               (resized) Intro Flyer, WOST21000, Fall 2018

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to women's and gender studies via readings from core discipline areas and presentation of methodological/bibliographical tools for research in women's studies. This course includes an examination of women's historic and contemporary status legally, politically, and economically, as well as women's struggles in identity expression, sexuality, and lifestyle.   

                               (resized) WOST W225 flyer fall 2018

Examination of popular cultural “makings” of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality through typical representation of gender within fiction, theater, cinema, radio, music, television, journalism, and other secular mass media. Course will include the analysis of developing international telecommunications “superhighway” and the struggles to secure increased representation of women and of feminist perspectives within existing culture industries. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Humanities distribution requirement and for General Education Category Humanistic Ways of Knowing

                               (resized) WOST 30400 course flyer fall 2018--black

This course provides students with an overview of those crucial feminist texts that have given shape to Western feminism and feminist theory as we know them today. Toward that end, we will look at a wide variety of texts, covering both the foundational texts of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries and the more recent writings that have shaped contemporary feminist discourse, focusing largely on writings from the United States. Along the way, we’ll orient our studies along topical lines, looking in-depth at those debates and theoretical terms that have been central to feminist theory, including essentialism, constructionism, epistemology, power, intersectionality, and so on. We will explore not only the themes that cohere the body of writings we call “feminist theory” but also the tensions and conflicts that have made it such a dynamic field of study. As a case study of these tensions and conflicts, we will end the semester by looking more closely at the operations of language, sex, and power at the site of the #MeToo movement and what feminist theory might teach us about the intersections among these issues.

                               (resized) W30100, Women Faith, Fall 2018 

This course explores the intersection of three disciplines: anthropology, women’s studies, and the study of religion. In this course, students will read scholarship that comes from these three disciplines and explores how women find empowerment through spiritual practice. Course texts will include full-length ethnographies that address women’s faith and practice as well as supplemental texts on feminism, theoretical approaches to religion, and anthropological and ethnographic methods. Geographical regions to be covered include the Middle East and Asia. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Cultural Studies (Non-Western Culture) requirement and General Education Capstone.

                               (resized) W30100, Beyond the Harem, Fall 2018

This course examines gender and sexuality in literature, film, art and historical documents produced by and about North Africans and Middle Easterners. As the cultural and geographic crossroads between these regions, Egypt will be emphasized. Course materials explore representations of the lives and social situations of women in the Arab and Islamic societies from the colonial period to the present. Students will consider the idea of feminism from various cultural and historical perspectives, as well as topics ranging from Orientalism to the recent resurgence of voluntary veiling among the educated elite. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Cultural Studies (Non-Western Culture) requirement and General Education Capstone.

                               (resized) WOST30100, Religion Gender, Fall 2018

This course will explore the role of religion in gendered regulation and resistance. Alert to larger systems of power such as colonialism and globalization, we will examine religion as a prevalent form of institutional normalization as well as sites from which women have challenged the status quo. From women missionaries using doctrine to justify colonialism, to Muslim feminists using religious dress to resist conforming to colonial norms, the study of religion provides powerful ground for feminist analysis. This course values how diverse religious and non-religious viewpoints inform an analysis of course material. We will examine the implications of queer, transgender, disability, justice, and anti-racist thought and action in interpreting the readings. As an upper-level division course, this class will be seminar rather than lecture driven. Course assignments afford the flexibility for students to bring their cultural, creative, and academic interests to their work.

Click here for the Women's Studies Fall 2018 Course Brochure.