All Women's Studies Courses


WS 101 Introduction to Women's Studies (4)

A survey and critical analysis of the essential issues of feminism and their effects on women’s lives. Topics include: marriage, family, education, justice and reform, health care, sexuality, political and economic status. Focuses on present realities and future possibilities. An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of women’s studies.


WS 120 Workshop for Returning Women (4)

Designed for those who have experienced an interruption in their formal education. Examines the educational history of American women. Analyzes the ways in which the roles, status, and experiences of women affect educational decisions and performance. Includes the development of skills and self confidence in studying, writing, research, examinations, time management, mathematics and science. Credit cannot be used to satisfy certificate requirements.


WS 199 Special Studies (Credit to be arranged.)

A variable topics course dealing with contemporary and historical issues in feminism. Recent offerings have included History of Women Artists and History of Women in Science. WS 199 is also available for students who wish to pursue directed independent study.


WS 260 Introduction to Women's Literature (4)

Introduction to the texts and contexts of women’s literature. This course is the same as ENG 260.


WS 301 Gender and Critical Inquiry (4)

This is a theory course. Cross-discipline introduction to feminist frameworks including theoretical issues and varying approaches to the study of women and gender. Attention to the relationship between gender and other axes of inequality. Emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills. Recommended prerequisite: WS 101.


WS 306 Global Gender Issues (4)

Study of gender issues in an international perspective. Courses will focus on a theme that can be studied comparatively, such as gender and public policy, or on a particular country or national/ethnic group, such as Filipina women. This course is repeatable with different topics.

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WS 307 Women, Activism and Social Change (4)

Women working collectively to create social change; the activism of self-identified feminists as they struggle to resist and transform oppression as well as the activism of women allied with other  social movements. Examines activists' strategies, organizations, goals, accomplishments, and unmet challenges. Topics may include reproductive rights, feminist labor organizing, queer political movements, or third world liberation movements.


WS 308U Topics in Gender, Literature, and Popular Culture (4)

Explores media, popular culture, and literaturefr om a feminist perspective which focuses on how gender and other dimensions of power relations are expressed, reproduced, and challenged within cultural expression. Addresses topics such as lesbian/gay literature, gender/difference in television, and women in contemporary film.


WS 310 Psychology of Women (4)

Reviews and evaluates assumptions underlying psychological research on women. Surveys the research in areas such as the development of sex differences, acquisition of gender roles, and maintenance of gender stereotypes. Explores the pertinence of these findings to topical areas such as women’s work roles, women and mental health, and the women’s movement. Recommended prerequisite: 3 credits in psychology.


WS 312 Feminist Philosophy (4)

Critically examines traditional schools of Philosophical thinking from a feminist perspective. Recommended prerequisite: one philosophy course from other than Phl 103, 104, 206.


WS 315 Feminist Analysis (4)

This is an advanced theory and methods course. An exploration of the interpretive frameworks and research strategies utilized in contemporary feminist scholarship. Drawing on examples from more than one discipline, students will be introduced to a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, while learning to identify the choices that scholars make in carrying out their work. Issues under debate within feminist scholarship as well as the differences between feminist scholars and those working from other frameworks will be examined. Required prerequisite: WS 301.


WS 330U Women of Color in the United States (4)

A variable topics course focusing on issues which affect women of color in the United States, historically and today.


WS 331 Women in the Middle East (4)

Aims to explore the role and status of women in the contemporary Middle East with respect to institutions such as the family, law, education, work and politics—areas which intersect and overlap with broader cultural questions about women and their place in tradition, modernity,nation-building, Islam and the West. This course is the same as FL 331 and Intl 331, may only be taken once for credit.


WS 332 Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in the United States (4)

Examines the ways in which race, class, gender, and sexuality are conceptualized and represented in contemporary U.S. culture and society; investigates the institutions, practices, and discourses that comprise notions of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the United States and how these social categories shape and are shaped by one another.

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WS 337 Communication and Gender (4)

Study and practice of the skills involved in competent communication (primarily comprehensive listening and reading, and speaking about writing) in order to separate myths, assumptions and notions from the facts, realities and truths about communication and about women and men. Examination of communication and gender topics will include: the role of anger in communicating about gender issues; the impact of the type of information on discussions about gender; gender difference as a “catch all” explanation for gender problems; the facts of differences being confused with attitudes about differences; perception of women and men as speaking different languages and communicator behaviors as choices.


WS 340 Women and Gender in America to 1848 (4)

Surveys the history of women in the middle North American continent to 1848. It highlights the experiences of and relationships among women of diverse origins, especially Native women, African women, and European women. Key themes include family, kinship, and sex-gender systems; colonialism and slavery; religious life; politics and the law; nation-building and the rise of modern citizenship.  Recommended prerequisite: upper division standing. This course is the same as Hst 340.


WS 341 Women and Gender in America 1848-1920 (4)

Explores the diverse experiences of women in the United States between 1848 and 1920. Key themes include slavery, emancipation, and reconstruction; colonialism and resistance; women’s rights and social reform; education and wage labor; immigration/migration; and Victorianism and sexual modernism. This course is the same as Hst 341.


WS 342 Women and Gender in the U.S. 1920 to the Present (4)

Surveys women’s lives and gender change in recent U.S. history. Among our themes will be women in politics, the work force, and social movements as well as changes in family life, gender identities, and sexuality. Women’s roles in globalization, the media, and popular culture will figure throughout. This course is the same as Hst 342.


WS 343 American Family History (4)

History of the American family from the colonial period to the present. The course will draw upon textual sources and oral histories in examining changes in families in the colonial period, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


WS 347, 348 Science, Gender, and Social Context (4, 4)

Two-term course explores the strengths and limitations of science to describe and predict nature through laboratory and field investigations. These activities will illustrate the transition from a reductionist view of our natural environment to a systems-oriented view. It will place this historical shift in understanding and scientific practice in the contexts of gender, race, and class using selected case studies in environmental management. Includes laboratory and/or fieldwork. Recommended prerequisite: UNST 299 Intro to Women’s Studies. This course is the same as Sci 347, 348; may only be taken once for credit.


WS 350 Introduction to Interpersonal Violence (1)

Explores the roots of interpersonal violence, the dynamics of domestic violence against women and children and sexual assault, their causes and effects, community resources for intervention and prevention. Discusses the social norms that influence interpersonal violence as well as the psychological results of violence. Examines the big picture of interpersonal violence and how all forms are interrelated.


WS 351, 352, 353 Children and Interpersonal Violence (1, 1, 1)

The courses in this sequence will consider the victimization of children from a variety of perspectives: how they are victimized directly and indirectly and services available to them. WS 351: Special Issues for the Child Victim of Interpersonal Violence; WS 352: Children Affected by Violence; WS 353: Services for the Child Victim of Interpersonal Violence. Each class will consider child physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Recommended prerequisite: WS 350.


WS 354, 355, 356 Interpersonal Violence and Special Populations (1, 1, 1)

Physical, emotional and sexual abuse crosses all age, cultural, religious, ethnic, economic and social boundaries. However, the impact of abuse and the remedies and services available to victims/survivors varies widely across different social groups. WS 354: Young Adults and Dating Violence; WS 355: Battered Women in Prison; WS 356: Diversity Awareness and Domestic and Sexual Violence. Each class will consider physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Recommended prerequisite: WS 350.


WS 357, 358, 359 Interventions for Interpersonal Violence (1, 1, 1)

This course sequence will consider interpersonal violence and intervention from a variety of perspectives—as an individual and societal issue. WS 357: Interventions to Help Women Caught in Interpersonal Violence; WS 358: Treatment Philosophies and Interpersonal Violence; WS 359: Holding Perpetrators of Interpersonal Violence Accountable. Each class will address physical, emotional and sexual abuse issues. Recommended prerequisite: WS 350.


WS 360 Introduction to Queer Studies (4)

An interdisciplinary course that focuses on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people in historical and social context. Looks at the historical roots and political uses of sexual norms and sexual identities and explores the complex interactions of race, class, gender, and desire. Finally, looks at some of the current political contests around sexuality.


WS 361 Sexual Assault (1)

Examines sexual assault from historical, political, and psychological perspectives: the legal and medical systems’ responses to sexual assault; the trauma that results from rape and the options for healing. Recommended prerequisite: WS 350.


WS 362 Women and Trauma (2)

Examines effects of trauma on the brain and brain functioning, psychological effects of childhood trauma, resilience as a factor in coping with traumatic experiences, and how to foster healing in trauma survivors. Recommended prerequisite: WS 350.


WS 363 Moving Beyond Trauma (1)

Examines survival from interpersonal violence, draws on resiliency research to understand what fosters healing, explores the role of support systems, altruism, spirituality, and social activism in overcoming trauma.


WS 365 The Science of Women’s Bodies (4)

The female human body is studied from a multidisciplinary perspective including anatomy, physiology, genetics, cell biology, endocrinology and human development, as well as biochemistry. Current social, cultural and political topics related to the science and policy of women’s health are also discussed. This course is the same as Sci 365; may only be taken once for credit.


WS 370 History of Sexualities (4)

Looks at the various meanings given to sexual desires and practices throughout history. Explores sexuality as reproduction, perversion, pleasure, and as a site of both social/political regulation and subversive agency. Focuses on change over time in the North American context emphasizing the contests involving sexuality beginning with the period of European conquest and ending with looking at HIV/AIDS and transgender issues.

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WS 380 Women and Politics (4)

Analysis of the political role of women in politics. Reviews historical and contemporary analyses of women’s participation and status in politics. Recommended prerequisites: PS 101, 102 or upper-division standing.


WS 399 Special Studies (Credit to be arranged.)

WS 401 Research (Credit to be arranged.)

WS 404 Cooperative Education/Internship (Credit to be arranged.)

WS 405 Reading and Conference (Credit to be arranged.)

WS 407 Seminar (Credit to be arranged.)

WS 409 Practicum (Credit to be arranged.)

WS 410 Selected Topics (Credit to be arranged.)


WS 411 Experiential Learning Seminar (1)

To be taken simultaneously with WS 404 or WS 409. Students will present material based upon their experiences in practica and internships. The seminar provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the settings where they are working and analyze issues that emerge in applying feminist theory to practice.


WS 415 Senior Seminar (4)

With a focus on analysis, critique, comparison and connection, students will work collaboratively as well as independently in this theoretical, thematically-based course. Students will be responsible for planning and leading discussion during some sessions as well as presenting and responding to work-in-progress. Recommended prerequisite: WS 315.


WS 417 Women in the Economy (4)

Different economic theoretical perspectives are presented to account for women’s particular economic roles currently and historically. Emphasis on women’s responsibility for child rearing and housework; women’s relatively low wages; occupational segregation by gender; economic differences among women due to ethnicity, generation, and class; and policy issues with particular importance for women’s economic situation. Recommended prerequisites: Ec 201, 202.


WS 424 Women and the Law (4)

Examines the relationship between women and the law. The first half of the course considers several theories of women’s equality. During the second half of the course students will apply these theories to a variety of problems in gender justice. Substantive issues covered may include: sexual harassment, abortion, fetal protection policies, and pornography. This course is the same as PS 425; may only be taken once for credit.


WS 425 Sociology of Women (4)

Cross-societal analysis of the position of women in industrial societies. Analysis of the social position of women and men in areas such as the family, politics, work, education, etc. Consideration and evaluation of theories of the biological, psychological, sociological basis for the behavior, characteristics, attitudes, and demographic characteristics of women.


WS 426 Women and Mental Illness (4)

Social and historical evolution of images and explanations of madness in women. Contemporary distributions, diagnoses, and treatments of mental illness in diverse groups of women are examined. Focus on psychiatric disorder and gender-based discourse. Recommended prerequisites: WS 101. Also listed as Soc 426/526; may only be taken once for credit.


WS 428 Lesbian History (4)

Surveys the history of lesbian existence in the United States. Begins by asking what "lesbian” means, identifying the different historical markers of female same-sex desire. Using a rich variety of primary and secondary sources, we analyze historical attitudes about female same-sex desire, follow the emergence of lesbian subcultures and communities, examine the development of sexual identities during the twentieth century, and end by considering lesbian issues.


WS 431 Women in the Visual Arts (4)

This course studies both the representation of women and gender and the art and patronage by women in various media (painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, photography, textiles and mixed media). Explores 19th century and 20th century America and Europe. This course is the same as ArH431; may only be taken once for credit.


WS 443, 444 British Women Writers (4, 4)

Study of the works of British women writers with attention to themes, styles, and characteristic concerns in the light of feminist criticism and scholarship. Recommended prerequisite: 15 credits in literature. WS 260 recommended.


WS 445, 446 American Women Writers (4, 4)

Study of American women writers, with attention to themes, styles and characteristic concerns in the light of feminist criticism and scholarship. Recommended prerequisite: 15 credits in literature. WS 260 recommended.


WS 452 Gender and Race in the Media (4)

This course is the same as Sp 452/552; course may only be taken once for credit. See Department of Communication for course description.


WS 455 Gender and Education (4)

This course is cross-listed as ELP 455; may only be taken once for credit.


WS 467 Work and Family (4)

An examination of the effects of work on family, and family on work, in contemporary society. Includes study of dual-career and dual-work families, effects of maternal employment on children, impact of child care and elder care on the workplace, and parental leave and other workplace supports for families. Implications of research for social policy. Recommended prerequisites: Psy 311 and 3 credits in courses numbered Psy 321 or higher.


WS 470/570 Asian American Women's Studies (4)

Interdisciplinary course focusing on the contemporary experiences of Asian-American women, examining ways in which race, gender, class, sexuality,and national identity shape the experiences of Asian-American women. Topics: histories of immigration and western colonization; family and community structures; representations and stereotypes in media and popular culture; sexuality and sexual identities; mixed-heritage and bicultural experiences; the politics of language; violence against Asian-American women; labor force participation; relationship to feminism; and activism and resistance.


WS 471/571 Global Feminisms (4)

Themes and theoretical principles of global feminisms, with special emphasis placed on Third World feminist movements. Themes explored include colonialism, globalization, nationalism and nation-building, representation, global economies,and the politics of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation. Prerequisite: WS 301 or 315 or consent of instructor.


WS 479 Women and Organizational Psychology (4)

Examines the relationship between gender and the social organization of the workplace. Focus is on gender development as socialization (e.g. hierarchy and leadership, discrimination and harassment, deskilling) from a social psychological perspective. Strategies for change are considered. Recommended prerequisites: Psy 310 and 3 additional credits in courses numbered Psy 330 or higher.

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