Fall Courses

To view GWS courses offered during a specific semester visit the online University Course Catalog. Select the semester desired from the drop-down menu, then type "GWS" in the Course Prefix box or select GWS from the drop-down menu. There may also be GWS courses listed under the general "A&S" prefix or as Discovery Seminar Program "DSP" courses. Note that actual course offerings are subject to change, but this guide will provide the most current information available.

Fall 2020 GWS Course Descriptions

You can print out a copy of the course flier here.

GWS 200:  SEX & POWER            INSTRUCTOR:  FRANCES HENDERSON 
HYBRID COURSE with LECTURES on MW 2:00-2:50PM and DISCUSSIONS SESSIONS, TBD (ONLINE)         


This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary fields of both Gender Studies and Women's Studies which explore the ways that sex and gender manifest themselves in social, cultural, and political arenas. It draws upon scholarship in women’s studies, feminist studies, masculinities studies, and queer studies which themselves draw upon a variety of intellectual perspectives, including historical, psychological, rhetorical, sociological, literary, and biological. Students will use gender-based theory to look at the ways in which gender identification and representation influences individuals and societies. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions and debates in Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) scholarship, both historical and contemporary.  This course meets USP and/or UK Core requirements (Intellectual Inquiry, Social Science) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 200-004: SEX & POWER      INSTRUCTOR: JENN HUNT 
LECTURES: TR 12:30-1:45PM

Gender is a socially constructed set of categories, but it has powerful influences on the lives of women, men, and people of other gender identities.  This course is an introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies from a social science perspective.  In it, we will learn about gender, sex, and sexual orientation, and how they intersect with race, ethnicity, culture, class, religion, and other social categories to create systems of privilege and oppression.  We will discuss feminist and other gender theories that provide tools for understanding the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional effects of gender.  Taking an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective, we will examine the influence of gender in many life domains, including childhood experiences, relationships, employment, the body, violence, and public policy.  By taking this course, students will gain valuable awareness and insight into the influence of gender in their own lives as well as in society more broadly.  This course meets USP and/or UK Core requirements (Intellectual Inquiry, Social Science) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 200-201: SEX AND POWER
INSTRUCTOR: TBD (ONLINE/DISTANCE LEARNING)

How does sex impact our sense of power? How is power forged through sexual imagery and sexual relationships? When does your sex set limits on your leisure, education, and earning power? Do you need real analysis instead of soundbites for explaining social inequalities between the sexes? This course addresses these key issues in GWS through a social science perspective that is cross-cultural, transnational, and interdisciplinary in its approach. It will cover such topics as identity and identity politics, sexuality and reproduction, labor and the gender politics of the workplace, health and health activism, feminist thought and action, gendered forms of violence and organized resistance, and the everyday experience of gender. Particular attention will be paid to the intersections of gender with other social categories, such as race, nationality, class, and sexual orientation. This course meets USP and/or UK Core requirements (Intellectual Inquiry, Social Science) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 201: GENDER & POPULAR CULTURE  
SECTIONS: 
001: MWF 9:00-9:50AM               INSTRUCTOR: TBD

002: TR 9:30-10:45AM                 INSTRUCTOR: TBD
003: MWF 12:00-12:50PM           INSTRUCTOR: TBD

Introduces students to basic methods of humanistic inquiry in Gender and Women's Studies, examines cultural beliefs and meanings about men and women, and explores the lives, achievements and creative expressions of women in a cross-cultural interactive and interdisciplinary format. This course meets USP and/or UK Core requirements (Intellectual Inquiry, Humanities) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 201-201:  GENDER & POPULAR CULTURE
INSTRUCTOR: FRANCES HENDERSON (ONLINE/DISTANCE LEARNING)


Introduces students to basic methods of humanistic inquiry in Gender and Women's Studies, examines cultural beliefs and meanings about men and women, and explores the lives, achievements and creative expressions of women in a cross-cultural interactive and interdisciplinary format. This course meets USP and/or UK Core requirements (Intellectual Inquiry, Humanities) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 250-001:  SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
INSTRUCTOR: ELIZABETH WILLIAMS   TR 11:00-12:15PM


This course takes an in-depth look at the history of social movements across the globe. In particular, we will examine movements which have proclaimed themselves to be “feminist” in character, asking how this term has been understood in dramatically different ways at various moments in time. Movements that have ostensibly sought to empower “women” have often ignored or reinforced forms of racism, classism, and ableism.  Women of color, working-class women, women from the Global South, and queer/non-binary folks have responded by rejecting mainstream feminisms and establishing new forms of gender-based activism. We will examine a number of historical case studies to analyze these dynamics. Why, for instance, did many white feminists of the 19th century oppose the enfranchisement of black men? How did British feminists who sought to “save” their Indian “sisters” from oppression reinforce imperialist paradigms? Why did US feminists in the Gilded Age embrace the cause of “Temperance,” seeing alcohol consumption as a threat to the well-being of women and children? How do right-wing women, like Phyllis Schlafly or Ann Coulter, use feminist rhetoric even while depicting Feminism as a pernicious and corrupting force? How have women from the Global South crafted alternative visions of feminism through actions like the Green Belt Movement of Kenya? How do black, Chican@, and indigenous feminisms differ from their mainstream counterparts? And what’s up with Taylor Swift? Come ponder these questions—and more—in GWS 250.  This course is a required core course for the undergraduate GWS major and minor.

GWS 300-001: TOPICS IN GWS: QUEER LITERATURE
INSTRUCTOR:  CAROL MASON  TR 2:00-3:15PM


Queer Literature introduces students to the dynamic worlds of writers who see gender and sexuality as social constructions. We will examine a variety of styles and genres in which writers explore identities and subcultures whose existence has been outright denied, acknowledged only in coded ways, or loudly proclaimed as part of political movements. We will read fiction, poetry, short stories, criticism, and theory to get a sense of how narrative sustains and shapes queer folk in times of trouble, love, struggle, growth, and community. Here are some titles we may choose from: The Price of Salt, or Carol by Patricia Highsmith; Zami, A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde; Becoming a Man by P. Carl; Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alive Saenz; Blue Boy by Rakesh Satya; Less by Andrew Sean Greer; Tango by Justin Vivian Bond; Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash; Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai; Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw.  This course counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 301-001:  CROSSROADS: INEQUALITIES UNDER THE LAW
INSTRUCTOR: JENN HUNT           TR 3:30-4:45PM


The 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees equal protection under the laws, but how well is this promise delivered?  In this course, we will examine the many ways that gender, race, class, and sexuality affect people’s experiences and outcomes in a range of legally-relevant domains.  Topics addressed will include: How do race, class, and sexuality affect police encounters, both from the perspectives of police officers (e.g., decisions to use force) and community members (e.g., trust in the police)?  How does race influence outcomes in legal cases, including convictions, and lead to mass incarceration?  How do bail and privatization create class barriers in the criminal justice system?  How has housing law created an eviction crisis threatening the poor and people of Color?  How can and should the law address employment discrimination and sexual harassment?  How does family law reflect assumptions about gender?  How has the law evolved (or not) to address the needs of LGBTQ individuals, same-gender relationships, and people with non-binary gender or sex identities?  To address these issues, we will read work from a variety of disciplines, including gender studies, Critical Race Theory, sociology, and psychology.  Consistent with the objectives of the UK Core for Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA, writing assignments will involve different strategies community members can use to promote social change, including op-eds and policy briefs.  This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Community, Culture and U.S. Citizenship.

GWS 301-002:  CROSSROADS: MIGRATION STORIES
INSTRUCTOR: CAROL MASON    TR 11:00-12:15PM


This course is designed to examine the roles that migration and immigration of people have played in the development of cultural diversity in the United States. What factors influence people’s decisions to migrate within the US or immigrate to the US? How do we distinguish the myths and opinions from facts about the US immigration system? What are human rights, and how do they relate to refugees and asylum seekers? What are the lived experiences of such immigrants? In addition to these historical and sociological questions, we will engage personal stories of immigrants through archived videos and graphic novels. Students will have the opportunity to create their own story about immigration or migration. This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Community, Culture and U.S. Citizenship.

GWS 301-003 (Same as AAS 400-002):  CROSSROADS: BLACK & LATINA WOMEN IN U.S. POLITICS
INSTRUCTOR: FRANCES HENDERSON      MWF 1:00-1:50PM


This course examines Black and Latina women’s participation in American politics as citizens, voters, activists, and elites. Central to this course are the meaning and nature of gender equality and the ways that gender intersects with race, ethnicity and class. Throughout the course, we will interrogate ideas about citizenship and participation through the lens of Black and Latina women. Politics will be broadly conceived to account for the various ways in which women of color participate both inside and on the margins of formal politics and political processes in the US. Thus, topics will likely include: analysis of the mobilization of women of color around reproductive justice, the carceral state, immigration and education, in addition to Black and Latina women’s mobilization into politics through the suffrage movement and the modern women’s movement. The course will also analyze the role of gender and race in shaping public opinion and electoral behavior; public opinion and electoral behavior on gender issues; women’s activities within the political parties. Throughout the semester, we will be following the role of Black and Latina women and gender issues in the 2020 election. This course will provide students with a limited introduction to the study of gender and U.S. politics including some central questions, concepts, and debates in the field. Students will develop intersectional theoretical frameworks and analytical tools for studying gender and politics in the United States.  This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Community, Culture and U.S. Citizenship.

GWS 302-001:  GENDER ACROSS THE WORLD: TRANSNATIONAL BODIES
INSTRUCTOR:  ANASTASIA TODD            MWF 11:00-11:50AM


Engaging with a transnational feminist lens, students in this hybrid, interdisciplinary course will explore how gender, race, class, ability, nationality, and sexuality intersect and inform how the body is produced—materially, affectively, and discursively—under contemporary globalizing forces. Focusing in on how neoliberal capitalism is an organizing force across borders, this course aims to uncover how systems of power structure the lived realities of women, people of color, queer people, and disabled people. We investigate the figuration of the global south girl, the female entrepreneur, the global care citizen, the hyper-precarious worker, and the cyborg soldier in order to explore key theoretical concepts such as militarization, body labor, disability, and reproductive justice. This course is hybrid in structure: we meet in person on MW and meet online on FThis course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Global Dynamics.

GWS 302-002:  GENDER ACROSS THE WORLD: FOOD, CULTURE, GENDER
INSTRUCTOR:  SRIMATI BASU       TR 2:00-3:15PM


This topics course explores how the raising, preparing, and sharing of food is interwoven with culture, care and conflict. We will read historical, theoretical, literary and ethnographic explorations of foodways with a focus on how gender (intersecting with race, class, caste and age) mediates the identities and bodies of those who eat, and the landscapes from which our food is harvested.   There will be hands-on food adventures, creative activities, and guest lectures. Assignments include quizzes, reflective essays, group submissions and a final oral history/ memoir project.  This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Global Dynamics.

GWS 400-001:  DOING FEMINIST RESEARCH      
INSTRUCTOR:  CHARLIE ZHANG      TR 12:30-1:45PM


This is an interdisciplinary course that offers undergraduate students an opportunity to examine a variety of epistemological concerns and methodological issues in feminist scholarship. It is designed to expand the students’ knowledge of feminist epistemologies and methodologies in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. We will read about, discuss, and practice a variety of research methods, particularly qualitative methods, and develop critical thinking about the central debates in the field of gender and women’s studies. Through multiple research exercises, students will gain basic skills, practice commonly used methods, and experiment with different ways of approaching topics to develop their own research interests and plans for the future.  This course is required for GWS majors and minors.

GWS 506-001:  HISTORY OF SEXUALITY IN THE U.S.         
INSTRUCTOR:  ELIZABETH WILLIAMS        MW 3:00-4:15PM


This course take a vigorous romp through the history of sexuality from the Ancient World to the present day. Starting from theorist Michel Foucault’s claim that sexuality serves as “an especially dense transfer point for relations of power,” we will learn how a huge variety of identities—racial, religious, gendered, national, ethnic—are mediated through the language of sexuality. While we will focus on the area contentiously referred to as “the West” (i.e., Europe and North America), we will also explore encounters and confrontations with the rest of the globe. In the process, we will explore a number of questions about both the nature of sexuality and its role in the operation of power and resistance. How did biological sex come to be understood in binary terms in the West? How has same-sex love been understood in various times and locations? How did sexuality influence the development of the idea of “race” in Europe and the US? Can sexuality act as a site of resistance? If so, under what conditions, and for whom? This course fulfills requirements for the Gender and Women’s Studies undergraduate major and minor, and the Sexuality Studies certificate.
 

ADDITIONAL GWS RELATED COURSES

HIS 349:  GENDER AND WAR IN THE MODERN ERA: FROM THE FRENCH REVOLUTION TO THE INVASION OF IRAQ
INSTRUCTOR: F.R. CHASSEN-LOPEZ          T 5:00-7:30PM

Despite the fact that throughout history, war has been considered a masculine activity, women, their labor and their bodies, have also been central to war making. Using testimonies, interviews, and other primary sources in addition to scholarly studies and film, this course will analyze women’s and men’s roles and experiences in war, and how these roles have changed over time. We’ll begin with the French Revolution and continue through the Civil War in the U.S., both World Wars, various revolutions (for example, Mexico and China), genocide, and conclude with the Invasion of Iraq. The course will include interactive exercises that will encourage students to have a more personal understanding of the meaning of war.

HIS 355: TOPICS IN NON-WESTERN HISTORY: WOMEN AND GENDER IN LATIN AMERICA
INSTRUCTOR:  F.R CHASSEN-LOPEZ         TR 2:00-3:15PM

Although Latin America is famous as the land of machismo, this stereotype is changing and ten women have already served as president in different countries. The paintings of Frida Kahlo go for the highest price of any female artist in all of the Americas. The seventeenth-century Mexican nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, was the hemisphere’s pioneer in the struggle for women’s rights and the Argentine mothers of the Plaza de Mayo were instrumental in the overthrow of a military dictatorship. Using a variety of texts (readings, videos, testimonials, literary works, biographies, and film), we will analyze gender relations south of the border iin order to understand how people’s lives have changed over time.

SOC 235-001:  INEQUALITIES IN SOCIETY
INSTRUCTOR: CAMERON MCALISTER      TR 3:00-5:00PM
(PART OF TERM COURSE: 10/13/20-12/17/20)

This course seeks to promote an understanding of inequalities in American society by considering them in the context of the social origins, development, and persistence of inequalities in the United States and other societies. Bases of inequality that may be considered include race/ethnicity, class/status, gender/sexuality, age, political and regional differences as these relate to politics, social justice, community engagement, and/or public policy.

SOC 334-001: SOCIOLOGY OF FAMILIES
INSTRUCTOR: MOHAMMAD ZANNOUN  MWF 1:00-1:50

A sociological study of the concepts, theories, issues, and research findings on families and the dynamics of family life, with an emphasis on the social context and diversity of families.

SOC 335-001:  SOCIOLOGY OF GENDER
INSTRUCTOR: AIMEE IMLAY        TR 11:00-12:15PM

A sociological study of gender as a socially and culturally constructed phenomenon. Topics shall include the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity and class; sexualities; gender and social movements; sociological theories concerning gender; feminist theory; and research on the relevance of gender to various subfields of sociology.

SOC 435-001:  SPECIAL TOPICS IN INEQUALITIES: MASCULINITIES
INSTRUCTOR: EDWARD MORRIS  TR 9:30-10:45AM

What does it mean to be a man? How does “manning up” have consequences for men and women? How and why do men control the majority of world’s resources and institutions? Is any of this changing? This course seeks to answer these questions through an introduction to the sociology of masculinity. While the majority of scholarship in gender has focused on women, this course will critically interrogate masculinity and the location of men within the gender order.

WRD 410: ACTIVIST RHETORICS AND POPULAR CULTURE
INSTRUCTOR:  KARRIEANN SOTO VEGA             

How do activist rhetorics manifest in popular culture? How can activism be defined? What counts as popular culture? This class will primarily focus on different instances of activism in film and music, as well as the ways in which activists become icons in popular culture. Students will engage multimodal and multilingual cultural rhetorics scholarship and critique. For questions, email ksotovega@uky.edu.


 

 

 

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