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 2019 GWS Course Descriptions

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

GWS 200:  SEX & POWER            INSTRUCTOR:  CHARLIE ZHANG 
LECTURES: MW 12:00-12:50      DISCUSSION: (001) M 1:00-1:50  (002) W 1:00-1:50  (003) F 12:00-12:50

How do gender and sex impact our sense of power? How is power forged through sexual imagery and gender relationships? When do gender and sex set limits on your leisure, education, and earning power? Do you need real analysis instead of soundbites for explaining social inequalities between men and women? This course helps you develop a new perspective to understand these questions, and introduces you to Gender and Women’s Studies using cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches in an interactive learning format. We will learn about the ways gender, race, sexuality, and class interact with each other to structure and shape the distribution of power. We will look especially at body image, gendered violence, popular culture, sexualities, family, labor and market, political systems, and globalization as they bear on disenfranchised groups, including but not limited to women. This course meets USP and/or UK Core requirement (Intellectual Inquiry, Social Science) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 200-004:  SEX & POWER
INSTRUCTOR: TBD                     TR 9:30-10:45

Introduces Gender and Women’s Studies from a social science perspective using cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches. Analyzes relations of power marked by gender and how these relate to other social distinctions and processes. Interactive learning format. This course meets USP and/or UK Core requirement (Intellectual Inquiry, Social Science) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 200-005:  SEX & POWER
INSTRUCTOR:  JENNIFER HUNT         MW 3:00-4:15

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, how it relates to biological sex and sexual orientation, and how it intersects 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 requirement (Intellectual Inquiry, Social Science) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 201: GENDER & POPULAR CULTURE      
SECTIONS:  001: MWF 9:00-9:50 TBD      002: MWF 1:00-1:50 TBD     003: TR 12:30-1:45 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 requirement (Intellectual Inquiry, Humanities) and counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

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

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. NB: There will be opportunities for crafting. This course is one of the core courses required for the undergraduate GWS major and minor.

GWS 300-001: TOPICS IN GWS: PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER             
INSTRUCTOR:  JENN HUNT   MWF 10:00-10:50

This course examines psychological research and theory related to gender, with a focus on the ways in which gender impacts people’s daily lives.  We will begin by discussing femininity, masculinity, and how gender intersects with other social identities.  Then, we will investigate the origins of gender by considering social, cognitive, and biological influences on gender development.  Next, we will learn about gender stereotypes and how they compare with actual similarities and differences between women and men.  In the second half of the class, we will use this knowledge to assess how gender affects several important life domains including work, violence, relationships, sexuality, and eating and body image.  Throughout the course, we will examine how gender can be studied using feminist empirical research methods and emphasize the importance of race, ethnicity, culture, and social class in understanding gender.  This course counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

GWS 301-001 CROSSROADS:  BLACK WOMEN IN U.S. HISTORY      
INSTRUCTOR: MELISSA STEIN            MWF 12:00-12:50

Black women’s history offers a lens into racism and sexism in America, but also resistance to such oppression. Covering a broad regional and chronological scope, this course is designed to introduce students to the major themes, debates, and developments in African-American women’s history, especially as seen through the lives of individual women--some you’ve probably heard of, others you may not have. Much of the course readings and films will consist then of biography and autobiography. Particular attention will be paid to the roles class, race, culture, and sexuality play in shaping black women’s experiences and their relationships with other women as well as black men. This course will focus on the representations, experiences, work, and activism of African-American women, from the colonial era to the present.  This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for U.S. Citizenship.

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

Engaging with a transnational feminist lens, students in this 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 counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Global Dynamics.

GWS 302-002  GENDER ACROSS THE WORLD: MASCULINITIES
INSTRUCTOR:  SRIMATI BASU            MWF 2:00-2:50

This course examines constructions of gender by looking to enactments of masculinity. Who is a man? How do they become one, or maintain being one? How do age, race, caste, religion, and class affect what it means to be a man in any given context? How does   sexuality write itself upon masculinities? We will explore these questions by looking to theoretical, ethnographic, historical, literary, film  and popular media texts. Topics include: domestic and political realms; rites of passage; law and rights; intimacies; power. Assignments will include media analyses, exams and a final project.  This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Global Dynamics.

GWS 360-001  LGBTQ HISTORY IN THE U.S.
INSTRUCTOR:  LANCE POSTON          TR 5:00-6:15
Why do we use the LGBTQ acronym to describe vastly different groups of Americans bound together only by queer sexual or gender identities? How did queer individuals and collectives understand themselves and create community before the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges US Supreme Court marriage equality decision or before Pride Parades were visible fixtures in cities across the country? Do images of rainbow flags and the metaphor of “the closet” resonate with all LGBTQ Americans? How can we understand and explore queer histories that have been integral to the fabric of the United States, even before language existed in academic and activist spaces to categorize queer bodies and actions?  These questions and more converge to create the major focuses of this course. Structured as a broad chronological overview of queer communities and experiences since European colonization, this course is designed to introduce students to significant themes, developments, and figures in US LGBTQ history. Although these topics are not exhaustive, they offer a robust and intersectional exploration of the evolution of conversations about sexual and gender diversity over the past three hundred and fifty years. As students develop a linear understanding of well documented LGBTQ histories, they will come to appreciate the queer voices that are absent or at odds with dominant dialogues, especially when considering the ways in which sexual and gender diversity intersects with race and class. Students will ultimately appreciate continuities and changes in the ways in which queerness has been understood, accepted, or punished over time and across different social contexts. In the end, students will develop a deeper understanding of the roots of modern political and social practices and be empowered to thoughtfully contribute to discussions outside of the classroom. This course satisfies requirements in the GWS major and minor as well as the Sexuality Studies certificate.

GWS 400-001  DOING FEMINST RESEARCH
INSTRUCTOR:  CHARLIE ZHANG           MWF 3:00-3:50

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 undergraduate GWS majors, and counts toward requirements for GWS minors

GWS 430-001 GENDER, POWER, AND VIOLENCE   
INSTRUCTOR:  MELISSA STEIN           MWF 10:00-10:50

This course is organized around three selected but interrelated themes to help us examine the interconnections between gender, power, and violence in different cultural settings. We will examine state, institutional, and interpersonal violence and critically analyze the ways in which gender and power are articulated at each of these levels. In our discussions, we will pay special attention to the various forms (physical, psychological, economic, racial, sexual, and symbolic) violence may take and analyze the causes and consequences of different articulations of gender, power, and violence.

GWS 506-001  HISTORY OF SEXUALITY IN THE U.S. 
THE SURPRISING HISTORY OF SEXUALITY FROM PAPYRUS TO PLAYBOY
INSTRUCTOR:  ELIZABETH WILLIAMS    MWF 12:00-12:50

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” (ie, 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?

ADDITIONAL COURSES FOR GWS CREDIT

CLA 331: GENDER & SEXUALITY IN ANTIQUITY
INSTRUCTOR: JACKIE MURRAY    TR 12:30-1:45

This course examines how gender, sexuality, and the social institutions and patterns connected with these operated in ancient Greece and Rome. Essential is the concept of the social construction of gender and sexuality, i.e., that far from being set in biological concrete, different societies have understood, organized, deployed, and exploited gender and sexuality in radically different ways. In this way, classical antiquity can serve as a basis for both understanding and critiquing our own society, and it is a fundamental aim of this course to engage the student's own thought, criticism, judgment, and actively construct knowledge from the sources and scholarly interpretive frameworks. A&S HUMANITIES REQUIREMENTS

HIS 355H:  WOMEN, GENDER AND WAR
INSTRUCTOR:  F. CHASSEN-LOPEZ   T 5:00-7:30
Despite the fact that throughout history, war has been considered a masculine activity, women, their labor and their bodies, have always been central to war making. This course will examine women’s roles in wartime, beginning with the French Revolution and ending with the 21st century. Using testimonies, interviews, and other primary sources in addition to scholarly studies, documentaries, and film, we will focus on three main issues: 1) What has been the concrete impact of war on women, men, and families, gender roles and gender relations over time and in distinct cultures? 2) What has been the role of gendered metaphors and symbols as weapons in the war of words? and 3) How have wars also played out as physical and ideological battles over women’s bodies? The course will include various interactive exercises that will encourage the students to have a more personal understanding of the topics at hand.

HJS 327H WOMEN IN JUDAISM:  GENDER AND LITERACY
INSTRUCTOR:  SHEILA JELEN         TR 9:30-10:45

How are we shaped by what we read? Women in traditional Jewish society were not granted access to the texts at the heart of Jewish culture. In this class we explore the relationship between reading and women’s culture, through the lens of Jewish women in Eastern Europe from the 17th Century through the present.

PHI 305-001  HEALTH CARE ETHICS
INSTRUCTOR:  JULIA R.S.BURSTEN   TR 9:30-10:45

Our aim in this course is to examine the ways that we make decisions about moral and ethical dilemmas in health care, and how these decisions affect health care providers and beneficiaries, as well as their families and the public at large. We will examine cases from a variety of clinical and research settings. By comparing cases of conflict between individual and group rights, provider and patient rights, and intercultural conflicts of values, students will develop basic moral concepts such as what constitutes a right and a moral obligation, analyze the relative importance of values across a variety of cultural and clinical contexts, and formulate a self-reflective picture of their own moral compasses in health care settings.
 

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