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 2017 GWS Course Descriptions

Check out our undergraduate course offerings for Fall 2017!  Get a PDF copy of our Fall 2017 GWS courses here

GWS 200: Sex and Power:  Serves as an introduction to issues which involve individuals and groups within the dynamics of sexual culture.  This course is interdisciplinary and transnational in scope.  We will look especially at body image, gendered violence, sexualities, reproductive rights, definitions of family, women in the workplace, and political and economic disparities 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. Sections:
GWS 200-001: Lecture MW 9:00-9:50 and discussion session M 11:00-11:50
GWS 200-002:  Lecture MW 9:00-9:50 and discussion session W 11:00-11:50
GWS 200-003: Lecture MW 9:00-9:50 and discussion session F 9:00-9:50
GWS 200-004: MWF 10:00-10:50am
GWS 200-005: TR 9:30-10:45am  

GWS 201: Gender and Popular Culture: 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, the 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 count toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors. Sections: 
GWS 201-001:  MWF 11:00-11:50am 
GWS 201-002:  MWF 12:00-12:50pm
GWS 201-003: MWF 1:00-1:50pm

GWS 250-001 Social Movements: Are women’s movements and feminist movements the same? What is the role of gender in social movements? In this course we will examine how people have organized themselves around local, the world to understand how social movements work on the ground and in specific cultural environments with unique historical trajectories. As we explore different forms of mobilizing, we will pay attention both to how movements impact gender discourses and relations and how movements themselves are gendered. We will consider ways in which social movements are shaped by, and do or do not result in changes to, structures of gender as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality, and immigration status.  Topics this semester may include suffrage, civil rights, violence, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, labor, and gender and revolution. Instructor: Karen Tice, MW 4:00-5:15pm. This course is one of the core courses required for the undergraduate GWS major and minor.  **Please note:  The schedule for this course is tentative and class date/time subject to change.  

GWS 302-001:  Gender Across the World: Masculinities: This course is designed to provide a thorough and wide-ranging introduction to the field of masculinities studies. We will engage with the fundamental concepts underpinning critical inquiry of masculinities, address various theoretical issues through disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, and analyze variant forms of masculinities from historical, philosophical, socioeconomic, transnational, cultural, and sociological perspectives. Students will examine the articulations and contestations of diverse masculinities as manifested through gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, kinship, politics, popular culture, economics, national identity, and violence. Readings reflect multiple methods of scholarly analysis to understand, define, and trouble masculinities, and compel students to consider what is at stake in making sense of masculinities. You will also have opportunities to apply this knowledge to a variety of sociocultural sites in the transnational context.  Instructor:  Charlie Zhang, TR 2:00-3:15pm.   This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Global Dynamics.

GWS 350-001: Intro to Feminist Theorizing. This course builds upon introductory courses in GWS to focus on questions of “theory”: what counts as theory? How do we differentiate theory from analysis, action and practice? In particular, we trace the lineage and contemporary forms of feminist theorizing, asking what makes theory feminist, and what we can include or exclude as feminist approaches. In the course of the semester, we will explore a series of feminist approaches by reading primary theory texts and applying them to secondary sources – literary, visual, political, ethnographic – in order to understand their scope and effectiveness. You will demonstrate your understanding of these issues through weekly blogs, discussions, exams and a project. Topics vary each semester, typically including questions of political economy, justice, intersectionality, agency and   representation.  Instructor: Srimati Basu, TR 11:00-12:15pm This course is required for GWS majors and minors.

GWS 400-001 Doing Feminist Research: 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 student’s 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. Instructor: Charlie Zhang, TR 12:30-1:45pm.   This course is required for undergraduate GWS majors.

GWS 430-001 Gender, Power, and Violence: This course examines the relations between the three terms gender, power and violence. We will read some conceptual and theoretical pieces on gender and power, scrutinize a number of studies of gender-based violence to trace forms of power, and analyze laws and policies addressing such violence. You will also work on an independent project where you apply these theories and studies to your scholarly or field research. The course is interdisciplinary and transnational in its scope, and encompasses scales of violence from intimate to community to State, bodily to psychological, economic to cultural. Instructor:  Srimati Basu, TR 3:30-4:45pm.  This course will count toward requirements for GWS majors and minors.


CHI 320: Gender Politics in Modern China:  This course focuses on gender relations and the representation of women, men, and sexuality in twentieth-century Chinese literature and culture. Some specific topics include: how eroticism and cross-dressing intersect with Confucian ideology and its social structure; how the Utopian desire for modernity is projected onto the images of the New Woman and westernized Modern Girl and changing perceptions of masculinity in the Chinese context; and how women writers and activists, with their male counterparts, intervene within the constraints of the political and social contexts and actively participate in cultural production and consumption. We will take an interdisciplinary, multimedia approach to gender relations in modern fiction, film, memoir, commercial, reality TV, and other cultural genres, and critically engage topics such as the complicated relationship between women’s issues and national discourse, identity and performance, the construction of gendered subjectivity and the power of imagination and action. Guest lectures and special topics planned according to recent developments and issues relevant to gender and sexuality in contemporary China.  Instructor: Liang Luo, MWF 10-10:50 am. This course counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

HIS 355-001:  Gender and Activism in Modern and Contemporary Japan:  This course covers the history of women’s activism in 20-21C Japan. Readings will include writings by and interviews with the activists (in translation) as well as historiographical and analytical secondary sources. Topics covered will include suffrage and citizenship, gender equality, welfare for mothers and children, women’s liberation movement, activism against U.S. military bases, and anti-nukes activism. The latter half of the course will place an emphasis on the impact of U.S. Cold War on peace activism and gender relations in Japan. Instructor:  Akiko Takenaka, TR 11:00-12:15pm.  This course counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

LIN 317-001: Language in Society: Language, Gender, and Sexuality:  This course presents an overview of current research on language, gender and sexuality, emphasizing work across a wide range of linguistic and cultural contexts. We will first examine cross-linguistic variation in categories related to gender and sexual identities. We will then examine gendered variation within specific languages and gendered patterns associated with language change. We will then examine research on gender differences in conversational interaction as they relate to gendered identities and to questions of power. The course will then turn to the role of language in regulating sexual markets, negotiations of sexual consent, and in representations and perceptions of the body. The final part of the course will examine intersections between gender and other social categories (age, region, ethnicity, religion) and global processes. Instructor: Rusty Barrett, TR 11:00-12:15pm. This course counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

PS492-001: Legislative History of Violence Against Women: This seminar will address the topic of gendered violence and how Kentucky and the nation have accomplished legislative reforms over the past four decades. The course will identify primary catalysts for reform, including the anti-rape and domestic violence movements that began in the 1970s, and historic case law that impacted the legal system in both positive and negative ways for women victimized by intimate crimes. The seminar will also examine how social justice-related legislative reform was attempted in the context of cultural evolutions in society’s views of women. The seminar will use case studies to uncover Kentucky’s reform movement: stories of legislators, advocates, and Kentucky women whose stories inspired legislative reform in this state.  The course will include field trips to a battered women’s shelter and the state capitol; and presentations by legislators and survivors of violence. The final project will include creation of legislative proposals on gendered violence or other social justice issues by students that will be proposed to an actual committee of legislators in Frankfort. Instructor: Carol Jordan, M 3:00-5:30.  This is a 2 credit hour course that will meet August 28-November 13.  This course counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.

SOC 435/AAS 433-001:  Topics in Inequality: Masculinities:  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. This tack is crucial to understanding gender inequality because men as a group benefit from the gender order, and enactments of masculinity tend to reproduce power and dominance. At the same time, we will consider how intersections with other dimensions of inequality such as class, race, and sexuality complicate masculinities and position men differently in relationship to gender dividends. Instructor: Edward Morris, Days/Times: TBD, please check online course schedule.  This course counts toward requirements for undergraduate GWS majors and minors.





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