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 2018 GWS Course Descriptions

You can print out a copy of the course flier 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 1:00-1:50
GWS 200-002: Lecture MW 9:00-9:50 and discussion session W 1:00-1:50
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 250-001 Social Movements: This course takes you through some ways in which people have organized themselves around local, national, and international issues pertaining to gender. We engage key theories that explain the origins, strategies, and success of different forms of social movements across the world. We also critically analyze case studies from different parts of the world to understand how social movements work on the ground and in specific cultural environments with unique historical trajectories, attending to ways in which social movements are shaped by, and do or do not result in changes to social structures of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality. Instructor: TBD, TR 2:00-3:15pm. This course is one of the core courses required for the undergraduate GWS major and minor.  

GWS 301-001: Crossroads: Queer U.S. Fictions: This course aims to educate you about the diversity of US citizens. Our iteration of this course focuses on providing you with key analytical concepts as manifest in queer literature, focusing on novels and memoir. We use the term “queer” in this class as a word derived from a social movement aimed at promoting equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people – also known as the GLBTQ community. Regardless of your own relation to this community, this class allows you to explore your own sense of what being “American” means. The idea of border-crossing and migration among geographic, sexual, national, racial, and gendered boundaries reverberates throughout the readings. The readings were chosen because most are Lambda Literary Award winners, meaning that they are highly regarded works of literary fiction, poetry, and memoir.  Instructor:  Carol Mason, TR 11:00-12:15pm. This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minor and fulfills the UK Core requirements for U.S. Citizenship.

GWS 301-002: Crossroads: Inequality under the Law:  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 legally-relevant domains.  Topics addressed will include: How does race affect police encounters, including the use of force, and residents’ trust in the police?  How does race influence outcomes in legal cases, including convictions, incarceration, and the death penalty?  How do bail and privatization create class barriers in the criminal justice system?  How does mass incarceration harm communities?  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?  How is immigration policy changing, and how does that affect individuals, families, and communities? Instructor: TBD, TR 3:30-4:45pm.  This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for U.S. Citizenship. 

GWS 302-001 (same as ENG 338):  Gender Across the World: Love & Gender in Modern and Contemporary Literature:  "And love is love, is love is love. . . .Love makes the world go round."  Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda sang it out in their tribute to the 2016 Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, Florida.  And yet, as the context of the tribute reminds us, people commit violent acts in the face of love.  And yes, governments around the world regulate it.  This course looks at love in late 20th- and early 21st-century literature, refracting the abstraction through topics such as law, violence, sexuality, and individual and cultural identities.  I haven't quite firmed up the book list yet (so much to choose from!), but texts might include, Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace (1996), David Ebershoff, The Danish Girl (2000), Bharati Mukherjee, Desirable Daughters (2003), Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love (2011); and Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox (2010).  Instructor:  Janet Eldred, MW 10:00-10:50 and online TBD.  This course counts toward requirements for GWS majors and minors and fulfills the UK Core requirements for Global Dynamics.

GWS 340-001: History of Feminist Thought:  This course is designed to provide students with an historical overview of the cultural diversity, creative and theoretical expression, and defining moments in the development of feminist thought up to 1975. Texts will include works, such as that of Hypatia, Christine De Pizan, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and Mary Astell, that pre-date the term “feminist” but that are pioneering statements in the struggle for gender equality. “Thought” will include political manifestos, poetry, and short stories, as well as classic works of feminist theory and cultural criticism. Instructor: TBD, MWF 3:00-3:50pm This course is required for GWS majors and minors.

GWS 400-001 Doing Feminist Research: How do we conduct “primary” research in Gender and Women's Studies? How can we be sure that the research we have conducted is not full of random or superficial information? How might we begin to produce/create knowledge about a topic in systematic, many-layered and lively ways? In this version of the course, you will be learning about a range of method, and getting hands-on practicein a number of qualitative methods.  You are going to read examples of a variety of methods used by Gender and Women’s Studies scholars, as sources for practical tips and to reflect on the dilemmas involved in gathering information. But primarily, you are going to BE the researcher, using several of these methods on a GWS-related project of your choice. Each week, we will discuss the practicalities of conducting particular kinds of research and you will also be sharing your research findings with the class in a workshop format.  Instructor: Srimati Basu, TR 2:00-3:15pm.   This course is required for undergraduate GWS majors.

GWS 506-001: History of Sexuality in the U.S.: Covering a broad chronological scope, from the colonial period to the present, this course is designed to introduce students to the major themes, debates, and developments in the history of sexuality in the United States. Given this large scope, the course will not be exhaustive, but rather offer a representative sample of key moments and issues in the history of sexuality. Particular attention will be paid to the roles that gender, race, culture, and class play in shaping ideas about and experiences of sex and sexuality. In recent years, scholars have come to understand sexual expression and sexual categories not as static, objective, or natural realities, but as social constructions. Thus, during the course, we will continually interrogate the term “sexuality,” and the changing meanings and expectations associated with the category across various cultural and historical contexts. In addition, this course will explore several themes throughout the semester, including: Reproduction and reproductive control; Regulation of gender, sex, and bodies; Laws and cultural norms regarding sex, marriage, and cross-cultural encounters; Changing ideas about sexuality in science and popular culture; Violence and power; and Sexual variation, identity, and identity politics Instructor: Melissa Stein, TR 12:30-1:45pm. This course counts toward requirements for the GWS major, minor, and Sexuality Studies certificate.

GWS 595-001:  Issues in GWS: The Politics of the Body: Body has been at the center of debates in gender, women, and sexuality studies. Body also serves as a crucial anchor for feminist/queer politics and imagining of an alternative world. Building on the scholarship of feminist and queer analysis of the exertion of power through body, life, affect, biology, and biotechnology, this course looks at the production of gendered, sexualized, raced and dis/abled bodies through biopolitics, biomedicine and biotechnology across national and geographical borders. In this seminar we ask the following questions: What bodies are deemed capable of being livable, productive, why and how? How do capital and biopolitics intersect with each other? How are bodies gendered, racialized, sexualized, and classed in biopolitical systems? How do global economies work through gendered, racialized, sexualized, and classed bodies? How do neoliberal ideas about individual sovereignty and freedom converge/collide with national and global legal structures that influence our perceptions of tissue, blood, bones, organs and cell lines? How do concepts of nation, border, and sovereignty animate the lives and deaths of populations—human, animal, and posthuman? How do non-human bodies meet and interact with human bodies to affect our co-existence?  Instructor: Charlie Zhang, MWF 2:00-2:50pm.



HIS 355-H003:  Women in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Equality, Peace:   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, and anti-war 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 2:00-3:15pm.

HIS 405-001:  Women in the U.S. Since 1900:  HIS 405 surveys US women’s and gender history since Reconstruction with a special focus on the history of race, reform, and sexuality. This course focuses on the history of female oppression, resistance, and agency through an intersectional lens to uncover a usable past for analyzing issues of gender and power in the 21st century.  Instructor:  Ashley Sorrell, TR 11:00-12:15pm.

SOC 338:  Family Violence:  This course examines various forms of family violence, including intimate partner violence and child abuse, by reviewing the theoretical and empirical literature on these problems. The course material addresses such topics as risk and protective factors, and both legal and therapeutic responses to family violence. Instructor: Emily Bonistall Postel, MWF 12:00-12:50pm.

SOC 435:  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, TR 12:30-1:45pm.


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