College of Arts and Sciences

Course Information

Spring 2019 Courses:


This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to women's and gender studies via readings from core discipline areas and presentation of methodological/bibliographical tools for research in women's studies. This course includes an examination of women's historic and contemporary status legally, politically, and economically, as well as women's struggles in identity expression, sexuality, and lifestyle. 



Examination of popular cultural “makings” of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality through typical representation of gender within fiction, theater, cinema, radio, music, television, journalism, and other secular mass media. Course will include the analysis of developing international telecommunications “superhighway” and the struggles to secure increased representation of women and of feminist perspectives within existing culture industries. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Humanities distribution requirement and for General Education Category Humanistic Ways of Knowing.

                             W24000.Repro.Handmaid.Spring 2019.BORDER   

Recent political, judicial, and legislative decisions are redefining people’s access to reproductive health care, including their access to birth control and abortion. And as we’ve seen in the case of the separation of immigrant/refuge people of their right to parent their children. A model for theoretical inquiry and social activism, the concept of reproductive justice highlights the interconnections between a wide-range of issues affecting people’s reproductive lives, including the right to not have children, the right to have children, and the right to parent one’s children in safe environments. This course will take up the topic of reproductive politics from a feminist perspective, focusing especially on the reproductive justice movement and its call for an examination of how the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability should shape (but haven’t necessarily always shaped) our discussions about reproductive politics. As an introductory-level examination of the topic, this course will combine readings about the history of reproductive rights, the history of the reproductive justice movement specifically, the present state of reproductive politics, and the theoretical concepts that have framed this history and shape current politics. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop a course project that examines reproductive justice in the context of our local community. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Social and Behavioral Sciences distribution requirement and for General Education Category B7: Interdisciplinary and Creative Ways of Knowing.

                             W301.Transnational Perspectives.Spring2019.BORDER 

This course decenters Western perspectives in feminist theory and praxis. As a class we will consider in what ways systems of oppression shape people’s lives throughout the world and transnationally. We will explore how power hierarchies impact women in a manner that relates to their geographical location and intersectional identities. We will also explore the impacts of diverse forms of prejudice which include but are not limited to sexism, racism, communalism, xenophobia, heterosexism, cisgenderism, and classism. Students will be prompted to consider what other systematic inequalities impact human beings. How have feminist scholars and activists challenged these structures of oppression and privilege? This course explores these questions and identifies ways feminist activists throughout the world have mobilized against colonialism, imperialism, hegemony, poverty, and global inequality. Through radical approaches to activism, feminists from the Global South have promoted human rights and compassion while troubling the concept of woman as a uniformly experienced collective identity. In this course students will problematize narrow understandings of womanhood and other collective identities by examining how identities are complex and intersectional. How does acknowledging the intricacy of subjectivities reveal that there is no simple solution to inequalities? Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Cultural Studies (Non-Western Culture) requirement and General Education Capstone. 

                              WOST301.Persepolis.Spring 2019.BORDER 

This course examines gender and sexuality in literature, film, art and historical documents produced by and about North Africans and Middle Easterners. As the cultural and geographic crossroads between these regions, Egypt will be emphasized. Course materials explore representations of the lives and social situations of women in the Arab and Islamic societies from the colonial period to the present. Students will consider the idea of feminism from various cultural and historical perspectives, as well as topics ranging from Orientalism to the recent resurgence of voluntary veiling among the educated elite. Approved by the College of Arts and Sciences for the Cultural Studies (Non-Western Culture) requirement and General Education Capstone.

Click here for the Women's Studies Spring 2019 Course Brochure.