02430/Women's Studies


Lower Division Courses

C051/X051. Introduction to Women's Studies (3 s.h.) F S. Core: IN and WI.

An interdisciplinary course covering a variety of perspectives on women and gender. Emphasis on women in American society with consideration of special conditions of women in third world societies. Studies the central institutions of gender-including family, sexuality and love, the sexual division of labor, the ideology of femininity, and the structural basis of this ideology --women's social roles, and symbolic representations of women in culture. Special emphasis on class and racial differences and similarities.

C065. Gender and History (3 s.h.) F S SS. Core: IS.

Cross Listed with History C065.

A thematic introduction to the history of feminine and masculine roles from a comparative international perspective. The course will focus on topics such as The State, The Sacred, The Family, The Body, Work, and Modern Social Movements, using case studies from Ancient Greece or Rome, Medieval Europe, Africa, China, Japan, Modern Europe, and the Americas.

C076. American Women's Lives (3 s.h.) F S. Core: AC.

This course will look at American women's autobiographical writings, diaries, journals, and book length accounts, to understand the role women's narrative tradition has played in the development of American culture. The writings will be approached from social, literary, and historical perspectives. Subjects include slave narratives, social reformers, pioneers, and literary figures. Issues of gender, race, and class will be highlighted.

C080. International Women's Writing (3 s.h.) F S SS. Core: IS.

Reading and discussion of fiction, diaries, memoirs, and personal essays written by women in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Will examine the ways in which such "universal" themes as love, family, work, and personal identity are shaped by cultural contexts.

C081/X081. Men and Women in American Society (3 s.h.) F S SS. Core: AC and WI.

Cross Listed with Sociology C081 and X081.

The course examines gender roles in the United States. It includes how children learn to be boys and girls within their families, through play, from the media, and in schools. It includes the way men and women learn to interact together in personal relationships and work. It examines the benefits of being a man in our society and attempts to understand how and why this advantage works. The focus is on how society shapes the lives of children and adults in gendered ways, how we all participate in creating gendered differences, and how we can bring about change.

0083. The Psychology of Women (3 s.h.) S SS.

Cross Listed with Psychology 0083.

Starting from the traditional place of women in society, examines the development of female personality in different societies, social classes, and time periods. Topics include: the biological and the social foundations of sex roles; the implications for women's character and personality; intellectual characteristics of women; achievement motivation; women's mental health.

X091. Introduction to Women's Studies - Honors (3 s.h.) S. Core: IN and WI.

Honors section of X051. Additional work arranged by the instructor.

Upper Division Courses

0100. Essentials in Women's Studies (3 s.h.) S.

The purpose of this overarching course is to have the student explore the essential texts that define the history of Women's Studies. The course will address how gender difference is constituted, the diversity of women's experiences in relation to class, race, and sexuality, providing student with a common body of knowledge agreed upon by experts in the field of Women's Studies. The course functions as the foundation for future courses in Women's Studies. The students will study the works of historical contributors to feminist thought such as Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Betty Friedan, Simone de Beauvoir, Kate Millet, bell hooks, Angela Davis, and others. Though this course is designed particularly with the needs of Women Studies majors in mind, it will introduce to both majors and non-majors the intellectual issues, topics, and figures that embody the history of feminist struggle from its first wave in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to the present day.

0105. Love, Marriage, and Family (3 s.h.) S.

Cross Listed with History 0105 .

It is easy to assume that love, marriage, and family go together, but this has not always been the case. These concepts have a history. This course is a comparative examination of love, marriage, and family and the related themes of gender and sexuality in different historical periods and geographical areas. It includes ancient, medieval, and modern texts and materials and covers both western (European and American) and non-western (Asian, African, and perhaps Middle Eastern and Latin American) case studies.

Note: Each instructor may place a different emphasis among those topics and regions.

0115/0201/0202/0292. Topics in Women's Studies (3 s.h.) F S SS.

Specific cultural or social studies in gender issues with an emphasis on interdisciplinary analyses.

Note: A variable topics course.

W126. Women in Literature (3 s.h.) F. Core: WI.

Cross Listed with English W160.

Variable content course which examines the representation of women and the literature created by English, American, or other countries' women writers. This course has been offered with many specific topics: in-depth study of Woolf, Plath, and H.D., combining biography and literary texts; neglected masterpieces of American literature by black and white women; women as hero/woman as heroine; the questions of love, marriage, and vocation for women from 1850 to 1940 and other thematic motifs of 20th century women's literature.

Note: A variable topics course.

W128. Themes/Genres in Women's Literature (3 s.h.) S. Core: WI.

Cross Listed with English W260.

A variable content course in which students examine in depth the ideas, languages, and cultural stances in literature written by women. A specific theme or genre will be taken up each semester. (Courses previously taught under our general [nondisciplinary] Special Topics number have included Women and Poetry, Women's Worlds in Science Fiction and Utopian Literature, and Women's Autobiographical Narratives.)

Note: A variable topics course.

0130. Sexual Differences in Film (3 s.h.) S SS.

Cross Listed with Film and Media Arts 0292.

Women and film introductory course foregrounding various feminist film theories (Mulvey, Kaplan, Clover), their construction of the term “woman” and feminism’s relationship to “difference” (race, class, sexual preference). Possible readings of both Hollywood films (Pretty Woman), independent films, (Girlstown, Just Another Girl on the IRT) and more marginal cinemas such as documentary (Rosie the Riveter, Clothesline) and the experimental (Unbidden Voices, Daughter Rite) are discussed.

R152/H195. The Politics of Diversity (3 s.h.) F. Core: WR.

What does cultural diversity mean to you? To some of us, it is an attempt to forge a new definition of pluralism and community in American culture. To others, it is an opportunity to re-examine American life based on new concepts about race, gender, and class. To others it implies the abandonment of the Western intellectual tradition. Some see it as a way to avoid dealing with racism in the United States by focusing attention on women, gays, the disabled, and white ethnic and religious minorities. This course will examine the current debate about diversity. We will focus our attention on cases that have been part of the controversy.

0156. Gender, Class, and Nation (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with History 0156 .

This course explores the social and economic roles of women and men in modern Europe. Comparison of the impact of gender, class and nationality on middle-class, working class and peasant women and men in England, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. The effects of industrialization, nationalism, war, fascism, communism and the welfare state on women and men's lives. Covers the evolution of the role of girls and women in the family and the changing status of single and married women in the home and the workplace.

0157. Gender, War, and Society (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with History 0157 .

In wartime, the traditional organization of society is often radically altered to meet the pragmatic and ideological needs of triumphing in the ongoing conflict. Ideas about gender - i.e., how masculinity and femininity are defined - are frequently subject to radical revision in the context of a society at war. This course examines the European and, to a lesser extent, the American experiences of war during the two World Wars and the intervening twenty-year period, to understand how war and ideas of gender are related. Using both primary and secondary source materials, as well as films about World Wars I and II, the course looks at the experiences of men and women on the front lines and on the home front, those who participated in the wars and those who resisted them, those who benefited from war and those who participated in the wars and those who resisted them, those who benefited from war and those who were its victims. The course examines not only how wartime experiences construct and revise ideas about gender, but also how the rhetoric of gender is often used to further wartime aims.

0172. Sexuality and Gender in American History (3 s.h.) F.

Cross Listed with History 0172 .

This course takes us from the beginning of the twentieth century ( actually, from the tail end of the nineteenth) to the present, exploring the social, cultural, and political dimensions of the public and private roles of women and men in the United States. It examines changing cultural values and social norms of masculinity and femininity as well as actual behavior of women and men in the family, at work and at play, in love, and in the life of the nation. It also probes the ways in which race, social class, and sexual orientation have affected the experience of gender.

0186. Women and the Law (3 s.h.)

A historical and legal analysis. Techniques traditionally employed to deprive women of autonomy and equality, together with the successful -- and sometimes failed --challenges mounted by women and their advocates in areas of political and civil rights, employment opportunities, reproduction control, criminal justice, family law, credit access, public accommodations, and education.

0203. Women in Pre-Industrial Societies (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with History 0201.

Women's experience in the pre-industial period varied greatly across different regions of the globe, yet there were also important commonalities. This course examines comparatively, in various traditional European and third world societies, some important themes in women's history: work, sexuality, marriage, social control, science and medicine, and religion. It also discusses ways of studying the history of people who were for the most part not literate and left few traces of their own thoughts and experiences.

W206. The American Woman: Visions and Revisions (3 s.h.) F. Core: WI.

Cross Listed with American Studies W118.

This course examines the images and roles of women in American culture. Using fiction, poetry, and autobiography, we develop an understanding of stereotypes and myths and we relate these images to the real-life experiences of American women. The readings include all classes and many ethnic groups, and focus primarily on the twentieth century.

0212/W212. Gender, Race, Class and The City (3 s.h.) F. Core: WI.

Cross Listed with Geography and Urban Studies 0212/W212.

This course will focus on the relationships among gender, “race,” class, and urban spaces of the twentieth century U.S. cities. The course will explore how urban spaces reflect and perpetuate different relations of power, inequality, and identity. How does urban space reflect and reinforce unequal power relations? How do multiple and contradictory identities shape one’s experience of the city? How are contemporary debates about the city imbued with racialized, gendered and classed meanings? Focus will be on housing (suburbanization, gentrification and homelessness), economic restructuring and poverty, welfare policy, and urban social movements.

0230. Women Writers In Black Literature (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with African American Studies 0346.

Examines the concerns of black women writers: philosophical overtones, universal statements, literary structures, dominant themes. Will be taught from a comparative perspective by examining representative black women writers in the United States, the Caribbean and Africa. Will include the poetry, drama, short stories and the novels of major writers including Zora Neale Hurston, Buchi Emecheta, Lorraine Hansberry, Efua Sutherland, Sonia Sanchez, and many others. The readings will attempt to demonstrate that, notwithstanding the diversity in cultural, historical, and political backgrounds of the writers, a common thread runs through the works of black women writers.

0235. Sexuality and Gender (3 s.h.) F.

Cross Listed with Sociology 0246.

This is a historically oriented course focused on competing views of sexuality, in particular, essentialist theories and those which take a social constructionist approach. The first part of the course will lay the groundwork for the analysis of particular areas of sexuality by focusing on the transition from nineteenth century views of sexuality to the twentieth century and on the learning of sexual scripts. The second part of the course will apply these perspectives to a variety of issues including rape, pornography, abortion, and prostitution.

0237. Gay and Lesbian Lives (3 s.h.) S.

In this course we will read autobiographical accounts (memoirs, essays, diaries, and poems) in which a significant portion of the narrative focuses on same-sex erotic attraction and/or gender difference, identified in contemporary society by the label Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Intersex or the generic (and contested) Queer. The works were selected both to examine how gay and lesbian lives have been defined and altered over the course of the last sixty years and to provide a perspective of national, ethnic, religious, and racial diversity. Our main focus in the classroom will be discussion of these texts and their contexts. The classroom will be augmented by a research assignment focused on a "gay or lesbian" life we have not examined together in class.

0243. Women's Lives in Modern Europe (3 s.h.) F S.

Cross Listed with History 0243 .

This course treats issues related to women's status and power in modern European history from the eighteenth century to the present. The emphasis of the course will be on the experiences of women in England, France, Germany, and Russia where many economic and political changes have occurred in the last few centuries. The purpose of this course is to discuss important issues that women have confronted in the past, and that continue to influence problems that women face today such as: personal, economic, and political power, education, sexuality, psychology, and social esteem, women's position in the home and the workplace plus the continuing question of conventional versus unconventional gender roles in Western societies. To supplement a general text and several published sources in European history, students will be reading memoirs and essays written by women on economic, political, and social issues pertaining to women, work, and the family during the past two centuries.

0246. Men and Masculinity (3 s.h.) S.

Cross Listed with Sociology 0228.

Explores the social and personal meanings of "masculinity": the problems and conflicts associated with modern male identity, the variety of male experience along lines of social class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age, and the "emerging masculinities" of today and the future. Special emphasis placed upon building and understanding the "costs" of rigid definitions of masculinity to men, as well as the power and privileges that men may enjoy over women due to traditional and contemporary gender arrangements. The course will be organized around a variety of interdisciplinary readings.

W249. Women in Modern Asia (3 s.h.) S. Core: WI.

Cross Listed with History W215, American Studies W153 and Asian Studies W317.

Introduces and compares the recent historical experience of women in Asia, especially China, Japan, and Korea. Major topics include women and the family, women and work, and women as creators and activists. The course focuses on the situations of rural as well as urban women, and ordinary as well as elite women in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

0261. Women and Politics (3 s.h.) S.

Cross Listed with Political Science 0302.

The women's movement and its implications for public policy. The role of politics and political philosophy in restraining women's opportunities; an examination of the ideological roots of feminism; present discrimination in the workplace; and women as political activists.

0271. Women in Religion and Society (3 s.h.) S SS.

Cross Listed with Religion 0301.

Study of both the roles and the understanding of women in primitive and major modern religious traditions, particularly of the West, including an investigation of the authoritative writings and practices of the various traditions.

0273. Women and Criminal Justice (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with Criminal Justice 0340.

The aims are to develop an understanding of the status of women in the Criminal Justice System as offenders, victims, and workers. We will examine the extent to which status is a reflection of stereotypes of women currently in vogue or a reflection of social structural arrangements in society. Patterns of female crime, treatment within the criminal justice system, victimization, and career opportunities will be studied and compared with those of males, as well as within other societies, where data is available.

0275. Women and Work (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with Sociology 0258.

Women's work will be defined in the fullest sense. We shall examine the division of labor between the sexes and changes in women's production in the labor force and in the home from both a historical and a cross- cultural perspective. We shall discuss trends in the employment of women by race, age, and marital status as well as trends in the distribution and nature of household work.

0276. Women in the Third World (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with History 0202.

Explores the experiences and perspectives of women in the less- privileged areas of the world. The goals of this course are to increase our understanding of the key determinants of women's subordination and agency in different socio-economic situations and to develop comparative perspectives that establish the connections between the condition of women in third world countries and that of European and North American women. We will examine themes such as the nature of women's position in the global economy; migration and industrialization; control over women's labor, fertility, and sexuality at the level of the household, the community, and the state; and feminist and gender-based political movements. Readings will include case studies on women in major regions of the developing world.

0277. Women in the Economy (3 s.h.) S SS.

Cross Listed with Economics 0272.

Explores five major themes: unpaid work performed by women in the home; why so many women work for pay; why so many women are clerical workers; why so many women earn substantially less than men (wage differentials). Consideration of these topics and women workers in the Third World - requires understanding alternative economic theories of the labor market and economic approaches to discrimination as well as historical changes in the nature of unpaid and paid work. No previous knowledge is required - we shall discuss these theories and apply them to the economic situation of women here and in other societies.

0281. Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in America United States (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with History 0281.

Women's history has come of age during the last two decades. There is now recognition that there is no universal women's experience, rather American women come from diverse racial and ethnic, as well as cultural backgrounds. Therefore women's experiences must be examined within the larger context in which they have functioned. Utilizing the full context of American history from the colonial period to 1980, this course will explore the various ways in which gender, race, and ethnicity, along with other aspects of identity, have shaped the lives and experiences of women in the United States. It will examine the complex relationships between the construction of personal identities, the material realities of women's lived experiences, and cultural and ideological systems and social institutions. Of necessity we must look at the bonds and conflicts among women and between women and men. Issues of race, gender, and ethnicity must be addressed within the context of American Women's history.

0287. Women in U.S. History (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with History 0287.

Explores the ways in which women have both been affected by, and helped to shape, this nation's history. Emphasis will be on how women of different socio-economic backgrounds, races, and ethnic groups have experienced colonization, American expansion, sectionalism, the industrial revolution, urbanization, immigration, war, economic depression, cultural transformations and political change. Commonalities and differences among women, as well as conflicts between them, in a society based on male supremacy will be explored. Issues on how race, ethnicity, and class affect the experience of gender will be highlighted.

0290. Independent Study (3 s.h.) F S SS.

For students who would like to pursue topics on women and sex roles not offered within regular college courses. Original research and projects encouraged. Close faculty supervision both in designing and carrying out the independent study.

Note: Students must have selected a faculty adviser and submitted a formal proposal before registering for the course.

H292. Honors Topics in Women's Studies (3 s.h.)

Honors section of 0292. Additional work arranged by the instructor.

0294. Independent Study (2 s.h.) F S.

Arranged each semester, please consult with the instructor.

0295. Women and Work - Honors (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with Sociology 0358.

Honors section of 0275. Additional work arranged by the instructor.

0299. Field Work in Women's Studies (3 s.h.) F S SS.

Prerequisite: Consultation with and written approval of the Women's Studies Program before registering for the course.

The opportunity to work in a public or private agency whose mission includes women's advocacy. Available to students majoring in Women's Studies and students throughout the College of Liberal Arts. Requires a designated supervisor at the field placement (minimum of 7 1/2 hours per week) and a faculty adviser within the College. A paper or project related to the area of the field study is also required.

Note: Placement and faculty advisers arranged prior to registration. (Call 215-204-6953.)

W300. Research Seminar in Women's Studies (3 s.h.) Core: WI.

Prerequisite: 0299 - Field Work in Women's Studies.

This course serves as the capstone for the Women's Studies major. Students write a substantial research paper drawn from and expanding upon their Women's Studies internship. They work closely with the instructor and each other in increasing and applying their understanding of the writing process, scholarly research, and feminist theory.

Note: Writing Capstone Course, Majors Only

0301. Seminar in Women's Studies (3 s.h.) S.

A variable content course which selects one of the topics necessary for a comprehensive understanding of women in society and studies it in depth. The course may focus on a particular group of women, the study of women from a specific perspective, or the position of women in a particular institution.

W363/H393. Feminist Theory (3 s.h.) F S. Core: WI.

Cross Listed with English W275.

An examination of contemporary feminist theory as it applies to various fields of academic and social discourse. The course encourages critical analysis of the foundation of knowledge.

0397, 0398. Honors Thesis in Women's Studies (2 s.h. respectively) F S.

Individually supervised research and writing, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduating with Honors in Women's Studies.

Note: Students must register in consecutive semesters for 0397 and 0398 to fulfill requirements. Permission of instructor required.

0399. Honors Thesis Independent Study (3 s.h.) F.

Individually supervised research and writing, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduating with Honors in Women's Studies.

Note: Permission of instructor required.