2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Gender and Women's Studies (GWST)


GWST 1015 Voice and Gender (4 Credits)

In this course, students explore gender in personal and political contexts with the intent of developing their individual voices in these arenas. Students learn to express creatively their voice through strengthening both their written and oral communication skills. The course also discusses gender issues prevalent in today's society and significant moments in rhetorical history that have impacted these issues. Cross listed with COMN 1015.

GWST 1112 Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies (4 Credits)

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of gender and women's studies. All cultures engage in a complex process of assigning cultural values and social roles which vary according to the cultural environment in which human interaction occurs. Among these, the process of translating biological differences into a complex system of gender remains one of the most important. Gender and women's studies aims to understand how this process of 'gendering' occurs, and its larger effects in society. This course also explores how this system of meaning relates to other systems of allocating power, including socioeconomic class, social status, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and nationality. Using this lens, this course explores contemporary social developments and problems. Gender and women's studies is about studying, but it is also about meaningful engagement with the world. This class presents students with a variety of types of texts from sociological articles to literary fictions and documentary and fictional cinema to explore gender from many different directions. This course counts toward the Scientific Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.

GWST 1988 Study Abroad Resident Credit (0-18 Credits)

GWST 2212 Gender, Communication, Culture (4 Credits)

This course considers how gender is created, maintained, repaired, and transformed through communication in particular relational, cultural, social, and historical contexts. This course is designed to help students develop thoughtful answers to the following questions: what is gender, how do we acquire it, how do cultural structures and practices normalize and reproduce it, and how do we change and/or maintain it to better serve ourselves and our communities? Throughout the term, the class explores how dynamic communicative interactions create, sustain, and subvert femininities and masculinities “from the ground up.” This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.This course is cross-listed with COMN 2210.

GWST 2215 Selling Sex, Gender and the American Dream: 1950 - Present (4 Credits)

This introductory course analyzes how commercial culture has evolved into the defining cornerstone of American life over the last sixty years. The first half of the quarter well will examine the key historical movements including the Cold War, the Civil Rights/Women's and Gay Liberation movements and investigate how women, ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community evolved into important "consumer citizens" in the United States. The second half of the quarter will examine these same social groups from a contemporary perspective, and the degree that globalization, "multiculturalism" and "going green" have emerged as dominant tropes in contemporary culture. By moving from past to present, students will gain an understanding of the complex connections between consumption and U.S. nation-building, as well as the consequences "shopping" and the accumulation of "stuff" has had in both the shaping and reconfiguring understandings of what it means to live the "American Dream." This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.

GWST 2280 Gender in the Economy (4 Credits)

This course moves beyond the traditionally male-dominated view of the economy to explore economic life through a gendered lens. A gendered perspective challenges us to see economic theory, markets, work, development, and policy in new ways. Gendered economic analysis expands the focus of economics from strictly wants, scarcity, and choice to include needs, abundance, and social provisioning in its scope. Cross listed with ECON 2280. Prerequisite: ECON 1020.

GWST 2420 Social Inequality (4 Credits)

Dimensions of social class and its effect on economic, political and social institutions as well as style of life. Cross listed with SOCI 2420.

GWST 2650 Feminist Qualitative Research Methods and Design (4 Credits)

This course will introduce the fundamental elements of feminist qualitative research methods and design. We will begin by examining various research methods, including ethnography, interviews, oral history, media studies/discourse analysis, and community-based research and analyze the ways in which they aid (and help counter) ways of knowing and understanding the social world. In addition to gaining awareness of the more commonly used qualitative and ethnographic methodologies, you will be challenged to think critically about the mechanics, ethics, and politics of such research, including the role of researcher within it. Enrollment restricted to GWST majors only.

GWST 2700 Topics in GWST (1-4 Credits)

Current issues or gender and women's studies faculty research interests.

GWST 2701 Topics in GWST (1-4 Credits)

Current issues or gender and women's studies faculty research interests.

GWST 2710 Introduction to Queer Studies (4 Credits)

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Gender and Women’s Studies by focusing on mostly queer theory. Queer theory is a comparatively new approach to understanding gender, sexuality, and the world around us, and it has created controversy and disagreement regarding its aims and approaches. What does it mean to queer something? Why is language — the words that we use and that are used on us — so important to queer theory, and what does it mean for how we approach ourselves and those around us? The world in general? How is queer theory different from, and complementary to, women’s and gender studies broadly speaking?.

GWST 2730 Gender in Society (4 Credits)

How the biological fact of sex is transformed into socially created gender roles. How individuals learn they are male and female, and how their behaviors are learned. A look at gender distinctions built into language, education, mass media, religion, law, health systems and the workplace. Cross listed with SOCI 2730. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810.

GWST 2785 Family and the Law (4 Credits)

The government is actively involved in deciding who gets to be a family and what families should look like. The state and its laws are involved in shaping family life, making decisions for family members, and mediating familial conflict. This course looks at the appropriate role of the state in family life by examining state legislation and court decisions and social research on a variety of topics. Cross listed with SOCI 2785. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810.

GWST 2830 Representations of Women (4 Credits)

Consideration of images presented of and by women in works of English and American literature from Middle Ages to present. Cross listed with ENGL 2830.

GWST 2981 Colloquium in GWST (2 Credits)

Theme changes each year. May be repeated for credit as long as course titles are different.

GWST 2988 Study Abroad Resident Credit (0-18 Credits)

GWST 2991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

GWST 2995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)

GWST 3130 The Archaeology of Gender (4 Credits)

This course examines the ways archaeology can contribute to the study of gender through investigations of the deep through recent past. The class will include readings on gender theory, the uses of archaeological data, and specific case studies of engendered lives in the past. Cross listed with ANTH 3130.

GWST 3652 Culture, Gender and Global Communication (4 Credits)

This course explores the ways in which culture, gender, and communication intersect and shape a variety of issues from an international and intercultural perspective. Using a global feminist perspective, it also focuses on paradigms and paradigm shifts in creating social change. Also explored are alternative paradigms of thought, action and media communications by women and indigenous peoples, which have often been ignored, discounted or buried in history. Cross listed with MFJS 3652.

GWST 3700 Topics in GWST (1-4 Credits)

Current issues or gender and women's studies faculty research interests.

GWST 3701 Topics in GWST (1-4 Credits)

Current issues or gender and women's studies faculty research interests.

GWST 3704 Topics in GWST (1-4 Credits)

Current issues or gender and women's studies faculty research interests.

GWST 3710 Putting Feminism to Work (4 Credits)

In this class students will explore the various ways people are putting feminism “to work” outside the classroom. The first part of the quarter we will examine how liberal arts degrees are translating into “work” for students (and feminists!) after college. Next, we will examine some contemporary issues and trends facing women and other minorities in the workplace (e.g., paid leave; equal pay; sexual harassment and racial discrimination; trends in 21st century jobs). Finally, we will explore organizations and careers where people have translated their feminist knowledge into action, including: local and global NGOs dedicated to gender equity and women’s well-being; organizations that aim to advance public policy and political participation; initiatives that focus on racial justice, women’s education and leadership; and possible career paths in science, technology, healthcare, and more. By the end of the quarter, GWST students should have a better understanding of current trends that feminists in the workplace face, as well as have some insight about how to harness the exciting opportunities and challenges that await them after college.

GWST 3871 Women in Art (4 Credits)

This course considers the roles of women in art and explores the impact of race, class and gender on art produced from the Middle Ages to the present with discussions of women artists, women patrons and images of women. Cross listed with ARTH 3871.

GWST 3950 Feminist, Gender, and Queer Theory (4 Credits)

This course examines the major theoretical approaches (feminist, womanist, queer, etc.) to understanding gender and other intersecting systems of oppression and privilege. It explores the historical evolution of the theoretical traditions that have informed feminism, queer theory, and gender and women's studies, as well as examining more recent developments within these fields of inquiry. Students apply these theories to a range of texts, empirical data and/or the experiential world. This course may be repeated for credit as long as course subtitles are different. Prerequisite: GWST 1112; minimum of junior standing.

GWST 3975 Capstone Seminar (4 Credits)

This course provides students the opportunity to complete a substantial final project for their degree in gender and women’s studies, which may take the form of preparation for a thesis, community-based research or service project, or a substantial creative or research project. Students work closely with the director of the program or a faculty member affiliated with the program to devise these projects after spending the first part of the course exploring recent research within the field of gender and women’s studies. Prerequisites: GWST major or minor, GWST 1112, GWST 3950, senior standing, or permission of instructor.

GWST 3985 GWST Internship (2-5 Credits)

GWST 3988 Study Abroad Resident Credit (0-18 Credits)

GWST 3991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

GWST 3995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)

GWST 3998 Honors Thesis (1-5 Credits)

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