Gender Studies Courses

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Gender Studies

GNDR 101 Gender, Sex, and Identity (4)
The central aim of this course is to foster critical thinking about gender and how the concept of gender structures relationships of power around us every day. This means that we will think about, write about, and talk about questions related to what gender is, how it affects us, and how it can change. Throughout this course, we will draw on several different disciplines, such as sociology, philosophy, literature, and political science, to develop a multi-faceted understanding of how gender structures our lives. We will also look at specific topics related to the intersections of race and gender, sexual identity, gender inequality, and the flexibility of gender categories. (WCore: WCFAH, DE)
GNDR 131 Philosophy of Gender and Power (4)
The term “feminist” has almost as many meanings as it has both advocates and detractors. For some, the “feminism” means a radical shift in language, politics, and economics. For some, the term simply means equality. And still for others, the term means witchcraft, sexual deviancy, and the death of the American family. This semester, we will examine how contemporary theorists (many of whom call themselves “feminist”) argue the world needs to change in order to make a more just environment for women. In the process, we will read about, write about, and discuss a wide range of issues including structures of power, sexuality and sexual violence, race, masculinity, and beauty norms. The goal for this class is not to decide on one solitary definition of “feminism” but instead to force ourselves to think more critically about how gender structures the world around us and how we can change our future. (WCore: DE)
GNDR 300 Special Topics in Gender Studies (2-4)
Presents a number of special topics allowing students to explore a wide range of issues relevant to gender studies.
GNDR 319 American Women’s History (4)
An overview of the economic, social, and political roles women have played in American history, from the colonial period to today. Investigates women’s work in the household and market economies, women and the family, and women’s legal and civil rights and liabilities across time.
GNDR 320 Gender, Stories, and Migration (4)
Increased migration is a nearly present feature in the news and politics. Although women comprise about half of all migrants, discussions of gender and sexuality are generally absent in the analyses, even as they are highlighted in the press and in the way we talk about migration. This course will use stories-understood broadly-to explore migration, specifically through the lens of gender studies and the uneven impact of migration on women. (WCore: EWRLD)
GNDR 325 Human Trafficking (4)
This course will provide cross-disciplinary understanding of different forms of slavery and their current prevalence in the United States and throughout the world (as sex-trafficking, forced labor, child soldiers, and similar). We will identify connections between historical slavery and modern-day practices of human trafficking, focusing on issues of economics, power, human rights, abolition, and legislation on both local and global levels. Our readings will include first-person narratives, abolition materials, scholarly articles, case studies, and government reports and legislation. We will also watch several documentaries and follow prominent anti-slavery campaigns.A substantial component of the course will be devoted to civic engagement, allowing us to conduct research in the community and get involved in local organizations that emphasize prevention and protection. The ultimate goal will be to apply academic research and service learning to problem-solving in a critically informed and socially responsible fashion. (WCore: EWRLD)
GNDR 335 Psychology of Women (4)
An overview of major theories of women’s development, applications of feminist theory, gender-related research, and women’s health issues across the life span. Psychological issues important to women during childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age are discussed, such as gender role acquisition, pay inequities in the work force, adjustment to menopause and violence against women. Focus is given to research on women in relation to diverse socioeconomic classes, ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
GNDR 339 Queer Theory and Posthumanism (4)
Humanism is the belief that reason provides the best tools for solving the problems of the world. It has dominated political and literary thought at least since the seventeenth century. It is the foundation of human rights discourse, of many theories of democracy, and of the prevailing models of social justice. Nonetheless, humanism has its detractors, and the last several decades have seen the rise of “posthumanism,” which seeks to challenge humanism’s dominant position in political and social thought. Some critics suspect that humanism unconsciously upholds the racism, misogyny, and homophobia of the texts that established its terms in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Others are motivated by the challenges to reason presented by psychoanalysis, Marxism, and radical feminism. Queer Theory is among the must important posthumanist discourses in the United States, though not all queer theorists are posthumanists. This course investigates how queer theorists have attacked and defended humanism, and also explores queer theory’s relationship to other posthumanist discourses. Authors to be considered may include Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Donna Haraway, Lauren Berlant, Leo Bersani, Jasbir Puar, Lee Edelman, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, and Joan Copjec. This course fulfills the Theory requirement for English majors.
GNDR 345 Sociology of Sexualities (4)
This course examines sexuality from an historical, social, and interpersonal perspective. Students will study the history of sexuality research in the United States along with the major sexual revolutions. The sociological perspective will be used to understand contemporary issues around sexuality, including transgender rights, sexual orientations, modern-day sexual scripts, the sexual double standard, and the medicalization of sexuality.
GNDR 350 Gender in Society (4)
This course exposes students to the problematic concept of “gender”, including the many ways in which society’s organizations reinforce and shape gender relations, and the ways in which gender shapes our identity, relationships, and the division of labor in society. Using a feminist perspective and drawing on international authors, this course will focus on the concept of “gender” at the individual, interactional, and institutional levels. (WCore: DE)
GNDR 360 Race, Gender, Class, and the Media (3)
This course explores and challenges how issues and individuals, groups, and populations are presented in the media. Students will analyze the portrayals of race, ethnicity, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, age, ability and socioeconomic class in entertainment and news media.
GNDR 400 Senior Project/Thesis (3)
Serves as the capstone course for the GNDR minor. Students undertake self-directed project or thesis that integrates concepts learned in gender studies courses with those learned in the student’s major area of study. Project completed with a supervisory committee of two (at least one must be a gender studies faculty member). Prerequisite: completion of 20 hours of Gender Studies courses including GNDR 101. Note: Students whose major requires a senior project or thesis will not be expected to complete a second project or thesis. One thesis or project can count for both a major requirement and a gender studies requirement if students (1) select topics relevant to both gender studies and their majors and (2) work with a faculty advisor who teaches gender studies courses.
GNDR 401 Directed Studies (1-4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive study of topics not otherwise offered in the Gender Studies Program. Hours are arranged. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
GNDR 440 Internship (1-8)
In order to emphasize the importance of experiential learning, this course offers students opportunities to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience related to gender studies. Students must have junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of Program Chair and Career Center internship coordinator.
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