The Women's Studies Major
Laura Plummer traveled to Puerto Rico to investigate Quinceañera, the Latin American cultural practice of celebrating a girl's transition to womanhood.
1. Majors must complete 40 hours of Women's Studies courses or approved related courses, or 32 hours if Women’s Studies is the second major, with a grade of C- (1.67) or better and a grade-point average of 2.0 or better. At least half of the coursework for the major must be Women's Studies-designated courses.
2. The following courses are required:
a) WS 401: Introduction to Women's Studies (May also count as general education requirement.)
An interdisciplinary survey course which deals with basic principles and concepts fundamental to more advanced courses. Through writings from a variety of disciplines, women's past and present position in society is examined. The course focuses on such fundamental issues as the class status of women. It provides a feminist framework for analyzing topics such as women's work, child care, discrimination, female-male relations, women's relations with women, violence against women, health, and sexuality.
WS 405: Gender, Power, and Privilege (May also count as general education requirement.)
This course explores the dynamics of status, power, privilege, and inequality in contemporary United States by analyzing the social construction of differences and the processes, institutions, and conditions that lead to power and privilege in modern American society. Issues of race, gender, social class, sexual origination, age and ability, among others, are considered. Through directed readings, novels, films, music and discussion, this class examine the meaning of difference. Students will become familiar with several central categories of difference – race, class, gender and sexual orientation, (among others) – and begin to develop critical analyses of these categories in their own lives and in the wider cultures which overlap in our contemporary world.
b) WS 632: Feminist Thought: Theories of women’s oppression and emancipation explored from various historical, political, cultural, and social perspectives. A major goal of the course is to increase awareness of historical and contemporary feminist approaches to understanding women’s experiences, representations, and relative positions in societies. The course also considers the interrelation of theory and practice and the impact of past feminist theories on feminist movements.
c) A WS-designated course at the 700 level, could be WS 798: Colloquium in Women's Studies: Intensive study of specialized topics for advanced students. Topics vary with the instructor. Barring duplication of topic, the course may be repeated for credit. Normally taken at the end of a student's course of study.
3. The remaining work in the major will consist of other WS-designated courses (595, 796, 797) and courses cross-listed with Women’s Studies. Each student's major program should be developed in consultation with a faculty advisor with reference to the interests of the student. Particular care will be given toward developing a balanced program which would include the areas listed below:
a) Courses in arts and humanities, as well as in social sciences. No more than 4 electives may be from the same department.
b) At least one course focusing on women of color, cross-cultural perspectives, race, queer studies, and/or global issues.
c) A practicum or internship applying feminist knowledge to institutions in the community and on campus (WS 797).
Where appropriate, a major may propose to have a non-cross-listed course which relates to the proposed course of study approved for the major. In the case of a double major, 2 courses (8 credits) may be used to satisfy requirements for both majors.
4. Courses should be distributed between upper division (600 and 700 level) and lower division (400 and 500 level). At least half of the courses in the major should be taken at the upper level.