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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2010-2011

College of Liberal Arts


Women's Studies (WS)


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Coordinator: Marla A. Brettschneider
Professor: Marla A. Brettschneider
Associate Professor: Carol B. Conaway
Affiliate Associate Professor: Mary M. Moynihan
Assistant Professor: Courtney Marshall
Affiliate Assistant Professor: Christine W. Saltzberg
Affiliate Faculty: Jane Stapleton
Lecturer: Joelle Ryan, Carina E. Self
Core Faculty: Victoria L. Banyard, Jennifer L. Borda, Diane P. Freedman, Robin Hackett, Marc W. Herold, Lori Hopkins, Delia C. Konzett, Janet L. Polasky, Mary E. Rhiel, Juliette M. Rogers, Christine W. Saltzberg, Judy Sharkey, Sarah M. Stitzlein, Reginald A. Wilburn

Women’s studies provides students with an understanding of the status of women and gender roles in various cultures and historical eras. Students learn the use of gender as a category of analysis, and increase their knowledge of women’s contributions to many fields and the roles gender plays in them. Women’s studies courses offer students critical perspectives on such basic questions of the social order as assumptions about gender roles and gender identity and the ways cross-cutting phenomena such as racism, heterosexim, ablism, and ageism are a part of them.

A major or minor in women’s studies prepares students for careers where the changing roles of women, and gender more broadly, have a perceptible impact. Women’s studies graduates go on to law school and graduate school in a variety of disciplines. Some have taken positions with social change or family service agencies, while others have found work in such fields as politics, communications, community organizing, education, affirmative action, healthcare, and personnel.

Women’s Studies Major
For the women’s studies major, students must complete 40 credits of women’s studies courses (or 32 in the case of a second major) with grades of C- (1.67) or better and an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better. These courses must include the following three: 1) WS 401, Introduction to Women’s Studies, and/or WS 405: Gender, Power, and Privilege, normally taken at the beginning of the course sequence; 2) WS 632, Feminist Thought; and 3) a 700-level WS-designated course (for instance, WS 795, 796, 797, 798, or 799). Electives are chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser principally from other women’s studies courses, including WS 595 (Special Topics in Women’s Studies) and cross-listed departmental offerings. Students must take at least half of their courses at the 600 level and above to complete the major and at least half of their courses must be WS-designated classes. A maximum of two 400-level courses may count toward the major. The Discovery Program capstone requirement may be fulfilled by completing one of the following: WS 796, WS 797, or WS 798.

Departmental offerings include the following regularly repeated cross-listed courses:

ARTS 487, Themes and Images in Art: Major Mythic Images of Women
ARTS 690, Women Artists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
CMN 567, Images of Gender in the Media
CMN 583, Gender and Expression
ECON 698, Topics in Economics: Women in Economic Development
EDUC 507, Mentoring Adolescents
ENGL 585, Introduction to Women in Literature
ENGL 685, Women’s Literary Traditions
ENGL 785, Major Women Writers
FS 545, Family Relations
FS 757, Race, Class, Gender, and Families
GERM 520, Women in German Literature and Society
GERM 524, Topics in German Film
HIST 565, Women in Modern Europe
HIST 566, Women in American History
NURS 595, Women’s Health
POLT 525, Multicultural Theory
POLT 721, Feminist Political Philosophy
PHIL 510, Philosophy and Women
PSYC 711, Psychology in 20th Century Thought and Society
SOC/ANTH 625, Female, Male, and Society
SOC 630, Sociology of Gender

Students may also select from other courses that are offered as special topics by the departments. In the past, such offerings have included the following: ANTH 697, Women in the Middle East; CMN 616, Women and Film; FREN 525, French Women: Subject and Object; POLT 797, Queer Gender Theory.

Electives must show a balance between arts and humanities/social sciences and be distributed between upper (600 and 700) and lower (400 and 500) level courses; no more than four electives may be from the same department. No fewer than five courses should be taken at the upper level (for a first major). Strongly recommended are a practicum or internship course, and courses that focuses on women of color, cross-cultural, and queer perspectives.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Women's studies majors may use up to two major courses to satisfy both major requirements and Discovery requirements.

Women’s Studies Minor
For the women’s studies minor, students must complete 20 credits of women’s studies courses with a grade of C or better. Courses taken pass/fail may not be used toward the minor. No more than eight credits used to satisfy the requirements for the major may be used for a minor. Students electing the Women's Studies minor must complete WS 401, Introduction to Women’s Studies, or WS 405, Gender, Power, and Privilege, and WS 798, Colloquium in Women’s Studies, normally taken at the beginning and end of the course sequence, respectively.  It may be possible to substitute WS 797, Internships, for WS 798, Colloquium with permission from a women's studies adviser. Additionally, students must complete three other women's studies courses, either program courses or those that are cross-listed with other departments. (For a more complete description of the women’s studies minor, see COLA/Interdisciplinary Programs.)

Students who wish to major or minor in women’s studies should consult with the coordinator, 203 Huddleston Hall, (603) 862-2194.

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