Women’s Studies is an academic area of study that critically examines how gender shapes our identities, our social interactions and our world. Through exposure to interdisciplinary perspectives, students develop a framework for thinking about power relations and the ways that those relations are shaped and challenged by intersecting constructions of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age and nationality. Women’s Studies examines everyday experiences, social and political institutions, literary and philosophical contributions, and past and present ideas and world events. The discipline provides students with tools to engage with and critically analyze these areas.
Students declaring a Major in Women’s Studies should consult the Head of the Department regarding course selection.
The Major Program in Women’s Studies consists of a minimum of 39 credit hours. The following courses are required:
A minimum of 21 credit hours from the Women's Studies Electives Courses Table outlined below, selected from at least three different subject areas.
One of these courses may be a selected topics or directed readings course in any subject relevant to the major program.
A selected topics or directed readings course included in the student's major program must be approved in advance by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies on the recommendation of the Head of the Department.
Students who minor in Women's Studies shall complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in courses which shall include the following:
A minimum of 15 credit hours in courses from the Women's Studies Electives Courses Table outlined below, taken in at least three different subject areas. Women's Studies courses that are not required for the Minor (Women's Studies 2005, Women's Studies 3005, Women's Studies 4005) can be counted as Minor Elective Courses in one subject area. One of these courses may be selected topics or directed readings courses in any subject relevant to the minor program.
A selected topics course or directed readings course included in the student's minor program must be approved in advance by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies on the recommendation of the Head of the Department.
Not more than 3 credit hours in courses in the students major Program may be used to satisfy the requirements of the minor in Women’s studies.
Normal prerequisites and waiver policies in the respective departments will apply. Some courses may not be offered on a regular basis. Students should consult the appropriate department(s) for scheduling information.
In accordance with Senate's Policy Regarding Inactive Courses, the course descriptions for courses which have not been offered in the previous three academic years and which are not scheduled to be offered in the current academic year have been removed from the following listing. For information about any of these inactive courses, please contact the Head of the Department.
Women's Studies courses are designated by WSTD.
Introduction to Women’s Studies
considers women, women's studies and feminisms as areas of exploration from historical, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. The aim of this course is to provide a critical framework for thinking about questions relating to gender and other forms of social difference.
Credit may be obtained for only one of Women’s Studies 1000 and the former Women’s Studies 2000.
Identities and Difference
examines feminist scholarship about the construction of identities and difference in cultural discourses, representation and institutions.
Prerequisite: WSTD 1000
Feminist Approaches to Research Methods
addresses the question 'what is feminist research?' It familiarizes students with basic tools and research skills for feminist enquiry. As a requirement of this course, students may be asked to design and carry out a research project.
Prerequisite: WSTD 1000
Women Writers in the Middle Ages
(same as Medieval Studies 3006 and English 3006) will study selections from the considerable corpus of women's writings in the Medieval period, as well as issues which affected women's writing. All selections will be read in English translation.
3002-3020 (Excluding 3004, 3005 and 3009)
Special Topics in Women's Studies
will have topics announced by the Department.
Feminist Texts, Theories and Histories
Women and Health
uses an interdisciplinary perspective and will explore selected issues relating to women and their health. The material covered will help students acquire a better appreciation and understanding of some of the determinants of women's health, gender bias in health care and research, the portrayal of women's health in the popular press, and women as patients. A primary emphasis of the course will be to teach students the skills to carry out gender-based analyses of the health literature and health organizations.
Credit may be obtained for only one of WSTD 3100 and Sociology 4201
Special Topics in Women's Studies
are available only as part of the Harlow Campus Semester.
Contemporary Feminist Issues
is an interdisciplinary seminar in Women's Studies that identifies emerging debates in contemporary feminism and analyses complex and contentious issues and how they intersect and disrupt social constructions of gender. Three hour seminar per week.
Prerequisites: Students must normally have completed WSTD 3000 and 15 credit hours in other courses applicable to the Women's Studies Major and Minor programs before taking Women's Studies 4000. WSTD 3005 is recommended. In exceptional cases, students without these prerequisites may be accepted, with the approval of the instructor of WSTD 4000 and the Head of the Department.
examines, in considerable depth and detail, connections between feminist theories and feminist activism for social and political change. It examines how women's activism is mobilized in different historical, cultural and national contexts.
Prerequisite: Students must normally have completed WSTD 3005 and 15 credit hours in other courses applicable to the Women's Studies Major and Minor programs before taking WSTD 4005. In exceptional cases, students without these prerequisites may be accepted, with the approval of the instructor of WSTD 4005 and the Head of the Department.
Women and Technological Change
(same as Sociology 4107) is an advanced seminar which provides an interdisciplinary survey of the effects of technology on women's lives. Topics could include: The historical development of domestic technology; changes in workplace technology and their impact on women; assessing technologies from a feminist perspective; the design of technological systems; biomedical and reproductive technologies; information technologies; biotechnology; development in architecture and design; women, development, and technology; women and weapons technology; women and ecology; future technological change and women's lives. The course will combine seminar discussions of reading with films, workplace tours and guest speakers.
Credit may be obtained for only one of WSTD 4107, Sociology 4107, and the former WSTD 3009.