Requirements for Major
A major in Women's and Gender Studies consists of at least 30 credits in Women's and Gender Studies courses (core, co-listed, and cross-listed) with a grade of C- or better in each course and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in WGS courses. These credits must include at least 18 at the 300 level or above. All majors must complete WGS 201: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, WGS 301: Feminist Inquiries, and at least two other WGS core courses.
All majors must complete WGS 501: Senior Research Project, which will take the form of an individual research project with a faculty member of the student's choice; the student is responsible for finding an appropriate faculty member who is available to supervise the project and then must seek formal approval from the program director before proceeding with the project. The student must produce a substantial written report or research paper, the format of which will vary according to the nature of the project.
Women's and Gender Studies majors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in WGS courses and an overall GPA of at least 3.0 may earn departmental honors by completing WGS 505: Honors Thesis instead of the senior research project. Candidates for departmental honors are responsible for finding a faculty member who is willing to serve as thesis adviser and then must complete a thesis proposal of approximately 400 words which must be approved by the thesis adviser and then the program director. The format and length of the thesis will vary according to the nature of the project. Most students writing an honors thesis as part of their WGS major will take WGS 505 twice (for a total of 6 credits).
WGS 201: INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES (3 credits)
How are our lives shaped by gender? This course introduces students to the ways in which Women's and Gender Studies as an interdisciplinary field examines conceptions of masculinity and femininity; gender relations; gender inequalities; the intersections of gender with other categories of identity such as class, race, sexuality, and stages in the life cycle; and the broad impact of gender on society (including political, legal, economic, and religious arenas).
WGS 301: FEMINIST INQUIRIES (3 credits)
This course studies the history of feminist thought and the ways in which feminist inquiry transforms our understanding of key issues across the curriculum. This course will focus on global, transnational trends and theories that have shaped the dynamic paths of feminist inquiries. We will study what it means to be a feminist by situating the discourse in broader political and historical contexts. We will focus not only on feminist writings emanating from the United States, but since we live in an increasingly globalized world, also travel elsewhere to understand what inquiries and thoughts animate feminist theories and praxis in parts of the global south. Reading classic and contemporary feminist scholarship from a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds we will address questions of rights, equality, nature of oppression and difference. We will discuss the dynamic, historical and changing nature of feminist contributions to the understanding of what constitutes work and family, inscriptions on body, sex, sexualities, and gender. Transnational trends such as the globalized economy, developments and access to new reproductive technologies, will enable us to understand the historical intersections between different feminist movements, and how political, social, and economic structures of race, sexuality, gender and class shape the rich and complex fabric of feminist inquiries. Drawing on interdisciplinary feminist texts in history, anthropology, literary theory and literature, films, visuals, primary documents such as speeches and manifestos, the course will enable us to appreciate the diversity of feminist scholarship and activism that shape feminist inquiries. This is a writing credit course.