Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGS) - Courses

Courses

+RGS 100 Cr.3

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Class

This course provides an introduction to how race, gender, sexuality, and class have been intertwined and coexisted over time to produce and reproduce social inequalities in the US, in the context of a globally connected world. It explores the key concepts, theories, and historical experiences that form the basis of scholarly work in comparative race, gender, sexuality, and class studies. The creation, transmittal, interpretation and institutionalization of racial, gender, sexual, and class identities are examined through a human rights framework. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.

RGS/SOC 105 Cr.3

Introduction to LGBT Studies

This course will examine the cultural, legal, and political dimensions of LGBT life in the U.S. It will begin by exploring the social invention of heterosexuality and how personal and institutional interpretations of sexuality have historically informed the lives of LGBT people. The course also addresses class, racial and gender biases that especially confront queer communities of color in the U.S. Finally, the course looks at continued instances of hate crimes and homophobia against the backdrop of rights-based activism and the role that art and politics play in this interplay. (Cross-listed with RGS/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Annually.

+RGS/SOC 150 Cr.3

Introduction to Social Justice

Students in this course will examine the concept of social justice through an intersectional and multidisciplinary lens. Students will begin with a critical investigation of the connections between the individual, the local, and the structural as they relate to justice and inequality in society. Social justice strategies are then evaluated, in case study fashion, through the lenses of gender, race, and class structures. (Cross-listed with RGS/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Annually.

+RGS/ENG 207 Cr.3

Multicultural Literature of the United States

This course examines cultural themes in American literature in an effort to enhance student awareness of the multi-ethnic nature of American culture. Students engage in close reading, discussion, analysis, and interpretation of texts written by individuals from a variety of American ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112 or concurrent enrollment in ENG 112. (Cross-listed with ENG/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring.

+RGS/ENG 210 Cr.3

Literature of Black America

Survey and exploration of Black American prose and poetry from their eighteenth century beginnings to the end of the Harlem Renaissance and the depression years. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112 or concurrent enrollment in ENG 112. (Cross-listed with ENG/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring.

RGS 300 Cr.1-3

Independent Study in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Directed reading and research under the supervision of an instructor. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Consent of instructor. Offered Occasionally.

RGS/HIS 301 Cr.3

Women and Gender in the Modern United States: 1890-Present

This course introduces students to key developments in the history of women and gender in the modern period of U.S. history. It explores the diversity of women's experiences and gender constructs in relation to work, activism, citizenship, family life, and demographic changes, and cultural changes. (Cross-listed with HIS/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.

RGS/HIS 305 Cr.3

History of Motherhood in the United States

This course considers motherhood in nineteenth and twentieth century United States history from a variety of perspectives. It explores women's experiences as mothers, across lines of class, race, and relationship status. It also examines the politics of motherhood in US history, and considers both the restrictive and the empowering dimensions of ideologies of motherhood. (Cross-listed with HIS/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.

+RGS 307 Cr.3

Ethnic, Racial, and Gender Stereotypes in the Media

This course will trace how popular entertainment mediums such as film, television, books, comics, "wild west shows," music and cartoons have impacted perceptions of ethnic and racial groups from the early seventeenth century to the present. Besides analyzing the persuasive power of these types of mediums, it will examine why such representations were created and why they still persist. Often these racialized images are equally rooted in gender, class, and sexualized identities and this will be explored as well. The mythopoeic image that surrounds Indigenous Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, and other minority groups will be juxtaposed against the historical reality that these groups have faced and the contemporary inequalities that we still must confront. Prerequisite: ERS 100 or RGS 100 or WGS 100. Offered Fall, Spring.

RGS 308 Cr.3

Justice and Film

Film, along with other forms of media, helps to create, introduce, and reinforce cultural values, norms, and understandings. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course will provide students tools with which to critically analyze film as a cultural product, with a specific focus on representations of race, gender, sexuality, class, and justice. Films to be viewed and analyzed will focus on issues such as interpersonal and gendered violence, parenting, immigration, economic justice, criminal justice policy, leadership, and the social construction of race, class, gender, and sexuality. While films will be the primary text in the course, each will be supplemented with the empirical and theoretical literature on the subject at hand. Offered Annually.

RGS 309 Cr.3

Music of Black America

This course examines the history of recorded Black musical expression in the United States through music, lyrics, and texts. It explores the role of spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, calypso & mento, gospel, rhythm & blues, funk, reggae, house, and rap music from slavery through the Obama era as a conveyor of social, cultural, and political commentary on race, gender, class, sexual orientation and other intersecting identities with an emphasis on race. Literary criticism, music history, critical race theory will be used to understand the importance of music as an expression of power and relative powerlessness to the black experience in the US. Lect. 2, Lab 1. Offered Fall.

RGS 310 Cr.3

Topics in Queer Studies

This course offers students the opportunity to explore contemporary and historic issue through the lens of Queer studies and builds on the current Introduction to LGBT studies course in order to expand students' understanding of Queer history, activism, and/or theory. The course takes an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach through which students can build understanding of the connections between Queer studies and other fields. Department approval is necessary to apply more than three credits toward the RGS major/minor. Repeatable for credit - maximum nine. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered Annually.

RGS 314 Cr.3

Race, Gender, and Sport

Sport has long occupied a place at the heart of American culture and society. Organized athletics have also served as symbolic sites of protest, power, and inclusion for the nation's populations marginalized, oppressed, and discriminated against based on their racial, gender, and sexual identities. This course will explore the terrain of American sport in the twentieth century as a way to understand the profound impact that the phenomenon of athletic competition has had in the development of American race and gender relations. We will pay particular attention to how the racial, gender, and sexual identities of African American, Native American, Latino/a, and Asian American athletes shaped the purposes, participation, and meaning of sport. Moreover, we will delve into the events, icons, and cultural meanings of sports over the last century. Prerequisite: ERS 100 or RGS 100 or WGS 100. Offered Occasionally.

RGS/SOC 316 Cr.3

Gender, Sexuality, and Social Change in Religion

This course examines the various gender roles, norms, mobility, restrictions and empowerment that people experience within religious traditions, for example: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Global case studies and engaging narratives focused on the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and religion will be considered. Special attention will be paid to feminist laypersons and religious leaders who are reformulating traditional understandings and practices, and in turn, negotiating their agency within secular and spiritual spaces. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, RGS 150, WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, SOC 110, SOC 120, EDS 206. (Cross-listed with RGS/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.

RGS/PHL 319 Cr.3

Indigenous Thought

This course draws from sources authored by Indigenous scholars, organizers, and artists to examine historical and contemporary turns in Native American and Indigenous thought. We consider how theories and methodologies that emerge from Native American communities intervene on dominant (colonial) approaches to philosophy and theory. The course combines theoretical and applied readings with personal reflection to develop a critical consciousness of key topics in Native American and Indigenous studies such as land, agency, and decolonization. (Cross-listed with PHL/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Prerequisite: sophomore standing. (Cross listed with PHL/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.

RGS 320 Cr.3

Violence and Gender

This course will examine the connections between gendered violence and power distributions within our society using an interdisciplinary and intersectional perspective. Three specific types of violence and abuse will be examined in-depth: sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered Alternate Years.

RGS 321 Cr.3

Sexual and Racial Violence in the United States

This course explores the history of how sexual violence in the United States has been used as a tool of racial oppression. Students in the course learn how organized responses to that violence, both by community and state actors, have been influenced by (and reflective of) racial politics. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, RGS 150, WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, WGS 212, EDS 206, POL 205, PUB 210, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 150. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.

RGS 322 Cr.3

Identity-Based Violence Prevention

From interpersonal violence such as gay-bashing, sexual harassment, and hate crimes to state violence such as police brutality and unequal application of the death penalty, identity-based violence can take many forms. In this self-directed and group-based course, students will be assigned one of these forms (topics will vary) and then work as a group to identify, review, and synthesize the empirical and theoretical literature on that topic as well as the empirical and theoretical literature on prevention strategies. The class will then use that knowledge to design and develop a prevention program of their own choosing aimed at that form of violence. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, RGS 150, WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206, PH 200, PSY 100, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 150. Offered Alternate Years.

RGS 325 Cr.3

Exploring White Privilege

This inter-disciplinary course is an exploration of white privilege in contemporary American society. Considering whiteness as both race and power-based system, this course attempts deeper understanding of the persistence of racism and its impact on all segments of society. Questions of denial and resistance, collaboration in systems of privilege, and personal and intellectual responses to those explorations highlight how privilege influences human interaction. The distribution of privilege within American society at personal, institutional, and cultural levels, as well as how whiteness operates within social constructs of class and gender, will be analyzed. Students ultimately develop strategies for confronting racism. Prerequisite: ERS 100 or RGS 100 or WGS 100. Offered Occasionally.

RGS 328 Cr.3

Sex/Work

In this course, students explore the topic of sex work. While course material will focus primarily on sex work in the United States, students also engage in comparative analyses in the international context. Participants in this course learn about the various types of labor that comprise sex work, as well as the different social, theoretical, feminist, regulatory, political, and legislative understandings and approaches to these forms of labor. Students also learn about the impacts that these understandings and approaches have on those engaged in these forms of labor and society more broadly, particularly as it relates to questions of gender, race, class, and sexuality. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, RGS 150, WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, WGS 212, EDS 206, POL 205, PUB 210, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 150. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.

RGS 330 Cr.3

Topics in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

This course is an interdisciplinary analysis of a social issue, idea, or institution from the perspective of race, gender, and sexuality studies. Repeatable for credit - maximum nine. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered Occasionally.

RGS 335 Cr.3

Indigenous and Postcolonial Feminisms

Indigenous women and Women of Color have been leaders in the development of feminist thought in the U.S. and globally. This course explores historical and contemporary Indigenous feminist scholarship and activism, with a focus on how decolonial and postcolonial thought expand feminist understandings of power. Through research and discussion, students consider the tensions and overlaps between feminist and Indigenous approaches and consider the transformative power of anti-colonial thought for feminist movements and literature. Prerequisite: ERS 100 or RGS 100 or WGS 100. Offered Alternate Years.

RGS 336 Cr.3

Anti-Colonial Theory and Movements

From Standing Rock to #FreePalestine, Indigenous people globally are organizing against colonialism. This course explores the history of anti-colonial thought that informs these movements. We engage postcolonial, decolonial, and Indigenous studies literatures to develop an understanding of contemporary movements against colonialism. Through discussion, research, and personal reflection, students develop a greater understanding of how Indigenous people resist and reject colonial regimes. Prerequisite: ERS 100 or RGS 100 or WGS 100. Offered Occasionally.

RGS/SOC 337 Cr.3

Globalization, Women, and Work

This course examines the global and often exploitative experiences of women, migrating from one part of the world to another for work. As women leave their countries of origin, many find themselves working as nannies, sex workers, house cleaners and modern-day slaves in sweatshops. These work environments often create vulnerability, discrimination, and abuse of women within the private and public institutions of their host countries. The course will also use in-depth personal narratives and a focus on grassroots social movements to witness how women resist workplace policies and domestic laws to campaign for their rights, despite cultural and political constraints. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, RGS 150, WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206. (Cross-listed with RGS/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.

RGS 340 Cr.3

Objectively Biased: Knowledge Systems as Power Systems

This course explores the connection between race, gender, sexuality, class (RGSC), knowledge, and power. Students in this course learn to apply classic and critical race feminist epistemological theory to questions such as how knowledge is socially situated, what it means to explore knowledge through a critical race feminist lens, and how the production of knowledge is impacted by conceptions of RGSC. Students also learn about the scientific method and how critical race feminist epistemological theory can strengthen, not weaken, objectivity. Students work on a topic of their choosing to bring these theoretical frameworks to bear on a literature review that can be used as the basis for a research or advocacy proposal. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, RGS 150, WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, SOC 150. Offered Alternate Years.

RGS 345 Cr.3

Gender, Race, and Leadership

This course examines how gender and race impact opportunities for and exercise of leadership within workplaces, communities, and movements, while developing students' leadership skills and understanding of the workplace structures they are likely to inhabit. Students examine the under-representation of women of all colors, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color from formal, public positions of power while also evaluating the strengths such leaders can and do bring to their work. Students critically evaluate leadership models, especially as they pertain to gender, sexuality, and race. Offered Alternate Years.

+RGS/ANT 362 Cr.3

Hmong Americans

This is an introductory course to Hmong American history, culture, and contemporary life. The course reviews Hmong history within the context of U.S. foreign policy in Southeast Asia from 1945 to 1975 and examines the sociocultural transformations that have been taking place in Hmong American communities across the U.S. since 1976. (Cross-listed with ANT/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.

RGS/SOC 363 Cr.3

Indigenous Peoples and the Environment

This course introduces students to Indigenous environmental issues. Topics include Western versus Indigenous perspectives on the environment, global distribution of environmental harms and hazards, Indigenous-led movements for environmental justice, toxic and nuclear waste disposal on Indigenous lands, mining and hydroelectric dams, public lands management systems, and sacred sites. Special attention is given to similarities and differences between Indigenous environmental issues globally versus in North America. (Cross-listed with RGS/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.

RGS 373 Cr.3

Gender and Human Rights

This course will provide an overview of transnational women's human rights movements in a variety of locations around the world; locations will vary with the instructor. Included in this overview will be the study of women's political participation as a human rights issue; women's bodily integrity as a human right; violence against women and reproductive sexual health and rights; human rights as a framework for social and economic and gender justice; and human rights as (quasi) legal accountability; UN agreements, treaties and venues of redress. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, RGS 150, WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.

RGS 374 Cr.3

Poverty as Public Policy

Is poverty something that capitalism produces or the fuel on which it runs? This course analyzes the historical underpinnings to the creation and evolution of welfare policy with special attention paid to the ways gender, race, and class oppression have shaped welfare in the past and today. Wage differentials, occupational segregation, unpaid work, and gendered and racial violence are discussed in relation to the construction of poverty. Current welfare policy will be analyzed and suggestions for reform based on current research will be developed by the class. Offered Alternate Years.

RGS 377 Cr.3

Critical Research and Advocacy Methods

This course focuses on helping students translate their race, gender, and sexuality studies (RGSS) education to address social problems connected to structural inequality, which impact workplaces, communities, and other institutions. The aim is to help students understand the utility of their skills in RGSS, to learn to apply their feminist, anti-racist, and social justice learning to real-world contexts, and to understand the connection between research and advocacy for social change. Students learn about processes behind social change: strategic analysis, organizing, action planning, research, evaluation, and advocacy. Prerequisite: ERS 100, RGS 100, or WGS 100; RGS 335 or RGS 336 or RGS 340 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Annually.

RGS/HIS 409 Cr.3

20th Century Civil Rights Movement

This course explores the modern civil rights movement in the US and the struggle for African Americans and other marginalized groups to gain equal rights in voting, education, employment, housing, and other facets of life in the US. It begins with the MOWM and examines the seemingly completing philosophies of civil rights organizations such as CORE, SNCC, SCLC, BPP, AIM, SDS, NCAI, YLP, RG, NOW, NBFO, the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, STAR and other civil rights organizations, leaders, and local people in shaping their own destinies. It highlights and interrogates major national and local political struggles rooted in racial, gender, and sexual identities and their reciprocal relationships with international political and anti-colonial movements from 1941 to the present. It concludes with exploring the link between convict leasing, prison reform movements, political prisoners, and the prison industrial complex as the New Jim Crow. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, WGS 100, EDS 206, HIS 210. (Cross-listed with HIS/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Spring.

RGS/PSY 415 Cr.3

Multicultural Counseling

This course focuses on the effects of culture on the nature and behavior of individuals, their adaptations to institutions and environments, and their relations within and outside their culture. Specifically, the impact of concepts such as ethnocentrism, stereotypes, racism and prejudice are explored in terms of their relevance to the counseling process. Strategies and skills relevant to providing effective multicultural counseling are investigated. Prerequisite: PSY 100, PSY 285. (Cross-listed with PSY/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Annually.

RGS/PSY 442 Cr.3

Racism and Oppression

This course focuses on psychological theory and research regarding individual, group, historical, institutional, and societal causes of racism and oppression. The manifestations and consequences of racism and oppression are examined as are the challenges inherent in reducing racism and oppression. Both historical and contemporary racism and oppression in a global context are analyzed. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, RGS 100, PSY 241, PSY 285, or SOC 330; junior standing. Students with credit in PSY/RGS 443 cannot earn credit in PSY/RGS 442. (Cross-listed with PSY/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.

RGS/PSY 443 Cr.3

Prejudice and Stigma

This course explores the psychological underpinnings of prejudice and stigma from an empirical, research-based perspective. In addition to covering well-recognized forms of prejudice such as racism, the course examines discrimination more broadly in terms of its impact on those who stigmatize and those who are stigmatized. Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 241 or SOC 330; PSY 321 or PSY 331. Students with credit in PSY/RGS 442 may not earn credit in PSY/RGS 443. (Cross-listed with PSY/RGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.

RGS 450 Cr.1-9

Internship in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The internship is an academically relevant field experience for majors and minors in race, gender, and sexuality studies, which combines RGSS scholarship with practical experience. The field experience is supervised by the RGSS staff. A maximum of three credits will be counted toward the minor. Repeatable for credit - maximum nine. Prerequisite: six credits of any combination of RGS, ERS, and WGS courses; RGS major/minor or ERS minor or WS major/minor. Consent of department. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.

RGS 490 Cr.3

RGSS Senior Capstone

This senior capstone course is designed as a culminating experience for students completing a major in race, gender, and sexuality studies or a Hmong and Hmong-American studies certificate. This course has three content foci: 1) Students apply what they have learned throughout their major in RGSS. Alone or in groups, students research, explain, and develop a means for addressing a social phenomenon through application of the material acquired in their courses - particularly those in RGSS. This culminates in a presentation and paper to be given before an audience that may include RGSS faculty, CASSH faculty, and UWL students. 2) Students analyze the ways race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality have played and continued to play in liberating oppressive roles in social, political, or cultural institutions. 3) Students identify and learn about careers such as journalism, marketing, community and housing development, media, health and medicine, community and union organizing, social work, and a wide variety of positions in federal, state, county, and local governments. Prerequisite: ERS 100, RGS 100, or WGS 100; concurrent enrollment in one of the following: RGS 335, RGS 336, RGS 340, or RGS 377. Offered Spring.