College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities
4300 Centennial Hall; 608.785.8357
Department Chair: Jodi Vandenberg-Daves
4302 Centennial Hall; 608.785.8346
The mission of the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGSS) Department is to empower students to think critically and intersectionally about race, gender, and sexuality, to challenge social inequality, and to become ethical problem solvers. We provide students with opportunities to develop research and communication skills and to creatively use the knowledge and practices of our discipline, preparing them for careers, advanced degrees, and engaged citizenship. Alongside our students and communities, we advance critical conversations and movement toward social justice through teaching, research, service, and community engagement, including our pre-college Self Sufficiency Program.
The Department of RGSS offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that enables students to: examine the meanings of race and gender as socially constructed categories; explore the roles of institutional structures on all intersectional identities in national and international contexts; and critique the way society and knowledge, itself, has been organized. The program not only allows students to study the diversity of human experience by uncovering hidden histories but helps students understand themselves, their place in the world, and how social transformation is possible. Students have the opportunity to connect theory with community needs through internships, involvement with College Feminists, and other campus and community leadership opportunities.
Majors, minors, and certificate
The department offers the following, all of which allow students to take courses in multiple departments in order to help develop an interdisciplinary perspective:
- A 33-credit women's studies major (B.A. or B.S.)
- A 21-credit women's studies minor
- An 18-credit ethnic and racial studies minor
- An 18-credit social justice minor
- A Hmong and Hmong-American studies certificate (15-17 credits)
All programs complement academic majors and/or career aspirations of students in a wide range of disciplines including communication studies; psychology; sociology; criminal justice; political science; public administration; history; health education; health promotion; health professions; economics; management; marketing; exercise and sport science; recreation management; therapeutic recreation; geography and earth science; biology; microbiology; and chemistry. Minors are open to students in all schools and colleges within the university. The major and all minors take an interdisciplinary approach, integrating various concepts to provide a comprehensive perspective on the historic treatment and the contemporary experience of people from marginalized backgrounds in the United States.
The department provides excellent one- on-one advising about courses and career development, and strongly encourages and facilitates student participation in internships that provide practical experience applying concepts, knowledge, and skills.
- New Horizons Shelter and Women’s Center
- Bluff Country Family Resources
- The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection
- American Association of University Women of La Crosse
- Self-Sufficiency Program
- RGSS Department: RGSS Resource Center Intern, Event Coordinator, Marketing Intern
Additional internships are possible within and beyond the local area, including at organizations like Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood, and National Organization for Women. Contact the Departmental Internship Coordinator if interested in applying for an existing internship or developing a new one.
Additional department features
Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP)
RGSS sponsors the Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP), a pre-college college readiness initiative for low-income single parents. This free program provides a supportive learning environment in which to develop and practice academic skills. Classes meet weekly with childcare provided. Offered Fall and Spring semesters. Students interested in volunteer, service learning, and internship opportunities, may call Andrea Hansen, SSP Director, at 608.785.8733 or email.
The mission of the College Feminists is to provide students as well as the La Crosse community with advocacy on women’s issues. College Feminists also initiates activities for UWL students and the La Crosse community. College Feminists collaborate with many other student clubs on campus to provide rich educational opportunities outside the classroom as well as fun socializing.
The RGSS department sponsors or co-sponsors many programs about women and women’s concerns, gender, and sexuality. RGSS events are open to students, faculty, staff, and the community.
RGSS Resource Center
UWL's RGSS Resource Center is located on the Fourth Floor of Centennial Hall, and is combined with the RGSS office—room 4301. The RGSS Resource Center serves as a small library of historical and contemporary feminist materials and materials related to race and ethnicity, as well as a welcoming and inclusive space for students to gather, study, learn about and contribute to activism, collaborate, connect with RGSS faculty, and discuss questions, issues, and concerns.
Career opportunities & occupational outlook
Graduates of RGSS work in many careers in the arts, business, education, law, health professions, social advocacy, and social work.
The women's studies major qualifies students to pursue advanced degrees in women’s studies, gender studies, or sexuality studies, as well as a variety of related fields such as student affairs administration, non-profit advocacy, and public health. Ethnic and racial studies, women's studies, and social justice minors enhance qualifications for advanced degrees in many related fields.
RGSS evaluates how cultural definitions of race and gender have shaped most fields of study and most professions. It provides material and techniques to challenge systems of privilege and inequality, and to create more accurate and empowering models of people, culture and society. Because of its emphasis on communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving, RGSS courses and programs are valuable in a broad range of careers and in lifelong learning and civic engagement.
- Business, management, and personnel
- Learn how racialized and gendered relationships affect business and criminal justice environments
- Gain an understanding of federal and state equal opportunity legislation
- Explore how gender affects leadership
- Psychology, social work, and health care
- Explore assumptions and biases in therapeutic models
- Gain an understanding of the common concerns experienced by clients from historically marginalized backgrounds, including: body image, stress related to role performance, self-worth, and responses to racism, violence, or abuse
Explore social determinants of health and understand social service in a larger context
- Relate women’s health issues to the social construction of gender, race, class, and sexuality
- Political science, law, and public policy
- Learn how people from historically marginalized backgrounds have been excluded from or under-represented in the political process and how they are working to achieve political empowerment
- Explore public policy issues and solutions relevant to people from historically marginalized backgrounds
- Become aware of assumptions and biases in curricular models and pedagogy
- Learn about classroom behaviors that can limit students through stereotyping
- Explore teaching models, curriculum integration, and antiracist teaching that works to empower marginalized groups
Lifelong learning, advocacy, and civic engagement
RGSS courses and programs can help everyone understand how the roles of people with historically marginalized identities have been constructed in the past and present. They can help us imagine and create more empowering and inclusive possibilities in a world of rapidly changing roles and expectations, and can offer models for how to be a lifelong advocate for a more just society.
The following is the department's faculty and staff as of the publication date of this catalog. This list will not be updated again until the next catalog is published in July.
Outreach Program Manager I
Academic Department Associate
Ethnic and Racial Studies Courses
+ERS 100 Cr.3
Introduction to Ethnic and Racial Studies
An examination of the persistence of minority and ethnic problems in the United States and consideration of the contributions, parallels, similarities, and differences between and among ethnic and minority groups. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.
+ERS/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. Content varies with instructors. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112 or concurrent enrollment in ENG 112. (Cross-listed with ENG/ERS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring.
+ERS/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/ERS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring.
+ERS/ENG 215 Cr.3
African American Authors
A study of the principal post-depression (1940 to present) African American authors, critics, and scholars which clarifies the relationship between these writers and the general field of American literature and which illustrates their unique contributions as representatives of African American culture. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112 or concurrent enrollment in ENG 112. (Cross-listed with ENG/ERS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring.
+ERS 220 Cr.3
Introduction to Ethnic and Racial 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. The mythopoeic image that surrounds American Indians, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, 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. Offered Fall, Spring.
+ERS 253 Cr.3
Introduction to Wisconsin Indians
An introductory examination of Wisconsin Indians with specific reference to the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Ojibwa, Oneida, Potawatomi, and the Stockbridge-Munsee communities. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to explore topics including sovereignty, land use and environmental issues, education, economic development, social issues and challenges, and tribal identity. The course also will explore federal and state American Indian policies, as well as each tribes' response to them. The story of Wisconsin American Indian tribes is a story of struggle against prejudice and discrimination to survive. They continue not only to survive but to thrive as a modern tribal people. Their presence is felt in all areas of the state's economy, yet they are often overlooked. Wisconsin American Indians work in the state's health care fields, as educators, administrators, and as entrepreneurs. Many state residents are unaware of their presence in their day-to-day lives. This creates a unique opportunity for students to examine their relationship to racial minorities and their own ability to become more aware of the world around them, and to help in creating a more harmonious racial environment. Offered Fall, Spring.
ERS 300 Cr.1-3
Topics and Symposium in Minority Studies
Topics selected by the individual instructor or by the students and instructor together. Special interest of both the instructor and students such as Black drama or Native American art, or other areas of concern which are either not covered or briefly dealt with in formal course work may be the vehicles for this offering. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Offered Occasionally.
ERS 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.
ERS 314 Cr.3
Race, Ethnicity, 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 racial minorities. 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 relations. With particular attention to the experiences of African American athletes, but also encompassing Native American, Latino/a, and Asian American interactions with sport, and will delve into the events, icons, and cultural meanings of sports over the last century. Offered Occasionally.
ERS/PHL 321 Cr.3
American Indian Thought
Reflection on the Native American ways of thinking as manifest in the literature of various select tribes, on the essential characteristics of thinking commonly shared by Native Americans, and on the fundamental difference between the Native American ways of thinking and those of the dominant (white) culture. The "primal world" of Native American thought will be studied as an alternative to the western way of thinking. Prerequisite: ERS 100. (Cross-listed with ERS/PHL 321; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.
ERS 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. Offered Occasionally.
ERS 330 Cr.3
Food and Race in the United States
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of the relationship between food and American identity and racial stratification in the United States. The study of food gives insight into immigration technology, religion, tradition and politics. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding how various groups use food to maintain racial and ethnic boundaries. Offered Occasionally.
ERS 342 Cr.3
Latino/a Experiences in the U.S.
This course offers a sociological analysis of the experiences of Latino/a populations in the United States. Topics covered include legal status and citizenship; push and pull factors of immigration; political participation and social movements; assimilation and acculturation; health concerns and educational outcomes; and identity formation around issues of social class, sex and gender, and race/ethnicity. Emphasis is placed on understanding the complexities of the Latino/a experience in the United States as well as mastering sociological concepts related to processes of immigration and assimilation. This course will be useful for students planning to enter human services where they are likely to interact with this population. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or SOC 120 or ANT 101. Offered Alternate Years.
ERS/SOC 343 Cr.3
American Indian Contemporary Issues
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of American Indian contemporary experience in the United States. It will introduce students to some of the critical issues in American Indian studies by examining the place of American Indians within the American imagination, politics and society. The course concentrates on issues of tribal sovereignty, economics, social class and structure, and the difficulties of maintaining a tribal identity in the 21st century. Prerequisite: one of the following: EFN 205, ERS 100, ERS 253, HIS 310, SOC 225, or WGS 130. (Cross-listed with ERS/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall.
ERS 351 Cr.3
Ethnic and Racial Relations
An introductory course that examines leading theories of racial and ethnic relations in the United States and assesses their significance and relevance in explaining historic and contemporary relations between the white majority and the racial and ethnic minorities. It also analyzes and evaluates the impact of various laws, policies, and programs on racial and ethnic relations. Prerequisite: ERS 100. Offered Fall, Spring.
+ERS/ANT 362 Cr.3
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. Prerequisite: (Cross-listed with ANT/ERS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.
ERS/SOC 363 Cr.3
American Indians and the Environment
This course introduces students to American Indian environmental issues. Topics include treaty-based hunting, fishing and gathering rights, air and water quality regulatory authority, environmental racism, toxic and nuclear waste disposal on Indian lands, mining and hydroelectric dams, sacred sites, and Indian vs. Western perceptions of the environment. Special attention will be given to current environmental controversies in Wisconsin Indian country. Prerequisite: one of the following: EFN 205; ERS 100, ERS 253; ERS/SOC 343; SOC 225, SOC 328. (Cross-listed with ERS/SOC; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.
ERS 365 Cr.3
Muslims in the United States
What is the history of Islam in the United States? Who makes up the Muslim American community, past and present? What does it mean to be Muslim in the US? Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course explores the multiple racial, ethnic, cultural, and national groups that make-up this diverse community. The course begins by chronicling the introduction of Islam to the country, namely through travel, slavery, immigration and conversion. The course then investigates how the events of 9/11 and the subsequent "war on terror" impact Muslim Americans. Building upon this theoretical foundation, we examine key experiential themes, including media stereotyping, Islamophobia, gender, Muslim youth, cultural pluralism, and progressivism. Students ultimately relate theories of race and religion to the Muslim American experience. Prerequisite: ERS 100. Offered Occasionally.
ERS 369 Cr.3
Multiracial and Multicultural Identities
This interdisciplinary course explores the experiences and identities of multiracial and multicultural people in the United States. An increasing number of people identify as multiracial, including those coming of age at a time when more than one racial/ethnic identity may be checked on the census. Transracial adoptees are sharing stories of what it means to be raised by parents who do not "look like them." Immigrants and their descendants are openly maintaining practices of ancestral cultures while simultaneously acculturating to "mainstream America." Multiracial and multicultural Americans are gaining visibility in the 21st century like never before. Questions of interracial relationships, globalization and immigration dynamics, identity construction, transnationality, and belonging will be addressed. Students will ultimately engage contemporary discussions, debates, and narratives to analyze the past, present, and future spaces occupied by multiracial and multicultural identities in the US, and to locate self-identities within that discussion. Prerequisite: ERS 100. Offered Occasionally.
ERS 400/500 Cr.1-3
Individual Study in Ethnic and Racial Studies
Directed reading and research under the supervision of an instructor. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. This course is taught largely at an undergraduate level. Graduate students will have additional course requirements/expectation. Prerequisite: junior standing. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring.
ERS/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 and other civil rights leaders, and local people in shaping their own destinies. It highlights and interrogates major national and local political struggles 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: ERS 100. (Cross-listed with ERS/HIS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall.
ERS/PSY 415 Cr.3
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 ERS/PSY; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Annually.
ERS/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: ERS 100 or PSY 241 or PSY 285 or SOC 330; junior standing. Students with credit in ERS/PSY 443 cannot earn credit in ERS/PSY 442. (Cross-listed with ERS/PSY; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.
ERS/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 ERS/PSY 442 may not earn credit in ERS/PSY 443. (Cross-listed with ERS/PSY; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.
ERS 490 Cr.3
Ethnic and Racial Studies Seminar
This capstone course is designed as a culminating experience for students completing a minor in Ethnic and Racial Studies. Current events will be examined and connections to careers will be explored as the active application of an ERS minor is made the central focus for the course. Students will draw upon the skills and knowledge of both their ERS minor as well as their own majors and other programs of study to design and carry out a capstone project that will address and/or analyze some aspect of ethnic and racial experiences in the United States. Note: Students are not allowed to substitute an independent study for this course. Prerequisite: ERS 100; 12 credits from core and elective courses; declared ethnic and racial studies minor. Offered Spring.
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Courses
+WGS 100 Cr.3
Gender, Race and Class in American Institutions
This course provides an introduction to how gender, race and class have intertwined over time to produce women's social roles and status in American culture. The creation, transmittal, interpretation and institutionalization of gender roles will be examined using family and kinship, the educational system, the media, work, government and the health care system. The course provides a critical, interdisciplinary perspective on scholarship which omits or distorts the female experience. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
WGS/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 SOC/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.
+WGS 130 Cr.3
Women's Diversity: Race, Class, and Culture
This course explores the diversity of women's experience in America as it has been affected by race, ethnicity, class, and other factors, and the effects of gender on women of different groups. Issues that have united and divided women in movements for social change are also addressed. Offered Fall, Spring.
+WGS/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 SOC/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Annually.
+WGS 212 Cr.3
Search for Economic Justice
Using humanistic and social scientific approaches, students will explore movements for economic empowerment as a critical dimension of justice in the increasingly global world. Through a mixture of face-to-face, online, and experiential methods, students will examine connections between the individual and larger systems and between the local and the global. They will critically analyze economic and political structures and movements as they pertain to gender, race, ethnicity, and class. The course will be informed by the perspectives of English, economics, political science, anthropology, and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Students may only earn credit in one of the following: ANT 212, ECO 212, ENG 212, PHL 212, POL 212, WGS 212. Offered Annually.
WGS/ESS/PSY 259 Cr.1-3
Girls and Women in Sport
This course is an introduction to the involvement of girls and women with sport. It includes a historical perspective on women's sport participation, cultural images of women athletes, teaching and coaching implications of current research, Title IX, and recreation/leisure approaches to physical activity. Course content may vary according to instructor. (Cross-listed with ESS/PSY/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.
WGS 300 Cr.1-3
Topics to be selected by the individual instructor or by the student and instructor together. The topics must relate to women's experiences and/or issues. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: WGS 100 or WGS 150 or EDS 206. Consent of department. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.
WGS/HIS 301 Cr.3
Women in the Modern United States: 1890-Present
This course introduces students to key issues in modern women's history in the United States. It explores women's experiences as workers, activists, consumers, citizens, and family members. It also examines the various ways in which generations of Americans have defined "woman's place" and "women's issues," and raises questions about the possibility for defining common "women's issues" today. (Cross-listed with HIS/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.
WGS 303 Cr.3
Social Justice Research Methods
This course answers the question that most caring people want answered: How can we fix this problem? Students will engage in the process of strategizing, whatever the issue (gender bias, racism, homophobia, environmental degradation, disability bias), and whatever the setting (a workplace, neighborhood, campus, or beyond). Course activities organize around the processes behind social change: strategic analysis, organizing, action planning, and evaluation, developing students' ability to create the knowledge necessary for complex problem-solving. Students learn and use the quantitative, qualitative, and critical research methods necessary to inform decisions at each step along a generalized pathway to change. Students going on to graduate school and students entering the workforce in a variety of fields like social work, community organizing, communication, and management will benefit from this course. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206, ERS 100; plus nine additional credits in courses approved for WGS. Offered Fall.
WGS/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/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.
WGS 308 Cr.3
Gender, Justice, and Film
Along with other forms of media, film 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 gender 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. Prerequisite: one from the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, WGS 212, CST 110, EDS 206, ERS 100, SOC 110, SOC 120. Offered Annually.
WGS/HIS 315 Cr.3
History of Feminist Thought
An examination of the history of feminist ideas in the United States and the historical context, both western and international, from which they emerged. (Cross-listed with HIS/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.
WGS/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: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, SOC 110, SOC 120, or EDS 206. (Cross-listed with SOC/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.
WGS 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: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, or EDS 206. Offered Alternate Years.
WGS 321 Cr.3
Sexual Violence in the United States
This course will explore the history of sexual violence in the United States and the histories of organized responses to that violence. Special attention will be paid to how the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender impact the experience of, and public and political response to, sexual violence. Prerequisite: one from the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, PH 200, EDS 206, ERS 100, PSY 100, SOC 110, SOC 120. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
WGS 322 Cr.3
Gendered Violence Prevention
Gendered violence takes many forms such as sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, and intimate partner violence. In this course, students will review the empirical and theoretical literature on one or more of these forms (topics will vary) as well as the empirical and theoretical literature on prevention strategies. Students will then use that knowledge to design and develop a prevention program aimed at gendered violence. Prerequisite: one from the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, PH 200, EDS 206, ERS 100, PSY 100, SOC 110, SOC 120. Offered Alternate Years.
WGS 325 Cr.3
Black Feminist Thought
This course is designed to introduce students to Black Feminist theory. During this semester, we will explore how African-American women have been socially located in American society. We will read various texts (books, articles, etc.) to explore how theory works to explain power, oppression and liberation in the lives of African-American women. To accomplish this goal, we will focus our discussions on themes such as activism, identity, difference, representation, and possibilities of upward mobility as they pertain to the lived experiences of African American women. Offered Annually.
WGS 330 Cr.1-3
Topics: Women, Gender, and Society
Interdisciplinary analysis of a social issue, idea, or institution from the perspective of women and women's studies. Repeatable for credit - maximum nine. Department approval is necessary to apply more than three credits toward the WS minor. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, WGS 212, ERS 100, EDS 206, SOC 110, SOC 120. Offered Occasionally.
WGS 333 Cr.3
The Gendered Body in History and Today
This class explores historical and contemporary concepts of gender and the body. We will look at how these ideas also connect to other systems of privilege and inequality, and discuss ways that people have thought about social roles, social sanctions, and empowerment through ideas about the body. Topics will include the history of medical ideas about gendered bodies, cultural concepts of disability, race, and transgender identities, socially sanctioned violence against bodies, cultural representation of body ideals, gendered bodies in relation to health, sexual and spiritual ideals. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, WGS 212, ERS 100, EDS 206, SOC 110, SOC 120. Offered Spring.
WGS/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: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206, or ERS 100. (Cross-listed with SOC/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.
WGS 340 Cr.3
Gender, Knowledge, and Power
This course explores the connection between gender, knowledge, and power. Students in this course will learn to apply classic and feminist epistemological theory to questions such as how knowledge is socially situated, what it means to explore knowledge through a critical feminist lens, and how the production of knowledge is impacted by conceptions of gender, race, and class. Students in this course will learn about the scientific method and how feminist epistemological theory can strengthen, not weaken, objectivity. Ultimately, students will apply these lessons to the context of the formalized education system in the contemporary United States. In doing so, students will come to a better understanding of how women can "reclaim" their educations. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, or EDS 206. Offered Alternate Years.
WGS 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.
WGS 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: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206, or ERS 100. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
WGS 374 Cr.3
Women, Poverty and Public Policy
The course analyzes the historical underpinnings to the creation and evolution of welfare 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 gender violence are discussed in relation to the construction of poverty. How poverty affects the lives of poor women and their children also is be explored. Current welfare policy will be analyzed and suggestions for reform based on current research is developed by the class. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, POL 205, PSY 318, or EDS 206. Offered Alternate Years.
WGS/SOC 375 Cr.3
Examines the social construction of sexual orientation and its meaning for women and women's equality. The course draws on a range of sources, including scientific research, history, literature, psychological theory, and popular culture. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206. (Cross-listed with SOC/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years.
WGS 450 Cr.1-9
Internship in Women's Studies
The internship is an academically relevant field experience for majors and minors in women's studies which combine women's studies scholarship with practical experience. The field experience will be supervised by the women's studies staff. A maximum of three credits will be counted toward the minor. Repeatable for credit - maximum nine. Prerequisite: six credits of WGS courses; WGS major or minor. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.
WGS 499 Cr.3
Women's Studies Seminar
Intensive interdisciplinary study of particular areas in women's studies. Topics will be chosen by the instructor and the students. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, or EDS 206; at least two other courses approved for the WGS major or minor; declared WGS major or minor. Offered Fall.