Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Bachelor of Science Degree

RIT’s women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major critically explores how gender and sexuality interact with science, technology, and the arts to shape aspects of our personal, social, and professional lives and career paths.


Overview for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies BS

Why Pursue a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major at RIT?

  • Combine the study of gender dynamics with RIT’s integrated strengths in STEAM: Carve your own innovative and dynamic path through RIT’s unique constellation of sciences, technologies, and the arts.
  • Gain RIT-Distinctive Experience: Benefit from hands-on learning and discover how to turn gender challenges into opportunities within specific fields of study and career paths.
  • Enhance Your Career Paths: Meet companies and organizations’ needs for skilled guidance in developing and implementing gender diversity, equity, and inclusion practices across a range of fields.
  • Develop Leadership Skills: Become a skilled leader who is adept at inclusive leadership, gender and social justice advocacy, critical analysis, problem solving, communication, team building, and more.
  • A Perfect Double Major: Become a trailblazer for progress by pairing the women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major with engineering, law, computing, environmental safety, sustainability, business, health care, the sciences, and more.
  • Become a Change Agent: Learn how to use knowledge to impact social good and enhance people’s lives, social, economic, and environmental justice, civic responsibility, and sustainable communities.
  • Comprehensive Course Offerings: Choose one of six concentrations in gender, art, and media; gender and STEM studies; gender equity, social institutions, and public affairs; gender advocacy, community activism, and inclusive leadership; queer and transgender studies; or women’s and gender studies.
  • Teaching Partnership Program Available: 4+1 or 3+2 programs enable you to earn your bachelor’s degree at RIT and a master’s degree in education at one of our partner universities.

What is Gender Studies for a 21st Century World?

Gender studies is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that intersects gender and sexuality with race, class, ethnicity, localities, disabilities, and age. By analyzing the functioning of gender and sexual norms, stereotypes, and representations as they appear within and across cultures in literature, history, the law, public health and health care institutions, educational systems, the arts, sciences, technologies, and other areas, we come to understand the impact of gendered attitudes and behaviors on the ongoing oppression, discrimination, and exclusion of women and other sexed and gendered groups in various contexts of today’s society, locally and globally. Learning to recognize and understand structures of power relations and sources of oppression and injustice leads to acknowledging the need for social change and transformation at various levels of existence, from social interactions to relations with the Earth and the environment, to modes of scientific knowledge and technical production and applications.

Gender studies fosters a critical approach to identifying problems, expanding intellectual inquiry, imagining creative solutions, and building an open, diverse, inclusive, and collaborative environment that leads to innovation, progress, and positive change for a better, more responsible, and more sustainable world.

In RIT’s women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major, you will ask key questions, such as:

  • In what ways are our lived experiences and social and cultural institutions structured through the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, locality, disabilities, and age?
  • How and why do systems of power, oppression, and privilege create gender and sexual norms, stereotypes, and discrimination in personal, social, and professional life?
  • How can a focus on gender work to transform, enhance, and possibly reimagine scientific standards, models of knowledge production as well as technology and engineering projects, designs, and applications?
  • How does gender diversity advance potential, heighten creativity, and broaden perspectives?
  • By understanding the impact of sex- and gender-based discrimination and attitudes, how can we improve our personal life, social environments, workplaces, families, and communities?
  • As gender dynamics intersect with race, ethnicity, class, localities, disability, and age, what can we do to remove obstacles and create spaces for personal and collective growth, equal opportunities, fair access to resources, and new possibilities?

As you investigate these questions and some possible answers, you will begin to develop a strong understanding of how the ideals of diversity, inclusivity, empathy, equity, and social justice can lead to positive, productive, supportive workplaces and a more welcoming and just society. As you make your way through aspects of feminist theories, women’s studies, gender and sexuality studies, queer theories, and transgender studies, and apply these to various areas of human experience and production, you will develop a deep and broad understanding of topics pertaining to differences, diversities, and inclusiveness. You will also realize the need for professionals who know how to be skilled and informed leaders, advocates, activists, and managers of community-engagement and social transformations. 

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Courses

The women's, gender, and sexuality studies major advances the values and benefits of sexual and gender diversity, equity, and representation; intellectual, personal, and professional empowerment; collaborative relations, empathy, and caring; and social, economic, and environmental justice and responsibility. It provides you with the skills and tools to help create–in any workplace and living environment–a diverse, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, supportive, and fulfilling place for everyone involved.

In this major, you develop transferable skills in: 

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Inquisitive attitude
  • Appreciative inquiry
  • Creative imagination
  • Active listening 
  • Expressive communication
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Collaborative team-building
  • Gender and social justice advocacy

This dynamic approach, paired with a wide variety of courses taught by faculty across RIT's colleges, is adaptable to a range of fields of study, career paths, and professional environments–from the arts, media, and design; to science, engineering, and technology; to business, communication, and entrepreneurship; and to health care, public policy, and the social sciences.

Core and area courses: Core and area courses explore gender diversity, intersectionality, multicultural and transnational perspectives, and the connections between personal and social, local and global systems, institutions, and communities. The courses will help you build broad, first-hand knowledge of the field of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and of the gendered social and cultural dynamics that shape our world at large.

Concentrations: You will customize your course work by choosing one of six concentrations to further develop your knowledge and expertise in a particular area of women’s studies, gender studies, queer and transgender studies, LGBTQ+ studies, or sexuality studies that best aligns with your goals and interests. Concentrations are available in:

  • Gender, art, and media
  • Gender and STEM studies
  • Gender equity, social institutions, and public affairs
  • Gender advocacy, community activism, and inclusive leadership
  • Queer and transgender studies
  • Women’s and gender studies

Professional and technical courses: You will also complete a set of professional or technical courses that focus on an area of professional interest. These courses may be chosen from any RIT discipline. Some topics that may prove particularly beneficial to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies students include the following: criminal justice; 3D studio art; business; cybersecurity; entrepreneurship; game design; management; nutritional sciences; photography; sports, events, and entertainment management; water resources; international and global studies; and more.

And, if you seek to champion racial or cultural diversity and equity as they intersect with women, gender, and sexuality, this major can be enriched with a minor or immersion in:

Graduates of the women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major will be skilled at navigating workplace and societal challenges and become trailblazers for progress in industries as diverse as engineering, law, computing, environmental safety, sustainability, business leadership, human services, health care, and more.

Hands-On Experience

The women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major provides additional opportunities to gain real-world experience. Students are encouraged to take advantage of:

  • Study abroad: Examine the beliefs and practices of other cultures and their attitudes toward women and other marginalized people.
  • Cooperative education and internships: Gain hands-on career experience with an organization dedicated to advancing women’s, gender, and LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms.
  • Research experiences: Work directly with a faculty member to explore a topic in gender studies, women’s studies, queer studies, and more.

Further Your Education in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

RIT’s Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees enable you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years, giving you a competitive advantage.

  • Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies BS/Communication MS: Gain valuable gender analysis skills rooted in a deep understanding of how gender influences communication practices. The degree merges analytical abilities with technical expertise essential for success in evolving communication fields.
  • Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies BS/ Science, Technology, and Public Policy MS: Gain the skills to apply a gender lens to government and policy impacts and formulate public policies fostering gender equity. Learn to manage developments in humanitarian crises, sustainability, economic trade, geopolitical stability, and technological advancements in medical practices.

RIT’s Teaching Partnership Programs

Whether your goal is to go into early childhood or elementary education, become a secondary education teacher with a content area specialty at the middle or high school level, or work in the higher education or counseling fields, RIT’s partnership programs with local universities provide a guided pathway to a career in teaching. 

These 4+1 or 3+2 programs enable you to earn your bachelor’s degree at RIT and a master’s degree in education at one of our partner universities. As you progress, you’ll benefit from focused academic advising, career exploration opportunities, and resources for research, learning, and skill development.  

RIT's women's, gender, and sexuality studies degree is eligible for RIT’s Teaching Partnership Program. 

Learn more about RIT’s Teaching Partnership Programs.

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Careers

Typical Job Titles

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Chief Impact Officer Project Coordinator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Specialist Admission Counselor (higher education industry)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisor Political Lobbyist
Advocate/Activist

Curriculum Update in Process for 2024-2025 for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies BS

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following: 3
   WGST-200
 Foundations of WGST (General Education- Social Perspective)
Women’s and Gender Studies is the academic manifestation of feminism. This interdisciplinary course interrogates the social constructions, political systems, and historical rhetorics that have produced and maintain hegemonic power structures. In this course you will examine key feminist, queer, and critical race writings and discourses, study the rise of feminist thought, and consider the history of women’s activism and the women’s rights movements from Suffrage to the present day. The course will also consider the application of feminist theory made visible through the rise of new and intersectional social identity movements. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
   WGST-210
 Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies (General Education- Social Perspective)
This introductory course examines a broad range of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues within the historical, psychological, racial, theological, cultural, and legal contexts in which we live. Students will learn the historical and theoretical foundations of LGBTQ+ studies as well as the contemporary implications for family, work, religion, and law for LGBTQ+ people and the mainstream society. Students will have the opportunity to compare the regulation of sexual orientation across different gender, racial, and socioeconomic communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
WGST-205
Feminist Practices of Inquiry  (General Education-Ethical Perspective)
This course aims at introducing students to the diverse ways in which feminist and gender studies practitioners (scholars, writers, artists, and activists) have critically analyzed, challenged, and creatively reinvented predominant methods, models, and practices of knowledge production in various areas of the natural and social sciences, the medical arts, the humanities, and the visual and performing arts. Questions to be considered include: What constitutes feminist practices of inquiry? How do feminist research practices approach issues of objectivity and subjectivity? How does one formulate a feminist question? What key questions guide feminist researchers and how can we apply those questions to a variety of research topics? How do feminist practices of inquiry intersect with race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexualities, identity-formation processes, (dis)abilities, age? How do feminist research practices produce transformations, emancipation, and increased fairness of representation? Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. (This class is restricted to incoming 1st year or global campus students.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Elective
6
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective A
3
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective B
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
WGSS Area
6
Second Year
WGST-300
Feminist Leadership, Gender Equity, and Empowerment
This course explores contemporary leadership styles through the lens of gender diversity. Relying upon a feminist social justice framework alongside models of intersectionality, students will actively engage with a wide variety of gender and culture-informed literature and visual media sources, defining—in both theory and practice—what it means to be an inclusive and empowering leader in modern society. Some questions to consider will include: In a work environment, who is responsible for ensuring gender equity? Where does inclusion begin? How does our personal identity shape our view of leadership? How does our view of leadership shape our identity? Why does gender matter in a professional environment? What role does feminism play in the construction of societal norms? What is the relation between leadership, power relations, and authority? How does a feminist social justice framework affect and reorient traditional notions of leadership? How do leadership styles and models vary across cultures? What styles of leadership are needed to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces, organizations, and societies? Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
WGST-305
Feminist Activism for Gender Justice
This course focuses on the many forms of feminist activisms and feminist strategies of grassroots social resistance in the U.S. and beyond. It centers women as agents of social change in the struggle to challenge gender stereotypes, sexism, and oppressive policies; organize to reduce social issues such as poverty, racism, homophobia, and violence; work to expand opportunities for gender equity and social justice; and confront barriers in education, the criminal justice system, and politics. Topics of investigation include feminist struggles against domestic and sexual violence (including emergent forms of sexual regulation and slavery, agendas of incarceration, and politics of immigration and housing) as well as the fight for personhood, citizenship, legal rights, property rights, rights to the land, water, and clean air, disability rights, personal freedom, suffrage, education, reproductive rights, workplace equality, and more. As there is a personal element to all forms of feminist social activism, the course will also engage questions such as: How do you envision yourself as an empowered, effective activist for gender justice? What strengths, resources, and commitments can you bring to your gender justice work? What social issues are you most passionate about? Students in the course will also create or participate in some activist project concerning a particularly pressing local, national or global social issue thereby melding theory and practice for increased gender justice in the world we live in. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1,2
6
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
Professional Elective
9
Third Year
WGST-399
Collaborative Learning Seminar in WGSS
This small-group, discussion-oriented, intensive-writing seminar examines some area of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus). The seminar is based on collaborative learning, discussions, and various forms of formal and informal writing understood as an integral part of the critical exploration of WGSS-related topics. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 2 WGST courses (core or co-listed) or equivalent courses.) Seminar 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Immersion 3
3
 
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
3
 
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
3
 
General Education – Elective
9
 
Professional Elective
3
 
WGSS Applied Concentration
3
 
WGSS Area
3
Fourth Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   WGST-499
 Cooperative Education in WGSS and one WGST course
A semester or summer-length experience in a professional setting related to the WGSS degree (this class is restricted to WGSS degree students). (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-210 and WGST-205 or equivalent courses and at least 2nd year standing.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-596
 Internship in WGSS
The Internship in WGSS provides a credit-bearing opportunity for personalized experiential learning that moves out of the classroom and into the world thereby linking the intellectual and the practical dimensions of WGSS. Students complete a semester or summer-long internship in a WGSS-related setting of their choice such as women’s and/or LGBTQ+ centers or units, schools, community organizations or networks, prisons, shelters, etc. where they work from a feminist framework on a learning project related to WGSS topics. A reflective essay, journal, poster presentation or other dissemination at the close of the Internship is required to receive credit. Prior to enrollment in the Internship, students must submit an Internship proposal to the WGSS Program Director for approval. To submit a proposal for an Internship in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have at least a second-year standing, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the internship described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent courses, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, with at least 2nd year standing.) Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-597
 Advanced Research in WGSS
This individualized course is designed to give students an opportunity to gain first-hand experience working independently on a research study that addresses WGSS-related topics and applies methodologies proper to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to a research area of the student’s interest. The advanced research study is carried out outside the classroom under the supervision of a WGSS faculty sponsor selected by the student. The research study culminates in the production of a substantive written essay (such as a paper, theis, or scholarly report) that explains the critical or theoretical context of the research study, incorporates women’s, gender, and sexuality studies theory and/or practice, and provides an analysis of the content, presuppositions, goals, and outcomes of the research. Prior to enrollment in this course, students must submit a research study proposal to their faculty sponsor, who will forward it to the WGSS Program Director for approval. The research study proposal should specify the topic and goal of the advanced research study project, the methodology to be employed, and the timeframe for its completion (for guidelines for designing and gaining approval for an Advanced Research study, see the guidelines for an Independent Study as provided in College of Liberal Arts Policy I.D). To submit a proposal for Advanced Research in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the work described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent courses and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-598
 Advanced Project in WGSS
This individualized course allows students to work independently on their own creative project by applying themes and methodologies proper to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to an area of their own academic interest. The advanced project is carried out outside the classroom under the supervision of a WGSS faculty sponsor selected by the student. The project culminates in the production and public presentation, display or performance of a creative work (such as an artifact, a film, a videogame, installation art, a musical composition, a piece of design, a performance, a poster, an activist initiative, etc.) that incorporates women’s, gender, and sexuality studies theory and/or practice. The final product must be accompanied by a written component that explains the critical or theoretical context for the project and provides an analysis of its content. Prior to enrollment in this course, students must submit a project proposal to their faculty sponsor, who will forward it to the WGSS Program Director for approval. The proposal should specify the topic and goal of the advanced project, the timeframe for its completion, and a venue for public dissemination (for guidelines for designing and gaining approval for an Advanced Project, see the guidelines for an Independent Study as provided in College of Liberal Arts Policy I.D). To submit a proposal for an Advanced Project in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the work described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 3 WGST courses (core or co-listed), which includes at least one: (WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210) or equivalent courses.) Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
 
General Education - Elective
6
 
Open Elective
12
 
Professional Elective
3
 
WGSS Applied Concentration
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

WGSS Area Courses

Students choose 1 course in THREE distinct areas.

Area One: Positionality Courses

WGST-200
Foundations of Women and Gender Studies*
Women’s and Gender Studies is the academic manifestation of feminism. This interdisciplinary course interrogates the social constructions, political systems, and historical rhetorics that have produced and maintain hegemonic power structures. In this course you will examine key feminist, queer, and critical race writings and discourses, study the rise of feminist thought, and consider the history of women’s activism and the women’s rights movements from Suffrage to the present day. The course will also consider the application of feminist theory made visible through the rise of new and intersectional social identity movements. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-206
Queer Looks
In this course we examine representations of queer sexuality in art, film and popular culture beginning in the repressive 1950s, followed by the Stonewall Riots of 1969. We situate the birth of gay liberation in the U.S. in the context of the civil rights struggles, feminism and the anti-war movement. We turn to the work of Andy Warhol that looms over the post-war period, challenged subsequently by the onset of AIDS and the work of General Idea and Act-Up, on the one hand, and the more graphically provocative work of Robert Mapplethorpe, on the other. We examine the diversification of the queer community as transgendered identity asserts itself and the opening of popular culture to issues of diverse sexual identities. We explore expressions of queer sensibility outside of North America and Europe. We turn finally to the issue of gay marriage, both in the U.S. and abroad. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-210
Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies*
This introductory course examines a broad range of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues within the historical, psychological, racial, theological, cultural, and legal contexts in which we live. Students will learn the historical and theoretical foundations of LGBTQ+ studies as well as the contemporary implications for family, work, religion, and law for LGBTQ+ people and the mainstream society. Students will have the opportunity to compare the regulation of sexual orientation across different gender, racial, and socioeconomic communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-220
Gender-Based Violence: Awareness, Prevention, Response
Does gender-based violence consist only of forcible acts punishable by law or does it also include episodes of gender constraint that may not involve physical assault yet have serious effects on bodies and lives? Is gender-based violence an ethical issue and a form of human rights violation? What are the value systems that enable the occurrence of gendered violence? This course focuses on sex- and gender-based violence understood as a continuum of social and interpersonal violent behaviors that not only shade into one another but also inform and reinforce one another. By examining a variety of case studies drawn from national, transnational, and global contexts, the course examines experiences of sexed and gendered violence such as verbal violence, harassment, domestic and intimate-partner violence, and sexual attack. The course investigates social, economic, and cultural contributing factors that surround sex- and gender-based violence as well as some historical responses, prevalence of the phenomena, and tools and resources to resist such forms of violence. The course aims to raise awareness about the topic of sex- and gender-based violence, educate on strategies and techniques to disrupt such forms of violent social behaviors, promote positive actions of intervention at the local and global level, and generate interest in humanitarian and professional opportunities in the field such as activism, advocacy, education, health, policy, and the law. The course also highlights the ethical challenges (such as privacy and confidentiality, respect for individuals, vulnerability and safety, protection and disclosure of data) related to dealing with cases of gender-based violence. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-221
Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Sex Work and Sex Trade
Why does sex for sale raise some of the most controversial and often taboo questions of our time? Is sex for sale a form of exploitation and violence against individuals (whether women, men, queer or other non-binary individuals)? Or does sex for sale offer emancipatory possibilities and therefore ought to be understood as part of an ethics of sexual liberation, personal affirmation, and individual agency? What are the moral values, ethical standards, and economic and legal systems surrounding sex for sale? The course explores some of the myriad varieties of global sex for sale such as pornography, prostitution, erotic dance, escorting, street work, camming, peep shows, and sex tourism. The course considers various feminist and queer theories’ perspectives on the sex trade, critically analyzing theoretical and empirical studies and assessing various legal approaches to regulating this multi-faceted industry. The course tackles the sex industry transnationally exploring the connections between sex, gender, sexuality, and other social markers such as race/ethnicity, class, disability, age, and nationality; it investigates how these markers play out in the purchase and sale of sexual services; and it challenges commonly held ethical standards surrounding sex for sale. By the end of the course, students will understand how they as individuals could contribute to solutions, activism, and social change for increased respect toward the fundamental humanity of sex workers and for enhanced life and work conditions of those who work in the sex industry. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-225
Nature, Sex, and Gender
In this course, students will explore ways in which scientific knowledge about nonhumans and the natural world has been shaped by human ideas about sex, gender, and heteronormativity. They will learn about the changing perspectives on sex and gender in the natural sciences through readings and multimedia and investigate how gender and sexuality have been studied in biological and natural sciences past and present. Additionally, readings and media will explore the intersection of sex and gender in the environment with related social issues, such as racism, ableism, and colonialism. The course will also examine how scientific, science studies, and gender studies scholars are developing and using new approaches, such as queer ecologies and feminist biology, to critique and change how science is practiced with respect to assumptions and inferences about sex and gender. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-230
Men, Males, and Masculinities
Who and what defines a man? What challenges might the process of manhood present? How does one’s masculine expression align or not align with family or societal definitions? How are men harmed by unattainable ideas of manhood? What advantages and privileges come along with embodying maleness? What impacts does masculinity have on men’s relationships (with women, with other men, as fathers, as sons)? What does it mean to be a man of color, a working-class man or a gay man? Is masculinity innately violent or aggressive? This course uses a critical approach to examine individual, institutional, and societal understandings of what it means in general to be a man. It explores models of masculinity in conjunction with analyses of race, class, disability, and sexuality. It analyzes the common and diverse experiences of how some human beings are socialized and/or choose to express their masculinity in healthy, unique, hegemonic and sometimes problematic ways. It probes how some models of (toxic or hegemonic) masculinity promote hierarchies of power and privilege in groups, organizations, and institutions. And it investigates ways in which toxic forms of masculinity can be broken down and rewritten to work toward a healthier, more just (and less oppressive) society for all. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-237
Psychology of Women
The purpose of this course is to examine the psychology and lives of girls and women. In addition to the influence of culture, biological and genetic differences will be highlighted for each of the different topics. The topics covered include gender stereotypes, the development of gender roles, gender comparisons, love relationships, sexuality, motherhood and violence against women. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
WGST-240
Human Sexuality
This course provides an overview of human sexuality through the lenses of biology and psychology. What causes sexual behavior and why do some individuals display different sexual behaviors than others? Human sexual physiology, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are highly diverse. Coursework will examine the ways in which human sexuality varies among individuals, across groups, and throughout the lifespan. Multiple explanations for sexual behavior will be considered, drawing from evolutionary psychology, learning theory, social psychology, and biology. Atypical and harmful sexual behaviors will be addressed as well. Throughout the course, students will learn how social science research techniques have been used to expand the field of human sexuality and how empirical inquiry can differentiate myths from facts. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-245
Prostitution and Vice
This course will examine prostitution and vice in the United States and globally. Through empirical scholarship, various issues will be examined including issues faced by sex workers including crime, victimization, health and safety, and law and policy issues. Quality of life issues for communities will also be examined. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-246
History of Women in Science and Engineering
Using biographical and social-historical approaches, this course examines the history of women's involvement in science and engineering since the birth of modern science in the seventeenth century; the historical roots of gender bias in the Western scientific enterprise; and the influx of women into science and engineering since the mid-to-late 20th century. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-250
Domestic Violence
This course focuses on domestic violence in the United States and globally. Various types of domestic violence will be examined, including intimate partner violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to domestic violence, including police, court processing of domestic violence cases and punishment of domestic violence offenders. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-255
Seminar on Sexual Violence
This course focuses on sexual violence in the United States and globally. Various types of sexual violence will be examined, including incest, elder abuse, and male victimization. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to sexual violence, including police, court processing of sexual violence cases and punishment and treatment of sexual offenders. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-265
Women and Crime
This course deals with women as criminal offenders and as victims of crime, focusing upon theories about women in crime, types of crimes committed, patterns of criminality and the treatment of women offenders. Also examines the role of women as law enforcement officers, judges, lawyers and correctional officers in the criminal justice system. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-282
Women, Gender, and Computing
Popular attention often focuses on a few prominent women in computing history, such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and the ENIAC programmers. But many more women were part of this history: as inventors, programmers, operators, and users of information and communication technologies. Investigating their legacies, we will discuss in this course how computing turned into an increasingly masculine field, what it meant for women and men to work in a male-dominated field, how the gendering of computing technologies and algorithms affected the identities and lives of their users, and how gender intersected online and offline with other dimensions of diversity, such as class, race, and ability. This course provides the theoretical concepts and historical overview that allow for a historically informed discussion of women, gender, sexuality, and computing today. Seminar 3 (Spring).
WGST-290
American Women and Gender History
This course surveys women’s history in the United States from the colonial period to present. The course moves chronologically and thematically, focusing on the diversity of women’s experiences across race, class, and geography as well as the construction of dominant gender norms. Topics include Native American, African American, and Euro-American women in colonial America; the Industrial Revolution and the ideology of domesticity, Women in the American West; women’s paid and unpaid work; sexuality and reproduction; women’s activism; and women’s experiences of immigration and family life. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-309
Feminist Theory
This course examines the main currents in contemporary feminist thought. Feminist theory explores the nature and effects of categories of sex and gender upon our ways of living, thinking and doing, while also challenging how gendered assumptions might shape our conceptions of identity and inquiry more generally. Different conceptions of sex and gender will be discussed, and the course will investigate how these concepts affect our lives in both concrete and symbolic ways. Special attention will be paid to how gendered assumptions color our understanding of knowledge production, experiences of embodiment and emotion, public and private activities, and the nature of ethical decision making. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
WGST-330
Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-335
Women and the Deaf Community
Deaf history, as a field, has often neglected the story of deaf women. Scholar Arlene B. Kelly has recently asked, Where is deaf herstory? This course seeks to correct that gender imbalance in deaf history. We will study deaf women's history. This will include a consideration of deaf-blind women, as well, as women like Helen Keller were often the most famous deaf women of their era. But this course also seeks to look at the role of hearing women in deaf history. Hearing women dominated the field of deaf education in the late nineteenth century. They had a tremendous impact on the lives of deaf children and the events of deaf educational history. Hearing women were also important figures in deaf history as mothers. As mothers of deaf children, hearing women were frequently asked to behave as teachers in the home. Their embrace of this role often led them to endorse oral education, and oppose the sign language. Hearing mothers in this way were pitted against their adult deaf daughters, who frequently went on to learn sign language against their mothers' wishes. The historically complex relationship between women and the deaf community will be explored in this course. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-342
Gender, Science, and Technology
This course explores the importance of gender within Western science and technology. It considers how masculine and feminine identities are socially and culturally shaped, how sex and gender are being significantly transformed, and how rethinking gendered practices may help make science and technology fairer and more responsive. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-351
Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-352
Globalization and Gender through Chinese Cinema: From Kungfu to World Factory
This course surveys Chinese cinema from its beginning to the present with special attention to its transnational connections and gender representation. Films from the mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will be examined in-depth for their aesthetic quality and techniques, and equally important, against their socio-historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Topics include Kungfu films, women's cinema, documentation of globalization, independent filmmaking and social activism, and more. The class is conducted in English. Assigned films will be in Chinese with English subtitles. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-361
Queering Gender
This course begins with the concept that sexuality, gender and gender identity is neither fixed nor innate. Many people who adopt a definition or expression of gender different from society often identify themselves as queer. The study of this movement is referred to as queer theory. This course examines the concepts of sex, gender, and gender expression of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes within the context of the larger society in which we live. Students will explore the unique political, legal, and interpersonal challenges faced by those embracing queer identity as well as the diversity of gender identities and expressions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-380
Gender and Political Thought
WGST-383
Traumatic Images
This course investigates visual culture and its imagistic response to life's crises. Problems of identity and identification will be explored and confronted through works of photography, painting, mixed media, new media and film of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Beginning with the late 19th Century vogue for images of hysterical women, crippled black-sheep family members and dead loved ones (as corpses and as ghosts), we then move on to consider the last century's fascination with pain and suffering, disease and violence, struggle and survival and then the 21st century's emphasis on terrorism. Specifically, we will focus on the gendering of images and imaging as disturbing pictures work to defy the formal and theoretical distinction between private and public, personal, and collective experience and manage the often conflicting responsibilities to self, family, religion, race, nation, and society. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-384
Art of Dying
This course explores the experience of dying a profoundly human and universal experience as it is represented by artists who are themselves facing immanent death. The unique and deeply personal process of each dying artist is crucially informed by social, cultural and historical as well as artistic contexts. The course will focus primarily on visual artists and writers living with and dying of disease - such as AIDS, cancer and cystic fibrosis as well as mortality and age. Topics such as aesthetics, artistic media, representation, grief, bereavement, illness, care-giving, aging, and the dying process will be considered within the context of issues of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and community values. Some of the artists covered will be Jo Spence, Hannah Wilke, Elias Canetti, Bob Flanagan, Herve Guibert, Tom Joslin, Laurie Lynd, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Salomon, Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, Bas Jan Ader, Ted Rosenthal, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Keith Haring, Eric Steel, Derek Jarman, Eric Michaels, and David Wojnarowicz. We will also explore some of the critical theory of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Elaine Scarry, Susan Sontag, and Ross Chambers. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-388
Gender and Contemporary Art
This course traces the historical development of women’s activism in the art world from the 1970s to the present. We will interpret how this art activism, which artists and scholars alike have referred to as the feminist art movement, has examined how gender informs the ways art is made, viewed, conceptualized in history and theory, and exhibited in museums and visual culture, in a range of cultural contexts. We will also analyze how current artists, critics, and curators continue to build on this history, in particular how they use the concept of gender intersectionality to develop a variety of new creative practices, theories, modes of exhibition and social engagement. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
WGST-392
Queer and Transgender Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to practice and explore the vast and varied history, craft, and techniques of queer and transgender creative writing. Through reading and discussion, students will contextualize their own writing in a vital lineage and in the contemporary moment. We will read, analyze, reflect, generate, write, edit, and revise throughout the semester. We will create a polished body of creative works by honing those stylistic and craft techniques general to the field and specific to queer and transgender writers. Peer editors and group critiques will provide regular feedback, which will aid in the refinement of each writer’s own work and improve their capacity for supporting a creative work from germinating idea to final draft. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will survey the rich variety of genres, styles, forms, and philosophical approaches that QT literature takes. (Prerequisite: ENGL-150 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-212 or WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Biannual).
WGST-414
Women and Gender in Literature and Media
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, or issues associated with the representation of women and gender in literature and media, and/or associated with the historical, cultural, and theoretical questions provoked by women as producers and consumers of media and texts. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. The course can be taken multiple times provided that the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
WGST-449
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-451
Economics of Women and the Family
Women make choices concerning marriage, fertility and labor market participation on the basis of many factors, including government policies targeting those decisions. This course uses economic theory and empirical research in order to describe the changing demographic profile of families, poverty, and the labor force and to explore how economic theory and practice fit into the larger social science goals of describing human behavior by focusing on women and on the family. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies †
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).

Area Two: Intersectionality Courses

WGST-200
Foundations of Women and Gender Studies*
Women’s and Gender Studies is the academic manifestation of feminism. This interdisciplinary course interrogates the social constructions, political systems, and historical rhetorics that have produced and maintain hegemonic power structures. In this course you will examine key feminist, queer, and critical race writings and discourses, study the rise of feminist thought, and consider the history of women’s activism and the women’s rights movements from Suffrage to the present day. The course will also consider the application of feminist theory made visible through the rise of new and intersectional social identity movements. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-206
Queer Looks
In this course we examine representations of queer sexuality in art, film and popular culture beginning in the repressive 1950s, followed by the Stonewall Riots of 1969. We situate the birth of gay liberation in the U.S. in the context of the civil rights struggles, feminism and the anti-war movement. We turn to the work of Andy Warhol that looms over the post-war period, challenged subsequently by the onset of AIDS and the work of General Idea and Act-Up, on the one hand, and the more graphically provocative work of Robert Mapplethorpe, on the other. We examine the diversification of the queer community as transgendered identity asserts itself and the opening of popular culture to issues of diverse sexual identities. We explore expressions of queer sensibility outside of North America and Europe. We turn finally to the issue of gay marriage, both in the U.S. and abroad. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-210
Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies*
This introductory course examines a broad range of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues within the historical, psychological, racial, theological, cultural, and legal contexts in which we live. Students will learn the historical and theoretical foundations of LGBTQ+ studies as well as the contemporary implications for family, work, religion, and law for LGBTQ+ people and the mainstream society. Students will have the opportunity to compare the regulation of sexual orientation across different gender, racial, and socioeconomic communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-220
Gender-Based Violence: Awareness, Prevention, Response
Does gender-based violence consist only of forcible acts punishable by law or does it also include episodes of gender constraint that may not involve physical assault yet have serious effects on bodies and lives? Is gender-based violence an ethical issue and a form of human rights violation? What are the value systems that enable the occurrence of gendered violence? This course focuses on sex- and gender-based violence understood as a continuum of social and interpersonal violent behaviors that not only shade into one another but also inform and reinforce one another. By examining a variety of case studies drawn from national, transnational, and global contexts, the course examines experiences of sexed and gendered violence such as verbal violence, harassment, domestic and intimate-partner violence, and sexual attack. The course investigates social, economic, and cultural contributing factors that surround sex- and gender-based violence as well as some historical responses, prevalence of the phenomena, and tools and resources to resist such forms of violence. The course aims to raise awareness about the topic of sex- and gender-based violence, educate on strategies and techniques to disrupt such forms of violent social behaviors, promote positive actions of intervention at the local and global level, and generate interest in humanitarian and professional opportunities in the field such as activism, advocacy, education, health, policy, and the law. The course also highlights the ethical challenges (such as privacy and confidentiality, respect for individuals, vulnerability and safety, protection and disclosure of data) related to dealing with cases of gender-based violence. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-221
Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Sex Work and Sex Trade
Why does sex for sale raise some of the most controversial and often taboo questions of our time? Is sex for sale a form of exploitation and violence against individuals (whether women, men, queer or other non-binary individuals)? Or does sex for sale offer emancipatory possibilities and therefore ought to be understood as part of an ethics of sexual liberation, personal affirmation, and individual agency? What are the moral values, ethical standards, and economic and legal systems surrounding sex for sale? The course explores some of the myriad varieties of global sex for sale such as pornography, prostitution, erotic dance, escorting, street work, camming, peep shows, and sex tourism. The course considers various feminist and queer theories’ perspectives on the sex trade, critically analyzing theoretical and empirical studies and assessing various legal approaches to regulating this multi-faceted industry. The course tackles the sex industry transnationally exploring the connections between sex, gender, sexuality, and other social markers such as race/ethnicity, class, disability, age, and nationality; it investigates how these markers play out in the purchase and sale of sexual services; and it challenges commonly held ethical standards surrounding sex for sale. By the end of the course, students will understand how they as individuals could contribute to solutions, activism, and social change for increased respect toward the fundamental humanity of sex workers and for enhanced life and work conditions of those who work in the sex industry. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-230
Men, Males, and Masculinities
Who and what defines a man? What challenges might the process of manhood present? How does one’s masculine expression align or not align with family or societal definitions? How are men harmed by unattainable ideas of manhood? What advantages and privileges come along with embodying maleness? What impacts does masculinity have on men’s relationships (with women, with other men, as fathers, as sons)? What does it mean to be a man of color, a working-class man or a gay man? Is masculinity innately violent or aggressive? This course uses a critical approach to examine individual, institutional, and societal understandings of what it means in general to be a man. It explores models of masculinity in conjunction with analyses of race, class, disability, and sexuality. It analyzes the common and diverse experiences of how some human beings are socialized and/or choose to express their masculinity in healthy, unique, hegemonic and sometimes problematic ways. It probes how some models of (toxic or hegemonic) masculinity promote hierarchies of power and privilege in groups, organizations, and institutions. And it investigates ways in which toxic forms of masculinity can be broken down and rewritten to work toward a healthier, more just (and less oppressive) society for all. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-235
Women, Work, and Culture
In this course, we analyze historical and contemporary patterns of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and the organization of work. Using the theoretical perspectives we analyze the work historically undertaken by women in societies and its relationship to broader political and economic structures. While our primary focus is on the U.S., we will also conduct a cross-cultural analysis of gender and work in developing and industrializing societies. Specific issues include gender discrimination (e.g., wage discrimination, sexual harassment), sexuality, reproduction, and women organizing to control their work and working conditions. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
WGST-246
History of Women in Science and Engineering
Using biographical and social-historical approaches, this course examines the history of women's involvement in science and engineering since the birth of modern science in the seventeenth century; the historical roots of gender bias in the Western scientific enterprise; and the influx of women into science and engineering since the mid-to-late 20th century. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-250
Domestic Violence
This course focuses on domestic violence in the United States and globally. Various types of domestic violence will be examined, including intimate partner violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to domestic violence, including police, court processing of domestic violence cases and punishment of domestic violence offenders. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-255
Seminar on Sexual Violence
This course focuses on sexual violence in the United States and globally. Various types of sexual violence will be examined, including incest, elder abuse, and male victimization. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to sexual violence, including police, court processing of sexual violence cases and punishment and treatment of sexual offenders. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-265
Women and Crime
This course deals with women as criminal offenders and as victims of crime, focusing upon theories about women in crime, types of crimes committed, patterns of criminality and the treatment of women offenders. Also examines the role of women as law enforcement officers, judges, lawyers and correctional officers in the criminal justice system. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-282
Women, Gender, and Computing
Popular attention often focuses on a few prominent women in computing history, such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and the ENIAC programmers. But many more women were part of this history: as inventors, programmers, operators, and users of information and communication technologies. Investigating their legacies, we will discuss in this course how computing turned into an increasingly masculine field, what it meant for women and men to work in a male-dominated field, how the gendering of computing technologies and algorithms affected the identities and lives of their users, and how gender intersected online and offline with other dimensions of diversity, such as class, race, and ability. This course provides the theoretical concepts and historical overview that allow for a historically informed discussion of women, gender, sexuality, and computing today. Seminar 3 (Spring).
WGST-290
American Women and Gender History
This course surveys women’s history in the United States from the colonial period to present. The course moves chronologically and thematically, focusing on the diversity of women’s experiences across race, class, and geography as well as the construction of dominant gender norms. Topics include Native American, African American, and Euro-American women in colonial America; the Industrial Revolution and the ideology of domesticity, Women in the American West; women’s paid and unpaid work; sexuality and reproduction; women’s activism; and women’s experiences of immigration and family life. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-309
Feminist Theory
This course examines the main currents in contemporary feminist thought. Feminist theory explores the nature and effects of categories of sex and gender upon our ways of living, thinking and doing, while also challenging how gendered assumptions might shape our conceptions of identity and inquiry more generally. Different conceptions of sex and gender will be discussed, and the course will investigate how these concepts affect our lives in both concrete and symbolic ways. Special attention will be paid to how gendered assumptions color our understanding of knowledge production, experiences of embodiment and emotion, public and private activities, and the nature of ethical decision making. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
WGST-318
Philosophies of Love, Sex, and Gender
Love is indeed one of the most central concerns in everyone’s life; yet, we spend very little time thinking conceptually about love in its various forms, aspects, implications, nuances, benefits, detriments, and harms. In this course, we will examine views from classical, medieval, modern, and contemporary thinkers on various kinds of love, including some controversial versions of it; we will consider the relation of love in its various forms to desire, emotions, physical intimacy, seduction, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and the construction of personal identity; and we will analyze how the various forms of love affect and are affected by gender norms, roles, and images. Lecture 3 .
WGST-330
Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-335
Women and the Deaf Community
Deaf history, as a field, has often neglected the story of deaf women. Scholar Arlene B. Kelly has recently asked, Where is deaf herstory? This course seeks to correct that gender imbalance in deaf history. We will study deaf women's history. This will include a consideration of deaf-blind women, as well, as women like Helen Keller were often the most famous deaf women of their era. But this course also seeks to look at the role of hearing women in deaf history. Hearing women dominated the field of deaf education in the late nineteenth century. They had a tremendous impact on the lives of deaf children and the events of deaf educational history. Hearing women were also important figures in deaf history as mothers. As mothers of deaf children, hearing women were frequently asked to behave as teachers in the home. Their embrace of this role often led them to endorse oral education, and oppose the sign language. Hearing mothers in this way were pitted against their adult deaf daughters, who frequently went on to learn sign language against their mothers' wishes. The historically complex relationship between women and the deaf community will be explored in this course. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-342
Gender, Science, and Technology
This course explores the importance of gender within Western science and technology. It considers how masculine and feminine identities are socially and culturally shaped, how sex and gender are being significantly transformed, and how rethinking gendered practices may help make science and technology fairer and more responsive. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-351
Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-357
Communication, Gender, and Media
This course examines the relationship between gender and media communication with specific attention to how gender affects choices in mass media and social media practices. Students explore how gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and social roles, affect media coverage, portrayals, production and reception. They consider issues of authorship, spectatorship (audience), and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising, social media) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society. The course covers communication theories and scholarship as it applies to gender and media, methods of media analysis, and topics of current interest. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-361
Queering Gender
This course begins with the concept that sexuality, gender and gender identity is neither fixed nor innate. Many people who adopt a definition or expression of gender different from society often identify themselves as queer. The study of this movement is referred to as queer theory. This course examines the concepts of sex, gender, and gender expression of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes within the context of the larger society in which we live. Students will explore the unique political, legal, and interpersonal challenges faced by those embracing queer identity as well as the diversity of gender identities and expressions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-383
Traumatic Images
This course investigates visual culture and its imagistic response to life's crises. Problems of identity and identification will be explored and confronted through works of photography, painting, mixed media, new media and film of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Beginning with the late 19th Century vogue for images of hysterical women, crippled black-sheep family members and dead loved ones (as corpses and as ghosts), we then move on to consider the last century's fascination with pain and suffering, disease and violence, struggle and survival and then the 21st century's emphasis on terrorism. Specifically, we will focus on the gendering of images and imaging as disturbing pictures work to defy the formal and theoretical distinction between private and public, personal, and collective experience and manage the often conflicting responsibilities to self, family, religion, race, nation, and society. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-388
Gender and Contemporary Art
This course traces the historical development of women’s activism in the art world from the 1970s to the present. We will interpret how this art activism, which artists and scholars alike have referred to as the feminist art movement, has examined how gender informs the ways art is made, viewed, conceptualized in history and theory, and exhibited in museums and visual culture, in a range of cultural contexts. We will also analyze how current artists, critics, and curators continue to build on this history, in particular how they use the concept of gender intersectionality to develop a variety of new creative practices, theories, modes of exhibition and social engagement. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
WGST-392
Queer & Transgender Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to practice and explore the vast and varied history, craft, and techniques of queer and transgender creative writing. Through reading and discussion, students will contextualize their own writing in a vital lineage and in the contemporary moment. We will read, analyze, reflect, generate, write, edit, and revise throughout the semester. We will create a polished body of creative works by honing those stylistic and craft techniques general to the field and specific to queer and transgender writers. Peer editors and group critiques will provide regular feedback, which will aid in the refinement of each writer’s own work and improve their capacity for supporting a creative work from germinating idea to final draft. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will survey the rich variety of genres, styles, forms, and philosophical approaches that QT literature takes. (Prerequisite: ENGL-150 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-212 or WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Biannual).
WGST-414
Women and Gender in Literature and Media
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, or issues associated with the representation of women and gender in literature and media, and/or associated with the historical, cultural, and theoretical questions provoked by women as producers and consumers of media and texts. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. The course can be taken multiple times provided that the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
WGST-449
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies †
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies †
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).

Area Three: Inter/Trans-nationalism and Multiculturalism Courses

WGST-235
Women, Work, and Culture
In this course, we analyze historical and contemporary patterns of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and the organization of work. Using the theoretical perspectives we analyze the work historically undertaken by women in societies and its relationship to broader political and economic structures. While our primary focus is on the U.S., we will also conduct a cross-cultural analysis of gender and work in developing and industrializing societies. Specific issues include gender discrimination (e.g., wage discrimination, sexual harassment), sexuality, reproduction, and women organizing to control their work and working conditions. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
WGST-295
Global Craftivism, Gender and Handwork
The course focuses on how traditionally feminine and domestic handcrafts have been thrust into the public sphere for social activist work in a highly visual manner. Students will examine, from both intellectual and practical perspectives, large-scale examples of craft activism both within the U.S. and internationally, focusing on the connections to political movements and how craft is made politically visual. The role of craft as an organizing force, typically enacted by women and gender minorities in situations of physical and personal vulnerability, will be investigated through readings centered on the historical ties of craft to activism and social reform in the U.S. For example, students will study the role of handwork in the Suffragist and Abolitionist movements and in the American Revolution with women’s use of “homespun” cloth. Attention will also be paid to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in the late 20th century. Expanding beyond the U.S., the course will analyze how craft can transform into a narrative of personal or communal identity and an ethnicity-preserving tool through case studies such as those from Chile (Arpilleras), Laos (Hmong story cloths), Argentina (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo kerchiefs), India (Khadi cloth), England (Greenwich Commons Women’s Peace Camp and quilts), and Myanmar (street crochet for Democracy). Close attention will also be paid to the role of handcraft as a rallying force in organizing efforts relating to current issues such as reproductive justice, women’s rights, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate and environmental justice, and to how craft activist campaigns are organized and disseminated through social media. During the course, students will work at transforming a contemporary social issue they care about into the theme of their own final project to be unveiled by the end of the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
WGST-351
Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-352
Globalization and Gender through Chinese Cinema: From Kungfu to World Factory
This course surveys Chinese cinema from its beginning to the present with special attention to its transnational connections and gender representation. Films from the mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will be examined in-depth for their aesthetic quality and techniques, and equally important, against their socio-historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Topics include Kungfu films, women's cinema, documentation of globalization, independent filmmaking and social activism, and more. The class is conducted in English. Assigned films will be in Chinese with English subtitles. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-449
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies †
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies †
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
ANTH-325
Bodies and Culture
Our bodies are more than mere physical entities; they are conditioned by culture, society, and history. We will take a comparative approach to the cultural construction of bodies and the impact of ethnic, gender, and racial ideologies on body practices (i.e. surgical alteration, mutilation, beautification, surrogacy, erotica). We will critically investigate the global formation of normative discourses of the body (regarding sexuality, AIDS/illness, reproduction, fat/food) in medical science, consumer culture, and the mass media. The course features discussion, writing, and project-oriented research, encouraging students to acquire a range of analytic skills through a combination of text interpretation and research. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
ANTH-425
Global Sexualities
By exploring issues of gender and sexuality in a global context, students will be introduced to anthropological perspectives on the experience of men and women, as gendered subjects, in different societies and historical contexts, including colonialism, nationalism, and global capitalism. In turn, we will explore how cultural constructions of masculinity and femininity are configured by race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Course materials are drawn from an array of sources, reflecting various theoretical perspectives and ethnographic views from different parts of the world. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).

Area Four: Activism and Advocacy Courses

WGST-220
Gender-Based Violence: Awareness, Prevention, Response
Does gender-based violence consist only of forcible acts punishable by law or does it also include episodes of gender constraint that may not involve physical assault yet have serious effects on bodies and lives? Is gender-based violence an ethical issue and a form of human rights violation? What are the value systems that enable the occurrence of gendered violence? This course focuses on sex- and gender-based violence understood as a continuum of social and interpersonal violent behaviors that not only shade into one another but also inform and reinforce one another. By examining a variety of case studies drawn from national, transnational, and global contexts, the course examines experiences of sexed and gendered violence such as verbal violence, harassment, domestic and intimate-partner violence, and sexual attack. The course investigates social, economic, and cultural contributing factors that surround sex- and gender-based violence as well as some historical responses, prevalence of the phenomena, and tools and resources to resist such forms of violence. The course aims to raise awareness about the topic of sex- and gender-based violence, educate on strategies and techniques to disrupt such forms of violent social behaviors, promote positive actions of intervention at the local and global level, and generate interest in humanitarian and professional opportunities in the field such as activism, advocacy, education, health, policy, and the law. The course also highlights the ethical challenges (such as privacy and confidentiality, respect for individuals, vulnerability and safety, protection and disclosure of data) related to dealing with cases of gender-based violence. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-221
Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Sex Work and Sex Trade
Why does sex for sale raise some of the most controversial and often taboo questions of our time? Is sex for sale a form of exploitation and violence against individuals (whether women, men, queer or other non-binary individuals)? Or does sex for sale offer emancipatory possibilities and therefore ought to be understood as part of an ethics of sexual liberation, personal affirmation, and individual agency? What are the moral values, ethical standards, and economic and legal systems surrounding sex for sale? The course explores some of the myriad varieties of global sex for sale such as pornography, prostitution, erotic dance, escorting, street work, camming, peep shows, and sex tourism. The course considers various feminist and queer theories’ perspectives on the sex trade, critically analyzing theoretical and empirical studies and assessing various legal approaches to regulating this multi-faceted industry. The course tackles the sex industry transnationally exploring the connections between sex, gender, sexuality, and other social markers such as race/ethnicity, class, disability, age, and nationality; it investigates how these markers play out in the purchase and sale of sexual services; and it challenges commonly held ethical standards surrounding sex for sale. By the end of the course, students will understand how they as individuals could contribute to solutions, activism, and social change for increased respect toward the fundamental humanity of sex workers and for enhanced life and work conditions of those who work in the sex industry. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-245
Prostitution and Vice
This course will examine prostitution and vice in the United States and globally. Through empirical scholarship, various issues will be examined including issues faced by sex workers including crime, victimization, health and safety, and law and policy issues. Quality of life issues for communities will also be examined. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-250
Domestic Violence
This course focuses on domestic violence in the United States and globally. Various types of domestic violence will be examined, including intimate partner violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to domestic violence, including police, court processing of domestic violence cases and punishment of domestic violence offenders. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-255
Seminar on Sexual Violence
This course focuses on sexual violence in the United States and globally. Various types of sexual violence will be examined, including incest, elder abuse, and male victimization. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to sexual violence, including police, court processing of sexual violence cases and punishment and treatment of sexual offenders. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-265
Women and Crime
This course deals with women as criminal offenders and as victims of crime, focusing upon theories about women in crime, types of crimes committed, patterns of criminality and the treatment of women offenders. Also examines the role of women as law enforcement officers, judges, lawyers and correctional officers in the criminal justice system. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-295
Global Craftivism, Gender and Handwork
The course focuses on how traditionally feminine and domestic handcrafts have been thrust into the public sphere for social activist work in a highly visual manner. Students will examine, from both intellectual and practical perspectives, large-scale examples of craft activism both within the U.S. and internationally, focusing on the connections to political movements and how craft is made politically visual. The role of craft as an organizing force, typically enacted by women and gender minorities in situations of physical and personal vulnerability, will be investigated through readings centered on the historical ties of craft to activism and social reform in the U.S. For example, students will study the role of handwork in the Suffragist and Abolitionist movements and in the American Revolution with women’s use of “homespun” cloth. Attention will also be paid to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in the late 20th century. Expanding beyond the U.S., the course will analyze how craft can transform into a narrative of personal or communal identity and an ethnicity-preserving tool through case studies such as those from Chile (Arpilleras), Laos (Hmong story cloths), Argentina (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo kerchiefs), India (Khadi cloth), England (Greenwich Commons Women’s Peace Camp and quilts), and Myanmar (street crochet for Democracy). Close attention will also be paid to the role of handcraft as a rallying force in organizing efforts relating to current issues such as reproductive justice, women’s rights, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate and environmental justice, and to how craft activist campaigns are organized and disseminated through social media. During the course, students will work at transforming a contemporary social issue they care about into the theme of their own final project to be unveiled by the end of the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
WGST-309
Feminist Theory
This course examines the main currents in contemporary feminist thought. Feminist theory explores the nature and effects of categories of sex and gender upon our ways of living, thinking and doing, while also challenging how gendered assumptions might shape our conceptions of identity and inquiry more generally. Different conceptions of sex and gender will be discussed, and the course will investigate how these concepts affect our lives in both concrete and symbolic ways. Special attention will be paid to how gendered assumptions color our understanding of knowledge production, experiences of embodiment and emotion, public and private activities, and the nature of ethical decision making. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
WGST-318
Philosophies of Love, Sex, and Gender
Love is indeed one of the most central concerns in everyone’s life; yet, we spend very little time thinking conceptually about love in its various forms, aspects, implications, nuances, benefits, detriments, and harms. In this course, we will examine views from classical, medieval, modern, and contemporary thinkers on various kinds of love, including some controversial versions of it; we will consider the relation of love in its various forms to desire, emotions, physical intimacy, seduction, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and the construction of personal identity; and we will analyze how the various forms of love affect and are affected by gender norms, roles, and images. Lecture 3 .
WGST-330
Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-335
Women and the Deaf Community
Deaf history, as a field, has often neglected the story of deaf women. Scholar Arlene B. Kelly has recently asked, Where is deaf herstory? This course seeks to correct that gender imbalance in deaf history. We will study deaf women's history. This will include a consideration of deaf-blind women, as well, as women like Helen Keller were often the most famous deaf women of their era. But this course also seeks to look at the role of hearing women in deaf history. Hearing women dominated the field of deaf education in the late nineteenth century. They had a tremendous impact on the lives of deaf children and the events of deaf educational history. Hearing women were also important figures in deaf history as mothers. As mothers of deaf children, hearing women were frequently asked to behave as teachers in the home. Their embrace of this role often led them to endorse oral education, and oppose the sign language. Hearing mothers in this way were pitted against their adult deaf daughters, who frequently went on to learn sign language against their mothers' wishes. The historically complex relationship between women and the deaf community will be explored in this course. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-357
Communication, Gender, and Media
This course examines the relationship between gender and media communication with specific attention to how gender affects choices in mass media and social media practices. Students explore how gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and social roles, affect media coverage, portrayals, production and reception. They consider issues of authorship, spectatorship (audience), and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising, social media) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society. The course covers communication theories and scholarship as it applies to gender and media, methods of media analysis, and topics of current interest. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-361
Queering Gender
This course begins with the concept that sexuality, gender and gender identity is neither fixed nor innate. Many people who adopt a definition or expression of gender different from society often identify themselves as queer. The study of this movement is referred to as queer theory. This course examines the concepts of sex, gender, and gender expression of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes within the context of the larger society in which we live. Students will explore the unique political, legal, and interpersonal challenges faced by those embracing queer identity as well as the diversity of gender identities and expressions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-388
Gender and Contemporary Art
This course traces the historical development of women’s activism in the art world from the 1970s to the present. We will interpret how this art activism, which artists and scholars alike have referred to as the feminist art movement, has examined how gender informs the ways art is made, viewed, conceptualized in history and theory, and exhibited in museums and visual culture, in a range of cultural contexts. We will also analyze how current artists, critics, and curators continue to build on this history, in particular how they use the concept of gender intersectionality to develop a variety of new creative practices, theories, modes of exhibition and social engagement. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
WGST-392
Queer and Transgender Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to practice and explore the vast and varied history, craft, and techniques of queer and transgender creative writing. Through reading and discussion, students will contextualize their own writing in a vital lineage and in the contemporary moment. We will read, analyze, reflect, generate, write, edit, and revise throughout the semester. We will create a polished body of creative works by honing those stylistic and craft techniques general to the field and specific to queer and transgender writers. Peer editors and group critiques will provide regular feedback, which will aid in the refinement of each writer’s own work and improve their capacity for supporting a creative work from germinating idea to final draft. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will survey the rich variety of genres, styles, forms, and philosophical approaches that QT literature takes. (Prerequisite: ENGL-150 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-212 or WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Biannual).
WGST-449
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
COMM-291
Communication for Social Change
The course introduces students to the role of communication, information, and media in social change messaging, particularly in the areas of activism and public advocacy. It takes a critical approach toward understanding the role of communication and communication technologies in the creation and dissemination of messages geared towards social change in a variety of mediated contexts. Students will review relevant theoretical frameworks that commonly inform the study and practice of activism and public advocacy, as well as analyze specific examples and case studies contemporarily, as well as select examples at moments of profound activism since the Civil Rights era of the 20th Century. Students will analyze various forms of activism and examine the role of communication in each. Finally, through the design of a social change communication campaign proposal, students will apply strategic communication approaches that will respond to a social issue that may be local, national or global. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
LEAD-102
Inclusive Leadership
Being a successful community leader requires the ability to understand and respond effectively to organizational context. This course provides a comprehensive understanding of organizations with emphasis on various approaches to organizational development. Specific focus will be placed on the workplace structure in educational, government, non-profit, and entrepreneurial environments. Finally, students will learn about methods that organizations use for accessibility and learn about organizational racial justice and disability justice. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
MEDS-355
Introduction to Global Health
This introductory course will evaluate the modern challenges of global health from a multidisciplinary perspective. The key concepts of global health will be discussed, including various health determinants, human rights, healthcare systems, culture’s impact on health, environmental concerns, nutrition, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, women’s health issues, child and adolescent health, injuries, natural disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies, poverty’s impact on health and more. Students will be expected to be active learners, lead classroom activities on certain days as part of group research project presentations, and actively participate in discussions. (This class is restricted to undergraduate students with at least 2nd year standing.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
NDLS-200
Introduction to Group Advocacy
The course is designed to assist students in understanding and implementing ways in which they can advocate for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons in their communities. Concepts of leadership and group advocacy models and issues relevant to deaf and hard-of-hearing communities will be covered. Students will explore community development and practical applications pertaining to group and systemic advocacy frameworks. Students will examine international and national policies and their effectiveness in supporting deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. (Prerequisite: LEAD-200 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
PUBL-101
Foundations of Public Policy
This interdisciplinary course introduces the student to the key concepts of public policy, the policymaking process, the role of stakeholders and interest groups, and the basic dimensions policy analysis. Those concepts are then applied through a range of issues, such as the environment, clean energy, climate change, healthcare, cybersecurity, employment, privacy, telecommunications, and innovation, at local, state, federal and international levels. Lecture 3 (Fall).
SOCI-246
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities. Lecture 3 (Annual).
SOCI-355
CyberActivism: Diversity, Sex, and the Internet
Sociologists look to cyberspace to test theories of technology diffusion and media effects on society. This course explores the Internet’s impact on communities, political participation, cultural democracy, and diversity. How have digital technologies and electronic information flows shaped or diminished inequalities of gender, sex, and race? For instance: new electronic technologies have pushed the cultural and physical boundaries of how we have sex; with whom we have sex; and with what we have sex and/or have observed having sex, such as sex toys and avatars. The sociological implications of this new technology depend on economic, legal, and policy decisions that are shaping the Internet as it becomes institutionalized. The course analyzes such new forms of cyber-democracy with a focus on issues of gender, sex, and race. Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
STSO-230
Foundations of Engagement and Community Transformation
Are you passionate about addressing the socially-complex, wicked problems of our time? This interdisciplinary, active-learning course will lay the groundwork for students who want to participate in future place-based community-engaged research, development or design projects that build on community strengths and address community determined challenges. Through literature reviews, discussions, cases study analysis, role plays, debates, reflective writing, and visits with experienced community practitioners, we will explore the larger context of the systems within which we live and how others have engaged in efforts to improve community wellbeing both locally and globally. We will strive for a more nuanced understanding of our world and its power dynamics from various perspectives. We will investigate the context in which community and economic development has traditionally occurred, how technology has been involved, and the effects of projects and activities on the “beneficiaries”. We will investigate best practices including mindsets, worldviews, skills, processes, and tools for community-driven positive change. Finally we will use all our learnings to develop our own evaluation framework and apply it to a current community project. This course incorporates humanities and social science approaches and counts for general education requirements. Lecture 3 (Spring).

WGSS Applied Concentrations

Students select three (3) courses in ONE of the following applied concentrations.

Concentration One: Gender, Art, and Media

WGST-206
Queer Looks
In this course we examine representations of queer sexuality in art, film and popular culture beginning in the repressive 1950s, followed by the Stonewall Riots of 1969. We situate the birth of gay liberation in the U.S. in the context of the civil rights struggles, feminism and the anti-war movement. We turn to the work of Andy Warhol that looms over the post-war period, challenged subsequently by the onset of AIDS and the work of General Idea and Act-Up, on the one hand, and the more graphically provocative work of Robert Mapplethorpe, on the other. We examine the diversification of the queer community as transgendered identity asserts itself and the opening of popular culture to issues of diverse sexual identities. We explore expressions of queer sensibility outside of North America and Europe. We turn finally to the issue of gay marriage, both in the U.S. and abroad. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-295
Global Craftivism, Gender, and Handwork
The course focuses on how traditionally feminine and domestic handcrafts have been thrust into the public sphere for social activist work in a highly visual manner. Students will examine, from both intellectual and practical perspectives, large-scale examples of craft activism both within the U.S. and internationally, focusing on the connections to political movements and how craft is made politically visual. The role of craft as an organizing force, typically enacted by women and gender minorities in situations of physical and personal vulnerability, will be investigated through readings centered on the historical ties of craft to activism and social reform in the U.S. For example, students will study the role of handwork in the Suffragist and Abolitionist movements and in the American Revolution with women’s use of “homespun” cloth. Attention will also be paid to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in the late 20th century. Expanding beyond the U.S., the course will analyze how craft can transform into a narrative of personal or communal identity and an ethnicity-preserving tool through case studies such as those from Chile (Arpilleras), Laos (Hmong story cloths), Argentina (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo kerchiefs), India (Khadi cloth), England (Greenwich Commons Women’s Peace Camp and quilts), and Myanmar (street crochet for Democracy). Close attention will also be paid to the role of handcraft as a rallying force in organizing efforts relating to current issues such as reproductive justice, women’s rights, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate and environmental justice, and to how craft activist campaigns are organized and disseminated through social media. During the course, students will work at transforming a contemporary social issue they care about into the theme of their own final project to be unveiled by the end of the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
WGST-318
Philosophies of Love, Sex, and Gender
Love is indeed one of the most central concerns in everyone’s life; yet, we spend very little time thinking conceptually about love in its various forms, aspects, implications, nuances, benefits, detriments, and harms. In this course, we will examine views from classical, medieval, modern, and contemporary thinkers on various kinds of love, including some controversial versions of it; we will consider the relation of love in its various forms to desire, emotions, physical intimacy, seduction, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and the construction of personal identity; and we will analyze how the various forms of love affect and are affected by gender norms, roles, and images. Lecture 3 .
WGST-330
Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-351
Gender & Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-352
Globalization and Gender through Chinese Cinema: From Kungfu to World Factory
This course surveys Chinese cinema from its beginning to the present with special attention to its transnational connections and gender representation. Films from the mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will be examined in-depth for their aesthetic quality and techniques, and equally important, against their socio-historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Topics include Kungfu films, women's cinema, documentation of globalization, independent filmmaking and social activism, and more. The class is conducted in English. Assigned films will be in Chinese with English subtitles. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-357
Communication, Gender, and Media
This course examines the relationship between gender and media communication with specific attention to how gender affects choices in mass media and social media practices. Students explore how gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and social roles, affect media coverage, portrayals, production and reception. They consider issues of authorship, spectatorship (audience), and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising, social media) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society. The course covers communication theories and scholarship as it applies to gender and media, methods of media analysis, and topics of current interest. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-383
Traumatic Images
This course investigates visual culture and its imagistic response to life's crises. Problems of identity and identification will be explored and confronted through works of photography, painting, mixed media, new media and film of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Beginning with the late 19th Century vogue for images of hysterical women, crippled black-sheep family members and dead loved ones (as corpses and as ghosts), we then move on to consider the last century's fascination with pain and suffering, disease and violence, struggle and survival and then the 21st century's emphasis on terrorism. Specifically, we will focus on the gendering of images and imaging as disturbing pictures work to defy the formal and theoretical distinction between private and public, personal, and collective experience and manage the often conflicting responsibilities to self, family, religion, race, nation, and society. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-384
Art of Dying
This course explores the experience of dying a profoundly human and universal experience as it is represented by artists who are themselves facing immanent death. The unique and deeply personal process of each dying artist is crucially informed by social, cultural and historical as well as artistic contexts. The course will focus primarily on visual artists and writers living with and dying of disease - such as AIDS, cancer and cystic fibrosis as well as mortality and age. Topics such as aesthetics, artistic media, representation, grief, bereavement, illness, care-giving, aging, and the dying process will be considered within the context of issues of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and community values. Some of the artists covered will be Jo Spence, Hannah Wilke, Elias Canetti, Bob Flanagan, Herve Guibert, Tom Joslin, Laurie Lynd, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Salomon, Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, Bas Jan Ader, Ted Rosenthal, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Keith Haring, Eric Steel, Derek Jarman, Eric Michaels, and David Wojnarowicz. We will also explore some of the critical theory of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Elaine Scarry, Susan Sontag, and Ross Chambers. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-388
Gender and Contemporary Art
This course traces the historical development of women’s activism in the art world from the 1970s to the present. We will interpret how this art activism, which artists and scholars alike have referred to as the feminist art movement, has examined how gender informs the ways art is made, viewed, conceptualized in history and theory, and exhibited in museums and visual culture, in a range of cultural contexts. We will also analyze how current artists, critics, and curators continue to build on this history, in particular how they use the concept of gender intersectionality to develop a variety of new creative practices, theories, modes of exhibition and social engagement. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
WGST-392
Queer and Transgender Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to practice and explore the vast and varied history, craft, and techniques of queer and transgender creative writing. Through reading and discussion, students will contextualize their own writing in a vital lineage and in the contemporary moment. We will read, analyze, reflect, generate, write, edit, and revise throughout the semester. We will create a polished body of creative works by honing those stylistic and craft techniques general to the field and specific to queer and transgender writers. Peer editors and group critiques will provide regular feedback, which will aid in the refinement of each writer’s own work and improve their capacity for supporting a creative work from germinating idea to final draft. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will survey the rich variety of genres, styles, forms, and philosophical approaches that QT literature takes. (Prerequisite: ENGL-150 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-212 or WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Biannual).
WGST-414
Women and Gender in Literature and Media
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, or issues associated with the representation of women and gender in literature and media, and/or associated with the historical, cultural, and theoretical questions provoked by women as producers and consumers of media and texts. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. The course can be taken multiple times provided that the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
WGST-449
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies †
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
ANTH-325
Bodies and Culture
Our bodies are more than mere physical entities; they are conditioned by culture, society, and history. We will take a comparative approach to the cultural construction of bodies and the impact of ethnic, gender, and racial ideologies on body practices (i.e. surgical alteration, mutilation, beautification, surrogacy, erotica). We will critically investigate the global formation of normative discourses of the body (regarding sexuality, AIDS/illness, reproduction, fat/food) in medical science, consumer culture, and the mass media. The course features discussion, writing, and project-oriented research, encouraging students to acquire a range of analytic skills through a combination of text interpretation and research. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
ARTH-577
Displaying Gender
This course brings together two of the most significant strains of recent art historical scholarship: the study of gender in representation and the critical examination of exhibitions and museums with particular focus given to key examples of curatorial practice from the late 19th century to the present day. Through readings, possible museum visit(s), class discussions, and guided individual research, questions of gender in exhibitions will be considered in relation to other aspects of identity including sexuality, race, and class. Lecture 3 (Spring).
GRDE-322
Women Pioneers in Design
This course will center on the contributions made by Modernist women designers. Emphasis will be placed on their unheralded pioneering efforts. Exemplars from the field will be presented, set in a historical context. Lectures are complemented by guest speakers, videos, participatory exercises, discussion, and critical essay writing. (This course is restricted to undergraduate students in CAD with at least 2nd year standing.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
SOCI-355
CyberActivism: Diversity, Sex, and the Internet
Sociologists look to cyberspace to test theories of technology diffusion and media effects on society. This course explores the Internet’s impact on communities, political participation, cultural democracy, and diversity. How have digital technologies and electronic information flows shaped or diminished inequalities of gender, sex, and race? For instance: new electronic technologies have pushed the cultural and physical boundaries of how we have sex; with whom we have sex; and with what we have sex and/or have observed having sex, such as sex toys and avatars. The sociological implications of this new technology depend on economic, legal, and policy decisions that are shaping the Internet as it becomes institutionalized. The course analyzes such new forms of cyber-democracy with a focus on issues of gender, sex, and race. Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).

Concentration Two: Gender and STEM Studies

WGST-225
Nature, Sex, and Gender
In this course, students will explore ways in which scientific knowledge about nonhumans and the natural world has been shaped by human ideas about sex, gender, and heteronormativity. They will learn about the changing perspectives on sex and gender in the natural sciences through readings and multimedia and investigate how gender and sexuality have been studied in biological and natural sciences past and present. Additionally, readings and media will explore the intersection of sex and gender in the environment with related social issues, such as racism, ableism, and colonialism. The course will also examine how scientific, science studies, and gender studies scholars are developing and using new approaches, such as queer ecologies and feminist biology, to critique and change how science is practiced with respect to assumptions and inferences about sex and gender. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-246
History of Women in Science and Engineering
Using biographical and social-historical approaches, this course examines the history of women's involvement in science and engineering since the birth of modern science in the seventeenth century; the historical roots of gender bias in the Western scientific enterprise; and the influx of women into science and engineering since the mid-to-late 20th century. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-282
Women, Gender, and Computing
Popular attention often focuses on a few prominent women in computing history, such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and the ENIAC programmers. But many more women were part of this history: as inventors, programmers, operators, and users of information and communication technologies. Investigating their legacies, we will discuss in this course how computing turned into an increasingly masculine field, what it meant for women and men to work in a male-dominated field, how the gendering of computing technologies and algorithms affected the identities and lives of their users, and how gender intersected online and offline with other dimensions of diversity, such as class, race, and ability. This course provides the theoretical concepts and historical overview that allow for a historically informed discussion of women, gender, sexuality, and computing today. Seminar 3 (Spring).
WGST-342
Gender, Science, and Technology
This course explores the importance of gender within Western science and technology. It considers how masculine and feminine identities are socially and culturally shaped, how sex and gender are being significantly transformed, and how rethinking gendered practices may help make science and technology fairer and more responsive. Cross-listed with women's and gender studies. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-357
Communication, Gender, and Media
This course examines the relationship between gender and media communication with specific attention to how gender affects choices in mass media and social media practices. Students explore how gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and social roles, affect media coverage, portrayals, production and reception. They consider issues of authorship, spectatorship (audience), and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising, social media) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society. The course covers communication theories and scholarship as it applies to gender and media, methods of media analysis, and topics of current interest. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-449
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOCI-246
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities. Lecture 3 (Annual).
ANTH-246
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities. Lecture 3 (Annual).
SOCI-335
CyberActivism: Diversity, Sex, and the Internet

Concentration Three: Gender Equity, Social Institutions, and Public Affairs

WGST-220
Gender-Based Violence: Awareness, Prevention, Response
Does gender-based violence consist only of forcible acts punishable by law or does it also include episodes of gender constraint that may not involve physical assault yet have serious effects on bodies and lives? Is gender-based violence an ethical issue and a form of human rights violation? What are the value systems that enable the occurrence of gendered violence? This course focuses on sex- and gender-based violence understood as a continuum of social and interpersonal violent behaviors that not only shade into one another but also inform and reinforce one another. By examining a variety of case studies drawn from national, transnational, and global contexts, the course examines experiences of sexed and gendered violence such as verbal violence, harassment, domestic and intimate-partner violence, and sexual attack. The course investigates social, economic, and cultural contributing factors that surround sex- and gender-based violence as well as some historical responses, prevalence of the phenomena, and tools and resources to resist such forms of violence. The course aims to raise awareness about the topic of sex- and gender-based violence, educate on strategies and techniques to disrupt such forms of violent social behaviors, promote positive actions of intervention at the local and global level, and generate interest in humanitarian and professional opportunities in the field such as activism, advocacy, education, health, policy, and the law. The course also highlights the ethical challenges (such as privacy and confidentiality, respect for individuals, vulnerability and safety, protection and disclosure of data) related to dealing with cases of gender-based violence. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-221
Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Sex Work and Sex Trade
Why does sex for sale raise some of the most controversial and often taboo questions of our time? Is sex for sale a form of exploitation and violence against individuals (whether women, men, queer or other non-binary individuals)? Or does sex for sale offer emancipatory possibilities and therefore ought to be understood as part of an ethics of sexual liberation, personal affirmation, and individual agency? What are the moral values, ethical standards, and economic and legal systems surrounding sex for sale? The course explores some of the myriad varieties of global sex for sale such as pornography, prostitution, erotic dance, escorting, street work, camming, peep shows, and sex tourism. The course considers various feminist and queer theories’ perspectives on the sex trade, critically analyzing theoretical and empirical studies and assessing various legal approaches to regulating this multi-faceted industry. The course tackles the sex industry transnationally exploring the connections between sex, gender, sexuality, and other social markers such as race/ethnicity, class, disability, age, and nationality; it investigates how these markers play out in the purchase and sale of sexual services; and it challenges commonly held ethical standards surrounding sex for sale. By the end of the course, students will understand how they as individuals could contribute to solutions, activism, and social change for increased respect toward the fundamental humanity of sex workers and for enhanced life and work conditions of those who work in the sex industry. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-230
Men, Males, and Masculinities
Who and what defines a man? What challenges might the process of manhood present? How does one’s masculine expression align or not align with family or societal definitions? How are men harmed by unattainable ideas of manhood? What advantages and privileges come along with embodying maleness? What impacts does masculinity have on men’s relationships (with women, with other men, as fathers, as sons)? What does it mean to be a man of color, a working-class man or a gay man? Is masculinity innately violent or aggressive? This course uses a critical approach to examine individual, institutional, and societal understandings of what it means in general to be a man. It explores models of masculinity in conjunction with analyses of race, class, disability, and sexuality. It analyzes the common and diverse experiences of how some human beings are socialized and/or choose to express their masculinity in healthy, unique, hegemonic and sometimes problematic ways. It probes how some models of (toxic or hegemonic) masculinity promote hierarchies of power and privilege in groups, organizations, and institutions. And it investigates ways in which toxic forms of masculinity can be broken down and rewritten to work toward a healthier, more just (and less oppressive) society for all. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-235
Women, Work, and Culture
In this course, we analyze historical and contemporary patterns of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and the organization of work. Using the theoretical perspectives we analyze the work historically undertaken by women in societies and its relationship to broader political and economic structures. While our primary focus is on the U.S., we will also conduct a cross-cultural analysis of gender and work in developing and industrializing societies. Specific issues include gender discrimination (e.g., wage discrimination, sexual harassment), sexuality, reproduction, and women organizing to control their work and working conditions. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
WGST-245
Prostitution and Vice
This course will examine prostitution and vice in the United States and globally. Through empirical scholarship, various issues will be examined including issues faced by sex workers including crime, victimization, health and safety, and law and policy issues. Quality of life issues for communities will also be examined. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-250
Domestic Violence
This course focuses on domestic violence in the United States and globally. Various types of domestic violence will be examined, including intimate partner violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to domestic violence, including police, court processing of domestic violence cases and punishment of domestic violence offenders. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-255
Seminar on Sexual Violence
This course focuses on sexual violence in the United States and globally. Various types of sexual violence will be examined, including incest, elder abuse, and male victimization. The course will also examine criminal justice responses to sexual violence, including police, court processing of sexual violence cases and punishment and treatment of sexual offenders. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-265
Women and Crime
This course deals with women as criminal offenders and as victims of crime, focusing upon theories about women in crime, types of crimes committed, patterns of criminality and the treatment of women offenders. Also examines the role of women as law enforcement officers, judges, lawyers and correctional officers in the criminal justice system. (Prerequisites: CRIM-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-290
American Women's and Gender History
This course surveys women’s history in the United States from the colonial period to present. The course moves chronologically and thematically, focusing on the diversity of women’s experiences across race, class, and geography as well as the construction of dominant gender norms. Topics include Native American, African American, and Euro-American women in colonial America; the Industrial Revolution and the ideology of domesticity, Women in the American West; women’s paid and unpaid work; sexuality and reproduction; women’s activism; and women’s experiences of immigration and family life. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-318
Philosophies of Love, Sex, and Gender
Love is indeed one of the most central concerns in everyone’s life; yet, we spend very little time thinking conceptually about love in its various forms, aspects, implications, nuances, benefits, detriments, and harms. In this course, we will examine views from classical, medieval, modern, and contemporary thinkers on various kinds of love, including some controversial versions of it; we will consider the relation of love in its various forms to desire, emotions, physical intimacy, seduction, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and the construction of personal identity; and we will analyze how the various forms of love affect and are affected by gender norms, roles, and images. Lecture 3 .
WGST-330
Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-335
Women and the Deaf Community
Deaf history, as a field, has often neglected the story of deaf women. Scholar Arlene B. Kelly has recently asked, Where is deaf herstory? This course seeks to correct that gender imbalance in deaf history. We will study deaf women's history. This will include a consideration of deaf-blind women, as well, as women like Helen Keller were often the most famous deaf women of their era. But this course also seeks to look at the role of hearing women in deaf history. Hearing women dominated the field of deaf education in the late nineteenth century. They had a tremendous impact on the lives of deaf children and the events of deaf educational history. Hearing women were also important figures in deaf history as mothers. As mothers of deaf children, hearing women were frequently asked to behave as teachers in the home. Their embrace of this role often led them to endorse oral education, and oppose the sign language. Hearing mothers in this way were pitted against their adult deaf daughters, who frequently went on to learn sign language against their mothers' wishes. The historically complex relationship between women and the deaf community will be explored in this course. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-357
Communication, Gender, and Media
This course examines the relationship between gender and media communication with specific attention to how gender affects choices in mass media and social media practices. Students explore how gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and social roles, affect media coverage, portrayals, production and reception. They consider issues of authorship, spectatorship (audience), and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising, social media) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society. The course covers communication theories and scholarship as it applies to gender and media, methods of media analysis, and topics of current interest. Lecture 3 (Biannual).
WGST-361
Queering Gender
This course begins with the concept that sexuality, gender and gender identity is neither fixed nor innate. Many people who adopt a definition or expression of gender different from society often identify themselves as queer. The study of this movement is referred to as queer theory. This course examines the concepts of sex, gender, and gender expression of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes within the context of the larger society in which we live. Students will explore the unique political, legal, and interpersonal challenges faced by those embracing queer identity as well as the diversity of gender identities and expressions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-380
Gender and Political Thought
WGST-449
Topics in WGST†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-451
Economics of Women and the Family
Women make choices concerning marriage, fertility and labor market participation on the basis of many factors, including government policies targeting those decisions. This course uses economic theory and empirical research in order to describe the changing demographic profile of families, poverty, and the labor force and to explore how economic theory and practice fit into the larger social science goals of describing human behavior by focusing on women and on the family. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOCI-246
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities. Lecture 3 (Annual).
ANTH-246
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities. Lecture 3 (Annual).

Concentration Four: Gender Advocacy, Community Activism, and Inclusive Leadership

WGST-220
Gender-Based Violence: Awareness, Prevention, Response
Does gender-based violence consist only of forcible acts punishable by law or does it also include episodes of gender constraint that may not involve physical assault yet have serious effects on bodies and lives? Is gender-based violence an ethical issue and a form of human rights violation? What are the value systems that enable the occurrence of gendered violence? This course focuses on sex- and gender-based violence understood as a continuum of social and interpersonal violent behaviors that not only shade into one another but also inform and reinforce one another. By examining a variety of case studies drawn from national, transnational, and global contexts, the course examines experiences of sexed and gendered violence such as verbal violence, harassment, domestic and intimate-partner violence, and sexual attack. The course investigates social, economic, and cultural contributing factors that surround sex- and gender-based violence as well as some historical responses, prevalence of the phenomena, and tools and resources to resist such forms of violence. The course aims to raise awareness about the topic of sex- and gender-based violence, educate on strategies and techniques to disrupt such forms of violent social behaviors, promote positive actions of intervention at the local and global level, and generate interest in humanitarian and professional opportunities in the field such as activism, advocacy, education, health, policy, and the law. The course also highlights the ethical challenges (such as privacy and confidentiality, respect for individuals, vulnerability and safety, protection and disclosure of data) related to dealing with cases of gender-based violence. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-295
Global Craftivism, Gender and Handwork
The course focuses on how traditionally feminine and domestic handcrafts have been thrust into the public sphere for social activist work in a highly visual manner. Students will examine, from both intellectual and practical perspectives, large-scale examples of craft activism both within the U.S. and internationally, focusing on the connections to political movements and how craft is made politically visual. The role of craft as an organizing force, typically enacted by women and gender minorities in situations of physical and personal vulnerability, will be investigated through readings centered on the historical ties of craft to activism and social reform in the U.S. For example, students will study the role of handwork in the Suffragist and Abolitionist movements and in the American Revolution with women’s use of “homespun” cloth. Attention will also be paid to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in the late 20th century. Expanding beyond the U.S., the course will analyze how craft can transform into a narrative of personal or communal identity and an ethnicity-preserving tool through case studies such as those from Chile (Arpilleras), Laos (Hmong story cloths), Argentina (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo kerchiefs), India (Khadi cloth), England (Greenwich Commons Women’s Peace Camp and quilts), and Myanmar (street crochet for Democracy). Close attention will also be paid to the role of handcraft as a rallying force in organizing efforts relating to current issues such as reproductive justice, women’s rights, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate and environmental justice, and to how craft activist campaigns are organized and disseminated through social media. During the course, students will work at transforming a contemporary social issue they care about into the theme of their own final project to be unveiled by the end of the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
WGST-392
Queer and Transgender Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to practice and explore the vast and varied history, craft, and techniques of queer and transgender creative writing. Through reading and discussion, students will contextualize their own writing in a vital lineage and in the contemporary moment. We will read, analyze, reflect, generate, write, edit, and revise throughout the semester. We will create a polished body of creative works by honing those stylistic and craft techniques general to the field and specific to queer and transgender writers. Peer editors and group critiques will provide regular feedback, which will aid in the refinement of each writer’s own work and improve their capacity for supporting a creative work from germinating idea to final draft. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will survey the rich variety of genres, styles, forms, and philosophical approaches that QT literature takes. (Prerequisite: ENGL-150 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-212 or WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Biannual).
WGST-449
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of women's and gender studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in WGST can be taken multiple times provided the topic(s) being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies†
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).
COMM-291
Communication for Social Change
The course introduces students to the role of communication, information, and media in social change messaging, particularly in the areas of activism and public advocacy. It takes a critical approach toward understanding the role of communication and communication technologies in the creation and dissemination of messages geared towards social change in a variety of mediated contexts. Students will review relevant theoretical frameworks that commonly inform the study and practice of activism and public advocacy, as well as analyze specific examples and case studies contemporarily, as well as select examples at moments of profound activism since the Civil Rights era of the 20th Century. Students will analyze various forms of activism and examine the role of communication in each. Finally, through the design of a social change communication campaign proposal, students will apply strategic communication approaches that will respond to a social issue that may be local, national or global. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
LEAD-102
Inclusive Leadership
Being a successful community leader requires the ability to understand and respond effectively to organizational context. This course provides a comprehensive understanding of organizations with emphasis on various approaches to organizational development. Specific focus will be placed on the workplace structure in educational, government, non-profit, and entrepreneurial environments. Finally, students will learn about methods that organizations use for accessibility and learn about organizational racial justice and disability justice. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
NDLS-200
Introduction to Group Advocacy
The course is designed to assist students in understanding and implementing ways in which they can advocate for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons in their communities. Concepts of leadership and group advocacy models and issues relevant to deaf and hard-of-hearing communities will be covered. Students will explore community development and practical applications pertaining to group and systemic advocacy frameworks. Students will examine international and national policies and their effectiveness in supporting deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. (Prerequisite: LEAD-200 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
PUBL-101
Foundations of Public Policy
This interdisciplinary course introduces the student to the key concepts of public policy, the policymaking process, the role of stakeholders and interest groups, and the basic dimensions policy analysis. Those concepts are then applied through a range of issues, such as the environment, clean energy, climate change, healthcare, cybersecurity, employment, privacy, telecommunications, and innovation, at local, state, federal and international levels. Lecture 3 (Fall).
STSO-230
Foundations of Engagement and Community Transformation
Are you passionate about addressing the socially-complex, wicked problems of our time? This interdisciplinary, active-learning course will lay the groundwork for students who want to participate in future place-based community-engaged research, development or design projects that build on community strengths and address community determined challenges. Through literature reviews, discussions, cases study analysis, role plays, debates, reflective writing, and visits with experienced community practitioners, we will explore the larger context of the systems within which we live and how others have engaged in efforts to improve community wellbeing both locally and globally. We will strive for a more nuanced understanding of our world and its power dynamics from various perspectives. We will investigate the context in which community and economic development has traditionally occurred, how technology has been involved, and the effects of projects and activities on the “beneficiaries”. We will investigate best practices including mindsets, worldviews, skills, processes, and tools for community-driven positive change. Finally we will use all our learnings to develop our own evaluation framework and apply it to a current community project. This course incorporates humanities and social science approaches and counts for general education requirements. Lecture 3 (Spring).

Concentration Five: Queer and Transgender Studies

WGST-206
Queer Looks
In this course we examine representations of queer sexuality in art, film and popular culture beginning in the repressive 1950s, followed by the Stonewall Riots of 1969. We situate the birth of gay liberation in the U.S. in the context of the civil rights struggles, feminism and the anti-war movement. We turn to the work of Andy Warhol that looms over the post-war period, challenged subsequently by the onset of AIDS and the work of General Idea and Act-Up, on the one hand, and the more graphically provocative work of Robert Mapplethorpe, on the other. We examine the diversification of the queer community as transgendered identity asserts itself and the opening of popular culture to issues of diverse sexual identities. We explore expressions of queer sensibility outside of North America and Europe. We turn finally to the issue of gay marriage, both in the U.S. and abroad. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-210
Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies*
This introductory course examines a broad range of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues within the historical, psychological, racial, theological, cultural, and legal contexts in which we live. Students will learn the historical and theoretical foundations of LGBTQ+ studies as well as the contemporary implications for family, work, religion, and law for LGBTQ+ people and the mainstream society. Students will have the opportunity to compare the regulation of sexual orientation across different gender, racial, and socioeconomic communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-220
Gender-Based Violence: Awareness, Prevention, Response
Does gender-based violence consist only of forcible acts punishable by law or does it also include episodes of gender constraint that may not involve physical assault yet have serious effects on bodies and lives? Is gender-based violence an ethical issue and a form of human rights violation? What are the value systems that enable the occurrence of gendered violence? This course focuses on sex- and gender-based violence understood as a continuum of social and interpersonal violent behaviors that not only shade into one another but also inform and reinforce one another. By examining a variety of case studies drawn from national, transnational, and global contexts, the course examines experiences of sexed and gendered violence such as verbal violence, harassment, domestic and intimate-partner violence, and sexual attack. The course investigates social, economic, and cultural contributing factors that surround sex- and gender-based violence as well as some historical responses, prevalence of the phenomena, and tools and resources to resist such forms of violence. The course aims to raise awareness about the topic of sex- and gender-based violence, educate on strategies and techniques to disrupt such forms of violent social behaviors, promote positive actions of intervention at the local and global level, and generate interest in humanitarian and professional opportunities in the field such as activism, advocacy, education, health, policy, and the law. The course also highlights the ethical challenges (such as privacy and confidentiality, respect for individuals, vulnerability and safety, protection and disclosure of data) related to dealing with cases of gender-based violence. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-221
Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Sex Work and Sex Trade
Why does sex for sale raise some of the most controversial and often taboo questions of our time? Is sex for sale a form of exploitation and violence against individuals (whether women, men, queer or other non-binary individuals)? Or does sex for sale offer emancipatory possibilities and therefore ought to be understood as part of an ethics of sexual liberation, personal affirmation, and individual agency? What are the moral values, ethical standards, and economic and legal systems surrounding sex for sale? The course explores some of the myriad varieties of global sex for sale such as pornography, prostitution, erotic dance, escorting, street work, camming, peep shows, and sex tourism. The course considers various feminist and queer theories’ perspectives on the sex trade, critically analyzing theoretical and empirical studies and assessing various legal approaches to regulating this multi-faceted industry. The course tackles the sex industry transnationally exploring the connections between sex, gender, sexuality, and other social markers such as race/ethnicity, class, disability, age, and nationality; it investigates how these markers play out in the purchase and sale of sexual services; and it challenges commonly held ethical standards surrounding sex for sale. By the end of the course, students will understand how they as individuals could contribute to solutions, activism, and social change for increased respect toward the fundamental humanity of sex workers and for enhanced life and work conditions of those who work in the sex industry. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-225
Nature, Sex. and Gender
In this course, students will explore ways in which scientific knowledge about nonhumans and the natural world has been shaped by human ideas about sex, gender, and heteronormativity. They will learn about the changing perspectives on sex and gender in the natural sciences through readings and multimedia and investigate how gender and sexuality have been studied in biological and natural sciences past and present. Additionally, readings and media will explore the intersection of sex and gender in the environment with related social issues, such as racism, ableism, and colonialism. The course will also examine how scientific, science studies, and gender studies scholars are developing and using new approaches, such as queer ecologies and feminist biology, to critique and change how science is practiced with respect to assumptions and inferences about sex and gender. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-240
Human Sexuality
This course provides an overview of human sexuality through the lenses of biology and psychology. What causes sexual behavior and why do some individuals display different sexual behaviors than others? Human sexual physiology, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are highly diverse. Coursework will examine the ways in which human sexuality varies among individuals, across groups, and throughout the lifespan. Multiple explanations for sexual behavior will be considered, drawing from evolutionary psychology, learning theory, social psychology, and biology. Atypical and harmful sexual behaviors will be addressed as well. Throughout the course, students will learn how social science research techniques have been used to expand the field of human sexuality and how empirical inquiry can differentiate myths from facts. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-318
Philosophies of Love, Sex, and Gender
Love is indeed one of the most central concerns in everyone’s life; yet, we spend very little time thinking conceptually about love in its various forms, aspects, implications, nuances, benefits, detriments, and harms. In this course, we will examine views from classical, medieval, modern, and contemporary thinkers on various kinds of love, including some controversial versions of it; we will consider the relation of love in its various forms to desire, emotions, physical intimacy, seduction, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and the construction of personal identity; and we will analyze how the various forms of love affect and are affected by gender norms, roles, and images. Lecture 3 .
WGST-330
Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-351
Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
WGST-361
Queering Gender
This course begins with the concept that sexuality, gender and gender identity is neither fixed nor innate. Many people who adopt a definition or expression of gender different from society often identify themselves as queer. The study of this movement is referred to as queer theory. This course examines the concepts of sex, gender, and gender expression of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes within the context of the larger society in which we live. Students will explore the unique political, legal, and interpersonal challenges faced by those embracing queer identity as well as the diversity of gender identities and expressions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
WGST-392
Queer and Transgender Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to practice and explore the vast and varied history, craft, and techniques of queer and transgender creative writing. Through reading and discussion, students will contextualize their own writing in a vital lineage and in the contemporary moment. We will read, analyze, reflect, generate, write, edit, and revise throughout the semester. We will create a polished body of creative works by honing those stylistic and craft techniques general to the field and specific to queer and transgender writers. Peer editors and group critiques will provide regular feedback, which will aid in the refinement of each writer’s own work and improve their capacity for supporting a creative work from germinating idea to final draft. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will survey the rich variety of genres, styles, forms, and philosophical approaches that QT literature takes. (Prerequisite: ENGL-150 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-212 or WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Biannual).
WGST-459
Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).

Concentration Six: Individualized WGSS

WGST-XXX
Any WGST course not used elsewhere in the major

* May be used if course was not used for the WGSS Core

† This course may be used depending on the topic.

 

Combined Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degrees

The curriculum below outlines the typical course sequence(s) for combined accelerated degrees available with this bachelor's degree.

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, BS degree/Communication, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   WGST-200
 Foundations of WGST (General Education – Social Perspective)
Women’s and Gender Studies is the academic manifestation of feminism. This interdisciplinary course interrogates the social constructions, political systems, and historical rhetorics that have produced and maintain hegemonic power structures. In this course you will examine key feminist, queer, and critical race writings and discourses, study the rise of feminist thought, and consider the history of women’s activism and the women’s rights movements from Suffrage to the present day. The course will also consider the application of feminist theory made visible through the rise of new and intersectional social identity movements. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
   WGST-210
 Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies (General Education – Social Perspective)
This introductory course examines a broad range of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues within the historical, psychological, racial, theological, cultural, and legal contexts in which we live. Students will learn the historical and theoretical foundations of LGBTQ+ studies as well as the contemporary implications for family, work, religion, and law for LGBTQ+ people and the mainstream society. Students will have the opportunity to compare the regulation of sexual orientation across different gender, racial, and socioeconomic communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
WGST-205
Feminist Practices of Inquiry  (General Education – Ethical Perspective)
This course aims at introducing students to the diverse ways in which feminist and gender studies practitioners (scholars, writers, artists, and activists) have critically analyzed, challenged, and creatively reinvented predominant methods, models, and practices of knowledge production in various areas of the natural and social sciences, the medical arts, the humanities, and the visual and performing arts. Questions to be considered include: What constitutes feminist practices of inquiry? How do feminist research practices approach issues of objectivity and subjectivity? How does one formulate a feminist question? What key questions guide feminist researchers and how can we apply those questions to a variety of research topics? How do feminist practices of inquiry intersect with race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexualities, identity-formation processes, (dis)abilities, age? How do feminist research practices produce transformations, emancipation, and increased fairness of representation? Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. (This class is restricted to incoming 1st year or global campus students.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Elective
6
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective A
3
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective B
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
WGSS Area Courses
6
Second Year
WGST-300
Feminist Leadership, Gender Equity, and Empowerment (General Education)
This course explores contemporary leadership styles through the lens of gender diversity. Relying upon a feminist social justice framework alongside models of intersectionality, students will actively engage with a wide variety of gender and culture-informed literature and visual media sources, defining—in both theory and practice—what it means to be an inclusive and empowering leader in modern society. Some questions to consider will include: In a work environment, who is responsible for ensuring gender equity? Where does inclusion begin? How does our personal identity shape our view of leadership? How does our view of leadership shape our identity? Why does gender matter in a professional environment? What role does feminism play in the construction of societal norms? What is the relation between leadership, power relations, and authority? How does a feminist social justice framework affect and reorient traditional notions of leadership? How do leadership styles and models vary across cultures? What styles of leadership are needed to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces, organizations, and societies? Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
WGST-305
Feminist Activism for Gender Justice
This course focuses on the many forms of feminist activisms and feminist strategies of grassroots social resistance in the U.S. and beyond. It centers women as agents of social change in the struggle to challenge gender stereotypes, sexism, and oppressive policies; organize to reduce social issues such as poverty, racism, homophobia, and violence; work to expand opportunities for gender equity and social justice; and confront barriers in education, the criminal justice system, and politics. Topics of investigation include feminist struggles against domestic and sexual violence (including emergent forms of sexual regulation and slavery, agendas of incarceration, and politics of immigration and housing) as well as the fight for personhood, citizenship, legal rights, property rights, rights to the land, water, and clean air, disability rights, personal freedom, suffrage, education, reproductive rights, workplace equality, and more. As there is a personal element to all forms of feminist social activism, the course will also engage questions such as: How do you envision yourself as an empowered, effective activist for gender justice? What strengths, resources, and commitments can you bring to your gender justice work? What social issues are you most passionate about? Students in the course will also create or participate in some activist project concerning a particularly pressing local, national or global social issue thereby melding theory and practice for increased gender justice in the world we live in. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1,2
6
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
Professional Electives
9
Third Year
WGST-399
Collaborative Learning Seminar in WGSS
This small-group, discussion-oriented, intensive-writing seminar examines some area of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus). The seminar is based on collaborative learning, discussions, and various forms of formal and informal writing understood as an integral part of the critical exploration of WGSS-related topics. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 2 WGST courses (core or co-listed) or equivalent courses.) Seminar 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Immersion 3
3
 
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
3
 
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
3
 
General Education – Electives
9
 
Open Elective
3
 
WGSS Applied Concentration
3
 
WGSS Area
3
Fourth Year
COMM-714
Strategic Communication
This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of strategic communication in advertising, public relations, health communication, crisis/risk communication, and/or political communication. This course will cover problem identification, audience research, message creation, and execution of strategic communication activities. It will also cover ethics and strategic communication through digital media. By the end of the course, students should be able to analyze and execute various components to help solve problems or achieve an organization’s goals and objectives. Seminar 3 (Fall).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   WGST-499
 Cooperative Education in WGSS (0 CR) and one (1) WGST course (3 CR)
A semester or summer-length experience in a professional setting related to the WGSS degree (this class is restricted to WGSS degree students). (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-210 and WGST-205 or equivalent courses and at least 2nd year standing.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-596
 Internship in WGSS
The Internship in WGSS provides a credit-bearing opportunity for personalized experiential learning that moves out of the classroom and into the world thereby linking the intellectual and the practical dimensions of WGSS. Students complete a semester or summer-long internship in a WGSS-related setting of their choice such as women’s and/or LGBTQ+ centers or units, schools, community organizations or networks, prisons, shelters, etc. where they work from a feminist framework on a learning project related to WGSS topics. A reflective essay, journal, poster presentation or other dissemination at the close of the Internship is required to receive credit. Prior to enrollment in the Internship, students must submit an Internship proposal to the WGSS Program Director for approval. To submit a proposal for an Internship in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have at least a second-year standing, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the internship described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent courses, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, with at least 2nd year standing.) Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-597
 Advanced Research in WGSS
This individualized course is designed to give students an opportunity to gain first-hand experience working independently on a research study that addresses WGSS-related topics and applies methodologies proper to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to a research area of the student’s interest. The advanced research study is carried out outside the classroom under the supervision of a WGSS faculty sponsor selected by the student. The research study culminates in the production of a substantive written essay (such as a paper, theis, or scholarly report) that explains the critical or theoretical context of the research study, incorporates women’s, gender, and sexuality studies theory and/or practice, and provides an analysis of the content, presuppositions, goals, and outcomes of the research. Prior to enrollment in this course, students must submit a research study proposal to their faculty sponsor, who will forward it to the WGSS Program Director for approval. The research study proposal should specify the topic and goal of the advanced research study project, the methodology to be employed, and the timeframe for its completion (for guidelines for designing and gaining approval for an Advanced Research study, see the guidelines for an Independent Study as provided in College of Liberal Arts Policy I.D). To submit a proposal for Advanced Research in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the work described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent courses and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-598
 Advanced Project in WGSS
This individualized course allows students to work independently on their own creative project by applying themes and methodologies proper to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to an area of their own academic interest. The advanced project is carried out outside the classroom under the supervision of a WGSS faculty sponsor selected by the student. The project culminates in the production and public presentation, display or performance of a creative work (such as an artifact, a film, a videogame, installation art, a musical composition, a piece of design, a performance, a poster, an activist initiative, etc.) that incorporates women’s, gender, and sexuality studies theory and/or practice. The final product must be accompanied by a written component that explains the critical or theoretical context for the project and provides an analysis of its content. Prior to enrollment in this course, students must submit a project proposal to their faculty sponsor, who will forward it to the WGSS Program Director for approval. The proposal should specify the topic and goal of the advanced project, the timeframe for its completion, and a venue for public dissemination (for guidelines for designing and gaining approval for an Advanced Project, see the guidelines for an Independent Study as provided in College of Liberal Arts Policy I.D). To submit a proposal for an Advanced Project in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the work described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 3 WGST courses (core or co-listed), which includes at least one: (WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210) or equivalent courses.) Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
 
General Education - Electives
6
 
Open Electives
9
 
MS Communication Elective
3
 
WGSS Applied Concentration
6
Fifth Year
COMM-702
Communication Theories
Over the course of this term we will cover mass communication theory from its inception as a field of study, to major trends, followed by current applications of previous paradigms, and finally into the development of new theoretical frameworks. While the main focus of this course is the integration of current mass communication theory with an individual and organizational online presence, we will also focus on how digital platforms can inform the future of theoretical research and vice versa. From a practical perspective, students will be able to apply these theories to their integrative approaches in creative digital communication and design. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Seminar 3 (Fall).
3
COMM-703
Research Methods in Communication
This course is designed to introduce students to qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication and guide them in choosing the appropriate method for their thesis research project. Topics may include research perspectives, ethics and IRB, variables, sampling methods, reliability and validity, survey, experiments, content analysis, in-depth interview, focus group, observations/ethnography, and mixed methods. (Prerequisites: COMM-702 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Spring).
3
COMM-720
Thesis Preparation Seminar
An introduction to graduate study and research in communication including the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological parameters of communication and its sub-disciplines. Participants will interact with the faculty teaching required and elective communication courses. Attention will be drawn to scholarly writing and research design. When possible, the course is organized in conjunction with the department’s colloquium series. (This course is restricted to COMMTCH-MS Major students.) Seminar 1 (Spring).
0
Choose one of the following:
6
   COMM-800
 Communication Thesis/Project (6 CR)
A guided research project that focuses on designing, conducting, and completing a research project. The project culminates in a public presentation and defense. Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   COMM-800
   Communication Thesis/Project (3 CR) plus one (1) Graduate Elective †
A guided research project that focuses on designing, conducting, and completing a research project. The project culminates in a public presentation and defense. Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   COMM-801
   Comprehensive Exam plus two (2) Graduate Electives †
 
 
MS Professional Core
9
 
MS Communication Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
144

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† The elective(s) can be from the Graduate Professional Core or a Graduate Communication Elective, or a combination of both.

 

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, BS degree/Science, Technology and Public Policy, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   WGST-200
 Foundations of WGST (General Education – Social Perspective)
Women’s and Gender Studies is the academic manifestation of feminism. This interdisciplinary course interrogates the social constructions, political systems, and historical rhetorics that have produced and maintain hegemonic power structures. In this course you will examine key feminist, queer, and critical race writings and discourses, study the rise of feminist thought, and consider the history of women’s activism and the women’s rights movements from Suffrage to the present day. The course will also consider the application of feminist theory made visible through the rise of new and intersectional social identity movements. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
   WGST-210
 Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies (General Education – Social Perspective)
This introductory course examines a broad range of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues within the historical, psychological, racial, theological, cultural, and legal contexts in which we live. Students will learn the historical and theoretical foundations of LGBTQ+ studies as well as the contemporary implications for family, work, religion, and law for LGBTQ+ people and the mainstream society. Students will have the opportunity to compare the regulation of sexual orientation across different gender, racial, and socioeconomic communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
WGST-205
Feminist Practices of Inquiry  (General Education – Ethical Perspective)
This course aims at introducing students to the diverse ways in which feminist and gender studies practitioners (scholars, writers, artists, and activists) have critically analyzed, challenged, and creatively reinvented predominant methods, models, and practices of knowledge production in various areas of the natural and social sciences, the medical arts, the humanities, and the visual and performing arts. Questions to be considered include: What constitutes feminist practices of inquiry? How do feminist research practices approach issues of objectivity and subjectivity? How does one formulate a feminist question? What key questions guide feminist researchers and how can we apply those questions to a variety of research topics? How do feminist practices of inquiry intersect with race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexualities, identity-formation processes, (dis)abilities, age? How do feminist research practices produce transformations, emancipation, and increased fairness of representation? Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. (This class is restricted to incoming 1st year or global campus students.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Elective
6
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective A
3
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective B
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
WGSS Area Courses
6
Second Year
WGST-300
Feminist Leadership, Gender Equity, and Empowerment (General Education)
This course explores contemporary leadership styles through the lens of gender diversity. Relying upon a feminist social justice framework alongside models of intersectionality, students will actively engage with a wide variety of gender and culture-informed literature and visual media sources, defining—in both theory and practice—what it means to be an inclusive and empowering leader in modern society. Some questions to consider will include: In a work environment, who is responsible for ensuring gender equity? Where does inclusion begin? How does our personal identity shape our view of leadership? How does our view of leadership shape our identity? Why does gender matter in a professional environment? What role does feminism play in the construction of societal norms? What is the relation between leadership, power relations, and authority? How does a feminist social justice framework affect and reorient traditional notions of leadership? How do leadership styles and models vary across cultures? What styles of leadership are needed to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces, organizations, and societies? Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
WGST-305
Feminist Activism for Gender Justice
This course focuses on the many forms of feminist activisms and feminist strategies of grassroots social resistance in the U.S. and beyond. It centers women as agents of social change in the struggle to challenge gender stereotypes, sexism, and oppressive policies; organize to reduce social issues such as poverty, racism, homophobia, and violence; work to expand opportunities for gender equity and social justice; and confront barriers in education, the criminal justice system, and politics. Topics of investigation include feminist struggles against domestic and sexual violence (including emergent forms of sexual regulation and slavery, agendas of incarceration, and politics of immigration and housing) as well as the fight for personhood, citizenship, legal rights, property rights, rights to the land, water, and clean air, disability rights, personal freedom, suffrage, education, reproductive rights, workplace equality, and more. As there is a personal element to all forms of feminist social activism, the course will also engage questions such as: How do you envision yourself as an empowered, effective activist for gender justice? What strengths, resources, and commitments can you bring to your gender justice work? What social issues are you most passionate about? Students in the course will also create or participate in some activist project concerning a particularly pressing local, national or global social issue thereby melding theory and practice for increased gender justice in the world we live in. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1,2
6
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
Professional Electives
9
Third Year
WGST-399
Collaborative Learning Seminar in WGSS
This small-group, discussion-oriented, intensive-writing seminar examines some area of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus). The seminar is based on collaborative learning, discussions, and various forms of formal and informal writing understood as an integral part of the critical exploration of WGSS-related topics. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 2 WGST courses (core or co-listed) or equivalent courses.) Seminar 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Immersion 3
3
 
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
3
 
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
3
 
General Education – Electives
9
 
Open Elective
3
 
WGSS Applied Concentration
3
 
WGSS Area
3
Fourth Year
PUBL-701
Graduate Policy Analysis
This course provides graduate students with necessary tools to help them become effective policy analysts. The course places particular emphasis on understanding the policy process, the different approaches to policy analysis, and the application of quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluating public policies. Students will apply these tools to contemporary public policy decision making at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
PUBL-702
Graduate Decision Analysis
This course provides students with an introduction to decision science and analysis. The course focuses on several important tools for making good decisions, including decision trees, including forecasting, risk analysis, and multi-attribute decision making. Students will apply these tools to contemporary public policy decision making at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   WGST-499
 Cooperative Education in WGSS (0 CR) and one (1) WGST course (3 CR)
A semester or summer-length experience in a professional setting related to the WGSS degree (this class is restricted to WGSS degree students). (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-210 and WGST-205 or equivalent courses and at least 2nd year standing.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-596
 Internship in WGSS
The Internship in WGSS provides a credit-bearing opportunity for personalized experiential learning that moves out of the classroom and into the world thereby linking the intellectual and the practical dimensions of WGSS. Students complete a semester or summer-long internship in a WGSS-related setting of their choice such as women’s and/or LGBTQ+ centers or units, schools, community organizations or networks, prisons, shelters, etc. where they work from a feminist framework on a learning project related to WGSS topics. A reflective essay, journal, poster presentation or other dissemination at the close of the Internship is required to receive credit. Prior to enrollment in the Internship, students must submit an Internship proposal to the WGSS Program Director for approval. To submit a proposal for an Internship in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have at least a second-year standing, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the internship described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent courses, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, with at least 2nd year standing.) Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-597
 Advanced Research in WGSS
This individualized course is designed to give students an opportunity to gain first-hand experience working independently on a research study that addresses WGSS-related topics and applies methodologies proper to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to a research area of the student’s interest. The advanced research study is carried out outside the classroom under the supervision of a WGSS faculty sponsor selected by the student. The research study culminates in the production of a substantive written essay (such as a paper, theis, or scholarly report) that explains the critical or theoretical context of the research study, incorporates women’s, gender, and sexuality studies theory and/or practice, and provides an analysis of the content, presuppositions, goals, and outcomes of the research. Prior to enrollment in this course, students must submit a research study proposal to their faculty sponsor, who will forward it to the WGSS Program Director for approval. The research study proposal should specify the topic and goal of the advanced research study project, the methodology to be employed, and the timeframe for its completion (for guidelines for designing and gaining approval for an Advanced Research study, see the guidelines for an Independent Study as provided in College of Liberal Arts Policy I.D). To submit a proposal for Advanced Research in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the work described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) courses in WGST is required, including WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent courses and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   WGST-598
 Advanced Project in WGSS
This individualized course allows students to work independently on their own creative project by applying themes and methodologies proper to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to an area of their own academic interest. The advanced project is carried out outside the classroom under the supervision of a WGSS faculty sponsor selected by the student. The project culminates in the production and public presentation, display or performance of a creative work (such as an artifact, a film, a videogame, installation art, a musical composition, a piece of design, a performance, a poster, an activist initiative, etc.) that incorporates women’s, gender, and sexuality studies theory and/or practice. The final product must be accompanied by a written component that explains the critical or theoretical context for the project and provides an analysis of its content. Prior to enrollment in this course, students must submit a project proposal to their faculty sponsor, who will forward it to the WGSS Program Director for approval. The proposal should specify the topic and goal of the advanced project, the timeframe for its completion, and a venue for public dissemination (for guidelines for designing and gaining approval for an Advanced Project, see the guidelines for an Independent Study as provided in College of Liberal Arts Policy I.D). To submit a proposal for an Advanced Project in WGSS and receive an official WGST course grade, the student must have completed 3 courses in WGST core or co-listed courses, have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of the application, and complete the work described in the proposal. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 3 WGST courses (core or co-listed), which includes at least one: (WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210) or equivalent courses.) Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
 
General Education - Electives
6
 
Open Electives
9
 
WGSS Applied Concentration
6
Fifth Year
PUBL-700
Readings in Public Policy
An in-depth inquiry into key contemporary public policy issues. Students will be exposed to a wide range of important public policy texts, and will learn how to write a literature review in a policy area of their choosing. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Seminar (Fall).
3
PUBL-703
Program Evaluation and Research Design
The focus of this course is on evaluation of program outcomes and research design. Students will explore the questions and methodologies associated with meeting programmatic outcomes, secondary or unanticipated effects, and an analysis of alternative means for achieving program outcomes. Critique of evaluation research methodologies will also be considered. Seminar (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   PUBL-610
 Technological Innovation and Public Policy
Technological innovation, the incremental and revolutionary improvements in technology, has been a major driver in economic, social, military, and political change. This course will introduce generic models of innovation that span multiple sectors including: energy, environment, health, and bio- and information-technologies. The course will then analyze how governments choose policies, such as patents, to spur and shape innovation and its impacts on the economy and society. Students will be introduced to a global perspective on innovation policy including economic competitiveness, technology transfer and appropriate technology. Lecture 3 (Spring).
 
   STSO-710
 Graduate Science and Technology Policy Seminar
STP examines how local, state, federal and international policies are developed to influence innovation, the transfer of technology and industrial productivity in the United States and other selected nations. It provides a framework for considering the mechanisms of policy as a form of promotion and control for science and technology, even once those innovations are democratized and effectively uncontrollable. Further focus is dedicated to the structure of governance inherent in U.S. domestic policy, limits of that approach, the influences of international actors, and utilizing case studies to demonstrate the challenges inherent in managing differing types of technology. This seminar is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from the instructor. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Seminar (Biannual).
 
Choose one of the following:
6
   PUBL-785
 Capstone Experience
The Public Policy Capstone Experience serves as a culminating experience for those MS in Science, Technology and Public Policy students who chose this option in the Public Policy Department. Over the course of the semester, students will have the opportunity to investigate and address contemporary topics in science and technology policy using analytic skills and theoretical knowledge learned over the course of their MS degree. Project 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   PUBL-790
 Public Policy Thesis
The master's thesis in science, technology, and public policy requires the student to select a thesis topic, advisor and committee; prepare a written thesis proposal for approval by the faculty; present and defend the thesis before a thesis committee; and submit a bound copy of the thesis to the library and to the program chair. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   PUBL-798
 Comprehensive Exam, plus two (2) Graduate Electives
 
 
Graduate Electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
144

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Latest News

  • May 7, 2024

    four women stand next to each other for a photograph with a blank wall behind them.

    Women’s, gender, and sexuality studies program honors first graduating class

    The first class of graduates from RIT’s women’s, gender, and sexuality studies (WGSS) program will be celebrated during commencement this month. The bachelor’s degree program was approved and offered for current students in 2023, and enrollment will be available to incoming first-year students this fall.

  • March 18, 2024

    Illustration of six different women. The text reads, Women for Women, the possibilities are numerous, once we decide to act and not react. Quote by Gloria Anzaldua

    Women’s History Month poster contest entries showcased in the SHED

    As part of RIT’s Women’s History Month celebrations, students from across the university submitted their poster designs to the annual Women’s History Month poster contest. The theme of each contest entry is crafted around a quote from Audre Lorde’s collection of essays, Sister Outsider.