Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Quick Overview

Course Checklist for the WGSS Major

→ WGSS 101 Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
→ WGSS 402 Junior/Senior Seminar
→ 1 Feminist Theory course
→ 1 Racial, Sexual, and Cultural Diversity course
→ 3 out of 7 electives must be within a thematic cluster
→ Interdisciplinary electives in at least 3 departments/programs and at least 2 divisions
→ 3 out of 7 electives must be 300-level courses

(Link to Course Catalog)

The Major

Required Courses

The major consists of at least 9 courses. The following are required:

WGSS 101 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
WGSS 402 Junior/Senior Seminar in Women’s and Gender Studies (The seminar explores topics in Women’s and Gender Studies, and varies from year to year. Majors may take more than one seminar, space permitting.)

Distribution Requirements
1. One of the following feminist theory courses:

WGSS/PHIL 225(F) Classics in Western Feminist Thought
WGSS/PHIL 271T Woman as “Other”
WGSS/REL 272(S) Reproduction: Social and Cultural Constructions
WGSS/REL 307 Feminist Approaches to Religion
WGSS/PSCI 336 Sex, Gender, and Political Theory
WGSS/ENGL 341 American Genders, American Sexualities
WGSS/HIST 356(F) Race, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. History
WGSS/ENGL 371 Feminist Theory and the Representation of Women in Film
WGSS 388/ENGL 386/COMP 342 Psychoanalysis, Gender and Sexuality
WGSS/AFR 400/COMP 369/ENGL 365(F) Race, Gender, Space
WGSS/HIST 457(S) Gender, Law, and Politics in U.S. History

Or students may petition to have a course not on the list considered.

2. Racial, Sexual, and Cultural DiversityMajors must take at least one of the following:

WGSS/ECON 211 Gender in the Global Economy
WGSS 231/LATS 230/THEA 230 Approaching Performance Studies
WGSS/REL 232/HIST 309 Women and Islam
WGSS 235/AMST 235/COMP 268/LATS 235 Latina/o Theatre and Performance, 1950-2000
WGSS/REL 256 Engendering Buddhism: How Women and Men Shape and Are Shaped by Buddhism (W)
WGSS/AFR/SOC 305 The Hip-Hop Generation: Power, Identity, and Social Change
WGSS/HIST 308 Gender and Society in Modern Africa
WGSS/ASST/HIST 319 Gender and the Family in Chinese History
WGSS/ENGL 341 American Genders, American Sexualities
WGSS/ENGL 342 Representing Sexualities: U.S. Traditions
WGSS/HIST 356 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. History
WGSS 364/AFR 403/COMP 361/ENGL 364 Women Writing Africa (W)
WGSS/HIST/LATS 386 Latinas in the Global Economy: Work, Migration, and Households
WGSS 400/AFR 400/COMP 369/ENGL 365 Race, Gender, Space

Or students may petition to have a course not on the list considered.

3. Thematic Cluster

At least three of the seven electives, with at least one at the 300-level, should be identified by majors as comprising a thematic group. This requirement aims to have majors create some focus and depth within their interdisciplinary study by forming a cluster sharing common approaches, themes, or issues.

# a. Literary or artistic expression
# b. Historical perspectives
# c. Forms of political and social organization
# d.  Theorizing gender and sexuality across cultural differences and/or disciplines
# e. Queer Studies
# f. Ethnicity and Race

4. Interdisciplinary electives

must be taken in at least three departments/ programs and at least two divisions.

5. Three of the seven electives must be at the 300 level.
The Degree with Honors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Honors in Women’s and Gender Studies may be granted to majors after an approved candidate completes an honors project, delivers a public presentation of the work, and is awarded honors by the Women’s and Gender Studies Committee.
The honors project may be fall semester (plus winter study) or a year-long project. It may consist of a conventional research thesis of 40-70 pages or of other modes of presentation (e.g., art, music, poetry, theater, fiction). Proposals for non-thesis projects should include evidence of experience and competence in the chosen mode.

A student may become a candidate for honors in Women’s and Gender Studies after the following criteria are met:

1) in April of the junior year, submission and Women’s and Gender Studies Committee approval of a 4- to 6-page project proposal, in which the ideas, aim, general methodology, and preliminary bibliography for the project are outlined and a faculty advisor is named; prior to submission of this proposal, students must consult with a reference librarian.
2) at the end of the junior year, cumulative grade point average of 3.5 from courses taken in the major;
3) in the first week of classes of the senior year, submission and approval by the faculty advisor and second reader of a 5- to 10-page “Plan of Action” (an overview of what has already been completed and a schedule of what needs to be accomplished to finish the project). Where appropriate, students pursuing honors will continue to consult with the second reader over the course of the semester(s).

All honors work, including the public presentation, will be evaluated by the Women’s and Gender Studies Committee. It will decide on the awarding of honors; the advisor will award the grade(s).