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WGS Profiles

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Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
at Miami University

Course Descriptions


WGS 201 - Introduction to Women's Studies
(3 hrs; MPF, MPT)
Interdisciplinary introduction to the study of women which focuses on determinants and expressions of women's roles.
WGS 202 - Introduction to GLBT Studies
(3 hrs; MPF, MPT)
Introduction to the scholarly field of GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Studies. Provides the intellectual foundation for the further study of non-normative genders and sexualities.
WGS 203 - Sociology of Gender Roles
(3 hrs; MPT)
Description and analysis of gender in human society with special attention to constraints placed on both males and females by current socialization practices, and to issues in equality from historic as well as contemporary perspectives.
Cross-listed with SOC.
WGS 211 - Writing with Purpose: Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Communication
(3 hrs; CAS writing)
Enables students to investigate and discuss interdisciplinary practices of knowledge creation and dissemination at an intermediate level. Students will practice a variety of writing and other communication strategies necessary for the effective dissemination of ideas to interdisciplinary audiences and the general public, and can expect to gain experience in working with a wide spectrum of interdisciplinary research, tools and methods while engaging intellectually in interdisciplinary modes of thinking, reading, listening, and speaking.
Cross-listed with AAA/AMS/BWS/LAS.
WGS 221 - Human Sexuality
(3 hrs; MPT)
Introduction to the study of human sexual behavior with particular attention paid to the issues of gender development; premarital, marital, and post-marital sexual patterns; birth control; sexual dysfunction; cross-cultural sexual patterns; and alternative sexual lifestyles.
Cross-listed with FSW and SOC.
WGS 232 - American Women Writers
(3 hrs; MPT)
Survey of American Women's writing from Anne Bradstreet to the present.
Cross-listed with ENG 232; CAS-B-LIT.
WGS 233 - British Women Writers
(3 hrs; MPT)
Works by British women, from the 19th century to the present.
Cross-listed with ENG 233; CAS-B-LIT.
WGS 235 - Women in Antiquity
(3 hrs; MPT)
Study of the status of women in the Greek and Roman world from Bronze age through early centuries of Christianity conducted in light of literary, artistic, and archaeological evidence in order to increase knowledge and understanding of Greek and Roman family and social life and of our own society as well.
Cross-listed with CLS.
WGS 237 - GLBTQ Literature
(3 hrs; MPT)
Study of literature by and about sexual minorities, including Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer identities, cultural contexts, and social movements.
Cross-listed with ENG.
WGS 243 - Women's Health Care: Problems and Practices
(3 hrs)
Examines health and medical problems or concerns of women. Current controversial issues and misconceptions revealed in such topics as sexuality, rape, obstetrical and gynecological procedures, cancer detection and treatment, menopause, and psychotherapy. Women's health movement is introduced; health care delivery system scrutinized from the point of view of the female consumer.
Cross-listed with KNH.
WGS 245 - Women, Religion, and Social Change in America
(4 hrs; MPT)
An exploration of various ways in which women lifted their own voices, engaged with societal issues, and constructed their communities and themselves through the institutions and frameworks of religion in America.
Prerequisite: REL 101 or WGS 201 or by permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with AMS and REL.
WGS 250B - Gender and Third-World Film
(3 hrs)
Topical studies of historical imagery as presented in the popular communications media: best-selling fiction, documentaries, school texts, 'popular' histories, and especially film.
Cross-listed with HST.
WGS 258 - Contemporary Russian Women's Writing
(3 hrs; MPT)
A chronological and thematic introduction to Russian women's prose after 1953 and how this writing both critiqued and upheld gender inequalities in Soviet and Russian society. Taught in English.
Cross-listed with RUS.
WGS 278 - Women and (Dis)ability: Fictions and Contaminations of Identity
(3 hrs)
Provides a critical analysis of the historical, sociological, cultural, media and educational images and representations of women with disabilities. Current research and theories from Disabilities Studies and Womens Studies will serve as the lenses for the exploration of disability as a social construct. The course will focus on exploration of oppressive social forces embedded in the re/presentations of and by women with disabilities which transform and complicate such images.
Cross-listed with DST/EDP/SOC.
WGS 282 - Art and Politics
(3 hrs; MPF)
Explores relationship between art and politics as manifested in images and monuments of different time periods. Emphasis is not on chronological development, but on the shifting relationship between art and politics.
Cross-listed with ART.
WGS 287 - Enter the Diva: American Women in Music from 1900-Present
(3 hrs)
American women in music from 1900 to present. Women have made considerable contributions to the various genres and traditions that define American music. From popular forms to concert music there are numerous women who have constructed a musical discourse that chronicles their experiences in America and their conceptions of womanhood. This course is designed to chronicle the experiences of these women musicians and vocalists and discuss their musical approaches. Discussions include traditional music practices as well as contemporary popular music styles.
Prerequisite: MUS 135, 185 or 189, or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with MUS.
WGS 301 - Women and Difference: Intersections of Race, Class, and Sexuality
(3 hrs)
Investigation of the interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to the interplay of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other aspects of social identity in women's lives; analysis of the ways social difference is defined, used, and experienced. Emphasis on feminist and womanist theories that take into account the interdependence of multiple categories of social difference.
WGS 302 - Geography and Gender
(3 hrs)
This class adopts a geographic approach to the study of gender relations. The role of space and place in shaping the diversity of gender relations throughout the world will be considered. Through case studies the importance of gender relations in understanding a variety of issues will be stressed. Overall, we will explore how geography shapes gender relations and how gender produces a variety of geographies.
Cross-listed with GEO.
WGS 309 - Native American Women
(3 hrs)
A survey of writings and film by and about Native American women. The objective of the course is to provide students with a broad overview of Native American perspectives on a variety of topics including indigenous viewpoints on research methods, environmental activism, politics and policy, and critical analysis.
Cross-listed with GEO.
WGS 323 - Women and Gender in Modern Europe
(3 hrs)
History of women and gender in Western society from the time of the French Revolution, 1789, to the present.
Cross-listed with HST.
WGS 325 - Identity, Race, Gender, Class
(3 hrs; MPT)
Develops conceptual tools and critical perspectives that enable students to better understand and analyze the processes through which identities are constructed and experienced. Learning activities facilitate analysis of individual identities as experienced through the life cycle and across diverse cultural and subcultural contexts, and build a systematic understanding of the processes and dynamics through which identities and identity groups develop and interact.
Cross-listed with ATH/BWS/LAS.
WGS 326 - Psychology of Women
(3 hrs)
Review and integration of emerging theory and research about women and their behavior, with particular attention to uniquely female experiences throughout the life cycle and to the influences that affect women in contemporary society.
Prerequisite: PSY 221 and PSY 294.
Cross-listed with PSY.
WGS 333 - Religion, Dress, and Status
(3 hrs; MPT)
Displays of status through constrictive dress and gender segregation will be explored with reference to religion, gender, and class. Course will explore the topic through selected case studies, several of which involve Islamic cultures.
Cross-listed with REL.
WGS 334 - Women's Religious Experience in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Placing women's lives and experiences at the center, introduces a range of religious traditions Greek, Roman and Egyptian religions (temple cults, festivals, and domestic worship, Judaism and Christianity of the ancient Mediterranean world (roughly between 5th century BCE to 4th century CE). Particular attention is paid to differences among women in the ancient world and to women's contributions to ancient religions.
Cross-listed with REL.
WGS 335 - Women in the Bible
(3 hrs)
Study the images of women in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and related literature from the Second Temple Period. We will explore the roles that women play within biblical narratives (as wives and mothers; as heroes and villains; as warriors, queens, and prophets), the variety of metaphorical/symbolic uses of femininity in biblical traditions, and examine the social and cultural contexts in ancient Israel and early Christianity in which these stories were generated. We will also play close attention to different interpretations of these ancient texts over the centuries and across cultures, and discover how modern feminist readings cast a new light on our understanding.
Cross-listed with REL.
WGS 346 - Global Gender Politics
(3 hrs; MPT)
Examination of the role of women in political participation, political protest, and political and economic development worldwide. Explores the usefulness of gender as a conceptual tool for comparative analysis, and uses case study material from the developed and developing world to examine how women's involvement in politics both shapes and is shaped by various political contexts.
Cross-listed with POL.
(Offered primarily at MUH)
WGS 347 - Women and the Law
(3 hrs)
Examination of the evolution of sex-based classifications in American law. Considers the role of law as an agent of social change.
Cross-listed with POL.
(Offered primarily at MUH)
WGS 350B - Women in Film
(3 hrs; MPT)
In-depth and concentrated studies in film. Focuses on women in film.
Cross-listed with ENG and FST.
WGS 351 - Cultural Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Asian/America
(3 hrs)
Using transnational feminism, women of color feminism, and queer of color critique as key analytical frameworks, this course offers an intensive interdisciplinary study of imaginative representations of the encounters between "Asia" and "America," broadly conceived, particularly the entangled relations among their diverse constituencies in the contexts of colonialism and globalization.
Cross-listed with AAA and ENG.
WGS 355 - Feminist Theory
(4 hrs)
Examination of major writing by contemporary feminist thinkers. Traditional philosophical questions, such as justice, freedom, nature of a person, and relationship of an individual to society, are raised in context relevant to both male and female students.
Cross-listed with PHL.
WGS 361 - Couple Relationships: Diversity and Change
(3 hrs)
Investigation of intimate couple relationships in their many diverse forms. Focuses on social and psychological factors influencing development and maintenance of such couple relationships as dating, cohabitation, and marriage. General principles are discussed as well as factors that are more specific to certain age groups, relationship types, or sociocultural settings. Prerequisite: three hours of social science.
Cross-listed with FSW 361.
WGS 368 - Feminist Literary Theory and Practice
(3 hrs; MPT)
Introduction to feminist literary theory; deals with how feminism has shaped reading and interpretive practices, and develops some practical strategies for literary study.
Cross-listed with ENG.
WGS 370 - Selected Topics in Women's Studies
(3 hrs)
Examines specific aspects of women's roles, status, and experiences.
WGS 375 - (Dis)Ability Allies: To be or not to be? Developing Identify and Pride from Practice
(3 hrs)
Explores what it means to be ally to/in/with the disability community in America. The course emphasizes identity formation and how that formation can inform the construction of the ally identity. Through deconstructing learned values, knowledge, and images of disability that mitigate ally behavior, students discover the micro and macro structures that support ally behavior. By exploring how social control and social change have worked in other civil rights movements, students understand the necessity of identifying and including allies in the disability movement for civil rights.
Cross-listed with DST/EDP/SOC.
WGS 378 - Media Illusions: Creations of "The Disabled" Identity
(3 hrs)
Provides a critical analysis of past and present media constructions of persons with disabilities. Through exploring theory and research from diverse disciplines (communication, sociology, gerontology, educational psychology and others), students explore how perceptions of persons with disability are formed and analyze how the media is implicated in creating, distorting, and reflecting stereotypical and fictionalized images of disability. The course analyzes how these images shape public perception and reproduce the unequal power and privilege relationships that maintain the status quo while providing resources and techniques for the provision of alternative images of disability in various media genres.
Cross-listed with DST/COM/EDP/SOC 378.
WGS 381 - Women in Pre-Industrial Europe
(3 hrs; MPT)
Survey of the history of women's lives and roles in Western society from the beginning of the Middle Ages to the eve of the Industrial Revolution. Emphasis on determining women's experiences and actual roles as compared to the cultural and legal image presented and on examining effects of historical trends on women's lives.
Cross-listed with HST 381.
Offered infrequently.
WGS 382 - Women in American History
(3 hrs; MPT)
Survey of the history of women's lives and roles in American society from colonial period to present. Emphasis on examining women's individual and collective roles in private and public spheres and on exploring how specific economic and political transformations have affected women's lives.
Cross-listed with AMS and HST 382.
WGS 383 - By or About (Afro-) Brazilian Women
Addresses questions about gender, race, class and stereotype of women's bodies in 20th-century Brazil.
Cross-listed with BWS/ENG/FST/POR.
WGS 384 - Contemporary Women's World History
(3 hrs)
Contemporary history of women around the world, with particular emphasis on Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
Cross-listed with HST.
WGS 401 - The Role of Women in [a] Transforming Society
(3 hrs; MPC)
Review of current and historically significant feminist writings on the ways in which patriarchal structures of authority affect what students know about women's experiences. Students position themselves as creators of knowledge about women's experiences and as members of self-critical communities of activists who are transforming society and women's positions in that society. Includes readings, discussions, and individual and group projects. Students learn to celebrate similarities in experiences and perspectives, and to understand and appreciate differences.
Prerequisite: WMS 201 and at least 12 semester hours in WMS courses, or permission of instructor.
WGS 402 - Engaged Learning Practicum
(1-6 hrs)
This course connects feminist theory and practice, and is designed around service learning at a practicum site. The readings explore leadership, feminist grassroots organizing, service learning and civic engagement, feminist activism, and difference and cultural competence. Students will have the opportunity to translate the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking they have learned in the classroom to actual practice, to observe and work with professionals who are addressing women's/gender issues in the field, and to reflect on their own roles as future leaders and professionals.
Prerequisites: WGS 201 or WGS 202 or WGS 301.
WGS 406 - Indigenous Peoples and Their Sacred Lands
(3 hrs)
An in-depth look at topics related to policy and land management practices that impact indigenous peoples nationally, as well as internationally. The major focus of the various case studies is on designated sacred lands of Native American tribes within the United States. The course provides students with interdisciplinary training about indigenous cultures and human rights.
Cross-listed with GEO.
WGS 432 - Feminism and the Diaspora: U.S. Women of Color
(3 hrs; MPC)
Concerns issues of language, history, geography, social-psychology, and culture for U.S. women of color (black, Asian-American, Latina, American Indian, and others). Includes works by and about women on gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other differences.
Cross-listed with BWS and ENG.
WGS 435/535 - Queer Theory
(3 hrs; MPT)
Analysis of how gender and sexuality have informed our understandings of cultural texts and contexts. Emphasizes how discourses of gender and sexuality function within a variety of historical, cultural, and/or aesthetic traditions.
Cross-listed with ENG.
WGS 436/536 - Women, Gender and the Environment
(3 hrs)
Seminar discussing literature on the role of women in their relationships with natural resources as advocates, practitioners, and scholars. Ideas on ecofeminism will be introduced from more-developed "north" and developing "south" perspectives, and then directed toward the study of gender and development, and participatory tools in gender analysis.
WGS 437/537 - Black Feminist Theory
(3 hrs)
Examines critical and theoretical issues in black feminism from slavery to the present. One of the central goals of the course is to interrogate race, gender, class, and sexuality in the context of black women's thoughts and experiences. The class will read, discuss and analyze a wide variety of texts including critical essays, films, selected fiction, print and visual media.
Cross-listed with BWS and ENG.
WGS 442/542 - Women and Theatre: The Politics of Representation
(3 hrs)
Examines the ways in which gender is a performed cultural construct, made up of learned values and beliefs. Also introduces ideas about race, ethnicity, and sexuality, and the ways in which these contribute to the cultural construction of identity. Uses theatre to examine societal patterns of power and assumptions about suitable roles and behavior for women. The course will engage students in both text-based and performance-based activities, helping students practice embodying and responding to texts in bold, experimental, intellectually rigorous ways. An optional graduate student component will help those students develop their own ways to teach these materials in the future.
Cross-listed with THE.
WGS 450/550 - Topics in Women's History
(3 hrs; MPT)
In-depth study of a selected topic in the history of women, focusing on either a specific period and place, or a theme.
Cross-listed with HST.
WGS 451/551 - Family Violence
(3 hrs)
Analysis of research and theory on family violence, including physical abuse of children, sexual abuse, neglect, premarital abuse, wife abuse, gay/lesbian battering, elder abuse, prevention, and intervention. Basic framework is ecological/feminist, emphasizing an examination of family dynamics as well as broader historical, social, and patriarchal contexts.
Cross-listed with FSW or SOC.
WGS 461 - Gender and the Media
(3 hrs)
Examines how media help to shape notions of gender in society, how gender ideologies influence mass media perspectives and practices, and how mediated representations may reinforce or challenge social hierarchies based in differences of gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation.
Cross-listed with COM.
WGS 463/563 - Gender and Aging
(3 hrs; MPT)
Examination of how gender constructions shape the aging process, with particular focus on how various social, psychological, physical, and cultural factors affect men, women, and transgendered persons differently as they grow older.
Cross-listed with GTY and SOC.
Prerequisite: (463) GTY 154; (563) GTY 602 or permission of instructor.
WGS 468 - Gender and Genre
(3 hrs; MPT)
Includes a variety of areas within the disciplines of English and American literary and linguistic studies. Subject material varies with instructor's area of expertise, but focus is on the relation between gender and genre in the reading and/or writing process.
Cross-listed with ENG 468.
WGS 470 - Senior Thesis in Women's Studies
(3-4 hrs)
Focuses on the production of the senior thesis. Senior theses may report the results of original research, critical analysis, activist work and/or creation of art, music, performance, fiction, or other forms. Periodic meetings provide a forum to discuss progress and problems, share with peers the process of framing and implementing a project, research, and writing, and practice presenting results. The course culminates in a public presentation of results.
Prerequisite: Senior capstone in WGS (WGS 401 or WGS 432).
WGS 475/575 - Women, Gender Relations, and Sport
(3 hrs)
Explores the meanings of women's participation in sport and physical activity using sociological, feminist, and cultural studies perspectives. Special consideration given to the ideological significance of sport in U.S. culture and ways in which sporting women accept and challenge contemporary gender relations.
Cross-listed with KNH.
Prerequisite: junior or graduate standing.
WGS 497/597 - Methods of Social Justice Inquiry
(3 hrs)
Historical and critical overview of methods of inquiry used by scholars and activists seeking social justice, with emphasis on Participatory Action Research, Narrative Analysis, Community Psychology, Institutional Ethnography, and Mixed-methods designs. Examines methodologies of previous and current research as framed by social constructionist epistemology, interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks, cultural values, and politics of advocacy for equity and fairness. Provides mentoring in application of techniques.
Prerequisite: upper-class or graduate standing.
WGS 601 - Introduction to Graduate Women's Studies
(3 hrs)
This seminar focuses on Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies as an academic project and a force for social transformation. WGS faculty from a variety of disciplines visit class and share their academic and professional experiences with the students, providing an introduction to a variety of ways that WGS scholars produce and disseminate their work and pedagogical expertise.
WGS 602 - Feminist Theory and Methodology
(3 hrs)
This graduate seminar investigates major research methods as they are theorized and practiced within contemporary women's, gender, and sexuality studies. A special emphasis will be on students' own work in their field, and the production and peer critique of a substantial project relevant to the student's academic and/or professional progress.

 

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