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Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Course Descriptions

Lower Division

101. Gender, Race, Sex, and the Body (3)
Prerequisite or Corequisite: One GE Foundation course.
Introduction to the rapidly expanding body of literature and ideas related to the biology and sexuality of women. A special feature of this class is the use of student peer facilitators in small discussion groups.

102. Gender, Race, Sex, and Society (3)
Prerequisite or Corequisite: One GE Foundation course.
Introduction to some of the basic questions raised by the contemporary feminist movement relating to the social, political, and economic status of women. A special feature of this class is the use of student peer facilitators in small discussion groups.

205: Introduction to Queer Theory (3)
Focus is on the relationship between gender and sexualities. Prepares students for further study in gender and sexuality studies.

Prerequisite: Foundation completed.

216: Hollywood and Beyond: Gender, Race & Sex in the Movies (3)
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum completed.
Explores ideologies of gender, race, sexuality and class in mainstream and independent films. Focus is on learning to critically evaluate representations of identity and their social and political significance, including hegemonic and alternative representations.

Prerequisites: Foundation curriculum completed

Upper Division

General Education Category A must be completed prior to taking any upper division course except upper division language courses where students meet formal prerequisites and/or competency equivalent for advanced study.

300. Feminism Principles (3)
Prerequisites: ENGL 100 and upper division status or consent of instructor.
Introduction to principles of feminist history, thought, theory, methodology, and current issues that emphasizes but is not limited to the United States.

Letter grade only (A-F).

301. Feminist Research Methods (3)
Prerequisite: Upper division status.
Examines how feminist scholars frame and conduct research. Students explore feminist adaptations and critiques of traditional academic disciplines and design and conduct a research project using a range of bibliographic and research tools.

Letter grade only (A-F).

307. U.S. Women and the Economy: Money, Sex, and Power (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of the economic roles of women; analysis of the sexual division of labor and domestic work. Special focus on the origin, migration, settlement, and economic patterns of and problems facing US women from major ethnic and racial groups.

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.

308. Women and the Law (3)
History of women’s experience under the law; constitutional law; 19th amendment and ERA; equal protection issues; discrimination in employment; marriage and family law.

313. American Indian Genders and Sexualities (3)
Analysis of popular, feminist, queer and tribally specific theories and representations of American Indian genders and sexualities with a focus on literatures by American Indian women, men and two-spirit peoples.

Same course as AIS 313. Not open for credit to students with credit in AIS 313.

314. Women Narrate Their Lives (3)
Study of lives of a cross-section of Women in U.S. from colonial era to present based on biographical and autobiographical sources.

315. Black Women in America (3)
Prerequisites: ENGL 100 and upper division status or consent of instructor.
Examination of American black women from eighteenth century to present. Taught from interdisciplinary perspective and presented in their own voices.

Letter grade only (A-F).

316. Women in the History of U.S. Film (3)
History of women as they are represented, presented as images, or constructed in the development of U.S. film. Theory and analysis of film from a feminist perspective.

Same course as FEA 317.

318. U.S. Women of Color (3)
Prerequisites: ENGL 100 and upper division standing or consent of instructor.
Examines condition, position, experiences and accomplishments of U.S. women of color. Covers historical and contemporary issues using theoretical essays, personal narratives, historical documents, literature, and media images.

319. The Ethnic Experience in the U.S. (3)
Examination of dynamics of development of our multicultural society, emphasizing study of four distinct ethnic strands of American society (Asian American, Black American, Mexican American, and American Indian) and their role in maintenance of cultural diversity in United States.

Same course as AIS 319, ASAM 319, B/ST 319, CHLS 319.

320. Latina Women in the United States (3)
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.
Examines cultural, political, economic, and sexual forces that mold Latina women. Focus on cultural stereotypes, class, gender identity, sexuality, and politics of race.

Same course as CHLS 415.

325. Sociology of Women (3)
A sociological analysis of social, political and economic status of women. Examines history of women’s roles and status; gender conflicts and social movements; and societal attitudes towards women in society.

Same course as SOC 325.

356. Lesbian Histories and Culture (3)
Examination of lesbianism from psychological and historical perspectives; includes discussions of lesbianism in literature, representations of lesbianism in various media; the place of lesbianism in the politics of the women’s movement and in gay liberation, and the development of “queer theory.”

365. Popular Culture: Women, Gender and Sexuality (3)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Analyzes the construction of images of women in popular culture. Discussion of theories of culture, gender and ideology. Analysis of film, advertising, magazines and popular fiction.

370. Masculinities (3)
Focuses on understanding contemporary social and political issues in relation to masculinities. Thematic areas include: the social construction of masculinities, militarism, men and violence, sexuality, sports, work, media and masculinites, men and feminism, and possibilities for change.

Prerequisite: GE Foundation requirements

375. Reproductive Justice (3)
Explores how race, class and sexuality intersect with political and socio-economic forces in shaping women’s reproductive lives. Highlights how women have contested these forces to control their own reproductive lives.

Prerequisite: Upper Division status or instructor consent

382. Women and Literature (3)
Prerequisites: Completion of Foundation requirements.
Survey of literature by women authors writing in English, across a range of historical periods; examination of works in various genres that present complexity of women’s lives and challenges of female authorship; exploration of feminist critical approaches.

Same course as ENGL 382.

392. Feminist Pedagogy: Peer Facilitation (3)
Prerequisite: Previous or concurrent W/ST class and consent of instructor.
Peer facilitation of small group discussion, teaching assistance and other assignments directed by a supervising faculty member, supplemented by seminar, reading and journal writing.

May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units. Letter grade only (A-F).

401. Bodies and Borders: Feminism and Globalization (3)
Prerequisites: completion of Foundation courses, one or more Explorations course, and upper-division standing.
Covers feminist perspectives on contemporary globalization. Examines how we might imagine a more equitable world and why feminism should be concerned with global perspectives. Topics include colonialism, tourism, food production, women’s labour, migration, militarism and social movements.

402. Women in Political Theory (3)
Prerequisite: Students must have completed one course in either political science or women’s studies.
Differential treatment of women and men in western political theories, including femininity, power, rationality and the role of women in family. Classic and contemporary texts.

Same course as POSC 401.

406A. Asian Women: East and Northeast Asia (3)
Prerequisite: Upper division status.
Exploration of the histories of women in China, Japan and Korea from prehistory to the present. Major themes include women’s contributions to social, cultural and political change, and the complex relationship between feminism and nationalism in the modern period.

Same courses as A/ST 406A and HIST 406A.

410. Women, Religion, and Spirituality (3)
Prerequisites: ENGL 100 and upper division status, or consent of instructor.
Study of women as spiritual and religious beings responding to and coping with largely patriarchal religious doctrine. Examines socio-religious construction of women and women’s religious experience from prehistory to present day. Focus on feminist transformations of religious traditions.

415. Feminist Debates (3)
Prerequisites: W/ST 300 or consent of instructor.
Examines contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. Discussion of primary sources from a number of positions, including liberal, socialist, poststructural, “third world”, postmodernist and postcolonial feminisms. Issues include gender and sexuality, race, ethnicity, class and nationality. Focus on discussion of current debates which cross disciplinary boundaries. Active student participation required.

Letter grade only (A-F).

416. Queering Gender (3)
This course explores the intellectual debates in the emergent field, queer theory.  It will focus particularly on the intervention queer theory seeks to make into heteronormative culture on all levels of social life, including: the personal, community, national, and transnational.

Prerequisite: Upper-division status.

417. Sexuality, Crime and Punishement (3)
A transdiciplinary and critical examination of the accepted boundaries of human sexual behavior and opposing perspectives regarding the roles of criminal justice actors and institutions in regulating sex and sexuality, with special attention paid to sex-related crimes, offenders and victims.

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing and at least on previous WGSS class

Same course as CRJU 461. Not open for credit to students with credit in CRJU 461.

420. Mothers and Daughters (3)
Analyzes how mothering is “reproduced” in daughters, and why/how patriarchal culture regulates the mother/daughter bond. Course materials include novels, film, and interdisciplinary theoretical works. Special emphasis on the mother/daughter relationship in a range of historical, racial, class and sexual contexts.

424. Women and Environmental Justice: Ecofeminism (3)
Prerequisites: Completion of Foundation curriculum and upper division status.
Examines complex relationship between women and nature and their treatment through 1) socio-religious ideologies, 2) international development, 3) environmental pollution, and 4) patterns of consumption and waste in industrialized nations. Third World feminists’ insights largely frame the debate.

425. Women and Power (3)
Prerequisites: A previous W/ST class (101, 102, or 300) and upper division status or consent of instructor.
Examination of ways power has been defined, obtained, shaped and maintained, and effect this has historically had on women. Applies theory to contemporary issues affecting women and explores strategies for empowerment.

430. Women and Violence (3)
Women as victims and survivors of physical, psychological, and philosophical violence. Problems of rape, woman battering, incest, pornography and sexual harassment; examination of legal, religious and philosophical issues and alternatives for change.

432. Women in the City (3)
Examines the way women respond to urban environment, both literally and imaginatively. Special attention paid to sexual division of space, particular needs of immigrant and third world women, and utopian cities of sisterhood. Readings feature literary texts, augmented by an interdisciplinary range of theoretical and empirical studies of cities.

442. Sexing Chicana Literature (3)
Prerequisites: ENGL 100 and upper division status or consent of instructor.
Analyzes how Chicana authors explore race, class, and gender. Focuses on use of sexuality, particularly with regard to cultural and literary stereotypes vs. experience and aesthetic practice. Themes will include desire, identity, empowerment through “traditional” roles, and violence and the body.

Same as ENGL 442.

445A. Latinas and Revolution: Central America and Late 20th Century Mexico (3)
Prerequisite/Corequisite: ENGL 100 and upper division status or consent of instructor.
Examines how war and struggles for democracy shape the social consciousness and political activism of Latinas. Uses literature, film, history, and political theory to examine the role of violence in women’s lives, community organizing, and the conceptualization of a pan-Latina feminist movement.

Letter grading only (A-F). Same course as CHLS 450A.

445B. Latinas and Revolution: Caribbean, U.S. and Early 20th Century Mexico (3)
Prerequisite/Corequisite: ENGL 100 and upper division status or consent of instructor.
Examines how war and struggles for democracy shape the social consciousness and political activism of Latinas. Uses literature, film, history, and political theory identify differences in contexts of community struggle and points of intersection within Latina activism.

Letter grading only (A-F). Same course as CHLS 450B.

449. Feminism and International Human Rights (3)
Prerequisite: Upper division status or consent of instructor.
Reviews feminist debates on racism, colonialism, and international human rights. Will consider current international women’s rights issues and critiques of western feminist perspectives on veiling, genital surgeries, gender-based persecution, violence against women in war, sati, dowry murders, migration and trafficking.

455. Philosophical Perspectives on Sex and Love (3)
Prerequisite: 6 units of philosophy or consent of instructor.
Philosophical perspectives on sex and love explores philosophical issues concerning sex, gender and love through readings and discussion of classical and contemporary philosophical sources. Topics such as sexual perversion, romantic love and gender discrimination are examined.

Same course as PHIL 455.

462. Feminist Geography (3)
An introduction to feminist geography. Students will critically engage with international research on topics such as geographies of emotion, care and health; femininities and masculinities; feminist post-structural theories and philosophies; and feminist methodological approaches to geographical research.

Prerequisite: GEOG 360 or consent of instructor

Same course as GEOG 462. Not open for credit to students with credit in GEOG 462.

Letter grade only (A-F).

475. Language and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (3)
Analysis of men’s and women’s communication in its social and cultural context; role of gender in interpreting conversational interactions in the U.S. and elsewhere; acquisition of gender differences; cultural dimensions or perceptions and stereotypes and their effect on communication.

Same course as ANTH 475 and LING 470. Letter grade only (A-F).

485A. History of Women in the U.S. Early Period (3)
Survey of roles and activities of American women from colonial period to 1850, with focus on slavery, immigration, family, economy, law, and politics.

Same course as HIST 485A.

485B. History of Women in the U.S. Since 1850 (3)
Changing roles and status of women in economic and social change; suffrage movement; women in union movement and WW II; the decade of the sixties and the “second wave” of feminism.

Same course as HIST 485B.

490. Selected Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (1-3)
Topics of current interest in women’s studies, selected for intensive study.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units with different topics.

492. Selected Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (1-3)
Topics of current interest in women’s studies, selected for intensive study.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units with different topics.

495. Senior Capstone Seminar (3)
Prerequisites: Open to W/ST majors and minors, or consent of instructor.
Capstone course intended to integrate the multidisciplinary body of knowledge accumulated in the major or minor.


496.Feminist Community Praxis (3)
Prerequisites: Upper division standing and two prior women’s studies courses, or consent of instructor.
Allow students opportunity to practice theories and knowledge gained as a result of studying women’s issues. Students will work in community with agencies addressing women’s issues.

498. Field Work (1-3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Practical experience in campus or community organizations concerned with women’s issues.

May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units.

499./599. Directed Studies (1-3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Independent work in areas of special interest to student and instructor.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units.

Graduate Level

599./499. Directed Studies (1-3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Independent work in areas of special interest to student and instructor.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units.

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