Women's & Gender Studies Courses Description
WS 2300 Introduction to Women’s Studies
Learn about the intersection of gender in relation to race, ethnicity,and class; learn about the major issues facing women today; and discover what action women are taking to deal with gender-based challenges. Required for WS Minors, all are welcome!
WS 2315 Sociology Marriage and Family
This course will explore through readings, presentations, and class discussion the areas of family—where we come from, how we negotiate our place in it, its influence throughout our lives and marriage—is it still important,how has it changed, why we study it. Always a lively class.
WS 2350 Global Feminisms
This course will provide an introduction to feminism on a global level. It will focus on how issues such as health, education, trade , and environment manifest themselves globally, looking at the interconnectedness of women's issues as it has ocurred in various regions of the world and how feminist interests and organizations have become globalized into transnational forces for social change.
WS 3301 La Chicana
Examine the socioeconomic, political, and cultural forces that affect the status of Chicanas in American society from an interdisciplinary perspective. Consider the role of Chicanas in the Women's and Chicano Movements, as well as the Mexicana/Chicana confluence in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
WS 3310 Directed Study
Directed program of independent readings and/or a research project on an approved topic in Women's Studies. Requires consent of the course instructor and the program director.
WS 3320 Internship in Women's Studies
Field-based learning experience to explore the relationship between feminist theory and collective action.
WS 3321 Family Violence
This course provides students with an understanding of how and why family violence occurs, methods to prevent and detect violence, and how communities respond to family violence. We will explore how gendered socialization and everyday practices in media, law, medicine, and education contribute to violence within families---and what steps we can use to end family violence.
WS 3322 Sex, Culture, and Evolution
This course presents a socio-anthropological view of human sexuality: its prehistoric origins, cultural diversity, and current controversies. Readings offer a cross-cultural perspective on sexual relationships and identities, which particular attention to how sexuality articulates with other areas of culture such as class, education, and social control.
WS 3330 Women in Fine Art
Examines the lives and work of women artists in western culture from Ancient Greece to the present, and determine the social, political, and material conditions in a given time and place that made it more or less possible for women to be artists. Analyze the works of art in terms in genre, design, and subject matter, and study to what extent gender has an impact on creative opportunities, subject matter, style, as well as the self-identity of an artist.
WS 3331: Gender and Popular Culture
Through an examination of popular culture phenomena such as advertising, daytime and prime time television, children’s animation, music videos, and film, and by studying interesting essays on the same subjects, students will learn how to interpret popular culture specifically through the lenses of gender theory. In the end, successful students will have a deeper understanding of how mass culture serves to reflect and reinforce and occasionally challenge gender norms in American culture.
WS 3333 Gender, Ethnicity in Contemporary Art
Examines the material, social, and political conditions that made it possible for some contemporary American women artists to thrive and succeed as professional painters, sculptors, site artists, performance artists, and other types of artists. At the same time, students study the material, social, and political conditions that served as barriers to other contemporary American women artists. Examine how sexism and racism interact in the works and production history of contemporary African-American, Latina, and Asian-American artists.
WS 3335 Feminist Film
Focuses on the film made by and/or about women that have a feminist perspective or address a feminist issue. Students will gain an introduction to feminist theory, as well as the ideological and formal principles of "feminist film" through readings, lecture, film viewings, reflection, and discussion.
WS 3336 Queer Cinema
Focuses on films made by and/or about LGBTQI people or issues relevant to this community. Students will learn about the ideological and formal principles of "queer cinema" through readings, lectures, film viewings, emphasis on a sub-population of the queer community, such as trasgender people, or may cover the whole rainbow
WS 3340 Women, the Body & the Machine
Students examine the major feminist theories of the significance and impact of technology on our society. Students consider how the social construction of gender has been influenced by the rise of technology. Students explore the social, cultural, and environmental consequences of technology.
WS 3351 Gender and Religion
Explores the history of religious traditions, not only how they have discriminated against women but also how we can reclaim the feminine aspects of those traditions. Explores questions such as: how has the philosophy of religion created dualistic thinking that is hurtful to women, men, and minorities and how
WS 3352: American Womanhood
In“American Womanhood,” we will examine the representation of women in historical documents, the visual arts (from fine art to magazine illustrations to advertising), and literature from the colonial period to the present.Specifically, we will evaluate the intersections of race, class, nationality,and sexuality in women’s lives, and learn about the various ways in which women lived, worked, married or not, mothered or not, and died in American history.Fulfills the COLART Humanities Block Elective. Crosslisted with HUMN 4390
WS 3360 Women in Literature
Read fiction by women writers and learn about the representation of women in literature. Do women and men write differently? Fulfills COLART Humanities block elective. Crosslisted with ENGL 3360
WS 3370 Gender Roles & Society
Learn about the emergence and institutionalization of gender stratification.What is the relationship between gender, social status, class and power?Fulfills COLA Social Sciences block elective. Crosslisted with SOCI 3370
WS 3372: Women and Work in the Sex Industry
This course is designed to explore and critically analyze women’s roles in sex work and the elements of oppression, moral standards, and the legal system surrounding them.We will delve into the controversial and often taboo world of sex industry arenas such as pornography, prostitution, exotic dancing, performing arts,human trafficking, and cybersex. Students will look at women and their lives through a feminist lens to examine the often misunderstood world of the sex worker and contribute to possible solutions to what many consider an unacceptable life “choice”. Fulfills COLART Social Sciences block elective.
WS 3373 Plagues Pandemics and Power
This course focuses not only on the epidemiological facts of plagues and pandemics, but also explores the scientific, practice-based, and social changes resultant from such medical emergencies. Using the examples such as the Black Death, the polio epidemic, and the HIV/AIDS pandemics, the course uses gender, race, and class as lenses to explore how such diseases change medical policy, social relations, and even the balance of power between social groups within societies. Fulfills the COLART Social Sciences Block Elective.
WS 3374 Mental Illness at the Margins
Mental illness is a central component of social life and social structure. However, the individual and community experience of mental illness is profoundly shaped by the intersectional statuses of gender, race, class and nationality. Sociology, biopsychiatry,psychology, the general public, and people with mental illness view this subject with widely disparate perspectives. This course develops an integrated understanding of how these approaches help us comprehend mental illness in abroad, intersectional social context. We examine the public perceptions of mental illness through mass media, literature, memoirs, music, and poetry. Fulfills the COLART Social Sciences or Fine Arts Block Elective.
WS 3380 Social Justice Values at Work
This course will focus on social justice issues and activism through entrepreneurship, non-profits and volunteerism. We will analyze key social institutions and systems of power and oppression through a feminist lens, with emphasis placed on diverse perspectives related to gender, class,race, sexuality, ability, and culture. Topics include: an overview of activism/social justice movements, an introduction to social entrepreneurship, feminist coalitions and activism, civic responsibility, practical skills for effective non-profit/volunteer work, team building and negotiation skills, and strengthening key reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. A concurrent WS internship is preferred. Fulfills COLART Social Science block elective.
WS 3382: Gender Issues in the Arts: Women in Film
This course offers an examination of the ways that contemporary French cinema challenges and resists traditional heteronormative representations of men and women. Relying on a variety of film genres from comedy to drama, we will examine Western and French constructions of masculinity and femininity in order to offer a more nuanced view of gender and sexuality. Looking outside of the typical heterosexual narrative, we will discuss how ideas about race, sexuality, and class work together to create “sexual renegades” and “gender benders” in cinematic portrayals. This class will be paired with critical readings from Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and others scholars to guide and enrich our discussions. Fulfills the COLART Fine Arts Block Elective. Crosslisted with FREN 4388 CRN26842
WS 3382: Gender Issues in the Arts: 1960’s Black Theatre Aesthetics
Fulfills the COLART Fine Arts Block Elective. Crosslisted with THEA 4340, AFST 3390
WS 3384 Gender Issues in the Social Sciences: Gender and the Business of Entertainment Media
In this course students will analyze Disney, 3D, Hollywood, Videogaming, Movie Sequel Madness, Adult Entertainment Industry (Sex Industry). We will explore entertainment media industries at large from multiple perspectives – primarily economic, technological, and institutional – focusing throughout on the Hollywood media industry as a“culture industry.” We will examine how gender affects the production and marketing of media. Dominant mode(s) of production, distribution, and exhibition are analyzed. Students will gain a broad foundation in the influence, issues, and behind-the-scenes processes of entertainment media industries. Fulfills the COLART Social Sciences Block Elective.
WS 3390: Special Topics: Women’s Health
Women’s Health will cover an overview of current health topics pertinent to women in the 21st century. The course will cover the basic politics and economics connected to women’s health in the United States and globally. The course will focus on sexual and reproductive health, the way that chronic diseases such as cancer affect women,and women’s specific mental health topics.
Fulfills the COLA Social and Behavioral Sciences block elective
WS 3390 Special Topics: Working with LGBTQI Populations
CRN 23434, M 6:00-8:50 Students working in social service and social change organizations often need information and skills to provide culturally competent information and services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people in the Border region. We will explore how socially constructed gender/sexuality norms intersect with nationality, ethnicity, and age to create challenges and opportunities for people’s roles as workers, family members, and community members. Fulfills the COLART Social Sciences block elective. Crosslisted with SOWK 3365 and WS 5390 , SOWK 5397
WS 3390 Special Topics: Gender, Social Networking, and New Media
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iPhone, iPad, Apps, the Internet, Motion Pictures, Popular Music, Advertising, and New Media are examined in this course. We will analyze the intersection of gender and media culture e.g., production, representation, audience, and identity. The impact of social media and new media on communication and in the development of a participatory culture will be discussed. We will go behind-the-scenes to study the effects of media convergence on social networking. Fulfills the COLART Social Sciences Block Elective.
WS 3390:World Literature, Marion Rohrleitner
Fulfillsthe COLART Humanities Block Elective. Crosslisted with RS 3310
WS 3390: Major World Religions
This course is a survey of the world's major religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Shinto, Judaism, Christianity,Islam, and Sikhism as well as important religious movements. In addition to learning the basic tenets, timelines and important persons within each faith, we’ll be looking at topics that cut across religions traditions such as art and music, prayer, clothing, dietary laws, the role of women, social activism, and the identity of belief communities in modern culture.Fulfills the COLART Humanities Block Elective. Crosslisted with RS 3310
WS 3390: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
Fulfills the COLART Social Sciences Block Electives
WS 3391: History of Women
Fulfills the COLART Humanities Block Elective. Crosslisted with HIST 3391
WS 4310: Feminist Theory
Traces evolving definitions of feminism through history, as theorists seek to understand the causes of gender inequality and women’s diverse identities and oppressions. In addition to examining the impact of feminist theory across academic disciplines, the course also explores the political and practical application of contemporary feminist thought. Prerequisite: WS 2300 with a grade of “C” or better. WS 2300 may be taken concurrently with WS 4310.
WS 5300: Feminist Theory
Traces evolving definitions of feminismthrough history, as theorists seek to understand the causes of genderinequality and women’s diverse identities and oppressions. In addition toexamining the impact of feminist theory across academic disciplines, the coursealso explores the political and practical application of contemporary feministthought. We will also explore an overview of feminist research methodologies. Meets concurrently with WS 4310.
WS 5320: Directed Study
Departmental Approval Required
Arrange an independent study in an area of women’s studies that interests you
WS 5390: Special Topics: Working with LGBTQI Populations
Students working in social service and social change organizationsoften need information and skills to provide culturally competent informationand services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex peoplein the Border region. We will explore how socially constructed gender/sexualitynorms intersect with nationality, ethnicity, and age to create challenges andopportunities for people’s roles as workers, family members, and communitymembers. Crosslisted with SOWK 5367