Women's & Gender Studies

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WOMEN'S & GENDER STUDIES COURSES

AAS 101

Introduction to African American Studies

 

This course will provide an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of major themes and topics in African American experience. It will familiarize students with some of the central debates and problems within the field: Is there such a thing as a - Black experience? How African is African American culture? What kinds of theories can we advance to explain the relationship between race and range of social and economic indicators? How have scholars traditionally understood the connections between Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas? How do issues of gender affect issues of race? What new insights do postmodern and postcolinial theories offer on all of these subjects?

In addition, AAS 101 will draw on the instructor's scholarly orientations; topics of study will include African American economic, political, and social institutions and their developments over time; artistic, intellectual, and social movements and their contributions to African American cultural history; and issues of identity in relation to changing social and cultural structures. Students will read major interdisciplinary works in historical and cultural studies and critical race theory. Students will explore influential theories and research methods in African American studies as well as the basic methods of interdisciplinary analysis and interpertation.

 

Meets general academic requirement D.

   

ATH 250

Anthropology of Sex & Gender

 

A scientific examination of cross-cultural differences in the definition of sex and gender and of the behavior associated with specific gender categories. Topics covered include the distinction between sex and gender; “Third Genders”; household economy and organization; monogamy, polygyny, and polyandry; infanticide; violence and aggression; gender stratification; circumcision and subincision; and the evolution of gender roles in human society.

 

Prerequisite: ATH 112 Cultural Anthropology or SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

 

Meets general academic requirement W.

COM 316

Mass Persuasion & Propagana

 

Examines the historical development, social roles, communicative techniques, and media of propaganda. Thematic emphasis varies from semester to semester with case studies drawn from war-time propaganda, political campaigns, advertising, and public relations.

 

Meets general academic requirement B (and W when offered as 317).

COM 374 OR 375

Gender, Communication, & Culture

 

Examines gendered forms of communication: differences in how women and men are socialized to think, talk, and make sense in American culture; the implications of these differences for communication; the ways race and social class intersect with these differences; and the ways commercial mass media both cultivate and undermine gendered forms of communication.

 

Prerequisite: COM 101 Introduction to Communication or COM 201 or 202 Media & Society recommended.

 

Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 375.

DNC 201

Dance History

 

A lecture/discussion course devoted to the study of nineteenth and twentieth century dance in its social-political and cultural context. Focus on American theatrical dance forms (ballet, modern, jazz) and their origins in French, Russian, German, and African societies. Films, video, and field trips will be used to supplement class discussion.

 

Prerequisite: DNC 101 or 102 Dance & Society

 

Meets general academic requirement H and W.

ECN 247 OR 248

Economics of Men & Women at Work

 

An examination and comparison of the behavior and problems of men and women in the economy as workers, consumers, and household members. Economic institutions and outcomes will be analyzed using neoclassical or mainstream economic theories contrasted with newly emerging feminist economic research and theoretical perspectives. Offered in fall semesters of odd numbered years.

 

Prerequisite: ECN 101 Principles of Macroeconomics or ECN 102 Principles of Microeconomics

 

Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 248.

   

ENG 206

Reading Austen

 

This course explores the novels of Jane Austen and their contemporary revisions. Roughly half of the course consists of an intensive and historically-contextualized study of four of Austen's novels along with a reading of a biography of Austen. The other half consists of a cultural materialist study of the revisions, sequels, and film adaptations of Austen produced predominantly in the 1990s and 2000s. In this way, we explore the continuing importance of Austen to comtemporary readers as well as the structure and significance of fan culture. In addition to several of Austen's original novels, texts and films may include Jon Spence, Becoming Jane Austen; Linda Berdoll, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife; Pamela Aidan, An Assembly Such as This: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Part 1; BBC Mimi-Series, Pride and Prejudice (1995); Clueless (1995); Joan Aiken, Jane Fairfax: The Secret Story of the Second Heroine in Jane Austen's Emma.

 

Meets departmental Transformations approach.

Meets general academic requirement L and W.

   

ENG 235

Contemporary Drama & Performance Art

 

 

A surveyof contemporary theatre practice which includes not only the study of new literary plays by writers, such as Stoppard, Kushner, Wolfe, Mann, but also of other kinds of perfromances, such as avant-garde theatre, performance art, the new vaudeville, and the one-person show.  Artists to be studied may include Anna Devere Smith, John Leguizamo, Pina Bausch, The Theatre of the Ridiculous, and The Wooster Group.

 

Meets general academic requirement A.

 

Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 236.

   

ENG 267 OR 268

Literature & Sexuality

 

An exploration of the way literature reflects and shapes understandings, attitudes toward, and representations of sexual identities and practices.

 

Meets general academic requirement L (and W which applies to 268 only).

 

ENG 329 or 330

Nineteenth Century British Fiction: The Marraige Plot

 

This course will examine how novels in Britain represent and are constructed around the so-called marraige plot: the progression from courtship, through obstacles, to arrive at the altar - or not! This plot has always been popular for providing a scaffold for novels - witness the proliferation of shoddy romance novels on the shelves of supermarkets today. In this course, we will concentrate on how the marraige plot is figured during the nineteenth century in Britain, commonly thought of as the great age of the novel. We will be assuming that marraige is an institution that not only legitimizes and controls heterosexual desire but also guarantees the smooth transference of property and wealth from one generation to the next, the very cornerstone of patriarchal continuity. Texts may include Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Bronte, Villette; Dickens, Great Expectations; Elloit, Mill on the Floss; Hardy, Jude the Obscure; and a range of secondary readings by Mary Poovey, Nancy Armstrong, David Lodge, Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, and others.

 

Meets departmental Genealogies approach.

 

Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 330.

ENG 397

Gender, Sensation, & the Novel

 

A study of sensational novels from the early gothic and Victorian crime fiction through twentieth century romantic fantasy. We will pay special attention to how such textx work on the body of the reader, even as they contribute to social constructions of the body, gender, and sexuality. Readings include novels by Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Georgette Heyer.

 

Meets departmental Transformations approach.

 

Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 398.

   

FLM 450

Masculinity in Film

 

Advanced study and analysis of selected areas in film studies designed for majors and other qualified students. Topics may include auteur studies, genre or form studies, national or regional film studies, film theory, or explorations of film and popular culture. Special emphasis is placed on advanced textual and film analysis, scholarly discussion, and writing. Attendance at weekly screenings is required.

 

Prerequisite: FLM 202 Film History II: 1945-Present and senior film studies major or permission of the instructor.

   

HST 106

Introduction to History: The American Dream

 

When the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in the 1830s, he was impressed by the degree of democracy he observed. For most modern-day Americans, however, democracy is something we too often take for granted. This course, which broadly examines American history from colonial times to the present, explores the establishment and growth of democracy in America, as well as the signigicant threats it sometimes faced. Topics include: colonial dempgraphy, forms of government, slavery, social classes and economic demcracy, and wartime propaganda.

 

Meets general academic requrement H.

   

HST 130

Introduction to History: America's Consumer Nation

 

Modern America is a nation of consumers. Not only do we purchase products to use, but we also define our political, social, and personal identity through the consumption of goods and services. This course explores the evolution of America's consumer ethos from the early ideal of thirft and industry to the current "I need to buy it now" mentality. U.S. consumer history has been shaped by wars, the frontier experience, depressions, the growth of downtowns and shopping malls, industrialization and deindustrialization, te evolution of advertising and credit, the global economy, as well s by gender, race, and class. In this course, we will analyze the history of America through the eyes of our buying habits.

  Meets general academic requirement H.
   

HST 135

Introduction to History: Latin America through Women's Eyes

 

This course will examine women's ways of telling history through a comparative study of memoirs and fiction, and political and economic histories of Latin America written by and about women. This approach will take into account religious, racial, class, ethinc differences, and reflect on the hybridization of cultures born out of native, European, and African cultures. The course will begin with an examination of borader issues of women's history such as alternative subjects, sources, and periodizations.

   

HST 327 or 328

Women's America

 

Women, whether as daughters, wives, mothers, workers, scholars, or political activists, have played pivotal roles in American history. This course, an overview of American women’s history from colonial times to the present, examines the variety of women’s experiences through time by analyzing the myriad roles they played in the family, society, economy, and national politics. Specifically, using gender as its primary lens of analysis, this course seeks to uncover the broader contexts of American women’s experience by examining the dynamic interplay of women and men, values and culture, and discussing how structures of power linked especially to gender, but also to class and race, shaped women’s lives and mediated their experiences in the private and public worlds of America.

 

Meets general academic requirement H (and W which applies to 328 only).

   

HST 382

Gender and Sex in European History

 

In the past six hundred years, the definitions of the male and female genders have changed remarkably. This course explores the changing nature of men's and women's identities, conditions, social status, and thought, as well as the development of their political, social, and cultural powers from the 15th century to our day. Special emphasis is placed on the history of gender in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia. The course examines gender as an analytical category, distinguishes gender from sex, raises our consciousness of gender's variability, and studies the forces that have acted upon gender in the past.

   

HST 397

Women in the Middle East

 

This course surveys the history of women in the Middle East from the advent of Islam in the seventh century to the present. We will investigate the role of women in Islam as a religion and examine the range of women's experiences in different persiods and places in the Islamic Middle East. Topics may include the role of women in pre-Islamic Arabia, family law in Islam, the status of women in Islamic societies, Muslim women, and the effects of secularism, nationalism, socialism, and fundamentalism in modern period.

  Meets general acedemic requirement D or H (and W when offered as 398).

PHL 227

Philosophy of Feminism

 

Examination of the historical development and current state of feminist theory as both a critical perspective and an area of systematic inquiry. The course will include feminist epistemologies, political theory, and ethics. Readings will include works by Butler, Foucault, Irigaray and Nussbaum.

 

Meets general academic requirement P.

PSC 201

Political Ideologies

 

An examination of the philosophical and historical foundations of major political ideologies of the modern era. Students will investigate how ideologies make claims about human nature, history, and the state; how they attempt to understand the relationship between socio-economic conditions and the state; how they envision a just political order; and how they prescribe and justify programs of action. Among the ideologies examined: liberalism, civic republicanism, conservatism, socialism, communism, anarchism, nationalism, fascism, Nazism, fundamentalism, and feminism.

Intended for those planning to major or minor in political science.

PSC 242

Inroduction to Peace & Conflict Studies

 

This is an introductory course in the interdisciplinary field of conflict and pease studies which examines different approaches to conflict definition, management, and resolution. Fundamental issues of peace, war, conflict, and violence are discussed from a variety of perspectives within the political science and international studies paradigms.

 

Meets general academic requirement B (and W when offered as a 243).

PSC 303

Gender, Politics, & Policy

 

Gender both shapes and is shaped by politics. This course explores this fundamental proposition in the context of several primary themes, including feminist political activism in historical perspective; women in American electoral politics (both mass politics and as political elites); globalization and gender equity; and gender and public policy. A major portion of the course is devoted to considering contemporary public policy issues through the lens of gender—as it intersects with race, class, and other social divisions—focusing on policies such as welfare, sexual harassment, reproduction and women’s health, and gender discrimination in sports, education, and the military.

 

Prerequisite: PSC 101 or WST 202 or permission of instructor.

 

Meets general academic requirement B (and W which applies to 304 only).

   

PSY 221

Multicultural Psychology

 

This course will examine marginalized groups within the United States and will address the role of race, ethnicity, gender, class, disability status, and sexial orientation in psychological discourse. Psychological theory and research will serve as a basis to explore topics such as identity development, acculturation, and world views. This course also aims to examine privilege and the way various -isms (e.g. sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism, ableism) and their intersections inform psychological theory, research, and practice.

 

Prerequisite: PSY 101 Introductory Psychology

   

PSY 322

Psychology of Women

 

This course will examine theory and research on gender differences, specifically female gender development, taking into consideration biological, cognitive, behavioral, and social influences. Emphasis will be placed on a critical analysis of the assumptions about human behavior and the methods used to test these ideas. Topics include gender-role development, achievement motivation, women and work, sexuality and health, and violence against women. Taught in alternate years.

 

Prerequisite: PSY 101 Introductory Psychology and PSY 103 Psychological Statistics or WST 202 Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies

   

REL 104

Sex, Gender, & Religion

 

Gender and sexuality as fundamental aspects of human experience play important roles in all major religious systems, whether explicit and positive or suppressed and denigrated. In this course we will explore how the varied understandings of gender and sexuality in different cultures and at different times have influenced religious practice and belief, and how, in turn, religions have affected these understandings. We will also consider how this interaction between gender and sexuality and religion has affected the status of men and women in their various roles and orientations.

 

Meets general academic requirement R.

   

REL 351

The Feminine in South Asia

 

This course engages in a close study of the various roles of the feminine in Hindu mythology, religious belief, and practice, including the worship of goddesses and the principle of Shakti, the creative, animating force of the universe. Female identity and the lives of women in the cultures of South Asia are closely examined. Readings are chosen from the study of religion, anthropology, and narrative; film and audio media are also provided.

 

Meets general academic requirement D or R.

   

REL 353

Gender & Sexuality in Judaism

 

In this course we will examine how issues relating to gender and sexuality have influenced Jewish experience. We will discuss a wide range of Jewish history and literature, extending from the Bible to contemporary Jewish culture, in order to gain a broad perspective on how gender and sexuality have played a role in Jewish life and thought over time. We will consider how gender and sexuality relate to questions of power and authority, and we will discuss the ways that bodies, both gendered and sexual, become meaningful in different Jewish contexts.

 

Meets general academic requirement R.

   

REL 382

Gender and Religion in East Asia

 

This course will explore the ways in which women represent themselves, and/or are represented in Japan, Korea and China. By looking at a variety of fiction, film, and religious texts across the historical continuum, it will examine the way in which the construction of gender has changed in response to the social dynamics of their times. Through these different lenses and variety of voices, some constructed by men on women, and some by women about women, we will discuss the changed and changing status of women in East Asia. Readings are chosen from the study of religion, anthropology, narrative film and audio media.

   

SOC 101

Introduction to Sociology

 

What is sociology? How do sociologists go about their work? How is society structured? Is inequality an inherent part of human life? How and why do societies change? This course introduces the central concepts and principles of major sociological perspectives. It provides an overview of the study of social institutions, social stratification, and social change.

 

Meets general academic requirement B.

   

SOC 105

The Family

 

A study of the family as a social institution, including its development in the United States and other urban industrial societies and the changes it is currently experiencing.

 

Meets general academic requirement B.

   

SOC 243

Sexuality & Gender

  In this case we will use sociological perspectives to explore sex, sexuality, and gender.  We will examine the mechanisms of power that construct and regulate our identities, behaviors, and very bodies.  In particular we will look at how sex, sexuality, and gender are shaped by law, research, medicine, - sexperts, the media, and our family and friends.  We will also look at how sex, sexuality, and gender permeate our daily lives, often in ways we do not even see.
 

Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

   

SOC 335

Inequality & Power

 

A sociological examination of the various factors underlying differences in wealth, power, and prestige in contemporary urban industrial societies, with emphasis on the dynamics of class, ethnic, racial, and gender stratification. Taught every other year.

 

Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

SOC 350

Social Movements

 

A sociological intestigation of the causes and consequences of social movements.  The course will examine both historical and contemporary social movements in the United States and elsewhere to understand the underlying social, economic, political, and demographic factors that cause their emergence and that influence their evolution. Movements as diverse as the Civil Rights movement and the White Supremacy movement will be examined.  Taught every other year.

 

Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

 

Meets general academic requirement B.

   

THR 301 OR 302

Theories of the Theatre: Feminist Theories (This course is equivalent to WST 202 Topics in Women's and Gender Studies.) Students should contact Beth Schachter at schachter@muhlenberg.edu for reserved seats.

 

This course introduces students to the intellectual viewpoints, critiques, and new questions (and the new objects of study to match the new questions) that have arisen in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries feminist theories of the theatre. In order to move through the theoretical models employed by feminist critics in the theatre, we will begin with those key essays in film theory, semiotics, and materialist analysis that contributed to the current body of theoretical feminist material. Reading theories of reception and representation, of race and whiteness, and of unmaking mimesis, students will become familiar with analyses articulated by contemporary

 

Prerequisite: THR 100 Theatre & Society: An Historical Introduction or permission of instructor

 

Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 302.

   

WST 202

Topics in Women's & Gender Studies

 

Topics in Women’s & Gender Studies introduces students to basic issues, ideas, and approaches in women’s and gender studies and allows students to improve their ability to think critically and write analytically. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of women’s and gender studies, the course also emphasizes library research methods so that students learn to find and use sources and materials from a variety of academic disciplines. Basic issues, concepts, and approaches in women’s studies are introduced by focusing on a specific topic, such as motherhood or women and paid work, and approaching that topic from a variety of perspectives. Throughout the semester, students work on a research paper whose topic is related to the course topic, approaching their specific topic from a variety of perspectives. The course includes interactive pedagogies, such as small group work, so that students learn the interdisciplinary methods of women’s and gender studies by engaging in interdisciplinary research themselves and by considering the research and writing of other students.

 

Meets general academic requirement W.

   

WST 280

Intro to LGBT Studies

 

This course is an introduction to the history, issues, concerns, and debates surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life and culture. Throughout the course, students will carefully consider the full range of factors that have characterized LGBT communities and movements. Broadly, the course includes for main objectives. They are as follows: *To read texts that reflect a variety of ways in which LGBT communities have been discussed in histroy, literature, religion, law, government, psychiarty, sociology, sexology, and popular culture over time and place * To consdier popular attitudes and responses to discussions about LGBT communities *To gain LGBT identities' intersection with other social relations and forms of social difference such as race, gender, and class *To gain greater insight into the rich legacy of activism from which the discipline, LGBT studies emerged.

   

WST 960

Women's & Gender Studies Internship

 

Supervised work and/or community service, arranged in consultation with the Director of Women’s & Gender Studies.