Course Descriptions

A minor in Women's Studies consists of 15 semester hours; 6 hours of required courses and 9 hours of elective courses.

Required Courses

WMS 200 - Introduction to Women's Studies (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. SF
Interdisciplinary course; reexamines traditional approaches to and offers new perspectives on roles, contributions, and identity of women as a group. The female body; sex differences; historical changes in women's roles; women as members of minority, racial, ethnic, and sexual groups; changing economic, political, and social status of women in 20th century American society. Approved for General Education.

WMS 400 - Directed Research in Women's Studies (3 hours)
Directed readings or research for a paper which analyzes, synthesizes, and interprets an area of women's studies. Prerequisite: WMS 200; 9 hrs. of Women's Studies elective courses; or consent of instructor.

Elective Courses

ENG 129 African American Literature (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HL

This course is an introduction to some of the major and minor African American writers from the 1700s to the 1990s.  We analyze and interpret the value systems and "selves" represented in African American literature in the following areas: slavery, standing ground, folklore, on being a man, on being a woman, relationships, passing down heritage, and revolutionaries.

ENG 190 Women in Literature (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HL

This course explores the cultural and personal contexts which influence how women define themselves as individuals and in relation to others.  The readings focus particularly on mother/daughter relationships, female social roles, women's friendships, and relationships between women and men.

ENG 331 Studies in Women Writers (3 hours)

Intensive study of literary and critical texts written by women. We will consider foremost the narrative strategies and theoretical presumptions of women authors portraying women protagonists.

HIS 304 Women in American History (3 hours)

Beginning in the 18th century and continuing through the 1990s, this course examine the cultural, political and social experiences of women in the U.S.  We discuss sexuality, definitions of femininity and masculinity, women's movements, and women's everyday experiences. We also pay close attention to class and race differences among women.

HIS 315 - U.S. Social Movements (3 hours)

Explores the major social movements of recent U.S. history. Study of the labor movement, the civil rights movement, Chicano and American Indian movements, campus and counterculture radicalism, anti-war protests, women's rights, gay and lesbian rights, environmentalism, and the nuclear freeze movement, with an examination of how activists crafted a politics of protest as they fought for greater equality and justice. Analyzes the roles that social movements played in strengthening democratic ideals and practices by expanding the role of the citizen in the community, the nation, and the world.

HIS 317 - American Masculinities (3 hours) 

Explores the social and cultural history of American masculinities from the Revolution to the present. Analyzes the development and change of gender ideals that Americans have labeled "manhood" or "masculinity." Explores how notions of manhood have differed according to cultural perspectives on race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation. Studies influence on gender construction of the market revolution, emancipation, imperialism, consumerism, counterculture movements, suburbanization, deindustrialization, and globalization. Provides students with knowledge of the history of masculinities in America and develops skills of interdisciplinary gender analysis in the study of historical documents and artifacts.

HIS 339 Women in Global Perspectives (3 hours)

Analyzes the changing status of women in light of global economic, social, and political transformations.

HIS 382 European Women and Gender since the Renaissance (3 hours)

This course focuses on the history of gender and sexuality in Western Europe. 
Prerequisite: CIV 100; or CIV 111 and 112; or equivalent.

NUR 219 Women and Health (3 hours)

Focusing on the basic scientific and sociological knowledge related to women's health, this course explores the social, emotional, and physiological components of selected health problems of women. We also investigate the historical development of the health care system and its effect on women and their health.

PLS 493 Equality, Diversity, and Citizenship (3 hours)

This course examines these three issues through the lenses of national citizenship, equal protection law, the dilemmas of cultural minorities, contemporary issues in feminist theory, and facets of religious freedom and toleration.

PSY 300 Psychology of Women (3 hours)

This course examines the current literature on women and their behavior. The influence of psychological, social and biological factors are considered throughout.
Prerequisite: PSY 103 or 104.

SOC 210 Sociology of the Family (3 hours)

An examination of the American family, with two major areas of focus: the structural diversity of families within the U.S. and the ways in which family practices reflect, reproduce, or challenge society's norms, values, and modes of social organization. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or instructor consent.

SOC 300 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. NW

Examines the construction of gender in non-western societies, concentrating on the way gender shapes and is shaped by power relations in these societies.
Prerequisite: SOC 100 or consent of instructor.

SOC 311 Comparative Family Systems (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. NW

Comparative study of  non-Western family systems, with focus on cross-cultural differences and the potential conflicts of migration.  Varying focus on families of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or consent of instructor.

SOC 313 Race, Ethnicity, & Power (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. CD, SF

Analysis of dominant-minority group relations. The emergence and dynamic of racism. Exploration of the experience of various ethnic "racial" groups.

SOC 315 Gender and Society (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. CD, SF

An examination of gender as a system of stratification, as a social construction, and as a system of meaning which changes trans-historically and differs cross-culturally. Focus on structural and interactional aspects of gender inequality, as well as the relationship between gender and other social hierarchies, including class, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality.
Prerequisite: SOC 100 or instructor consent.