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Spring 2024 WGSS Course Offerings

Course Subject/Number: WGSS 200
Course Title: Introduction to WGSS
Description: Interdisciplinary introduction to theories and scholarship in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Examines the social construction of gender, how gender affects access to opportunity, and the experiences and contributions of women throughout history. Provides a foundation for subsequent work in the women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor

Section: 0002 (40 seats)                 
Professor: Thompson                      
Day/Time: TT 9:35-10:50              
Modality: in-person                                  

Section: 0003 (90 seats)
Professor: Van Leeuwen
Day/Time: TT 11:10-12:25
Modality: in-person

Section: 0001 (25 seats)
Professor: Sirocky Meck
Day/Time: MWF 10:20-11:10
Modality: in-person

Course Subject/Number: WGSS 230
Course Title: Biology, Gender and Society
Section: 0001
Professor: Cynthia Bauerle
Day/Time: TTh 12:45-2
Modality: in-person
Description: Students in this course will explore the biology of sex and gender and consider their interactions interrelationships through a lens that considers intersectional identities and societal expectations. Topics include reproductive biology, sexual differentiation, gender development and expression, and the interactions between science and society that inform gendered bodies and practices. The course is designed as an upper division seminar-style elective that explores the evolution of biological sex and its adaptations across species, the impact of biological theories about sex on social structures and the contemporary context that informs social discourse about sex and gender.

 Course Subject/Number: WGSS 300
Course Title: Introduction to Queer Studies
Section: 0001
Professor: Kristen Kelley
Day/Time: MW 1:50-3:05
Modality: in-person
Description: This course introduces students to the field of Queer Studies, an interdisciplinary field that analyzes structures of power and privilege in relation to categories and norms about gender, sex, and sexuality. Centered upon the contributions and lived experiences of LGBT+ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, genderqueer, etc.) in history, culture, and society, this course considers the social construction of sex, gender and sexuality and how they intersect with other social identity categories based on race, ethnicity, class, ability, and nationality. 

 Course Subject/Number: WGSS 301
Course Title: Shout Out
Section: 0001
Professor: Alison Bodkin
Day/Time: MW 3:25-4:40
Modality: in-person
Description: The goal of this course is to work in a feminist collective to write daily blog posts for the Shout Out! JMU blog. Students will organize the blog, research and write blog posts, publicize the blog, and create dialogue by commenting on one another’s blog posts as a means of consciousness raising.

Course Subject/Number: REL 306
Course Title: Gender and Sexuality in Islam
Section: 0001
Professor: Cyril V. Uy II
Day/Time: MW (TBD)
Modality: in-person
Description: This course will investigate how Muslims across space and time have imagined gender and sexuality. How have Islamic societies mapped the possibilities of sexed bodies and gendered performances? In what ways have they cultivated and disciplined human desire? What boundaries or spectra have they negotiated and contested? What modes of subjectivity and agency have their worlds made possible? Throughout the semester, students will develop a self-reflexive approach to their own ethical ideals, exploring how a critical engagement with diverse Islamic perspectives can illuminate (or deconstruct) the complexities of gender and sexuality both in the past and today.

Course Subject/Number: HIST 320
Course Title: Women in U.S. History
Section: 0001
Professor: Emily Westkaemper
Day/Time: MW 3:25-4:40
Modality: in person
Description: Attention to women’s history transforms and enriches our understanding of the American past as a whole. In this course, we will examine the changing status of American women from the early 1600s through the early 2000s. Topics will include family, household labor, employment, religion, war, education, medicine, sexuality, organizations, feminism, and media depictions of gender. We will consider how race, class, ethnicity, and region have affected women’s status and women’s interactions with one another. 

Course Subject/Number: HIST 327-0001 (15469) 
Course Title: Americans and Their Technologies
Professor: Kevin Borg
Day/Time: MW 1:50PM - 3:05PM
Modality: in-person
Description: We will learn about technology’s makers, users, skeptics, and thieves in a broad survey
of American history. Our study will begin with pre-colonial Native American technology and proceed, more or less chronologically, through America's two phases of industrialization, concluding with an examination of 21st century technological promises and problems. We will pay particular attention to technology's role in America’s dynamic gender, race, and workplace relationships. We will critically evaluate the place of technology in America's national identity, the "progress talk" of technological enthusiasts, and attempts to control technological development. WGS students must choose research topics directly relating to gender and technology.

Course Subject/Number: ENG 327 
Course Title: Gothic Novels and Empire: Britain, Ireland, Jamaica
Professor: Katey Castellano
Day/Time: MW 1:50PM - 3:05PM
Modality: in-person
Description: A study of the origins, influence and transformations of Gothic fiction from the 18th century to the present.

Course Subject/Number: SOCI/WGSS 337
Course Title: Sociology of Gender
Section: 0001
Professor: Matt Ezzell
Day/Time: TBD
Modality: in-person
Description: Examination of theories of sex role development, the roles of men and women in society and gender as a social construction.

Course Subject/Number: SCOM 348
Course Title: Communication and Gender
Section: 0001
Professor: Reslie Cortés
Day/Time: MWF 11:30-12:20
Modality: Large lecture in-person
Description: In this course we examine and critique the communication processes which construct gender, gendered knowledge, and the ideologies layered on gender. We will also describe and evaluate how we communicate and interpret gendered messaging in everyday life. This will all be done from an intersectional lens considering positionalities such as disability, fatness, race, class, and other identities.

Course Subject/Number: WGSS 368
Course Title: Found in Translation: Women from Latin America
Section: 0001
Professor: Majo Delgadillo
Day/Time: TT 11:10-12:25
Modality:  in-person
Description: A study of literature by women from Latin America.

Course Subject/Number: WGSS 376
Course Title: Anthropology of Reproduction
Section: 0001
Professor: Becca Howes Mischel
Day/Time: TuTh 11:10AM - 12:25PM
Modality: in-person
Description: This course provides students with a critical and cross-cultural perspective on human reproduction. Examining how individuals draw on social and symbolic resources to sort out complicated private decisions, we will discuss how reproductive experiences are embedded in local, national and transnational politics. Topics covered may include: cross-cultural perspectives on childbearing and childlessness, kinship, and the globalization of new reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization. Prerequisite(s):  ANTH 195 or permission of the instructor

Course Subject/Number: WGSS 383
Course Title: Women and Politics in Comparative Perspective
Section: 1
Professor: Constance Pruitt
Day/Time: TTh 8-9:15
Modality: in-person
A study of the causes and consequences of women’s political marginalization in the United States and abroad. The course examines socioeconomic and political dimensions of gender inequality, exploring how women have worked through social movements, electoral politics, and public policy initiatives to overcome obstacles to their political empowerment.

Course Subject/Number: JUST 385
Course Title: Disability and Justice
Section: 0001
Professor: Daisy Brenneman
Day/Time: M/W 1:50-3:05
Modality:  hybrid
Description: An interdisciplinary exploration of justice & disability which examines issues such as the historical and theoretical contexts of disability, the social and rhetorical construction of disability, disability legislation and public policy, disability and the criminal justice system, and disability rights movements and inclusion as they relate to larger civil and human rights movements in the US & globally. The course highlights the importance of disability in broader conversations about justice. Prerequisite(s): JUST 200 and one other 200 level JUST course, excluding JUST 225.  *Non-Justice Studies majors need instructor’s permission

Course Subject/Number:  WGSS 386
Course Title:  Sexual Orientation, Law and Justice
Section:  0001
Professor:  Christine Robinson
Day/Time: Thursdays 3:55-6:25pm ?
Modality:  Hybrid
Description: This course explores considerations of justice in shaping law and policy related to sexual orientation. The concept of sexual orientation is a relatively recent development in academic, legal, medical and other policy contexts in the United States and globally. Topics addressed in the course include the dehumanization, criminalization, medicalization and oppression of sexual orientation minorities, and legal and regulatory interventions and movements for social justice, criminal justice reform and human rights. 
Prerequisite(s): By permission of WGSS coordinator only (email:

Course Subject/Number: WGSS/SCOM/WRTC 420
Course Title: Feminist Rhetorics
Section: 0001
Professor: Mallory Marsh
Day/Time: TR 12:45-2 pm
Modality: In person
Description: Surveys key women figures in classical and contemporary rhetorical traditions and challenges the strategies used to historicize this tradition from feminist perspectives. Explores diverse feminist rhetorical discourses informed by race, sexual orientation, ethnicity and social class.

Course Subject/Number: ENG 423
Course Title: Reproductive Dystopias
Section: 0001
Professor: Mary Thompson
Day/Time: T/TH 12:45
Modality: In-Person
Description: The explosion of dystopian writing in the twenty-first century points to an interest in and anxiety over reproduction, new technologies, family-making, gender and sexuality. Writings by U.S. women explore the generic boundaries of dystopia, but these texts may not all be described as critical dystopias. In this course we will explore the politics and stratification of reproduction as we read these works critically using an intersectional feminist lens. To do so we will examine power, technology, and family-making under neoliberalism and in the context of systemic oppressions based on race, gender and sexuality. 

Course Subject/Number: ISAT 485 / section 0001
Course Title: Gender Issues in Science
Professor: Shannon Conley
Day/Time: MW 9:35-10:50
Modality: In-Person
Description: An interdisciplinary course that looks at the scientific process, science practitioners, and science students through the lens of gender analysis. Students read literature, lead discussions, perform experiments, and analyze both data and processes to address the effects of educational systems on the preparation and careers of scientists, the influence of politics and culture on scientific inquiry, and the effects of critiques grounded in gender analyses on understanding the scientific process.

WGSS Internships

Course Subject/Number: WGSS 492
Course Title: Internship  (1-3 credit)
Section: 0001, 0002, 0003
Professor: Mary Thompson
Day/Time: TBD
Description:  see below

SOGIE Social Media Internship (1 credit)
Supervisor: Cassidy Angelo
Day/Time: TBD
Description: SOGIE is seeking a social media intern for Spring 2024. This individual would help maintain a social media schedule, create and post graphics, and assist in the outreach of events and services. This internship could support a 1 or 2 credit option. Contact: ; 540-568-5470 

Queer Studies Internship (1 credit)
Supervisor: Kristen Kelley
Day/Time: TBD
Description:  This internship will support faculty in developing a Queer Studies (Minor) Program. Contact Dr. Kristen Kelley,

WGSS Social Media Internship (1 credit)
Supervisor: Mary Thompson
Day/Time: TBD
Description:  Provide content and design for WGSS program social media accounts (Fb, IG, and Twitter). Contact Dr. Mary Thompson to apply.

SexEdVA Internship (1-2 credits)
Supervisor: Kayla McKean
Day/Time: TBD
Description: Interns at SexEdVA co-facilitate and support sexual health education programming in Page County Public Schools, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, and Rockingham County Public Schools. Interns also support the Disability-inclusive Sexual Health Network (DSHN), the Appalachian Replication Program (ARP), and the Vision of You™ (VOY™) programs through the development of supplemental learning guides, parent and teacher workshops, and social media content. The DSHN and ARP programs focus on accessible sex ed for youth with disabilities and youth in rural areas of Virginia. The VOY™ project at SexEdVA offers high-school youth access to sexual health education through an asynchronous online program. For more Information contact: SexEdVA Program Manager, Kayla McKean, at or submit an interest form at

Programming and Events Coordinator assistant for Women for Madison (2 credits)
Are you a dynamic and organized student with a passion for creating memorable experiences? We're seeking a motivated individual to join Women for Madison’s team as a support for the Assistant Director. Your responsibilities could include assisting in planning and executing exciting events on campus, collaborate with the team to develop innovative programming ideas around women alumnae and engage with attendees at events. This job will offer you valuable hands-on experience in event coordination with a philanthropic lens and unleash your creativity in programming initiatives. If you're ready to bring your organizational skills and creative flair to the forefront, apply now and be a key player in making every event for Women for Madison unforgettable! Please contact Meghan Schenker-Fulcher at if interested in learning more by January 5th. This non-paid internship is for 2 credits- 6 hours per week. 

Research Assistant for Women for Madison (1 credits)
Are you a forward-thinking student eager to delve into the worlds of research and education? Seize this opportunity to join us as Research Assistant and Curriculum Developer Intern for Women for Madison. We are in the process of creating the first ever Women In Leadership and Development course to roll out for the fall semester. Your responsibilities will include assisting in research to find best practices in women leadership and philanthropy and help to co-create engaging and effective curriculum. You will gain valuable insights into the intersection of academica nad real-world application and develop transferable skills that will set you apart in your academic and professional journey. If this sounds interesting to you please contact Meghan Schenker-Fulcher at and Cannie Campbell at by January 5th. This non-paid internship is for 1 credit- 3 hours per week. 

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