Courses in the Curriculum

WGSS 200: Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Section 0001 | Mary Thompson| TuTh 2:00-3:15pm
Section 0002 | Melissa Aleman | MW 2:30-3:45pm
Section 0003 | Beth Hinderliter | TuTh 11:00-12:15pm
Section 0004 | Larissa Brian | MW 2:30-3:45pm

Cross disciplinary 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. Provides a foundation for subsequent work in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor.

WGSS 300: Special Topics in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Topic: Marriage Equality
Section 0001 | Kristen Shrewsbury| TuTh 9:30-10:45am

This course is a feminist interdisciplinary examination of marriage, with special attention paid to same-sex marriage in the sociopolitical context of the United States. Drawing on perspectives from economics, law, psychology, sociology, queer studies, communication studies, and women’s and gender studies, we will investigate the dynamic historical marriage narrative that brings us to modern day marriage equality and the current state of marriage.

WGSS 300: Special Topics in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Topic: Feminist Ethics
Section 0002 | Pia Piper-Antolic| TuTh 9:30-10:45am

The goal of this course is to explore questions about feminism in ethical theory and practice. Students will read about and critically discuss questions such as What does a ‘feminist’ ethics look like?, Does traditional ethics speak to the experience of all human beings regardless of gender or race?, or Is there such a thing as a distinctively feminine ethical experience or sensibility like ‘care’? In addition to these questions, this course will also address recent feminist analysis and criticism of the domination and oppression governing women’s current social reality, including sexual violence, the ethics and politics of family and work, and global justice.

WGSS/SCOM 302: Third Wave Ecofeminism
Section 0001 | Alison Bodkin | MW 2:30-3:45pm

This course explores the historically strong association between women and nature, in which the image of Mother Earth is central, and critiques the poweras-domination assumption of our culture shown in the exploitation of women and of the earth itself. Religious, psychological, social, historical and scientific manifestations of this assumption will be examined, along with alternative models of power and responsibility. Students will explore the considerable research on ecofeminism.

WGSS/HIST 320: Women in U.S. History 
Section 0001 | Emily Westkaemper | MWF 11:15-12:05pm

A survey of the role of women in the United States from the Colonial period to the present. Attention is given to contributions of the ordinary women, the Women’s Rights movements, the impact of women on reform and political movements, and the changing status of women in society.

WGSS/SOCI 337: Sociology of Gender
Section 0001 | Matthew Ezzell | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

Examination of theories of sex role development, the roles of men and women in society and gender as a social construction.

WGSS/SOCI 347: Queer Theories of Gender and Inequality
Section 0001 | Bethany Bryson | Online

Contemporary approaches to the culture and social structure of gender and gender binaries, as they intersect with power, knowledge, science/biology and inequality. Method involves examining and challenging the cultural classification systems that inform knowledge, human action and social institutions. Requires college-level reading, writing and intellectual engagement.

WGSS/SCOM 348: Communication and Gender
Section 0001 | Melissa Aleman | TuTh 11:00-12:15pm

Study of theories and research regarding the influence of gender in various human communication contexts, both public and private. Emphasis on the critical analysis of existing theory and empirical research and the potential competent uses of communication for social change. Prerequisite: Any 100- level SCOM course.


WGSS/ANTH 376: Anthropology of Reproduction
Section 0001 | Becca Howes-Mischel | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

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:  ANTH 195 or permission of the instructor.

WGSS/POSC 383: Women and Politics in Comparative Perspective
Section 0001 | Kristin Wylie | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

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.

WGSS 485: Gender Issues in Science
Section 0001 | Louise Temple-Rosebrook | TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

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 492: WGSS Learning Community Capstone
Section 0001 | Kristin Wylie & Mary Thompson | Time TBD | 1 credit


Courses that will Receive Substitute Credit

ENG 222: Women's Literature
Section 0010 | Mary Thompson | TuTh 12:30 - 1:45pm

This course introduces General Education students to the study of women’s literature through an examination of late-20th century American women’s fiction and nonfiction.

ENG 402: Advanced Studies in British Literature Before 1700
Topic: Gender and Sexuality in 18th-Century 
Section 0001 | Dawn Goode | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

This course surveys English drama and fiction from 1660 until 1800. Study of the eighteenth century and its literature reveal notions of gender, class, and sexuality that shift from fluid and circumstantial behaviors to codified identity categories. Our thematic task for the semester will be to excavate from our selected texts the intense gerrymandering of identity construction that occurred throughout this period.

ENG 408: Advanced Studies in African-American Literature
Topic: The Pasts, Presents, and Futures of Contemporary African American Literature
Section 0001 | Mollie Godfrey | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

*Please note that the final project must reflect gender or LGBTQ issues

POSC 381: Feminist Thought: Black Feminisms, Past and Present
Section 0001 | Kwanda Trice | TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

This course explores both historical and contemporary critical issues in Black feminisms in the United States. If the meaning and boundaries of Blackness are—and always have been—both fluid and contested, then what is the ‘Black’ in the diverse forms of Black feminism? Given the contentious history of the ‘f-word’ among women of color activists, how might we conceptualize contemporary Black feminisms that are attentive to questions of race, class, and citizenship? Using texts from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, we will work together to answer these and other critical questions. By engaging a variety of theoretical approaches and sociocultural forms—from cultural criticism to political theory, from docudramas to welfare rights organizing—we seek to understand not only how Black feminist theories are constructed and used, but how these theoretical frameworks both reflect and inform the daily political struggles of Black women in the United States.

GEOG 470: Senior Seminar in ECSD
Topic: Gendered Geographics
Section 0001 | Kayla Yurco | Tu 3:30-6:00pm

In this seminar course we will examine the diverse ways in which geographers have considered, analyzed, and redefined gender. The first third of the course will cover conceptual foundations of gendered geographies, including topics such as sex versus gender, feminism, feminist geography, intersectionality, and the spatial and temporal politics of gendered identities and other subjectivities (race, class, sexuality, etc.), among others. In the second third we will critically examine gendered dynamics of human-environment interactions via case studies about conservation, development, natural resource management, and other related topics. In the final third we will develop opportunities for individual research papers related to gender and the environment. The course will be discussion-based with opportunities for students to delve deeply into themes through reading and writing and to facilitate discussions related to their areas of interest. Topics will be in part student-driven, meaning course material will be flexible and chosen with respect to evolving class interests and goals. 

HIST 150: Critical Issues in Recent Global History 
Topic: Women and Revolution
Section 0001 | Jessica Davidson | MWF 11:15-12:05pm
Section 0003 | Jessica Davidson | MWF 1:25-2:15pm

This course examines issues in recent history as a means to introduce, develop and enhance critical thinking skills and to supplement writing, oral communication, library and computing skills objectives for General Education Cluster One. A seminar format allows for careful examination of issues in both oral and written formats. The course emphasizes the development and articulation of well-reasoned arguments in organized and grammatically acceptable prose. May be used for general education credit. May not be used for major credit. If you have already completed, or are currently registered for, a Cluster One Critical Thinking class, you must secure permission to receive credit for a second Cluster One Critical Thinking class

NSG 393: Family Violence
Section 0001 | Sandra Annan | Online | 1 credit 

This course introduces students to the roots of family violence, including the political, cultural, social, and economic structures that perpetuate violence, and explores approaches to changing those structures in order to reduce or end violence. Students will think critically about the local and global impact of family violence, how it intersects with other forms of oppression, and achieve an understanding of these issues that will be useful intellectually and personally. 

MSCI 355: American Women at War
Section 0001 | Amelia Underwood | M 5:40-7:40PM 

This course invites students to engage a series of issues about the role of women in the US military. This course will examine the contributions & experiences of women who served during the American Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, WW I & II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War(s). Also included in this course is an examination of how women in military service both past and present are an instrument for societal change in America specifically in promoting the cause of women’s rights.

MSCI 360: Gender and Leadership
Section 0001 | Amelia Underwood | TuTh 5:00-7:45PM

Explore gender in leadership by focusing on social scientific research in sociology, psychology, political science, economics, management, organizational behavior, women’s studies and leadership that illuminates the difficulties women experience in attaining and being seen as effective in top leadership positions.

SCOM 301: Feminist Blogging: Writing for Shout Out! JMU
Section 0001 | Sarah Taylor | MWF 1:25-2:15pm

This course examines issues in recent history as a means to introduce, develop and enhance critical thinking skills and to supplement writing, oral communication, library and computing skills objectives for General Education Cluster One. A seminar format allows for careful examination of issues in both oral and written formats. The course emphasizes the development and articulation of well-reasoned arguments in organized and grammatically acceptable prose. May be used for general education credit. May not be used for major credit. 

SCOM 313: Topics in Communication Studies
Topic: Critical Sexuality, Culture, and Communication
Section 0002 | Kathryn Hobson | TuTh  2:00-3:15pm

This course provides a survey of the literature of sexuality and queer theories in communication studies. Using an array of theories and methods, we will be examining the social construction, performance, and constitution of sexuality and in a variety of textual representations and everyday life experiences. Part of this course requires students to be self-reflexive about their gender and sexual identities, while also being exposed to several current debates in politics, health care, representations, activism, and organizing in LGBT and Queer communities.

WRTC 426: Special Topics
Topic: Body Talk
Section 0001 | Michael Klein | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

*Please note that the final project must reflect gender or LGBTQ issues

How do culture and language affect how we conceptualize and understand what a “normal” body looks? In this seminar, we will examine the ways in which bodies are conceived, examined and understood through the lens of medical and health humanities. We will examine course topics—including gender, sexuality, race, ableism and ageism, among others—through readings drawn from health and illness narratives in the form of essays, stories and graphic novels. Assignments will include the composition of analytical texts, and the creation of textual and graphic medical narratives, with students free to frame their final project from a disciplinary perspective of their choosing.

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