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Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program


Dr. Jennifer Popple (Co- Director)
B.A., Drake University; M.Ed., University of Utah; Ph.D., University of Colorado 

Dr. Jennifer Heacock-Renaud (Co-Director)
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Iowa

Major in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) 28 credits

WGSS 130: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies (4 credits)
WGSS 330: Feminist Theories (4 credits)
WGSS 430: Applied Gender/Sexuality Studies (4 credits)

May be research, internship, or activism project that functions as a capstone project in the student’s area of concentration. Replaces 420. Students may substitute another SI project if it fulfills goals of SI in WGSS. Prereq: WGSS 330 (4 credits)

An additional 16 credits, 8 credits of which must be at the 300 level, which includes a minimum of 4 credits of WGSS courses. No more than 8 credits in the same department code, other than WGSS. As part of these additional credits, students will develop a three-course concentration in consultation with their advisors.

Minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) 16 credits

WGSS 130: Introduction to Gender Studies (4 credits)
WGSS 330: Feminist Theories (4 credits)

2 courses at any level from a concentration area (8 credits; at least one of them has to be a WGSS course)

Areas of Concentration:

Gender and the Global Environment

Students in this concentration will examine the historical context in which inequalities in access to global economic, social and cultural resources have been created and sustained and are challenged. The legacy of colonialism, the rise and fall of nationalism(s), migration,intercultural interactions, commodification and the ruins of late capitalism, and their relationship with gender are some of the other aspects of this concentration.

▪ CLAS 340: Women in Antiquity
▪ ENGL 345: Empire and Outsiders
▪ HIST 324: Borders and Crossings: Latin American and Latinos in the U.S., 1830- Present
▪ RELG 388: Women in Buddhism
▪ SOAN 322: Anthropology of Latin America
▪ SOAN 325: Global Connections
▪ SOAN 328: Feminist Anthropology
▪ SOAN 332: Love and Sex
▪ WGSS 230: Gender, Power, and Transnational Perspectives
▪ WGSS 340: Global Masculinities
▪ WGSS 360: Feminism and Grassroots Activities

Gender, Sexuality, and the Cultural Imagination

Students in this concentration will examine cultural production and representations (in literature, mythology, theatre, visual arts, movies, television, etc…) to understand intersecting categories of identity such as gender, sexuality, class, and race. Students will undertake readings, watch films and engage in exercises to explore the past, present and potential future of understandings about gender and sexuality.

▪ART 374: African Art
▪ CLAS 212W (Day): Classical Mythology
▪ CLAS 328W (Day): Classical Epic
▪ COMM 240: Advertising and Consumer Culture
▪ MJMC-404 Advanced Multimedia Project *
▪ ENGL 255: Women in Literature
▪ ENGL 295: Women, Health, South Asian Literature
▪ ENGL 355: Women Writers and Feminist Theory
▪ FREN 361 French Women Writers (pre-req FREN-301)
▪ FREN 311 Masculinity in Rabelais (2 credits) (pre-req FREN-301)
▪ RELG 374: Gender and the Bible
▪ SOAN 222: Popular Culture
▪ THEA 141W (Popple): Introduction to Theatre
▪ THEA 343: Modern and Contemporary Theatre
▪ WGSS 355 Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Popular Culture

Bodies, Health, and Sexuality

Students in this concentration will investigate the ways that complex interactions between scientific knowledge and social constructions of gender, race, and sexuality have and do affect perceptions of the body, access to health care, and the social conditions in which decisions about health and wellness are made. Understanding both physical and social diversity, and the inequalities they produce, is critical to human health and the knowledge of health care providers.

▪WGSS 235: Gender and Sexuality
▪ Biology 310: Evolutionary Biology
▪ HIST 333: Disease and Health
▪ HIST 230: Bodies of Evidence: Scientific Racism in U.S. History
▪ PSYC 226: Human Sexuality
▪ PUBH 206: Sexuality and Health Education
▪ ENGL 225: Women, Health, South Asian Literature
▪ WGSS 355 Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Popular Culture

Identity and Difference

In this concentration students will come to understand how identities are shaped by the social systems we inhabit, and how intersecting differences based on gender, race, class and ethnicity are built into the structure of those societies, both in the past and in the present. They will also come to understand how differences have energized social movements in the past and present.

▪POLS 355: Women and Politics
▪ CLAS 345: Race & Ethnicity in Antiquity
▪ PSYC 228: Psychology of Prejudice
▪ HIST 123: Women and Gender in Latin America, 1492-Present
▪ HIST220: Black Women in U.S.
▪ HIST 230: Bodies of Evidence: Scientific Racism in U.S. History
▪ HIST 340: Gender in U.S. History
▪ SOAN 221: Inequality in America
▪ SOAN 327: Gender in Society
▪ SOAN 329: American Race & Ethnic Relations
▪ WGSS 370: Gender and Social Justice
▪ WGSS 335: Masculinity in American Culture
▪ WGSS 345 Voices, Identity, and Power
▪ WGSS 350: Queer Theories

Social Justice and Public Activism

Students in this concentration will examine a variety of oppressions, including sexism, heterosexism, racism, economic injustice, human trafficking, and others, emphasizing a global and intersectional approach. Students will also focus on learning, imagining, and applying holistic and complex strategies to existing oppressions in order to create and sustain a more equitable, just, and humane world. In addition to coursework, students will have the opportunity, through advising, to shape their Senior Inquiry project, choose study away and/or internship experiences, and participate in volunteer and extracurricular opportunities that reflect their own social justice interests.

▪WGSS-370: Gender and Social Justice
▪ WGSS-360: Feminism and Grassroots Activities
▪ COMM 203: Listening (2 credits)
▪ COMM 204: Mediating Conversation (2 credits)
▪ COMM 205: Sustaining Dialogue (2 credits)
▪ HIST220: Black Women in US
▪ POLS 335: Gender and Sexuality in American Politics
▪ PSYC 130: Victim Advocacy (2 credits)
▪ PSYC 135: Bystander Intervention (1 credit)
▪ SOAN 330: Social Movements
▪ WGSS 350: Queer Theories

Individual Concentration

In consultation with WGSS advisor and program director(s), this concentration is available to any student wishing to develop a focus of their choosing: ecofeminism and food justice, gender and STEM, etc. This will be vetted closely by the advisor and the advisory board.

* Special Topics courses in other departments that deal with topics related to women, gender, and/or sexuality will be considered for inclusion in areas of concentration on a case-by-case basis, as we do presently.

Grade Point Average Notation: All courses listed in the catalog as required courses for any major and/or minor, including those courses outside of the department or with a different subject coding, are considered part of the major and will count in the grade point average. Some departments may have additional grade requirements for the courses offered within their department. Recommended supporting courses that are optional and not required may also count in the major depending on the program. For more information see your department chair or the degree requirements for Bachelor of Arts and information on Majors/Minors.

Courses (WGST)