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Women's and Gender Studies (WGST)

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The Women's and Gender Studies Program provides an interdisciplinary meeting ground for exploring questions about women and gender that are transforming knowledge across disciplinary lines in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Its goal is to include gender, along with class, sexuality and race, as a central category of social and cultural analysis. Courses focusing on women and gender are offered by the departments of Asian Languages and Literatures, Classics, English, German and Russian, French and Spanish, History, Cinema and Media Studies, Music, Religion, Philosophy, Political Science, Art, Sociology and Anthropology, as well as Women's and Gender Studies itself. Carleton offers both a Major and a Concentration in Women's and Gender Studies that allows students to complement their major field with an interdisciplinary focus on women and gender. All courses are open to all students, if they have fulfilled the prerequisites.

Women's and Gender Studies 110, an entry point to the major, is a topical introduction to the field. Women's and Gender Studies 200 and 234 provide the theoretical and methodological tools for advanced work on women and gender. The capstone course, Women's and Gender Studies 396, (Political Science 355 for 2013-2014) offers students the opportunity to study a topic in depth and to produce a substantial research paper. The major culminates in a senior comprehensive project, directed by advisers from two disciplines, that builds on the skills and interests developed in previous coursework in Women's and Gender Studies. Each student devises an appropriate program of courses in consultation with the major adviser.

Requirements for a Major

Total of 66 credits

One introductory course, Women's and Gender Studies 110 or 112

One methodology course, Women's and Gender Studies 200 or 234

One capstone seminar, Political Science 355

Comprehensive Exercise, Women's and Gender Studies 400

In addition to these 24 credits, students must complete an additional 42 credits from the Women's and Gender Studies offerings listed below. Of these 42, no more than 12 credits should be at the 100-level and at least 12 credits should be at the 300-level. Ordinarily, no more than 18 credits may be applied to the major from outside of Carleton.

Students will plan these courses in consultation with the Program Director or a designated faculty adviser when they declare their major, and review their plan each term. The major they design should provide both breadth of exposure to Women's and Gender Studies across fields and depth of study in one discipline (normally at least two courses in one area or from one department).

Women's and Gender Studies Courses

WGST 110. Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies This course is an introduction to the ways in which gender structures our world, and to the ways feminists challenge established intellectual frameworks. However, because gender is not a homogeneous category but is differentiated by class, race, sexualities, ethnicity, and culture, we also consider the ways differences in social location intersect with gender. 6 cr., HU, RAD; HI, IDS, WinterM. Sehgal

WGST 112. Introduction to LGBT/Queer Studies This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary examination of sexual desires, sexual orientations, and the concept of sexuality generally, with a particular focus on the construction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities. The course will look specifically at how these identities interact with other phenomena such as government, family, and popular culture. In exploring sexual diversity, we will highlight the complexity and variability of sexualities, both across different historical periods, and in relation to identities of race, class, and ethnicity. 6 cr., HU, RAD; HI, IDS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 200. Gender, Power and the Pursuit of Knowledge In this course we will examine whether there are feminist ways of knowing, the criteria by which knowledge is classified as feminist and the various methods used by feminists to produce this knowledge. Some questions that will occupy us are: How do we know what we know? Who does research? Does it matter who the researcher is? How does the social location (race, class, gender, sexuality) of the researcher affect research? Who is the research for? How can research relate to efforts for social change? While answering these questions, we will consider how different feminist researchers have dealt with them. 6 cr., SS; SI, IS, FallM. Sehgal

WGST 205. The Politics of Women's Health This course will explore the politics of women's health from the perspective of women of different races, ethnicities, classes and sexual orientations in the U.S. The organization of the health care system and women's activism (as consumers and health care practitioners) shall frame our explorations of menstruation, sexuality, nutrition, body image, fertility control, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. We will cover basic facts about the female body and pay particular attention to adjustments the body makes during physiological events (i.e. menstruation, sexual and reproductive activity, and menopause). We will focus on the medicalization of these processes and explore alternatives to this medicalization. 6 cr., SS, WR, RAD; SI, WR2, IDS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 210. Sexuality and Religious Controversies in the United States and Beyond From pulpits to political campaigns, notions of sexuality are deployed in religious discourse to develop definitions of morality, ethics, family, marriage, gender, citizenship, civil liberties, righteousness and sinfulness. Religious concepts have also been used as creative tools to repress, liberate, legislate, and re-vision various conceptions of sexuality. This course will examine the ways in which religious ideologies, theologies, motivations, and practices function in both public and private contexts in debates over a range of topics, including homosexuality, abortion, and public comportment. We will consider questions about how ideas of sexuality are established as normative through scriptural, ritual, and rhetorical devices. 6 cr., HU, RAD; HI, IDS, Offered in alternate years. SpringS. Sippy

WGST 215. Feminist Practices, Activism and Social Change This course introduces students to the study of feminist practices. What is the relationship of feminist theory to feminist practice? What is feminist activism? What tactics and strategies have feminist individuals and collectives undertaken for social change? How have some strategies been successful, while others have failed? Through a set of course readings and open small-group dialogue the course will look at a variety of tactics and strategies feminists have undertaken for social change. The course will enable students to experiment with some strategies, learn through the process of doing and reflect on theory and practice through hands-on learning projects. 6 cr., SS, RAD; SI, IDS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 231. Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Science This course will function as an introduction to feminist science studies with a particular focus on the production of race, gender, and sexuality in the biosciences. We will consider such questions as: What knowledges count as "science?" What is objectivity? How do cultural assumptions shape scientific knowledge production in different historical periods? What is the relationship between "the body" and scientific data? Is feminist science possible? We will draw on a range of sources including theories and critiques of science, primary science publications, pop science bestsellers, and the Science section of the New York Times. 6 cr., SS; SI, IDS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 234. Feminist Theory Feminism has to do with changing the world. We will explore feminist debates about changing the world using a historical framework to situate feminist theories in the context of the philosophical and political thought of specific time periods and cultures. Thus, we will follow feminist theories as they challenged, critiqued, subverted and revised liberalism, Marxism, existentialism, socialism, anarchism, critical race theories, multiculturalism, postmodernism and post-colonialism. We will focus on how theory emerges from and informs matters of practice. We will ask: What counts as theory? Who does it? How is it institutionalized? Who gets to ask the questions and to provide the answers? 6 cr., SS, RAD; SI, IS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 239. Transnational Feminisms This course examines the field of transnational feminist theorizing and the practices of global feminisms. Using a comparative feminist solidarity model, we will learn how to cross the borders of nation, race, class and sexuality to engage with differently situated people. We will focus on postcolonial feminist critiques of the western feminist lens and start developing self-reflexivity in terms of learning how to situate one's identity and work transnationally. We will map out the transnational dimensions of gender, race, class and sexuality, focusing in particular on nationalism, religious fundamentalism, militarism, globalization, and the politics of resistance. 6 cr., ND, RAD; SI, IS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 240. Gender, Globalization and War This course examines the relationship between globalization, gender and militarism to understand how globalization and militarism are gendered, and processes through which gender becomes globalized and militarized. We will focus on the field of transnational feminist theorizing which both "genders the international" and "internationalizes gender." We will take up the different theoretical and disciplinary approaches to this project, as well as the perspectives and methods put forth for studying gender, race and class transnationally. We will explore how economic development, human rights, and the politics of resistance (particularly in the NGO sector) are gendered. 6 cr., SS; SI, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 250. Women's Health Activism This course focuses on women's health movements and feminist activism around reproductive justice in the United States. Our explorations will be linked to a Carleton art gallery exhibition titled EveryBody! that highlights the use of graphic teaching aids, polemical publications and artistic projects by women's health movements to teach women to celebrate "embodied self-knowledge." Our intellectual focus will be on the role of feminist activism in shifting the discourse around women's health from medicalized pathology to empowerment. The course will have a civic engagement component that encourages students to develop creative visual approaches to feminist health education in the community. 6 cr., SS, RAD; HI, IS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 255. Gender, Justice and Community Engagement This civic engagement course will have a changing thematic focus on a social issue that will bring feminist theory and practice together into a fieldwork setting. Beginning from a vision of gender justice that necessarily involves racial, sexual, and economic dimensions, we will explore feminist politics through collaborations with communities on and off-campus. The course will enable students to engage in self-reflexive activism, learn through the process of doing, explore theories of gender and contribute to local community organization's efforts to bring about gender justice. Prerequisite: Womens and Gender Studies 234 or permission of instructor. 6 cr., SS, RAD; SI, IDS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 310. Asian Mystiques Demystified This class will focus on the topic of Asian sexuality and gender, considering traditional, transnational, and transgressive representations of Asian sexualities, femininities, masculinities and bodies. Often associated with paradoxical images of sensuality, spirituality, repression, and femininity, Asian sexuality has a long history, shaped by enduring colonial imaginaries and our transnational, capitalist present. Tracing a genealogy of Asian mystiques, we will study classical sources that have served as "prooftexts" for these images, and will then focus our attention on Asian literature, film, art, religious traditions, and social movements that have produced their own, often alternative, conceptions of Asian sexualities and gender. 6 cr., HU; HI, IS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 315. Queer Ethnographies Across Latin America and the Caribbean This course focuses on the history and culture of non-normative gender and sexualities across Latin America, the Caribbean and its diaspora. Our focus will question the changing meanings and boundaries of gender and sexuality and their dynamics with race, sex and class across the continent, through the exploration of queer ethnographies primarily. Students will complete the course with a more complex understanding of the historical and cultural embeddedness of sexual identities, practices and communities in the Americas. 6 cr., SS, RAD; SI, IS, Not offered in 2013-2014.

WGST 400. Integrative Exercise 6 cr., ND, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff


Other Courses Pertinent to Women's and Gender Studies

This is a selective and suggestive list. A variety of courses are by visitors or offered only occasionally and may be considered. Contact the director for consideration of other courses to satisfy this requirement.

ARTH 220 The Origins of Manga: Japanese Prints

ARTH 223 Women in Art (not offered in 2013-2014)

CAMS 225 Film Noir: The Dark Side of the American Dream

CLAS 214 Gender and Sexuality in Classical Antiquity

ENGL 217 A Novel Education

ENGL 218 The Gothic Spirit

ENGL 319 The Rise of the Novel

ENGL 327 Victorian Novel

FREN 241 The Lyric and Other Seductions

HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877

HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877

HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History

HIST 236 Women's Lives in Pre-Modern Europe (not offered in 2013-2014)

HIST 259 Women in South Asia: Histories, Narratives and Representation

HIST 280 African in the Arab World (not offered in 2013-2014)

HIST 286 Africans in the Arab World: On Site and Revisited (not offered in 2013-2014)

JAPN 236 Classical Japanese Fiction: The Tale of Genji and Its World in Translation (not offered in 2013-2014)

POSC 219 Protest, Power & Grassroots Organizing: American Social Movements (not offered in 2013-2014)

POSC 228 Foucault: Bodies in Politics (not offered in 2013-2014)

POSC 276 Arendt: Imagination and Politics (not offered in 2013-2014)

POSC 306 How Race Matters in American Politics* (not offered in 2013-2014)

POSC 352 Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville*

POSC 355 Identity, Culture and Rights*

POSC 359 Cosmopolitanism* (not offered in 2013-2014)

PSYC 224 Psychology of Gender (not offered in 2013-2014)

RELG 188 Women and Religion: India and Abroad (not offered in 2013-2014)

RELG 213 Sex and Scriptures (not offered in 2013-2014)

RELG 227 Liberation Theologies

RELG 230 Feminist Theologies (not offered in 2013-2014)

RELG 287 Many Marys

SOAN 226 Anthropology of Gender

SOAN 265 Globalization, Gender and Militarism (not offered in 2013-2014)

SOAN 395 Ethnography of Reproduction (not offered in 2013-2014)

SPAN 244 Spain Today: Recent Changes through Narrative and Film

SPAN 255 Women Dramatists in Latin America: Staging Conflicts (not offered in 2013-2014)

WGST 112 Introduction to LGBT/Queer Studies (not offered in 2013-2014)

WGST 231 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Science (not offered in 2013-2014)

WGST 234 Feminist Theory (not offered in 2013-2014)

WGST 240 Gender, Globalization and War (not offered in 2013-2014)

WGST 250 Women's Health Activism (not offered in 2013-2014)