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Women's and Gender Studies (WGST)

Directors: Professors Diane Nemec Ignashev, fall and Kathryn Sparling, winter and spring

Assistant Professor: Meera Sehgal

Post-Doctoral Fellow: Aureliano Maria DeSoto

Committee Members: Barbara Allen, Aureliano DeSoto, Carol Donelan, Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Clara Hardy, Annette Igra, Diane M. Nemec Ignashev, Annette Nierobisz, Meera Sehgal, Parna Sengupta, Kathryn Sparling

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, Romance Languages and Literatures, 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, 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

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

One capstone seminar, Women's and Gender Studies 396

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, SpringB. Allen, A. Igra

WGST 111. American "Queer": An Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies This course focuses on the emergence and development of LGBT identities in the United States from World War II to the present moment. The course considers the consolidation of lesbian and gay identities before 1969, the Stonewall Rebellion, the divergence of lesbian and gay male subcultures in the 1970s, the AIDS crisis and sexualized lesbian feminisms of the 1980s, new queer activism and commercialization of lesbian and gay identity in the 1990s, and the importance and visibility of transgender identities in the new century. This course functions as a foundational interdisciplinary introduction to LGBT experience in the United States. 6 cr., HU, RAD, FallA. DeSoto

WGST 200. Feminist Ways of Knowing 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, Not offered in 2007-2008.

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 for 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, RAD, FallM. Sehgal

WGST 230. Transgender: Culture, Politics, and Identity Over the last ten years, transgender identity and activism have placed the "T" in acronym LGBT at the forefront of spirited debates within the LGBT community over gender, sexuality, identity, and transformation. This course examines this growing field of cultural, political, academic, and visual work, by examining a set of key questions: What is Transgender? What is the history of transsexuality and transgenderism? What are the differences between transsexualism and transgenderism? How do they challenge or undermine our assumed or unexamined ideas of gender and difference, and how do they relate to lesbian and gay sexuality and coalition-building efforts? 6 cr., HU, RAD, WinterA. DeSoto

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., ND, RAD, Not offered in 2007-2008.

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., SS, RAD, WinterM. Sehgal

WGST 396. Capstone Seminar-LGBT Film and Literature: Issues in Representation Focusing on poly-genre works of film and literature in United States LGBT cultural history, this course will examine both content and form in the creation of literary and filmic representations of what constitutes the lesbian, the gay, and the transgender subject. Specific course foci include the politics of representation, critical models for analyzing film and literature, and debates both within LGBT communities and between LGBT communities and dominant heterosexual culture on representation in the project of "becoming visible." The course is designed to support the completion of a major research project in LGBT literature, film, or other visual media. 6 cr., AL, RAD, SpringA. DeSoto


Other Courses Pertinent to Women's and Gender Studies:

ARTH 220 Gender and Genre in the Floating World: Japanese Prints (not offered in 2007-2008)

ARTH 223 Women in Art (not offered in 2007-2008)

ASLN 231 Intercultural Texts: Japanese and Indian Women Writing Abroad (not offered in 2007-2008)

CLAS 114 Gender and Sexuality in Classical Antiquity

ENGL 241 Language Thieves: Women in American Poetry (not offered in 2007-2008)

ENGL 318 The Gothic Spirit (not offered in 2007-2008)

ENGL 319 The Rise of the Novel (not offered in 2007-2008)

FREN 241 The Lyric and Other Seductions

HIST 222 U.S. Women's History to 1877 (not offered in 2007-2008)

HIST 223 U.S. Women's History Since 1877 (not offered in 2007-2008)

HIST 229 Gender and Work in U.S. History (not offered in 2007-2008)

HIST 236 Courtly Queens to Revolutionary Heroines: European Women 1100-1800 (not offered in 2007-2008)

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

JAPN 236 Classical Japanese Fiction: The Tale of Genji and Its World in Translation (not offered in 2007-2008)

MUSC 113 Music and Gender (not offered in 2007-2008)

MUSC 213 Music and Gender (not offered in 2007-2008)

PHIL 235 Feminist Philosophy (not offered in 2007-2008)

POSC 353 Feminist and American Separatist Movements* (not offered in 2007-2008)

POSC 355 Contemporary Feminist Thought: Identity, Culture and Rights* (not offered in 2007-2008)

PSYC 224 Psychology of Gender (not offered in 2007-2008)

RELG 224 Women and Christianity (not offered in 2007-2008)

RELG 258 Women and Buddhism

RELG 322 Gender and God-Talk: Christian Feminist Theologies

SOAN 226 Anthropology of Gender

SPAN 244 Spain Today: Recent Changes through Narrative and Film

SPAN 255 Women Dramatists in Latin America: Staging Conflicts

SPAN 344 Women Writers in Latin America: Challenging Gender and Genre (not offered in 2007-2008)

THEA 351 Women Playwrights/Women's Roles (not offered in 2007-2008)