Course Descriptions

Spring 2015

 WMST 200: Issues in Feminism

Prof. Carly Hayden Foster

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45

Over the course of this semester, we will explore feminism from a number of different perspectives, focusing on the history of the American women’s movement, the key components of feminist theory, and the role of activism in American culture.  We will find ourselves regularly revisiting a number of larger questions: How can we define various modes of feminism?  How has feminist thought and practice shaped American society over the last seventy-five years?  How is feminism evolving to respond to the concerns of twenty-first century men and women?  How does a focus on gender oppression address other kinds of oppression—racism, classism, homophobia, etc..  Readings and discussions are intended to be multidisciplinary in nature, touching on issues of science, religion, law, politics, and contemporary culture.

 

WMST/SOC 308-1: Women Gender and Society

Elizabeth Stygar, Instructor

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 11:00-11:50

This course examines the concept of gender from the sociological perspective. Thus, we will be looking at the social causes and consequences of breaking gender into rigid dichotomies. We will focus on how society’s organization results in different treatment for women and men and how this different treatment often times benefits men at the expense of women. Society’s structure imposes different rules, regulations and benefits on men and women. Thus, our main objectives are twofold. First, we will analyze the ramifications society’s organization has for women and men. Second, we will expose how problematic it is to assume that all men and all women are alike.

 

WMST/SOC 308-2: Women Gender and Society

Prof. Alyson Spurgas

Thursdays, 6:00-8:50 PM

This course is an introduction to the sociological study of sex, gender, and, to some extent, sexuality. Over the course of the semester, we will utilize a feminist perspective to examine a variety of social categories and structures of power. Drawing on the insights of recent interdisciplinary feminist scholarship, we will examine prevailing ideologies of gender and the institutions that enforce and uphold them. We will explore how girls and women learn, internalize, and resist these prevailing ideologies; we will examine the social institutions that shape women’s lives; and we will study the effect these ideologies and institutions have on people of all genders and sexualities. Throughout, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which women’s experiences and life options are simultaneously affected by a myriad of factors, including race, ethnicity, nationality, class, health/physical ability, body size/weight, religion, age, sexual orientation, and other intersecting identity categories. After this survey of the gendered context of U.S. society and culture, we will go on to discuss a range of current global social and political issues, including women’s self-esteem and desire, sexual and reproductive rights, and both sexual and non-sexual violence. Finally, we will explore the ways that women have worked together to resist gender subjugation and effect social change. We will always keep in mind how gender impacts everyone—not just women.

 

WMST/SPC 331: Gender and Commuication

Prof. Komie Bumpers

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45

This course is an investigation of the influences of gender on the communication process.  Activities, exercises and presentations, sensitize students to gender influence on verbal and nonverbal communication.

 

WMST/CJ 367: Gender and Criminal Justice

Prof. Trish Oberweis

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00-12:15

Have you ever wondered whether gender matters in our Criminal Justice System?  Have you ever considered how men and women are different in their criminal offending and in how crime impacts our gendered lives?  Should men and women be punished in the same ways?  In Gender and Justice, we explore these and other questions  as we think about the American Criminal Justice System.  In this course, students will learn how gender shapes our lives as citizens,  as well as how gender informs every element of the criminal justice system, from how laws are conceived, enacted, enforced, and interpreted, to how gender impacts offenders, enforcers, prosecutors, judges, correctional personnel, and even how we react to and understand events and crimes in a gendered way.

 

WMST/SOC 391: Marriage and Family

Elizabeth Stygar, Instructor

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 12:00-12:50

In this course we will examine the family as an institution that shapes and is shaped by society.  We will focus on marriage and the family in U.S. society.  We will also discuss behavioral change including gender roles; dating and mate selection; love and intimacy; alternative family forms; communication/conflict; and divorce/remarriage. We will locate the family within a socio-cultural framework—understanding the social forces that influence the family.  Our course is designed to understand the family (as public and private) and its relationship with other social institutions found in contemporary American society.

 

WMST/POLS 441: Women and Politics in America

Prof. Carly Hayden-Foster

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00-1:15

In this course we will examine a broad range of subjects related to women and politics: women’s political behavior and activism, feminist political theory, campaigns and elections, women’s roles in creating public policy, and ways that women are affected by public policy. We will investigate ways that gender operates as an organizational structure in the US political system.  Most of the course will focus on contemporary political realities for women in the US, but we will also examine women’s politics in historical and international contexts.

 

WMST/EPFR 451: Gender and Education

Prof. Jennifer Logue

Wednesdays, 5:30-8:20 PM

In this course we will examine gender as a social construct, critically analyzing the ways that social inequalities are reproduced and resisted in schools, popular culture, and other social institutions. We will consider the ways in which gender intersects with other aspects of identity including race and sexuality in educational settings and explore their larger social and global implications. We will consider issues such as adolescent culture, school policies on sex education, harassment, and bullying with a particular focus on how gender and sexuality are fundamental bases of social inequality. Readings, lectures, assignments and discussions will examine how gender is fashioned, resisted, reformed, and continually in process.

 

WMST/HIST 452: Native American Women

Prof. Rowena McClinton

Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00-4:15 PM

This course provides students with ways to examine how Native Women lived, thought, and interacted with “newcomers,” later called Americans but preserved their own life ways.  Opening up vistas to the lives of Native women, this course concentrates on Indian idea of gender that focused on labor.  In many Native societies, women were female because they produced vegetables; men were male because they produced meat. For example, Cherokees inquired at birthing: Is it a bow or a sifter?  Bow, the weapon of war and hunting, epitomized masculinity, and sifter, tool for bread making, symbolized femininity.  In most Native societies, social and economic roles determined gender.  This opportunity affords students to investigate multiple perspectives through literature, history, philosophy, and lengthy discussions.

 

ART 471/WMST 490: Topics in Early Modern Art: Renaissance and Baroque Women

Prof. Katherine Poole-Jones

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:15

This course will investigate the role of women as artists, as patrons/collectors, and as subjects of art during the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, primarily in Italy. We will consider the ideological issues critical to understanding the history of women during this period, focusing on the social, religious, economic, and cultural factors that shaped the art that women produced and commissioned, paying special attention to the obstacles and struggles they faced that were not experienced by their male counterparts. A wide variety of imagery will be explored, from the erotic to the domestic, and the mythological to the religious, as we familiarize ourselves with the wives, widows, nuns, rulers, goddesses, saints, courtesans, heroines, and artists of the early modern period. The course will consist of lectures as well as frequent seminar-style discussions of readings. The semester will culminate with a group project revolving around the proposal of a commission typical for an early modern woman, such as the design of a studio or a tomb complex, the patronage of a church or convent.

Prerequisites: While ART 225b (with a grade of C or better) provides a useful background in visual analysis and methodology, students with a strong interest in Women’s Studies and/or the role of women in history and culture will be permitted to enroll in this class with the permission of the instructor.

 

WMST/ENG 478: Studies in Women, Language, and Literature: The Ties That Bind: Daughters, Mothers, Wives, and Lovers in American Women’s Fiction

Prof. Catherine Seltzer

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45

During the ninetieth and early twentieth centuries, the image of American women was shaped in large part by what historian Barbara Welter has termed “the Cult of True Womanhood,” in which women were valorized for their sacrifices to their families. In this course, we will read works by late twentieth-century and twenty-first century women authors that examine the vestiges of these ideals, probing cultural expectations of dutiful daughters, devoted mothers, supportive wives, and loyal lovers. Our course’s title, then, refers not only to the “ties that bind” us together as families and communities, but those that bind in more violent ways and become restrictive in women’s searches for autonomous selves.

Over the course of the semester we will read a number of novels, short stories, poems, and a play, in addition to numerous critical essays.   Grades will be based upon quizzes, presentations, three short papers, and one seminar paper.

 

WMST 499: Practicum in Women’s Studies

See Prof. Catherine Seltzer to set up an individualized practicum.

Courses Currently Running: Fall 2014

 WMST200: Issues in Feminism

Prof. Catherine Seltzer

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Over the course of this semester, we will explore feminism from a number of different perspectives, focusing on the history of the American women’s movement, the key components of feminist theory, and the role of activism in American culture.  We will find ourselves regularly revisiting a number of larger questions: How can we define various modes of feminism?  How has feminist thought and practice shaped American society over the last seventy-five years?  How is feminism evolving to respond to the concerns of twenty-first century men and women?  How does a focus on gender oppression address other kinds of oppression—racism, classism, homophobia, etc..  Readings and discussions are intended to be multidisciplinary in nature, touching on issues of science, religion, law, politics, and contemporary culture.

WMST/PSYC 305: Psychology of Gender

Prof. Michael Dudley

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3;30-4:45 PM

After taking this course, students should be able to understand, identify and describe the following concepts: the significance of gender; the biological/sociological foundations of gender; how gender affects cognition; Theories on gender development and gender stereotypes; how emotions and relationships are influenced by gender; and the impact of gender on physical and mental health.

WMST/SOC 308: Women, Gender and Society

Section 01, Prof.  Linda Markowitz

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:00-10:50

Section 02, Prof.  Linda Markowitz

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:30-2:45

Section  03, TBA

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45

This course examines the concept of gender from the sociological perspective. Thus, we will be looking at the social causes and consequences of breaking gender into rigid dichotomies. We will focus on how society’s organization results in different treatment for women and men and how this different treatment often times benefits men at the expense of women. Society’s structure imposes different rules, regulations and benefits on men and women. Thus, our main objectives are twofold. First, we will analyze the ramifications society’s organization has for women and men. Second, we will expose how problematic it is to assume that all men and all women are alike.

WMST/ENG 341: African-American Women’s Writing

Prof. Tisha Brooks

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00-1:15

In this class, we will consider the varying purposes for which black women have written in the face of tremendous obstacles and challenges.  Focusing primarily on novels in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, we will explore the continuities of theme across time periods, while analyzing changing strategies and approaches that black women writers have employed in their writing. To enhance our discussions and deepen our understanding of these texts, we will also read several critical essays written by scholars and intellectuals who are central to the study of African American women’s literature. This class is collaborative in nature. As a result, you are expected to contribute actively to our class discussions.

WMST/PHIL 345: Women, Knowledge, and Reality

Prof. Sue Cataldi

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00-1:15

This course examines whether and how gender impacts our ways of understanding and investigating the world and ourselves.  Special attention will be paid to gender’s influence on our claims to knowledge, our worldviews and our understanding of human selves as conscious and embodied beings.

WMST/SOC 391: Marriage and Family

Section 01, Prof.  Flo Maatita

Mondays and Wednesdays 12:00-1:15

Section 02, Elizabeth Stygar

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:30-2:45

This course provides a sociological examination of families in the US.  Such an understanding involves three primary components:  (1) Attention to the family as an institution rooted in an historical and social context; (2) An investigation of the relationships within the family and how these relationships change over time; and (3) A critical analysis of the interdependent relationship between the family and other social institutions.  We will discuss a range of topics, which includes:  the diversity of family forms; race-ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and power dynamics; marriage; parenthood; divorce and repartnering; family violence; and family law.

WMST/ENG 478: Studies in Women, Language, and Literature: Ancient and Medieval

Prof. Nancy Ruff

Wednesdays 6:00-8:50 PM

This course examines the role of women as subject, author and audience of western literature written from 800 BC – 1500 AD. The course aims to provide a broad view of the nature of women’s lives, thought, and accomplishments as seen through their writings as well as through those of others, both contemporary and modern.

WMST Office ~ Peck Hall 3407 ~ Campus Box 1350 ~ 618-650-5060 ~ siuewmst@gmailcom

One response to “Course Descriptions

  1. Pingback: Sexual Assault Awareness Month and The Activist Impulse | SIUE Women's Studies Program

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