Women's StudiesJacqueline D. Spears, Director
Professors Hedrick, Kremer, McElroy, Oukrop, Richter, Shoop, Takemoto, and Thurston; Associate Professors Anderson, Benson, Britton, Cooper, Cozzarelli, Culley, De Bres, Dickinson, Dinkel, Dodd, Franko, Holcomb, McGrath, Nelson, Rozemond, Spears, Verschelden, Wheatley, and Wood; Assistant Professors Deans, Hubler, Janette, Nafziger, Scott, Williams, and Zschoche; Instructors Divine, Earles-Law, and Mara.
The women's studies program focuses on women, whose changing roles and expectations are the most profound and widespread social phenomenon of our time.
Courses in women's studies examine various aspects of women's lives, including not only the barriers and prejudices that still hold women back but also women's achievements. Some courses focus on the nature of sex differences and gender roles. Others focus on the interrelationships among women, gender roles, and the major institutions which shape our society. Humanities courses explore images and achievements of women in a wide range of creative media. History and anthropology discuss interrelationships of women and men in various cultural contexts across time and around the world.
Women's studies is direct preparation for many careers that serve, counsel, or communicate about women. A secondary major in women's studies combines especially well with such majors as journalism, any form of counseling, or pre-law. Women's studies is also an excellent liberal arts concentration, forming a firm basis for graduate work in any liberal professional field.
WOMST 205. Gender, Ethnicity, and Class. (3) I. The diversity of women's experiences within the United States and in other countries. Using a framework that examines how gender is shaped within the contexts of ethnicity and class, students will be introduced to multicultural feminisms through an active examination of history, literature, and social science.
WOMST 380. Women and Global Social Change. (3) I, alternate falls. This course explores contemporary approaches that help meet the needs of women and their families in different parts of the world, including the Plains region. Students will learn how approaches to social change in the Third World influence women in North America, and how First World women relate to women's movements and organizations in the Third World. Pr.: ENGL 100 or 110.
WOMST 405. Senior Seminar in Women's Studies. (3) I. An intercollegiate, interdisciplinary course organized topically with students presenting papers which draw upon previous and concurrent academic experience and which approach a given topic with a consistent focus on the role of women. Provides supervised independent study and subsequent discussion, allowing students to integrate and order their perceptions about the unique roles, problems, and contributions of women. Pr.: Introduction to Women's Studies and at least 6 hours of women's studies courses.
WOMST 410. Feminist Thought. (3) II. Survey of a variety of feminist analyses of society, culture, and work, as well as visions for social change. The historical development of key feminist theories, contemporary debates, and multicultural and global feminism will be analyzed.
WOMST 500. Topics in Women's Studies. (1-3) I, II. A rubric under which a variety of courses are offered, including Women and Science; Women and Religion; Women and Law; Women and Leadership.
WOMST 505. Independent Study in Women's Studies. (1-3) I, II. Independent, interdisciplinary, supervised studies in an area of women's studies which does not fall within the boundaries of a traditional department. May be repeated once for credit with change of topic. Pr.: Junior standing, consent of instructor(s), and approval of women's studies director.
WOMST 510. The History and Politics of Family Violence. (3) Intersession. Explores the history of family or domestic violence in America as a social, cultural, legal, and public policy issue from the colonial period to the present. Stress is placed upon the cultural roots and evolution of domestic law. The development of state-controlled social welfare agencies as well as the emergence of the ``battered women's movement" is particularly emphasized.
WOMST 550. Women and Popular Culture. (3) II. Images of women in a variety of popular media forms: fiction, film, television, music (including MTV), magazines, advertising, and material culture. Women are explored as objects, consumers, and producers of popular culture. Material is drawn from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, history, literary criticism, and cultural studies. Pr.: WOMST 105 or at least 3 hours of women's studies credit.
WOMST 560. Women and Violence. (3) I. The roots of male violence against women, cultural forms of sexual coercion and violence, and strategies for envisioning and enacting social change. Topics addressed include rape/ sexual harassment. Pr.: WOMST 105 or at least 3 hours of women's studies credit.
WOMST 580. Women and Religion. (3) I. How gender relations and women have been shaped by the development of religious ideologies and practices throughout the contemporary world, as well as in early class and pre-class societies. Construction of gender by religious institutions and feminist religious activities studied in relation to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, traditional Native American faiths, and diverse forms of paganism. Pr.: WOMST 105 or at least 3 hours of women's studies credit.
WOMST 590. Field Experience in Women's Studies. (3) II, in even years. Includes field placement in campus or community organizations in order to explore different ways to promote women's self-sufficiency and social equality. Concurrently, students will engage in academic readings and class sessions that address feminist approaches to social change, program design, and participatory action research. Pr.: WOMST 105 or at least 3 hours of women's studies credit.
WOMST 700. Advanced Topics in Women's Studies. (1-3) In-depth theoretical and empirical analysis of the scholarly works relating to an interdisciplinary topic in women's studies. For students who have a basic knowledge of women's studies and/or the topic area.
College of Education
Foundations and adult education
Curriculum, instruction, and policy studies
College of Human Ecology
Human development and family studies
Also offered every year are intersession courses and special topics courses in a variety of disciplines such as women and science fiction; gender and ethnicity in Jewish American novels; women in Central America.