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Women's Studies

Angela Hubler, Director

Professors Cooper, Dodd, Hedrick, McElroy, Richter, Takemoto, and Thurston; Associate Professors Anderson, Benson, Britton, Culley, De Bres, Dickinson, Dinkel, Holcomb, Hubler, Janette, Janke, McGrath, Nel, Nelson, Scott, Spears, Verschelden, Ward, Wheatley, Williams, Wood, and Zschoche; Assistant Professors Askey, Baillarqeon, and Muturi; Instructors Carroll.

E-mail: womst@k-state.edu


Women's studies explores how and why gender and related institutions of inequality have been created and are being transformed nationally and globally. It analyzes gender as a social institution that is one of the major ways in which society is organized. It focuses on understanding women's lives, status, and contributions to society and the various disciplines.

Generally, women's studies seeks to make women of all ages the central category of analysis, using feminist and other relevant theories and methods, and through multidisciplinary, historically based, academic and social action research. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which women are shaped by the major interlocking institutions of difference: gender/sexuality, “race”/ethnicity, class, and global inequality. Viewing knowledge as empowering, women's studies has the goal of integrating theory and practice to redefine cultural and material relationships so as to eliminate gender inequality and other forms of hierarchy. In the classroom, women's studies faculty members foster an interactive learning environment and encourage students to consider their own experiences in relation to course content.

With a degree in women's studies, a graduate is prepared for a variety of career directions, including the administration of women's programs, health or human services fields, and education. Women's studies is also an excellent liberal arts major, providing a firm foundation for graduate work in any professional field or academic discipline. Graduates may continue their studies in women's studies or, for instance, in the social sciences, the humanities, law, or a variety of social services or medical fields.

Major requirements

For the major, a student must complete 30 credit hours of women's studies core courses and courses cross-listed with other departments, at least 12 of which must be at the 500 level or above. Four women's studies courses are required for all majors:

WOMST 105Introduction to Women's Studies
WOMST 205Gender, Ethnicity, and Class
WOMST 410Feminist Thought
WOMST 610Seminar in Women's Studies

In addition to these courses, the 30 required hours are distributed as follows:

Core women's studies course (3 credit hours)
WOMST 500Topics (variable)
WOMST 505Independent Study
WOMST 590Field Experience in Women's Studies
WOMST 700Advanced Independent Study
(or choose WOMST from lists below)
Humanities (6 credit hours)
WOMST450Stories of a Young Girl
WOMST 550Women and Popular Culture
WOMST 580Women and Religion
WOMST 585Women and Islam
ART 654Women in Art
ENGL 525Women in Literature
MUSIC 220Topics in Music: Women in Music
MUSIC 390Special Studies in Music (with an approved topic)

The following ENGL courses vary in their emphasis— topics are approved for a given semester if they address women or gender:

ENGL 395Topics in English
ENGL 604Expository Writing Workshop
ENGL 625Readings in 18th Century British Literature
ENGL 655Readings in American Ethnic Literature
ENGL 660Readings in Major Authors
ENGL 670Topics
ENGL 680Topics in American Literature
ENGL 695Topics in Literature
ENGL 710Studies in a Literary Genre
ENGL 720Studies in a Major Author
ENGL 730Studies in a Literary Period
ENGL 740Studies in a Literary Theory
HIST 512Women in European History
HIST 540Women in America, 1600 to the Civil War
HIST 542Women in America, Civil War to the Present
HIST 551History and Politics of Family Violence
PHILO 135Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
PHILO 150Introduction to the Philosophy of Feminism
PHILO 525Social Political Thought (when offered as Women in Western Thought)
PHILO 590Topics/Philosophy of Feminism
SPCH 630Topics in Rhetoric and Communication (when offered as Feminism and Rhetoric or Women and Political Campaign Communication)
THTRE 782Women in Theatre
Social science (6 credit hours)
WOMST 380Women and Global Social Change
WOMST 510The History and Politics of Family Violence
WOMST 560Women and Violence
ANTH 508Male/Female Cross-Cultural Perspectives
ANTH 633Gender, Power, and International Development
KIN 796Gender Issues, Sports, and Exercise
POLSCI 606Gender and Politics
PSYCH 540Psychology of Women
PSYCH 543Women's Mental Health Issues
PSYCH 563Gender Issues in the Workplace
SOCIO 545Sociology of Women
SOCIO 633Gender, Power, and International Development
SOCIO 665Women and Crime
SOCIO 670Diversity and Social Interaction in the Workplace
MC 612Gender Issues and the Media
Electives (3 credit hours)
Any from the above lists or one from the following:
EDADM786Topics in Education (when offered as Programming for Women's Concerns)
EDADL430Women and Leadership
EDCIP735Curriculum Materials for Non-Sexist Teaching
EDACE 750Women, Education, Work
FN520Topic: Women's Health and Aging
FSHS 300Problems in Family Studies and Human Services (when offered as The Mature Woman: Middle Age and Later Years)
FSHS 350Family Relationships and Gender Roles
FSHS 600Economic Status of Women
FSHS 708Topics in Family Studies and Human Services (when offered as The Legal Rights of Women)
FSHS865Human Sexuality


The minor in women's studies consists of 15 credits: WOMST 105 Introduction to Women's Studies; WOMST 610 Seminar in Women's Studies (or a WOMST course at or above the 500 level approved by director); and three WOMST approved electives from two different disciplines.

Women's studies courses

University General Education courseWOMST 105. Introduction to Women's Studies. (3) I, II, S. An interdisciplinary introduction to academic and community-based thinking about women's lives: (1) how gender inequality in society restricts women's development, limits their contributions to the dominant culture, and subjects women to systematic violence and (2) strategies with which women can gain power within existing institutions and develop new models of social relations. Particular attention will be paid to issues of race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality.

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.

University General Education courseWOMST 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 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.

University General Education courseWOMST450. The Stories of a Young Girl. (3) I. An interdisciplinary examination of female adolescence, focusing in particular on the way it is depicted in literature. Pr.: ENGL 100 or 110.

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 Law; and Women and Environmentalism: The Ecofeminist Perspective.

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 585. Women and Islam. (3) Intersession only. A study of the history and sources of Islam with particular reference to women in a variety of cultures, ranging from Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East to the Western World.

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 610. 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 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.

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