2008-2009 Gender Studies Courses



Introduction to Gender Studies


Establishes a conceptual foundation for the GNDR minor by providing students with a broad-based understanding and analysis of gender and gender studies. Addresses issues relating to race, sexual orientation, class, multiculturalism, and men’s and women’s studies. (This class is a strongly suggested prerequisite for all other Gender Studies courses.)




Human Sexuality


Students explore issues of maleness and femaleness. Emphasis is placed on identifying and evaluating value systems relating to sexuality. The impact of cultural definitions on individual behavior is also examined. Attention is directed toward societal ramifications of shifting roles with the intention of evaluating new alternatives open to men and women. A final emphasis is placed on understanding sexual functioning and different means of sexual expression.




Special Topics


Presents a number of special topics allowing students to explore a wide range of issues relevant to gender studies. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100. See list below for sample courses.


Sample GNDR 300 Special Topics Offered

Courses offered as GNDR 300 will vary from year to year. The following is a list of sample courses that indicate the kinds of courses that may be offered as GNDR 300.


Women in European and American Art History


Although they were written out of the canon in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, female artists have contributed significantly to various schools and art movements through their work, their personal relationships and the students they influenced. Recent scholarship has revealed the lives, times, and works of women in arts, and has questioned the methods by which great art is measured, creating a significantly wider range of study for the student of art history than can be covered in the traditional course of study. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100.



Introduction to Great Women Writers


Explores some of the difficulties encountered by women who write fiction, and helps students develop an awareness of how women in fiction reflect women’s roles in the middle-class, past and present. The course explores aspects of feminist criticism and gives students of serious literature insights that differ from traditional views. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100.


GNDR/ENGL 300 Medieval Women Writers (2)
Explores the literature by and about female authors of the Middle Ages. Students read a variety of texts in translation by medieval women—women who lived in various parts of Western Europe, but nevertheless documented similar experiences. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100.
GNDR/MATH/PHIL 300 The Forgotten Women of Math & Philosophy (3)
Introduces students to the writing, work, and importance of some women in mathematics, science, and philosophy, from ancient Greeks through more recent times. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100.
GNDR/PHIL 300 Feminist Issues in Ethics (3)
Examines the basic concerns and theories of feminist ethics within the context of traditional masculine-oriented western ethical theory. May include a study of the conceptual and moral relationship between feminist ethics and issues such as justice, social policy, or the parallel development of recently proposed environmental ethical theories. May also focus on ethical issues raised by new sciences and technologies, and historical accounts of women’s ethical/moral values. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100 and/or PHIL 100.
GNDR/PHIL/REL 300 Jewish and Christian Feminist Theology (3)
Examines recent Jewish and Christian feminists; critical analyses of traditional models for understanding the relationship of God and “man”/humans. Includes an evaluation of the role that newly constructed Jewish and Christian feminist theologies may play in the development of a truly pluralist conception of religious truth as the way to salvation. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100.
GNDR/PHIL/ANTH 300 Feminist Epistemology (3)
Examines feminist critiques of knowledge and knowledge seeking. Focusing on critiques of traditional notions of objectivity, the scientific method, and the nature of knowledge, students explore how and why aspects of race, sex, and ethnicity are relevant to knowledge seeking. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100.
GNDR/PSYC 300 Mothers and Sons: A Developmental Perspective (4)
Looks at the developmental significance of the mother-son relationship. From the assigned readings, features speakers and films, selected novel, and classroom discussion, students will explore the mother-son relationship (and vice-versa) throughout the lifespan. Suggested prerequisite: GNDR 100.
GNDR 319 American Women’s History (3)
An overview of the economic, social, and political roles women have played in American history, from the colonial period to today. Investigates women’s work in the household and market economies, women and the family, and women’s legal and civil rights and liabilities across time. Offered alternate years.
GNDR 335 Psychology of Women (4)
An overview of major theories of women’s development, applications of feminist theory, gender-related research, and women’s health issues across the life span. Psychological issues important to women during childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age are discussed, such as gender role acquisition, pay inequities in the work force, adjustment to menopause and violence against women. Focus is given to research on women in relation to diverse socioeconomic classes, ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Prerequisite: PSYC 105 or SOC 105.
GNDR 339 Queer Theory (4)
Explores the field of queer theory, which has only been in existence since 1990. It is perhaps the most politicized of current cultural theories because of its implications for daily life: homophobia continues to be a very real problem in our society. Through readings of 19th and 20th century texts and films, we will trace changes in attitudes toward various forms of sexuality, focusing on how subjects constitute themselves as sexual beings.
GNDR 350 Gender in Society (4)
Examines the sociocultural construction of gender in the United States with some cross-cultural comparisons. It makes generalizations about how the experiences of men and women differ in this society and also looks at different experiences based on region, class, religion, and ethnicity. Comparisons are then made about gender based experiences in other societies and how they are related to the wider culture.
GNDR 360 Race, Gender, Class, and the Media (3)
Focuses on analyzing the portrayals of race, gender, and class in the media. The class introduces students to theoretical concepts in contemporary media studies, surveys some of the most influential and interesting genres of contemporary media, and focuses on issues of gender and sexuality, class, and race from a critical perspective.
GNDR 400 Senior Project/Thesis (3)

Serves as the capstone course for the GNDR minor. Students undertake self-directed project or thesis that integrates concepts learned in gender studies courses with those learned in the student’s major area of study. Project completed with a supervisory committee of two (at least one must be a gender studies faculty member). Prerequisite: completion of 20 hours of Gender Studies courses including GNDR 100.

Note: Students whose major requires a senior project or thesis will not be expected to complete a second project or thesis. One thesis or project can count for both a major requirement and a gender studies requirement if students (1) select topics relevant to both gender studies and their majors and (2) work with a faculty advisor who teaches gender studies courses.

GNDR 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive study of topics not otherwise offered in the Gender Studies Program. Hours are arranged. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
GNDR 440 Internship (1–4)
In order to emphasize the importance of experiential learning, this course offers students opportunities to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience related to gender studies. Students must have junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of the career Resource Center Workshop, and consent of Program Chair and Career Center Internship Coordinator.