Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (W-S)

College of Liberal Studies
Department Chair: Sandra Krajewski
423A Wimberly Hall,
email: krajewsk.sand@uwlax.edu


Professor: Krajewski, S., Vandenberg-Daves;
Associate Professor: Hoskins;
Co-faculty: Anderson, Bratina, Candido, Caravella, Chavalas, Crutchfield, Delgado, Denlingere, Jessee, Lloyd, Manrique, Miller, C.D., Morgan, Niedzwiecki, Oyster, Rees, Scherwitz, Sullivan, S., Toyosaki, Williams, Wycoff-Horn;
Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP): Sullivan, A.

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Women’s studies courses are designed to provide students with a new perspective on the roles of women and men as individuals and as participants in society. Based on research and analysis by women’s studies scholars, the courses help students evaluate assumptions about "women’s roles" and "men’s roles," provide alternative explanations of gender roles and offer students of both sexes diverse models and alternatives for their own lives. The courses help include women in the standard curriculum and promote research about the now lost or neglected history of women’s culture and of significant women. One goal of women’s studies is to help create a new, humanistic curriculum which releases both men and women from stereotyped roles and expectations and encourages them to develop their full individual potentials.

The department provides interdisciplinary courses and specialized courses are currently offered in many departments of the university. Students may earn a minor in women’s studies.

Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP)

In addition to the following courses, the department of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies sponsors the Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP). This program, which concentrates on critical reading, writing and thinking, prepares low-income parents for successful college work. Classes meet one night per week and child care is provided. For more information, call the director of the Self-Sufficiency Program at (608) 785-8733.

Women’s Studies Minor

(All colleges) - 24 credits - one course from W-S 100, 210, 230; W-S 499; 9 credits minimum from W-S classes, with at least 6 credits at the 300-level or above: W-S 210*, 230*, 240, 250, 255, 259, 260, 270, 300, 301**, 305**, 315**, 320, 330, 340, 370, 371, 374, 375, 410, 450; 9 credits minimum from classes in other departments: ANT 250, ARC 372, ART 440, CST 334, 338, ECO 336, EFN 485, ENG 220, 385, 482, HED 301, 412, 472; HIS 305, 315, 370*, 371*, 372, 386; PHL 324, 494; POL 205; PSY 305, 318; SAH 307; SOC 338, 370, 375**

* Cannot be counted in both Category 1 and Category 2 ** Cannot be counted in both Category 2 and 3

+ next to a course number indicates a General Education course.

+ W-S 100 Cr. 3 Gender, Race, and Class in American Institutions

This course provides an introduction to how gender, race and class have intertwined over time to produce women’s social roles and status in American culture. The creation, transmittal, interpretation and institutionalization of gender roles will be examined using family and kinship, the educational system, the media, work, government and the health care system. The course provides a critical, interdisciplinary perspective on scholarship which omits or distorts the female experience.

+ W-S 210 Cr. 3 Women’s Voices/Women’s Culture

An examination of how women have expressed female experience in a variety of forms, including fiction, autobiography, oral traditions, and song. By analyzing women’s words and forms of self-expression, students will explore what is individual and what is common in women’s lives, and will learn tools for understanding female experience and culture. Offered Sem. I.

+ W-S 230 Cr. 3 Women’s Diversity: Race, Class and Culture

This course explores the diversity of women’s experience in America as it has been affected by race, ethnicity, class, and other factors, and the effects of gender on women of different groups. Issues that have united and divided women in movements for social change are also addressed.

W-S 240 Cr. 3 Contemporary Women’s Issues

Contemporary women’s issues will provide the student with an overview of women’s studies scholarship from the late 1960’s to the present. Contemporary theory, social change movements, and women’s lives will be integrated in order to examine the relationship between theory and practice in women’s studies. Offered occasionally.

W-S 250 Cr. 1-3 Topics in Women’s Studies

Intermediate and interdisciplinary analysis of a social issue, idea or institution from the perspective of women and Women’s Studies. Repeatable for credit. Department approval is necessary to apply more than three credits toward the W-S minor. Offered occasionally.

W-S 255 Cr. 1 Women in the Military

This course will provide students with an understanding of the struggles and successes of women’s lives in the U.S. Military. Beginning with an historic overview of women’s changing roles in the military, it will proceed to analyze the reasons for the limitations to women’s equal participation. Finally, the course will recognize the accomplishments of women in the military. Offered Sem. II.

W-S/PSY/ESS 259 Cr. 1 Girls and Women in Sport

An introduction to the involvement of girls and women in sport. Topics include a historical perspective on women’s sport participation, cultural images of women athletes, physiological and psychological benefits of sport participation as well as negative correlates, teaching and coaching implications of current research, Title IX, and recreation/leisure approaches to physical activity. (Cross-listed with ESS and PSY, may only earn credit in ESS, PSY, or W-S.)

W-S 260 Cr. 3 Women in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest

An exploration of the experience of a variety of women in our region: American Indians, Blacks, and European immigrants; urban women and homesteaders; single and married women; and their roles as settlers, family members, and community builders. The course emphasizes sources and concepts for understanding female experience in a regional context. Offered occasionally.

W-S 270 Cr. 3 Women and Friendship

An examination of women’s friendships historically, psychologically, sociologically, and politically in the context of a sexist, racist, classist, and homophobic culture. Beginning with defining friendships in women’s lives and continuing through a woman’s life span, the course will go on to examine how socio-cultural changes have interrupted women’s friendship in the past and the present. Women’s friendships with women, men, kin, and mentors will be examined. Lastly, women’s friendships will be explored as a way to reconstruct community. Offered every two years.

W-S 300 Cr. 1-3 Independent Study

Topics to be selected by the individual instructor or by the student and instructor together. The topics must relate to women’s experiences and/or issues. Prerequisite: WS 100 and consent of the department chairperson. Repeatable for credit - maximum 6.

W-S/HIS 301 Cr. 3 Women in the Modern United States: 1890Present

This course introduces students to key issues in modern women’s history in the United States. It explores women’s experiences as workers, activists, consumers, citizens, and family members. It also examines the various ways in which generations of Americans have defined "woman’s place" and "women’s issues," and raises questions about the possibility for defining common women’s issues today. (Cross-listed with HIS, may only earn credit in W-S or HIS.) Offered alternate years.

W-S/HIS 305 Cr. 3 History of Motherhood in the U.S.

This course considers motherhood in nineteenth and twentieth century United States history from a variety of perspectives. It explores women’s experiences as mothers, across lines of race, class, and relationship status. It also examines the politics of motherhood in U.S. history, and considers both the restrictive and the empowering dimensions of ideologies of motherhood. (Cross-listed with HIS, may only earn credit in W-S or HIS.) Offered alternate years.

W-S/HIS 315 Cr. 3 History of Feminist Thought

An examination of the history of feminist ideas in the United States and the historical context, both western and international, from which they emerged. (Crosslisted with HIS, may only earn credit in W-S or HIS.) Offered alternate years.

W-S 320 Cr. 3 Violence Against Women

This course will examine from an interdisciplinary perspective, the connections between violence against women and the power distributions within our society. Three specific types of violence against women will be examined in-depth: sexual assault, incest and battering. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, 210, 230, EFN 205. Offered Sem. II, alternate years.

W-S 330/530 Cr. 1-3 Topics: Women, Gender and Society

Interdisciplinary analysis of a social issue, idea, or institution from the perspective of women and women’s studies. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, 210, 230, EFN 205 for undergraduates only. Repeatable for credit - maximum 9. Department approval is necessary to apply more than three credits toward the WS minor. Offered occasionally.

W-S 340 Cr. 3 Women, Learning and Knowledge

An analysis of how women’s learning experience has been and continues to be limited by conceptions of gender, race, and class. Through an examination of how knowledge is acquired and how society defines knowledge, students will come to a better understanding of how women can "reclaim" their educations. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, 210, 230, EFN 205. Offered occasionally.

W-S/HIS 370 Cr. 3 The History of Black Women’s Activism

An historical overview of the thoughts, actions, and creative products of Black women activists in the United States, from slavery to the present. Students will examine historical analyses, speeches, essays, economic activities, organizational styles, political issues, and various forms of artistic expression that women of African descent have produced in order to query, resist, and defy the interlocking oppressions of racism, sexism, and classism in the United States. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, 210, 230, EFN 205, ERS 100. (Cross-listed with HIS, may only earn credit in W-S or HIS.) Offered alternate years.

W-S/HIS 371 Cr. 3 Women, Agriculture and the Environment

Beginning with the ancient notion that the earth was both alive and female, a concept indigenous to western as well as other cultures, this course will examine subsequent ideas that have historically shaped attitudes and actions toward women and the earth, especially as those values and actions have affected agriculture in the U.S. The course will examine such topics as the roles of women as builders of community in the rural world; the impact of the industrializing of the production of food and fiber on concepts of femininity; the development of the modern corporate state and its impact on women and agriculture; and how women and men are working to reshape the way we see, think about, and act on, and interact with the earth. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, 210, 230, EFN 205. (Cross-listed with HIS, may only earn credit in W-S or HIS.) Offered alternate years.

W-S 374 Cr. 3 Women, Poverty and Public Policy

The course analyzes the historical underpinnings to the creation and evolution of welfare with special attention paid to the ways gender, race, and class oppression have shaped welfare in the past and today. Wage differentials, occupational segregation, unpaid work, and gender violence are discussed in relation to the construction of poverty. How poverty affects the lives of poor women and their children also is be explored. Current welfare policy will be analyzed and suggestions for reform based on current research is developed by the class. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, 210, 230, POL 205, PSY 318, EFN 205. Offered Sem. II, even numbered years.

W-S/SOC 375 Cr. 3 Lesbian Studies

Examines the social construction of sexual orientation and its meaning for women and women’s equality. The course draws on a range of sources, including scientific research, history, literature, psychological theory, and popular culture. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, W-S 210, W-S 230, EFN 205. (Cross-listed with SOC, may only earn credit in WS or SOC.) Offered alternate years.

W-S 410 Cr. 3 Women’s Issues in the Third World

A broad overview of women’s issues in AALA (Africa, Asia, and Latin America), this course will investigate the impact of colonialism, unilateral economic imperialism, and multinational corporations on women’s traditional roles in AALA and explore the processes that have produced both women’s and feminist movements in these regions of the world. Exploring the meaning of women’s movements in international politics following the Mexico City, Nairobi, and Beijing conferences, the course will analyze relationships between women in the U.S. and the women of AALA. Topics might include: the international economic power of U.S. women as consumers, international labor issues and organizing, environmental issues for U.S. and AALA women, and the challenges of AALA feminisms. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, 210, 230, EFN 205, and another 300-level W-S course or cross-listed course. Offered occasionally.

W-S 450 Cr. 1-6 Internship in Women’s Studies

The internship is an academically relevant field experience for minors in women’s studies which combines women’s studies scholarship with practical experience. The field experience will be supervised by the women’s studies staff. Prerequisite: junior standing and six credits of women’s studies and a minimum 2.50 GPA. A maximum of three credits will be counted toward the minor. Repeatable for credit - maximum 6.

W-S 499 Cr. 3 Seminar in Women’s Studies

Intensive interdisciplinary study of particular areas in women’s studies. Topics will be chosen by the instructor and the students. Prerequisite: One of the following: W-S 100, W-S 210, W-S 230, and at least two other courses approved for the women’s studies minor, and declared Women’s Studies minor.