Director: Professor Barbara Fultner, Philosophy and Women's Studies
Associate Professor Isis Nusair, Joint Appointment with International Studies
Assistant Professor Clare Jen, Joint Appointment with Biology
Visiting Assistant Professor Tina Pierce, Joint Appointment with Black Studies
Visiting Assistant Professor Jill Gillespie, Women's Studies
Faculty: Professors Robin Bartlett (Economics), Barbara Fultner (Philosophy), Karen Graves (Educational Studies), Mary Tuominen (Sociology/Anthropology); Associate Professors Susan Diduk (Sociology/Anthropology), Amanda Gunn (Communication), Sarah Hutson-Comeaux (Psychology), Toni King (Women's Studies and Black Studies), Linda Krumholz (English), Sara Lee (Physical Education), Gill Wright Miller (Dance), Isis Nusair (International Studies and Women's Studies), Trey Proctor (History), David Przybyla (Psychology), Sandy Runzo (English); Assistant Professors Fanta Diamanka (Women's Studies), Jill Gillespie (Women's Studies), Clare Jen (Biology and Women's Studies), Bill Kirkpatrick (Communication), Diana Mafe (English), Christine Pae (Religion), Tina Pierce (Black Studies and Women's Studies), Megan Threlkeld (History), Sheilah Wilson (Studio Art); Academic Administrative Assistant Melissa Feldner
Mission Statement. The Women's Studies Program at Denison University takes its mission to be three-fold. We intend to foster a critical awareness of and intellectual sensitivity to content, method and real-life implications of the field:
First, to engage students in the intellectual content of the discipline: women's issues, the role of gender, and the relationship between gender and other politicized aspects of "identity," including race, class, age, religion, sexuality;
Second, to instill in students an appreciation of the holistic character of Women's Studies. Women's Studies scholarship is not just a question of content but also of method -- methods that are inflected by the interdisciplinarity of Women's Studies. Students explore how Women's Studies treats women's issues in different disciplines, such as literary studies, political science, sociology, communications, philosophy, biology, etc., as well as developing their understanding of these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective (i.e. one that takes into account and sees the interconnections between this array of disciplines).
Third, to show our students the real-life implications of their academic engagement. That is, we challenge students to see the relationship between theory and practice: to see how the academic study of women's issues and gender is informed by and has the power to transform real lives, both others' and our own.
Curricular Goals. Denison's Women's Studies faculty are dedicated to helping students develop rigorous analyses of culture, politics, ideas and text, as well as creative leadership skills. We hope to teach our students the history, analysis and practice of feminist scholarship, means of creative expression for their intellectual interests and concerns, and political service and activism.
To that end, we require our students to take an introductory course, "Issues in Feminism," a "Feminist Methods" course, and a "Feminist Theory" course, as well as a capstone experience that involves active community engagement and written response or a sustained research project.
These required courses in the major and minor should explore gender and justice issues, provide both the methods and information to conduct rigorous analysis, engage our students in ways that challenge them to take their thinking about the material into the world, and embody feminist pedagogy. The elective courses will do the same in the context of their field of study.
Students have the opportunity of participating in a variety of internships located throughout the country that acquaint them with women's issues. Students are encouraged to develop leadership skills by taking an active part in campus life, including projects developed by the program. Recent projects include a national grant application, a campus-wide study on violence, and a benefit concert.
The Women's Studies Program sponsors regular symposia on gender issues that include presentations by Women's Studies faculty as well as Women's Studies scholars from throughout the United States. With the support of the Laura C. Harris endowment, the Women's Studies Program has hosted internationally-renowned scholars like bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, Judith Butler, Cynthia Enloe, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Winona La Duke, Spike Peterson and jazz musician and poet Joy Harjo. Program members also participate in the Great Lakes Colleges Association, which provides conferences for Women's Studies students and faculty.
Women's Studies majors are required to take a total of 32 credit hours. Many students double major in Women's Studies and another field. Students may sign up for a course either under the department number or under the Women's Studies number. Both numbers will count toward the Women's Studies major or minor. All courses except for WMST 101 will be at the 200 level or above. All Women's Studies majors must take the following:
Required core courses:
WMST 101 Issues in Feminism 4 credits
WMST 298 Cultural and Social Methods 4 credits
WMST 307 Feminist Theory 4 credits
WMST 451 or 452 Senior Research 4 credits
One course on women of color in the United States, or women in developing countries 4 credits
One Women's Studies science or social science course (communication, education, political science, psychology, sociology/anthropology, etc.) 4 credits
One Women's Studies humanities or fine arts course (art, dance, history, literature, music, modern languages, philosophy, religion, etc.) 4 credits
One Women's Studies elective chosen from courses listed or cross-listed as Women's Studies courses. 4 credits
One of the courses used to fulfill requirement (2), (3), or (4) must be a course cross-listed with Black Studies. The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one of the above requirements.
Women's Studies minors are required to take a total of 24 credit hours. All courses except for WMST 101 will be at the 200 level or above. All Women's Studies majors must take the following:
Required core courses:
WMST 101 Issues in Feminism 4 credits
WMST 298 Cultural and Social Methods 4 credits
WMST 307 Feminist Theory: Gender Justice 4 credits
One course cross-listed Women's Studies/Black Studies 4 credits
Two Women's Studies electives chosen from courses listed or cross-listed as Women's Studies courses. 4 credits
The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one of the above requirements.
Students are encouraged to consult with the Director of Women's Studies in making their choices.
Issues in Feminism (WMST-101). This interdisciplinary course will examine some aspects of institutionalized sexism in contemporary America, such as differential role socialization and its consequences; legal inequalities; job discrimination; reproductive issues; and violence against women. Every woman's experience of sexism is mediated by her class, race, age, religion, sexual preference and so forth; therefore the diversity of women's experience is a key factor in our study. The class format will be primarily a lecture-discussion format and may include small group discussions. 4
Black Women's Lives: Autobiography As Protest (WMST-102). The purpose of this course is to explore personal narrative and autobiography as texts of resistance in Black women's lives. The course will use the multiple genres of autobiography such as poetry, essay, short narrative, memoir and major autobiographical works to illustrate Black women's resistance to race, class, and gender subordination or other forms of marginalization and oppression in their lives and in society. These autobiographical texts will be paired with select readings from women's studies and black studies to provide students with the analytical tools to identify how these texts function as forms of personal, social, political or institutional protest. Cross-listed with BLST 102. 4
Self-Defense for Women (WMST-162). This course is for women to learn basic self-defense techniques to prevent sexual assault. We will discuss and practice strategies that can be used in a variety of self-defense situations, including street and job harassment, date-rape, and stranger assault, fighting from the ground, defending yourself with or against a weapon, and defense against multiple attackers. Students will learn to combine mental, verbal and physical self-defense techniques in their personal lives. (Offered spring semester) 1
Science, Sex & Gender (WMST-190). Current research on sex differences in humans and animals has raised our awareness of bona fide variations in brain chemistry and function between males and females. How do these legitimate research findings compare with our stereotypes about gender differences? During the semester we will investigate several perspectives on sex and gender differences - from popular media sources to leading research. We will also investigate the role of women and men in science in a historical and modern context. Ultimately our goal is to blend our knowledge with our personal experiences to answer the question, "Is the study of science divided by sex and gender?" 4
Sex and Gender in Society (WMST-210). This course compares and evaluates a variety of theories which attempt to explain the origins, persistence and effects of gender in American society. In particular, it explores a number of settings that may include: the family, the work place, the political arena, religious activity, violence against women, and face-to-face interactional contexts. Special attention is given to the ways in which race,ethnicity, class and sexual orientation shape gender experiences. Although its primary focus is American society, the course compares problems of sexual inequality in American society with other, quite different, societies in order to gain a comparative understanding of how discrimination, prejudice, and structural inequality, wherever they are found, create special problems for women. Throughout, the focus is on learning to use structural, historical, and theoretical information as guides to understanding social change and the choices facing women and men. Cross-listed with SA 210. 4
Women in Music (WMST-220). Historically, women have played an integral role in musical traditions around the world, although the extent of their contributions has only recently been recognized and studied in an academic context. This course traces the development and current state of women's roles in music, including Western art music composers, performers, critics, and teachers: performers of popular American genres such as jazz, country, and rock; and performers of popular "World Beat" and traditional world musics. Cross-listed with MUS 220. 4
Women in United States History (WMST-223). This course surveys the history of women in the United States from 1848 to the present. We will explore the lived experiences of many different kinds of women and analyze the ways in which other categories of identity -- race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexual orientation, age, etc -- affect those experiences. We will also explore the development of feminist consciousness among U.S. women, and analyze attempts to expand that consciousness both nationally and globally. Cross-listed with HIST 223. (Spring) 4
Women in Literature (WMST-225). Selected poetry and prose by women guide inquiries into writing and gender and into related issues, such as sexuality, history, race, class, identity and power. Cross-listed with ENGL 225. 4
Women's Spiritual Activism (WMST-227). What is women's spiritual activism in our contemporary society? What can we learn from those who have struggled to bring gender equality and peace in human society? Is religion anti-feminist or feminism anti-religious? In spite of cultural, racial and religious diversity among women across the globe, women often share the similar stories of physical and psychological suffering caused by their institutionalized religions and societies. Many of these women also testify that their religions enabled them to resist injustice and to build up solidarity with others including men. This course invites the students to explore the spiritual journeys of the feminist activists---their struggles for justice for all humanity. Cross-listed with REL 227. (Not offered 2012-2013) 4
Mediating Gender and Sexuality (WMST-229). We will critically examine and evaluate the cultural construction and representation of gender and sexuality in contemporary American mass media, and trace their development throughout the 20th century. We will focus on a variety of mass-produced commercial media texts, surveying television, magazines, advertising, and popular music. Although gender is the primary identity construction examined in this course, we will pay close attention to other aspects of identity that define American women, such as ethnicity, class, and sexuality. We will investigate representational issues in relation to their political repercussions, and draw from a broad range of academic literature, including feminist television criticism, film theory, cultural studies, communication theory, and popular music criticism. Cross-listed with COMM 229. (Fall) 4
Black Women and Organizational Leadership (WMST-265). This class explores Black women's leadership orientations in organizations. Afrocentric and womanist frameworks are used to inquire about Black women's leadership in the context of their lives. In this course we explore and theorize Black women's use of communal and generative leadership orientations as well as their application of a multiple and oppositional consciousness. Organizational dilemmas stemming from their race, class, and gender, as well as the unique challenges Black women leaders face in creating a supportive life structure are examined. Students will critique the omission of Black women's leadership styles in the mainstream theories about leadership, as well as explore the implications of Black women's leadership for expanding mainstream theory. Cross-listed with BLST 265. 4
Women in the U.S. Economy (WMST-273). This course will focus on the market and nonmarket contributions of women to the U.S. economy. A historical framework provides the backdrop for examining the economic, political and social institutions that affect women's contributions to the nation's economic well-being. Cross-listed with ECON 416. Prerequisite: ECON 301. (Fall) 4
Cultural Studies in Dance (WMST-274). We will frame Western concert dance as a complex political activity made public through various agendas of race, creed, national origin, sexuality, and gender. Students will simultaneously be exposed to poststructuralist epistemology and feminist theory while they are meeting a survey of historical works. In this way, the course is less about coming to know a canon of "masterworks" and more about learning how to interrogate dance in any culture from a western perspective. Cross-listed with DANC 274. 4
Philosophy of Feminism (WMST-275). Feminism can radically challenge traditional ways of doing philosophy. In asking why women and women's experience seem to be missing from the tradition of philosophy, it implicitly questions philosophy's claim to objectivity, universality, and truth. Thus, feminist criticism probes some of the most fundamental philosophical assumptions about our knowledge of and interaction with the world and other people. Are there philosophically significant differences between men and women? If so, what are their implications? What, if any, are the differences among women and what is their significance? This course focuses on the problem of violence against women, in its many manifestations, in order to examine these and other questions in the context of contemporary feminist discussions of epistemology, ethics, and science. Cross-listed with PHIL 275. Prerequisite: One previous course in Philosophy or Women's Studies or consent. 4
Gender, War and Conflict (WMST-276). This course aims to make feminist sense of contemporary wars and conflicts. It analyzes the intersections between gender, race, class, and ethnicity in national conflicts. The class traces the gendered processes of defining citizenship, national identity and security, and examines the role of institutions like the military in the construction of femininity and masculinity. The course focuses on the gendered impact of war and conflict through examining torture, mass rape, genocide, and refugee displacement. It analyzes the strategies used by women's and feminist movements, to oppose war and conflict, and the gendered impact of war prevention, peacekeeping, and post-war reconstruction. The class draws on cases from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa. The class is interdisciplinary and gives equal weight to theory and practice while drawing on writings by local and global activists and theorists. Prerequisite: INTL 100. 4
Cultural and Social Methods (WMST-298). This course examines both scientific methods and social analysis based on empirical research and the interpretive strategies that have developed out of the humanities for understanding societies. It provides experience in the design and implementation of social and cultural research with a focus on women's studies. The course will examine the epistemological issues that underlie research in women's studies, the ethical and political questions involved, and the assumptions that shape various methods. Students will apply the methods learned to their own research projects. Prerequisite: One Women's Studies course or consent. (Spring) 4
Seminar: Psychology of Women (WMST-301). This course reviews psychological research and theories on women. Topics include sex bias in psychological research, gender differences and similarities in personality and abilities, lifespan development, problems of adjustment and psychotherapy, language and communication, women's health, female sexuality, and violence against women (rape and wife battering). Cross-listed with PSYC 301.Prerequisites: WMST major, or PSYC 100, PSYC 200, and junior or senior status, or consent of instructor. (Fall) 4
Women and the Arts (WMST-302). This course will consider how women artists have expressed what goes into the building of a home. We will think about different settings (during peacetime, wartime, in various cultures with or without partners and/or families), in different individual needs and tastes, and different genres for the recording of that expression. This will entail four kinds of considerations: First, we will read sections from Timeless Way of Building, Language of Landscape and House Thinking; then we will deconstruct those readings to explore issues addressed by feminist theory, issues like comparable worth, coming to voice, single-parenting. All the while we will look at those issues expressed in artworks by and about women -- paintings, dances, music, novels, short-stories, and finally over the course of the semester, we will create a work ourselves around a physical dwelling -- whether that means dressing a window, painting a wall, or making something physical happen within it. No dancing involved. 4
Transnational Feminism (WMST-306). This class provides students with the ability to understand, critique, and comparatively analyze the politics of gender in transnational contexts. The course traces the development of feminist thinking and practice within national, regional and transnational contexts, and maps the political agendas of women's and feminist movements in various countries around the world. The course focuses on how feminism emerges in a particular context and the specific issues that galvanize women to act for change. The course explores the connections between feminism, colonization, nationalism, militarization, imperialism, and globalization, and analyzes the processes by which the agendas of women from the global north and south come together or clash. The course examines through specific examples from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa the concerns and challenges facing transnational women's and feminist movements today. The class is interdisciplinary and draws on writings by local and global activists and theorists. 4
Feminist Theory (WMST-307). This course examines various ways of understanding gender by looking at a variety of feminist theories. Theories studied may include psychoanalytic, feminist theory, cultural materialist feminist theory, etc. Particular consideration will be given to issues raised by multiculturalism, women of color, womanist perspectives, queer theory, class concerns, international and transnational movements. The course will introduce students to a variety of theories to enable them both to recognize and use those theories in their research and social practice. Students will be encouraged to become reflective about their own theoretical stances and to consider how societies can move closer to justice for both women and men. Prerequisite: One Women's Studies course or consent. (Fall) 4
Families, Sexuality and the State (WMST-313). In this seminar we explore the ways in which race,ethnicity, social class and sexuality shape family/kinship structures in and beyond the contemporary U.S. We explore specific issues including sexuality and kinship; reproductive technologies and surrogacy; transnational families; and women's political activism in the context of families. These issues are explored using sociological, anthropological, and feminist theories. Cross-listed with SA 313. Prerequisite: SA 100 or WMST 101 or consent. 4
Women in Sport (WMST-320). This course is designed to give students a comprehensive look at women in sport: past, present and future. This course will examine, analyze and synthesize the issues surrounding women. Each topic will be studied through readings, films, class discussions and reflect sport from historical, psychological, sociological, physiological, political and philosophical perspectives. This course satisfies the G.E. Minority/Women's Studies requirement. Cross-listed with PHED 320. (Spring) 4
African-American Women's Literature (WMST-325). Historical and contemporary African-American women's literature grounds an inquiry into black women's literary and intellectual traditions within the matrix of race, gender, class and sexual relations in the United States. Cross-listed with ENGL 325. 4
Gender and Communications (WMST-329). This course focuses on (1) the role of interpersonal, social and political communication in the construction of gender expectations in American culture, and (2) how those expectations get communicated/performed, and thus reified, in our daily lives. We will explore the complex interplay between self expectations and social expectations of gender that get expressed, challenged, and ultimately influenced by and within a variety of social and interpersonal contexts: education, the body, organizations, friends and family, romantic relationships, the media, and politics. Cross-listed with COMM 329. Prerequiste: COMM 280 and COMM 290, or WMST major. 4
Queer Theory (WMST-379). An interdisciplinary course designed to introduce students to historical and theoretical treatments of topics such as the essentialism vs. constructionism debate; intersections of race/gender/class and sexual orientation; science and representation; performativity and normativity; and ethics, politics and law. Cross-listed with QS 201. 4
Sex and Sexuality in Latin America (WMST-383). This course critically examines of gender and sexuality in Latin America. Particularly it will explore the various attempts by the ruling elite to define acceptable and deviant gender roles and sexual identities, how the non-elite resisted the imposition of those elite notions of propriety to create their own codes of conduct, and how those conflicts have changed over time. Cross-listed with HIST 383. 4
Topics in Women's Studies (WMST-390). 2012-13 topics include: "Women and Social Ethics" (Fall; cross-listed with REL 340); "Race, Gender and U.S. Politics" (Fall; cross-listed with POSC 319 and BLST 370); "Empowering Girls in Young Adult Literature" (Fall); "Genders, Bodies, and Technologies" (Spring). 4
Critical Pedagogy: Gender, Race and Class in U.S. Education (WMST-391). In its examination of current critical issues in U.S. education, the central concern throughout this course is the relationship between school and society. Particular attention is given to critical and feminist pedagogies. Cross-listed with EDUC 390.Prerequisite: EDUC 213. 4
Women, Sex, and Power in the Modern World (WMST-396). This course focuses on histories of women around the world since the eighteenth century in order to examine the various ways in which women have struggled first to claim and then to maintain power over their bodies and experiences. The course analyzes sources that speak to women's efforts to assert political, economic, cultural, and personal power in society and in their own lives. Topics include a study of the development of organized women's movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and an examination of the extent to which women have been successful in building coalitions to achieve power. The course also examines the role of other categories of identity in these struggles for power, including race, class, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. Cross-listed with HIST 396. (Spring) 4