Women, Gender, and Sexuality


WGS101Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality This course offers all students, including prospective concentrators in Women, Gender, and Sexuality, an introduction to the field, with attention to fundamental issues in women's, gender, and sexuality studies. The course will identify the forms and sites of gender oppression, as well as the collective responses by women and queer people to their conditions. In introducing the concept of structural inequality as it has affected the lives of women and queer people, it will also explore how gender and sexuality are constructed alongside and through other categories of identity, including race, class, nationality, religion and ability.
WGS/HIST246Gender and Sexuality in 19th Century Europe This course is an introduction to the history of gender and sexuality in nineteenth-century Europe and its empires. It is organized roughly chronologically, but its approach is primarily thematic. We will consider how gender norms were constructed by philosophical, political, racial, and scientific thinking over the nineteenth century, and we will reflect on how individuals both conformed to and defied those norms in their individual lives. We will also examine nineteenth century beliefs about sex and sexuality and look at how those beliefs structured relationships within and across gendered lines.
WGS/POLS265Feminist Political Theories A core course in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality curriculum, Feminist Political Theories introduces students to a wide variety of feminist theoretical frameworks. We will examine what it means to do feminist theory; modern feminist theories, including liberal, radical, Marxist, socialist, and anarchist feminisms, as well as intersectionality theories; postmodern feminist thought, including queer and transgender theories and third-wave feminisms; and postcolonial feminist theories from early modernity to postmodernity.Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing
WGS/HIST/AFST272Gender Relations in Africa This course explores categories of masculinity and femininity that relate to and inform one another. It analyzes how these identity categories interact with other axes of social and political power, such as ethnic affiliation, economic status, and age in various places and at different historical times in Africa.
WGS/IAST295Women in Latin America This seminar provides an anthropological and historical introduction to the study of gender, gender-based violence, and women's activism in Latin America, with a focus on the realities and lived experiences of women in Latin America not only as victims of violence and oppression, but also as survivors and agents of their own herstory. Emphasis is placed on the phenomenon of gender violence, gender inequality, state terror, racism and socio-economic marginalization of women, children and LGBTIQ individuals.
WGS295Testimonies: Women's Narratives The course will examine the complex interplay and negotiation of trauma, memory, resistance and agency through women's writing (memoirs, oral, and written testimonies) and in opposition to official accounts, grand narratives, national histories and interpretations of the past. It will address the ways in which women have been excluded from history and public memory and how this silencing and marginalization has been reflected, negotiated, and opposed in their own narratives and life-herstories. Accordingly, these (her)stories will be discussed not only as testimonies of fear, deprivation, sexual victimization, silencing and trivialization, but also as "spaces" of political activism, resistance, and agency.
WGS298Independent Study
WGS390Feminist and Queer Inquiry An examination of the forces that have shaped or that are currently reshaping women, gender and sexuality studies. Focusing on the ways that recent work has drawn upon and challenged disciplinary forms of knowledge, the course aims to familiarize students with the current status of feminist and queer scholarship. The class encourages students to define their own critical interests and place themselves within this larger, scholarly conversation. Course will also prepare students for the SIP.Prerequisite: Open to juniors. Must have taken WGS-101.
WGS490Seminar in Women, Gender & Sexuality A study of a particular aspect of feminist theory, history, or practice. Emphasis upon the theory and methodology of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, collaborative learning, and alternate source material. Topics vary annually.Prerequisite: Senior Majors & Concentrators Only
WGS593Senior Individualized Project Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.