Women's and Gender Studies


Mary L. Collar, program chair (2003-06) and professor of English.
B.A., 1969, University of Wisconsin; M.A., 1972, Ph.D., 1977, Pennsylvania State University. Appointed to Department of English, 1977.

Trisha Franzen, associate professor of women's and gender studies.
B.A., 1978, State University of New York, Buffalo; M.A., 1984, Ph.D., 1990, University of New Mexico. Appointed 2003.

Women's and gender studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines the role of gender in the construction of lives, cultures, community norms, meaning systems, and systems of representation. All of the areas of study within the program use cross-cultural or multicultural investigations to understand the dynamics and differences in the operation of gender. Within specific contexts but also across differences, the program also focuses on the lives of women--on women's past and present active involvement in the making of the world. Each of the areas of study also emphasizes the ongoing interplay of theory and practice.

The program also includes a concentration in women's studies and minors in both gender studies and women's studies (see below).


106 Introduction to Women's Studies (1) Fall, Spring
Introduces some of the basic issues, debates and language surrounding the feminist "revisioning" of the traditional academic curriculum. Issues--education, images of women in various media, work, sexuality, male violence and race--approached from various disciplines, with emphasis on literature and the social sciences. Franzen.

116 Introduction to Gender Studies (1) Spring
An introduction to gender studies including works that place gender at the center of scholarly inquiry as well as related material drawn from women's studies, men's studies and lgbt/queer studies. Focuses on gender and difference, considering how issues of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, age and abilities interact with gender. Though most of the studies are based in the United States, global issues are introduced. Franzen, Staff.

360 Feminist Theory (1) Spring
Prerequisite: WGS 106 or equivalent. Explores twentieth-century feminist thought from the United States and Great Britain with some attention to other influences. Grounds feminist theory within the grassroots women's movement, a social, cultural and political movement for change. Tracing the influence of feminism in the academy, the course surveys not only the critical and analytical foundations of the field of women's studies but also the impact of women and gender-centered scholarship on the traditional disciplines. The challenges to feminist theory raised by U.S. women of color, working-class women, lesbians and other women who have experienced multiple oppressions are explored along with the women's examinations of the intersections of sexism and racism, classism, homophobia and other systems of power. Franzen, Collar.

Requirements for Minor in Gender Studies

  • Five units, including: WGS 116, Introduction to Gender Studies; one from Anthropology and Sociology 332, 333 and WGS 360, Feminist Theory; three additional courses from the electives listed below, at least two of which must be at the 300 level or higher: Anthropology and Sociology 230, 332, 333, 360, Biology 368, Education 225, English 211, 285, 289 (The Making of Modern Masculinities), 337, 341, 344, 347, 351, 363, 370, History 308, 377, Physical Education 279, Religious Studies 320.
  • Elective courses should be selected in consultation with a women's and gender studies faculty member and reported to the Women's and Gender Studies Program chair.

Requirements for Minor in Women's Studies

  • Five units, including WGS 106, Introduction to Women's Studies, and WGS 360, Feminist Theory; one historical overview course; and two others from the electives listed below, at least one of which must be at the 300 level or higher: Art History 219, 310, 316, Economics 271, English 243, 338, 345, French 320, German 402, Spanish 350, History 240, 370, Religious Studies 210, SCI 205, Theatre 210, 371.
  • Elective courses should be selected in consultation with a women's and gender studies faculty member and reported to the Women's and Gender Studies Program chair.