Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

  • Department Information

    Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

    Erika Damer, Coordinator

    Del McWhorter, Stephanie Bennett-Smith Chair of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

    Joint appointed faculty: Erika Damer (Classics), Dorothy Holland (Theatre & Dance), Mariela Mendez (Latin America, Latino, & Iberian Studies), Mari Lee Mifsud (Rhetoric & Communication Studies), Kathleen Skerrett (University Professor), Andrea Simpson (Political Science), Julietta Singh (English), Nathan Snaza (English), Sydney Watts (History)

    The women, gender and sexuality studies program is grounded in a) the analysis of gender and sexuality as historically emergent concepts and regions of human experience; b) the histories of political and social movements focused on the concerns, needs, and perspectives of women and sexualities minorities; and c) the theoretical and methodological frameworks of feminist analysis across the disciplines. Working in close consultation with an advisor, students may engage in a wide range of coursework emphasizing their specific areas of interest within the interdisciplinary field.

  • Major

    The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Major

    Note: The grade point average of the coursework comprising the major must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C (2.0).

    10 units, including:

    WGSS 200 Introduction to Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

    One unit each from the following five categories:

    Feminist and Queer Theories

    Methods for Knowledge Production

    Gender and Violence

    Transnational Perspectives

    Historical Perspectives

    Three elective units, chosen from areas above or additional approved classes (no more than .5 unit of internship credit may count toward the major)

    WGSS 490 Capstone Seminar

    Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the major. Prerequisites do not count toward the major unless otherwise noted.

  • Minor

    The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor

    Note: The grade point average of the coursework comprising the minor must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C (2.0).

    Five units, including:

    WGSS 200 Introduction to Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

    One unit in Feminist and Queer Theories

    Three electives units

    No more than .5 unit of internship may count.

    Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the minor. Prerequisites do not count toward the minor unless otherwise noted.

    Note:  If you are in the will Program, you earn your minor in WGSS in a will-specific way: 

    Five units:  

    • WGSS 200 Introduction to WGSS 
    • WGSS 201 will Colloquium on Gender, Race and Activism 
    • WGSS 280 Gender and Work 
    • WGSS elective 
    • WGSS Internship (.5 unit) 
    • WGSS 301 will Senior Seminar (.5 unit) 
  • Courses

    Courses for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Credit

    See the departmental listings for descriptions of the following courses offered for women, gender, and sexuality studies credit. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) may or may not carry women, gender, and sexuality studies credit in any given semester. You will need to make arrangements with the instructor and the women, gender, and sexuality studies coordinator at the beginning of the semester in order to count courses marked with an asterisk towards the WGSS major or minor. A comprehensive listing of courses is published each semester on the WGSS website and should be taken as the final arbiter for women, gender and sexuality studies credit. One (1) FYS course taught by a WGSS faculty member may count toward the major or minor by approval of the Program Coordinator after consultation with the Board

    Feminist and Queer Theories

    ENGL 376 Modern Literary Theory: Queer, Feminist, Post Humanist Literary Theory

    FYS 100 The Politics of Sexual Education

    PLSC 379/WGSS 379 Critical Race Theory

    RELG 253 Body/Sex in World Religions

    RELG 255 Queers in Religion

    RHCS 103 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory* (Mifsud only)

    RHCS 412 Philosophy of Communication

    THTR 370 Staging Gender

    WGSS 202 Queer Theories

    WGSS 279 Feminist Theory

    WGSS 379 Feminist Theories

    WGSS 379 Race in Feminist and Queer Thought

    WGSS 379 Race, Sex, and the Environment

     

    Methods for Knowledge Production

    AMST 381/RHCS 412 Digital Memory and the Archive

    AMST 398/ENGL 399/THTR 249 Documentary Theatre: Aids Epidemic

    AMST 398/ENGL 399/THTR 249 Documentary Theatre*

    ENGL 216 Literature, Technology, Culture*

    ENGL 237 Queer Literature

    HIST 400 The U.S. in the Long 1960s

    RHCS 105 Media, Culture, and Identity*

    RHCS 295 Doing History and Theory*

    RHCS 412 Digital Humanities Workshop

    SOC 279/AMST 381 ST: The System

    VMAP 306 Printmaking Media Studio*

    WGSS 257/RHCS 279 Methods in Digital Humanities

     

    Gender and Violence

    ANTH 303 Biopolitics and Medical Anthropology*

    ENGL 239 Vampires in Literature & Film

    FYS 100 Ancient Greek Rhetorics of Gender Violence

    FYS 100 Gender, Violence and Ancient Rome

    HIST 199 Harems and Veils: Women and Gender in Muslim Societies

    HIST 199 Scottsboro Trials

    HIST 265 Gender and Sexuality in Latin America

    HIST 399 ST: Sex, Gender, and Family in Modern Europe

    LAIS 475 Writing Sex and Gender in Latin America

    RHCS 412 Gender Violence

    WGSS 379 Human Rights: A Feminist Perspective

    WGSS 379/PLSC 379 Gender, Politics, and Prisons

     

    Transnational Perspectives

    AMST 391/THTR 312/LAIS 497 Gender, Race, and Performance

    ANTH 279 Women's Reproductive Health in Global / Anthropological Perspective

    ENGL 236 Global Women Writers

    GERM 451 Deviant Bodies in German Culture

    HIST 391 Transnational Social Reform

    HIST 400 Transnational U.S. South

    LAIS 452 Spanish-American Poetic Texts

    LAIS 475 Writing Sex and Gender in Latin America

    LAIS 497 ST: Embodied Politics in Comp. Latin Am. Race, Gender, Sex, and Performance

    LLC 322 From Pushkin to Pornography: Sexuality and the Body in Russian Literature*

    RELG 253 Body/Sex in World Religions

    THTR 229 Going Solo: The Politics of Identity in Contemporary Solo

    THTR 239 Latinx on Stage*

    WGSS 203/HIST 240 Human Rights and Revolution in the Atlantic World (1750-1850)

    WGSS 379 Transnational Feminisms

     

    Historical Perspectives

    AMST 381/THTR 312 Growing up In Civil Rights VA

    ARTH 227 Gender and the Arts of Japan

    ARTH 279 ST: Art as Political Action

    CLSC 232 Daily Life in Roman Pompei*

    CLSC 302 Roman Art and Archaeology*

    CLSC 308 Ethnicity, Gender, and Class in Greece and Rome

    HIST 199 Joan of Arc/Marie Antoinette

    HIST 306 American Identities

    HIST 323 Gender and Sexuality in Europe

    LDST 361 Sex, Power, and Politics

    MUS 235 I Want My MTV: Music Video and the Transformation of the Music Industry*

    RELG 257 Native American Religions*

    RELG 273 Witchcraft and Its Interpreters

    THTR 319 Theatre History II

    WGSS 280 Gender and Work

     

    Additional Electives

    AMST 398 ST: Disaster, Memory, and Popular Culture*

    ANTH 279 Bringing Human Rights Home

    ANTH 300 Sexuality and Gender Across Cultures

    ANTH 306 Tourism and Anthropology

    ANTH 328 Anthropology of Human Rights

    ANTH 350 Sex and Gender in the Middle East

    ANTH 379/PLSC 397 Bringing Human Rights Home

    CLSC 205 Ancient Myth in Epic Poetry*

    CLSC 207 Greek Magic*

    CLSC 210 A History of Early Medicine*

    EDUC 340 Gender and Education*

    EDUC 346 Philosophy of Education

    ENGL 203 Children's Literature*

    ENGL 229 The Black Vernacular: Hair

    ENGL 230 Women and Modern Literature

    ENGL 369 American Culture/American Film*

    ENGL 370 ST: Politics, Social Change and Modern Drama*

    ENGL 400 J/S Sem: Black Style

    ENGL 400 Woolf/Mansfield

    GERM 472 Culture Wars & Identity Debates in German Society from Empire to EU

    HIST 216 American Cultural and Intellectual Hist since 1865

    HIST 218 State and Society in Modern America*

    HIST 219 Work in the 20th Century America*

    LDST 386/ PSYC 359 Leadership in a Diverse Society

    LING 203 Introductory Linguistics*

    LLC 210 Women, Virtue & Temptation in Lit

    LLC 341 Gender and Sexuality in 19th Century France

    LLC 390 Performing Sex and Gender

    MUS 134 Songbirds and Sirens

    MUS 137 Gender, Sex, and Romantic Piano

    MUS 338 Special Topics in Music History, Theory or Music Education*

    PHIL 314 Philosophy of Science*

    PHIL 363 Power and Politics*

    PHIL 382 Moral Persons and Corporate Persons*

    PHIL 382 TS: Seminar in Michel Foucault*

    PLSC 361 The Politics of Social Welfare

    RELG 210 Sex and Salvation: 19th Century America

    RELG 347 Women in Early Christianity

    RELG 350 The Dao of Sex

    RELG 375 Cults, Communes and Utopias in Early America*

    RHCS 347 Advertising & Consumer Culture*

    RHCS 353 Rhetoric and Law*

    RHCS 412 Digital Memory and the Archive

    RHCS 412 Communication and the Gift*

    SOC 101 Foundations of Society: Introduction to Sociological Analysis (Richards or Grollman only)

    SOC 216 Social Inequalities

    SOC 255 Sport in Society*

    SOC 302 Social Movements*

    SOC 316 Race and Ethnicity in America*

    SOC 319 Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    SOC 340 Sociology of Health and Illness*

    SOC 379 The Life and Times of Malcolm X

    THTR 321 History of Apparel*

    WGSS 279 Women's Health

Courses

Expand All
  • WGSS 200 Introduction to Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)

    Description

    Introduction to the broad, interdisciplinary field of women, gender, and sexuality studies. Special attention will be paid to the meaning and history of the terms "gender" and "sexuality" and to the political movements mobilized around those terms. Students will read both contemporary and historical materials and both primary and secondary sources.

  • WGSS 201 will Colloquium: Gender, Race and Activism

    Units: 1

    Description

    Explores the link between knowledge/power and between theory/practice by examining and applying foundational terms and concepts central to social justice work.

    Prerequisites

    Enrollment in the will Program.

  • WGSS 202 Queer Theories

    Units: 1

    Description

    Explores a range of queer theoretical approaches. Special attention will be paid to intersectionality, the social construction of identities, and how these constructed identities impact knowing, ethical reasoning, and conduct. Engagement of the theoretical underpinnings of political, ethical, or cultural issues.

  • WGSS 203 Human Rights and Revolution in the Atlantic World (1750-1850)

    Units: 1

    Description

    (Same as HIST 240)

  • WGSS 257 Introduction to Digital Humanities

    Units: 1

    Description

    Explores applying computational methods including text analysis, mapping, and network analysis to humanities data.

  • WGSS 279 Selected Topics

    Units: 1

    Description

    Varying issues of current relevance and importance to women, gender and sexuality studies. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

  • WGSS 280 Gender and Work

    Units: 1

    Description

    Examines the gendered nature of both historical and contemporary workplace issues from a global perspective. Gender and workplace issues will be examined from theoretical, historical, comparative perspectives.

  • WGSS 301 will Senior Seminar

    Units: .5

    Description

    Community based learning course for students to connect WGSS theory and praxis, a central tenet of the will program, and reflect on their WGSS learning.

    Prerequisites

    will program participant.

  • WGSS 379 Selected Topics

    Units: 1

    Description

    Varying issues of current relevance and importance to women's studies. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.

  • WGSS 388 Individual Internship

    Units: .5-1.5

    Description

    No more than .5 units of internship may be applied to the women, gender, and sexuality studies major or minor. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

  • WGSS 398 Independent Study

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Pass/fail grading may be designated by department for certain enrollments.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

  • WGSS 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

    Units: 0

    Description

    Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

    Prerequisites

    Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

  • WGSS 490 Senior Capstone Experience

    Units: 1

    Description

    Special topics seminar for senior WGSS students only, both majors and minors, but required only for majors. The special topics will be selected per Capstone professor's choice and designed to advance research in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

    Prerequisites

    Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies 489.