Why study women, gender, and sexuality studies?
A major or minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies provide students with a broad set of skills that allow for critical analysis of issues relating to women, gender, and sexuality. Students learn to employ interdisciplinary methods and modes of analysis to better identify, critique, and productively understand the status of women and how structures of inequality interact with gender and sexuality.
Human Sexuality majors and minors quickly move from a broad WGSS survey to a more intensive critical focus on the social, political, and medical constructions of human sexuality. Students draw from interdisciplinary methods, theories, and research to better understand how the social construction and lived experiences of sexuality relate to society, politics, medicine, and social movements.
Women, gender, and sexuality studies offers an interdisciplinary program of courses with primary or significant emphasis on women. Courses are offered by the department or are cross-referenced with the department.
The Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies supports interdisciplinary research on topics pertaining to women, gender, and sexuality and administers an interdisciplinary program leading to a graduate certificate and a Ph.D. degree. Additional cross-referenced courses are available to complete requirements for the graduate certificate and doctoral degree. Students may pursue the graduate certificate in addition to a KU graduate degree or as a standalone program.
Students who are interested in enrolling in graduate level coursework in the Department of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies without formal admission to a graduate program at KU are encouraged to apply for graduate non-degree seeking student status. See the department’s non-degree seeking admission webpage for further details.
WGSS 101. Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 3 Hours SC AE41/GE3S / S.
This course examines the extensive role of gender in human life and examines the ways that gender structures power relations among individuals and within economic, political, educational and other social structures, with special attention paid to women's issues and movements in the United States and globally. Through readings drawn from the fields of women's studies, gender studies, and sexuality studies, this course examines and explores alternatives to traditional and/or normative constructions of gender and sexuality, and also considers other markers of difference, such as disability, race, class, and religion, which intersect with gender identity and sexual identity. LEC.
WGSS 102. Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Honors. 3 Hours SC AE41/GE3S / S.
This course examines the extensive role of gender in human life and examines the ways that gender structures power relations among individuals and within economic, political, educational and other social structures, with special attention paid to women's issues and movements in the United States and globally. Through readings drawn from the fields of women's studies, gender studies, and sexuality studies, this course examines and explores alternatives to traditional and/or normative constructions of gender and sexuality, and also considers other markers of difference, such as disability, race, class, and religion, which intersect with gender identity and sexual identity. Similar in content to WGSS 201. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by consent of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 111. Introduction to Human Sexuality Studies. 3 Hours S.
An interdisciplinary introduction to the study of human sexuality. We will consider some of the many ways that human sexuality has been understood and explained, drawing examples from multiple historical and contemporary sources. We will discuss how these understandings have changed over time and how they can vary depending on whose sexuality is being considered. LEC.
WGSS 177. First Year Seminar: _____. 3 Hours GE11 / U.
A limited-enrollment, seminar course for first-time freshmen, addressing current issues in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Course is designed to meet the critical thinking learning outcome of the KU Core. First-Year Seminar topics are coordinated and approved by the Office of First-Year Experience. Prerequisite: First-time freshman status. LEC.
WGSS 196. Study Abroad Topics in: _____. 1-6 Hours S.
This course is designed for the study of special topics in Women's Studies. Coursework must be arranged through the Office of KU Study Abroad. May be repeated for credit if content varies. LEC.
WGSS 301. Research Methods in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 3 Hours S.
This course explores feminist epistemologies and research methods. It focuses on research design, feminist critiques of dominant theories of knowledge, and the major methodologies employed in the social sciences and humanities. Prerequisite: WGSS 101. LEC.
WGSS 311. Sex in History. 3 Hours HT / H.
This course offers a survey of the history of human sexuality in the Western world; the second half of the semester emphasizes the American experience. Topics for consideration may include: masturbation, pornography, sex work, homosexuality, bisexuality, "perversions" (paraphilias), sex and marriage, racialized sexualities, sexual violence, trans* identities and experiences, sexuality and national identities, and colonialized sexualities. The course demonstrates the various ways in which sex, specifically the social and political meanings attributed to physical acts, changes over time and shapes human experiences and interactions far beyond the bedroom. (Same as AMS 323, HIST 332, and HUM 332.) LEC.
WGSS 317. African American Women: Colonial Era to the Present. 3 Hours H.
This interdisciplinary course covers the history of African American women, beginning in West and Central Africa, extending across the Middle Passage into the Americas, and stretching through enslavement and freedom into the 21st century. The readings cover their experiences through secondary and tertiary source materials, as well as autobiographies and letters, plays and music, and poems, novels, and speeches. (Same as AAAS 317, AMS 317, and HIST 317.) LEC.
WGSS 319. History, Women, and Diversity in the U.S.. 3 Hours AE41 / H.
This survey course explores the history of being female in America through a focus on the ways differences in race, sexuality, ethnicity, class, and life cycle have shaped various aspects of women's lives. Themes to be explored could include, but are not limited to: social and political activism; intellectual developments; family; women's communities; work; sexuality; and culture. (Same as HIST 319.) LEC.
WGSS 320. From Goddesses to Witches: Women in Premodern Europe. 3 Hours HT GE11/GE3H / H.
This course examines the social, cultural, and political contexts of women's spirituality and their relations to gender relations in Europe from about 30,000 B.C.E. to the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Lectures move both chronologically and topically, covering such subjects as goddess-worshiping cultures, women's roles in Christian and Jewish societies, symbols of women, and male attitudes toward women. Students will be able to participate in weekly discussions of primary and secondary source readings about women. (Same as HIST 320.) LEC.
WGSS 321. From Mystics to Feminists: Women's History in Europe 1600 to the Present. 3 Hours HT AE42/GE11/GE3H / H.
This survey of women's history in Europe looks at changing patterns of women's economic roles and family structures in preindustrial and industrial society, the importance of women in religious life, cultural assumptions underlying gender roles, and the relationship of women to political movements, including the rise of feminism. (Same as HIST 321.) LEC.
WGSS 324. History of Women and the Body. 3 Hours H.
This course examines different notions about women and their bodies from a historical perspective. It discusses the arguments and circumstances that have shaped women's lives in relation to their bodies, and women's responses to those arguments and circumstances. This course covers a wide geographical and chronological spectrum, from Ancient societies to the present, from Latin America and the Middle East, to North America and Western Europe. (Same as HIST 324.) LEC.
WGSS 325. Language, Gender, and Sexuality. 3 Hours S.
This class bridges cultural and linguistic anthropology by exploring the varied and sometimes surprising relationships among language, gender, and sexuality. We examine earlier perspectives focused on biological sex and gender difference and more recent work, including queer theory and views of gender and sexuality as enacted through language. This class will explore two long-standing substantive and ethical debates in the field: whether language itself is sexist and whether each gender uses language differently. Students will investigate how gender is performed through language and influenced by social class, ethnicity, sexuality, and transgender and other gender-transgressive identities. (Same as ANTH 325.) Prerequisite: ANTH 320/LING 320 or ANTH 321/LING 321 suggested. LEC.
WGSS 327. Perspectives in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. 3 Hours AE41 / S.
An exploration of the experiences and histories of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT); of the influences on these experiences by individuals, the state, and artistic, legal and medical discourses; and of the intersections between sexual orientation, sexuality, ethnicity, class, and religion. LEC.
WGSS 330. Women in Contemporary African Literature. 3 Hours NW AE42/GE3H / H.
A critical study of issues and questions raised about women in contemporary African literature and implications for the larger society through the analysis of theme, language, characterization, roles and functions of women in selected works. (Same as AAAS 340.) LEC.
WGSS 333. The Politics of Physical Appearance. 3 Hours AE41/GE11 / S.
An interdisciplinary analysis of standards of physical attractiveness and cultural conceptions of women's bodies. Includes analysis of how these standards change across time and cultural groups, and of the impact of these standards on women as individuals and on social and political outcomes. LEC.
WGSS 335. History of Jewish Women. 3 Hours H.
This course explores the history of Jewish women from antiquity to the twentieth century. It examines the historical constructions of women's gender roles and identities in Jewish law and custom as well as the social and cultural impact of those constructions in the context of the realities of women's lives in both Jewish and non-Jewish society. There are no prerequisites for this course. (Same as HIST 335, JWSH 335.) LEC.
WGSS 339. Feminist Social Movements. 3 Hours H.
What are the moral and social responsibilities of feminism, and how can we best practice these commitments? This course explores the social dynamics of feminist activist movements and equips students to engage in positive social change. It uses theories of identity, agency, intersectionality, oppression, and justice to understand how people's lived experiences are both shaped by social forces and reshaped through human action. By combining ethical questions of citizenship and social justice with critical analysis of activist strategies in real social movements, this course will directly engage pressing social issues in local, national, and international contexts. LEC.
WGSS 344. Black Feminist Theory. 3 Hours HL / H.
This course will study the critical discourse produced by black female intellectuals, writers, and activists about their race, gender, sexual, and class identities. Students will explore black women's distinct positionality through an examination of their theory as well as their praxis from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment. By tracing the evolution of black feminist thought, the class will explore black women's initiation of and engagement with political, social, and artistic conversations in various fields of scholarly inquiry including-but not limited to-literature, history, sociology, political science, and the law. (Same as AAAS 334 and ENGL 334.) Prerequisite: WGSS 101, AAAS 104, or prior completion of one 200-level English course. LEC.
WGSS 345. Popular Culture in Africa: Spiritual Thrills, Romance and Sexualities. 3 Hours H.
This course examines how the different constituents of popular culture mobilize, construct and structure gender, and spiritual and sexual identities in select contemporary African countries. Discussions also focus on how popular culture mediates the contesting spaces of indigenous local constructs and the push and pull of global forces to create geographic and contemporary specificities. (Same as AAAS 345.) LEC.
WGSS 351. Women and Leadership: The Legislative Process. 3 Hours S.
Examines current and historical roles and impacts of women involved in legislatures. Explores what difference women make when they are public officials. Students meet with local women legislators, lobbyists and political officials. Students learn how to analyze issues, access power, lobby, and organize at the grassroots. The course is designed to prepare students for an optional legislative internship during the subsequent semester. LEC.
WGSS 361. Youth, Sex, and Romance in Post-WWII United States. 3 Hours AE41 / H.
Most people don't think of sex and romance as having a history. And youth seems just a natural stage of life. But the nature of "courtship," the definitions of sex, and the meaning of "youth" have changed dramatically over time, and people struggle over those definitions right up to the current day. In this class we try to make historical sense of those struggles by focusing on a volatile and complicated period in U.S. history: the years from World War II through the recent past. (Same as HIST 361.) LEC.
WGSS 363. Gendered Modernity in East Asia. 3 Hours S.
This course explores rapidly changing gender relationships and the sense of being "modern" in East Asia by examining marriage and family systems, work, education, consumer culture, and geopolitics. The class seeks to understand how uneven state control over men and women shapes desires, practices, and norms and how men and women act upon such forces. Avoiding biological or social determinism, this course treats gender as an analytical category and examines how modern nation-states and global geopolitics are constituted and operated. (Same as ANTH 363 and EALC 363.) LEC.
WGSS 364. Pregnancy in Modern Literature. 3 Hours HL GE21.
An examination of pregnancy, childbirth and reproductive control as depicted in literature from various national traditions in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This course draws together voices from literature, history, and feminist theory to deepen students' understanding of the ways nationality, class, race, ability, and gender affect the aesthetics surrounding reproduction. Special attention is given to the relationship between society and the pregnant/postpartum individual. Other topics may include: eugenics, contraception, male pregnancy, and speculative reproduction. (Same as HUM 364.) LEC.
WGSS 365. Angry White Male Studies. 3 Hours H.
This course charts the rise of the "angry white male" in America and Britain since the 1950s, exploring the deeper sources of this emotional state while evaluating recent manifestations of male anger. Employing interdisciplinary perspectives this course examines how both dominant and subordinate masculinities are represented and experienced in cultures undergoing periods of rapid change connected to modernity as well as to rights-based movements of women, people of color, homosexuals and trans individuals. (Same as HUM 365.) Prerequisite: WGSS 101 or WGSS 102, or permission of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 366. Fat, Food and the Body in Global Perspective. 3 Hours H.
An examination of fat and food as they relate to human embodiment in a variety of world locations. Bringing into a dialogue a number of disciplinary voices, including anthropology, fat studies, feminist theory, food studies, history, medicine, and psychology, the course applies theories of culture and embodiment to select global case studies as a means of approaching the pleasures, anxieties, health implications, and symbolic functions of ingesting food and drink. Topics may include the cultural and gender politics of fatness and thinness; anorexia and feederism; food, sex, and animality; vegetarianism, food scares and food purity movements; neoliberalism and the consuming body; and the material and symbolic aspects of fats and oils. (Same as HUM 366.) LEC.
WGSS 374. Religious Perspectives on Selfhood and Sexuality. 3 Hours H.
The nature of the self in its individual and social dimensions. Self experienced and expressed in sexuality. Survey of viewpoints in religious literature. (Same as REL 374.) LEC.
WGSS 376. Love, Sexuality and Gender in Japanese Literature. 3 Hours HL / H.
An examination of Japanese attitudes toward love, sexuality and gender differences as revealed in literature from the tenth century to the present. Discussion format. Not open to students who have taken EALC 575/WGSS 576. (Same as EALC 375.) LEC.
WGSS 380. African Art and Gender. 3 Hours HL / H.
How does the rich relationship between art and gender provide an organizing metaphor for African artists across space and time? How do artists shape understandings of gender? In this course, we will examine gender in artistic practice alongside cultural binaries and consider how gender historically operated to define distinct roles for artists. We will study how formulations of gender and race intersected to impact artistic production and classification during the colonial and postcolonial periods. We will analyze materiality and the metaphor of childbirth, gender and Islamic textiles, and the concept of "craft." (Same as AAAS 380.) LEC.
WGSS 381. Feminism and Philosophy. 3 Hours AE41/GE3H / H.
An examination of topics of philosophical interest that are important in the feminist movement such as the nature of sexism, the concept of sexual equality, the ethics of sexual behavior, the nature of love, feminist analyses of the value of marriage and family, the ethics of abortion and justifications for preferential treatment of women. (Same as PHIL 381.) LEC.
WGSS 389. The Anthropology of Gender: Female, Male, and Beyond. 3 Hours NW AE42/GE21/GE3H/GE3S / W.
This course will introduce students to cultural constructions and performances of masculinity, femininity, and alternative genders across time and space. Topics and cases will be drawn from primarily non-Western cultures, ranging from Japanese markets to Pacific Rim gardens, and from Haitian voudou to Maya royal politics. This course uses research by archeologists, linguists, biological anthropologists, and sociocultural anthropologists. (Same as ANTH 389.) LEC.
WGSS 396. Studies in: _____. 3 Hours H.
The interdisciplinary study of selected and different aspects of women's studies in different semesters. LEC.
WGSS 397. Study Abroad Topic in: _____. 1-6 Hours.
This course is designed for the study of special topics in Women's Studies at the junior/senior level. Course work must be arranged through the Office of KU Study Abroad. May be repeated for credit if content varies. LEC.
WGSS 410. Intimate Relationships. 3 Hours S.
A social psychological perspective on adult intimate relationships, examining friendship, dating, committed relationships, and the dissolution of committed relationships. Topics include romance, jealousy, self-disclosure, power, loneliness, and social support. Discussion of heterosexual and homosexual relationships, traditional forms (e.g., marriage) of relationships as well as alternative lifestyles (e.g. cohabitation) and gender-linked differences in relationships. (Same as PSYC 410.) Prerequisite: PSYC 104. LEC.
WGSS 418. Sexual Politics in Chinese Literature and Culture: Premodern Times. 3 Hours NW / H.
This course uses myth, literature, history, biography, and other documents to discuss sexual politics in China from ca 1500 B.C.E. to the end of the last dynasty in 1911. Topics include: emperors, empresses, and consorts, polygamy, prostitution, love, yin and yang cosmology, the art of the bedchamber, women's literature, and erotic literature. Recommended: A course in East Asian studies. Not open to students who have taken EALC 618. This course is taught at the 400 and 600 levels with additional assignments at the 600-level. (Same as EALC 418.) Prerequisite: One course in EALC or WGSS. LEC.
WGSS 430. Skin, Sex, and Disease. 3 Hours AE41 / H.
This course explores the complex historical relationships between gender, race, health, sickness, and oppression over time. Students examine the impact race and gender have on structuring experiences of health, sickness and health care; and examine the political activism surrounding definitions and concepts of health. LEC.
WGSS 440. Communication and Gender. 3 Hours AE41 / S.
Focuses attention on the relationship between communication and gender, including both physical and psychological dimensions. Topics include: sex role orientations and stereotypes; perceived and actual differences in verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors; the influence of gender on communication in a variety of contexts. (Same as COMS 440.) Prerequisite: COMS 130, COMS 150, or COMS 230. LEC.
WGSS 468. Psychology of Women. 3 Hours S.
A survey of the psychological theories about women; similarities and differences in the behavior of women and men; the effects of biological and social factors on the behavior of women and men; and issues of concern to women of different races, sexual orientations, ages, and so forth. (Same as PSYC 468.) Prerequisite: PSYC 104 or WGSS 201. LEC.
WGSS 477. Gender and Religion. 3 Hours H.
Examination of the symbols, images, scriptures, rites and teachings that define gender in various religious traditions. (Same as HUM 477 and REL 477.) Prerequisite: An introductory course in Humanities, Religious Studies or Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. LEC.
WGSS 498. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours S.
Intensive reading or research under faculty supervision culminating in the writing of a paper or research report. IND.
WGSS 499. Honors in Women, Gender and Sexualty Studies. 3 Hours S.
An individual research project under the direction of a specialist in the area of the student's interest. May be counted towards the total hours required for the major. Prerequisite: Majors only, with approval of the project adviser and the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies honors coordinator. IND.
WGSS 502. Human Sexuality. 3 Hours S.
An introduction to the field of human sexuality. Topics to be covered include sexual anatomy and physiology, fertilization, pregnancy, birth and lactation, contraception, human sexual response, sexuality across the life cycle, love, marriage, alternatives to marriage, sexual orientation, sex differences in behavior, parenthood, sexually transmitted diseases, sex and the law, and sex education. Prerequisite: PSYC 104. LEC.
WGSS 510. History of American Women: Colonial Times to 1870. 3 Hours AE41 / H.
A survey of women's history in the United States, which will consider women's roles as housewives, mothers, consumers, workers, and citizens in pre-industrial, commercial and early industrial America. (Same as AMS 510 and HIST 530.) LEC.
WGSS 511. History of American Women: 1870 to Present. 3 Hours AE41 / H.
A survey of women's history in the United States, which includes radical and reform movements, the impact of war and depression, professionalization, immigration, women's work, and the biographies of leading figures in women's history. (Same as AMS 511 and HIST 531.) LEC.
WGSS 512. History of Women and Work in Comparative Perspective. 3 Hours H.
This course explores the connection between historical changes in the labor process and the occupational choices available to women in different countries. Through discussion and analyses of texts, students will evaluate the construction of a gendered division of work as shaped over time by economic, cultural, and political forces. The chronological and geographical focus may vary depending on the instructor. (Same as AMS 512 and HIST 532.) LEC.
WGSS 513. Modern American Women in Film and Literature. 3 Hours H.
Exploration of the images both real and ideal found in twentieth century popular culture. By using popular culture as social history, it examines the connections between these images and the life experiences of women in the family, at work, in war, and in economic depression. LEC.
WGSS 515. Gender and Sexuality in Greek Culture. 3 Hours AE42 / H.
This course explores various approaches to the study of gender and sexuality in Greek antiquity. Contents will vary, and the course may focus on methodology and case studies, or on particular themes, historical periods, or artistic or literary genres. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required. (Same as CLSX 515.) Prerequisite: Graduate status, or 6 credit hours in Classics, Greek, Latin, or Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 516. Gender and Sexuality in Roman Culture. 3 Hours HL AE42 / H.
This course explores various approaches to the study of gender and sexuality in Roman antiquity. Contents vary, and the course may focus on methodology and case studies, or on particular themes, historical periods, or artistic or literary genres. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required. (Same as CLSX 516.) Prerequisite: Graduate status, or 6 credit hours in Classics, Greek, Latin, or Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 521. Women and Violence. 3 Hours S.
An examination of research on women and violence, including rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and child sexual abuse. The nature, prevalence, causes, and consequences of violence against women are discussed. (Same as PSYC 521.) Prerequisite: PSYC 104. LEC.
WGSS 530. Sex and Gender in New Media. 3 Hours S.
This course examines the construction of sexuality and gender in new media platforms. Students will explore how contemporary media platforms are used to reify dominant representations, and produce new or alternative expressions of identity, culture or political engagement. LEC.
WGSS 533. Rococo to Realism: Painting in Europe c. 1750-1848. 3 Hours H.
This course considers European painting c. 1750 to 1848 within the context of dramatic political and industrial revolutions. Exploring the power of the visual to engage with broader circumstances and to effect change, we will examine the ways in which shifting constructions of gender, empire, colonialism, race, slavery, and class were addressed by such artists as Watteau, David, Vigée-Lebrun, Delacroix, Géricault, Goya, Turner, Constable, Ingres, Daumier, Bonheur, and Courbet. Graduate students will complete additional assignments. (Same as HA 533.) Prerequisite: HA 100, HA 151, or the equivalent, or consent of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 534. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: 1848-1900. 3 Hours H.
This course considers French painting 1848 to 1900, a period marked by unprecedented technological advancements, the restructuring of Paris, and the rise of consumer culture. As large sections of the city were leveled to make way for broad boulevards, cafés, and department stores, some artists strove to represent the ever-changing spectacle of urban life; others found their inspiration away from the city. Focusing on Manet, Degas, Caillebotte, Morisot, Cassatt, Monet, Renoir, Seurat, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Cézanne, we will explore how artists engaged with shifting constructions of modernity, gender, fashion, public and private, empire, race, class, and consumer and leisure cultures. Graduate students will complete additional assignments. (Same as HA 534.) Prerequisite: HA 100, HA 151, or the equivalent, or consent of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 549. History of Feminist Theory. 3 Hours H.
This discussion course will cover the development of feminist theories from the late Middle Ages to the 1970s. Reading will include Pisan, Wollstonecraft, Mill, Freud, Woolf, Beauvoir, Friedan, Daly, Kristeva, and others. (Same as HIST 649.) LEC.
WGSS 552. The Rhetoric of Women's Rights. 3 Hours AE41 / H.
An analysis of the themes and rhetorical strategies of the women's rights movement in America. The course will view the struggle for women's rights from a historical perspective and will conclude with contemporary issues concerning the role of women in society. (Same as COMS 552.) Prerequisite: COMS 130, COMS 150, or COMS 230. LEC.
WGSS 560. Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses. 3 Hours H.
This course examines the ways that colonial structures, institutions, and ideologies impact the world today through the intersections of race and gender. Using postcolonial theory, films, literature, and analysis of current events, students will explore 1) how discourses about race, gender, and postcolonialism are produced, 2) how various gendered racial projects become the fabric of colonial and postcolonial empires, 3) how narratives about native populations obscure the underlying structures of global inequality, 4) how postcolonial gaze operates in identity formation, and 5) how foreign aid and the white savior complex operate as forms of neo-colonialism. (Same as AAAS 560.) Prerequisite: Any WGSS or AAAS course, or permission of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 562. Women and Politics. 3 Hours AE41 / S.
This course exposes students to contemporary research on women and politics by surveying the sub-fields of political science. Topics include women's representation in the U.S., women and U.S. public policy, gender and legal theory, international women's movements, women and revolution, and women as political elites. We will examine the ways in which feminist theory and women's activism have challenged the narrow focus of the discipline as well as redefined women's place in society. (Same as POLS 562.) Prerequisite: Sophomore level or consent of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 563. Gender, Sexuality and the Law. 3 Hours AE41/GE11 / H.
This course provides a broad introduction to Western legal systems (especially the American legal system) and then focuses on how sex, gender, and sexuality operate in and are understood by those systems and how the law is a site of social and political struggle. Topics may include intimate relations, First Amendment law, sexual harassment and employment discrimination; reproduction policies and governance; rape and sexual assault; gender identity discrimination; and the legal understandings and constructions of equal protection and due process. No prior knowledge of legal concepts is necessary. LEC.
WGSS 565. Gender, Culture, and Migration. 3 Hours S.
This course examines the gendered experiences of transnational migration through a combination of ethnography, literature, film, and news media. How do different people experience the desire to migrate, the logistics of movement, and life in a faraway place? How does mobility shape ideas of family, community, and nation? How do class, race, sexuality, and legal status also inflect these experiences, especially in rendering certain groups vulnerable to abuse and exploitation? Attention will also be paid to gendered thinking against migration, including the ways gender and sexuality inflect xenophobia, border enforcement, refugee recognition, deportation policy, and contemporary political debates. (Same as AMS 565 and GIST 565.) Prerequisite: Any 100 level AAAS course, WGSS 101, AMS 100, AMS 110, or GIST 301. LEC.
WGSS 570. Men and Masculinities. 3 Hours H.
An intensive examination of the history and theory of masculinities in the Western world. Students become acquainted with some of the key theories of men and masculinities, and develop research projects on a topic negotiated with the instructor. (Same as HIST 626, HUM 570.) Prerequisite: An upper-division course in History, Humanities, or Women Gender and Sexuality Studies; or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 573. Judaism and Sexuality. 3 Hours H.
An exploration of the complex interactions of Judaism, Jewishness, and sexuality. The course serves as a basic introduction to traditional Jewish understandings of gender and power, love and sex, and the body and embodiment. It also introduces the changes undergone by this tradition under the impact of contemporary feminism and queer theory. (Same as JWSH 563, REL 573.) Prerequisite: At least one course in Jewish Studies or Religious Studies, or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 575. The Body, Self and Society. 3 Hours H.
An intensive examination of the role of the human body in the creation of personal and social identities in the Western world. Students become acquainted with contemporary theories of embodiment and senses as they are applied to a variety of historical themes, and develop research projects on a topic negotiated with the instructor. (Same as HIST 625, HUM 575.) Prerequisite: An upper-division course in History, Humanities, or Women Gender and Sexuality Studies; or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 576. Love, Sexuality and Gender in Japanese Literature. 3 Hours HL / H.
An examination of Japanese attitudes toward love, sexuality, and gender differences as revealed in literature from the tenth century to the present. Discussion format. Not open to students with credit in EALC 375/WGSS 376. (Same as EALC 575.) Prerequisite: One course in EALC or WGSS. LEC.
WGSS 580. Feminism and Anthropology. 3 Hours S.
This seminar will introduce students to feminism in anthropology, including feminist theories, methodologies, ethnographic styles, and the history of women in the discipline since the late 1800s. Emphasis is on the social contexts for feminist theory-building since the 1960s and changing ideas about gender and power. (Same as ANTH 580.) Prerequisite: One of the following: ANTH 389, ANTH 460, WGSS 201; or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 583. Love, Sex, and Globalization. 3 Hours S.
Escalating transnational flows of information, commodities, and people have created innumerable kinds of "intimate" contacts on a global scale, such as mail order brides, child adoption, sex tourism, commodified romance, and emotional labor. Exploring the ways that cultural artifacts of intimacy are rendered, fetishized, and reified in a free market economy, this course examines how discourses on love and sex encounter, confront, and negotiate the logics of the capitalist market, the discrepant narratives of (colonial) modernity, and the ethics of pleasure. In so doing, this course navigates the treacherous interplay among emotions-specifically love, sex, and money, seeking the potential and limits of cultural politics of emotions. (Same as ANTH 583.) LEC.
WGSS 598. Sexuality and Gender in African History. 3 Hours NW AE42 / H.
An examination of the history of sexuality and gender in Africa with a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries. Major issues and methods in the historical scholarship on gender and sexuality will be covered. Topics of historical analysis include life histories, rites of passage, courtship, marriage, reproduction, education, masculinities, homosexuality, colonial control, and changing gender relations. Prior course work in African history is suggested. Graduate students will complete an additional project in consultation with the instructor. (Same as AAAS 598 and HIST 598.) LEC.
WGSS 600. Contemporary Feminist Political Theory. 3 Hours S.
A detailed introduction to feminist thought post-1960. Examines feminism in relation to the categories of political theory: liberal feminism, socialist feminism, radical feminism, and postmodern feminism. Within these categories and separately, we will also consider feminism as it is influenced by women traditionally excluded from mainstream feminist thought, namely U.S. woman of color and women of post-colonial societies. This course is a service learning course that provides students with on-site practicum, mentoring, and networking skills. (Same as POLS 600.) Prerequisite: Sophomore level or consent of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 601. Seminar in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 3 Hours AE61 / S.
Investigation of a topic related to women, gender or sexuality from an interdisciplinary perspective. Open only to women's studies majors and human sexuality majors. Suggested for the senior year. Prerequisite: WGSS 301. LEC.
WGSS 618. Sexual Politics in Chinese Literature and Culture: Premodern Times. 3 Hours NW / H.
This course uses myth, literature, history, biography, and other documents to discuss sexual politics in China from ca 1500 B.C.E. to the end of the last dynasty in 1911. Topics include: emperors, empresses, and consorts, polygamy, prostitution, love, yin and yang cosmology, the art of the bedchamber, women's literature, and erotic literature. (Same as EALC 618.) Prerequisite: A course in East Asian studies. Not open to students who have taken EALC 418. This course is taught at the 400 and 600 levels with additional assignments at the 600-level. LEC.
WGSS 630. Politics of Identity. 3 Hours AE41 / S.
This seminar explores the nature of identity and how identity is relevant to politics and policy with a focus on political attitudes and behavior, institutions, and public policy. Topics include individual and group identity, identities such as gender, racial, sexual orientation, and partisan, and the enduring importance of identity for understanding politics as well as the policy process. The approach is multidisciplinary but political science perspectives are relied on more heavily. (Same as POLS 630.) Prerequisite: Sophomore level or consent of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 640. Politics of Reproductive Policy. 3 Hours S.
Reproductive policy has historically been a highly politicized policy arena, which has elicited attention from the political community as well as the public. This course moves beyond the popular rhetoric associated with reproductive issues, by critically investigating the history, development, implementation and the relative success of various reproductive policies in the United States. These policies are compared to, and assessed against, policies governing similar topics in various countries. This course is a service learning course that provides students with on-site practicum, mentoring, and networking skills. (Same as POLS 640.) Prerequisite: Sophomore level or consent of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 646. Witches in European History and Historiography. 3 Hours H.
This course examines witches, witchcraft, and magic in Europe in the late medieval and early modern period (approximately 1200-1700 C.E.). Particular emphasis will be on the variety of historical and anthropological approaches that have been used to study the subject and their meaning in the context of gender politics and gender theory. (Same as HIST 646.) LEC.
WGSS 650. Service Learning in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 3 Hours S.
This course, to be taken in the senior year, is designed to give students the opportunity to apply women's studies knowledge and ideas gained through course work to real-life situations in various agencies and women's centers. Open to Women's Studies majors and others with significant Women's Studies backgrounds. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor is required. FLD.
WGSS 652. Jazz and American Culture. 3 Hours H.
This course considers cultural and social histories of jazz, from the 1920s through the present day, as sites for exploring ideological struggles over such fields as race, class, gender, sexuality, democracy, capitalism, freedom, community, Americanness, and globalization in the U.S. The course will explore such questions as the following: What music was called jazz at what times and places? What did it mean to whom? Who played it? Who wrote about it? Who listened to it? Who danced to it? Who policed it? Who produced it? Who used it to rebel? Who used it to survive? What did all of these practices mean to participants? The course will examine struggles over social meanings in the U.S. through a study of jazz performance, labor, representation, marketing, consumption, censorship, and historiography. Prerequisite: A course in American studies, American history, or consent of instructor. (Same as AMS 650.) LEC.
WGSS 653. Gender, War, and Peace. 3 Hours S.
This course explores ways in which militarization and warfare are gendered processes. We ask, what does war tell us about gender, and what does gender tell us about war? Though the majority of fighters are men, women are essential to war efforts. They also represent a high proportion of the casualties of war. Yet women are rarely examined in relation to war; thus we work to uncover women's experiences of war. We also look to women's contributions to the peace movement in terms of both theory and practice, asking: Is peace a feminist issue? Should feminists support women's access to combat positions or oppose the military? What if women ruled the world--would that end wars? Does militarized masculinity harm men more than benefit them? How do states mobilize citizens to war and how is the process gendered? (Same as POLS 653.) Prerequisite: Sophomore level or consent of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 660. Human Reproduction: Culture, Power, and Politics. 3 Hours S.
This seminar analyzes and critiques the socially constructed nature of reproductive practices and their articulation with relations of power. Topics range from conception to menopause, infertility to population. Cases are drawn from a wide variety of cultural contexts. This course is the second part of a two-semester sequence (beginning with ANTH 650) that examines in detail biological and cultural determinants of human reproduction. (Same as ANTH 660.) Prerequisite: ANTH 650, or 6 hours in Women's Studies, or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 662. Gender and Politics in Africa. 3 Hours S.
This course is designed to explore the field of gender and African politics. We begin by paying particular attention to African women's political roles during the pre-colonial and colonial society. Next, we examine the impetus, methods, and path of liberation struggles and how gender roles were shaped, shifted, and changed during these struggles. The majority of the class focuses on current issues in African politics, including gender and development, HIV/AIDS and women's health, gender and militarism. We also explore women's roles in political institutions, civil society organizations, trade and labor unions, and transnational movements. We also examine contemporary constructions of masculinity and femininity in African states and explore how these constructions affect social policy and national political agendas. (Same as AAAS 662 and POLS 662.) Prerequisite: Sophomore level or consent of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 664. Women, Health, and Healing in Africa. 3 Hours H.
The course explores the values, practices, cultural systems and social-economic conditions that influence the sickness and health of women in Africa. The focus is on theoretical and applied debates and issues including: contraception, infertility, and reproduction; HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections; spiritual suffering and mental illness; trauma and violence; chronic illness, disability, and aging; pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, and clinical research. (Same as ANTH 664.) Prerequisite: 6 hours of coursework in Anthropology and/or Women's Studies and/or African American Studies. LEC.
WGSS 665. Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America. 3 Hours S.
This seminar uses a life-cycle approach to examine women's health (physical, mental, and spiritual) and their roles as healers. Special consideration is given to the effects of development programs on well-being, access to health care, and hanging roles for women as healers. Cases will be drawn from a variety of Latin American contexts. (Same as ANTH 665 and LAA 665.) Prerequisite: 6 hours coursework in Anthropology and/or Women's Studies and/or Latin American Studies. LEC.
WGSS 689. Conceptual Issues in Human Sexuality. 3 Hours S.
An examination of the social construction of sexuality and research methods and issues relevant to sexuality. These concepts are applied to various topics, such as defining and conceptualizing sex and gender, sexual dysfunction, sexual orientation, the social control of sexuality, sexual coercion and abuse, and abstinence-only sex education. The course does not cover anatomical or physiological aspects of sexuality. (Same as PSYC 689.) Prerequisite: PSYC 104 or WGSS 201. LEC.
WGSS 696. Studies in: _____. 3 Hours S.
Interdisciplinary study of different aspects of women's studies in different semesters. LEC.
WGSS 701. Seminar in: _____. 3 Hours.
A research seminar in women's studies. Instructor and topic will vary. LEC.
WGSS 702. Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Archives. 3 Hours.
The pioneering historian Mary Beard once said "No documents. No history." While historical methods have broadened since Beard's time to include oral history, public history and more, the archive still remains central to scholarship on individuals, groups, social movements and more. In this class we will explore the usefulness of the archive for research in women, gender and sexuality topics as well as learn practical methods of archival research. We will read theoretical assessments of the archive, case studies based on archival research, and discuss new phenomena such as the digital archive and community archive. LEC.
WGSS 770. Research in Men and Masculinties. 3 Hours.
An intensive examination of the history and theory of masculinities in the Western World since the sixteenth century. Students will become acquainted with some of the key theories of men and masculinities, examine in depth the interplay between manhood and modernity, and develop research projects on a topic negotiated with the instructor. May be repeated if content varies sufficiently. (Same as HUM 770.) LEC.
WGSS 775. Advanced Study in Body and Senses. 3 Hours.
An intensive examination of the role of the human body in the creation of personal and social identities in the West since the sixteenth century. Emphasis is on understanding how contemporary theories of embodiment are applied to concrete historical or contemporary problems. May be repeated if course content varies sufficiently. (Same as HUM 775.) LEC.
WGSS 797. Directed Readings. 1-3 Hours.
Directed reading in an area of women's studies in which there is no appropriate course in the offerings of the Women's Studies Program, but in which there is a member of the cooperating graduate faculty competent and willing to direct the program of study. RSH.
WGSS 800. History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 3 Hours.
An introduction to the field of women, gender, and sexuality studies, paying particular attention to its development, its reception by and influence on academic disciplines, and its institutionalization. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of the instructor. SEM.
WGSS 801. Feminist Theory. 3 Hours.
A survey of contemporary feminist theories produced within and across disciplines (including but not limited to, eco-feminism, and liberal, cultural, materialist, psychoanalytic, radical, and black feminist thought). Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of the instructor. LEC.
WGSS 802. Feminist Methodologies. 3 Hours.
How is feminist research more than just research on feminist topics? What, if any, implications do various feminist theories have for how we execute research and for what we count as knowledge? This graduate seminar explores the joint epistemological and methodological foundations of feminist research in the humanities and social sciences. We will practice different research methods, assess their strengths and limitations, and learn how to integrate them in project design. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of the instructor. SEM.
WGSS 803. Topics in Feminist Pedagogy: _____. 0.5 Hours.
The goal of the course is to teach students to teach. By reading core texts of feminist pedagogy, understanding critical theories, and attending seminars at the Center for Teaching Excellence selected by instructor and student, students will learn how to present knowledge and stimulate learning in the classroom, as well as such practical skills as leading discussion sections, preparing and presenting class sessions, developing syllabi, devising fair grading and helpful advising, and solving pedagogical problems like maintaining civility in the classroom and coping with academic misconduct. Must be repeated twice for a total of 1 credit hour while actively teaching. Prerequisite: Must be Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies graduate students. SEM.
WGSS 804. Topics in Professional Development: _____. 3 Hours.
The goal of this course is to train students in the skills essential to becoming effective scholars and educators, and successful members of the profession. The material to be covered by these three iterations includes 1) the ethics and practice of feminist research (e.g., protection of human subjects, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, legal strictures); 2) the practical aspects of producing knowledge (e.g., writing research papers, proper citation methods, conference presenting, responding to peer reviews); and 3) acquiring and securing a place in the work force (e.g., CV preparation, job interviews, grant writing, getting promotion [and, in the academy, tenure]). Prerequisite: Must be Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies graduate students. SEM.
WGSS 810. Comparative Sexualities. 3 Hours.
Employing an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, this course introduces the study of human sexuality in various disciplines. Students will also gain an understanding of the historical development and cross-cultural analysis of sexuality research, including the methodological, theoretical, and ethical issues involved in investigating sexual behavior and meanings. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of the instructor. SEM.
WGSS 821. Woman and Violence. 3 Hours.
An examination of research on women and violence, including rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and child sexual abuse. Research on the nature, prevalence, causes, and consequences of violence against women is discussed. (Same as PSYC 821.) Prerequisite: Six hours in WGSS and/or PSYC, or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 835. Colloquium in the History of Gender. 3 Hours.
WGSS 836. Colloquium in United States Women's History. 3 Hours.
This colloquium will cover theoretical and topical readings on the history of women in the United States from the pre-contact period to the present. It is designed to familiarize students with the most important and current historiography in the field. (Same as AMS 836 and HIST 896.) LEC.
WGSS 837. Comparative Colloquium in Women's History. 3 Hours.
This colloquium will approach the history of women from a comparative perspective through theoretical and topical readings on women in at least two different cultures. (Same as AMS 837 and HIST 897.) LEC.
WGSS 873. Seminar in United States Women's History. 3 Hours.
This research seminar will focus on the history of women in the United States from the pre-contact period to the present. Students will research and write a paper using primary sources, and present those papers to the seminar for evaluation. (Same as HIST 973 and AMS 973.) LEC.
WGSS 889. Conceptual Issues in Human Sexuality. 3 Hours.
An examination of the social construction of sexuality and research methods and issues relevant to sexuality. These concepts are applied to various topics, such as defining and conceptualizing sex and gender, sexual dysfunction, sexual orientation, the social control of sexuality, sexual coercion and abuse, and abstinence-only sex education. The course does not cover anatomical or physiological aspects of sexuality. (Same as PSYC 889.) Prerequisite: Six hours in WGSS and/or PSYC, or permission of instructor. LEC.
WGSS 898. Research Colloquium. 3 Hours.
This course is the "capstone" to the Women's Studies Graduate Certificate program. Members of the seminar will produce a major paper and will share their research. During the first part of the term a small number of visitors (professors at KU and/or visiting speakers from other universities) will be invited to assign readings and subsequently present their work on women and gender. Students will be expected to attend the Gender Seminar of the Hall Center for the Humanities. Prerequisite: WGSS 801 and at least 3 hours of other graduate work in the Women's Studies graduate certificate program, or by special permission. LEC.
WGSS 999. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-12 Hours.
Original research that is to be incorporated into a PhD dissertation. Graded on a satisfactory progress/limited progress/no progress basis. THE.