Women and Gender Studies Program

Course Descriptions

WGS 101 Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
From a variety of perspectives, this course explores the following inter-related themes and topics: the economic, political, and social status of women/men as a group and in discrete cultural contexts; the politics of representation, or how ideas about femininity/masculinity and feminism are promoted throughout the media and other vehicles of culture; the construction of "consciousness," both through the media and through feminist tactics; collective action in the past, present, and future. This course is writing-intensive. Students are expected to practice their writing skills through formal essays. Prerequisites: English 100 or concurrent. Offered every semester. Cr 3.

WGS 201 Women, Knowledge, and Power
This course examines the ways in which the politics of knowledge production shape culture and gender relations. It explores the ways women and men have historically resisted, subverted, appropriated and reformed traditional bodies of thought. Prerequisites: WGS 101I, EYE 109 or permission of instructor. Offered spring semester. Cr 3.

WGS 220 Topics in Women and Gender Studies
Topic areas not already covered by regular course offerings will be offered. The course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered. Cr 3.

WGS 235, 335, 435 Topics in Science, Technology, and Health I, II, III
Courses in this category will include a critique of traditional science, technology, and medicine, as well as offering feminist perspectives on knowledge, health, and power. Each of these courses will ask similar questions about how scientific thinking and gendered technologies affect bodily experience; how science's view of the female/male, feminine/masculine and gender-queer is problematized by reading works of fiction; how science creates racialized and sexualized subjects; and how science can be used to "talk race and fight racism." (bell hooks) Prerequisite: WGS 435 requires permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

WGS 245, 345, 445 Topics in Culture and the Arts I, II, III
Courses in this category will examine vehicles of culture from the perspectives of gender including feminine, masculine, and trans. These perspectives will be used to interpret the plastic, literary, and performing arts. Course readings may focus on gender and the production of culture; on how gender has been represented in written, visual, or oral texts; or on gender and aesthetic theory. Possible subjects may include feminist philosophy, feminism and film theory, gender and the history of music, and gender in popular culture. Prerequisite: WGS 445 requires permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

WGS 255, 355, 455 Topics in History and Resistance I, II, III
These courses explore the history of forms of gender and women's activism located not only in governments, political parties, and unions but also in collaborative activities and grassroots organizations. Emphasis is on the relationship between gender activism and social, economic, and cultural change. Topics include the way struggles for national liberation have deployed concepts of gender; working class women in contemporary and historical movements; struggles for equal rights including gay rights and trans rights; the 19th-century women's movement; women in peasant revolts; everyday forms of gender resistance; union organizing; the politics of identity as practiced by women, men, gays and queers. Prerequisite: WGS 455 requires permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

WGS 265, 365, 465 Topics in Gender and Institutions I, II, III
Courses in this category will focus on gender relations and the social and institutional construction of the category "women." Social structures and institutions create and reinforce assumptions about sex and gender, women and men, and masculinity and femininity, thus ultimately shaping the gender experiences available in society. The emphasis may be on industrial or non-industrial societies and institutions, law and legal institutions, economic institutions, subsistence strategies in non-industrial societies, systems of stratification, conceptual systems, or education. Prerequisite: WGS 465 requires permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

WGS 320 Advanced Topics in Women and Gender Studies
Advanced topic areas not already covered by regular course offerings will be offered. The course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered. Cr 3.

WGS 380 The Politics of Difference
Central to the course are the ways that "differences" are embedded and enacted in the context of power relations. While the specific content of this course is flexible, it will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using race, ethnicity, nationality, class, age, and sexuality as categories of analysis. Prerequisites: WGS 101I or EYE 109, WGS 201 or permission of the instructor. Offered fall semester. Cr 3.

WGS 390 Contemporary Feminist Theories
This course will introduce students to such feminist theoretical approaches as post-structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, and post-colonialism. The focus of the course is the intimate relationships between feminist theories and feminist practices, locally and globally. Prerequisites: WGS 101I or EYE 109, WGS 201 or permission of the instructor. Offered spring semester. Cr 3.

WGS 420 Advanced Topics in Women and Gender Studies
Advanced topic areas not already covered by regular course offerings will be offered. The course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered. Cr 3.

WGS 470 Independent Study
This course provides junior and senior students with the opportunity to pursue a project independently, concentrate on a particular subject of concern, or conduct individually arranged reading or research studies under the advice and direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: advanced standing and permission of the instructor. Cr 1-6.

WGS 485 Internship
The internship requires students to work closely with a group, business, or organization for one semester. Students will write a research paper on a topic related to their internship experience and will present that research at the annual undergraduate research conference, Thinking Matters, in the spring semester. Prerequisites: senior standing and women and gender studies major or minor. Offered spring semester. Cr 4-6.

WGS 486 Thesis
The thesis allows students to pursue guided research on a topic of their choosing. Thesis students should choose three readers, including an advisor whose interests and scholarship are in line with their own. The minimum length for a thesis is 30 pages, and should include a substantial bibliography. Students will present their research at the annual undergraduate research conference, Thinking Matters, in the spring semester. Prerequisites: senior standing and women and gender studies major or minor. Cr 4.

WGS 490 Capstone Experience in Women and Gender Studies
All majors are required to select a capstone experience, with the guidance of their advisor, from the following two options: WGS 485 or WGS 486. Students enrolled in either option are required to participate in a bi-weekly seminar. Students are expected to co-enroll in WGS 490 and WGS 485 or 486. Offered in the spring semester only. Cr 2.

Related Courses

ANT 232 Anthropology of Sex and Gender
ARH/CLA Art, Architecture and Archaeology of the Ancient World/Classical Art
ARH 311 Gender Identity and Modern Art
CMS 310 Cinema and Women
CMS 486 Women in Film
CMS 484 Activism and Film
CRM 317 Gender and Crime
ECO 322 Economics of Women and Work
ENG 326 Arab Women Writers
ENG 263 New Woman in American Fiction
ENG 319 Species, Sex, Gender, and Science Fiction
ENG 342 Recent Theories on Gender & Sexuality
ENG 344 Sex/Gender and Sexuality
ENG 345 Racial Formations
ENG 348 David Bowie
ENG 353 Medieval Women Writers
ENG 354 Joan of Arc
ENG 366 Aphra Behn and the Libertine Tradition
ENG 377 Oscar Wilde
ENG 379 Earlier Women Writers
ENG 387 Women Writers Since 1900
ENG 387 Women Writers Since 1900: Lesbian Fiction
ENG 387 Other Feminisms
ENG 394 New Woman in American Fiction
ENG 445 American Contexts of Witchcraft
ENG 445 David Bowie
ENG 491 Performing Race and Gender in 20th Century America
ENG 491 Women and Islam: The Veil

EYE 109: Gender, Representation and Resistance
GEO 302 Gender, Work, and Space
GEO 450 Gender, Race, Class and the City
HRD 545 Gender and Learning
HTY 339 European Women's History
HTY 341 Black Women in the Americas
HTY 364 History of Women in the United States
HTY 364 Maine Women's Lives
HTY 394 Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
HTY 394 Modern China: Women, Culture, and Revolution
HTY 394 Homosexuals and Heterosexuals in History
HTY 394 History of Women in 20th Century America
HTY 394 History of Women in Maine
HTY 394 History of Women in Latin America
HTY 394 Pioneer Women in America West: Myth and Reality
HTY 394 Sexuality, Disease, Difference: 17th-20th Century
HTY 394 American Women's Lives: 20th Century
HTY 394 Russian Women's History
HTY 394 Caribbean Women: Barbados and Jamaica
HTY 394 The Historical Construction of Sexuality
HUM 251H Masculinities in U.S. Literature and Culture
HUM 342 Contemporary Women of Color in Fiction
HUM 342H Women Writing Around the World
HUM 358H Motherhood: Political Institution, Cultural Icon, Defining Experience
HUM 389 Sexuality in Literature and Film
HUM 389H Sexualities in US Literature and Culture (WST 320)
PHI 110E Sex, Gender, and Society
PHI 112E/W Introduction to Philosophy: Feminist Perspectives
PHI 220 Philosophy of Art

PHI 220 Gender in African Literature and Art
PHI 221 Philosophy of Film
PHI 290/245 African Diaspora, Social Justice and Exile
PHI 265 Philosophy and Gender
PHI 312 Gender in African Literature and Film
RUS 281H Russian Literature in Translation: Women Writers
SBS 341 The Family
SBS 361 Psychology and Sociology of Women
SOC 316 Sociology of Gender
SOC 330 Sociology of the Family
SOC 358 Sociology of Women's Work
SOC 365 Sociology of the Body
SOC 380 Sociology of Sexuality
SOC 393 Women, Welfare, and the State
SWO 374 Sexual Harassment in Education and Work
SWO 375/575 Gender and Aging
THE 360 Butches, Bitches & Buggers: An Exploration of Twentieth-Century Queer Drama
THE 451 Women and Theater
THE 451 20th Century U.S. Women Playwrights
ANES 599 American Contexts of Witchcraft
ANES 645 Women and Popular Culture
ANES 650 Shopping: The Gender and Politics of Consumption
ANES 650 Women Writing Across the Color Line
ANES 665 Sex in New England