Women and Gender Studies Program

Course Descriptions

WGS 101 Introduction to Women and Gender Studies

From a variety of perspectives, this interdisciplinary course explores interrelated queries and topics that emerge from the field of Women and Gender Studies. Students will read materials that address the meanings of gender in different cultures, social organizations, and historical periods.  The course particularly investigates difference, specifically, how gender difference is constructed, practiced, represented, challenged, and experienced. Cr 3.  

WGS 201 Rethinking Gender & Culture

What is gender? Is it innate or learned? How many genders and sexes are there? What is gender inequality? How does gender intersect with other categories of difference such as race, class and sexuality? How are these differences understood in various national contexts? These are some of the questions that feminist, gender and sexuality studies take up, and the questions that we will pursue in this class. Cr 3.

WGS 220 Topics in Women and Gender Studies

This course will investigate Women and Gender Studies topics not already covered by regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Cr 1-3.

WGS 235, 335, 435 Topics in Science, Technology, and Health I, II, III

Courses in this category will include a feminist critique of traditional science, technology, and medicine. Students will be introduced to feminist perspectives on knowledge, health, and power. Each of these courses will address such questions as: How does scientific thinking and gendered technologies affect bodily experience? How does science create racialized, sexualized and gendered subjects? How can science be used as a basis for feminist activism? May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Cr 3.

WGS 245, 345, 445 Topics in Culture and the Arts I, II, III

Courses in this category will examine cultural production from feminist perspectives. Each of these courses will address the question of how is gender is represented in historical and contemporary texts. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Cr 3.

WGS 255, 355, 455 Topics in History and Resistance I, II, III

Courses in this category will explore the history of gender and activism in a variety of contexts. Students will be introduced to feminist theories and practices concerning collaborative activities and grassroots organizations. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. 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 gender. Students will be introduced to feminist perspectives on social structures, such as those reinforced by economic, educational, political, medical, and religious institutions. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Cr 3.

WGS 320, 420 Advanced Topics in Women and Gender Studies

This course will investigate advanced Women and Gender Studies topics not already covered by regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Cr 3.

WGS 380 The Politics of Difference

Politics of Difference explores some of the consequences of using gender, race, nationality, class, religion, and sexuality to shape identity and culture.  The course will examine how discourses of identity and difference are used to both justify inequalities and to enable solidarity.  In the seminar we will look at a range of strategies that are employed in response to difference including attempts at managing, disciplining, or cleansing difference as well as efforts at redefining, reclaiming, and recreating the meanings of difference. Prerequisites: WGS 101 or EYE 109, WGS 201 or permission of the instructor. Offered Fall Semester. Cr 3.

WGS 390 Contemporary Feminist Theories

This course provides a survey of several contemporary feminist frameworks for thinking about sex, gender, and sexuality as they intersect with race, class, nation, etc. The focus of the course is the intimate relationships between feminist theories and feminist practices, locally and globally. Prerequisites: WGS 101 or EYE 109, WGS 201 or permission of the instructor. Offered Spring Semester. 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 484 Feminist Thesis Workshop

This is the first semester of a two-semester sequence for students planning to write a senior thesis. In Feminist Thesis Workshop, each student will develop a thesis topic and research question, investigate the thesis subject thoroughly, write and revise a formal research statement, conduct a review of the appropriate literature, choose a thesis advisor and committee, and produce a formal thesis prospectus. As part of learning about the process of researching and writing a thesis, students will explore feminist approaches to research and writing in academic disciplines relevant to students’ thesis topics. Prerequisite: Advanced standing and instructor permission. Offered Fall Semester. Cr 3.

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 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. Students writing a thesis should plan a two-semester sequence; WGS 486 should be preceded either by an independent study in the student’s area of interest, or WGS 484, Feminist Thesis Workshop. 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. Thesis students must present their work in a public venue in the spring semester. Senior thesis students will take WGS 490, Capstone, simultaneously with WGS 486, to fulfill the capstone requirement. 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 either an internship or thesis for their senior capstone experience. Students enrolled in either option are required to participate in a 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 321 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 342 Recent Theories on Gender & Sexuality

ENG 344 Sex/Gender and Sexuality

ENG 345 Racial Formations

ENG 379 Earlier Women Writers

ENG 319: Madness, Medicine and Monsters: Women and Gender in Gothic Fiction

ENG 321: Modernisms: Flirts, Flappers, and Gentlemen

ENG 387 Women Writers Since 1900

ENG 387 Women Writers Since 1900: Lesbian Fiction

ENG 445 American Contexts of Witchcraft

ENG 445 David Bowie

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

PHI 110 Sex, Gender, and Society

PHI 112 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

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 451 Women and Theater

THE 451 20th Century U.S. Women Playwrights