Undergraduate Course List
Undergraduate Course Offerings (Sample)
WGS 101: Introduction to Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies
An introduction to WGS studies, to its perspectives, and to its interdisciplinary nature. Using several disciplines, the class will examine women’s and men’s positions in Western culture and will explore the genesis, the development, and the impact of our culture’s assumptions about gender. (Satisfies the General Education= Eth., Soc. Cont. & Inst., and Cult. Div. & Int’l.) Cr. 3.
WGS 103: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
The class will cover a wide range of topics including the 19th century roots of gay liberation, lesbian feminism, political issues from Stonewall to the present, queer theory, the social construction of homosexuality, homophobia, anti-gay harassment in schools, LGBT family issues, the biology of sexual orientation, cultural diversity and cross-cultural research, and postmodern challenges to identity politics. This class is open to anyone interested in social change and contemporary intellectual movements. No previous knowledge of LGBT issues is required, and the prerequisite of WGS 101 can be waived. (General Education = Soc. Cont. & Inst., Cult. Div. & Int’l) Cr 3.
WGS 201 has multiple listings that are subject to change
WGS 201: Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender in the Digital World
The digital world of social media and video games entertain and inform us every day. These online interactions reflect everyday norms of behavior and communication in our culture, but can also challenge and transform our notions of place, identity, and authority. This course incorporates both academic theories of gender, race, and class and personal experiences to critically investigate contemporary digital culture. Cr. 3.
WGS 201: ENG 229 American Women’s Literature: Home (Not So) Sweet Home
This course will examine the texts in the literary canon that draw psychological and metephoric connections between the persona and consciousness of the main character and the houses s/he inhabits. We also will consider how women, gender, and race are depicted in the home. Cr. 3.
WGS 201: Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender, Sexuality & Popular Culture
“Popular culture is the stage where we rehearse our identities,” writes queer theorist and cultural critic Jose Esteban Munoz. More than entertainment, popular culture is a key component to both the construction and reproduction of normative values of gender and sexuality. We will use scholarly theories of gender and sexuality (including intersections of race and class) to analyze music videos, TV shows, movies, etc, in order to interrogate how social and political forces shape popular culture, as well as how popular culture both shapes and challenges normative values of gender and sexuality. Cr. 3.
WGS 201: Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Scandalous Women in Literature
This course examines the women in British and American literature who caused a stir int their social sphere and were forevermore depicted as immoral. Students will discuss and analyze the literature as well as the historical and literary contexts in which the texts were written and will also examine the political, social, cultural, and religious history of the period to better understand the women, or their characters, whose “eccentricities” ostracized them from their communities (WGS 101 or Permission). Cr. 3.
WGS 201: Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: American Women’s Literature
This survey of major writers and traditions in American women’s literature spans from the colonial era to the present day. We will read and discuss stories, poems, memoirs and essays in the context of women’s changing social and economic conditions. We may ask questions such as these: What forces determine women’s access to the literary world? How do social expectations shape critical responses to women’s writing? How do cultural ideas about femininity affect the woman writer’s goals and methods? Are there common themes in the literary work of women? Has a language or voice emerged that is specific to women, and if so how could one describe it? What artistic choices did the authors make in shaping their work? (Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. General Education= West. Cult. Trad., Cult. Div. & Int’l., Ethics). Cr. 3.
WGS 203: Men and Masculinities
This course examines the social construction of masculinity in Western culture, exploring men’s experiences in our society from multiple vantage points and examining the ways in which masculinity is understood, represented, and constructed in Western society. If this course was taken under its topics course designator (WGS 201), it cannot be repeated for credit. (Prerequisites: WGS 101 recommended. ) Cr. 3.
WGS 230: Women, Health, and the Environment
This course will examine the roles of women in shaping current practices and policies of the Western healthcare system and related environmental issues. It will draw on the work of environmentalists such as Rachel Carson and modern women healers of the body and the ecosystem. Students will be encouraged to be involved in transformational work at the local, personal, or more global level. (General Education = Pop. & Envir., Eth.) Cr. 3.
WGS 250: Women and Music
Women have a rich and varied tradition as composers and performers. Although this tradition has been ignored in the past, it has recently become the focus of much research and scholarship throughout the world. This course will examine the lives and works of notable women composers and performers throughout history, from Hildegard von Bingen (12th century) to the present. Class sessions will include listening to a wide variety of music, both recorded and live. (General Education = Artistic & Creative Expression and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives. WGS 101 or permission.) Cr. 3.
WGS 298: Directed Study in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
(Permission from the program director required. Call 581-1228 for an information sheet.) Cr. 3.
WGS 301 has multiple listings that are subject to change
WGS 301: Intermediate Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender and Popular Culture
This course will explore the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality within popular culture, including TV, film, music, clothing, and more. Popular culture is more than entertainment and escape; it helps frame discourse around race, gender, and class norms. In this course, we will also examine how mediums such as television and social media serve as places that drive social and political change. Cr. 3.
WGS 301: Intermediate Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender and History of Psychiatry
This course examines the history of women’s interactions with the psychiatric profession in Western society and the gender biases in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. It examines the biological explanations that have been given for mental disorders in women such as hysteria and nymphomania and the therapies used to “cure” them, including gynecological surgery and also explore diagnostic categories that have shifted over time while gender biases remain. (WGS 101 or instructor’s permission.) Cr. 3.
WGS 301: Intermediate Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Maine Women
This course will explore women’s experiences in Maine, both historical and current, through a multidisciplinary approach including history, literature, political science, and economics. It will analyze Maine women individually and collectively as industrial workers, reformers, writers, politicians and mothers. Several major questions: How have Maine’s particular environment, culture, economy, and history shaped women’s experiences? How have national movements (for example abolitionism, temperance, suffrage, the ERA, welfare reform) shaped women’s lives in Maine? How have women responded to these issues and events? And how have issues of class, gender, and race/ethnicity played out in Maine? (WGS 101 or permission.) Cr. 3.
WGS 303: SL: Social Movements, Media, & Change
This course considers the roles of gender, race/ethnicity/class, sexuality, age, ability, and nationality in relationship to an understanding of social movements and social change, with a special emphasis on the role of social media in these areas. The course also provides students with an opportunity to engage in social change through a service learning project. If this course was taken under its Topics Course Designator (WGS 201), it cannot be repeated for credit. (Prerequisite: WGS 101 recommended, service learning) Cr. 3.
WGS 340: Transnational Feminisms
Today’s social, political, cultural and economic relations are more globalized than ever before. Beginning with the lives of women and expanding to the loves of everyone, the course considers a variety of perspectives on contemporary globalization, situating current relations within colonial conditions that have produced the contemporary world. (General Education= Cult. Div. & Int’l.) Cr. 3
WGS 360: Feminism and Cinema
Surveys the involvement of women in cinema by looking at representations of women as well as representations by women. Introduces students to major developments in feminist film theory since its emergence in the1970’s. (Satisfies the General Education Artistic and Creative Expression, and Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives Requirements.) Cr. 3.
WGS 371: Immigration, Women and Society
How do issues of gender, race, ethnicity, class, religion, and sexuality affect immigrant women as they adjust to life in the U.S.? In this course, immigrant women’s experiences will be examined through a lens that views gender as a social system that intersects with other hierarchies and systems of domination. The interplay between human agency and settlement process. (General Education= Cult. Div. & Int’l., Pop. & Envir.) Cr. 3.
WGS 401 has multiple listings that are subject to change
WGS 401: Advanced Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Fathering
This course will address research and social issues pertaining to the study of fatherhood in the family field, particularly in the area of nonresident fathering in the context of families and relationships. Participants will be exposed to research on fatherhood, consider issues of fatherhood in the context of family theory, and research an area of scholarly interest in fatherhood studies. Cr. 3.
WGS 401: Advanced Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Reverence for Life: Peace, Reconciliation, and Community
This course draws on the work of Albert Schweizer, contemporary perspectives on the Ethic of Care, and emerging work in nonviolent conflict resolution. This interdisciplinary course looks at the components of community building and sustainable practices centered around equity, social justice, and inclusion. Appropriate for anyone interested in the ideas of a culture of peace. (WGS 101 or instructor’s permission.) Cr. 3.
WGS 401: Advanced Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Amazons: A Multicultural Perspective
The question of women and war, including women warriors, has engaged people for centuries. Beginning with the mythology and mythic history of Amazons in ancient Greece, we trace the tradition of woman warriors in Western literature and culture, investigating Penthesilea, Boudicca, Joan of Arc and female warrior traditions of Europe. After this foundation we look at non-European cultural traditions of women warriors, and the testimony of modern women who have fought in resistance movements and wars. Incorporating women’s contemporary attitudes and experiences within & outside the military. Additional component: depiction of “Amazons” in fantasy and films. Cr. 3.
WGS 401: Advanced Topics in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Internship
This course provides guidance for all those WGS students involved in an internship. It is designed to help students meet all internship requirements and can be tailored to meet student interest, pending instructor approval.
WGS 410: Feminist, Gender and Queer Theory
An Advanced, interdisciplinary, multicultural introduction to the main traditions of feminist and queer theory. (General Education = Ethics. Prerequisites: 6 hours of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies courses including WGS 101, or permission.) Cr. 3.
WGS 451: Women’s Sexuality
This course explores the nature of women’s sexuality from a developmental perspective, with the intent of enhancing students’ understanding of how women’s sexuality is shaped, changed, and expressed throughout life. Moving beyond the traditional focus on sexual functioning, this course emphasizes the complex interaction of psychological, social, cultural, and biological influences on the creation of sexual meanings for women. Cr. 3.
WGS 471: Advanced Topics in Women’s, Studies: Women’s Sexuality
This course explores the nature of women’s sexuality from a developmental perspective, with the intent of enhancing students’ understanding of how women’s sexuality is shaped, changed, and expressed throughout life. Moving beyond the traditional focus of sexual functioning, this course emphasizes the complex interaction of psychological, social, cultural, and biological influences on the creation of sexual meanings for women. Cr. 3.
WGS 480: Senior Seminar in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Women and Education
The topic will be broadly interpreted to include the diversity of experience of Gender in today’s society. (General Education= Soc. Cont. & Inst., Cult. Div. & Int’l., Writing Intensive, and Capstone. Prerequisite: WGS 101, WGS 410, and senior standing or permission). Cr. 3.
WGS 498: Directed Study in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Junior or Senior standing and permission from the program director required. Cr. Ar.