Women’s and Gender Studies

Requirements & Courses

  • Alma’s Women’s and Gender Studies minor develops a substantial interdisciplinary background in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences on topics and issues concerning women’s images, realities and choices. It intends to develop awareness of women’s contributions, concerns, perspectives and theories by considering diversity of class, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age and ability from various feminist perspectives which counterbalance traditional biases. Valuable to students from many disciplines, the components of this minor offer a broad, socio-historical and multicultural study of women’s status, roles and efforts toward survival, change and transformation.

  • Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits which must include:

    1. WGS 101 and 102 (eight credits).
    2. At least four credits elected from the following: WGS 280, 385 or 399.
    3. At least 12 credits elected from the following, eight of which must be at least 200 level or higher: COM 123 or 301; ENG 340; IPH 223, 301 or 303; HST 140, 228 or 253; POL 141, 231, or 381/382; REL 202; SOA 220, 234, 353, or additional approved course.

Courses

  • WGS
    101
    .
    Introduction to Women’s Studies
    4 credits
    Brings together a rich and varied selection of classic and contemporary works from the humanities and social sciences centered on women’s images, realities and choices. Interdisciplinary survey of women’s contributions, concerns, perspectives and theories. Diversity of class, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation addressed from feminist perspectives which counterbalance traditional biases.
  • WGS
    102
    .
    Introduction to Feminist Thought
    4 credits
    Historical and contemporary works examining feminist theoretical approaches to explaining experiences, representations and relative positions of women in society. Overview of American feminist thought which includes the varieties of liberal, cultural, Freudian, socialist, existential and radical feminism. Also considers the theoretical contributions of women of color, postmodernists and poststructuralists.
  • WGS
    *
    280
    .
    Special Topics
    1-4 credits
    WGS 101
    Specific topics concerning gender issues, choices, realities and self-expression chosen by the instructor. May be taken more than once for credit with no more than four credits counted toward the minor.
  • WGS
    *
    385
    .
    Practicum
    2 or 4 credits
    WGS 101 and Permission
    Internship designed to provide on-site personal and service-oriented learning and experiences in a wide variety of areas related to women’s studies, issues and concerns. Practicums must be taken through a relevant department, with permission of the women’s and gender studies coordinator and the department chair.
  • WGS
    *
    399
    .
    Independent Study
    2 or 4 credits
    WGS 101; one of the following: ENG 340, HST 140, REL/PHL 202, SOA 353, WGS 102 or WGS 280 and Permission
    In-depth study in the student’s major area as related to the Women’s and Gender Studies minor; under faculty member’s direction.
  • COM
    123
    .
    Performing Advocacy
    4 credits
    Explores the relationships among identity, power and culture. Students learn how to become advocates through the use of Everyday Life Performance and other performance techniques, engaging in perspective taking and service learning with marginalized groups.
  • ENG
    *
    340
    .
    Women’s Literature
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Studies in the literature of women from its beginnings in Julian of Norwich through Bradstreet and Woolf to the present. Includes historically and internationally diverse authors in a variety of genres.
  • HST
    140
    .
    American Women’s History
    4 credits
    Introductory survey and examination of problems and issues in American women’s history and American feminism, colonial era to the present. Emphasizes gender, race and class as categories of historical analysis. (ESPITH/GP)
  • HST
    228
    .
    Immigration and Ethnicity in American History
    4 credits
    Examination of the experiences of immigrants and their transformation into ethnic Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries. Discussion of what it means to be American and the diversity of American society in a historical perspective. (ESPI/GP)
  • HST
    253
    .
    Asian Studies: Modern China and Japan
    4 credits
    Introductory study of the modern history of China and Japan. Examines the dynamic developments of political, social, economic and cultural changes, including relations with the West, from 1800 to the present. (ESPIH/GP)
  • IPH
    223
    .
    Issues in Global Women’s Health
    2 credits
    Develop an understanding of the full spectrum of factors which define illness or well-being in women’s health from a global perspective. This includes investigating and understanding the social conditions of populations and how these conditions affect the health of women.
  • IPH
    *
    303
    .
    Stress Management
    2 credits
    Sophomore Standing
    Investigation of stressors in the work, social and self environments. The physiology of stress and deep relaxation techniques studied as an introduction to life style redesign.
  • POL
    141
    .
    Introduction to Public Management and Policy Analysis
    4 credits
    Study of leadership and administration in public organization, including relationship between bureaucracy and the executive, judicial and legislative branches; development of organizational theory; policy-making and implementation process; bureaucratic ethics; and reconciliation of democracy and bureaucracy. Recommended for those considering careers in public service or jobs affected by public policy.
  • POL
    *
    231
    .
    American Political Thought
    4 credits
    Historical and contemporary meanings of democracy, its assumptions and implications: tensions between theory and practice, majority rule and minority rights, civil disobedience, economic-political democracy, institutionalization of democratic procedures, and the future of democracy.
  • REL
    202-*302
    .
    Women, Gender and Religion
    4 credits
    1 REL course or Permission for 300 level
    This course addresses questions about women in various religious traditions and examines the ways feminist theory interacts with the study and practice of religion. (Cross listed with PHL 202.)
  • SOA
    *
    220
    .
    Sociology of Family
    4 credits
    SOA 101
    Examines how family life is structured by broader social, political and economic changes. Analysis organized historically around clan, lineage, nuclear and post-nuclear family structures. Contemporary family problems also studied. Fall Term.
  • SOA
    *
    234
    .
    Aging and Health Institutions
    4 credits
    SOA 101
    Examine key concepts, main theories and important substantive issues related to aging and health institutions from a sociological perspective. Among the central issues explored are gender and racial differences in aging, ethnic minorities and institutions connected to aging and public policy.
  • SOA
    *
    353
    .
    Sociology of Gender
    4 credits
    SOA 101
    How gender practices are socially constructed and enacted. Examine through ethnographic and observation methods how family, religion, race/ethnicity and social class have shaped gender relations. Explore movements to change and resist change in gender arrangements.