Undergraduate Catalog 2005- 2006

Women's Studies

Department of Womens Studies

College of Arts and Sciences
712 Clemens Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4600

Phone: 716.645.2327
Fax: 716.645.6569
Web: wings.buffalo.edu/cas/womensstudies/

Alexis De Veaux
Chair

About the Program

Women’s Studies offers today's women and men courses in three clusters: cultures and identities, women and global citizenship, and gender and public policy. The courses within each cluster recognize developing trends in studies of women and Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the United States. Our objective is to link local knowledge and global knowledge in order to prepare students to link gender and history, literature and policy, and to be able to apply these to graduate work and practical employment.

Degree Options

Cultures and Identities. This concentration links examinations of culture, creativity, and popular media to broad perspectives on the discourses of difference (such as race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, subjectivity and geographic location) in the construction of women’s identities. It recognizes the ways in which artifacts, practices and texts work to construct identity.

Women's Global Citizenship. This concentration exposes students to three key areas of research and knowledge: the regional transnational mobilizations of women’s labor, the alignment of women’s movements with new postcolonial histories, and the crafting of new ethnographies of acting subjects. Students study women’s lives in the United States, East Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa and participate in our research agenda, which incorporates labor struggles, immigration, and women’s engagement in national and transnational movements.

Gender and Public Policy. This concentration introduces women’s studies students to new visions of policy intervention at the community, regional, and global levels of action. Students study the ways in which gender and social discourses help pattern social conflicts, incarceration and war, and new ways of thinking about women’s health and effective development and implementation of human rights.

Women’s Studies - B.A.

Acceptance Criteria

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 in the prerequisite courses.

Prerequisite Courses

WS 101 Introduction to Women’s Studies
WS 205 Women in the Global System

Required Courses

CORE CURRICULUM
WS 228 Introduction to Feminist Theory
WS 265 Sexuality and Orientation
WS 490 Senior Thesis
WS 499 Independent Study

CONCENTRATION CURRICULUM
Six additional courses in chosen concentration

Summary
Total required credit hours for the major......36

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Recommended Sequence of Program Requirements

FIRST YEAR
Fall—WS 101

SECOND YEAR
Fall—WS 205, WS 228
Spring—WS 265

THIRD YEAR
Fall—Three courses from chosen concentration
Spring—Three courses from chosen concentration

FOURTH YEAR
Fall—WS 499
Spring—WS 490

Concentrations

CULTURES AND IDENTITIES
WS 308 Images of Women and Men in the Changing World (Fall)
WS 392 Global Literary Discourses (Spring)
Four women’s studies electives selected in consultation with advisor

WOMEN’S GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
WS 315 Cross Cultural Study of Women (Spring)
WS 425 Women’s Movements: Contesting Modernities and Global Change (Fall)
Four women’s studies electives selected in consultation with advisor

GENDER AND PUBLIC POLICY
WS 225 Violence in a Gendered World (Fall)
WS 260 Women and Health (Spring)
Four women’s studies electives selected in consultation with advisor


Women’s Studies - Minor

Acceptance Criteria

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 in the prerequisite courses.

Prerequisite Courses

WS 101 Introduction to Women's Studies
WS 205 Women in the Global System

Required Courses

WS 228 Introduction to Feminist Theory
WS 265 Sexuality and Orientation
Two additional women’s studies courses

Summary
Total required credit hours for the minor......18



Course Descriptions

WS 101 Introduction to Women’s Studies

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

View Schedule

Introduces students to basic concepts in women's studies. Covers the history of the women's movement and its relation to the rise of women's studies as a discipline;

 

WS 205 Women in the Global System

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

View Schedule

Explores how the world market's current expansion is overturning the seclusion of women in traditional societies. Traditional women, women in expanding third-world countries, and women in the U.S. share common patterns of location and differentiation within the international division of labor. We seek to explore these changing patterns of women’s lives and work.


WS 213 Women in Contemporary Society

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Basic introduction to the lives, roles, and consciousness of United States women. Commonalities among women and the differences of economic position, race, national origin, sexual orientation, and age. Contrasts women in other countries with women in America. An active learning process interweaving personal experience and intellectual material. Provides a solid foundation for the study of women.

 

WS 215 Women’s Language

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Contrasts the prevalent myths with the linguistic reality about how men and women talk as uncovered by recent sociolinguistic research. Topics include choice of vocabulary, sentence “strength,” empathy, holding the floor, and body language. Examines relevant psycho-social factors that shape typical conversation behavior, placing special emphasis on family and classroom interactions, and the media. Suggests the implications of certain linguistic patterns in work and personal life, concluding with recommendations for more effective language styles for women and for men.


WS 219 Women of Color and the American Experience

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Explores the effects of racism, the institutionalization of racism, imperialism, and the patriarchal system on women of color in the United States; how women resist and survive in a system with alien values; and the role and forms of patriarchy in different cultural systems.

 

WS 225 Violence in a Gendered World

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Offers feminist analyses of rape, incest, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in historical context as well as in the present. Studies sexual assault as a constant presence in women’s daily lives through readings; discussion; and individual projects, films, and speakers. Expects students to take initiative in understanding the issues.


WS 227 The Feminist Essay

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Examines the premise that writing is serious play. In a workshop format that stresses review and criticism (and praise) of student work, we investigate interdisciplinary and multigeneric strategies for writing, finally, what we really want to write.

 

WS 228 Introduction to Feminist Theory

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Introduces students to the most basic concepts and themes in contemporary feminist theory—-power, oppression, resistance and struggle, and how they help to explain, and ultimately, to transform the social, economic and political relations between men and women. Carefully explores the relations between concepts of power and concepts of subjectivity, identity and desire. While focusing on the relations between men and women, also shows how relations structured by patriarchal power are involved in relations of class, race, and ethnic oppression. While seeking to explore the structures of power, the course also, more positively, provides alternatives and other concepts to challenge prevailing social models.


WS 234 Women in the Middle East

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Roles of women in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey; women’s emancipation movements in these countries; and the impact of Islamic tradition.

 

WS 238 Women, Work, and Family in the Twentieth Century

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Explores the experience of women of different race, class, and ethnic groups regarding changes in women’s responsibilities in the family, participation in the labor force, and the development of new family forms. Illuminates contemporary issues regarding work, marriage, and family from a historical perspective.


WS 240 Women in Contemporary Asia

Credits:  0
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Surveys contemporary issues for women in East Asia and South East Asia namely, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia Malaysia. One of the main objectives is to analyze the impact of development on various aspects of social life of women in Asia. Examines women’s roles and opportunities in the process of development, including women of poor and working class households as well as women from middle class and professional backgrounds.

 

WS 247 Women in Latin America

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Explores the vast spectrum that we invoke with the label of ‘Latin American Woman’. We explore the context of women’s struggles in different parts of Latin America and how issues of class, culture and race have affected and divided women from achieving political solidarity. We try to disclose this multiplicity and pay particular attention to the ways in which our own particular location within the U.S. can develop forms of understanding and political solidarity that are not routed in colonizing practices.


WS 252 Social History of Women in United States, 1650–1875

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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History of women in the United States, emphasizing “the common woman”; family life; industrialization; sex roles and sexuality; history of feminism. Reading involves autobiographies, popular fiction, and other firsthand historical accounts.

 

WS 260 Women’s Health: Problems and Practices

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Reviews the health care system in the U.S. and its treatment of women. Content includes a history of health care and the changing definition of “health”, women’s bodies, and women’s health. The course addresses the history of women as healers, the shift to women as patients and consumers, and women as workers, both paid and unpaid, in the system of care.


WS 265 Sexuality and Orientation

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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An exciting and contemporary course on the political, social, and economic issues facing lesbians. We develop a historical foundation from which we look at relationships, coming out, legal issues, international perspectives, lesbian-feminist theory, and culture. We also look at the advent of political organizations in the past forty years. Speakers and recent books and articles provide personal and social perspectives; includes substantial reading and class discussions.

 

WS 270 Asian American Studies: Asian American Women Writers

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Introduces students to some basic feminist critical theories, including French, Anglo-American, and “Third World” feminist assumptions and positions. Explores how women writers’ and poets’ creativity and technical strategies are related to the intersected issues of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class, through closely examining works by Asian American women.


WS 301 Introduction to Indigenous Women

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Focuses on Native American women, beginning with the creation story and ending with the modern-day role of Haudenosaunee women.

 

WS 304 Science Microworld: Biology of Women

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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The significance of gender in contemporary science. Introduces methods of modern science and scientific institutions. Among the topics covered are the principles, values ethnics, and limitations of scientific practice. We review the biological basis of gender, from simple classical genetics to a contemporary appreciation of the complexities of intersexuality, and attempt to analyze the implications of current concepts of gender and sex for individuals and society. We also consider the impact of gender-based metaphors on scientific research, experimental design, and the interpretation of data especially on modern concepts of the biology of fertilization. The course includes a review of medical and social issues arising from the latest developments in reproductive technology.


WS 305 Gender and the Custodial State

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Examines the ways in which women are restricted from full participation in social life and process. Gives special attention to women in jail and in prison.

 

WS 308 Images of Women and Men in a Changing World

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

View Schedule

Introduces students to the study of popular culture of various kinds as a powerful social and cultural force within which the representation of women and gender and family roles has always played a major and informing role. Taking a historical perspective, the course traces the changing ways in which men and women have been presented in the most prominent forms of mass media—advertising, pulp fiction, popular music, film, television, and music video—and looks at the ways in which changes in society have altered and complicated these images as well as the various theories and approaches which cultural writers have taken to analyze and critique these images.


WS 312 Culture and Reproduction

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Explores the meanings and stratification of reproduction in our culture. The course looks at how culture constructs reproduction including controversial topics such as gay adoption, eugenics, reproductive technologies, teen sexuality and government’s role in reproduction. Uses a variety of sources from the fields of public health, epidemiology, feminist criticism and the women’s health movement to discover the history and current determinants of women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights.

 

WS 315 Cross-Cultural Study of Women

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Political, economic, and social systems of various non-Western societies in relationship to the roles women take as reproducers of cultural values or as activists working for change.


WS 323 Culture of Biology, Medicine, Gender and Race

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Concerns the ways concepts of gender and race interface with popular science, scientific theories of biology, current medical practices and health policies. Explores ideas about “scientifically” established differences between women and men, people of color and whites, and gays and straights using materials ranging from Web sites to blockbuster movies to magazines and journal articles. Examines controversial topics including gender differences in brain anatomy, hormones and AIDS. Likewise, the course examines how these factors define what we think about race, gender and health.

 

WS 324 Controlling Reproduction: From Eugenics to Reproduction Technology

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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What is eugenics? Did it ever really go away? These questions are surprisingly hard to answer. Feminists, progressive activists, and historians of science have addressed these questions in very different ways. The answer matters more as we move toward a scientific and social framework once thought discredited. Genes matter a great deal in determining the sort of people we are. New technologies raise the specter of made-to-order babies for the very rich, while also opening up new possibilities for non-nuclear families—lesbian and gay parents. The course examines the proposition that we need new discourse on eugenics, genetic determinism, and reproductive technology, one that takes into account that resultant policies span the political spectrum from the hard right to the progressive left.


WS 334 Women Writers Workshop: Poetry

Credits:  4
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

View Schedule

The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Uses feminist critical standards to inspire women to believe in themselves as poets. Students discuss their own work in class and share with others their process as writers. Emphasizes revision strategies to illustrate that writing is a continuous process. A supportive atmosphere so that even a new writer can share work and receive criticism.

 

WS 335 Women and Literature

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

View Schedule

Contemporary adult literature has experienced an incredible boom in coming-of-age literature, especially in the popular memoir genre. What does it mean for girls to “come of age” in the U.S. and other countries? We read a variety of adult coming-of-age stories in order to examine how girls from diverse background confront the social expectations of gender, race, class culture, sexuality, and religion that determine their transitions from girlhood to womanhood.


WS 353 Law Interprets Gender: The United States Experience

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Explores the relationships between the American legal system and women’s oppression in American society. We examine first the historical roots of women’s roles with respect to the law and move on to the way the legal system deals with legal issues current to women. Studies case law and statutory law in addition to historical primary-source and secondary-source essay materials.

 

WS 355 Theories of Feminism

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Drawing on a range of cultural and ethnic experiences, this course examines some of the major trends in feminist/womanist traditions and how these have been elaborated upon by contemporary feminist theories.


WS 356 Social History of Women, 1875–Present

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

View Schedule

The making of women’s lives in modern America: work and family, sexuality and politics, race and class. Lectures and readings in autobiographies and historical fiction.

 

WS 379 Gender and Hollywood Films

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

View Schedule

Examines classic Hollywood film genres from the perspective of their social and cultural significance as the myths and legends that have defined American values and negotiated the various contradictions inherent in American society in ways that have served to resolve these conflicts and arrive at “happy endings.” We also place the genres in the context of the film industry's history and its economic imperatives, and with each genre, look at the ways basic features have been forced to change, as changing social and gender norms have changed, even as the major ideological assumptions of each have remained more or less stable.


WS 387 Black Female in Literature

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

View Schedule

Literature from African American women writers that explore their themes, images, and roles present in narratives, fiction, poetry, and plays. Our examination also includes selected works by African women.

 

WS 392 Junior Seminar in Women’s Studies

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

View Schedule

In-depth reading and research on a selected topic in women’s studies and/or Third World women’s studies. Topics vary depending upon professor’s specific field of study.


WS 400 Black Women Writers and the Reimagination of American Culture

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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In the 1970’s, Black women writers established themselves as significant voices within contemporary American letters; marking what became known as “the second renaissance in Black women’s literature.” Since then, the impact of Black women writers has re-shaped the discourse defining Black women’s lives and American culture. This seminar examines creative and critical literature written by major writers of poetry and fiction; illuminating the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, culture and class in the re-imagination of Black women’s identities and American culture.

 

WS 414 Women and Public Policy

Credits:  0
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Explores US policy on several important women’s issues in education, work, and family. Among the issues are creating equity in schools and colleges; equal pay; aid to families with dependent children, minimum wage/living wage; and childbearing leave. The course also carries out a comparative analysis with other nations such as Canada and Sweden.


WS 415 Media, Gender and Society

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

View Schedule

Looks at the history and development of gender imagery, from the age of oil painting to the current age of globalized mass mediated images. Examines the impact of mass media on gender representation, socialization, and identity construction in the United States as well as the rest of the world, and the way in which ethnic, geographic, cultural, racial, and religious differences affect the way gender images are received and used.

 

WS 425 Women’s Movement, Contesting Identities and Global Change

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

View Schedule

Provides an overview of women’s movements from a global perspective, specially emphasizing organizational and empowerment strategies used by women in local struggles that aim at social change. We look at women’s movements, in particular sites across the developing world, and assess women’s share in demanding self-determination through various forms of activism against exploitation. The goal of the course is to help students sharpen their analytical skills in thinking about the oppressive economic and political forces at the national and international levels while at the same time learning more about those feminist struggles that confront forms of oppression.


WS 435 History of Working Women

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Traces the changes in women’s work in the home, in the family, and in the labor force in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on working class women's experiences in the labor force, we explore the impact of urbanization and industrialization on women in different ethnic and racial communities, their experiences and conflicts with unions, and their contributions to labor struggles.

 

WS 447 Pedagogy and the Interrogation of Methodology

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Introduces students to the basic concepts and practices of feminist pedagogy. Reviews the intellectual roots of feminist pedagogy and examines the ways in which feminist pedagogy has changed over the past twenty-five years. In addition, we explore the connection between feminist pedagogy and social movements, paying special attention to the way feminist pedagogy addresses issues of class, race, and gender. Since the course intends to be useful in training future teachers, it has a practical component in which students design a small unit for a class and attempt to teach it.


WS 459 Television, Gender and Society

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Traces the rise of commercial television in the United States as a form, which has profoundly impacted upon the representation and social roles of women in the family and the workplace. We assume that television is a major cultural, social, and economic force in American society that has shaped and altered every aspect of our lives, and that as a social force it relies heavily on fixed notions of gender.

 

WS 464 History of the United States Feminist Movement

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Nineteenth- and twentieth-century feminist and womanist movements; sources of feminism; suffrage; women’s clubs; temperance; womanism.


WS 490 Senior Thesis

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

View Schedule

Encourages majors to explore a research topic in greater detail than could be done in other women’s studies courses. Students select a subject depending on whether they are working in the cultures and identities, women and global citizenship or the gender and public policy clusters.

 

WS 496 Supervised Teaching

Credits:  6
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  WS 447
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

View Schedule

Provides supervision for undergraduate teaching assistants in WS 213 Women in Contemporary Society. Entails a weekly meeting that evaluates the past week’s teaching and prepares for the forthcoming week. All participants in the class have gone through the proper training and are undergraduate teachers in women’s studies.


WS 497 Women’s Studies Internship

Credits:  1 - 16
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

View Schedule

The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Provides an opportunity for majors to put into practice feminist theories and concepts developed in their coursework. In addition to valuable experiential learning, an internship can be used as the first step towards a career, an excellent addition to a resume, and a source for job contacts and future references.

 

WS 499 Independent Study

Credits:  1 - 16
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

View Schedule

The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.


Updated: Nov 16, 2005 10:50:46 AM

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