Women's Studies

Department of Women's Studies

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

Phone: 716.645.2327
Fax: 716.645.6569
Web: womensstudies.buffalo.edu

Gwynn Thomas
Undergraduate Advisor

Barbara Wejnert
Chair

About the Program

Women�s Studies offers today's women and men courses in three concentrations: cultures and identities, women and global citizenship, and gender and public policy. The courses within each area recognize developing trends in studies of women in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Our objective is to link local and global knowledge so as to prepare students with the capacity 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
WS 254 Women and Image in Art
Four women�s studies electives selected in consultation with advisor

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

GENDER AND PUBLIC POLICY
WS 225 Violence in a Gendered World
WS 260 Women and Health
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

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Explores how the current expansion of the world market is overturning the seclusion of women in traditional societies and looks at the consequences of globalization on the lives of women throughout the world. Women of developing countries share common patterns of location and differentiation within the international division of labor. Examine how women are struggling to represent their identities in the midst of rapid changes in their societies.

WS 214 Women in Contemporary Society

Credits:  4
Semester:
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 ae. 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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Surveys components in the spectrum of gender-based violence, in the U.S. and in some other countries. Historical, legal, sociological, psychological, literary and first person accounts comprise the course readings. Students will gain an understanding of the dynamics of violence against women and children, social movements that attempt to ameliorate it, and how gender, race, class and theoretical grounding influence local, national and global efforts to end violence and empower women.

WS 228 Introduction to Feminist Theory

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

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Offers the opportunity to understand the different models of feminism, and most importantly how they contradict and/or support one another. Provides an introductory framework to understand the different branches of feminist theory: liberal, radical, socialist, womanist, cultural, ecological, lesbian, post-modern, and global. Feminist theory guides our work as feminist activists.

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:  3
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 241 Third World Women

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

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Surveys women�s socio-economic and political status in developing countries. Examines policies and practices that shape their lives, as well the discourses that construct their experiences. Analyzes women�s organizing, advocacy and social mobilization to engender change and equity. An introduction to a broad, interdisciplinary and international literature focusing on current and emerging issues related to women�s work and globalization; poverty and inequality; women, displacement and the environment; social practices such as female genital mutilation; and HIV/Aids, within national, regional, and global contexts.

WS 247 Women in Latin America

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

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Covers the diversity of women�s movements by examining women�s activism in different countries and historical moments. Focuses on women�s political mobilization and its effects. Since its colonial foundations, women have participated in the national movements, revolutions, rebellions, and social movements that have dominated Latin America�s development. In the last century, women�s movements have shaped the political development of many countries.

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 254 Women and Image in Fine Arts

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

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Art is a part of the human civilization and it is influenced by the demands of society. Women always were the important art objects, but in different epochs artists treated to them differently. By this difference we can see woman�s role and place in the society.

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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Presents basic facts about the biological structure and function of the female body across the life span. Physiologic adaptations during normal processes and disease processes are addressed. Women�s physical and mental health issues are presented in the context of women�s personal lives and society. Emphasizes the scientific basis of current knowledge and the social and cultural influences on women�s health. Discusses the role of women as consumers, practitioners, and scientists in women's health care.

WS 305 Gender and the Custodial State

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

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Focuses on historical and cross cultural components informing contemporary issues of women�s imprisonment. Emphasizes the process by which women come to be incarcerated and differentials in treatment of incarcerated women. Examines institutional forces in contemporary corrections generally which may contribute to an understanding of women�s imprisonment issues.

WS 308 Images of Women and Men in a Changing World

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

View Schedule

Examines the history and development of gender imagery, from the beginning of the Cold War to the current age of globalized mass-mediated images. Examines how mass media has influenced gender representation, socialization, and identity construction, primarily in the United States but also abroad. Analyzes the ways these representations implicate and are implicated and negotiated by gender, racial, class, ethnic, sexual, and religious minorities.

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. Examines 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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Examines current policy frameworks and agendas such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the responses to poverty, the gender inequalities in democratic participation and access to health, education, technology and economic resources. Interrogates the changing dynamics of households due to the combined effects of transnational migration, HIV /Aids and conflicts and their gender implications. Revisits opportunities for social change in the face of an increased pressure from globalization, environmental degradation, a growing retrenchment of the state, and many threats to human security. Analyzes the agency roles of women and men in particular African countries.

WS 323 Culture of Biology, Medicine, Gender and Race

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

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Ideas about �scientifically� established differences between women and men, people of color and whites, gays and straights are prevalent in popular culture. Examines how popular culture makes sense of these differences and how science has been shaped by our culture and likewise, how cultural-biases are reinforced by scientific lines of inquiry.

WS 324 Controlling Reproduction: Reproductive Rights, Policies, Practices, and Technologies

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

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Explores questions such as: What constitutes women�s reproductive lives? How do women�s reproductive lives impact gender status in society? How do women�s reproductive lives differ by age, race, nationality and sexual preference? Who controls reproduction and the cultural discourse regarding reproduction? What public policies and practices foster or undermine reproductive freedoms? Why are reproductive rights integral to human rights?

WS 335 Women and Literature

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

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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 337 Coming of Age

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

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

WS 350 Women and Global Development

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

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Investigates significant works in the field of women and development. Emphasizes a gendered perspective to development that integrates multiple elements of the major theoretical paradigms into comprehensive analyses of production and reproduction, patriarchy and capitalism, class and gender, and gender and social relations.

WS 353 Law Interprets Gender: The United States Experience

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

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Introduces upper-level students to a legal examination of language and issues regarding gender and the law.

WS 356 Social History of Women, 1875�Present

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

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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 387 Black Female in Literature

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

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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

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

Examines literature produced by women writing outside the United States; as a way of considering international perspective on race, gender, sexuality, culture and region, on women�s lives. Considers such questions as (a) how do women writers in other countries reimagine their realities as women? (b) how do social expectations of women shape literary production? (c) how is that production affected/not affected by access to tools/skills, familial or governmental censuring, and community with other women writers, publishing opportunities and citizenship in the Third World/developing world, developed world, or in reconstructed national spaces. Seminar participants will be required to read and discuss several novels. Wherever appropriate, videos will be used to texture our reading and discussions.

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:  3
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

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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

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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

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Provides majors with the opportunity to develop a research paper that addresses the foundational intersecting discourses within the discipline: race, gender, sexuality, class/material condition, cultural, language, and other indices of difference.

WS 494 Senior Capstone Course

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  Completion of year 1-3 major requirements.
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Course for senior-level majors intended to provide a learning experience that integrates knowledge from lower-level courses. The course is designed to provide an opportunity for seniors to put into practice theories and concepts developed in their coursework. Topics may vary.

WS 495 Supervised Teaching

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

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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 teachres in women's studies.

WS 496 Women's Studies Internship

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

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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 497 Departmental Honors Thesis or Project

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

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

Accepted seniors pursue a specialized, independent study leading to an Honors thesis or project. The student and faculty member agree to regular meeting during which they discuss the student� writing and progress toward completion of this specialized thesis or project. The student should expect to receive critical comments from the faculty member on her/his writing. The final product should be worthy of the designation of a �thesis or project�.

WS 498 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  Permission of Instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

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

Students collaborate with faculty research mentors on an ongoing project in a faculty members� laboratory or conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. This experience provides students with an inquiry-based learning opportunity and engages them as active learners in a research setting. Students will choose someone whose area of expertise is most suited to the student�s interests, and student should discuss the possibility of working together prior to the semester.

WS 499 Independent Study

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

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

 

Updated: Aug 8, 2006 10:09:11 AM