(2010 Undergraduate Catalog)
Women’s and Gender Studies
Beth Newman, Director
Students in the Women's and Gender Studies Program explore a wide variety of disciplines and life experiences through gender, which is the set of meanings that societies attach to individuals being female or male. The program's dual name acknowledges two ways of focusing the inquiry. Women's studies analyzes the traditionally overlooked intellectual, artistic, political and social contributions of women. Gender studies extends the interdisciplinary methods of women's studies to a broader range of issues, including the social and cultural meanings of masculinity and the relationships between gender and sexuality. Through participation in women's and gender studies courses, SMU students, both male and female, are exposed to new ways of thinking about traditional academic disciplines as well as matters of personal identity. Because it is interdisciplinary, a minor in women's and gender studies complements a variety of majors and minors, especially those in the humanities, social sciences and fine arts.
Requirements for the Minor.
Students must take a minimum of 15 hours, including WGST 2322 (or an approved substitute) and 12 additional hours. At least nine hours must be at the advanced level. Students satisfy these requirements through a combination of core courses (WGST) and a wide array of courses offered by many departments in Dedman, Meadows and Perkins. (Courses marked "subject to approval" are "topics" and "problems" courses that earn credit toward the minor only when offered under specific pre-approved titles.)
2308. Revisions: Woman as Thinker, Artist and Citizen.
Designed to discover how an emphasis on the particular experiences of women can enhance and complicate traditionally conceived areas of scholarship and critical endeavor. Also explores areas of women’s experience traditionally undervalued, such as friendship, sexuality, motherhood and old age.
2309. Lesbian and Gay Literature and Film: Minority Discourse and Social Power.
The exploration, through literature and film, of the struggles by gay men and lesbians to create social identities and achieve human rights. Study of key cultures and pivotal historical periods in the West from ancient Greece to contemporary America.
2315. Gender, Culture and Society.
An interdisciplinary study of gender ideology stressing anthropological and literary perspectives, this course analyzes gender difference as a structuring principle in all societies and explores some of its representations in literature, film and contemporary discourse.
2322. Gender: Images and Perspectives.
An interdisciplinary examination of the ways femininity and masculinity have been represented in the past and the present, with attention to what is constant and what changes.
2380. Human Sexuality.
This course explores the biosocial aspects of human sexuality and sexual behaviors. A multidisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective will be used to address a wide range of theoretical and pragmatic sexual issues.
3310. Gender and Human Rights.
Introduction to global women's human rights and other intersections of human rights and gender, such as abuse of children's rights, gender-based violence, health and reproductive rights, and evolving concepts of sexual rights.
3347 (FL 3363). Figuring the Feminine.
This course introduces students to a large body of French literary texts (in translation) by and about women, which bear witness to women’s struggle for civil, social and political adulthood. They span the period from the 14th century to the present.
3370 (ENGL 3364). Women in the Southwest.
A study and exploration of women writers, artists and thinkers in the American Southwest and their vision of this region as singularly hospitable to women’s culture.
3381 (ARHS 4371). Modern Myth-Making.
The quest for enduring cultural heroes and the projection of changing social messages as reflected in art from past epochs to modern times.
3382. Women’s Body Politics.
A cross-cultural, interdisciplinary exploration of the cultural and ideological work that women’s bodies perform as reflected in literature, art, medicine, philosophy and political discourses from the Classical era to today.
4209. Independent Studies.
A supervised practicum and/or directed readings on specific problems or themes under faculty guidance. Approval of coordinator is required.
4303. Women Studies Internship.
Offers students experience with organizations serving women or addressing women’s and gender issues, as well as with varied potential careers or volunteer opportunities in the community.
4309. Independent Studies.
A supervised practicum and/or directed readings on special problems or themes formulated by the student with faculty guidance and the approval of the director of Women’s Studies.
6300 (TC 8375). Advanced Feminist Theory.
Explores feminist theories that seek to explain women’s subordination historically and cross-culturally, examines gender as a principle of social organization, and addresses the linkages among gender, ethnicity and class from the vantage of multiple disciplines.
The following courses may also be used to meet minor requirements:
Gender and Sex Roles: A Global Perspective
Gender and Globalization: Cultural and Ethical Issues
ARHS 3358, 6389
Women in the Visual Arts: Both Sides of the Easel
ARHS 4371 (WGST 3381)
Women and Minorities in Mass Media
American Popular Film
Diversity and American Film
Images of Women in Television (subject to approval)
Screen Artists (subject to approval)
Gender and Representation in World Cinema
CTV 3395, 3398
Topics in Cinema/Television (subject to approval)
Gender Issues in Communication
Economics of Human Resources
The American Heroine: Fiction and Fact
Ethical Implications of Children’s Literature
ENGL 3371 (HIST 3357)
Joan of Arc: Her Story in History, Literature and Film
Literature and the Construction of Homosexuality
ENGL 3373 (FL 3359)
Masculinities: Images and Perspectives
ENGL 3364 (WGST 3370)
Women and the Southwest
Literary and Cultural Contexts of Disability: Gender, Care and Justice
ENGL 3361, 4363, 6391, 6392, 6393, 6394, 6395
Seminars (subject to approval)
Women in Modern China
FL 3359 (ENGL 3359)
Masculinities: Literary Images and Perspectives
FL 3363 (WGST 3347)
Figuring the Feminine
Seminar in European History: Renaissance Queens and Mistresses (subject to approval)
Human Rights: America’s Dilemma
Problems in American History: Women’s Movements/Gender Systems
Women in American History
Women in Latin American Societies
Women in Early Modern Europe
Women in Modern European History
American Families: Changing Experiences and Expectations
Class and Gender in Ancient Society
HIST 3357 (ENGL 3371)
Joan of Arc: Her Story in History, Literature and Film
The New Woman: The Emergence of Modern Womanhood in the U.S., 1890 to 1930
Women in Chinese History
At the Crossroads: Gender and Sexuality in the Southwest
Women in World Religions (instructor approval)
Women in the History of Christianity (instructor approval)
Mary and Christian Tradition (instructor approval)
Ideas and Ideals of Gender in the Middle Ages
Women and Music “Like a Virgin”: From Hildegard to Madonna
Women Composers and Performers in the 19th and 20th Centuries (majors only)
Philosophy and Gender
Women and Politics
Women and the Law
Psychology of Women
Wives, Mothers, Lovers, Queens: Expressions of the Feminine Divine in World Religions and Cultures
Constructions of Gender, Sexuality and the Family in South Asian Religions
Marriage and the Family
Sociology of Gender
Race, Gender and Inequality
Feminist and Womanist Theologies (instructor approval)
Gender and Performance
Women and Worship (instructor approval)