Department of Gender and Race Studies (GRS)

The Department of Gender and Race Studies (called Women's Studies until November 2009) offers a course of study leading to the master of arts degree in Women's Studies. The MA in Women's Studies is designed to support feminist research. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural methodology. It provides a conceptual framework, analytical training, and bibliography and research tools for feminist studies. The program is designed for students from a variety of humanities and social science backgrounds with interest in gender studies and the status and roles of women in society, past and present.

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Programs

Faculty

Chair
  • Utz McKnight
Graduate Director
  • Utz McKnight
Professor
  • Utz McKnight

Courses

WS
500
Hours
1-6
Independent Study

Independent study on any subject pertaining to women. Projects are conducted under the supervision of a professor in the chosen field and must be approved in advance by the program director.

WS
503
Hours
3
Teaching Gender & Race

This course explores pedagogical theories and practices advanced by feminist and cultural studies scholars and teachers. Students read pedagogical works, attend sections of WS 200 and AAST 201, develop teaching modules and pedagogical philosophies, perform teaching demonstrations, and construct syllabi for courses. Meetings with other discussion leaders and supervisors are required in addition to written work.

WS
509
Hours
3
Memory, Identity and Politics: History, Gender, and Race

Course Description: This interdisciplinary graduate seminar explores the ways in which memory and the past construct political identities and the interplay of race, class, gender, and ethnicity in its social construction through readings, discussion, and student research. Reading selections include core theoretical texts on memory studies and specific case studies on topics, including not but exclusive to the American Civil War memory, U.S. South, slavery, and Reconstruction. Issues and questions are: how memories are constructed, translated into identities and political action; bases of shared memories and contested memories; political memorialization and the effects of collective amnesia; and how “communities of memory” are developed, sustained, and dissolved.

WS
510
Hours
3
Special Topics

Seminar format. The course offers an interdisciplinary approach to topics, which vary by semester. Active student engagement, such as conducting an interview, is required. Sample topic: women in the world.

WS
525
Hours
3
Feminist Theory Maj Text

Seminar consists of close readings in feminist theory, with an emphasis on primary texts. Intellectual, cultural, and political theory.

WS
530
Hours
3
Feminist Theory-Contemp

Considers major economic, social, psychological, and philosophical approaches to the study of women. Emphasis is on the formulation of theories and mastery of primary works in the field.

WS
532
Hours
3
Iss Prob Women Std Res

This seminar focuses on interdisciplinary research and problems in methodology in Gender and Race Studies.

WS
535
Hours
3
Black Feminism

This upper level undergraduate/graduate seminar exposes students to the key figures texts and concepts that constitute black feminist thought.

WS
540
Hours
3-9
Seminar Women Studies

Topics vary each semester. Graduate students are required to conduct original research. The courses focus on such topics as language and gender, Southern women's culture.

WS
570
Hours
3
Transnational Feminisms

Transnational Feminisms is a contemporary paradigm of study that moves beyond international conceptions of feminism to think across national borders by interrogating the intersections of nationality, race, gender, class, and sexuality in the context of global capitalism. This field works to decolonize the contested terrain of knowledge production upon gendered subjectivites are constituted and reconstituted within global relations of power and privilege. While globalization relies upon the heightened mobility of bodies, capital, commodities, technologies, and conceptual imaginaries across borders, it simultaneously requires the reconfiguration and reconstitution of the state, its bordering practices, and colonial and national hierarchies of social-spatial relations and their attendant binaries—self-other, first world-third world, traditional-modern, private-public, citizen-noncitizen. While a richly theoretical field, transnational feminisms provocatively engages with a feminist politics and practice attentive to feminism as both a liberatory formation and one with longstanding ties to colonialism, racism and imperialism. As such, it resists utopic ideas about "global sisterhood" while simultaneously working to lay the groundwork for more productive and equitable social relations among women across borders and cultural contexts.

WS
590
Hours
3
Women and The Law

This seminar will examine the constitutional and legal rights of women in the United States. The course will center on an examination of case law concerning women's constitutional rights generally, as well as their constitutional and statutory rights with respect to substantive areas such as employment, family law, reproductive freedom, education, and crime. The course will also explore the failure of rights doctrine to address the real, continuing oppression of women in American society.

Prerequisite(s): None
WS
599
Hours
1-6
Thesis Research

The focus of this research may involve traditional or community-related research on the student's approved thesis topic in Gender and Race Studies.