Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Women’s Studies

Director, 2010-11: Jan C. Hill (English), writing, children's literature, journalism

Faculty, 2010-11: David Booth (Religion), theology; Maggie A. Broner (Romance Languages), Hispanic and applied linguistics, Spanish in the U.S.; Laurel Carrington (History), medieval, Renaissance and Reformation; Karen Cherewatuk (English), Anglo Saxon, medieval literature; Devyani Chandran (Social Work and Family Studies), family studies, social policy, research; Jenny Dunning (English), creative writing; Karen Gervais (Philosophy) philosophy and feminism; Abdulai Iddrisu (History), African history, Islam, gender; Anna Kuxhausen (History), Russian and European history, Russian studies; Diane LeBlanc (Interdisciplinary Studies), writing, women's studies, American studies; Naurine Lennox (Social Work and Family Studies), social service systems and history, rural and community practice, field education; Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb (Sociology/Anthropology), gender, family, race and class (on leave spring semester); Dolores Peters (History), France, modern Europe, gender; Sherry Saterstrom (Dance), dance/movement technique, somatic studies, improvisation ensemble; Ryan Sheppard (Sociology/Anthropology), family, gender, race/ethnicity, social movements, quantitative research; Corliss Swain (Philosophy), Hume, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, value theory; Nancy Thompson (Art and Art History), art history; Mary Trull (English), 16th- and 17th-century literature

Women’s studies, an interdisciplinary program, focuses on the significance of gender in the formation of knowledge and human experience. Women’s studies seeks to enrich our understanding of women’s lives and consider the conditions necessary to create a more equitable world.

overview of the major and concentration

Majors and concentrators take a range of courses in the humanities and social and natural sciences, as well as in the women’s studies program. Students explore the new scholarship about gender and gain an understanding of a variety of women’s experiences across cultures and throughout history.



A major in women’s studies consists of nine courses: Women’s Studies 121, Women’s Studies 399 (to be taken in the spring of the senior year), plus seven additional courses, one of which must be at level III. These seven courses shall include at least one course from each of the following areas: 1. social or natural sciences; 2. literature, languages, or the arts; 3. religious, historical, or philosophical traditions. No more than two courses taken elsewhere may be counted toward the major.

With the approval of the instructor and the director of women’s studies, majors may apply toward their program courses not designated as approved women’s studies courses. Students who apply partial-credit courses toward the major must still complete the minimum number of required courses.


Many students enhance their work in a major through an interdisciplinary focus on women and gender. A concentration in women’s studies consists of Women’s Studies 121 and four additional courses, three of which must be at level II or III, drawn from at least three departments.

With the approval of the instructor and the director of women’s studies, concentrators may apply toward their program courses not designated as approved women’s studies courses. Students who apply partial-credit courses toward the concentration must still complete the minimum number of required credits. No more than one course taken elsewhere may be counted toward the concentration.


Distinction in women's studies should represent in some tangible way the culmination of interdisciplinary and/or theoretical work in the program. Interested seniors are invited to submit papers or projects in the spring in consultation with the program director.


121 Introduction to Women's Studies

Required for the women's studies major and concentration, this course introduces students to the concept of gender as a category of analysis. It is designed for students who seek a fuller understanding of themselves as women and men and a wider knowledge of the experiences and achievements of women. Offered each semester.

294 Internships

298 Independent Study

394 Internships

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision.

398 Independent Research

399 Advanced Topics in Women's Studies

The course provides a capstone to the major. Taught as a seminar, it offers an opportunity for students to integrate their studies of women across disciplines and to become more aware of the intricate web of gender, race, culture, and class that informs women's experiences. Prerequisite: Women's Studies 121. Offered annually in the spring semester.

courses that count toward the women’s studies major and concentration

Other courses not included in this list may also be acceptable, depending on the relevance of their content, and may be approved in consultation with the director of women’s studies.

American Studies 100: Perspectives in American Culture
American Conversations 202: (one course counts upon completion of sequence)
Art 277: Women in Art
Biology 275: Biology of Reproduction
Dance 201: The Body Movable
English 260: Women and African Diaspora
Family Studies 232: Introduction to Family Studies
Family Studies 253: Human Sexuality
Family Studies 242: Family Relationships
Family Studies 391: Familes in Transition
French 372: Women Writers in France
History 189: Women in West African Colonial History
Media 260: Media in Contemporary Culture
Nursing 386: Perinatal Health
Philosophy 245: Philosophy and Feminism
Psychology 350: Development in Diverse Families
Religion 209: Introduction to Feminist Theology
Social Work 120: I Want to Help People
Sociology/Anthropology 128: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Sociology/Anthropology 241: Gender Equality in Nordic Countries
Sociology/Anthropology 246: GLBT Lives and Issues
Sociology/Anthropology 260: Marriage and the Family
Sociology/Anthropology 261: Gender in a Cross-Cultural Perspective
Women's Studies 121: Introduction to Women's Studies
Women's Studies 399: Women Embodied