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WGSS 370

Topics in Women's Studies

An interdisciplinary exploration of a particular theme, area or period, with respect to issues of women and gender.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1/2-1 course

Fall Semester information

Deborah Geis

370A: Tps:Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African American woman playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize in drama, is a fresh, challenging, and always surprising contemporary voice in the theater. This course examines her significant collection of plays, beginning with her early dramatic experiments like Pickling and Imperceptible Mutabilities of the Third Kingdom, continuing to her "Abraham Lincoln" works (including The America Play and the Pulitzer-winning Topdog/Underdog), and culminating in her most recent theatrical projects such as 365 Plays. We'll also look at her other projects, including screenplays, fiction, and music. Since this is an "S" course, students should expect to participate actively and to give a series of oral presentations.


Spring Semester information

Leigh-Anne Goins

370A: Tps:Internet

Although the Internet is a relatively new phenomenon it influences our everyday interactions, perceptions and engagements with the world around us. We get our news, check our social media accounts, learn about others, and maintain relationships from the 'safety' of our tablets, computers, and phones. But the Internet and our engagements are more than these interactions, and are not always 'safe.' Through this course, students will examine how our lives 'offline' influence our interactions and lives 'online.' We will focus on the ways different social positionalities (e.g. class, sexuality, race) influence engagement, access, and safety.

Women and the Internet, focuses on the history and construction of the Internet. We will examine the tech side, or 'behind the scenes' aspects of the Internet. We will examine the ways we engage with, challenge, and recreate 'online' spaces. Through this course, we will focus on the construction of and consistent production of content surrounding women's bodies. Within the course, though we attend to the structural components of gender and its influence on social interactions and inclusion/exclusion, we expand the term beyond biology. Though the main focus of the course surrounds women, we will discuss men (again gender, not biology) and their influence on women's interactions both in technology (production) and engagement (interaction and consumption).


Leigh-Anne Goins

370B: Tps:Black Feminisms

This course takes and interdisciplinary lens -drawing on the disciplines of Black studies, Women's studies, History, Sociology, Anthropology and Literary studies- to offer an in-depth examination of Black women's experiences of race, gender, sexuality, class, and identity through the lenses of Black feminisms and Black feminist theories. Although the majority of the course will focus on Black feminist writings and theorizations in the context of the United States, we will incorporate narratives and theorizations throughout the diaspora.

Through theory, social analysis, and careful and compassionate societal critique, we will begin to chart Black feminisms history and discuss the radical potential it provides for our future. We will focus on historical and contemporary macro and micro issues (e.g., culture, the body, family, work) that laid the groundwork for the construction of Black feminisms and provides fertile ground for the ever-evolving, changing, and queering of Black feminisms and Black feminist theorizing. As we live in a largely digital age, we will incorporate and deconstruct the role and impact of digital engagement on Black feminist theorizing and Black feminisms. Through assignments and in-class discussions, you will begin to understand the vast, disparate, and yet shared experience(s) of Black feminists, Black feminist thought, and Black feminist theorizing in the United States and globally.


Christina Holmes

370C: Tps: Chicana Feminisms

This class addresses Mexican-American women's political mobilizations and social theories from the colonial era to the present. While the course centers the philosophies, art, and literature of Mexican-American women and self-identified Chicanas, students are encouraged to develop comparative perspectives on the intersections of Chicana feminisms with the decolonial work of women across Latin America the Caribbean, and to make connections between Chicana feminisms and other streams of feminism across the U.S.