Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

http://www.towson.edu/womensstudies

OFFICE

Liberal Arts Building 3210, 410-704-2660

THE PROGRAM

The Women’s and Gender Studies major is interdisciplinary; it offers students the opportunity to study the status and roles of women as individuals and as members of society and how these statuses and roles are shaped by social, political and cultural forces. Courses emphasize both commonalities among women and differences according to race, ethnicity, class and sexuality.

The major consists of 39 total units:

  • 6 units of required courses
  • 3 units of a culminating experience.
  • 12 units in a selected focus area, 6 units of which must be departmental WMST courses
  • 18 units wherein majors take 6 units in each of the three focus areas other than the one selected.

The Women’s and Gender Studies major is structured to provide students with both breadth (through the distribution requirement) and depth (through the selection of a focus area). The focus areas are curricular/career paths that allow students to develop expertise in a particular area. The culminating experience provides students the opportunity to integrate the knowledge acquired in their courses, and to apply this knowledge to real world problems.

The following Women’s and Gender Studies (WMST) courses and affiliate courses offered by other departments are currently in the curriculum. Any course can only count toward one focus area. Some courses fulfill Core Curriculum requirements.

TRANSFER CREDIT POLICY

All Women’s and Gender Studies majors must complete a minimum of 18 units toward the major at Towson University, with at least 12 units at th­e upper (300–400) level.

All Women’s and Gender Studies minors must complete a minimum of 12 units toward the minor at Towson University, with at least 9 units at the upper (300–400) level.

HONORS PROGRAM IN WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES

Honors work is available to students with a Women’s and Gender Studies major. Interested students may consult the chair of Women’s and Gender Studies for information, preferably during their sophomore year. See information on the Honors College elsewhere in this catalog.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies provides speakers from the university or off campus, from time to time.

In alternate years, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies awards the Guess Scholarship for achievement in writing. Women’s and Gender Studies students are also encouraged to take advantage of the Women’s Center (University Union 311) and the Women in Science Center (Smith Hall).

Courses

WMST 231 WOMEN IN PERSPECTIVE (3)

An examination of the status of women and women's attempts to achieve economic, legal and social equality, and physical integrity in the past and today with an emphasis on U.S. women. The focus is on both the commonalities and the diversity of women's experience. Topics covered include marriage, motherhood, education, jobs and sexuality, with attention to race and class. GenEd II.C.3 or Core: Diversity & Difference.

WMST 232 HONORS WOMEN IN PERSPECTIVE (3)

An examination of the status of women and women's attempts to achieve economic, legal and social equality, and physical integrity in the past and today with an emphasis on U.S. women. The focus is on both the commonalities and the diversity of women's experience. Topics covered include marriage, motherhood, education, jobs, and sexuality, with attention to race and class. Emphasis on student research into and analysis of women's political, autobiographical, and fictional writings. Honors College course. GenEd II.C.3 or Core: Diversity & Difference.

WMST 233 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES OF WOMEN (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of women's status and activism worldwide, including regional and local comparisons. Roles of governments and international organizations in shaping women's experiences. GenEd II.D or Core: Global Perspectives.

WMST 235 AMERICAN WOMEN AND POPULAR CULTURE (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of representations of women, femininity and masculinity in contemporary American popular culture, using gender to apply critical analysis to film, literature, television and music, including diverse responses of feminist artists and alternative media. GenEd IIB3 or Core: The United States as a Nation.

WMST 240 THEMES AND ISSUES IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

Study of a theme or current issue from the perspective of women's studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units provided that a different topic is covered.

WMST 241 THEMES AND ISSUES IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

Study of a theme or current issue from the perspective of Women's Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits provided a different topic is covered.

WMST 242 THEMES AND ISSUES IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

Study of a theme or current issue from the perspective of Women's Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits provided a different topic is covered.

WMST 243 THEMES AND ISSUES IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

Study of a theme or current issue from the perspective of Women's Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits provided a different topic is covered.

WMST 244 THEMES AND ISSUES IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

Study of a theme or current issue from the perspective of Women's Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits provided a different topic is covered.

WMST 245 THEMES AND ISSUES IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

Study of a theme or current issue from the perspective of Women's Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits provided a different topic is covered.

WMST 332 WOMEN'S CULTURE AND CREATIVITY (3)

Study of the historical conditions influencing women's creativity, the nature of women's aesthetic achievements and the emergence of new female cultural and artistic traditions. Prerequisite: WMST 231 or WMST 232 or consent of instructor.

WMST 333 WOMEN'S WORDS, WOMEN'S LIVES (3)

Practice in and study of expository writing about women. Readings include fiction, biographies, autobiographies, letters and journals; student writing will focus on such topics as women's roles, relationships and actions. Requires grade of C or better to fulfill Core or GenEd requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 or ENGL 190; one course in women's studies or one additional English course. Core: Advanced Writing Seminar or GenEd I.D.

WMST 335 WOMEN, WORK, AND FAMILY (3)

Women's work examined historically and cross-culturally from an interdisciplinary perspective. Women's work in traditional societies, effects of industrialization on women's work, and women's paid and unpaid work in contemporary societies. Prerequisite: 3 lower division units in women's studies or consent of instructor.

WMST 336 WOMEN AND MEDICINE (3)

How gender has influenced the structure, content and practice of medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries, with emphasis on disease theory and treatment, physicians' involvement in social policy, and women's challenges to medical authority. Special focus on the history of nursing, women's entry into medical practice and women's health movements past and present. Prerequisite: 3 units in women's studies or social sciences.

WMST 337 FEMINIST THEORY (3)

An examination of the variety of perspectives, theories, debates and controversies within feminist thought and practice, including global activist movements. Prerequisite: 3 units in women's studies or consent of instructor.

WMST 338 WOMEN AND SEXUALITY (3)

Examination of the politics of sexuality: the interaction between cultural definitions and evaluations of women's sexualities and women's social and legal states; and women's attempts to achieve sexual autonomy. Emphasis on how the meaning of sexuality changes over time and how women respond to these changes, and their effect on women. Prerequisite: 3 units in women's studies or social sciences.

WMST 341 WOMEN AND AGING (3)

American society's view of older women and the impact of stereotypes and images on their self-concepts. Prerequisite: 3 units in women's studies or social sciences.

WMST 345 WOMEN, ENVIRONMENT, AND HEALTH (3)

Relationships between economic development, health, and the environment from a global perspective with a focus on women's roles in environmental management; how women's activism affects social and public policy agendas.

WMST 350 B-MORE: BALTIMORE AND URBAN COMMUNITIES (3)

Analyzes significant political, economic, and cultural issues facing Baltimore and other urban communities including poverty, discrimination, economic development, and the criminal justice system. Special attention paid to gender, race, class, and youth activism. Prerequisite: WMST 231 or a course from Core: English Composition.

WMST 370 TOPICS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

An interdisciplinary examination of selected issues, themes or topics in women's studies. Variation in content in different terms. May be repeated for credit when a different topic is covered. Prerequisite: one women's studies course or consent of instructor.

WMST 381 THE EROTIC IMAGINATION IN CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM (3)

Explores use of sexual imagery to understand the human-divine relationship in Christianity and Hinduism. Critical analysis of the ways that erotic religious traditions both re-inscribe and destabilize cultural norms of gender and sexuality. Prerequisites: WMST 231 or RLST 105 or by consent of professor.

WMST 382 CHRISTIAN SEXUAL ETHICS (3)

Historical overview of major trends in Christian sexual ethics. Exploration of Christian ethical positions on topics including celibacy, marital sexuality, rape, extra-marital sex, prostitution, and homosexuality. Emphasis on feminist analysis. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours. Core: Ethical Issues and Perspectives.

WMST 383 ANIMAL RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS (3)

Examination and critique of scholarly and popular print and visual sources that posit intersections between animal rights and human rights discourse and activism. Investigation of the role of diverse political, religious, economic, and cultural systems in shaping debates about the ethical treatment of non-human animals and humans. Exploration of links between speciesism and other forms of oppression, including sexism, ableism, racism, classism, heterosexism, cisgenderism and anti-Semitism. Prerequisite: one WMST course or a Core: Diversity & Difference course. Core: Ethical Issues & Perspectives.

WMST 481 DIRECTED READING FOR HONORS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3-4)

Reading and research in preparation for the writing of an Honors Thesis. Prerequisite: consent of the Departmental Honors coordinator. Special permit only.

WMST 485 SEMINAR IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

Advanced study in a specialized area of women's studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisites: WMST 231 or WMST 232 and WMST 337 or equivalent.

WMST 491 DIRECTED READING IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (1-4)

Independent reading in women's studies with emphasis on interdisciplinary relationships. Topics selected by student in consultation with instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisites: 15 units in interdisciplinary or departmental women's studies courses; minimum 3.00 GPA average in women's studies. Special permit only.

WMST 496 INTERNSHIP IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3-6)

Field placement for students in agencies or organizations working on projects that serve women. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits Prerequisites: 3.20 QPA in women's studies courses; 3.00 overall QPA; WMST 231, WMST 232, WMST 233 or WMST 234, and 21 upper-level units; no "I" grades on transcript; consent of the women's studies internship coordinator or department chair in advance of term in which student intends to do the internship. Special permit only. Graded S/U.

WMST 499 HONORS THESIS IN WOMEN'S STUD (3)

Thesis preparation in a chosen area of specialization. Prerequisite: consent of the departmental Honors coordinator. Special permit only.

Faculty

Professor: Cindy Gissendanner (Chair)

Associate Professors: Cecilia Rio, Esther Wangari, Kate Wilkinson

Assistant Professors: Jameta Barlow, Emily Parker (Philosophy & Religious Studies)