Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor Requirements

2018 - 2019 Catalog

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor

A minor in women's, gender, and sexuality studies requires completion of 21 credits. In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor.

  1. Introduction: WGSS 120, completed by the end of the sophomore year
  2. Distribution: 15 credits selected from the following, with at least one course from each of the two areas. Additional courses may be used when the topic is relevant and the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Committee approves.
    1. Social and Natural Sciences: BIOL 255; ECON 246, 251; POL 251 (SOAN 251), 255; PSYC 213, 215, 262, 269; SOAN 251 (POL 251), 261, 280, and WGSS 296; and when appropriate, ECON 295, POL 292, SOAN 291, WGSS 180 (when topic is social or natural sciences)
    2. Humanities and other disciplines: ARTH 365; DANC 240; ENGL 254, 261, 312, 313, 320, 358, 359; HIST 206, 219, 228, 257, 258, 285, 378, 379; LEGL 345; PHIL 235, 242, 244, 246, 254; REL 132, 215, 246, 284; SPAN 323; THTR 250; WGSS 220, 295, 310; and, when appropriate, ENGL 250, 293, 299, 392, 393, 394, 395; FREN 331, 397; HIST 369; LATN 326; LIT 180, 220, 295; REL 295; SPAN 295, 397, and 398; WGSS 180 (when topic is in humanities)
  3. Capstone experience (after the completion of all other requirements): WGSS 396 or another relevant individual study, senior thesis, or honors thesis in the student's major approved by the program committee.
  1. Introduction:
    • WGSS 120 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies and Feminist Theory
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyStaff

      This course introduces students to the fields of feminist theory and women's and gender studies by focusing on key theoretical concepts and surveying a range of topics that have been central to the academic study of women and gender. Such topics are likely to include the family as a social institution, gender in the workplace, beauty norms, violence against women, the history of feminist activism, and/or women's achievements in traditionally male-dominated fields such as sports, art, science, or literature. Students learn to approach such topics using gender as an analytical tool that intersects in complex ways with other categories of social power, such as race, class, and sexuality. The course is interdisciplinary in approach and presents a plurality of feminist perspectives in order to offer a rich understanding of the development of feminist thought over the past several decades. Course assignments encourage students to use such thought to analyze their other academic pursuits, as well as the non-academic environments in which they live, including thinking critically about their own experiences as women and men in contemporary society.


    • completed by the end of the sophomore year
  2. Distribution:
  3. 15 credits selected from the following, with at least one course from each of the two areas. Additional courses may be used when the topic is relevant and the Women’s and Gender Studies Committee approves.

    • Social and Natural Sciences:
      • BIOL 255 - Reproductive Physiology
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyStaff

        An examination of sex as a biological phenomenon with consideration of the genetic (chromosomal), embryological, endocrine, and neurological bases of sexual development, differentiation, and identity.


      • ECON 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law
        FDRSS4
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent. ECON 100 or 101 required only for credit as an elective in the Economics major
        FacultySilwal, Lubin

        Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.


      • ECON 251 - Women in the Economy
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 100 or 101. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years
        FacultyShester

        Students explore how economic theory and analysis can be applied to examine the multiple roles that women play in our society. In particular, we examine linkages and changes in women's human capital, marriage, fertility, family structure, and occupation and labor supply decisions in the post-World War II era. We also investigate the magnitude and causes of the gender wage gap. We assess how much of the gender wage gap can be explained by education and occupational choice, and how much appears to be due to discrimination. We also learn about {and try to explain} the differences in labor-market outcomes for women with and without children. Finally, we access the causes and consequences of teenage pregnancy and single motherhood.


      • POL 251 - Social Movements (SOAN 251)
        FDRSS4
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 100, 105 or 111 or instructor consent
        FacultyLeBlanc, Eastwood

        A survey of American social movements, including an evaluation of competing theoretical approaches to the study of social movements and an examination of the strategies, successes, failures, and political and social consequences of the civil rights, labor, student, and women's movements. Close attention is given to factors contributing to the rise and decline of these


      • POL 255 - Gender and Politics
        FDRSS2
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 100, 105 or 111 or instructor consent
        FacultyLeBlanc

        This course investigates the gendered terms under which women and men participate in political life. Attention is given to the causes of men's and women's different patterns of participation in politics, to processes that are likely to decrease the inequalities between men's and women's political power, and the processes by which society's gender expectations shape electoral and institutional politics. The different effects of gender on the practice of politics in different nations are compared, with a special emphasis placed on advanced industrial democracies.


      • PSYC 213 - Development of Human Sexuality
        FDRSS3
        Credits4
        PrerequisitePSYC 113
        FacultyFulcher

        This course examines the fundamentals of the development and practice of sexuality in the human being and the historical, psychological, and psychosocial aspects of human sexuality from childhood to old age. The course covers major theories of the development of sexuality in heterosexual, gay, and lesbian people. Students also explore how sexuality itself may be "constructed" as a result of culture, media, and gender. Primary source material as well as popular media depictions of sexuality are examined. Students engage in the creation of a comprehensive sexual education program which involves contact with parents, teachers, and experts in the field.


      • PSYC 215 - Seminar in Evolutionary Psychology
        FDRSS3
        Credits4
        PrerequisitePSYC 110, 111, 112, 113, or 114
        FacultyWhiting

        The purpose of this course is to examine evolutionary theory as a means of explaining human behavior. The main premise is that behaviors such as cooperation, aggression, mate selection, and intelligence exist because individuals exhibiting these behaviors were more likely to produce healthy offspring that perpetuated those behaviors (i.e., natural selection). We evaluate the validity of this argument in a number of areas of human behavior and also discuss how culture has shaped our genes. Evolutionary psychology is not an area of psychology, like social psychology or cognitive psychology, but is instead a lens through which all human behavior can be explained. Though it is tempting to engage in "arm chair" application of evolutionary theory to behavior, this is a science course; all arguments must be backed up with data.


      • PSYC 262 - Gender-Role Development
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePSYC 113, PSYC 250 or WGS 120
        FacultyFulcher

        This course provides the student with an overview of gender-role development: How do children learn to be boys and girls? What role do biological factors play in different behaviors of boys and girls? Does society push boys and girls in different directions? We discuss children's evolving ideas about gender, and what can be done to change these ideas (or whether they need to be changed at all). Through the examination of these questions and issues, the course introduces students to the major theories of gender-role development, the research methods used to measure children's gender-role behaviors and attitudes, and the current research in the field.


      • PSYC 269 - Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePSYC 114 and PSYC 250 (as co-req or pre-req) or instructor consent
        FacultyWoodzicka

        This course examines cognitive and affective processes involved in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Causes and social implications of prejudice involving various stigmatized groups (e.g., African-Americans, women, homosexuals, people of low socioeconomic status, overweight individuals) are examined. Participants focus on attitudes and behaviors of both perpetrators and targets of prejudice that likely contribute to and result from social inequality.


      • SOAN 251 - Social Movements (POL 251)
        FDRSS4
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 100, 105 or 111 or instructor consent
        FacultyLeBlanc, Eastwood

        A survey of American social movements, including an evaluation of competing theoretical approaches to the study of social movements and an examination of the strategies, successes, failures, and political and social consequences of the civil rights, labor, student, and women's movements. Close attention is given to factors contributing to the rise and decline of these movements.


      • SOAN 261 - Campus Sex in the Digital Age
        FDRSS4
        Credits4
        FacultyGoluboff

        This class explores how the cell phone has impacted hooking up and dating at college, with particular attention to Washington and Lee University as a case study. We discuss the development of campus sexual culture in America and the influence of digital technology on student sociality. Students use open-source digital research tools to analyze data they collect on the mobile apps they use to socialize with each other on campus. As a digital humanities project, students work in groups to post their analyses on the class WordPress site.


      • SOAN 280 - Gender and Sexuality
        FDRSS4
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent required on section 01, but not on section 02 for Winter 2018
        FacultyGoluboff

        An investigation of gender cross culturally. Special consideration is given to the roles of biology, cultural variation, identity, and power in determining patterns of male dominance. Emphasis is placed on changing relationships between men and women in American society.


      • WGSS 296 - Social Science Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteDepending on the topic, WGSS 120 or instructor consent

        A topical seminar that focuses on an interdisciplinary examination of a singular theme and/or geographic region relevant to the overall understanding of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, such as Men and Masculinities. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • and when appropriate,
      • ECON 295 - Special Topics in Economics
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteNormally ECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102 but may vary with topic. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years

        Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and are announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.


      • POL 292 - Topics in Politics and Film
        FDRSS2
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteVary by offering. Open to non-majors and majors of all class years

        This course examines how film and television present political issues and themes. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • SOAN 291 - Special Topics in Anthropology
        Credits3-4

        A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Spring 2018, SOAN  291-01: US Immigration and Refugee Resettlement or "Bad Hombres" or Dangerous Refugees? (4). How have U.S. immigration and national security become so intimately entangled? How do presidential campaigns, executive orders, federal court orders, and protests contribute to the understanding of and rhetoric about immigration, refugee resettlement, and national security? What is the refugee vetting process, and what should it look like? Is terrorism in the US linked to immigration? How do people "illegally'' immigrate and live undocumented lives? What does it mean to be a recently resettled Muslim African refugee? In this course, students seek a deep understanding of the social, political, and historical currents that have culminated in the divisive stances on immigration in 2018. We read anthropological monographs, analyze policy and news, scrutinize political rhetoric, and engage migration experts. Thomson.

        Fall 2018, SOAN 291A-01: Anthropology of Death (3). An overview of death practices from prehistory to the present. Death is, of course, universal - "it is appointed for all once to die" - but cultural understandings of death vary enormously. We consider such questions as whether Neanderthals intentionally buried their dead, why early farmers built houses over the deceased, and how monumental works like pyramids and mounds express relationships between the living and the dead. Discussion includes diverse beliefs about the afterlife, the nature of the soul, and proper dispositions of the body. We pay special attention to contemporary changing death ways in the United States with the rise in cremation, green burials, celebratory funerals, idiosyncratic gravestones, and online memorials. Bell.

         


      • WGSS 180 - FS: First-year Seminar
        FDROffered occasionally. Each first-year seminar topic is approved by the Dean of The College and the Committee on Courses and Degrees. Applicability to FDRs and other requirements varies
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteFirst-year standing

        First-year seminar. Topics vary with term and instructor.


    • Humanities and other disciplines:
      • ARTH 365 - Women, Art, and Empowerment
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKing

        This seminar explores female artists from the late 18th century through the present, whose depictions of women have directly challenged the value system in art history that has traditionally privileged white heterosexual male artists, audiences, collectors, historians, curators, etc. Lectures, discussions, and research projects address multicultural perspectives and provide a sense of feminism's global import in a current and historical context.


      • DANC 240 - Contemporary Modern Dance History
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyDavies

        This course is a study of the manifestations of American modern dance from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Students explore the relationship between dance and developments in U.S. culture and study the innovators of the art form and their techniques, writings, and art works through readings, video and lectures.


      • ENGL 254 - I Heart Jane: Austen's Fan Cultures and Afterlives
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FDR FW requirement
        FacultyWalle

        In the 20th and 21st centuries, Jane Austen has attained a celebrity that far exceeds the recognition she enjoyed during her lifetime. The fan culture that now surrounds Austen, her spunky heroines, and her swoon-worthy heroes rivals that of Star Wars or Harry Potter. Austen enthusiasts meet for book club, wear Regency costumes, convene for tea, and throw balls with period-appropriate music and dance. All of this mooning over Mr. Darcy, however, could easily be the object of Austen's own satire. Mercilessly lampooning silliness and frivolity, "dear Jane" was more inveterate cynic than hopeless romantic. How, then, did Austen transform from biting social satirist to patron saint of chick lit? Beginning with three of Austen's novels, and then turning to the fan cultures surrounding Pride and Prejudice, this course examines the nature of fandom, especially its propensity to change and adapt the very thing it celebrates. What does it mean to be a fan? Is there such a thing as an "original" or authorial meaning of a text? What do Austen's fan cultures say about both the novels themselves and the society that appropriates them?


      • ENGL 261 - Reading Gender
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
        FacultyStaff

        A course on using gender as a tool of literary analysis. We study the ways ideas about masculinity and femininity inform and are informed by poetry, short stories, novels, plays, films, and/or pop culture productions. Also includes readings in feminist theory about literary interpretation and about the ways gender intersects with other social categories, including race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class. Historical focus will vary according to professor's areas of interest and expertise. We study novels, poems, stories, and films that engage with what might be considered some major modern myths of gender: popular fairy tales. We focus at length upon the Cinderella and Red Riding Hood stories but also consider versions of several additional tales, always with the goal of analyzing the particular ideas about women and men, girls and boys, femininity and masculinity that both underlie and are produced by specific iterations of these familiar stories.


      • ENGL 312 - Gender, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteENGL 299
        FacultyKao

        A study of the complex nexus of gender, love, and marriage in medieval legal, theological, political, and cultural discourses. Reading an eclectic range of texts--such as romance, hagiography, fabliau, (auto)biography, conduct literature, and drama--we consider questions of desire, masculinity, femininity, and agency, as well as the production and maintenance of gender roles and of emotional bonds within medieval conjugality. Authors include Chaucer, Chretien de Troyes, Heldris of Cornwall, Andreas Capellanus, Margery Kempe, and Christine de Pisan. Readings in Middle English or in translation. No prior knowledge of medieval languages necessary.

         


      • ENGL 313 - Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteENGL 299
        FacultyKao

        This course considers the primary work on which Chaucer's reputation rests: The Canterbury Tales. We pay sustained attention to Chaucer's Middle English at the beginning of the semester to ease the reading process. Then we travel alongside the Canterbury pilgrims as they tell their tales under the guise of a friendly competition. The Canterbury Tales is frequently read as a commentary on the social divisions in late medieval England, such as the traditional estates, religious professionals and laity, and gender hierarchies. But despite the Tales' professed inclusiveness of the whole of English society, Chaucer nonetheless focuses inordinately on those individuals from the emerging middle classes. Our aim is to approach the Tales from the practices of historicization and theorization; that is, we both examine Chaucer's cultural and historical contexts and consider issues of religion, gender, sexuality, marriage, conduct, class, chivalry, courtly love, community, geography, history, power, spirituality, secularism, traditional authority, and individual experience. Of particular importance are questions of voicing and writing, authorship and readership. Lastly, we think through Chaucer's famous Retraction at the "end" of The Canterbury Tales, as well as Donald R. Howard's trenchant observation that the Tale is "unfinished but complete." What does it mean for the father of literary "Englishness" to end his life's work on the poetic principle of unfulfilled closure and on the image of a society on the move?


      • ENGL 320 - Shakespearean Genres
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteENGL 299
        FacultyPickett

        In a given term, this course focuses on one or two of the major genres explored by Shakespeare (e.g., histories, tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies/romances, lyric and narrative poetry), in light of Renaissance literary conventions and recent theoretical approaches. Students consider the ways in which Shakespeare's generic experiments are variably inflected by gender, by political considerations, by habitat, and by history.


      • ENGL 358 - Literature of Gender and Sexuality Before 1900
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteENGL 299
        FacultyStaff

        A study of poetry, narrative, and/or drama written in English before 1900. Texts, topics, and historical emphasis may vary, but the course addresses the relation of gender and sexuality to literature.


      • ENGL 359 - Literature by Women of Color
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteENGL 299
        FacultyMiranda

        This course focuses on the intersection of race and gender as they meet in the lives and identities of contemporary women of color via literature: African-Americans, Native Americans, Chicanas, Asian-Americans, and mixed bloods, or 'mestizas.' Our readings, discussions and writings focus on the work that "coming to voice" does for women of color, and for our larger society and world. Students read a variety of poetry, fiction, and autobiography in order to explore some of the issues most important to and about women of color: identity, histories, diversity, resistance and celebration. Literary analyses-i.e., close readings, explications and interpretations-are key strategies for understanding these readings.


      • HIST 206 - Women and Gender in Modern Europe
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyHorowitz

        This course investigates the history of Europe from the late 18th century to the present day through the lens of women's lives, gender roles, and changing notions of sexuality. We examine how historical events and movements (industrialization, the world wars, etc.) had an impact on women, we look at how ideas about gender shaped historical phenomena, such as imperialism and totalitarianism. We also consider the rise of new ideas about sexuality and the challenge of feminism.


      • HIST 219 - Seminar: The Age of the Witch Hunts
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteOpen to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. First-years may request instructor consent
        FacultyBrock

        This course introduces students to one of the most fascinating and disturbing events in the history of the Western world: the witch hunts in early-modern Europe and North America. Between 1450 and 1750, more than 100,000 individuals, from Russia to Salem, were prosecuted for the crime of witchcraft. Most were women and more than half were executed. In this course, we examine the political, religious, social, and legal reasons behind the trials, asking why they occurred in Europe when they did and why they finally ended. We also explore, in brief, global witch hunts that still occur today in places like Africa and India, asking how they resemble yet differ from those of the early-modern world.


      • HIST 228 - Women in Russian History
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBidlack

        Students read many accounts by and about Russian women to gain an understanding of how Russian women have been affected by wars, revolutions, and other major events and, simultaneously, how they have been agents of change from the beginnings Russian history up to the present.


      • HIST 257 - History of Women in America, 1609-1870
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultySenechal

        An examination of women's social, political, cultural and economic positions in America through the immediate post-Civil War. Changes in women's education, legal status, position in the family, and participation in the work force with emphasis on the diversity of women's experience, especially the manner in which class and race influenced women's lives. The growth of organized women's rights.


      • HIST 258 - History of Women in America, 1870 to the Present
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultySenechal

        A survey of some of the major topics and themes in American women's lives from the mid-19th century to the present, including domestic and family roles, economic contributions, reproductive experience, education, suffrage, and the emergence of the contemporary feminist movement. The influence on women's roles, behavior, and consciousness by the social and economic changes accompanying industrialization and urbanization and by variations in women's experience caused by differences in race, class, and region.


      • HIST 285 - Seminar: The Yin and Yang of Gender in Late Imperial China (10th-19th centuries)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBello

        Relations between men and women are the basis of any human society, but the exact nature and interpretation of these relations differ from time to time and from place to place. The concepts of Yin (female) and Yang (male) were integral to the theory and practice of Chinese gender relations during the late imperial period, influencing marriage, medicine and law. This course examines the historical significance of late-imperial gender relations across these, and other, categories from both traditional and modern perspectives.


      • HIST 378 - African Feminisms
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteAt least sophomore standing
        FacultyTallie

        This course critically examines the idea of African feminisms by looking at many different intersections of time, place. and position for African women. This traces multiple ways in which African women have sought to challenge patriarchal roles in both precolonial and (post)colonial contexts. Students leave not with an understanding of a singular or aspirational African feminism but rather with an appreciation of the ways in which African women have and continue to challenge. reframe, and negotiate a variety of social and political positions.


      • HIST 379 - Queering Colonialism
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyTallie

        This course seeks to examine the many intersectional and overlapping threads in the histories of colonialism, gender, and sexuality. As authors like Achmat and Cohen have argued, colonialism has simultaneously supported and been supported by heteronormative, patriarchal, and white-supremacist regimes. This course looks at three avenues in which the 'normal' has been both created and contested in colonial histories: the body, belonging, and becoming. We read from a variety of disciplines, eras, and locations in order to understand how bodies can be made normal or 'queer.' We also examine how imperial structures of rule impact the daily lived experiences of people as they attempt to find spaces of belonging and potential for becoming part of a larger group. movement. or idea.


      • LEGL 345 - Mass Atrocity, Human Rights, and International Law
        FDRHU
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteJunior or senior standing
        FacultyMark Drumbl

        This course is designed to benefit students with an interest in law school and/or international relations and also those with no plans to pursue law school or international relations work but who are keen to catch a view of both of these areas. This interdisciplinary course reflects upon the place of law and justice in societies that have endured or inflicted systemic human-rights violations. Among the examples we study are Germany, the former Yugoslavia, Japan, Czech Republic, Poland, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, Uganda, Cambodia, Syria, South Africa, Congo, ISIS, Sierra Leone, and the United States. A related aim is to consider what sorts of legal responses are suitable to deal with perpetrators of mass atrocity. Individuals commit the acts that cumulatively lead to mass atrocity, but the connived nature of the violence implicates questions of collective responsibility. While our instinct may be to prosecute guilty individuals, are other responses more appropriate? What do victims and their families want?


      • REL 132 - God and Goddess in Hinduism
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.


      • REL 215 - Female and Male in Western Religious Traditions
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBrown

        An investigation of views about the body, human sexuality, and gender in Western religious traditions, especially Judaism and Christianity, and of the influences of these views both on the religious traditions themselves and on the societies in which they develop. The course focuses on religion and society in antiquity and the Middle Ages, but also considers the continuing influence of religious constructions of the body and sexuality on succeeding generations to the present.


      • REL 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law
        FDRSS4
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent. ECON 100 or 101 required only for credit as an elective in the Economics major
        FacultyLubin, Silwal

        Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students. 


      • REL 284 - Gender, Sexuality, and Islam
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyAtanasova

        How have issues of gender and sexuality in Medieval and Modern Islamic societies been debated across the Middle East, South Asia, and the West? Students examine scholarly and public discussions of gender and Islam, and they build a vocabulary in which to talk about women. queer, and intersex history as they concern Muslim societies and their foundational sources in their regional and historical contexts. No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary.


      • SPAN 323 - Golden Age Spanish Women Writers
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteSPAN 220 and SPAN 275
        FacultyCampbell

        A study of the comedia and the novela corta and the manner in which the secular women writers inscribe themselves within and beyond these genres. Close reading and discussion of representative works that may include the short stories and plays by María de Zayas, Ana Caro, Leonor de Meneses, Mariana de Carvajal, and Angela de Azevedo.


      • THTR 250 - Women in Contemporary Theater
        FDRHA
        Credits3

        This course explores the contemporary theater scene, investigating its plays, playwrights, directors and actors. The representation of women in theatrical art, as well as the unique contributions of contemporary women as artists, theorists and audiences, provides the principal focus of study. Traditional critical and historical approaches to the material are complemented by play reading, play attendance, oral presentations, writing assignments, journal writing and the creation of individual performance pieces.


      • WGSS 220 - 21st-Century Feminism: Where Are We Now?
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyWalle

        Where it used to be considered a liability, the word feminist is now proudly claimed by pop stars and emblazoned on t-shirts. What has changed, and what should we make of this popular feminism? Does it herald a new age of equal rights, or does it threaten to undermine the progress that 20th-century feminists worked so hard to secure? Looking exclusively at texts published after 2000, this course surveys a wide range of feminist issues, including intersectionality, body positivity, sexual assault, trans feminism, popular feminism, feminist merch, the 2016 election, and the future of feminism.


      • WGSS 235 - The Second Sex: Beauvoir on the Power of Gender (PHIL 235)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyVerhage

        Sixty years after its initial publication, The Second Sex is as eye-opening and relevant as ever. Simone de Beauvoir's masterpiece weaves together history, philosophy, economics, biology, and a host of other disciplines to analyze the Western notion of "woman" and to explore the making and the power of gender and sexuality. The Second Sex is an important philosophical and political document about inequality and enforced "otherness." Referring to the history of philosophy, new developments in existential thought, and drawing on extensive interviews with women, Beauvoir synthesizes research about women's bodies and psyches as well as their historic and economic roles.


      • WGSS 242 - Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity (PHIL 242)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBell

        An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society


      • WGSS 244 - Feminist Social and Political Philosophy (PHIL 244)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBell

        This course critically examines the gender norms that pervade our identities, govern our everyday behavior, and organize our social life. Questions addressed may include: What is gender? In what ways does it affect the quality of women's and men's lives? Is gender difference natural? Is it valuable? Can it contribute to, or interfere with, human flourishing? Can a gendered society be just? What can any of us do to promote good relations among women and men?


      • WGSS 246 - Philosophy of Sex (PHIL 246)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBell

        This course explores questions related to contemporary conceptions of sexuality and its proper role in our lives. Questions addressed include: What is the purpose of sex? Are sexual practices subject to normative evaluation on grounds of morality, aesthetics, and/or capacity to promote a flourishing human life? We consider the relation between sex and both intimacy and pleasure, viewed from the perspective of heterosexual women and men, and gay men and lesbians. What are our sexual practices and attitudes toward sex? What should they be like?


      • WGSS 254 - Philosophy of the Family: Beyond Tradition (PHIL 254)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBell

        This course considers philosophical issues raised by family as a social institution and as a legal institution. Topics addressed include the social and personal purposes served by the institution of family, the nature of relationships between family members, the various forms that family can take, the scope of family privacy or autonomy, and how family obligations, mutual support, and interdependency affect individual members of families.


      • WGSS 295 - Humanities Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteDepending on the topic, WGSS 120 or instructor consent

        A topical seminar that focuses on an interdisciplinary examination of a singular theme and/or geographic region relevant to the overall understanding of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, such as Hispanic Feminisms. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • and when appropriate:
      • WGSS 310 - Representations of Women, Gender and Sexuality in World Literature (LIT 310)
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW FDR requirement
        FacultyRadulescu

        This course examines a plethora of literary texts chosen from across historical periods from antiquity, through early modern times, to the modern and postmodern era and across several national traditions and cultural landscapes.  Its main intellectual objective is to sensitize students to the ways in which women and gender have been represented in literary texts of various genres and to help them develop specific analytic skills in order to discover and evaluate the interconnections between the treatment of women in society and their artistic reflections in works of literature.


      • and, when appropriate (topic is humanities),
      • ENGL 250 - Medieval and Early Modern British Literature
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
        FacultyKao

        This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception.


      • ENGL 293 - Topics in American Literature
        FDRHL
        Credits3-4
        PrerequisiteCompletion of the FW requirement

        Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Spring 2018, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Ralph Ellison and the Making of America (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement. A study of the writings of Ralph Ellison, the great African-American novelist, essayist, and short-story writer. The course examines Ellison's published and unpublished writings, as well as biographical and critical writings about Ellison's life and work. We pursue such questions as Ellison's concepts regarding American literature, music, history, region, language, and politics; the troubled and complex challenges of race in American culture; and how Ellison expresses what he called the American tragi-comedy in his work. (HL) Conner.

         

        Spring 2018, ENGL 293-02: Topics in American Literature: Business in American Literature and Film (4). Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement. In his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith tells a powerful story of the free market as a way to organize our political and economic lives, a story that has governed much of the world ever since. This course studies that story, considers alternate stories of human economic organization, such as those of American Indian tribes, and sees how these stories have been acted out in American business and society. We study novels, films, short stories, non-fiction essays, autobiographies, advertisements, websites, some big corporations, and some local businesses in the Lexington area. Our goal is not to attack American business but to understand its characteristic strengths and weaknesses so we can make the best choices about how to live and work happily in a free market society. (HL) Smout.

        Fall 2018, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: Introduction to Literary Editing (3). An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students with the editor of Shenandoah, Washington and Lee's nationally prominent literary magazine. This is a course for anyone interested in editing literary journals, writing for the literary community (blogs, news releases, two book reviews, features, business correspondence) and how both print and on-line journals operate. Often a stepping stone to a publication career, the course involves an introduction to the creation, design and maintenance of WordPress web sites, as well as a survey of current magazines. The course also offers opportunities for each student to practice generating and editing his/her own texts and those of his/her peers. Each student oversees one facet of the journal (Poem of the Week, blog, submissions management, contests, social media), and each makes a presentation to the class on the nature and practices of two other current literary journals. Students work in pairs toward an understanding of the role journals play in contemporary literature and engage in peer editing. (HL) Staff.


      • ENGL 299 - Seminar for Prospective Majors
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW composition requirement and at least one course chosen from English courses numbered from 203 to 295

        A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Detective Fiction; American Indian Literatures; Revenge; and David Thoreau and American Transcendentalism.

        Fall 2018, ENGL 299A-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Utopia, Science Fiction, and the Idea of America(s) (3). What value does the utopian/dystopian text hold in the development of alternative thought? This course, grounded in science fiction and the African American and Latin American contexts, addresses this question via the thoughtful examination of a range of theoretical, fictional, and cinematic texts. Works studied throughout the term come from, among others, Carlos Fuentes, Thomas More, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Frederick Jameson, W.E.B. DuBois, Frances Bodomo, Alfonso Cuarón, Octavia Butler, and Samuel Delany. (HL) Wilson.


      • FREN 331 - Etudes thématiques
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteThree courses at the 200 level

        This course gives students a general knowledge of the evolution of French literature and ideas over the centuries through the study of one main theme. Recent offerings include: L'Exil; Regards sur la ville; Le dépaysement; Le voyage dans la literature française; L'esprit critique au XVIIIe siècle. May be repeated for degree credit if the theme is different.


      • ENGL 392 - Topics in Literature in English before 1700
        Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
        PrerequisiteENGL 299

        Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English before 1700 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • ENGL 393 - Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900
        Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
        PrerequisiteENGL 299

        Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English from 1700 to 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • ENGL 394 - Topics in Literature in English since 1900
        Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
        PrerequisiteENGL 299 or vary with topic

        Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English since 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • ENGL 395 - Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions
        Credits3-4
        PrerequisiteENGL 299

        Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English in an area of "counter traditions" with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Spring 2018, ENGL 395-01: Planetary Lines in World Literature (3). Prerequisite: ENGL 299. How do we read world literature in the Age of the Anthropocene? The growing debates around environmental crises have an emerging literary counterpart—whether these be realist novels on climate refugees in the Global South, eco-fiction works on dystopic survival, or documentary representations of a dissolving and privatizing landscape. This reading-intensive course examines multi-genre depictions from North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania of a human-impacted ecology. The question of "world" as universal and "planet" as material are thus considered, as are aesthetic moves narrating dis/placement and non/human relations. Course work includes in-class writing, group presentations, and a hybrid final paper that may incorporate creative elements. A midterm field project engaging with translation, as an underlying aspect of worlds in world literature, helps students collaborate across disciplinary and linguistic interests. (HL) Rajbanshi.


      • FREN 397 - Séminaire avancé
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteThree courses in French at the 200 level

        The in-depth study of a topic in French literature and/or civilization. Recent offerings include: La Littérature francophone du Maghreb; La littérature Beure; La France sous l'occupation; Les femmes et l'écriture au XVIIe siècle; Les écrivains du XXe siècle et la diversité culturelle; L'affaire Dreyfus. Students are encouraged to use this course for the development of a personal project. May be repeated for degree credit when the topics are different.


      • HIST 269 - Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History
        FDRHU
        Credits3-4

        A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Spring 2018, HIST 269-01: Death in 19th-Century United States (3). A study of the death and dying during the 19th century in the United States. Topics include Presidential deaths, massacres of Native Americans, African-American cemeteries, Edgar Allen Poe, the 1878 Yellow Fever Epidemic, the murder of New York City prostitutes, and the American Civil War. Includes investigation of gravestones, memorials, and family plots at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia, and Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. (HU) Richier.

        Spring 2018, HIST 269-01: Winning World War II: U.S. and Allied Grand Strategies, 1940-1945 (3). The United States fought World War II as part of a coalition, one of the most successful wartime coalitions in history. This seminar explores how and why it did so, and why the Allied effort was so successful. Emphasis is placed on U.S. strategic planning, its relationship to U.S. foreign policies, the ensuing conflicts between U.S. strategies and policies and those desired by its British and Soviet allies, and the ways in which these conflicts were resolved by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. Students also focus on civil-military relations and Allied diplomacy during the war, as well as how and why the alliance collapsed after victory had been achieved. Readings include key primary and secondary sources. (HU)  Stoler.


      • LATN 326 - The Poetry of Ovid
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteLATN 202 or instructor consent
        FacultyBenefiel or Carlisle

        Readings from the masterpieces of Ovid's poetry, including one or more of the following: The Metamorphoses (a grand mythological epic), The Fasti (festivals and the Roman calendar), The Heroides (fictional letters written by mythological heroines, Ars Amatoria and Amores (love poetry) and Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto (his poetry from exile). Topic varies by term but course may be taken only once.


      • LIT 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteFirst-year seminar. Prerequisite: First-year standing. Completion of FW FDR requirement

        First-year seminar.


      • LIT 220 - Modern Chinese Literature in Translation
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW FDR requirement
        FacultyZhu

        This is a survey course to introduce students to the literature of 20th-century China. Through close reading of key literary texts from the 1910s to the present, students explore the social, historical and literary background that gave rise to the texts studied and the ways in which these texts address various issues that China faced at the time. Taught in English, the course presupposes no previous knowledge of China or Chinese culture. In addition to the selected literary texts, the course introduces several feature films that are cinematic adaptations of modern Chinese fiction and explore the complex and dynamic interchange between literary and cinematic language.


      • LIT 295 - Special Topics in Literature in Translation
        FDRHL
        Credits3-4
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement

        A selected topic focusing on a particular author, genre, motif or period in translation. The specific topic is determined by the interests of the individual instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • REL 295 - Special Topics in Religion
        FDRHU
        Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring
        Prerequisitevaries according to the topic

        A course offered from time to time in a selected problem or topic in religion. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • SPAN 295 - Special Topics in Conversation
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteThree credits from any 200-level Spanish course or instructor consent

        Further development of listening and speaking skills necessary for advanced discussion. Acquisition of both practical and topic-specific vocabulary. Appropriate writing and reading assignments, related to the topic, accompany the primary emphasis on conversational skills. Recent topics include: Hispanic Cinema and La Prensa. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • SPAN 397 - Peninsular Seminar
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteSPAN 220 and SPAN 275

        A seminar focusing on a single period, genre, motif, or writer. The specific topic will be determined jointly according to student interest and departmental approval. Recent topics have included "The Female Voice in Hispanic Literature", "19th- and 20th-Century Spanish drama", "Women Writers of the Golden Age", and "Romanticism and the Generation of '98". May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • SPAN 398 - Spanish-American Seminar
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        Prerequisite240 and SPAN 275

        A seminar focusing on a single period, genre, motif, or writer. Recent topics have included "Spanish American Women Writers: From America into the 21st Century," "20th Century Latin America Theater," and "Past, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Argentina's Cultural Products." May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

         


      • WGSS 180 - FS: First-year Seminar
        FDROffered occasionally. Each first-year seminar topic is approved by the Dean of The College and the Committee on Courses and Degrees. Applicability to FDRs and other requirements varies
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteFirst-year standing

        First-year seminar. Topics vary with term and instructor.


  4. Capstone experience (after the completion of all other requirements):
    • WGSS 396 - Advanced Seminar in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteWGSS 120, junior or senior standing, or instructor consent

      This course provides an opportunity for advanced students to explore in detail some aspect of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Specific topics may vary and may be determined, in part, by student interest. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • or another relevant individual study, senior thesis, or honors thesis in the student’s major approved by the program committee.