Approved Faculty Senate

University Studies Course Approval

 

 

Department or Program Women’s Studies
Course Number 148
Semester Hours 3
Frequency of Offering every semester (1 section of 40 students)
Course Title Introduction to Women’s Studies
Catalog Description An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of women and gender in society. The course, which is team-taught by faculty from different disciplines, examines women's social roles and contributions in various social groups, cultures and areas of the globe, and explores gender as a socially constructed category of human experience. It introduces students to feminism, both as a body of theory and as an approach to social change. Offered Every Semester.
This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2: Yes
This is a new course proposal: No
(If this is a new course proposal, the WSU Curriculum Approval Form must also be completed as in the process prescribed by WSU Regulation 3-4)  
Proposal Category: Arts and Science Core: Social Science
Departmental Contact: Tamara Berg
Email Address: tberg@winona.edu

 

 

The proposed course is designed to satisfy the requirements in Arts & Sciences Core:
Social Science.

Catalogue Description

An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of women and gender in society. The
course, which is team-taught by faculty from different disciplines, examines women's
social roles and contributions in various social groups, cultures and areas of the globe,
and explores gender as a socially constructed category of human experience. It introduces
students to feminism, both as a body of theory and as an approach to social change.

General Course Information

This course is a University Studies Course in the Arts and Science Core that satisfies 3 credits
of the Social Science University Studies requirement.

This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of women and gender in society.
The course, which will be team taught by faculty from different disciplines, will examine
women’s social roles and contributions and gender as an organizing category of human
experience in various social groups, cultures and areas of the globe. Throughout the semester
we will explore the gender-shaping institutions that form the basis of our society and
influence our lives.

Rationale for Arts & Science: Social Science University Studies Course
Designation

Social Science University Studies Course Objective #1. Students will understand
humans as individuals and as parts of larger social systems.
bulletEach module is structured around the theme of gender-shaping institutions.
For each module, students read and respond to theoretical and critical essays
focussing on social systems. Students are required to reflect critically on the
readings and on their own experiences in connection to social systems in a
number of formats: in-class discussion, journaling, weekly participation in an
electronic forum, and in response papers and exams.

Social Science University Studies Course Objective #2. Students will
understand the historical context of the social sciences.
bulletStudents are assigned readings from a custom textbook designed specifically
for this class that supply a historical context for each module. Students
explore the ways in which various economic, political psychological, and
sociological perspectives regarding human behavior have been and are socially
constructed through directed readings, discussion, journaling, and weekly
participation in a electronic forum.

Social Science University Studies Course Objective #3. Students will
identify problems and frame research questions relating to humans and their experience.
bulletStudents are required to identify a topic for investigation and research that
expands on issues or problems studied in this course. Working collaboratively
in groups, students plan and present their research projects to the class.

Social Science University Studies Course Objective #4. Students will become
familiar with the process of theory-building and theoretical frameworks used by the social sciences.
bulletStudents read a variety of theoretical essays focussed on the social construction of power
and privilege in our society, including but not limited to readings that address gender identity
sexuality, race, class, violence, human relationships, norms and ideals of beauty, science and
ways of knowing, and the global economy. Students analyze, compare and critique theoretical
readings in a variety of formats: discussion, journaling, response papers, exams, and group projects.

Social Science University Studies Course Objective #5. Students will understand
research methods used in the social sciences.
bulletStudents critically examine research methods traditionally used in the social sciences with an
eye to the way such methods have been socially constructed and are tied to such variables
as gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc. Students are required to identify a topic for
investigation and research that expands on issues or problems studied in this course. Working
collaboratively in groups, students plan and present their research projects to the class.

Social Science University Studies Course Objective #6. Students will describe
and detail discipline-specific knowledge and its applications.
bulletStudents are evaluated on their ability to analyze, synthesize and respond to course content.
Active participation in discussion and group work, reflective journal entries, response papers,
exams, and group projects are designed to allow students the opportunity to express what
they have understood and learned and to challenge students to "test" various applications of
the knowledge they acquire.

Social Science University Studies Course Objective #7. Students will understand
differences among and commonalties across humans and their experience, as tied to such variables
as gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc.
bulletThis course takes as its core focus the critical analysis of systems of power and privilege based
on such variables as gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, etc. Through
directed readings, discussion, journaling, group projects, and weekly participation in a electronic
forum, students explore and analyze the ways in which various economic, political psychological,
and sociological perspectives regarding human behavior have been and are socially constructed.

 

UNIVERSITY STUDIES COURSE PROPOSAL SAMPLE SYLLABUS

WS148
Introduction to Women’s Studies—3 s.h.

General Course Information
This course is a University Studies Course in the Arts and Science Core that satisfies 3
credits of the Social Science University Studies requirement. The outcomes listed for the
University Studies Social Science Requirement specify that the course include requirements
and learning activities that promote students’ abilities to...

a. understand humans as individuals and as parts of larger social systems;
b. understand the historical context of the social sciences;
c. identify problems and frame research questions relating to humans and their experience;
d. become familiar with the process of theory-building and theoretical frameworks used by
    the social sciences;
e. understand research methods used in the social sciences;
f. describe and detail discipline-specific knowledge and its applications; and
g. understand differences among and commonalties across humans and their experience,
    as tied to such variables as gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc.

Requirements and learning activities that facilitate these outcomes are
highlighted in bold underline script throughout this syllabus.

WS148 Course Description
This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of women and gender in society.
The course, which will be team taught by faculty from different disciplines, will examine
women’s social roles and contributions and gender as an organizing category of human
experience in various social groups, cultures and areas of the globe. Throughout the semester
we will explore the gender-shaping institutions that form the basis of our society and influence
our lives.

This course takes as its core focus the critical analysis of systems of power and privilege based
on such variables as gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, etc. Through
directed readings, response papers, exams, discussion, journaling, group projects, and weekly
participation in a electronic forum, students explore and analyze the ways in which
various economic, political psychological, and sociological perspectives regarding
human behavior have been and are socially constructed.

Major focus and objectives bulletIncrease awareness of the multiplicity of feminist issues by focusing on understanding and
analyzing systems of power and privilege based on such variables as gender, race,
socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, etc. (a, g) bulletFurther the ability to critically examine feminist issues. (c, d, e) bulletDevelop the ability to synthesize and assess feminist arguments and theories. (c, d, e) bulletUnderstand the historical context of feminist issues. (b) bulletStimulate the use of diverse forms of written and oral communication as a means to
express ideas in an academic discussion. (f) bulletEncourage the envisioning of social changes that might bring about gender equality. (a, f) bulletIncrease awareness of how feminist issues relate to our lives. (a, g)

Required Texts
Reading Women’s Lives, Custom Reader, Pearson Custom Publishing, 2000.

Listen Up: Voices from the Next Feminist Generation, edited by Barbara Findlen,
Seattle, WA: Seal Press, 1995.

Other Requirements
*A bound notebook, no smaller than 5" x 8". This will become your course log, or journal,
and you will write in it at least one time per week, detailing the reading you have been doing
and the things you have been thinking about in connection with this class.

Course outline of major topics and subtopics

I. Introduction (week 1)
This section will consist of an introduction to the course content, format, and requirements.

II. Race, Class and Gender Issues (weeks 2-3)
This section will include an introduction to these and other "isms" that we will grapple with
throughout the semester (ageism, ableism, heterosexism, etc.).

III. Gender-shaping Institutions (five 2-week modules; weeks 4-14)
This section is made up of five 2-week modules taught by Women’s Studies faculty across the
disciplines.
bulletModule 1, "Culture/Media/Body Politics" bulletModule 2, "Women and Economics" bulletModule 3, "Sexuality/Relationships/Violence" bulletModule 4, "Science and Other Ways of Knowing" bulletModule 5, "Global Issues"

The general theme of "Gender-shaping Institutions" will form a basis for each module,
allowing us a framework from which to make connections between individual modules,
as well as connections to our own experiences.

IV. Motivating and Working for Change (weeks 15-16)
This section will include student presentations, course summary, and conclusions

Course Policies and Procedures

In this course, you are expected to learn from every possible source—your readings, your
peers, your life experience, your professors.

Discussion
Participating in discussions is one of the best ways to learn. You are expected to
contribute your insights to the class. The culture of the class will encourage self-
expression and everyone’s contributions will be treated with respect. Doing
excellent written work is not enough to demonstrate adequate performance in this
course. Accordingly, we will encourage (even call on!) people to participate in
discussion. Preparation is obviously a key to succeeding in this course. Come to
class ready to discuss the readings, your opinions, and your experiences.
(University Studies Requirements, a, b, f, g)

List-serve entries
You are required to make at least one post a week to our class list-serve. This will allow
all of the instructors of this course to participate in a discussion with all of the students
throughout the semester. More instructions will follow.
(University Studies Requirements, a, b, f, g)

Attendance and Q-Cards
Attendance is a requirement of the course, as is active participation in the classroom. To
help you organize your participation and preparation, and to allow you to help set the
agenda for discussion, you are required to turn in a Q-Card at the beginning of each class.
On a file card (we will provide these), write your name and the date on one side. On the
other side, keep a neatly-written record of key questions or comments about the readings.
Be sure to give specific page references where applicable.
You must have a minimum of 2 questions/comments per Q-Card.
You may ask questions of fact, context, clarification--anything that gives articulate form to
your curiosity and engagement with the text(s).

We will collect Q-Cards at the beginning of each class. We may distribute the Q-Cards to
stimulate small-group discussion, or we may use them as the basis for a larger class
discussion. You may be called on to elaborate on the content of your card. This will get
easier as we go along.

Sample Q-Card content:

What does Hogeland mean when she refers to a "click!" moment? (Ms. p. 20)

• I think that Olive Shriner’s argument that woman would "end war when her
voice is fully, finally, and clearly heard..." has not panned out. Look at the drive
for women to enter the Citadel, receive equal treatment within the military, and
serve our country. (from Women and Labor, MF p. 20.)

• What does Woolf mean when she says "Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses"? (from A Room of One’s Own, MF p. 23.)

We will take attendance by checking the Q-Cards. Over the course of the semester, you are
allowed two "passes"—you may withdraw from the question pool by not handing in a question,
or you may decline to answer if you are called on.

Attendance
Attendance is mandatory. If you have more than 4 classes for which we have no recorded
questions (either because you "passed" or because you were physically absent), you will
automatically receive an "F" in the course.

Q-Cards are not due on the days scheduled for student presentations.

(University Studies Requirements, a, b, c, d, g)

Group Projects
Working in small groups, you will have the opportunity to collaboratively identify a topic
for investigation and research that expands on issues or problems studied in this course.
Group members will work together to research and analyze the chosen topic. Group
members will prepare and present a 20-minute in-class presentation that includes a clear
statement of the problem/issue under investigation, discussion of research methods,
presentation of findings, and an analysis of the implications of those findings in light of
the issues that are examined in this course.
(University Studies Requirements, c, d, e, f)

Assignments
Journal Entries (30 pts) 15%
Response Papers (40 pts) 20%
Mid-term exam (20 pts) 10%
List-serve Entries (25 pts) 12.5%
Q-cards and Participation (30 pts) 15%
Group Presentation (25 pts) 12.5%
Final Paper (30 pts) 15%

Evaluation
Grades are based on a point system. A total of 200 points are possible. Your final grade
will be based on the total points you earn out of the possible 200 (=90% is an "A";
80-89% is a "B"; 70-79% is a "C"; 60-69% is a D; fewer than 60% is an "F").

WS148
Introduction to Women’s Studies
Fall 2000
T/R 2:00-3:20
(Working Syllabus)

Week 1: 8/29 (Tuesday): I. Introduction to Course
               8/31 (Thursday) Read: RWL, 1-24; LU, xi-xvi, 1-20

Week 2: 9/5 (Tuesday): II. Race, Class and Gender Issues
                     Read: RWL, 15-40; LU, xi-xvi, 1-28, 54-61
               9/7 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 51-64, 139-152; LU, 29-35, 120-131

Week 3: 9/12 (Tuesday): Read: RWL, 65-76, 153-174; LU, 138-160
                     Discuss "signs" of gender shaping institutions
               9/14 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 175-196; LU, 205-211, 221-229
                     Due: "Signs" of gender shaping institutions

Week 4: 9/19 (Tuesday): IIIa. Culture/Media/Body Politics
                     Read: RWL, 197-220; LU, 36-44, 75-101
                     Due: Response paper
                     Video: Still Killing us Softly
                9/21 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 221-238; LU, 102-112, 132-137
                     View/discuss print/TV ads

Week 5: 9/26 (Tuesday): Read: RWL, 77-108; LU, 160-166, 239-248
                    Video: Dream Worlds
                9/28 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 109138; LU, 167-176, 192-204

Week 6: 10/3 (Tuesday): IIIb. Women and Economics
                Read: RWL, 239-244; handout, "Executive Turned
                Critic Would Revolutionize the Workplace"
                10/5 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 263-270

                              Week 7: 10/10 (Tuesday): Read: 271-282
                                              10/12 (Thursday): Read: TBA

                             Week 8: 10/17 (Tuesday): IIId. Sexuality/Relationships/Violence
                                                Read: RWL, 283-317
                                            10/19 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 319-342

                             Week 9: 10/24 (Tuesday): Read: RWL, 343-369
                                             10/26 (Thursday): Continue discussion

Week 10: 10/31 (Tuesday): IIIc. Science and Other Ways of Knowing
                Read: RWL, 371-386
                Midterm Exam distributed
               
11/2 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 387-408 BRING YOUR WSU catalogues                    to class!
                Due: Midterm Exam

Week 9: 11/7 (Tuesday): Read: 409-416
               11/9 (Thursday): Read: TBA

Week 12: 11/14 (Tuesday): IIIe. Global Issues
                Read:
RWL, 417-429
                11/16 (Thursday): Read: RWL, 431-453
                Due: Response paper

Week 13: 11/21 (Tuesday): Read: RWL, 455-464; 245-250
                 11/23 (Thursday): Break (no class)

Week 14: 11/28 (Tuesday): IV. Motivating and Working for Change
              
  11/30 (Thursday): Group Presentations

Week 15: 12/5 (Tuesday): Group Presentations
                
12/7 (Thursday): Group Presentations
                 Read: RWL, 441-445

***Final paper due on or before the date and time of the final exam
                    for this class as published in the course schedule.