WS 240
Introduction to Women's Studies

Winter 2000
Lecture: Mon, Wed  2-3   Angell Hall Aud B

new.gif (304 bytes)Final Exam

Instructors | Course Description | Requirements | Course Outline Part I | Course Outline Part II


Faculty Coordinator

Anne Hermann    230D WH

Graduate Student Instructors

Mona Bachmann

.006 Tues 1-3 438 WH
.008 Wed 10-12 439 WH

Melanie Boyd  

.007 Tues 2-4 424 WH
.009 Tues 5-7 432 WH

 Robyn Hampton

.004 Wed 4-6 439 WH
.005 Wed 6-8 205 Denn

Kathi Miner-Rubino

.003 Wed 4-6 1084 EH
.011 Thu 4-6 514 Denn

Tomomi Yamaguchi

.002 Wed 5-7 438 WH
.010 Thurs 4-6 1372 EH

Course Description

Introduction to Women's Studies draws on feminist ideas and scholarship in developing historical, theoretical and cross-cultural frameworks for the comparative study of women and gender. Questions addressed include: What does it mean to study "women" as a group? When is it useful to focus on commonalities among women, when is it necessary to stress differences? In what ways do gender differences and gendered power relations organize the social world and shape people's experiences and self-perceptions? The course aims to sharpen students' critical awareness of how gender operates in institutional and cultural contexts and in their own lives, and to give them an opportunity to imagine participating in social change.

Because Women's Studies has historically been an interdisciplinary activity within the university, this course is taught by a team of five GSIs and one faculty member, who share lecturing responsibilities. Units covered include histories of the women's movement (nineteenth and twentieth centuries); historical developments in feminist thought (consciousness-raising, "the personal is political," simultaneous oppressions/privilege); gender and sexuality (the social construction of gender and sexuality, coming-out stories); violence against women (feminist theories and interventions); women and work (women's work, the work/family conflict); women and religion (Christianity in the US: history and ideology; international feminism (war and international labor) and a final unit on feminist cultural interventions (hip-hop/rap and self-portraiture).


Required Reading
Coursepack (purchase at Accucopy, 518 E. William, across from Tower

Required Writing
take-home midterm     20%
reading gender essay 20%
group activism project 20%
final exam                      20%
discussion section       20%

Each discussion section will vary in terms of additional reading and writing requirements.

Please note: Plagiarism is illegal. Plagiarism may be defined as "the presentation of someone else's ideas or words as your own," according to The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, 2nd ed., ed. Jane E. Marcus (New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1995), p. 217. Even borrowing someone else's idea and putting it into your own words requires you to cite that source. If in doubt, cite the source to be safe, in anything you write; tell the reader where you got the idea, the information, or the quotation. For more specific guidelines, see your GSI. Penalties for proven plagiarism range from failing a course to expulsion from the university. Don't do it.

Course Outline Part I

jan 5 introduction

history of the women's movement

10 1st Wave

1) Berkinow, "What really happened at Seneca Falls?"
2) Wagner, "Is Equality Indigenous?"
3) Flexner, "The Emergence of a Suffrage Movement" and
"Who Opposed Woman Suffrage?"
4) "Declaration of Sentiments"
5) Truth, "Ain't I a Woman?"

12 2nd Wave

1) Echols, "The Re-Emergence of the Woman Question"
2) Giddings, "The Women's Movement and Black Discontent"
3) "Redstocking Manifesto"
4) Combahee River Collective

developing feminist thought

17 MLK Day

19 what is feminism?

1) Cott, "Introduction"
2) Hooks, "Feminism"
3) Snitow, "Gender Diary"

24 consciousness-raising

1) "Barbarous Rituals"
2) Cross et al "Face-to-Face, Day-to-Day--Racism CR"
3) Susan, "About My Consciousness Raising"
4) Mackinnon, "Consciousness Raising"

26 "the personal is political" -- fashion

1) Steele, "Appearance and Identity"
2) Roberts, "The Politics of Women's Fashion in 1920's
3) Rolley, "Dress and the Lesbian Couple"


31 reading gender -- advertisements

1) Coward, "Being Fashionable"
2) Bordo, "Hunger as Ideology"
3) Williamson, "Woman is an Island"

feb 2 "the personal is political" -- sexuality

1) Vance, "Pleasure and Danger"
2) Kingston, "No-Name Woman"
3) Brumberg, "Sanitizing Puberty"


7 simultaneous oppressions/privilege

1) Almquist, "Experiences of Minority Women"
2) Moraga, "From a Long Line of Vendidas"
3) McIntosh, "White Privilege"


gender and sexuality

9 social contruction of gender

1) Davies, "Becoming Male or Female"
2) Fausto-Sterling, "The Five Sexes"
3) Morris, Conundrum (excerpts)
4) "What is Transgender?"

14 sexuality

1) Jackson, "Heterosexuality and Feminist Theory"
2) Seidman, "Identity and Politics in a 'Postmodern' Gay

16 LGBTA panel

1) "Heterosexuality Questionnaire"
2) Sullivan, Virtually Normal (excerpts)
3) "No Men Allowed!"
4) Dillon, "Tell Grandma I'm a Boy"


Course Outline Part II

violence against women

21 feminist theories of sexual violence

1) Sheffield, "Sexual Terrorism"
2) Sanday, "Rape, or 'She Asked for It?"
3) Richardson/May, "Deserving Victims?"

23 interventions

1) White, "Talking Feminist, Talking Black"
2) Fawcett et al, "Changing Community Responses to Wife
3) Langelan, "Confrontation"

28-march 1 spring break

6 activism -- activist panel

1) Reagon, "Coalition Politics"
2) interview w/ Nora Salas, "Community Organizing"
3) Edu et al, "Hues Magazine"


8 reading gender -- film (click on the link for screening times for Heavenly Creatures)


women and work

13 women's work

1) Lerner, "The Lady and the Mill Girl"
2) Janiewski, "Sisters Under Their Skins"
3) Milkman, "Gender at Work"

15 work/family conflict

1) VanEvery, "Heterosexuality and Domestic Life"
2) Kim, "Big Companies Won't Hire Us, Married
3) Hochschild, "The Second Shift"
4) Williams, "Sameness Feminism and the Work/Family

women and religion

20 Christianity in the US: history

1) MacHaffie, "Women Organizing for Mission and Reform"
2) MacHaffie, "American Women in Catholicism and


22 Christianity in the US: ideology

1) Anderson, "Women and Religion"

international feminism

27 war

1) Howard, ed, True Stories of the Korean Comfort Women
2) Mercier, "Way Off Base"
3) Enloe, "Spoils of War"
4) Alvarez and Mackinnon, "International vs. National

29 international labor

1) Enloe, "The Globetrotting Sneaker"
2) Robinson, "Subject/Position"
3) Bindman, "An International Perspective on Slavery in
the Sex Industry"


feminist cultural interventions

april 3 hip-hop/rap -- Toni Blackman

5 female self-portraiture

10 health -- Carol Boyd

1) Our Bodies, Ourselves (chap 25)

12 conclusion

FINAL EXAM Tues April 18 1:30-3:30

Instructors | Course Description | Requirements | Course Outline Part I | Course Outline Part II