Gender Studies

Interdisciplinary Program Director: Patricia Bolanos

The study of gender is an important element in the humanities, fine arts, social sciences and natural sciences.  Gender Studies allows students and faculty to link the examination of gender across academic disciplines and examine the gender roles in lives of both men and women as well as the social construction of both masculinity and femininity. The program incorporates a variety of methodologies, theoretical approaches and an interdisciplinary framework to explore the social and biological construction of gender and sexuality.  Students who complete the Gender Studies major or minor will have worked with materials and methodologies from several academic disciplines in order to gain an understanding of how gender functions across cultures and in their own lives as it intersects with race, class, age, ethnicity, and sexuality.

Major (40 Credits)

A total of at least 40 credits, including:
1.  GEND 101, Introduction to Gender Studies (required)
2.  GEND 380, Approaches to Gender Theory (required)
3.  GEND 381, Sex and Gender in Global Perspectives (required)
4.  GEND 385, Senior Capstone in Gender Studies (required)
5.  Experiential Learning Component (0-4 credits)
6.  5-6 additional 4 credit courses (20-24 credits).

Elective courses must be selected from approves GEND cross-listed courses.  At least two o these  elective courses should be from Humanities/Fine Arts and at least two courses from Social Sciences/Natural Sciences. Of these 20-24 elective credits, at least four courses (16 credits), should be at the 300-level. No more than three courses that count toward another major can be applied to the GEND major.

Minor (24 Credits)

A total of at least 24 credits, including:

  1. GEND 101, Introduction to Gender Studies (required); 
  2. GEND 380, Approaches to Gender Theory (required);
  3. 4 additional elective courses.

At least 12 credits of the remaining 16 elective credits must be at the 300 level.  No more than 8 credits should be taken from the same department.

Courses currently approved for the Gender and Women’s Studies minor include the following:

ART 101  Arts, Aesthetics, and Culture
COMM 305 Women's Voices Before 1920
COMM 351 Gender and Communication
COMM 381 Rhetoric of Women
COMM 385A Love, Sex, Commitment & Communication
COMM385D Language, Gender & Culture
COMM 386/ENGL 386 Epistemology of Romance & Marriage
ECON 325 Political Economy of Race and Gender
ENGL 130  Reading Fiction:  Growing Up in Literature
ENGL 221C  Masterworks of World Literature
ENGL 355 Studies in Individual Authors: Olsen and Fitzgerald
ENGL 361  British Novel to 1900
ENGL 381 Literature by Women
ENGL 382 Race and Ethnicity in US Literatures
                      Women Writers of the Third World
                      Women and Power in Medieval Literature
ENGL 385E  South African Literature (Taught Abroad)
ENVR 225 Good, Gender and the Environment
ESSS 320  Gender and Sport
HIST 333 Gender and Society in Western Europe
HIST 361 American Women to 1920
HIST 362 American Women since 1920
HISP 349  Spanish Women Authors
HISP 355B  Tradition and Dissidence in Politics and Gender
                       Deceit & Desire in Contemporary Spanish Literature
HONR350/MCLT 365  Reading Biblical Women
MCLT 223 Literary Traditions: Gender, Narrative Structure, and the Fairy Tale
MCLT 316  Radical Fantasies:  Contemporary Japanese Women Writers
NUTR 300 Cultural and Social Aspects of Food
PCST 351 Women and Peace
PHIL 153 Philosophy and Gender
PHIL 325  Feminist Ethics
POLS 314 Feminist Political Theory
POLS 339 Gender and Public Policy
POLS 352 Global Gender Issues
PSYC 308 Psychology of Gender
PSYC 345 Human Sexuality
SOCI 229 Intimate Relationships
SOCI 319 Sex and Gender
SOCI 329 Family and Gender
THEO 307  Bible, Church and Gender
THEO 309 Sex & Renunciation in Early Christianity
                     Reading Biblical Women
THEO 329 Women's Theological Perspectives
THEO 339 Topics in Spirituality: Spirituality of Marriage and Family
THEO 349 Topics in Moral Theology: Women, Church and Society
Please consult the program’s website ( for up-to-date course and program information.

Courses (GEND)

101 Introduction to Gender Studies. (4)
Introduces students to a broad range of concepts and issues in the discipline of gender studies. It also serves as a practical and theoretical foundation for further courses in Gender Studies. It uses gender as a analytical method and explores how race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation influence the construction of gender identity. Although containing these common elements, this course’s main focus will vary according to the particular instructor’s design. Please refer to each semester’s course title and description for more specific information.  Enrollment is limited to first-year and second-year students or by permission of instructor.

180  Gender and Culture (2)
An interdisciplinary survey of the role of gender in a cross-cultural context while studying abroad.  It introduces students to the discipline of Gender Studies and serves as an experiential foundation for further courses.  It focuses on the ways in which race, socio-economic class, ethnicity, sexual orientation and culture influence the social construction of gender across diverse cultural backgrounds.  Taught in English.  Open to all students.  Service-Learning is a requirement of this course.  This course satisfies the service component requirement for the Gender Studies major.

270/370 Readings in Gender Studies. (0-1)
Readings and discussions in specific areas of gender studies. Topics may be tied to on-campus lectures/presentations given by invited speakers. Approval of the director and/or faculty moderator required. Gender Studies majors or minors count up to four credits from this course with permission from the Chair.  S-U grading only.

271 Individualized Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of program director required.

290 Special Topics. (4)
A sustained interdisciplinary analysis of selected topics in Gender Studies at the intermediate level. Topics will vary each year.

360 Topics in Gender Studies. (4)
A sustained interdisciplinary analysis of selected topics in Gender and Women’s Studies at the upper division level. Topics will vary each year.

371 Individualized Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading and/or research at the upper-division level. Permission of Chair required. Not open to first-year students.

380 Approaches to Gender Theory. (4)
Builds on and further develops the understanding of gender studies introduced in GEND 101 by critically examining theoretical approaches to Gender Studies and analyzing key issues and disputes within the field. This course develops a framework that allows students to identify and examine the relations among the diverse theoretical approaches used in Gender Studies.  This course may include aspects of feminist, gender, GLBTQ, and men’s studies theories.  Prerequisite:  GEND 101 for GEND Majors/Minors.

381 Sex and Gender in Global Perspectives. (4)
Examines issues of sex and gender from cross-cultural perspectives. Themes vary but may include: international sex trade, global women's movements, gender and economic development, GLBT human rights movements, health and environmental issues, or cross-cultural conceptions of masculinity. Course will vary according to the particular instructor's design. Prerequisite: GEND 101 for GEND majors.

385 Senior Capstone in Gender Studies. (4)
A sminar in which students develop and complete an independent research project.  The project should provide in-depth analysis of gender dynamics in areas such as contemporary social issues, history, the arts, theory or the biological-physical world and should integrate a variety of resources and learning from across the disciplines that compromise Gender Studies.  This project will include not only a written component, but an oral presentation of research to faculty and students.  Prerequisites:  GEND 101 and 380 or permission of instructor.  Offered only in the spring. 

397 Internship. (1-4)
Practical on- or off-campus experience in gender-related work with a strong academic component. Individually arranged by the student with the approval of the college’s director of internships, a faculty moderator, and the GEND Chair. Prerequisites: GEND 101 and at least two other GEND courses.  See Chair for further information.