Women's Studies 100 – Women, Culture, Politics, and Society
Women, Culture, Politics, and Society is an introductory Women's Studies course. Participants in this course will bring differing levels of experience, interests, and talents, which this course will seek to recognize and value as a strength. Together, we'll seek to understand the complex experiences of women from a variety of backgrounds. One major premise of Women's Studies is that a focus on women's lives can help us to create new frameworks for exploring gender--frameworks that help us more accurately describe and understand the amazing variety of lived experiences of all people on this planet, regardless of gender. While we will primarily examine the lives and experiences of women in the United States, we will also explore the way individual lives are inevitably intertwined with global issues and questions. Thus, as a class we will think critically about the influence of historical events, race, gender, sex, sexuality, class, ability, colonialism and technology on women's lives. In doing so, we will work with the research methods of traditional fields (history, psychology, sociology, literature), and their attendant theories, but also invoke the creative challenge that Women's Studies offers to traditional, academic ways of knowing social and cultural life. In particular, since it arose out of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and 70s, Women's Studies insists on an intense and necessary relationship between theory and practice. Thus, beyond two papers, a midterm exam and a final exam, this course will require all students to participate in some form of gender-related activism as part of a final project. This course is writing intensive.