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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Women's Studies View this department's website

The Women's Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program focusing on feminist scholarship about women, gender, and gender inequality. In addition to Women's Studies core courses in the Interdisciplinary Studies Area, the minor also includes disciplinary courses theta critique and revise traditional androcentric approaches within academic disciplines. All Women's Studies classes encourage students to think systematically and critically about their experiences as gendered social beings and to confront the challenges of a society increasingly committed to gender equality. Students interested in majoring in Women's Studies should consult with Women's Studies faculty about designing a special major by petition.

Requirements for the Women's and Gender Studies Program Minor (5 Credits)

  • WMST 342 Topics in Feminist Analysis [may be taken twice] (1)
  • WMST 353 Feminist Theory (1)

One course from the following Humanities courses (1) :

  • ENGL 355 (W) Feminist Criticism (1)
  • REL 256 Goddesses and Ghosts: Images of Women in Chinese Traditions (1)
  • REL 336 Women in World Religions (1)
  • PHIL 336 Philosophy and Feminism (1)

One course from the following social science courses (1) :

One additional course from those above or from the following (1) :

  • WMST 245 Feminism, Gender and Society [strongly recommended as an introduction to the minor]
  • One course by petition*

*Courses that may be counted toward the minor by petition are those that are given one time only or have variable emphases but which, in a given semester, focus on the analysis of gender and gender inequality and which draw on current scholarship in Women’s Studies.


  • Sally Markowitz, Professor, Philosophy
  • Suresht Bald, Professor, Politics
  • Rebecca Dobkins, Associate Professor of Anthropology

  • Meredyth Goldberg Edelson, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Frann Michel, Associate Professor of English
  • Pamela A. Moro, Associate Professor of Anthropology

  •  Participating faculty in other disciplines

    Course Listings

    WMST 245 Feminism, Gender and Society (1)

    This interdisciplinary course will explore the ways that gender inequality structures aspects of personal lives and social institutions. We will examine a variety of feminist perspectives on work, family, sexuality and culture and will consider the role of class, race and ethnicity in feminist thought. Emphases will vary with instructor.

    • Offering: Fall
    • Instructor: Michel, Markowitz

    WMST 256 (IT) Goddesses and Ghosts: Images of Women in Chinese Tradition (1)

    [Crosslisted with REL 256]

    This course examines images of women represented in various forms of texts including Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist scriptures, novels, poetry, Chinese art and films. Through close reading of these texts from 600 BCE to modern times, the course seeks to explore women's power, spirituality, and gender roles in different periods of Chinese history. The course will also focus on a comparison between the "woman" as an ideological construct and the actual living experiences of women, and between images constructed by male and female writers.

    Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts; Asia Cluster

    • Offering: Alternate years
    • Instructor: Zhou

    WMST 342 Topics in Feminist Analysis (1)

    This course provides an opportunity for qualified students to examine, from an interdisciplinary perspective, a particular topic in feminist analysis. Seminar topics and staff will change from year to year. Closed to freshmen. May be taken a second time.

    Prerequisite: Two previous courses focusing on feminist scholarship or instructor's permission

    • Offering: Spring
    • Instructor: Markowitz, Bald

    WMST 353 (W) Feminist Theory (1)

    This interdisciplinary course will examine such basic issues as gender difference and its relationship to women's subordination; the intersections of gender with other dimensions of social identity and power (e.g., class, race/ethnicity, sexuality, nation); the way gendered discourse shapes social reality. These issues will be discussed from a variety of feminist theoretical perspective (e.g., those influenced by liberalism, Marxism/socialism, psychoanalysis, radical feminism, post-modernism, and post-colonialism). Closed to freshmen.

    General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

    Prerequisite: One previous Women's Studies course

    • Offering: Spring
    • Instructor: Staff