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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Women's and Gender Studies

WGS 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

WGS 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

WGS 336 Philosophy and Feminism (1)

[Crosslisted with PHIL 336]

Do traditional philosophical theories promote ways of thinking that perpetuate gender inequality? We will evaluate feminist criticisms of epistemology, ethics, social theory and aesthetics. We will also examine feminist alternatives to traditional philosophical perspectives.

  • Offering: Alternate years in fall
  • Instructor: Markowitz

WGS 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

WGS 351 (W) Women in American Politics (1)

[Crosslisted with POLI 351]

This course examines the full range of women's participation in American political life through voluntary organizations, social movements and electoral politics. We explore the relationship between the two strains of feminism that have motivated women to political action: difference feminism and equality feminism, and reflect on the uneasy alliance between the struggle for racial equality and gender equality. Contemporary "women's issues" are covered: abortion, welfare, and pay equity. More generally, this course raises questions about the theory of representation and the nature of American politics through the lens of women in politics.

General Education Fulfillment Requirements: Writing-Centered

Prerequisite: POLI 210 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Buis, Michaux

WGS 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

WGS 354 (US) Psycology of Women and Gender (1)

[Crosslisted with PSYC 354]

An examination of the psychological literature with a focus of how our knowledge of human behavior, which was initially developed from the exclusive study of males, evolved to include the study of females. Issues of sexism in psychological research, biological influences and socialization affecting females and males, and the effect of societally-constructed gender roles on human behavior. Specific topics include: Cognitive abilities, morality, achievement, interpersonal violence, and mental illness.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

Prerequisite: PSYC 210 or consent of Instructor

  • Offering: Alternate Falls
  • Instructor: Edelson

WGS 390 Independent Study in Women's and Gender Studies (1)

Qualified students will undertake a program of independent research with a Women's and Gender Studies faculty member. Closed to freshmen.

Prerequisite: WGS major or minor and consent of instructor

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

WGS 499 Senior Thesis (1)

Senior Women's and Gender Studies major will research and write senior papers on topics of their choice.

Prerequisite: Senior Women's and Gender Studies majors

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff