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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Course Descriptions

WGS 301 • American Images

47680 • Gustavson, Andrea D
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm GAR 0.120
(also listed as AMS 311S, E 314J)
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The relationship between representation and “reality” has been grappled with by authors and photographers since the invention of photography in the nineteenth century. This course explores the intersection of American literature and photography from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the camera as a central technology in the making of modernity. We will read novels, short stories, critical texts and will consider the work of several photographers, analyzing each artists’ ways of representing the world within the contexts of shifting social and cultural orders. We will consider several key questions:  How has photography altered our understanding of American history and culture?  How have American authors responded to photography, represented the act of image-making, or marshaled the power of photographs for their works of literature?  How does a photograph impact our understanding of a written work?  How does writing about a photograph change our perception of the image?  In an increasingly image-saturated culture, how does an artist visually and textually represent his or her reality? How is a photograph or manuscript framed by digital and institutional archives and how do these collections shape understandings of the texts?

 This course places the archive—both physical and digital—at the center of our exploration of visual and textual works. Questions about the power of archives to frame understanding, to delimit self and Other, and to constitute and challenge the terms of national, regional, or social belonging will guide our inquiry. We will cover the relationship between photography, literature and several key topics in American cultural history including: the construction of identity, the family, nation and empire, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, literary genres, and cultural memory.  We will consider a broad range of sources from paintings to carte-de-visite to digital images, from novels and shorts stories about photography to critical theories of photography.  This class will be partnered with the Harry Ransom Center so that we may draw on special collections material for course content and make use of digital classrooms and online environments to construct and interpret our own collections of text and images. Because this is a writing intensive course, we will study the writing process as we practice close textual analysis and the crafting of arguments across many forms of written and visual communication.                 



Two-Page Paper #1                                                      10%

Two-Page Paper #2                                                      10%

Blog Postings and Conferences                                         20%

Lead Class Discussion                                                    10%

Final Paper (5 pages)                                                    15%

Final Paper Revision (7 pages)                                         35%


Possible Texts

Sanora Babb, Whose Names Are Unknown

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Course Reader


Flag(s): Writing


WGS 301 • Performing Blackness

47700 • Thompson, Lisa B.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 201
(also listed as AFR 317F, AMS 315)
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This course will consider contemporary performance of blackness in film, art, theatre, literature, television, and music. We will discuss how performances of black life, black identity and black culture are created, consumed and sometimes contradicted by artists and non-artists alike. We will explore themes such as the criteria for black art, the Black aesthetic, racial passing, performances of black masculinity/femininity, and cultural appropriation. The class will culminate in student presentations about black performance based upon individual research.


Evie Shockley, The New Black

George C. Wolfe, The Colored Museum

Jay-Z, Decoded

Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and Other Works

Spike Lee, Bamboozled

Awkward Black Girl (webseries)

Kiese Laymon, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

Mark Anthony Neal, Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities

Nicole Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness.

WGS 301 • The United States And Africa

47705 • Falola, Toyin
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as AFR 317C, HIS 317L)
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This class will look at the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history as well as those interested in the place of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

Course Objectives

To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US. 

Toobtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States and Africa.

To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.

To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and to obtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.

To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.


1. Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 second edition).

2. Curtis A. Keim, Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind (Westview Press, 1999).

3. Alusine Jalloh, ed., The United States and West Africa (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2008).

4. Kevin Roberts, ed., The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

5. Karen Bouwer, Gender and Decolonization in the Congo: the Legacy of Patrice Lumumba (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

6. Gendering the African diaspora : women, culture, and historical change in the Caribbean and Nigerian hinterland / edited by Judith A. Byfield, LaRay Denzer, and Anthea Morrison. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.   


i. Public Lecture Review 10%    

ii. First  Examination 25%

iii. Book Review 20%

iv.   Book Review 20%

v. Second Examination 25%

WGS 301 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

47715 • Minich, Julie A.
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 206
(also listed as AMS 315, MAS 319, SOC 308D)
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The purpose of this course is to examine the various experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas in the United States. This involves examining the meaning and history of the term “Chicana” as it was applied to and incorporated by Mexican American women during the Chicano Movement in areas of the Southwest U.S., such as Texas and California. We will also explore what it means to be Chicana in the United States today. The course will begin with a historical overview of Mexican American women's experiences in the U.S., including the emergence of Chicana feminism. We will discuss central concepts of Chicana feminism and attempt to understand how those concepts link to everyday lived experiences. Specifically, the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, and class will be key as we discuss issues that have been significant in the experiences and self-identification of Chicanas, such as: family, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, education, language, labor, and political engagement. We will engage in interdisciplinary analysis not only concerning cultural traditions, values, belief systems, and symbols but also concerning the expressive culture of Chicanas, including folk and religious practices, literature and poetry, the visual arts, and music. Finally, we will examine media representations of Chicanas through critical analyses of film and television portrayals.

WGS 301 • Gay & Lesbian Lit & Culture

Meets TTH 200pm-330pm FAC 10
(also listed as E 314V)
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Instructor:  Wallace, L

Unique #:  35145

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  WGS 301

Flags:  Cultural Diversity; Writing

Computer Instruction:  Yes

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: In this course, students will read a variety of texts by gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, and/or queer writers, mostly based in the twentieth-century United States. They will explore how these texts navigate questions of LGBTQ identity and queer community as they intersect with race, gender, nationality, and class. Are there qualities that connect these texts in a distinctive gay and lesbian literary genre? How do literary texts help us situate our present moment within LGBTQ history?

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines. They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course contains a writing flag. The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Texts: • James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room (Vintage International, 1956) • Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982) • Imogen Binnie, Nevada (Topside Press, 2013).

Requirements & Grading: There will be a series of 3 short essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor. Additionally, students will be required to post reading responses and discussion questions on a class blog. This course

WGS 301 • Race, Immigration & Family

47725 • Doane, Jennifer
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GEA 127
(also listed as AAS 310, AMS 315)
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Flags: Cultural Diversity in the U.S. and Writing

Introduction to family systems in the United States in a post-WWII framework with a central focus on Asian Americans. Students will investigate how gender, race, and ethnicity intersect and inform our understanding of the institution of the family.

WGS 305 • Intro To Women's & Gender Stds

47730 • Livermon, Xavier
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A218A
(also listed as AFR 317E)
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This course explores the complex politics of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nation and other categories of power in relationship to systems of oppression and privilege in a transnational context. Focusing on the experiences of people of African descent, texts examined in this course will range from theoretical to first-person narratives. We will interrogate categories of sex, gender, and sexuality, and explore issues of identity, representation, socio-economic policy and political rights. We will examine African and Black feminist critiques of historical, institutionalized oppression, including poverty, poor working conditions, criminalization, reproductive and sexual control, gendered violence, stigma and stereotypes, homophobia, and xenophobia.  We will explore the relevance of changing understandings of the term "culture" for the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality across Africa and the African Diaspora. Particular attention will be devoted to the ways in which gender as practice, performance, and representation has differed for women and men according to race, class, and other divisions.   Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field committed to imagining justice through analysis and creation of culture. Part of our work will reveal how African and African Diaspora Feminisms have challenged racism and white supremacy within feminist scholarship and activism. Your work in this course will prepare you for advanced study and to participate in discussions for community and academic advocacy.

WGS 322 • Race/Gender/Surveillance

47755 • Browne, Simone A.
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.102
(also listed as AFR 372C, SOC 322V)
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This course will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with afocus on race and gender. We will examine transformations in social control and the distributions ofpower in U.S. and global contexts, with a focus on populations within the African diaspora. As such,this is a Black Studies course. Course topics include: the Trans-Atlantic slave trade; prisons andpunishment; the gaze, voyeurism and reality television watching; social media; travel and stateborders; biometrics and the body.

Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of filmsand other visual media students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practicesinform modern life.

Your participation grade will be based upon your informed participation and not solely on yourattendance. You are expected to contribute informed opinions based on a close reading of the coursematerials and engagement with the themes of the course. Sharing your personal opinions, whileimportant, will not solely constitute informed discussion.

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.


A: 100-94

A-: 93-90

B+: 89-88

B: 87-83

B-: 82-80

C+ 79-78

C: 77-73

C-: 72-70

D+: 69-68

D: 67-63

D-: 62-60

F: 59-0

Your grade in this course will be based on:

Participation, Attendance &In-class Assignments 10%

Everyday Surveillance Assignment 15%

Film Review 15%

Mid-Term Test: 20%

Social Media Project: 20%

Final Test 20%

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the above rubric. To ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B- will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 83.999. The University does not recognize the grade of A+.

Attendance and Informed Participation

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Please note that this is an upper level undergraduate seminar and your success in this course depends on close reading and engagement with the texts (readings, films, audio recordings, videoclips, video games and weblinks posted to Blackboard), as well as active participation in class discussions. You will be responsible for checking the Blackboard course site regularly for additional texts and announcements.

Class participation will be based on attendance and meaningful participation in class discussions.

Meaningful participation is taken to be analytic engagement with the texts, not vague commentary or generalizations. You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings.

Over the course of the semester you will be ask to respond, in writing, to texts discussed during the lecture.

These assignments will form a part of your participation grade.

WGS 324 • Latina Feminisms And Media

47765 • Beltrán, Mary
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CMA 3.120
(also listed as MAS 374)
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Cross-listed with MAS and WGS 324

This upper-division undergraduate course surveys Chicana and Latina feminist scholarship, activism, and creative expression, with an emphasis on media production.  We will explore therise and development of Latina feminisms and activism in relation to the Chicana/o, Puerto Rican, and U.S. women’s movements and in relation to historical and social contexts for women and girls of Mexican American and other U.S. Latina heritage.  The last half of the course will survey scholarship on Latina participation and representation in mediated popular culture and strategies of resistance enacted through Latina film and media production.  Carries both the Cultural Diversity and Writing flag.

WGS 335 • Gndr/Sexlty In Multiethnic Lit

47768 • Gantz, Lauren J
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CBA 4.344
(also listed as E 376M)
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Instructor:  Gantz, L

Unique #:  35953

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: The term “queer” emerged as an identity and critical framework focused on non-normative ways of being, but in recent years LGBTQ individuals and politics have occupied an increasingly mainstream position in American culture. With successes such as the overturnings of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, queer activists and allies have much to celebrate. Yet despite this progress, voices of LGBTQ people of color are still underrepresented in American media and political discourse. This class will bring a few of those voices to the fore, drawing on elements of critical race theory to investigate the particular experiences and cultural productions of gender and sexually variant peoples from Asian American, Latina/o, African American, and Native American communities. In order to encourage depth of comprehension and analysis, our readings comprise a strategic sampling of contemporary queer of color voices rather than an exhaustive survey. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the historical and theoretical construction of sexual and gender identities and sexual/cultural practices in distinct racial/ethnic communities. By the end of the course, students should have a clear understanding of the praxis of intersectional analysis, as well as of the nuance and variety of queer identities in America.

Texts: Monique Truong, The Book of Salt. Mariner, 2004 • Achy Obejas, Memory Mambo. Cleis Press, 1996 • Shyam Selvadurai, The Hungry Ghosts. Doubleday Canada, 2013 • Sharon Bridgforth, Love Conjure/Blues. RedBone Press, 2005 • Qwo-Li Driskill, Walking with Ghosts. Salt Publishing, 2005 •Additional readings available in course packet.

Requirements & Grading: In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from me to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise major essays, and to read and discuss your peers' work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work.

2 pg. Critical Responses (x4), 20%; 5-7 pg. Midterm Essay, 20%; 8-10 pg. Final Essay, 40%; Presentations, 10%; Reading quizzes, 10%; and participation.

This course will not have a final or midterm exam.

WGS 340 • Becoming African: Euro In Afr

47775 • Charumbira, Ruramisai
Meets W 400pm-700pm MEZ 1.120
(also listed as AFR 372C, HIS 350L)
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This course is a study of Europeans as they turned into “white Africans” in Southern African beginning with the Portuguese in the late fifteenth century through to the present. Of importance are the contingencies in global history that led to European trade, immigration, settlement, conquest, and uneasy peaceful relations with Southern Africans in the period under study. Of particular importance to this study of “becoming African” by people of European descent, are African responses to European presence in that region of Africa, especially what it tells us about African and European entanglements in global histories and cultures. The course will also use a comparative lens to study some of the similarities and differences in other regions of the world, especially North America. This being an upper division course, it is advisable that students be juniors and seniors, and if sophomore, to have taken an introductory course in African History/Studies as it is an intensive reading and writing course, and those with less preparatory background find it most challenging – to grasp content and the demands of this upper division level course.


David Northrup, Africa’s Discovery of Europe

Howard Lamar and Leonard Thompson, The Frontier in History: North America and Southern Africa Compared

Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm 

Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing 

Paul Harries, Butterflies and Barbarians: Swiss Missionaries and Systems of Knowledge in South-East Africa 

Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners: Biography of a People 

David M. Hughes, Whiteness in Zimbabwe: Race, Landscape and the Problem of Belonging

J. M. Coetzee, Scenes from Provincial Life

Nadine Gordimer, July’s People

John Laband, Bringers of War: The Portuguese in Africa during the Age of Gunpowder and Sail, from the 15th to 18th Century

Melissa Steyn, Whiteness Isn’t What it Used to Be: White Identity in a Changing South Africa


20% - Attendance and Participation

10% - Research Proposal

40% - Analytical Essays (4 @ 10% each)

10% - Research Presentation

20% - Final paper (10 pages)

WGS 340 • Holocaust Aftereffects-Honors

47785 • Bos, Pascale
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 234
(also listed as GSD 360, LAH 350)
show description

The events of the Holocaust changed Western culture in fundamental ways. Not only was a great part of Jewish culture in Europe destroyed, the circumstances of the Nazi genocide as a modern, highly rationalized, efficient form of mass murder which took place in the heart of civilized Europe changed the conception of the progress of modernity and the Enlightenment in fundamental ways. This course explores the historical, political, psychological, theological, and cultural fall-out, as well as literary and cinematic responses in Europe and the U.S. to these events as they first became known, and as one moved further away from it in time and came to understand its pronounced and often problematic after effects. Central to our inquiry is the realization that the events of the Holocaust have left indelible traces in European and U.S. culture and culture production, of which a closer look (first decade by decade, then moving on to a number of themes and questions), reveals profound insights into current day culture, politics, and society. 

Levi and Rothberg, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings; Art Spiegelman, Maus I ⅈ Ruth Klüger, Still Alive: a Girlhood Remembered; Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz;  Elie Wiesel, Night; Additional  course packet 

Films: Nuit et Brouillard; Holocaust (excerpts); Shoah (excerpts); Schindler's List (excerpt)

Attendance/participation 15% 

Response papers (2) 10%

Class presentation 10%

Presentation paper 15%

Midterm exam 20%

Final research paper 30% (proposal, bibliography, outline + 1st ¶, 5% each, paper: 15%)

WGS 340 • Sexuality/Gender In Latin Amer

47790 • Zazueta, Pilar
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm SRH 1.320
(also listed as HIS 363K, LAS 366)
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Sexuality and gender are very useful analytical tools to explore how relations of power are constituted not only in the private sphere but also in state institutions, market and labor organization, as well as class and racial hierarchies. The core question we will address in this course is how differences (particularly between humans classified as female or male) were constructed in the history of Latin America. We will analyze the uses, implementations and transformations of these differences in the articulation of social and political life in the continent. The class will focus mostly on nineteenth and twentieth-century Latin America and will emphasize historical research, but we will also use scholarship from other disciplines.

The class will cover topics like nineteenth-century honor and citizenship, contemporary masculinities, and human rights in the twentieth century.

WGS 340 • South Asian Migration To US

47795 • Bhalodia, Aarti
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CMA 3.114
(also listed as AAS 325, ANS 372, HIS 365G)
show description

Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

This course examines the South Asian diaspora in United States. We will focus on Americans who trace their descent to India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. While studying the history and culture of South Asian America, we will discuss globalization, transnationalism, migration, assimilation, formation of a diaspora, discrimination, and gender and sexuality, all major themes in Asian American Studies. The course is arranged chronologically and thematically. We will start in the early twentieth century following the journey of the first South Asian migrants to arrive in California. The second part of the course will focus on the effects of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act. Topics covered include economic and social reasons for immigration, adaptation to American life, cultural and religious assimilation, changing family structures, and discrimination and exclusion. We will end the semester by discussing South Asian American life in the twenty-first century.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

WGS 340 • Women & Post-War Italian Films

47803 • Bonifazio, Paola
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm HRH 2.112
(also listed as EUS 347, ITC 349)
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This course examines the position of women in Italian culture by focusing on Italian films from the 1950s to the present. We will consider “women” both as filmmakers and as subjects of works by male filmmakers. Some of the topics that we will discuss during the semester are: gender relations in a patriarchal society, the star system and divismo, and the woman’s film as a genre. Particular attention will be given to the study of changes and continuities from the Fascist regime to the postwar period, as well as to the mixture of tradition and modernity in contemporary cinema.


Films by:

Giuseppe De Santis, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Raffaello Matarazzo, Vittorio Cottafavi, Liliana Cavani, Lina Wertmuller, Cristina Comencini, Francesca Comencini, Alina Marazzi, Luca Guadagnino, Gabriele Salvatores, Lorella Zanardo.



A packet of selected essays will be prepared by the instructor



Participation: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

Three short papers: 45%

Final Project: 30%


WGS 340 • Women Filmmakers/N & Cent Euro

47805 • Wilkinson, Lynn R
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 337
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GSD 330)
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This is an introduction to the work of five women filmmakers from Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, as well as to the viewing and interpretation of films in general.

ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING: One two-page paper (5%); one five-page paper which may be rewritten (25%); one storyboard (10%) accompanied by a five-page essay (25%), and five quizzes (25%; you may drop the lowest grade). Class participation will count 10%.

REQUIRED TEXTS (for purchase and available on reserve at PCL):

Bordwell and Thompson: Film Art: An Introduction. 9th ed.; 6th ed. on reserve:

PN 1995 B617 2001

Braudy and Cohen: Film Theory and Criticism (FTC on syllabus), 6th ed. on reserve: PN1995 B617 2001

Hollinger: Feminist Film Studies.


Nordic National Cinemas. Ed. Soila et al. Routledge, 1998.

Hake: German National Cinema. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2007.

Matijs & Kumel: The Cinema of the Low Countries. Wallflower, 2004.

Hjort and Mackenzie: Purity and Provocation: Dogme 95. BFI 2008


Maj Zetterling: Loving Couples

The Girls

Margarethe von Trotta: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

The Second Awakening of Christina Klages


Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen

Hannah Arendt

Marlene Gorris: A Question of Silence

Antonia’s Line

Mrs. Dalloway

Lone Scherfig: Italian for Beginners

An Education

Susanne Bier: Like It Never Was Before

Open Hearts


Love Is All You Need

WGS 340 • Writing For Black Performance

47810 • Thompson, Lisa B.
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.104
(also listed as AFR 372E, AMS 321, E 376M)
show description



This course will require students to write critical essays as well as theatrical pieces about the performance of black identity in America. Participants will also give oral presentations and perform readings of their work using various African-American performance styles. Students will read texts that examine African-American performance, contemporary black identity, and expressive culture.




Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Problem of the Color[blind]: Racial Transgression and the Politics of Black Performance

Nicole R. Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness

E. Patrick Johnson, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity

Lynn Nottage, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and Other Works

Cherise Smith, Enacting Others

August Wilson, The Ground on Which I Stand

George C. Wolfe, The Colored Museum

WGS 340 • Women And Gender In China

47815 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 1.134
(also listed as ANS 372, HIS 350L)
show description

This course examines women and gender in China from imperial times to the present.  Major themes include the changing conceptions of masculinity and femininity in Chinese cultural and religious contexts; gender roles and inequalities in the patriarchal family and society; the varying discourse on women and gender in the modern period; women’s dilemma in the Chinese Revolution; new challenges to women and new conceptions of gender and sexuality during the reform era since the 1980s.  There is no prerequisite for attending this course, but some background in Chinese history is recommended.


Robin Wang, Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture (Hackett Publishing Company, 2003)

Patricia Ebrey, The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period. (University of California Press, 1993)

Zheng Wang, Women in the Chinese Enlightenment: Oral and Textual Histories (University of California Press, 1999)

Leslie Chang, Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (Spiegel & Grau, 2009)

Emily Honig and Gail Hershatter. Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980's. (Stanford University Press,1988)

Xueping Zhong, Some of Us: Chinese Women Growing up in the Mao Era. (Rutgers University Press, 2001)


1) Class participation (20%)

2) Mid-term and final examination (15% each, 30% total)

3) Research paper (40%)

4) Attendance (10%)

WGS 340 • Minorities And The Media

47820 • Poindexter, Paula M
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BMC 5.214
(also listed as LAS 322)
show description

Issues concerning minority or nondominant groups within the United States. Survey of minority communication problems: alienation, fragmentation, media and Internet access; criticism and feedback for minority groups based on racial/ethnic background, age, sex, disability, social or economic class, and sexual orientation.

MEETS WITH WGS 340 (TOPIC 21), J 395 , J 341J.

WGS 340 • Islamic Law

47825 • Azam, Hina
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 200
(also listed as ISL 340, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 358)
show description

From the beginnings of Islam in the 7th century until today, observant Muslims have sought to live their lives in accordance with Islamic moral law, or shari‘a. This upper-division course is designed to give students a foundation in the substantive teachings of the shari‘a, which comprises not only what we normally think of as law, but also ethics and etiquette. Specific areas of coverage include the following: rules of ritual worship, ethical principles, etiquette, family and personal status law, criminal law, economic and contract law, constitutional and international law. Although the bulk of the course will concern classical Islamic law, we will take time out to discuss issues of contemporary concern as well, such as gender equity, human rights, medical ethics, and warfare. Readings will be in both secondary literature and primary texts (in translation). This course will assume a basic working knowledge of Islam. This course carries a writing flag and global cultures flag.


Tentative: The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law, by Wael Hallaq The Spirit of Islamic Law, by Bernard Weiss Religion of Islam, by Muhammad Ali Supplementary readings (articles, book chapters)


5 Essays, Attendance, Preparedness & Participation

WGS 340 • Historcl Images Afr In Film

47830 • Falola, Toyin
Meets T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.344
(also listed as AFR 374F, HIS 350L)
show description

Since the late 1980s, the African film industry has undergone radical changes that reflect an increasingly globalized economy and the impact of structural adjustment policies. This revolution is characterized by the low-budget, direct to video films commonly referred to as Nollywood.  While these films have come under criticism for their low production values and popularization of negative cultural stereotypes, the Nigerian video industry has risen to colossal proportions, sweeping across the continent and throughout the global diaspora.  The purpose of this course is to examine the rise of Nollywood and the genesis of a popular African art form.  Through a combination of films and readings, students will explore how Nollywood, in comparison with the established FESPACO film industry and Hollywood, depicts the society and culture of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.  Additionally, this course seeks to engage students in a debate about how popular films affect historical imaginations and memory.  While these images have previously been the product of Hollywood and Francophone films, this course will introduce Nollywood as an alternative to how Nigerians and Africa as a whole understand their history. 


Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Nigerian Video Films. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Rosenstone, Robert A. Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History.

Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Saul, Mahir and Ralph A. Austen, eds. Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:

Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010.

*There will also be several journal articles assigned throughout the semester.  These will be available through the university library’s online databases and posted to the course documents section of the class Blackboard page.



Assignment                     Due                              Points

Attendance                      Every class session         50

Book/Film Review           Week 6             100

Conference Report            Week 10                       50

Final Paper                      Week 15                       200

Discussion Posts   See syllabus for deadlines            100

WGS 340 • Black Women And Dance

47835 • Tinsley, Omise'eke
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm JES A207A
(also listed as AFR 356E)
show description


dance your anger

and your joys.

dance the guns

to silence

dance, dance, dance…


--Ken Saro-Wiwa


What does it mean for Black women to dance your anger and your joys, as activist-artist Ken Saro Wiwa put it: that is, to use our moving, creative, powerful bodies to respond to the violences of racism and sexism, and to envision new ways of being and moving in the world? This course journeys towards answers to this question by exploring women's participation in ritual, concert, and social dance in North America, Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil.  We will work through readings, viewings, and stagings, and interweave text, movement, and action to encourage students’ artistic as well as academic self-expression. Some of the questions we explore include: How can we view and create artistic work while still keeping social justice issues in mind? How do embodied practices become modes of organizing communities? How can we decipher the fragile histories that we carry and move through in our own bodies?


Primary Texts:,available at UT Co-op Bookstore


Yvonne Daniel, Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomble

Brenda Dixon Gottschild, The Black Dancing Body

Celeste Fraser Delgado and José Muñoz, eds. Everynight Life: Culture and Dance in Latino/a America

Julie Malnig, ed. Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader


**All other texts on the syllabus, unless otherwise noted, will be available electronically



Course Objectives:


This course may be used to fulfill the visual and performing arts component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, teamwork, and social responsibility.


Communication Skills:

Students will experiment with sharing and creating knowledge of multiple literatures, cultures, histories, identities, and experiences in an intellectual community with many diverse, creative viewpoints. Students will be asked to compose dance journals, in which they are asked to “talk” to their body and pay attention to self-consciousness, aches and pains, “what feels good”, and pride. Students are asked to connect journal entries back to theoretical studies of perceptions of women and/in dance.


Critical Thinking Skills:

Students will be asked to compose spoken and written statements that reflect thoughtful, careful attention to subjects at hand, show inquisitiveness, represent attempts to make connections outside the classroom, and demonstrate creative engagement in new topics.



Students will be asked to explore dance practice in a group setting, such as ritual dance, concert dance, or social/popular dance. To record their dance participation, students will keep a dance journal in which students will write reflections on Black women and dance in group experiences. Students will complete this work by speaking to other participants about their role in the group dance.


Social Responsibility:

In this course, students will engage texts that deal explicitly with (post)colonialism, slavery, racism, sexism, religious discrimination, poverty, state violence, genocide, sexual violence, and more. This course will explore the questions: “How can we view and create artistic work while keeping social justice issues in mind?”; “How do embodied practices become modes of organizing communitieis?”; “How can we decipher the fragile histories that we carry and move through in our own bodies?”.


Respectful Learning


In this course, students engage texts that deal explicitly with (post)colonialism, slavery, racism, sexism, religious discrimination, poverty, state violence, genocide, sexual violence, same-sex sexuality, and embodiment.  While the professor will provide historical contexts and academic frameworks for discussing these issues, many students may be unfamiliar with them and so may initially experience emotional responses as they confront their own privilege and oppression, ignorance and knowledge. The professor asks that students pay attention to such feelings and note where they challenge their ability to approach texts analytically. I also ask that everyone come to class willing to discuss these difficult, complex topics with openness and respect. Expressions of First World-ism, racism, classism, religious intolerance, homophobia, heterosexism, ableism, or sexism will not be tolerated. Instead, I expect students to take seriously the responsibility involved in university education in general, and in reading works that document violence and social injustice in particular. As part of this responsibility, I ask students to consider carefully how social and geopolitical positioning shapes what they do and do not react to, and complicates their relationships to texts in different ways.


Appreciated Attributes:


  1. Critical thinking—spoken and written statements reflect thoughtful, careful attention to subjects at hand; demonstrate independent, original thought; and include specific, properly documented references to all sources.
  2. Inquisitiveness—classroom participation shows willingness to ask questions about aspects of readings/discussions that remain unclear, and to seek additional information. 
  3. Making connections beyond the classroom—spoken and written statements express when a reading speaks to your particular experiences, interest, or knowledge.
  4. Creativity— spoken and written statements express willingness to engage new topics with imagination and flexibility. Imagining differently is the first step in changing the social injustices that we will engage!

WGS 340 • Women Filmmakrs In Mid East

47855 • Okur, Jeannette
Meets WF 200pm-300pm GAR 1.126
(also listed as MEL 321, MES 342)
show description

This course introduces students to the vast array of subject matter and cinematographic styles engaged by contemporary women filmmakers in the Middle East, with special focus on Turkey as home to one of the emerging centers of women filmmakers in the region.  Students will view and discuss at least 20 films produced and/or directed by women filmmakers of varied national, ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic backgrounds.  Five of these films will be Turkish, and the remaining films will be from Iran, Israel, and the Arab world.  Weekly readings, post-viewing discussions and response papers about the documentary, autobiographical, fictional and art films selected will deepen participants’ insight into the socio-cultural dilemmas and political conflicts experienced by many Middle Eastern women in the 20th and 21st centuries and also heighten their awareness of the filmmakers’ political, economic and aesthetic concerns.  Participants will be expected to attend the weekly film screenings, complete weekly reading and writing assignments, participate actively in class discussions, and pursue one thematically organized, independent viewing project.  All films will be screened in the original language/s with English subtitles.  No prior knowledge of a Middle Eastern language is necessary; however, students with knowledge of a particular Middle Eastern language or country may choose to focus their viewing project on a film, set of films or a filmmaker related to that language/country.

This course has both a Global Cultures and a Writing flag.

Languages Across the Curriculum Component:  Students who have completed the Intensive Turkish sequence (ie. have earned a grade of C or higher in TUR 611C) are eligible to sign up for an additional credit hour in Turkish language via the “Languages Across the Curriculum Program”.  Students taking this credit hour with Dr. Okur will read and discuss short texts in Turkish (and view and discuss additional Turkish films) related to the main course topics.


Texts to be provided via Blackboard.


Attendance and Participation 20%

Reader Response Papers  40%

Mid-Term Critical Essay Test 15%       

Final Viewing Project 25%       

Students’ course grade will be based on active participation in class discussions (20%); satisfactory completion of (4 out of 5) reader response papers (40%); their performance on a mid-term critical essay test (15%) and the quality of their final viewing project, which will include both a critical essay and an oral presentation (25%).

WGS 340 • Sacred & Ceremonl Textiles

47860 • Shirazi, Faegheh
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 103
(also listed as ANT 324L, ISL 372, MEL 321, R S 358)
show description

From the birth to death textiles, clothing, and other material culture affects our daily lives. The communicative power of textiles and other types of material objects reflects both the everyday and ceremonial lives of people in a society. Although this course focuses on textiles and material objects indigenous to the Islamic world, some examples of non-Muslim communities will be included to draw a comparison. An attempt will be made to shed light on the culture of various Islamic societies. The study of the social and historical background of a community is essential for the interpretation of meanings and symbolism associated with textiles and other elements of material objects. Such a study will be combined in the course with topics like ceremonial gatherings; ceremonial textiles; adornment (jewelry, tattoos, body-painting); body modifications (piercing and body-reshaping); and the role of material objects in public and private celebrations. One of the areas which material objects represent relates to practices of rituals, taboos, and rotes of passage in the societies, which can be traced to the pre Islamic era. Muslim communities in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East will be the primary focus of the course, and an attempt will be made to trace the common origins of ritual practices and their representation as a result to of diffusion and contact with other regional practices. Course presentations will be supported by videos, slide show and various material objects.


Reader packet.


In Class presentations 15%

Attendance/ & participation 10%

First Exam 35%

Second Exam 40%

WGS 345 • Confronting Lgbtq Oppression

47865 • Whalley, Shane
Meets W 530pm-830pm SSW 2.118
show description

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer  (LGBTQ) people on the UT campus and beyond face many challenges due to homophobia, heterosexism, biphobia, and transphobia. Education and awareness are the first steps in combating hate and discrimination. This course will serve as a way for students in the program to use the information and skills learned in the first course across campus.  Students will continue to fine tune their facilitation skills and continue learning about LGBTQ people on the UT campus and beyond.

WGS 345 • Women In Captivity

47880 • Henkel, Jacqueline M
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.212
(also listed as E 370W)
show description

 Instructor:  Henkel, J

Unique #:  35930

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  WGS 345

Flags:  Cultural Diversity; Writing

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: In this course we will read captivity narratives by and about women. We will begin with an early American best-seller, a 17th century Puritan woman's account of her captivity among the Native Americans of New England. Later in the course we will read (or view) examples of this particularly American genre as it recurs in later autobiography, fiction, and film. We will read these narratives not just for the remarkable personal experiences they depict, but also for the cultural values, concerns, and anxieties they encode, particularly as these relate to experiences and outcomes imagined as possible for women.

Texts: (tentative list): --Michel Rene Hilliard d’Auberteuil, Miss McCrea: A Novel of the American Revolution (on-line). --Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola, ed., Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives. --Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. --Deborah Larsen, The White. --Toni Morrison, A Mercy. --Susannah Haswell Rowson, Slaves in Algiers: Struggle for Freedom. --Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Hope Leslie. --Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter. --other on-line readings (Angela Carter, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie); secondary readings on-line (Axtell, Ebersole, Namias, etc.). --Film excerpts in class: Last of the Mohicans, Dances with Wolves, etc. --Films: Come See the Paradise, Not Without My Daughter (required to view outside of class)

Requirements & Grading: Minimum requirements are: 1) satisfactory work on quizzes (20%); 2) a passing average score on exams (two; no exam may be missed) (20% each; 40% total); 3) minor written and oral exercises, most to be completed in class (10%); 4) a course paper of 5-6 pages, in two drafts (20%); and 5) an abstract of 1-2 pages and (depending on class size) an oral presentation on secondary material (10%).

Attendance, class preparation, informed discussion, and courteous classroom behavior are considered essential, and unsatisfactory marks in these areas are deducted from the final average. Final grades include "plus" or "minus" grades.

WGS 345 • The Family

47885 • Lodge, Amy
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GAR 1.126
(also listed as SOC 323)
show description

This course analyzes the family as a social institution, using the sociological perspective. 

Studying the family can be tricky in that we all have our own experiences being part of families.  It is important, then, to go beyond our own experiences to explore both the private aspects of the family as well as public aspects of the family using various kinds of empirical data.  Shifting definitions of the family are the context for a brief history of the family.  Throughout the course we will explore family change. Specific topics will include dating, “hooking up” and marriage; parents and children; cohabitation, divorce and stepfamilies; and how the family intersects with, is shaped by, and shapes other social institutions, with particular attention to the economy and the world of work as well as state and social policies.

WGS 345 • American Dilemmas

47895 • Green, Penny A
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CLA 1.108
(also listed as SOC 336C)
show description


This course examines critical American social problems that threaten the very fabric of our collective life as a nation.  These include problems in the economy and political system, social class and income inequality, racial/ethnic inequality, gender inequality and heterosexism, problems in education, and problems of illness and health care.  The course has three main objectives.  One involves providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools needed to critically analyze these problems from a sociological perspective.  A second involves providing students with current data and other information documenting the seriousness of these problems.  The final objective focuses on evaluating social policies addressing these problems (e.g., welfare-to-work programs, pay equity legislation), with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, as well as public and individual responsibility.  Class format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, with a strong emphasis upon the latter. 

Required Readings: 

A packet of readings to be purchased from Austin Text Books at 2116 Guadalupe (i.e., the Drag)

Additional readings will be made available on Blackboard

Attendance Policy:

Regular attendance and punctuality are expected.  You’re allowed three absences without penalty during the semester (excluding our introductory class meeting).  The nonpenalized absences are intended to cover such situations as illness, family emergencies, university sponsored trips, etc.  Students who miss more than three classes, regardless of the reason, will have their semester grades reduced by one full percentage points for each absence beyond the three allowed.  The one exception to this policy concerns absences for religious reasons, assuming advance, written notification is given.

Grading Policy:

Four Short Papers (2-3 pages)            65%

Class Participation                             20%

Pop Quizzes                                     15%

WGS 345 • Psysocl Iss In Women's Hlth

47905 • Holahan, Carole K.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BEL 326C
show description

This course examines major issues in women’s physical and mental health within the context of adult psychological development. The course includes a broad definition of women’s health that, in addition to traditional reproductive issues, considers common health problems in women, such as depression and eating disorders, and the leading causes of death in women, such as coronary heart disease. In addition, the course addresses gender influences on health risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, and societal influences on women’s health through a consideration of social norms and roles.

WGS 345 • Virginia Woolf

47910 • Carter, Mia
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 105
(also listed as E 349S)
show description

Instructor:  Carter, M

Unique #:  35820

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  WGS 345

Flags:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Description: This course will examine the critical and fictional works of Virginia Woolf. We will also be examining Woolf’s continuing legacy and influence. Some of the areas of inquiry the class will be exploring are the value and limitations of high modernism, English literary heritage and tradition, feminism, creative and critical definitions of gender and sexuality, intellectual activism (Woolf’s critiques of patriarchy, war, fascism), Woolf and imperialism-colonialism.

Required Readings (all editions Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; please buy the required HBJ editions)

Selected essays, including “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown” and “Modern Fiction.”

The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf; The Voyage Out; Jacob’s Room; Mrs. Dalloway; To the Lighthouse; Orlando; The Waves; Three Guineas (long essay)

Requirements & Grading: No late papers will be accepted.

* Three 2-3-page critical analysis essays: 30% of final grade

* One ungraded, but critically assessed seminar paper prospectus.

* One 10-12-page: 40% of final grade

Consistently active, substantial, and significant participation: 30%, a portion of which will be determined by reading quizzes. There will be 4-5 unannounced reading quizzes during the course of the semester.

Class policies: This is a technology-free class; all notes must be taken in notebooks. The use of computers, Blackberries, cell phones is strictly prohibited; exception for full compliance to this rule will be granted only for students with a documented medical need.

Come to class thoroughly prepared, which means keep up with the reading assignments; demonstrate that you have completed the required reading and have thought about it--have analyzed the literature rigorously, critically, and creatively. Consistently active and intellectually substantial and significant participation comprises a large portion of your final grade (30%); therefore silence will not serve you well in this class.  Since I cannot tell you what these texts mean, your success depends--to a great extent--on your willingness to engage with the texts and with your fellow classmates. No one has the final, correct, absolute interpretation of these books. I invite you to take risks, to challenge yourself, and to share your understanding of each novel or film. I also reserve the right to give spontaneous, in-class quizzes if silence appears to be a lack of preparedness.

Attendance Policy: Three absences will drop you a full letter grade (an A will become a B, etc.); four or more absences will guarantee your failure of this class.

WGS 345 • Toni Morrison

47915 • Woodard, Helena
Meets MW 500pm-630pm PAR 204
(also listed as AFR 372E, E 349S)
show description

Instructor:  Woodard, H

Unique #:  35815

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E; WGS 345

Flags:  Cultural Diversity; Writing

Computer instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Description: This course examines select novels by Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Toni Morrison. The novels thematize womanism as theory, which incorporates race, gender, and culture in experiences uniquely shared by women--particularly women of color--across class and regional boundaries. Collectively, Morrison's characters confront a wide range of challenging crises: infanticide, male-female relations, familial conflict, socio-economical, cultural survival, etc. Morrison's novels are a gloss on the African-American literary tradition, deeply rooted in the American literary tradition.

Required Reading: The Bluest Eye, 1970; Sula, 1973; Song of Solomon, 1977; Beloved, 1987; Jazz, 1992; A Mercy, 2008; Home.

Audio-Visual Aids: Toni Morrison with Bill Moyers, History of Ideas Series; Toni Morrison on Beloved; Jazz and the Harlem Renaissance; Toni Morrison on Oprah Winfrey (Song of Solomon); The Margaret Garner Opera (documentary).

Requirements & Grading: .50 Two Critical essays TBA (5 pages each; typed, ds); .30 A Reading Notebook (12-page minimum; typed, ds; see separate instruction sheet); .20 Presentations (TBA) / quizzes / class participation.

ATTENDANCE: Regular attendance is required. More than four absences will be sufficient grounds for failure in the course. Penalties may range from a reduction in overall course grade to failure of the course itself. I reserve the right to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. The four allowed absences will include illness, deaths of relatives, and other emergencies. If you are more than five minues late or leave before class ends (without permission), you will be counted absent for that class. You are responsible for all work covered in your absence. Read each novel completely by the first day of discussion for that book. No makeup for quizzes is permitted. Course pack articles are required reading.

GRADING SCALE: Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note that to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus, a B- will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 83.999. The University does not recognize the grade of A+.

A (94-100); A- (90-93); B+ (87-89); B (84-86); B- (80-83); C+ (77-79); C (74-76); C- (70-73); D+ (67-69); D (64-66); D- (60-63); F (0-59).

Plus/minus grades will be assigned for the final grade. This is a writing-intensive course. No final exam is given.

WGS 345 • The Face Of Justice-Honors

47920 • Smith, Bea Ann
Meets M 300pm-600pm CAL 200
(also listed as GOV 357M, LAH 350)
show description

Course Description:


In our democracy, justice concerns certain inalienable rights: liberty, due process, equality. And it concerns freedom from governmental intrusion on the right to speak, to assemble, to be secure in our homes, to practice or not practice any religion we choose.  Certainly justice includes some notion of fairness. These fundamental values are expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. The Face of Justice reflects the individuals whose rights are being protected (and those whose rights are being overlooked) by our operating system of justice at given time.





Cultural Diversity

Ethics and Leadership




Our readings and our discussions will include historical documents, legal opinions, speeches, biographical materials—and of course the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and certain sections of the Constitution. We will have a number of guest lecturers throughout the semester.“We the People” by Professor Penny White, University of Tennessee College of Law. Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10), 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19thAmendments (in your written materials)Angela Roddey Holder, The Meaning of the Constitution (2d ed. 987), p.55 Susan Wiltshire, Greece, Rome, and the Bill of Rights (1992) Introduction, pp. 1-6, Chapter 1, pp. 9-29, Chapter 5 pp. 89-100Reread: Declaration of Independence Amendments: 13, 14, 15, 19, 24, 26Selected documents and essays from Our Mothers Before Us, Women and Democracy1789-1920. The Handbook of Texas, Woman Suffrage in Texas, Texas State Historical Society Association, 1997-2002.The Woman Who Ran for President, by Lois Beachy Underhill, Prologue, Chapters 8, 9,11. “Victoria Woodhull through Modern Eyes” by Gloria Steinem. Excerpts from Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly newspaper “Upward and Onward.”Jane M. Friedman, America’s First Woman Lawyer: The Biography of Myra Bradwell (1993) Chap. 1, 7, 9, 10, Prologue and Epilogue Bradwell v. Illinois, 16 Wall 130 (1873), concurring opinion. Mary Beth Rogers, Barbara Jordan, American Hero (1998) Chap. 6 & 7, Chap. 13 & 15Max Sherman, Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder (2007). The following speeches: Constitutional Basis for Impeachment (1974); Testimony in Opposition to Robert Bork (1987); Remarks by Bill Moyers (1996).




This is a small class. It will not work unless you read the assignments every week, come to class, and participate in the discussion. Attendance is required. After three unexcused absences, your grade will be reduced by 10% for every absence.10% of the final grade will reflect class participation. This is a writing course. You will write two short papers (3-4 pages) one in September, one in October. I will edit your first draft and return it to you for revision. You will be graded on the revision only. These two papers each represent 20% of your grade. After the middle of the course, you will select a topic (with guidance) for a longer paper (8-10pages). Again, you will submit a draft that I will edit and return to you for revision. The final paper will be due shortly after the end of classes and will constitute 50% of your grade. There will be no final exam.

WGS 345 • Women's Autobiographcl Wrtg

47925 • MacKay, Carol H
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 204
(also listed as E 370W)
show description

Instructor:  MacKay, C

Unique #:  35935

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  WGS 345

Flags:  Cultural Diversity; Writing

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Writers have always employed an ingenious array of narrative strategies to construct and project their sense of an autobiographical self, but historically that task has entailed an additional cultural challenge--if not an outright psychological impossibility--for women writers worldwide. Although the male autobiographical impulse did not fully begin to manifest itself in Western culture until Rousseau (notwithstanding the anomaly of St. Augustine), women still tended to confine themselves to the less overt (and egoistic) modes of the diary, letter, memoir (often purporting to be about another subject), and fiction. It is the goal of this course to examine the autobiographical impulse in women's writing by exploring the concept of the individualistic self vs. the sense of self as a part of community (and duty)--and the ways in which that communal self can both partake of humankind and participate in self-actualization.

We will begin by reading excerpts from Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life (1988) and conclude with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929). In between, we will be tracing women's autobiographical writings from Sappho to Tillie Olsen, encompassing as well the recorded experience of the African American, the Chinese American, and the Chicana. Although members of the class may have read individual titles from the course list before, they will now have the opportunity to read them critically within the context of other women's writing--itself likely to be a first-time experience. Finally, each student will be responsible for introducing to the rest of the class a single work not on the reading list and "outside" its cultural curve; these titles will constitute a multicultural list for future (and I hope immediate!) reading.


Selected poetry (oral reports): Sappho, Bradstreet, Wheatley, E. Brontë, E.B. Browning, Rossetti, Dickinson, H.D., Moore, Brooks, Bishop, Plath, Rich, Sexton, Giovanni, Levertov, Lorde.

Selections (handouts): Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (1373); Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe (1436-38); St. Teresa, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1562-65); Wollstonecraft, Travels in Norway and Sweden (1796); A. James, Diary (1892); Olsen, Silences (1978).

Books (to be purchased): C. Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847); H.E. Wilson, Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859); Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1899); Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929); Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969); Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973); Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1975); Cisneros, House on Mango Street (1983).

Requirements & Grading: Writing and class discussion will constitute the primary activities of this course. Students will write three papers--the first two of approximately 4-5 pp. each, the last a more extended paper of 10 pp.--and deliver two brief oral reports. All papers will receive extensive critical commentary and will be discussed in office-hour consultation; 75% of course grade will be based on these papers. (N.B. This course fulfills the substantial writing component requirement.) The remaining percentage points will be satisfied by the oral reports and regular class participation/attendance.

WGS 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

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Undergraduate Thesis

An student pursing the B.A. in Women's & Gender Studies may choose between 3 hours from WGS 379L Internship in WGS or WGS 360 Research & Thesis in WGS.

The form should be turned in before registering for the WGS 360 Research & Thesis course. (PDF) (DOC)

Please note that a second reader is not required for the undergraduate thesis.  The undergraduate thesis must also be completed in one semester.

More Information at:

WGS 679HB • Honors Tutorial Course

show description

Undergraduate Thesis

An student pursing the B.A. in Women's & Gender Studies may choose between 3 hours from WGS 379L Internship in WGS or WGS 360 Research & Thesis in WGS.

The form should be turned in before registering for the WGS 360 Research & Thesis course. (PDF) (DOC)

Please note that a second reader is not required for the undergraduate thesis.  The undergraduate thesis must also be completed in one semester.

More Information at:

WGS 379L • Internship In Wom's & Gend Std

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Experience working in the community or for a nonprofit agency.

Prerequisite: At least twelve semester hours of coursework in women's and gender studies and written consent of the supervising faculty member; consent forms are available in the Center for Women's and Gender Studies.

  • Internship courses are available as part of the class offerings at Women's and Gender Studies.  These are individual instruction courses and do not meet in the classroom as lectures do. 

  • Students are responsible for finding their own internships.  Resources on campus such as Liberal Arts Career ServicesLACS Internship Services, theCareer Exploration Center, the CWGS blog, and the WGS email list serves may help to find an internship.

  • After finding a place to work as an intern, students must also obtain a faculty supervisor for their internship.  CWGS can assist in matching a student with a faculty member based on research interests.  This faculty supervisor will be responsible for submitting a grade for the student. According to the Provost’s office - TAs, RAs, and GRAs are ineligible to serve as faculty supervisors.

  • Once students have an internship and a faculty supervisor, they must fill out and turn in the Internship Proposal Form (PDF) (DOC) to the CWGS office in order to be cleared to register for the course.

  • On the proposal form, the student and faculty member will explain how the student will be graded for the internship course.  Some students keep a work journal that they submit for a grade, some turn in a large paper at the end of their internship.  Other final grade assignments might include a presentation or a larger project that was done for the organization.

More Information at:

WGS 698B • Thesis

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The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for two semesters. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Women's and Gender Studies 698A and Women's Studies 698A may not both be counted. Prerequisite: For 698A, graduate standing in women's and gender studies and consent of the graduate adviser; for 698B, Women's and Gender Studies 698A.

The Thesis or Report is required by the Master's Program.  It represents the final paper or research project that the student creates to culminate their coursework in Women's and Gender Studies. A student must be enrolled in the Thesis or Report course during the semester they intend to graduate.

When registering for the Thesis or Report course, the student must turn in the Thesis/Report Proposal Forms linked below.

The Thesis form is used to link the professor to the online grading system.  This also serves as documentation for faculty supervising the Thesis or Report.  Students should sign up for the Thesis course when they have secured a faculty member to work with them.

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