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Women's Studies Courses Offered in Fall 2008

 

Islamic Culture                                        Dr. Hengameh Hosseini

 

Recognizing the need to avoid prejudice, provincialism, and cultural and linguistic chauvinism, this course explains the complexities of the Islamic world, clarifies many misconceptions, and examines the tremendous contributions of Muslims in the sciences, literature, and other areas of life. It also examines the position of women in Islam and in modern Muslim societies, and corrects the many misconceptions about Muslim women that are prevalent in the United States.

 

CORE/WMST 140

Section A:  MWF 10:00-10:50

Section B:  MWF 11:00-11:50

 

Women in Film                                                  Dr. Jennifer McClinton-Temple

 

In this class, we will watch and discuss films important both to the portrayal of women onscreen and to the development of women as writers and directors.  These portrayals, some positive, some negative, some more complicated than one word can express, can influence the ways in which we see ourselves and the ways in which we understand issues such as gender, power, and sex.  In a more general way, this class will explore how students go about "reading" a film. Through study of selected films and readings, lectures, class discussion, and written assignments, you will learn to recognize and analyze film language (editing, cinematography, sound, special effects, etc.) and will be introduced to some major concepts in film studies. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the many ways films produce meaning and should be able to demonstrate your command of these basic skills to critically interpret those meanings through deep analysis. Films will include:  Thelma and Louise (1991), Norma Rae (1979), A League of Their Own (1993), Elizabeth (1998), The Color Purple (1985), An Angel at my Table (1989), Lion in Winter (1968), Boys Don't Cry (2000).

 

CORE/WMST 179W

Section A:  TR 2:00-3:15

 

Health Care in United States                Dr. Hengameh Hosseini

and Its Disparities

 

This course is designed to provide an overview of the health care system in the Unites States and its disparities; it will offer a historical analysis of its structure, operation and financing. While students will be introduced to the accomplishments of the health care system in the Unites States, they will also learn that it has also been less than equitable. Understanding the American health care system and its disparities involves a critical analysis of historical, political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental conditions that have produced the system and its inequities for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Students will learn of morbidity and mortality differences for racial and ethnic minorities, and that these are tied to the socioeconomic status. Students will learn that people who are poorer and have less education (who are more likely to be among racial/ethnic minorities) are more likely to suffer from disease, to experience loss of functioning, to be cognitively and physically impaired and to experience higher mortality rates.

 

CORE/WMST 180H 

Section A:  TR 11:00-12:15

 

Global Health Issues and Problems              Dr. Hengameh Hosseini

This course will present an overview of issues and problems in global health from the perspective of many different disciplines.  Subjects include the recent history of global health; health care systems and their financing; international organizations and funders of global health; the political ecology of infectious diseases; environmental health and safe water; demography of health and mortality; measures of disease burden and priorities in health; AIDS/HIV and its prevention; and women’s reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.  Although the course with explore the multiple ramifications of disease – social, physical, economic, political, ethical – in both developed and underdeveloped countries, particular attention will be made on AIDS/HIV epidemic, exploring its cultural, social, economic, ethical, historical, epidemiological, political, psychological, sexual, public health and policy dimensions.  Students in this course will learn the consequences of this unprecedented epidemic, since HIV/AIDS is the leading infectious cause of adult death worldwide.

CORE/WMST 190P

Section A:  T/Th 12:30-1:45

 

World Religions                             Dr. Anna Minore and Dr. Kyle Johnson

 

According to the CIA World Factbook, women do indeed comprise roughly half of the world’s population.  Women also live longer than men.  Yet their literacy rate is lower by almost 10%.  In addition, the United Nations Population Fund reports that one out of three women, world-wide, have been beaten, abused, or coerced in some manner. Roughly 2 million girls between the ages of 5 and 15 are introduced into the sex market every year.  In the United States alone, reported rapes encompass 16% of the total female population.  Violence against women is so pronounced that the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights gave priority to the problem.  Yet Religious Tolerance.org tells us that almost 90% of the world’s population identifies themselves as belonging to a particular religious faith.  This seems odd, because no faith condones the massive mistreatment of women.  Or does it? Do people simply ignore their religion while mistreating others, or is their something in the various religions themselves that support the mistreatment of women?  

 

The course has two goals.  The first and most important goal is to introduce students to the richness and complexity of human religious traditions.  The course will look at 5 main traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  It will examine each tradition, focusing on its history and on its doctrine.  The second goal is to examine the contemporary issues that arise from each religion.  For each world religion we cover (5 in total), the student will be responsible for writing a 4 page paper that (a) summarizes either the history or doctrine of the religion and then (b) explores (and argues regarding) a contemporary issue of that religion (approx 2 pages for each section).  Those who take the course as a “woman’s studies” course will be required to focus the latter half of each of their papers on a contemporary issue relevant to the women of the religion at issue.

 

CORE/WMST 196

Section A:   T/Th 9:30-10:45

 

 

Leadership for the Twenty-First Century    Ms. Judith Plummer

 

This course introduces students to Women’s Studies by taking an interdisciplinary approach to addressing questions such as: What are the differences between men and women in American Society? How did society and individual develop this way? What roles do education and religion play in defining what it means to be male or female? Why aren’t there more women in higher positions in the political and corporate worlds? How important is gender in communication? What are the politics of personal relationships? What is feminism all about and what relationship does it have to Women’s Studies? It offers a wonderful opportunity for female and male students to discuss these important questions while learning more about each other.

 

PS/WMST 294 

Section A:  Monday 11:00 – 11:50am

Section B:  Monday 1:00 – 1:50pm

Section C:  Tuesday 11:00 – 11:50am

Section D:  Tuesday 2:00 – 2:50pm

 

 

Sociology of the Family                                 Mr. Louis Palmeri

 

This course examines families, marriages, and intimate relationships from a sociological point of view.  It emphasizes how “family” has changed over time, how family forms vary across cultures, and ways in which families are affected by inequalities of gender, race/ethnicity, and class.  Topics include dating and intimacy; parenting and child-care; divisions of power and labor in families; current issues such as sexual orientation, divorce, stepfamilies, teen childbirth, and family violence; and policies and programs that respond to these issues.

 

SOC 351/WMST 351 

Section A:  MWF 9:00-9:50

 

 

The Witch Hunts 1400-1800                      Dr. Brian Pavlac

From the fifteenth to the eighteenth the centuries, many Europeans developed a heightened concern with the phenomenon of witchcraft, seeing a new sect hostile to humanity.  The end of the Middle Ages and the religious Reformation increased the intensity of the “Witch Craze.”  Finally, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment brought an end to the hunt for powers that did not empirically exist.  Through reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, you will learn how these Europeans defined and treated their alleged witches, within the context of other economic, social, and cultural relationships. Included in this study will be the examination of new technologies and methods of rule in the rise of the modern state, and the roles of class and gender in focusing hostility on certain people, especially women. 

HIST/WMST 444 

Section E:  Monday 6:00-8:30 pm

 

 

Independent Research in Women’s Studies                  

 

Advanced research project under the supervision of a faculty member on the Women’s Studies program staff. A student wishing to enroll in this course should submit a brief written proposal outlining the nature and purpose of study. Registration requires the approval of the faculty member mentoring the study and the program director. (See Dr. Field before registering.)

 

WMST 497

 

 

Women’s Studies Internship                         


For Women's Studies minors only. Registration requires permission of Ms. Bedwick.

 

WMST 499A

 

 

SPECIAL REQUESTS:

 

 You may take some additional courses by special request and design. For example, the course described below is not listed in Women’s Studies, but you may arrange to focus on gender issues in your assignments in order to qualify for credit in Women’s Studies. Requires instructor permission. For more information, contact Dr. Robin Field, x 5771.

 

CORE 184C    The American Individual in Literature            Dr. Robin Field

CORE 271      Astronomy                                                       Dr. Kristi Concannon

CJ 435E           Victimology                                                     Ms. Mary Dysleski

ENGL 352A   Renaissance Literature                                                Dr. Megan Lloyd

PHYS 111       General Physics                                               Dr. Kristi Concannon

 

 

***With permission of the Director of Women’s Studies, King’s students may take courses at Wilkes University or Misericordia University for WMST credit. Please contact Dr. Robin Field (Hafey-Marian 417, x5771; robinfield@kings.edu) for more information.

 

Course Descriptions

 

WMST 155 — Women in American Society (3)

An analysis of women’s historical and contemporary situation in American society. An examination of the approaches and research findings of the social sciences using gender as a category of analysis intersecting with class, race, and ethnicity. The relationship between gender and social institutions as well as interrelationships of gender-defined institutions-government, economy, religion, family, and education, will be explored. Cross-listed as CORE 155.

WMST 164 — Fairytales, Storytelling, and Culture (3)

Explores variants of fairy tales from different countries and cultures. Examines why these stories exist in different forms at different times and places and what they tell us about the beliefs of the cultures that created them. Cross-listed as CORE 164.

WMST 164 — Popular Culture (3)

Focuses on the signs of our times and reading images in popular culture, while analyzing writings about this field of study. Discussions will primarily focus on the media, in the forms of advertisements, television, music, sports, and leisure activities, while evaluating the role the media has on gender role development. Cross-listed as CORE 164.

WMST 164 — Women’s Voices in Literature (3)

Explores both women’s writing and feminist criticism. Following the development of Anglo-American criticism, considers a diversity of women’s voices as they explore subject areas frequently charted by women who have endeavored to “write a woman’s life.” Cross-listed as CORE 164.

WMST 263 — Christian Marriage: Gender Issues (3)

Examines the impact of cultural assumptions about gender roles on Christian understandings of marriage through history. Also focuses on the changing roles of and relationships between men and women in contemporary society and Christian communities. Cross-listed as CORE 263.

WMST 273 — Contemporary Topics in Biology: Women in Science (3)

Considers the factors and/or decisions that influence women and men to enter and maintain careers in science. Includes a review of the history of women in science as well as discussion of prominent women scientists and their work. Introduces students to a variety of scientific concepts, topics, and the process of science. Cross-listed as CORE 273.

WMST 294 — Leadership for the 21st Century (1)

Designed to help prepare students to be effective leaders for positive social change in local, national, and international affairs. A new paradigm of values-based leadership development provides the framework. Students will be encouraged to apply classroom learning to actual on-going leadership opportunities in organizations of which they are members. Class closed to freshmen. Cross-listed as HRM and PS 294.

WMST 351 — Sociology of the Family (3)

This course examines families, marriages, and intimate relationships from a sociological point of view. It emphasizes how “family” has changed over time, how family forms vary across cultures, and ways in which families are affected by the inequalities of gender, race/ethnicity, and class. Topics include dating and intimacy; parenting and child-care; divisions of power and labor in families; current issues such as sexual orientation, divorce, stepfamilies, teen childbirth, and family violence; and policies and programs that respond to these issues. Cross-listed as SOC 351.

WMST 353 — Neoclassical Literature (3)

The “long Eighteenth Century” (1660 to 1820), was a turbulent period in English history that saw the creation of a vast empire, the eruption of various forms of popular culture, a growing interest in imagination, the beginnings of the modern novel, and transformations in ideas about gender. In this course, students will read drama, poetry, essays, and one novel from this period with a particular emphasis on representations of gender, sexuality, empire, and nationality. Cross-listed as ENGL 353.

WMST 359 — Psychology of Gender (3)

Consideration of the development of gender-based psychology theory by addressing both male and female issues. Topics will include gender stereotypes in the media, advertising, and literature; the changing roles of men and women in contemporary society; personal relationships from both the male and female perspective. Prerequisite: CORE 154. Cross-listed as PSYC 359.

WMST 370 — Gender and Work (3)

This course examines the relationship between gender and work in the modern world, mostly in the U.S. but also beyond. We will address questions of gender difference and inequality, such as: How extensive are the gender inequalities in pay and promotion opportunities?  How much are women and men segregated into "female-typed" and "male-typed" occupations, and why?  How much do socialization, stereotypes, and discrimination contribute to inequalities?  How are inequalities challenged and changed by women's movements, laws, and common family strains such as inadequate access to paternal leave and childcare?  Students will critically analyze the relationship between gender and work under a variety of conditions, and will examine their own work experiences and plans in relation to course topics. Cross-listed as SOC 370.

WMST 373 — Women in Western Civilization (3)

A survey of the historical and cultural roles of women from the beginnings of humanity through classical, medieval, and early modern European history up to the twentieth century. In analyzing both representative individuals and general trends, themes include theories of women’s history, legal rights and their influence on political institutions, economic activities, gender roles in marriage, family and community, cultural contributions, and devotion to religious life. Cross-listed as HIST 373.

WMST 382 — Shakespeare: Blood, Lust and Marriage (3)

What does the playwright who immortalized such lovers as Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra really have to say about love itself? This major authors course looks at early and late comedies, a Senecan tragedy, the sonnets, and some of Shakespeare’s “problem” plays, to discover what Shakespeare reveals about love, marriage, and relationships. Cross-listed as ENGL 382.

WMST 410 — Women in Management (3)

The possibilities for, and the roles of, women in management. An exploration of the status of women in management, barriers to women in such positions, reasons for inequality in salary and benefits and ways to overcome sex discrimination. Cross-listed as HNRS 410.

WMST 425 — The Witch Hunts 1400-1800 (3)

Through reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, students will learn how Europeans from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries developed a heightened concern with the phenomenon of witchcraft, how they defined and treated their alleged witches, within the context of other economic, social and cultural relationship, and how the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment brought an end to the hunt for powers that did not empirically exist. Included in this study will be the examination of new technologies and methods of rule and criminal justice which led to a determined persecution, as well as the roles of class and gender in focusing hostility on certain women, as well as men and children. Cross-listed as HIST 425.

WMST 431 — Women and Politics (3)

Analyzes the social and political changes that have influenced the involvement of women in the American political process. The role of women in government and policy-making and the impact of public policy on women are explored from historical, political, and constitutional perspectives. Cross-listed as PS 431.

WMST 491 — Economics of Women, Poverty, and the Environment (3)

Examines the contributions and experiences of women as economic actors and some of the common difficulties facing women in fulfilling their economic obligations in various parts of the world. Also analyzes conditions and causes of global poverty. A third component explores the effect of current economic structures on the environment, as well as economic approaches to environmental issues. Cross-listed as ECON 491 and ENST 491.

WMST 491 — Special Topics: Women in the Criminal Justice System (3)

Offers an in-depth look at women as victims, offenders, and professionals. Discusses various types of female-specific victimization such as rape, spousal violence, and pornography. Also examines research and theories that present female offenders according to their type of criminal behavior. Cross-listed as CJ 491.

WMST 497 — Independent Research in Women’s Studies (1-3)

Advanced research project under the supervision of a faculty member on the Women’s Studies program staff. A student wishing to enroll in this course should submit a brief written proposal outlining the nature and purpose of the study. Registration requires the approval of the faculty member mentoring the study and the program director.

WMST 499 — Internship in Women’s Studies (3)

One semester supervised field experience in an area related to women’s studies or issues. Placement opportunities include government offices, social service agencies, and other non-profit organizations. Registration for the internship is coordinated through the Office of Experiential Learning.

Note: Under specified conditions and with special permission, courses not normally listed as “Women’s Studies” courses can be adapted to count toward the Women’s Studies minor. To be adapted, a course must lend itself to the content and methods of women’s and gender studies. The instructor must govern and approve the adaptations. For example, CORE 282 Creative Vision of Alfred Hitchcock and Core 140 Islamic Cultures can be adapted to count toward the Women’s Studies minor. The student must agree in advance to complete any extra work necessitated by the course modification. And, lastly, approval of the Women’s Studies Director must be obtained prior to course enrollment. If you have questions about this process or the suitability of any particular course for modification and inclusion in the minor, please see the Director: Dr. Robin Field, Program Director (Hafey-Marian room 417, 570-208-5900 x5771; robinfield@kings.edu)

 

 

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