Academics

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

The women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) program is an interdisciplinary major that examines gender as a socially created identity and a system of inequality. Throughout the program’s courses, students analyze how gender intersects with sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, religion, disability and other categories of culturally created differences to understand how these intersections result in a range of experiences and meanings for people’s daily lives. The theories and methods in the program cross a variety of disciplines, converging in analysis of the complexities of systems of gender-based power and oppression. Because many academic departments contribute courses to this program, its curriculum allows students the flexibility to choose courses that most interest them while receiving solid training in gender theory and engaging in interdisciplinary study.

WGSS encourages experiential learning, Principled Problem Solving experiences, internship opportunities, independent studies and study abroad.

DEGREE OFFERED

The Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Major

Bachelor of Arts

The women's, gender and sexuality studies major is an interdisciplinary major that requires a second disciplinary major and an advisor in each major.

The program requires eight four-credit courses: the interdisciplinary Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS 110), and an approved IDS 400 course, with the remaining courses selected from at least two departments: one in the arts and humanities and one in the social sciences. Integrative experiences, internships, independent study and senior thesis are encouraged. Up to eight credits may be earned through approved internships.

The major requires a minimum of 32 credit hours (eight four-credit courses) in women’s, gender and sexuality studies. All students in the program complete WGSS 110: Introduction to Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and should do so as early in their career as WGSS majors as possible. Students fulfill other course requirements by choosing at least two four-credit courses from each of three categories: Lives and experiences of women in different contexts; Gender theory and analysis; and Sexuality. The eighth course is an elective. Students complete at least four credits at the 200-level, eight at the 300-level, and eight at the 400-level, including at least one approved IDS 400 course (taken in the senior year). At least three of these courses must focus on women of color in the U.S. or internationally (designated by the suffix WoC; WGSS 110 is designated WoC.)

The major requires a minimum of 32 credit hours (eight courses) in women's, gender and sexuality studies in the following pattern:

WGSS 110  Introduction to Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies - 4 credits 
CHOOSE TWO COURSES focusing on lives and experiences of women in different contexts (8 credits)
ENGL 334 African Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits
FREN 311 The Francophone World (WoC) - 4 credits
HIST 268 History of Chinese Women (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 411 Gender & Development in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 415  Understanding Eating Disorders (WoC) - 4 credits 
IDS 421  Border Crossings (WoC) - 4 credits 
IDS 485  Arab and Islamic Feminisms - 4 credits 
JAPN 220  Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits 
PSY 351  Psychology and Gender - 4 credits 
REL 317  Women in Tibetan Buddhism (WoC) - 4 credits 
SOAN 330  Inequality in Latin America  (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 432  Women of Color in the U.S. (WoC) - 4 credits  
CHOOSE TWO COURSES focusing on gender theory and analysis (8 credits)
ART 279 Identity, Race and Gender in Art (WoC) - 4 credits
ENGL 400 Arab Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits 
IDS 415 Understanding Eating Disorders (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 418 Science, Sex and Nature - 4 credits
IDS 421 Border Crossings (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 481 Notions of Beauty - 4 credits
IDS 482 Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 485 Arab and Islamic Feminisms (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits 
PHIL 336 Social and Political Philosophy - 4 credits
PSCI 305 Politics of Gender (WoC) - 4 credits
PSY 351 Psychology and Gender - 4 credits
PSY 351 Boys into Men - 4 credits
REL 122 Men, Masculinities and Religions - 4 credits
REL 222  Feminist Theologies - 4 credits
SOAN 267  Race and Gender in Media Focus (WoC) - 4 credits 
SOAN 313  Sociology of Sex and Gender (WoC) - 4 credits  
SOAN 323  Gender, Health and Illness - 4 credits  
SOAN 330  Inequality in Latin America (WoC) - 4 credits  
SOAN 416  Gender and Sociology of the Body - 4 credits  
THEA 262  Gay and Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits  

CHOOSE TWO COURSES focused on sexuality (8 credits)
IDS 409 Gay, Lesbian and Queer Studies - 4 credits 
IDS 418 Science, Sex and Nature - 4 credits
JAPN 220 Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 231 Philosophy and Sexuality - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
SOAN 234 Culture and Sexuality in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender (WoC) - 4 credits
THEA 262 Gay and Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

choose Any wgss course (4 credits)
 

Total credit hours required for A.B. degree in women’s, gender and sexuality studies – 32 credits

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Minor

Minor

Students who complete the interdisciplinary women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor examine systems of gender-based power and oppression and think creatively about efforts to replace them with systems that promote social justice. Students explore how gender and sexuality intersect with other categories of culturally created differences to diversely shape all lives and experiences, and particularly, women’s lives and experiences.

The women’s, gender & sexuality studies minor is not available to women’s, gender & sexuality studies majors.

The minor requires a minimum of 16 credit hours (four courses). All students in the minor complete WGSS 110: Introduction to Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and should do so as early in their career as WGSS minors as possible. Minors also take one course in each of the following three categories: lives and experiences of women in different contexts; gender theory and analysis; and sexuality. Two of these courses must focus on Women of Color (WoC), and one must be an approved IDS 400 course.

WGSS 110  Introduction to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies - 4 credits 

CHOOSE ONE COURSE FOCUSED ON THE LIVES AND EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS (4 credits)
ART 279 Identity, Race and Gender in Art (WoC) - 4 credits
ENGL 334  African Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits  
FREN 311 The Francophone World (WoC) - 4 credits
HIST 268 History of Chinese Women (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 411 Gender & Development in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 415  Understanding Eating Disorders (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 421 Border Crossings (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 485  Arab and Islamic Feminism - 4 credits
JAPN 220 Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits
PSY 351 Psychology and Gender - 4 credits
REL 317 Women in Tibetan Buddhism (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 330 Inequality in Latin America (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 432 Women of Color in the U.S. (WoC) - 4 credits

CHOOSE ONE COURSE FOCUSED ON GENDER THEORY AND ANALYSIS (4 credits)
ART 279  Identity, Race and Gender in Art (WoC) - 4 credits 
ENGL 400 Arab Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 415  Understanding Eating Disorders (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 418  Science, Sex and Nature - 4 credits
IDS 421  Border Crossings (WoC) - 4 credits 
IDS 481 Notions of Beauty - 4 credits
IDS 482 Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 485 Arab and Islamic Feminisms (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
PHIL 336 Social and Political Philosophy - 4 credits
PSCI 305 Politics of Gender (WoC) - 4 credits
PSY 351 Psychology and Gender - 4 credits
PSY 351  Boys into Men - 4 credits  
REL 122  Men, Masculinities and Religions - 4 credits
REL 222  Feminist Theologies - 4 credits  
REL 341 Liberation Theologies (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 267 Race and Gender in Media Focus (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 323  Gender, Health and Illness - 4 credits 
SOAN 330  Inequality in Latin America - 4 credits 
SOAN 416  Gender and Sociology of the Body - 4 credits  
THEA 262 Gay & Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

CHOOSE ONE COURSE FOCUSED ON SEXUALITY (4 credits)
IDS 409 Gay, Lesbian and Queer Studies - 4 credits
IDS 418 Science, Sex and Nature I - 4 credits
JAPN 220 Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 231 Philosophy and Sexuality - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
SOAN 234 Culture and Sexuality in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender (WoC) - 4 credits
THEA 262 Gay and Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for women’s, gender and sexuality studies minor – 16 credits

Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Why Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies?

The women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) program is an interdisciplinary major that examines gender as a socially created identity and a system of inequality. Throughout the program’s courses, students analyze how gender intersects with sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, religion, disability and other categories of culturally created differences to understand how these intersections result in a range of experiences and meanings for people’s daily lives. The theories and methods in the program cross a variety of disciplines, but analyzing the complexities of systems of power and oppression in people’s daily lives is central to the major.

The program requires eight courses that focus on women’s lives, women of color and gender and sexuality concepts and theories. Students can choose from a wide selection of courses across the curriculum to fulfill the major’s requirements. This dynamic curriculum allows students flexibility in choosing courses that most interest them while at the same time providing a solid training in gender theories and concepts.

Majors and minors have opportunities to develop close relationships with professors through discussion-based, student-centered classes. WGSS encourages experiential learning, internship opportunities, independent studies and study abroad. The program also sponsors a women’s, gender and sexuality studies conference, where students can showcase their research and creative performances.

WGSS graduates have pursued graduate degrees in women’s and gender studies or have engaged in a variety of interesting occupations such as teaching, restaurant management, graphic design and holistic nutrition and lifestyle consulting. A recent graduate is also a member of Greensboro’s new roller derby team, the Gate City Roller Girls!

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Internships

 

  • The Albert Kennedy Trust (London, England)
  • Department of Family and Children’s Services (Atlanta, Ga.)
  • The Family Crisis Center (Asheboro, N.C.)
  • North Carolina Council for Women
  • North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission
  • Women’s Resource Center of Greensboro

 

Naomi Madaras '16

Greencastle, Pa., women's gender & sexuality studies and sociology & anthropology double-major
Future Plans: Social justice work, Quaker Voluntary Service

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty

Contributing Faculty

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