University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Core Courses

WOST 187 Introduction to Women's Studies (ID)
Alex Deschamps
Monday, Wednesday 10:10, plus discussion section

Lecture, discussion. Placing women's experiences at the center of interpretation, this course introduces basic concepts and perspectives in Women's Studies. Focusing on women's history and contemporary issues for women, we will examine women's lives with a particular emphasis on the ways in which gender interacts with race, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women's lives; the ways in which the interlocking systems of oppression, colon ialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and heterosexism shape women's lives; and, how women have worked to resist these oppressions.

WOST 201
Critical Perspectives in Women's Studies
Arlene Avakian
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 - 12:30 pm

Introduction to the fundamental questions and concepts of feminist thought and to the basic intellectual tools of analysis by which women's experience may be reviewed and analyzed across race, class, and sexuality and within the structures of contemporary global power and in the context of North American domination and the "new world order."

Career and Life Choices for Women (2 credits)
Karen Lederer
Monday 12:20 - 2:00 pm, pass/fail

Development of a systematic approach to career, educational, and life planning. Emphasis on prioritization of values and subsequent life choices. Elements of self exploration include: distinguishing between choosing a major and choosing a career; identifying and expanding areas of career interest; identifying current skills and skills necessary for career of choice; relating knowledge, interests and skills to career goals; and current issues for women in the workforce. Career planning skills include budgeting, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing and use of various resources. Women's Studies students or seniors only.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Studies Seminar Series
Thursday, 1 credit, pass/fail

Mandatory attendance at Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Studies Brown Bag Series weekly. To receive credit, students must participate in discussion at the Brown Bags and complete response sheets on three of the presentations. Registration at the first Brown Bag. For more information, call the Program for GLB Concerns at 545-4824.

Women and Health Care
Jan Raymond
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Topics include: the history of women and healing, medical education and women, midwifery, sterilization, gynecology and obstetrics, unnecessary surgery, menstruation, and philosophies of health and health care. A critical examination of health care as it affects women, using interdisciplinary sources.

WOST 301
Theorizing Women's Issues
Jan Raymond
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 - 12:30 pm

Central to any tradition are the issues and controversies that help construct the theory of a tradition. Focus on a variety of feminist issues and controversies -- among them the construction of gender, race, and sexuality; feminism and men; the internati onal trafficking in women; violence against women; pornography; lesbianism; African-American feminism and women's resistance to oppression. These issues form a nucleus from which to think about: 1) What is theory? 2) Is theory important for feminism? 3) W ho are our theorists? 4) How is gender related to the components that help construct it, namely race, class and sexuality? 5) What is the importance of an international perspective? 6) How are theory and practice interrelated?

Writing for Women's Studies Majors
Kathy Lebesco
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15 am

Junior Year Writing Requirement. Modes of expository writing and argumentation useful for research and writing in a variety of fields. This course will attempt to acquaint students with the many genres of writing within Women's Studies. It will be structu red around a set of readings selected to represent a large variety of stylistic approaches, e.g. scholarly writings in a number of fields, book reviews, film reviews, polemical journalistic writing, reportage, letters-to-the-editor, personal and self-refl exive prose, newsletter prose, conference reports. The readings will be short, and each will be intended to serve as a model of its kind to be analyzed, emulated, and/or critiqued. This course is only offered in the Fall semester.

Women, Men and Journalism
Karen List
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 - 12:30pm

This course looks at issues surrounding the participation and portrayal of women in American journalism from colonial to contemporary times. It focuses on women journalists and the obstacles they have faced as well as on coverage of women from the 18th ce ntury through today in the context of the news-editorial aspect of newspapers, magazines, and broadcasting. Parallels are drawn with other groups, including African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. [This course is also cross-listed as JOURN 395A]

Representations of Women: Film and Social Change
Beheroze Shroff
Wednesday 2:30 - 3:20 pm
Screenings: Wednesday 5:30 - 8:00 pm

From Salt of the Earth to Daughters of the Dust, we will analyze women's images and spaces in cinema from different parts of the world. We will explore different ways of reading and interpreting film and social change. We will cover a range of issues -- r esistance strategies, marriage and society, aging, sexuality, women's roles in the family and the rewriting and rediscovery of history. Reading will include issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and feminist film theory. Essays and articles on film the ory and feminist film analysis will be used in order to define the cinematic language or style of these films through which women are portrayed. Cross-cultural analysis of various characterizations which recur in Third World cinema. This course may be cou nted toward the Women of Color Requirement for Women's Studies majors and minors.

Caribbean Women: Feminization of Development
Alex Deschamps
Monday, Wednesday 3:35 - 4:50 pm

This courses is intended as an analysis and synthesis of current scholarly thinking, policy practice, and activist experience about women and the process of change, development, and transformation in the Caribbean. Placing Women As Center moves beyond the concept, theory and practice of "integrating" Caribbean women in the development process. Women's triple roles (productive, reproductive, and community management) emerge as central elements of women's activities in both their individual daily lives and their collective social movements. Students will engage in case study analyses of (1) The Domestic Domain and the Community, (2) The Intersection of Reproduction and Production, (3) Popular Education in Practice, and (4) Economic Roles in both Urban and R ural sectors. This course may be counted toward the Women of Color Requirement for Women's Studies majors and minors.

The Social Construction of Whiteness and Women
Arlene Avakian
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 - 10:45 am

Designed for students who have some familiarity with the historical, economic and political bases of racism, this course will explore the social construction of whiteness, its interaction with gender, and the historical and contemporary political resistan ce to white privilege focusing primarily on the US. Goals of the course are: (1) to gain an understanding of the historical, economic and political forces responsible for the construction and maintenance of whiteness; (2) to explore the mechanisms which i nsure that whiteness is experienced as the norm and not as a race; (3) to explore the critical role of gender in the construction of whiteness; (4) to foster students' ability to position themselves on the multiple axes of race, gender and class and to he lp them gain an understanding of the role they play in maintaining the privileges they have; (5) to help students explore effective action to challenge white privilege.

In addition to the strictly academic work of the course, students working in groups will be required to design and implement activist projects, on or off campus, to raise consciousness about white privilege with a specific focus on gender. In addition to this activist component, students are required to enroll in a one-credit WOST practicum which will provide a space for students to share their emotional responses to the class material in a small group setting on a weekly basis. Groups will consist of 10 students each and be led by students with a strong background in anti-racism work. PREREQUISITES: coursework in race and gender or permission of instructor. STUDENTS MUST ENROLL IN A ONE-CREDIT WOST (mandatory P/F) Practicum - details will be given during the first class.

WOST 492A/ENGL 480
Women, Race, and Theater
Jenny Spencer
Monday, Wednesday 3:35 - 5:30 pm

In this course, we will read, discuss, celebrate, and problematize a broad range of work by women -- plays, performance pieces, literary criticism and theory - beginning with suffragette plays near the turn of the century, and ending with recent performan ce work by lesbians and women of color. The class will take up the problematic and inseparable connections between race, gender, and representation, with special attention to the challenges articulated by current feminist thinkers and performance studies scholars. Readings include plays by Susan Glaspell, Sophie Treadwell, Georgia-Douglas Parks, Zora Neale Hurston, Caryl Churchill, Maria Irene Fornes, and Anna Deveare Smith in addition to related essays. Assignments include short response papers, collabor ative performances, and a final project to be individually negotiated with the instructor. This course may be counted toward the Women of Color Requirement for Women's Studies majors and minors.

WOST 591B/SOM 691F
Feminist Theory, Organization and Diversity
Ann Ferguson and Marta Calas
Monday 6:00 - 8:30 pm

Seminar will provide an overview of the current debates in feminist theory, particularly with regard to intersectionalities between gender, race, class and sexual domination systems and their effects in organizational contexts. Epistemological and postmod ern concerns will be addressed, as well as the implications for analyzing organizational development and change. Some background in feminist theory and/or social theory required.

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