WOMEN'S STUDIES CORE COURSES
FALL 1997

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WOST 187
Introduction to Women’s Studies (ID)
Ann Ferguson
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday 10:10 am
Discussion: Friday 9:05, 10:10 or 11:15 am

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 lives with a particular emphasis on the ways in which gender interacts with race, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women’s lives, the ways in which the interlocking systems of colonialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and heterosexism shape women’s lives and how women have resisted them.


WOST 187O
Introduction to Women’s Studies
Alex Deschamps

Same description as WOST 187. For students in residential first-year programs. Registration available only during summer orientation.


WOST 201
Critical Perspectives in Women’s Studies
Alex Deschamps
Lecture #1: Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 pm
Lecture #2: Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 pm

Introduction to the fundamental questions and concepts of Women’s Studies and to the basic intellectual tools of analysis integrating gender, class, race, and sexual orientation. Also addresses the multifaceted dimensions of women’s lived experiences primarily in North America, with some comparative connections to women globally.


WOST 294C
Black Women and Work in the US
Jennifer Ire
Monday, Wednesday 3:35-4:50 pm

This course will chart and attempt to understand Black Women’s experiences with work in the US and focus on African American women. Using Black feminist thought we will examine the historical, social and cultural factors that impact both the meanings and experiences of work for African American women and acknowledge some of their achievements. Finally, we will begin to create for ourselves an understanding of how their experiences and meanings can help us in making work, career and life choices. Fulfills Women of Color Requirement for majors and minors.


WOST 296Q
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Studies Seminar Series
Thursday 12:30, 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 meeting. For more information, call the Program for GLB Concerns at 545-4824.


WOST 296Q
Violence Against Women Colloquium (1 credit)
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This one credit colloquium aims to address the personal attitudes, societal values and institutional structures that reinforce and perpetuate violence against women, and to offer information and resources for building healthy relationships and healthy communities. Topics will include: gender roles/sexism, abuse in relationships, media images, pornography, sexual harassment, rape awareness, safety strategies, empowerment/self-esteem, and community organizing. Sessions will be interactive, utilizing campus and community resources. Register at the 1st meeting. Contact Joanne Land-Kazlauskas 545-5831 for more information.


WOST 297D
Women and Health Care
Janice Raymond
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 pm

Survey course examining five areas: women and the professionalization of medicine emphasizing critical medieval and modern case histories; environmental health and cancer; violence against women; menstruation and menopause; and women, health and development with a focus on global women’s health issues. Course locates women’s health issues within a larger context of basic health science, feminist theory, medical ethics and the sociology of the professions. Key questions are: what has produced, and continues to produce women’s current health status in different parts of the world? What are the political, economic and cultural values and structures that mediate women’s health? How do these combine to structure medicine as an institution? What is the impact of gender, race and culture on women’s health and disease and on institutions and practices of medicine? What are strategies for change? Active class participation; journal on readings; 4 short papers on each area of study; final take-home exam.


WOST 298 et al
Practicum
Karen Lederer
by arrangement

Fieldwork placements available on-campus or at local agencies. Opportunity for development of skills, and practical application of knowledge. Agencies include human services, local government, and local business. See opening page on Women’s Studies for details. Additional information available in the Women’s Studies Office, 208 Bartlett Hall. Credit approved by a faculty sponsor. Pass/fail or graded option available. Everywomen’s Center (EWC) practicums also available.


WOST 298
Practicum: Everywoman’s Center Educator/Advocate Program

Students serve as educator/advocates in the Everywoman’s Center Educator/Advocate Program, offering community organizing, workshops and trainings to colleges, high schools, and community groups on isues of violence against women and women’s empowerment. Involves two-semester commitment and 70 hours of training. Admission selective. Contact person: Joanne Land-Kazlauskas, 545-0883.


WOST 298
Practicum: Everywoman’s Center Counselor/Advocate Program

Students serve as counselor/advocates in the Everywoman’s Center Counselor Advocate Program, helping survivors of rape, battering, incest, sexual harassment, and related violence. Duties include staffing a 24-hour hotline, providing short-term counseling, and advocating for victims and their families with police, courts, social service agencies, etc. Involves two-semester commitment and requires 70 hour training, four on- call shifts per month, weekly staff meetings, short-term counseling for up to two participants, arranging appropriate follow-up, adherence to confidentiality policy, completion of required paperwork, and access to car and phone. Admission selective. Contact Rachel Thorburn, 545-0883.


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

The objective of this course is to introduce ways of analyzing and reflecting on current issues and controversies in feminist thought within an international context. Main subject areas are: feminism and nationalism; culture as revolution and reaction; the construction of gender, race and sexuality; perspectives on pornography and racial hatred propaganda/speech/acts; and international sex trafficking and prostitution. Questions addressed are: What constitutes theory in Women’s Studies? How does theory reflect, critique, challenge and change dominant sex/race/class power structures? What is theory’s relationship to practice? What are the contemporary issues important to feminist/womanist theory? The common thread of this course is to provide students with some tools of analysis for addressing these issues. Oral class presentations, two short papers and one take-home exam. Prerequisite: WOST 201


WOST 391E/ECON 348
Political Economy of Women
Lisa Saunders
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 pm

This course uses a wide range of women’s issues to teach varied economic principles and theories. Popular women’s topics in past semesters include women’s increasing labor force participation; gender differences in hiring, promotions, and earnings; the growing poverty rate for female headed households; trade policy effects on women in the US and other countries; and race and class differences in the economic opportunities of women. Empirical assessment of women’s work in the market and in the home in the US and other countries. Reconsideration of traditional issues of political economy, comparative economic history, and labor economics


WOST 391W
Writing for Women’s Studies Majors
TBA
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15 am

Fulfills University’s Junior Year Writing Requirement. Offered fall semester only. Course acquaints students with the many genres of writing within Women’s Studies and is structured around a set of readings selected to represent a large variety of stylist approaches including scholarly writings in a number of fields, book and film reviews, polemical journalistic writing, letters to the editor, zines, web pages, personal and self-reflexive prose, newsletter prose, and 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. The course allows students to hone skills in modes of expository writing and argumentation useful for research and writing in a variety of fields.


WOST 395H
US Women’s Lives in Contexts: Reading and Creating Political Autobiography, 4 credit Honors
Arlene Avakian
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 am

A course in which students will both read women’s autobiographies and oral histories as well as do some of their own autobiographical work. The class will explore the ways in which lives are embedded within their social, political and cultural contexts and the ways in which people construct their lives. We will have a particular focus on the ways in which gender, race, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation impact on lives and the ways these social forces interact with each other. Focusing on their own lives in their contexts, students will create autobiographical work which could take a variety of forms; e.g. written, oral, visual, or dramatic. Readings will focus on contemporary US women; public figures, and “ordinary” women.


WOST 395I
Immigrant Women in the US: The Dilemma of Caribbean Women
Jennifer Ire
Monday, Wednesday 5:15-6:30 pm

This course will examine some US Immigration policies, and the impact on women. We will learn some of the reasons why women emigrate from their homelands, and attempt to understand the impact of race, gender, class, ethnocentrism, and internal colonialism on their lives. We will focus on women of the Caribbean, the impact of acculturation, and the strategies they employ to maintaining family and cultural ties while adjusting to a new life and status in the US. Fulfills Women of Color Requirement for majors and minors.


395L
The Social Construction of Whiteness and Women
Arlene Avakian
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 pm

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 resistance 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 insure 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 help 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 496A
Resources in Women’s Studies Research (2 credits)
Emily Silverman, Women’s Studies Librarian
Wednesday 3:35-5:00 pm

In this two credit independent study, we will focus on research methods and resources in Women’s Studies, with opportunities to explore primary and secondary sources from Web sites to CD-ROMSs, from printed materials to microfilm. Class meetings will permit time for demonstration and hands-on practice with both electronic and paper resources. Recommended for juniors and seniors. Please contact Emily Silverman to sign up at 545-0995 or essilverman@library.umass.edu


WOST 494H
Women in Islam
Leila Ahmed
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 pm

Will use novels and film as core and introductory texts and will entail research papers on topics on women in Islam to be agreed upon between idividual students and instructor. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for majors and minors.