Women’s Studies Program
109 Dickinson House
201 Clapp Lab
206 Ciruti Center
Course offers an overview of women's position in society and culture by examining women's lives from a variety of experiential and theoretical perspectives. The first section examines works by women that illuminate both the shared and the diverse social, psychological, political, and economic realities of their experience; the second section introduces analyses of sexism and oppression, with a focus on different frameworks for making and evaluating feminist arguments. Concludes with visionary feminist views of women recreating their lives.
WS 200 (O1)/HIST 280
African American and U.S. Women
Tuesday, Thursday 8:35-9:50 a.m.
How is our understanding of U.S. history transformed when we place African American women at the center of the story? This course will examine the exclusion of African American women from dominant historical narratives and the challenge to those narratives presented by African American women's history through an investigation of selected topics in the field. This course counts toward the UMass Women's Studies major or minor women of color requirement.
WS 200 (02)/HIST 296
Women, Spirituality, and Power: A Cross- Cultural Comparison
Wednesday, Friday 8:30-9:50 a.m.
How are the changing and varied experiences of women related to notions of the sacred? How are the very distinctions between "women" and "men" affected by such notions. In what ways is spirituality a source of power for women or a limit to their power? The critical and self-reflective use of historical analysis and interpretation are central to this inquiry into the relationships between women's experience and the boundaries sacred and profane in various cultures. Case studies include European women during the transition from medieval to modern society, African women during early encounters with European Christians as well as in the period after "independence," and women of the African diaspora.
Women in American Religious History
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Critical study of significant women (Anne Hutchinson, Mother Ann Lee, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen Gould White,
Aimee Semple McPerson, Dorothy Day, and others) and their roles in the pluralistic character of American
religion. It raises central questions concerning leadership, marginality, deviant behavior, and criticism of
women. Students are expected to contribute to the course by their participation and individual research.
WS 233/POL 233
Invitation to Feminist Theory
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
On the complexities and tensions between sex, gender, and power. We explore the overlapping dualities of the feminine and the masculine, the private and the public, the home and the world. We examine different forms of power over the body; the ways gender and sexual identities reinforce or challenge the established order; and the historical forces behind the current upheavals in sexual relations. Finally, we probe the cultural determinants of "women's emancipation."
WS 333 (01)
Emily Dickinson in Her Time
Tuesday 1:00-4:00 p.m.
This class will meet at the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst. Enrollment limited to ten (10). Students must apply during pre-registration for enrollment in this course at the Women's Studies Office, 109 Dickinson House. Pre-requisites: junior or senior; 8 credits in WS beyond WS 101 or PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
WS 333 (02)/HIST 381(02)
Women, Politics and Activism in the US
Monday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
This seminar examines the changing relationships between women and policies in the United States from the 1790s to the 1970s. Focusing on women's activism in and out of formal political arenas, we will consider the conceptual and interpretive problems raised by the inclusion of women in American political history. Students will be expected to write a substantial essay based on original research.
WS 333 (03)/SOC 316
The Sociology of Gender
Tuesday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
This course focuses on the social production and reproduction of gender relationships across a range of institutional, interactional, intellectual and cultural contexts. The syllabus is structured around selections from major social, political, economic and cultural theories of gender in addition to several exemplary empirical studies. Weekly topics include kinship and socialization, the contemporary moral orders of masculinity and femininity, issues in sexuality, paid work, housework and family organization, legal systems and nation-states, war and rape, and the gendered organization and deployment of "expert" authority in a range of settings.
Women of Color