WOST 187: INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S STUDIES
Professor Arlene Avakian, Spring 2001
MW 10:10 -11:00 plus discussion section
Office Hours: TBA
TEACHING ASSISTANTS: Tanya Kachwaha; Jeannine Marks; Lisa Dawn Thompson;
Stephanie Evans; Gabriela Delgadillo
TA PHONE: 577-0711
COURSE DESCRIPTION

Placing women's experience at the center of interpretation, this class 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, and sexual orientation. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women's lives and the interlocking systems of colonialism, racism, sexism, and heterosexism shape women's lives as well as the ways women have worked to resist these oppression.

REQUIRED BOOKS:
Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present. 1995. NY: Harper Perennial
Book of Readings
Voice Male, The Magazine of the Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts (hand out)

ZINN AND BOOK OF READINGS ARE FOR SALE AT FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOOKS 106 NORTH PLEASANT STREET - AMHERST

THIS SYLLABUS IS DESIGNED AS A STUDY AID--KEEP IT AS A REFERENCE DURING THE SEMESTER. READING ASSIGNMENTS, MIDTERM EXAM DATE AND PAPER DUE DATE, AND OTHER VITAL INFORMATION IS LISTED AS WELL AS STUDY QUESTIONS FOR EACH TOPIC. USE THESE QUESTIONS TO PREPARE FOR DISCUSSION GROUPS AND EXAMS.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS


WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAMS:

GRADING FORMULA: Final grades will be computed by giving equal weight to: discussion group participation, including attendance and class participation (25%); out of class 3-5 page essay (25%); midterm exam (25%); final exam (25%). Note: the final exam will not be cumulative, but will include material from the midterm on.

DISCUSSION GROUPS:
Since we are aware that large lecture courses are not the optimum way for most people to learn, we have been very careful to design the discussion sections to be integrated into the course rather than optional add ons. Discussion sections provide an opportunity to clarify the issues under discussion for that week. If you are confused by the lecture, film, or reading, bring your questions to the discussion group. In addition to their strictly academic function, the discussion groups are also places where students may talk about the ways in which the topics we address in this course may have touched their lives. We expect you to have completed and thought about all of the readings for the week and come to discussion ready to engage in dialogue. Attendance and participation in discussion group is (25%) of the grade for this course.

ACADEMIC HONESTY:
Our assumption is that students are generally honest, but we will take necessary action against students who commit any infraction of University guidelines on academic honesty. Familiarize yourself with the section on academic honesty in the Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities handbook. Pay particular attention to the section on plagiarism. Ignorance of these guidelines will not constitute a valid excuse for plagiarism.

GROUND RULES:
Despite the size of this class, we are concerned about the quality of your experience. We will try to foster as much of your active participation as possible. Lectures will include time for questions and discussion sections have been designed to be an integral part of the course. All of us are available to meet with students individually during our office hours or by appointment. Make use of office hours to continue class discussion, clarify confusions or to discuss any other problems you may be having with the course. Because of the size of this class and the nature of the subject matter, it is necessary to have the following ground rules: