The Carthage Women’s and Gender Studies Program introduces students at the undergraduate level to some of the most important ways in which the study of women and gender has transformed how other disciplines. Scroll down to read descriptions of the women’s and gender studies courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.
- Carthage Schoology for current students
- Course schedules for all terms
- Current final exam schedule
- Minor requirements
Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (DIV)
This course will begin by drawing a distinction between biology (the body) and current theories of gender (culture and biology) and identity formation. The course concentrates on Western interpretations of woman and man as cultural symbols using a variety of disciplinary approaches.
Psychology of Women and Gender
This course examines the psychology of women and gender from a social constructivist theoretical framework. In addition to gender, the course utilizes intersectional theory to explore the ways that race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and physical ability interact and operate at individual, interpersonal, and cultural levels to modify experiences. Finally, the course examines the social and political implications of our cultural understandings of woman, man, and gender.
Prerequisite: WMG 1100
This course is an overview of family violence. Particular attention will be given to groups that have been disproportionately affected by family violence, namely women, older adults, and children. Emerging knowledge related to violence in gay and lesbian families, minority families, and special populations will be included.
Race, Gender, and Sex in Ancient Greece and Rome (HUM)
A study of how the Greeks and Romans perceived those who lived outside their respective cultures, how they interacted with them, how they treated marginalized elements of their society (women, slaves, foreigners), and how they reacted to physical differences that existed among races. In sum, the course deals with definitions of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and “otherness” in general (using both modern and ancient definitions).
Blacks in Antiquity: Race in the Ancient Mediterranean World (HUM)
Students will examine and learn how the ancients understood color, ethnicity, and race in the Ancient Mediterranean World (North Africa, Greece, and Rome) through reading of ancient and modern texts and an examination of ancient art, particularly the role of sub- Saharan Africans in the world around the Mediterranean Sea.
Race and Racisms (DIV)
Examines the sociological, economic, and psychological nature of the relationships between racial and ethnic groups with differential access to political and economic power. Focus is on the United States, with some discussion of racism, cultural discrimination, and sexism in other parts of the world.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or permission of the instructor
Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in a Diverse World (DIV)
This course examines the sociological perspectives of sex, gender, and sexuality, while incorporating interdisciplinary texts when necessary. The course will locate sex, gender, and sexuality within contemporary sociohistorical context; examine practices and relationships of power; and analyze both institutional and interpersonal forms of inequality based on sex, gender, and sexuality.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or WMG 1100
Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (HUM)
An examination of the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution over time on such topics as freedom of expression and religion, criminal and civil due process, privacy, equal protection, and the nationalization of the Bill of Rights.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
Women and the Bible (HUM) (DIV)
This course is an opportunity to study the situation of women at the time of the biblical writings, to investigate evidence for how women were treated in the earliest Christian churches, and to take seriously the impact that the interpretation of biblical texts has had on women’s social roles throughout history and in our own day.
Women of Africa
The study of the countries in Africa has frequently focused on public events: colonialism, political change, war, government actions, and the formal economy. In recent years, researchers have begun to explore in more depth how women’s lives are impacted by these events, and how women in Africa are active participants in the various sectors of their societies. This course will look at life in various African countries through the eyes of women and will examine how women of Africa actively engage in and are affected by political, cultural, and economic events both domestically and internationally. Themes will include human rights issues of women, the impact of modernity and tradition on women’s lives, images of appropriate female behavior, economic hardship and survival techniques, cultural issues surrounding marriage and motherhood, and women’s participation in the public spheres of their countries.
African countries and peoples have often been examined through the lenses of European and North American cultures. These analyses have sometimes been helpful and other times have resulted in inaccurate portrayals of African life and people. This course uses texts written predominantly by African authors from various parts of the continent to provide African perspectives of transitions that have occurred on the continent. These transitions include the transition from traditional life to colonial rule, the shift to independence, attempts at democratization, adaptations rural Africans make when moving to urban areas, and the clashes between Western and African cultures that continue today. Using themes of governance, community, and reference groups to examine different African cultures, the course incorporates theories and concepts from the disciplines of political science and sociology.
Literature of Diversity (HUM)
Each offering in this rotating selection of courses explores a single diverse ethnic literature, such as African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, and Native American. While content will vary according to the discretion of the instructor, this group of courses is united by a common desire to read a diverse literature according to its own heritage double-voiced as it is further complicated by issues of gender and class. To this end, a course in Native American literature, for example, might begin with a study of the creation myths in the oral tradition, then move to historical, anthropological, autobiographical, and fictional accounts of the Native American experience as the two (often conflicting) voices of Native American and American describe it.
Literature and Gender (HUM)
In this course the literature chosen for study will reflect issues relevant to considerations of gender. In some instances, works will be chosen in order to explore the idea of how literature portrays what it means to be gendered. In other instances, literature will be chosen in order to explore how writers of one gender portray characters of the opposite gender. In some instances the choice of literature will be based on extending awareness of writers who, because of their gender, have not historically been included within the canon. The historical and social contexts of these works will be an integral part of the conversation within the course.
Women’s and Gender Studies Theory (DIV)
This is a reading seminar that will investigate the writings of feminist theorists as well as the critical questions raised by feminism pertinent to the academic disciplines. “Sexes (gender), difference between the sexes, man, woman, race, black, white, nature are at the core of [the straight minds’] set of parameters. They have shaped our concepts, our laws, our institutions, our history, and our cultures. To reexamine the parameters on which universal thought is founded requires a reevaluation of all the basic tools of analysis, including dialectics. Not in order to discard it, but to make it more effective” (Monique Wittig). This course will examine the feminist critique of culture as a way of examining our philosophical heritage and as a way of understanding the relationship of culture to academic inquiry.
Prerequisites: It is recommended that students first take Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, then their elective credits, and then this course. Students may also seek consent of the instructor.
Women and Politics (SOC) (DIV)
This class is an examination of the political roles and activities of women internationally. Exploring cultural, religious, racial, economic, and social constraints, as well as opportunities for women’s involvement in politics, the course will keep in mind theory and practice as well as the problems in specific countries. Attention will be given to how the discipline defines political participation, how various feminists may influence change, and what it means to look for common differences.
Advanced Feminist Theory
This is a rotating content course reading primary texts in one area of feminist theory, for example, Womanist Theory, Queer Theory, French Feminist Theory, etc. This course presumes a baseline understanding of feminist theory and its critique of culture as a way of examining our philosophical heritage. As an advanced study, it expands students’ flexibility in scholarly dialogues and academic inquiry. While the course is part of the WMG offerings and counts as an elective toward the minor, it also has the potential to enrich other disciplines by providing an alternative lens for examining many core presumptions.
Prerequisite: WMG 1100 or WMG 3110
This course examines the politics of human rights and the changing nature of sovereignty in the international system. To do this we will explore the major threats to human rights in the contemporary world as well as the cultural and political obstacles to international consensus on human rights norms. Finally, we will attempt to determine the appropriate mechanisms for their implementation.
While the focus of this course will be theoretical, the class will begin by introducing some general background information on global stratification. It will examine the geography of stratification (i.e., which countries are rich, which countries are poor, etc.). The basic demographics of poverty will also be explored. Particular attention will be paid to infant mortality rates, life expectancy rates, health care quality and access, education, the status of women, and the availability of foreign and domestic assistance. Finally, it will analyze various concepts of poverty, measures of poverty, and different kinds of stratification systems.
Women in the Arts
Why have there been no great women artists? Have there been none? Prepare to be amazed! This course takes up Nochlin’s famous question by examining artifacts from prehistory and surveying evidence of women’s roles and creativity in the arts up through the present.
The Gendering of Leadership (DIV)
This interdisciplinary course includes experiential learning. The course has three components: first, an overview of gender operations in organizations and human interactions; second, a self-evaluation of the student’s personality traits and goals; and lastly, research into strategies for leadership in a variety of institutions and personality types.
Prerequisite: WMG 3110 or permission of the program director