Women’s & Gender Studies Course Descriptions
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)
WMG 1100 / 4 credits
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.
Statistics for Social Justice
WMG 200T / 4 credits
A study of elementary statistics with a focus on social problems related to inequality and systemic racism. Topics including descriptive statistics, probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression will be studied and applied to real-world data to draw conclusions about social disparities in the United States and across the globe. A student may not receive credit for Statistics for Social Justice after receiving credit for any other statistics course.
WMG 200T / 4 credits
Gender Communication will explore the various approaches, methodologies, issues, theories, and controversies related to gender and communication. Students will become aware of the difficulties and benefits of gender and communication; examine the importance of diversity and other critical issues in many communication venues, including interpersonal, family, work, cross-cultural settings, etc.; and become cognizant of and better skilled in all forms of gender-related communication, including verbal, nonverbal, and mediated interactions.
Psychology of Women and Gender
WMG 2060 / 4 credits
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
WMG 2210 / 4 credits
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)
WMG 2450 / 4 credits
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)
WMG 2500 / 4 credits
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)
WMG 2530 / 4 credits
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)
WMG 2770 / 4 credits
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
Women and the Bible (HUM) (DIV)
WMG 3020 / 4 credits
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
WMG 3030 / 4 credits
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.
WMG 3040 / 4 credits
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.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or instructor consent
Literature of Diversity (HUM)
WMG 3090 / 4 credits
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)
WMG 3100 / 4 credits
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)
WMG 3110 / 4 credits
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.
Prerequisite: Sophmore standing or instructor consent
Women and Politics (SOC) (DIV)
WMG 3200 / 4 credits
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.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or instructor consent
Advanced Feminist Theory
WMG 3250 / 4 credits
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
WMG 3350 / 4 credits
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.
WMG 3500 /4 credits
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.
Gender in the Arts
WMG 3760 / 4 credits
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)
WMG 4200 / 4 credits
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