WGS 101W: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
This course explores the core concepts underlying the interdisciplinary field of Women and Gender Studies, introducing the ways in which the study of women and sex/gender as social categories transforms our understanding of culture, history and society. Topics include the social construction of gender, the gender division of labor, production and reproduction, intersections of gender, race, class and ethnicity, and the varieties of sexual experience. This course is the required introduction to the Women and Gender Studies major and minor, and has no prerequisites.
WGS 104: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
Students will explore the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) studies. Students will learn to use the norms of LGBTQ studies as a tool for understanding U.S. history, power formations, culture, and artistic productions. Pathways Flexible Core: Individual & Society (IS).
WGS 201W: Theories of Feminism
The main theories used in Women and Gender Studies today will be analyzed from a historical perspective and with respect to the combined effects of gender, race, class, and culture on the status of women in contemporary society. The course will include the study of the problems inherent in establishing full social equality for women.
WGS 204: Queer Theories
A study of the core texts and key debates that have shaped queer theory, considering the work in feminism, critical race studies, gay and lesbian studies, and post structuralism out of which queer theory developed; emphasizing how queer theory provides a broad framework that designates non-normative modes of knowledge, cultural practices, and political activism; and examining the ways in which queer theory has recently been challenged to move in new directions. Students will encounter the classics of queer theory and also other more recent thinkers who were inspired by these earlier works. Students will examine how, for instance, Judith Butler’s ideas about gender performativity have been reshaped by recent transgender and intersectional theorists.
WGS 310: VT: Research Seminar
This course allows students to undertake an individual research project with any member of the Queens College faculty, in conjunction with the Women and Gender Studies Director. Students typically meet weekly with a faculty member and work towards an original research paper. In an ideal circumstance, the faculty member will have expertise in the area that the students wants to research. In some cases, when a student cannot find a willing faculty member, the program director, JV Fuqua, will step in to advise and direct the course. Consult with the director for registration and placement.
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WGS 320: Field Work
In recognition of the activist roots and goals of Women and Gender Studies, the major includes supervised field work in an advocacy or service organization for women or other organization on- or off-campus that concerns itself with women’s issues.
The student selects an organization and agrees to work approximately six hours a week at the selected organization. Students are graded on the evaluation of their learning experience as recorded through a final piece of writing. At the end of the semester, the student writes an approximately fifteen-page paper, one half of which is a description and evaluation of the organization and the work they did there; the other half is a research paper on a topic that has grown out of the student’s work during the internship.
Among the opportunities available to students are internships in women’s shelters, publishing, law, radio stations, political organizations, and women’s organizations. Interested students should contact the Women and Gender Studies office to discuss placement.