WGST 1101: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies


Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies is designed to explore the diversity of women's experiences across time, culture, and social class. As a field, Women's and Gender Studies is interdisciplinary—it extends into all majors and discourse communities. Its foundation in identifying, assessing, and working to eliminate sexist oppression intersects with movements working to end oppression based on race, class, sexual and gender identity, physical ability, age, and other diverse identities.

Topics Covered Associated with Feminism

  • History of the women's movement
  • Gender representation
  • Masculinity
  • Health and reproductive rights
  • Motherhood and familial expectations
  • Heterosexism
  • Work, wages, and welfare
  • Gender and violence
  • Activism and community involvement

While foundational critical texts will inform our larger understanding of key issues and ideas, we will also spend time examining coverage of current issues and local debates in light of this critical context.

Did You Know?

You can use WGST 1101 as an Area F Elective for tracks in several majors, including English, Foreign Languages, History, Sociology, Communication, and Psychology? The course is also the gateway course to the Women's and Gender Studies Minor.

What if I'm not so sure what I think about feminism?

That's okay! The class in no way requires that you hold a particular worldview or change your position on the important issues we discuss in class. All are welcome—men, included! A fundamental expectation of the course, and of gender studies as a field, is respectful dialogue. Making an effort to understand, discuss, and think critically about diverse concepts—some with which you may not agree—will be part of our everyday practice.

Learn about the WGST Minor