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Women's Studies

Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program focusing on feminist analyses of the ways in which gender, sexuality, race, class, and nationality inform women's lives. Course work examines scholarship by and about women in different historical eras and geographical regions. Courses frequently emphasize women's movements, agency, and forms of resistance at the analytical and practical levels. Women's Studies classes often investigate materials previously neglected by scholars and develop methodological and critical approaches to materials customarily treated in other ways. Thus they frequently propose revisions in the content, methods, and assumptions of particular disciplines in light of recent feminist scholarship.
Women's Studies courses are categorized in three ways:
(1) "Program" courses are taught wholly within the Women's Studies Program and carry a WOST course number. These courses focus on the study of women and gender using specifically feminist theories and methodologies. They explore not only what women have in common but also how different social locations (including class, nationality, ethnicity, race, and sexuality) shape women's varied identities and experiences.
(2) "Discipline-focused" courses are interdisciplinary classes taught by faculty whose primary appointment is in another department or program. They are listed under a course number from the originating department or program. These classes usually address the study of women and gender within the context of a particular discipline (such as History or English). Many of them also explore how feminist scholarship is reformulating research questions and analyses within that discipline.
(3) "Related" courses are listed under a course number from the originating department or program. These are courses in which substantive attention is given to issues concerning women
and gender, but such issues may not be the primary focus of the class.
Change in Requirements. The Women's Studies Program has recently changed the requirements for the Major and Minor in Women's Studies. Students entering Oberlin College prior to Fall 1999 may declare and complete the major under the previous requirements, or switch to the new ones. Students who have already declared a Women's Studies major or minor under the previous requirements should discuss their options with the Program Director or their advisor.
Courses listed in this catalog as "discipline-focused" will satisfy the requirements for "cross-listed" courses under the previous requirements.
Students may, if necessary, petition the Program Director to designate courses as fulfilling Women's Studies requirements that are not listed as doing so in the catalog.
Major. Students wishing to declare a Women's Studies major should select a faculty advisor who is a member of the Women's Studies Program Committee or see the Program Director. In consultation with the advisor, students should propose a program of study. The form must be signed by the advisor and the Director of the Women's Studies Program, and submitted to the Registrar by the student.
The Women's Studies major consists of a minimum of 30 credits of course work, with 9 credits maximum at the introductory level. No more than 10 credits may normally be transferred. Students interested in a double major should be aware that discipline-focused or related Women's Studies courses can count toward majors in both Women's Studies and the department or program of origin. In addition the following requirements and recommendations will normally apply.
16 credits of the major will be the following required courses:
1. WOST 100 - Introduction to Women's Studies (3 credits), normally taken by the end of the sophomore year.
2. WOST 300: Feminist Research Methodologies (3 credits), or a methodology course offered in another department that complements the major. Students should confer with their advisor to determine the most appropriate course to fulfill this requirement. The aim should be to find a course that will help the student work at a sophisticated level with feminist concepts. Therefore, introductory-level courses are normally not considered appropriate.
3. WOST 301: Practicum in Women's Studies (3-4 credits), normally taken by the end of the junior year, or equivalent work that has received prior approval for Practicum exemption.
4. 400-level seminar offered by the program (4 credits).
5. one other program course (3-4 credits), of which a designated 200-level feminist theory course is strongly recommended.
The remaining 14 credits of the major will be comprised of program, discipline-focused or related courses. 6 credits of the 14 must be program or discipline-focused. The remainder may be taken from the list of related courses. No more than 6 of the 14 credits can be at the introductory level.
Other Oberlin courses not designated in the catalog as Women's Studies disciplined-focused or related courses, may be permitted to count toward the major. To ask to have such a designation made, or to request a needed deviation from major requirements, students should consult with the Program Director. If such changes are approved, the Director will send written notification to the Registrar. Students declaring a Women's Studies major as their second major should file a declaration no later than the second semester of their junior year.
Minor. Students wishing to minor in Women's Studies are advised to consult with the Director of Women's Studies and to declare their minor before the end of the junior year. Proposals for minors will be reviewed and approved by the Director of the Women's Studies Program. Students may obtain a minor in Women's Studies by accumulating 15 credits according to the following guidelines:
1. Women's Studies 100 (3 credits).
2. At least 3 additional credits in program courses.
3. Additional credits, as necessary, earned in other Women's Studies courses (Program, discipline-focused or related).
At least 9 of the 15 credits must be above the introductory level. No more than 5 credits may be transferred toward the minor. It is recommended that students include field work relevant to Women's Studies, for example, the ExCo course in the Battered Women's Shelter, the Women's Studies Practicum, or a Women's Studies-related Winter Term project.
Honors. Senior Women's Studies majors may conduct independent, original research under the supervision of an advisor, normally drawn from the Women's Studies Program Committee. Students are expected to prepare a substantive project or research paper and pass an oral examination on their research and its relationship to relevant bodies of feminist scholarship. Students who qualify for honors and wish to undertake an honors project should consult with the Women's Studies Program Director no later than the beginning of the second semester of their junior year.
Winter Term. When faculty members who teach Women's Studies courses are on duty for Winter Term, they sponsor Women's Studies-related Winter Term projects in their area of interest. Many other faculty who teach discipline-focused or related courses may be asked to sponsor Women's Studies Winter Term projects.
Other Resources. Other campus resources which supplement the academic offerings in Women's Studies include student organizations such as the Women's Resource Center and the Women's Collective at Baldwin. Mudd Library has a collection of pamphlet materials on women, a core of women's studies periodicals, and reference materials on women in addition to the resources of the general collection. Ms. Jessica Grim is the resource librarian for Women's Studies.




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Program Courses

100. Introduction to Women's Studies 3 hours
1.5HU, 1.5SS, CD, WR
This course examines basic analytical constructs and key issues in the field of feminist knowledge. It provides an introduction to the variety of women's experiences across cultures, through critical examination of gender in combination with race, class and sexuality. Classroom discussion is central to the feminist pedagogy of this course. Enrollment Limit: 25.
Sem 1 WOST-100-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. Hasso
WOST-100-02 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Ms. Hasso
Sem 2 WOST-100-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. Kozol
WOST-100-02 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Ms. Kozol
233. Gender, Social Change, and Social Movements 3 hours
This course focuses on theoretical debates about processes of social change and social reproduction at the individual, cultural, and social movement levels, with particular focus on gender identities and status. Attention will be paid to how the "modernity/tradition" construct, and race, class, nation, and sexuality (as "differences" and as sources of inequality) impact these debates and influence definitions of self and representations of others. This course meets the feminist theory recommendation for majors. Priority to Women's Studies and Sociology majors. Prerequisites: WOST 100, or introductory course in Sociology or Politics, or consent of instructor. Closed to first year students. Identical to SOCI 233. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 WOST-233-01 MW 12:00-1:15 Ms. Hasso
241. Living with the Bomb 3 hours
Next offered 2002-2003.
300. Feminist Research Methodologies 3 hours
3SS, CD, WRi
This course traces the historical and dialectical impact of feminist epistemologies on disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. We will explore feminist approaches to research practices, including oral history, case studies, archival research, visual and literary criticism, survey/content analysis, and field work. The course will encourage students to think critically about research as well as to present their work from a self-reflexive stance. Prerequisites: WOST 100 or consent of instructor. Priority given to WOST majors. Enrollment Limit: 25.
Sem 1 WOST-300-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Kozol
301. Practicum in Women's Studies 3-4 hours
3-4SS, CD
Students will volunteer for 4 to 8 hours weekly in a local feminist or social service agency. Readings and discussions will include activist strategies for accomplishing social change, grassroots principles of community organization, and the structure and division of labor in nonprofit organizations. We will discuss the intersections between feminist theory and organizational practices in order to examine how feminist ideals of participatory process and consensus can be utilized. Consent of instructor required. Enrollment Limit: 16.
Sem 2 WOST-301-01 M 7:00-9:30 p.m. Ms. Kahn
330. Global Feminisms 3 hours
This interdisciplinary course examines feminisms worldwide. The course is organized to address feminisms as individual processes, collective practices, and organized movements. It will also address the impact of local, national, and international structures on feminisms, and the ways in which international economic and political inequalities have complicated gender debates. This course meets the feminist theory recommendation for majors. Not open to first years. Priority to Women's Studies and Sociology majors. Identical to SOCI 330. Enrollment Limit: 20.
Sem 2 WOST-330-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Hasso
402. Seminar: Visible Bodies and the Politics of Sexuality 4 hours
4HU, CD, Wri
This seminar will study visual culture as a crucial site through which Americans have negotiated the politics of sexuality both historically and in contemporary society. We will examine how media, legal, medical, and other forms of representation have visualized often contested notions of identity, such as race, class, and ethnicity, through gendered and sexualized bodies. Readings in contemporary feminist theories will complement students' own research projects. Consent of instructor required. Priority given to Women's Studies majors. Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 1 WOST-402-01 Tu 9:00-10:50 Ms. Kozol
405. Seminar: Gender and the State in the Middle East 4 hours
4SS, CD, WRi
This seminar will study the gender implications of the relationship between states and religious authorities in a few Arab states in the late 20th century. While "civil" laws (addressing work, education, and politics) are often gender egalitarian, "religious" laws (addressing marriage and family) are usually not. Important for the purposes of this seminar is why this relationship varies in different states. Students are required to write a research paper based on a case study. Consent of instructor required. Priority to Women's Studies and Sociology majors. Identical to SOCI 405. Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 2 WOST-405-01 W 2:30-4:20 Ms. Hasso
500. Honors 4 hours
Consent of instructor required.
WOST-500-01 To be arranged
995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
Consent of instructor required.
WOST-995-01 To be arranged


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Discipline-focused Courses

The following courses may be taken to fulfill the Women's Studies major and minor requirements. Students should register for these courses using the number in the department or program of origin.
268. Roots of Modernism: The Avant-Garde in Fin-de-Siecle France 3 hours
Sem 1 ARTS-268-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. Mathews
361. Modern Seminar: The Femme Fatale and Other Forms of 3 hours
Female Identity in Twentieth-Century Film
Sem 2 ARTS-361-01 Tu 1:30-4:30 Ms. Mathews
Athletics and Physical Education
507. Seminar in Homophobia in Sport 3 hours
Sem 2 ATHL-507-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Mr. Muska
218. No Second Troy: Versions of Helen 3 hours
Sem 2 CLAS-218-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Lynn
391. George Eliot and Virginia Woolf 4 hours
Sem 1 ENGL-391-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Linehan
Hispanic Studies
450. Picarestque Narratives: The World Vision of Female and Male picaros 3 hours
Sem 2 SPAN-450-01 M 7:00-9:00 p.m. Mr. Perez de Leon
265. American Sexualities 3 hours
Sem 2 HIST-265-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Mr. Mitchell
266. Women and Social Movements in the United States 3 hours


Sem 2 HIST-266-01 MW 2:30-3:45 Ms. Lasser
268. Oberlin History as American History 3-4 hours
3-4SS, CD
Sem 1 HIST-268-01 TuTh 9:00-10:50 Ms. Lasser
270. Latina/Latino Survey 3 hours
Sem 1 HIST-270-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Mr. Mitchell
344. Colloquium: Gender, Marriage, and Family in China 3-4 hours
3-4SS, WR, CD
Sem 1 HIST-344-01 M 2:30-4:20 Mr. Kelley
350. Women in Modern Japan, 1868 to the Present 3 hours
Sem 1 HIST-350-01 Th 1:00-2:50 Mr. DiCenzo
224. Psychology of Gender 3 hours
Sem 2 PSYC-224-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Miller
108. Introduction to Religion: Women and the Western Tradition 3 hours
Sem 1 RELG-108-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Ms. Kamitsuka
262. Feminist Religious Thought in Multicultural Perspective 3 hours
Sem 2 RELG-262-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Kamitsuka
365. Seminar: Selected Topics in Women and Religion 3 hours
Sem 2 RELG-365-01 W 2:30-4:20 Ms. Kamitsuka
Rhetoric and Composition
112. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Issues in Writing 3 hours
3HU, CD, WRi
Sem 2 RHET-112-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Ms. Cooper
104. She works hard for the money: Women, Work, and the 3 hours
Persistence of Inequality
Sem 1 SOCI-104-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Ms. John
236. Sexualities and Society 3 hours
Sem 2 SOCI-236-01 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Mr. Norris
326. The American Family: Comfort, Conflict and Criticism 3 hours
Sem 2 SOCI-326-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. John
447. Seminar: Asian Pacific American Women 3 hours
Sem 1 SOCI-447-01 F 1:00-3:00 Ms. Charfauros McDaniel


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Related Courses

The following courses may be taken to fulfill some of the Women's Studies major and minor requirements. Students should register for these courses using the number in the department or program of origin. No more than eight credits in Related Courses may count toward the major.
101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
264 Ethnology and Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Societies
065 Problems in Painting: What is Real Isn't Natural
267 Art Since 1960
268 Roots of Modernism
Creative Writing
201 Poetry/Prose Fiction Workshop
310 Poetry Workshop
340 Non-Fiction Writing
410 Language Writing
219 Labor Management Relations
320 Labor Economics
321 Poverty and Affluence
257 American Literature at the Turn into the 20th Century
295 Forms of Folklore
305 Authority and Subversion in Shakesperean Drama
338 Modern Fiction and Sexual Difference
369 Folklore and the Body
471 French Cinema: A Cultural Approach
112 The Bourgeoisie and the Making of Modern Europe
117 National Schizophrenia in Japan and Sub-Saharan Africa 1945-present: Tradition, Modernity and the Modern Novelist
119 The 1960s
141 The Gilded Age
222 Transnational Europe
254 Radical Tradition
264 Aliens and Citizens
308 Heresy and Orthodoxy in Medieval Europe
327 Borderlands
328 American Mixed Blood


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