The department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies provides an opportunity for research and dialogue on a broad range of topics related to feminist contributions as well as to the fundamental fields of human knowledge and achievement and interdisciplinary studies of feminisms, masculinity, sex, gender and sexuality. A student intending to major or minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies should consult the chair of the department, preferably during their first or early in their second year.
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department
Tribble Hall A105, P.O. Box 7365
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS)
WGS 100. RAD Rape Aggression Defense. (1 h)
Develops and enhances the options of self-defense, including basic physical self-defense tactics and risk reduction and avoidance, so they may become viable considerations for any woman who is attacked. Required readings include social science research on violence against women. Pass/Fail only.
WGS 101. Window on Women's, Gender and Sexual Studies. (1 h)
An opportunity to experience and reflect analytically in writing on the diverse cultural and intellectual life of Wake Forest, with an emphasis on women’s, and gender, and sexuality studies events and topics. Pass/Fail only.
WGS 105. Film Lab in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. (1 h)
Viewing, dissecting, and analyzing films. Fosters the skills to create complex cinematic analyses and explore feminist theoretical issues related to spectatorship. Pass/fail only.
WGS 111. Writing and Women's Issues. (3 h)
This writing-intensive seminar explores special topics that include women, such as: women and creativity; women, work, and family; Womanist literature; reproductive rights; violence against women; women and the arts; the emergence of feminist thought. Emphasis on expository writing, critical thinking, and exchange of ideas in a discussion and workshop setting; frequent essays based on readings. Satisfies the basic composition but not the minor or major requirement.
WGS 121. Feminist Leadership Project. (1.5 h)
Explores the principles of feminist leadership to deepen self-awareness about personal leadership skills and gain tools for creating feminist social change. This highly interactive class welcomes students who are new to feminist thought/activism as well as those seeking to deepen their engagement with feminism. Pass/fail only.
WGS 123. The Feminist Book Society. (1.5 h)
A reading course designed to introduce students to classic and contemporary feminist texts. Emphasis on close reading, discussion, and writing. May be repeated for credit if texts differ.
WGS 202. Studies in Gender and Literature. (3 h)
Addresses ways in which gender and literacy practices intersect in various cultures and historical periods. Attention will be paid to the role of literature in formulating, subverting, or resisting gender norms. May be repeated for credit if topic differs.
WGS 221. Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. (3 h)
Interdisciplinary course, taught by women’s and gender studiesWGS faculty representing at least two fields, that integrates materials from the humanities and the sciences. Topics include critical methods and practical solutions, history and theory of women’s, and gender, and sexuality studies, women in culture and society, and cross-cultural issues of gender, ethnicity, social class, disability, and sexual orientation. (CD, D)
WGS 222. Introduction to Queer Studies. (3 h)
Provides an interdisciplinary grounding in the foundations of queer culture and studies, with a critical interrogation of sex, gender, sexuality, pleasure, and embodiment in popular culture, literature, health, science, and politics. (CD, D)
WGS 223. Introduction to Feminist Theory. (3 h)
Introduction to key issues, questions, and concepts in feminist thought, which reflect a range of perspectives and methodologies. (D)
WGS 224. Readings in Queer Theology. (1.5 h)
This seminar-syle reading course surveys classic and new works in queer theology. Queer theology transgresses dominant constructions of gender identity and sexuality; and as scuh, it can be seen as an expression of the Christian gospel that subverts human understandings of life, community, and the divine. The course explores biblical and Christian theological perspectives on sexuality, social constructions of sexuality, and issues such as power, marriage equality, and sexual ethics.
WGS 240. Feminist Philosophy. (3 h)
Examination of feminist approaches to philosophical theorizing. Topics may include feminist critiques of the scope and methods of mainstream philosophy, feminist approaches to ethics, epistemology and philosophy of language, and feminist conceptions of the self, sexuality, and moral agency. Also listed as PHI 379. P-One PHI course or POI.
WGS 251. Race and Ethnic Diversity in America. (3 h)
Different race and ethnic experiences are examined through an institutional approach that examines religion, work, schooling, marriage patterns, and culture from cross-cultural perspective. Grand theoretical schemes like the "melting pot" are critiqued for their relevance in an age of new cultural expectations among the many American ethnic groups. Also listed as AES 251. (CD)
WGS 271. Making Sense of the News Through a Feminist Lens. (1-3 h)
Inquiry into news literacy from a feminist perspective, with the intention to indentify gender bias and consider questions of empowerment, exclusion, consumerism, and how to navigate the digital landscape to distinguish verified, reliable news from propaganda.
WGS 310. Gender, Power and Violence. (3 h)
A research-centered study of various issues related to violence, power, and gender in American society. Emphasizes sociological analysis of competing theoretical explanations of violence with respect to race, class, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. (CD)
WGS 319. Women Playwrights. (3 h)
Examination of selected plays and/or performance texts by women. Focus varies, for example, looking at works by contemporary American women or early women dramatists such as Hrosvitha, Sor Juana, and Aphra Behn. Also listed as THE 373. (CD)
WGS 320. Feminist Theory and Practice. (3 h)
Examines the major themes and terminology in feminist thought, with focus on its diverse and multicultrual expressions through time. Themes to be explored include schools of feminism, interlocking systems of oppression and the connection between theory and practice. May be repated for credit if topic differs.
WGS 321. Research Seminar in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. (3 h)
A capstone, research-centered study of questions raised by women’s, gender, and sexuality studies on interdisciplinary topics such as gender and health issues, men, women, and pornography, lesbian and gay culture and theory, the politics of women’s bodies, transnational feminisms, etc. May be repeated for credit if topic differs.
WGS 322. Feminist, Womanist, Murjerista Theologies: Constructive Perspectives on Christian Thought. (3 h)
Examines major topics in Christian theology from African American (womanist), Latina/Hispanic (mujerista), and queer perspectives.
WGS 326. Telling Women's Lives: Writing about Entrepreneurs, Activists, and Thought Leaders. (3 h)
This course will use an interdisciplinary approach to address fundamental issues of female leadership by examining recent developments in long- and short-form narratives about women (biography, essays, profiles) and employing journalistics tools to interview and write profiles of women entrepreneurs, activists, and thought leaders. Also listed as ENT 326.
WGS 329. Politics of Gender and Sexuality: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. (3 h)
Examines cultural constructions of gender and sexuality from a cross-cultural perspective and the relationship between feminism and cultural rights activism through time. Emphasizes how varied forms of feminisms are constituted within diverse social, cultural, and economic systems. Students consider how feminists are negotiating positions at the intersection of cultural and human rights. Also listed as ANT 329.
WGS 350. Biocultural Perspectives on Women and Aging. (3 h)
A course that examines biological, sociopsychological, and cultural issues affecting older women.
WGS 358. Mothers and Daughters. (3 h)
A course that examines literature, psychology, and feminist theories on motherhood and the mother-daughter relationship.
WGS 377. Special Topics. (1.5-3 h)
Includes such women's, gender and sexuality studies topics as gender issues in the twenty-first century, critical approaches to women's issues, and the emergence of feminist thought. May be repeated for credit if topic differs.
WGS 380. Sexuality, Law, and Power. (3 h)
Explores a wide variety of issues related to sexual identity and orientation by looking at the ways in which the law can constrict social development as well as act as a catalyst for change. Examines how religion and popular morality shape the law and are shaped by it.
WGS 396. Independent Study. (1-3 h)
Independent projects in women's, gender, and sexuality studies which either continue study begun in regular courses or develop new areas of interest. Course may be repeated, but a maximum of 3 hours may apply to the minor. By prearrangement.
WGS 397. Internships in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. (1-3 h)
Practicum opportunities for work and for research in conjunction with Wake Forest's Policy Group on Rape Education, Prevention and Response (PREPARE), or a local women's organization, such as Family Services, Housing Authority of the City of Winston-Salem, Crisis Control Ministry, Community Care Center, Planned Parenthood, The Women's Fund of Winston-Salem, and Wake Forest's Women's Health Center for Research, Leadership and Education, etc. A maximum of 3 hours may apply to the major or minor. Pass/Fail only.
Chair Wanda Balzano
Professor Shannon Gilreath
Associate Professor Wanda Balzano
Assistant Professors Kristina Gupta, Jieun Lee, Jeff Solomon
Core (Rotating) Faculty Rian Bowie (Assistant Teaching Professor of English), Catherine Harnois (Associate Professor of Sociology), Melissa Jenkins (Associate Professor of English), David Phillips (Associate Professor of Humanities), Tanisha Ramachandran (Associate Teaching Professor of the Study of Religions), Jarrod Whitaker (Associate Professor of the Study of Religions)
Part-Time Assistant Teaching Professor Angela Mazaris
Part-Time Lecturer Paige Meltzer
Visiting Assistant Professor Angéla Kóczé
Part-Time Assistant Professors Jumana Al-Ahmad, Megan Regan, Anna Rubino, Ana León-Távora, Elizabeth Way, Elroi Windsor