To browse the full list of courses available by academic department, visit Courses of Instruction.


To browse the most up-to-date faculty listing, click here.

2014-2016 CATALOGUE

To browse the 2014-2016 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.

2012-2014 CATALOGUE

To browse the 2012-2014 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.

2010-2012 CATALOGUE

To browse the 2010-2012 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.

2008-2010 CATALOGUE

To browse the 2008-2010 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.

2006-2008 CATALOGUE

The 2006-2008 Catalogue is still available online as a PDF. To browse it, click here.


If you have questions or comments about the new online Catalogue, please send us your feedback.



Women’s Studies has been taught at the Colleges since 1969 and was among the first programs to offer a major in the country. As a field, Women’s Studies is recognized as interdisciplinary in its own right and as it relates to and exists within historically defined and newly emerging disciplines. Its emergent goals were to question critically foundational tenets of knowledge. It asks what counts as knowledge and whose knowledge counts. As such, the field concerns itself with rethinking and redefining core assumptions about women, gender, race, class and sexuality in ways that identify and redress social, historical, economic, political and cultural inequities. The field directs itself to developing critical knowledge and implementing world-building practices of justice and equality in national and transnational contexts. Majors and minors in Women’s Studies thus engage in innovative and scholarly history, theory, research and activism across a broad band of academic study toward what is proposed as feminism’s broader project of creating new kinds of questions, forms of expression, representation, knowledge and epistemology.

To be credited to the major or minor, a course must be completed with a grade of C or better.

interdisciplinary, 10 courses
WMST 100, WMST 300, WMST 401, a feminist research and methodology course (WMST 323, WMST 305, WMST 301 or other as approved by the program), and six additional women’s studies elective courses that create an area of concentration and include courses from at least two divisions and at least four departments or programs.

interdisciplinary, 6 courses
WMST 100, a 300-level feminist theory course (WMST 300, ENG 304, POL 375, or SOC 340), and four additional women’s studies elective courses from at least two divisions and at least two departments or programs.

AFS 240 African, Asian and Caribbean Women’s Texts
AMST 201 American Attitudes Toward Nature/Methodologies of American Studies
AMST 254 American Masculinities
AMST 310 Sexual Minorities in America
ARTH 210 Woman as Image-Maker
ARTH 211 Women in 19th Century Art and Culture
ARTH 222 Women in Renaissance
ARTH 229 Women and Art in the Middle Ages
ARTH 256 Art of Russian Revolution
ARTH 306 Telling Tales: Narrative in Asian Art
ARTH 312 Women Make Movies
ARTH 335 The Femme Fatale in Film
ARTH 403 Gender and Painting in China
ARTH 467 Seminar: Artemesia Gentileschi
ASN 212 Women in Contemporary Chinese Culture
ASN 220 Male and Female in East Asian Societies
ASN 304 Courtesan Culture
ASN 342 Chinese Cinema: Gender, Politics and Social Change in Contemporary China
BIDS 286 Gender, Nationality, & Literature in Latin America
BIDS 365 Dramatic Worlds of South Asia
CLAS 230 Gender in Antiquity
DAN 212 Dance History II: Global Cultures
DAN 214 Dance History III: 1960s to Present
EDUC 208 Teaching, Learning, and Popular Culture
EDUC 370 Social Foundations of Multiculturalism
ENG 238 Flexing Sex
ENG 239 Popular Fiction: The Fifties
ENG 264 Post-World War II American Poetry
ENG 281 Literature of Sexual Minorities
ENG 304 Feminist Literary Theory
ENG 318 Body, Memory, and Representation
ENG 342 Readings in Multi-Ethnic Women’s Literature
ENG 346 Iconoclastic Women in the Middle Ages
ENG 354 Forms of Memoir
ENG 381 Sexuality and American Literature
FRE 251 Introduction to Literature I: Mystics, Friends, & Lovers
FRE 380 Advanced Francophone Topics: Images de Femmes
FRE 389 Women in the French Renaissance
FRNE 311 Feudal Women in France, Vietnam and Japan
HIST 203 Gender in Africa
HIST 208 Women in American History
HIST 234 Medieval Europe
HIST 241 The Politics of Gender and the Family in Europe, 1700-1850
HIST 250 Medieval Pop Culture
HIST 253 Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 279 Body Politics: Women and Health in America
HIST 317 Women’s Rights Movements in the U.S.
HIST 367 Women and the State: Russia
HIST 371 Life Cycles: The Family in History
HIST 392 Seminar: Women in Japan
HIST 476 Western Civilization and Its Discontents
MDSC 203 History of Television
MUS 206 Opera As Drama
PHIL 152 Issues: Philosophy and Feminism
PHIL 250 Feminism: Ethics and Knowledge
PHIL 345 Power, Privilege, Knowledge
REL 236 Gender and Islam
REL 237 Christianity and Culture
REL 254 Conceptions of God, Goddess, Absolute
REL 281 Women, Religion, and Culture
REL 283 Que(e)rying Religious Studies
REL 321 Muslim Women and Literature
REL 345 Tradition Transformers
REL 347 Gender and Globalization in the Muslim World
REL 354 God, Gender and the Unconscious
RUSE 351 Other Voices in 20th-Century Russian Literature: Women Writers
SPAN 304 Body Border
SPAN 316 Voces de Mujeres
SPAN 392 Latin American Women’s Narratives
SPNE 330 Latina Writing in the U.S.
THAI 201 Thailand
WMST 150 Chicana Feminism and Visual Culture
WMST 213 Transnational Feminisms and Performance
WMST 243 Gender, Sex and Science
WMST 308 Chicana and Latina Art
WRRH 221 He Says, She Says: Language and Gender
WRRH 250 Talk and Text: Introduction to Discourse Analysis
WRRH 252 An Anatomy of American Class: Realities, Myths, Rhetorics
WRRH 301 Discourse of Rape
WRRH 304 Hidden Writing: Journals, Diaries, and Notebooks as Creative Discourse
Note: DAN 900-level courses require prior dance department approval to count as WMST credits.

Social Sciences
ANTH 209 Gender in Prehistory
ANTH 220 Sex Roles: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH 230 Beyond Monogamy
ANTH 296 African Cultures
ANTH 341 Making Babies: Anthropology of Reproductive Technologies
BIDS 211 Labor: Domestic and Global
BIDS 245 Men and Masculinity
BIDS 280 Women’s Narratives of Wealth and Power
BIDS 307 Contexts for Children
ECON 122 Economics of Caring
ECON 227 Women and International Development
ECON 310 Economics and Gender
ECON 316 Labor Market Issues
POL 175 Introduction to Feminist Theory
POL 212 The Sixties
POL 219 Sexual Minority Movements and Public Policy
POL 238 Sex and Power
POL 333 Civil Rights
POL 375 Feminist Legal Theory
PPOL 364 Social Policy and Community Activism
SOC 221 Race and Ethnic Relations SOC 225 Sociology of the Family
SOC 226 Sociology of Sex and Gender
SOC 233 Women in the Third World
SOC 240 Gender and Development
SOC 340 Feminist Sociological Theory
SOC 375 Social Policy
WMST 204 Politics of Health
WMST 243 Gender, Sex and Science
WMST 305 Food, Feminism, and Health

Natural Sciences
WMST 223 Social Psychology
WMST 247 Psychology of Women
WMST 309 Stormy Weather: Ecofeminism
WMST 323 Research in Social Psychology
WMST 357 Self in American Culture
WMST 372 Topics in Social Psychology

WMST 100 Introduction to Women’s Studies This course introduces the vast, complex, changing field of women’s studies. Students will be asked to become conversant with the history of feminism and women’s movements (nationally and transnationally), to understand and theorize women and gender as categories of analysis, to think through differences that divide and unite, to reflect and move beyond individual experience and to connect feminism to everyday life. Students will be encouraged to raise their own questions about women, gender, feminism(s), modes of women’s organizing, and the production of knowledge. While it is impossible to cover all pertinent topics in one semester, this course introduces various specific issues and histories that, taken together, highlight the complexity of women’s studies as both scholarly endeavor and activist field. (Offered each semester)

WMST 150 Introduction to Chicana Feminism and Visual Culture This course lays the foundations for the study of Chicana feminism, women of color feminism, feminist visual cultural studies, and arts-based activism. This course traces the emergence of Chicana as an identity category and its challenges to Chicano and feminist activism; the radical ways Chicanas have employed visual, performance, and graphic arts as a means of educating and catalyzing social change; and the rich body of indigenous folklore that has both defined gender and sexual roles and provided the platform for defying them. Throughout the semester, we will draw from primary texts from the beginning of the Chicano movement, a rich selection of visual, performance, and graphic arts, and contemporary scholarship in women's studies, Chicana/o studies, and visual cultural studies. (Baron)

WMST 204 The Politics of Health This course takes an interdisciplinary feminist approach to the study of health politics, exploring the complex (and often uneven) processes through which human health and wellness come into being. Students will examine issues of individual, community, and environmental health as they emerge from a variety of geographic places.  Feminist theory in this course serves as a lens through which to study different experiences of illness and disease across our social and environmental terrain, including differences based upon gender, race, class, age, and bodily ability.  Examining “politics” in regard to health therefore means paying attention to uneven relationships of power that impact the distribution of illness and disease across both time and space, including those developed through cultural conflict, environmental struggle, social disenfranchisement, military violence, economic globalization, consumerism and the media, and educational policy.  The course will also focus on proposing solutions to inequity that serve environmental and social justice goals. Prerequisite: WMST 100 or permission of instructor. (Hayes-Conroy)

WMST 213 Transnational Feminism and Performance Is woman a global category? How is gender performed differently across the globe? How do representations of first, second, and third-world women circulate transnationally? In this course, we will investigate how gendered bodies travel, perform, and are understood in wide variety of national, diasporic, and global media contexts, from theater and film, to politics and popular culture. Prerequisite: WMST 100 or permission of instructor. (Baron)

WMST 215 Between Feminism and Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud has been reviled by many feminists for his notions of penis envy and his puzzled query, “What do women want?” And yet, Freud and such subsequent psychoanalytic theorists as Horney, Klein, Winnicott, and Lacan also have been sources of significant analyses of female subordination, sexuality, and desire. This course examines relations between psychoanalysis and feminism by focusing on ways in which psychoanalytic theory has understood gender, as well as the ways in which feminists have critiqued and/or appropriated such depictions of female experience. (Henking, offered occasionally)

WMST 216 Gender, Race, and Incarceration This course will examine what Angela Davis has called the "prison industrial complex" in the United States; we will approach this task from a historical perspective that centers analysis of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. Beginning with slavery and the systematic forms of racial violence and control that subtended the transatlantic slave trade, we will track practices of punishment through the antebellum era, post-emancipation and Reconstruction-era iterations of prison, to the ascent of the carceral state. Always attendant to the ways that gender structures contemporary incarceration practices, we will pay special consideration to how sexuality and reproduction have historically been policed. Given the demographics of contemporary prisons-the vast overrepresentation of Black and Latino men, the rise of women's prisons, and the increase of aging and disabled occupants-we will explore key moments in the development of punishment models now prominent in the US, namely the rise of neoliberalism. This includes the backlash to Black civil rights in the 1960s and 70s, the War on Drugs that followed, the rise of privatization and corporate-owned and -operated institutions, and the replacement of welfare and public services with prisons as the primary response to social and economic inequality over the last four decades. We will also look to the rise of detention centers and facilities designed for immigrant families to better understand carceral projects emergent in the post -9/11 political landscape of the War on Terror. Course themes include: the “school to prison pipeline”; the relationship between the prison, military, and medical industrial complexes; the institutionalization of disabled people in group homes, nursing homes, residential centers, and mental hospitals; and, the policing of transgender and gender-non-conforming people in US prisons. Central to the project of this course will be the historical study of resistance practices- including abolition, writing and cultural production by "imprisoned radical intellectuals," restorative justice projects, community - based alternatives to incarceration, and social movements such as "Black Lives Matter."

WMST 218 Queer Representations in Theater and Film How have LGBTQ artists explored the construction and contestation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer personhoods? How has the mainstream media explored )and exploited_ queer identities? This course explores the interplay between representation and identification via the rapidly developing fields of queer performance and media studies. Throughout, we will investigate the meaning of "queer," as well as its intersections among and across a wide range of identifications. We will consider the role of theater, film, and performance not only in the creation of queer histories, communities, and identities, but also as a means of resetting what counts as normal and normative. Central to his course will be a number of dramatic and filmic texts. Methodologically, we will draw from both performance and film theory as well as the theoretical demands of queer and feminist scholarship. While sharpening their writing skills through a variety of shorter writing assignments, students will also engage in sustained semester-long original research project.

WMST 219 Black Feminism and Theater In this course, we place black women's writings about their lives and factors that govern the health and well-being of black communities at the heart of our inquiry. Utilizing a wide range of theatrical texts, we will not only explore foundational texts and theories of black feminism in the US, but also the ways black playwrights and theater artists have communicated these theories artistically : as a mirror to a broken society and as a discursive intervention. Students will emerge from this course with an in depth knowledge of the foundations of black feminism and black feminist theory as well as the debates surrounding diversity in the contemporary American theatrical landscape.

WMST 220 The Body Politic To inquire into “The body politic” is to inquire into the riddle of the relationship between the corporeal body and the social, political, economic body. It is to ask oneself where one’s own body begins and ends – does skin mark the boundary of the bodies? If so, what differentiates bodies such that some bodies are at the heart of political battles over rights and freedoms (including waging war in the name of women’s bodies and access to reproductive rights)? In related ways, what lies behind the claim of the measure of a nation’s well-being by the measure of the status of women’s education and health? Does gender equality index non-violence and peace? What does it mean when the news reports a “seismic shift” happening globally with “women in the lead” – demanding fair and equitable treatment legally, socially, personally and economically? Why is a woman’s body seen as the site of social and personal struggle (with food, beauty, sex, violence against women, etc.)? How has science shaped a woman’s body as hormonal, emotional, and reproductive? How has a man’s body been made invisible hormonally, reproductively, and emotionally? How do different traditions of thought and belief depict bodies? Do these different views carry consequences for how we inhabit our bodies? This course seeks to address some of these questions through theory, history, literature, film, guest speakers and movement – walking, dancing, and yoga – of the body. (Bayer)

WMST 222 African Women's Literature Despite how it is often reported in the media, Africa is not a country. This course explores its diversity through the literature of women writing across the continent. While Africa has increasingly been included ( if tokenized ) in the global literary scene, the voices inducted to this ever-shifting canon of literature have been almost entirely male. By looking specificity and variety of African women's writing throughout the past hundred years, we will see how gender shapes experience in a variety of contexts and provides alternate perspectives on history, culture, tradition, and identity ( among others ). Authors will include: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Miriam Bâ No VioletBulawayoo, Amma Ata Aidoo, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Sindiwe Magona, and Veronique Tadjo ( among others).

WMST 223 Social Psychology With the emergence of the discipline of social psychology in late 19th century came new ways of thinking about the gender, race, and class of individuals, groups, and nations. These new conceptualizations brought with them new ways of seeing the social psychological nature of “Man” and by extension “Woman,” and the psychological terms of modernity and postmodernity. Drawing on influential European and North American social psychologists, students in this course ask: Was social psychological nature to be understood in more symbolic interactionist, behaviorist, psychodynamic, cognitive or cybernetic terms? Students learn how ideas on social psychological life carried commitments to uncovering the “social laws of life” (Dewey); or social psychology’s efforts to engage with women and men as historicized subjects within social, political, and cultural contexts. (Wilkinson, Sampson) This course also can count toward the major in psychology. (Bayer)

WMST 243 Gender, Sex and Science This course explores the historical and scientific context for feminist interventions into scientific practice and study. Students are asked to consider a series of questions, including the following: How did feminist science studies develop? Is feminism relevant to the study of science? How does scientific inquiry become gendered through a variety of cultural and historical contexts? What are some specific intersections of race, gender and sexuality in the study of feminism and science? Do students think that feminism has transformed science studies within a specifically feminist context? Using the work of feminist scholars and scientists, students examine the history of genetics, sociobiology, prenatal testing, and the 1990s cultural science wars from a feminist standpoint. Prerequisite: WMST 100 or permission of the instructor. (Staff)

WMST 247 Psychology of Women To Freud’s question of “What do women want?” psychology has brought description, analysis, categorization and diagnosis in its effort to plumb the depths of woman’s purported enigmatic nature. Parallel to psychology’s mainstream versions on the psychology of women are feminist writings exploring alternative views of psychological issues and life events of concern to women. This course examines these distinct paths from early case studies of hysteria through to mid-century depictions of the “problem with no name” (Friedan) and to late 20th century renderings of PMS, bodily dissatisfactions and eating disorders. The course uses history, theory and research in psychology to examine these issues and events as well as to appreciate psychology’s changing views, treatment and study of women’s lives in all of their diversity. This course also can count toward the major in psychology. (Bayer)

WMST 300 Feminist Theory This seminar surveys several strands of feminist theorizing and their histories. By critically engaging the underlying assumptions and stakes of a range of theories, students become more aware of their own assumptions and stakes and sharpen their abilities to productively apply feminist analyses in their own work. Prerequisite: WMST 100 or permission of instructor. (Staff, offered annually)

WMST 301 Feminist Oral History Feminist oral history considers how women communicate and conceptualize their life stories, putting into practice a feminist commitment to recording women’s life stories. This seminar operates as a workshop, investigating the theory underlying feminist oral history while putting the methodology to work through a class interviewing project. Through critical reading and practical experience, students research oral history questions and conduct interviews that are recorded using audio and video equipment. Furthermore, they develop the critical tools and analytical judgment needed to analyze the role of gender in oral history interviewing and prepare interviews to be deposited in an archive.

WMST 305 Food, Feminism and Health This class uses a feminist lens to explore a variety of topics arising at the intersection of food, health, and the body. The class addresses key material, epistemological, and methodological issues associated with food activism and intervention, and builds towards the enactment of student-led research projects. Class work includes both seminar discussion and participation in a lab section that is dedicated specifically to learning and practicing social science research methods aimed at food-based research and intervention. The seminar portion of the class will serve as a launching point for developing and carrying out individual, student-led research projects. Topics for the class include debates from both the production and consumption sides of the food chain, and take the health of both bodies and landscapes as a focal point. Among the list are: agricultural sustainability, genetically modified foods, local food activism, food security and hunger, nutrition and health policy, disordered eating, cooking as care work, and gender-based food marketing.  Within these topics, issues of race and racism, class-based and cultural difference, and gendered food practices will be foregrounded.

WMST 306 Seminar: Reading Feminisms This seminar offers students the opportunity to read one feminist theory/history thinker's major work and to delve into it in depth. signature works are those regarded as changing or introducing a paradigmatic change to a field. This seminar invites students to delve into a signature work or study it closely - very closely. Students will be asked to situate the work in time, place and intellectual debate. They will be asked: What does a thinker's work look like across the span of their life's work and in the context of its field(s) of influence? With whom is this thinker's work in conversation? What is the value of following one thinker over time to one's own intellectual development? How does one thinker's work fan out beyond their filed? How does it stay bound to a particular field? How do we trace the influence of a thinker's work? How does studying one thinker in-depth reveal as well the breath of their work and ideas. Does an author's work of a certain moment offer a window onto the questions of that moment, onto a moment's history? The questions will be pursued by following the work of one author's signature as comprehensively a possible over one semester.

WMST 308 Chicana and Latina Art: Altars, Ofrendas, and Radical Acts What unique contributions to the multiple fields of artistic expression have Chicanas and Latinas made? What is the relationship between art and social justice? What is the relationship between social justice, spirituality, and identity?  This course explores how Chicana and Latina artists have used a variety of artistic media as an expression of intersectional identity, a challenge to racist and/or masculinist culture, an enactment feminist politics, a catalyst for social change, a redefinition of community, and an articulation of decolonial consciousness.

WMST 309 Stormy Weather: Ecofeminism What is our relation with the earth? With animals, plants, water, technology, and air? With each other? With the wider universe? This course delves into the field of ecofeminism, a word first coined in 1974 by Francois d’Eaubonne to signal the joining of two movements – environmentalism and feminism. Early feminists asked: Is the oppression of women linked to the oppression of earth – Mother Nature? How do concepts of nature, gender and sexuality fashion our ways of living jointly, as “companion species?” Beginning with signature 1960s texts such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, this seminar tracks the stormy debates on environmentalism and feminism, including questions of oppression, environmental degradation, weather, and technologies of war as it seeks to chart new ways out of our current environmental conundrum. The seminar thus follows the affairs and entanglements of nature, science, and feminism in theory, research, film, literature, and everyday life. (Bayer)

WMST 323 Research in Social Psychology How lives are studied in social context is the question at the heart of social psychological research and feminist epistemology. Brought together, these approaches have reawakened concerns about the place of language, cultural discourses and relations of power in social psychological life. This course asks students to think through the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings to different research paradigms as they learn how to put different research methods into practice. Students design and conduct a research project, for which one component will be discourse analysis of women’s and men’s forms of language and the subtle ways in which these forms act on perceptions. Prerequisites: WMST 223 or WMST 247 or permission of the instructor. (Bayer)

WMST 357 Self in American Culture Twentieth century U.S. life is distinguished by an increasing tendency to see everyday life in psychological terms. How and when did it become so chic to see and conceive of ourselves as essentially psychological? What happens when these forms of self recede and newer ones, such as the consumer self, the narcissistic self, or the saturated self begin to signify the psychology of a decade and who we are as humans? This course draws on a feminist approach to examine the place of social psychology in the cultural history of American individualism and notions of the self. This course also can count toward the major in psychology. (Bayer)

WMST 372 Topics in Social Psychology This course focuses on a topic of current interest. Topics are announced in advance and are addressed through history and theory in feminist social psychology. One topic is peace: students examine practices for peace and social justice through movements, writing, art, and film in the larger social and psychological context of humanity and quests for life lived in harmony and equality. Other topics include cyber psychology, Cold War America and Cold War psychology, the psychology of the Women’s movement, and history of psychology. This course also may count toward the major in psychology. (Bayer)

WMST 401 Senior Seminar Women’s studies seniors produce a culminating project as they apply feminist theories and research methods, integrating their experiences as women’s studies majors. Prerequisites: WMST 100 and WMST 300. (Spring, offered annually)

WMST 450 Independent Study/Practicum This course provides the opportunity for students to engage in practical involvements in topics/issues in women’s studies as well as pursuing independent research under faculty supervision.


Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

Contact the Colleges


Offices and Resources
Campus Directory

make a gift

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.