Women's and Gender Studies

Catalog Home

Faculty Office Building (Bldg. 47), Room 25H
Phone: 805.756.1525
Email: wgs@calpoly.edu
https://wgs.calpoly.edu

Department Chair: Jane Lehr

Academic Program

Program name Program type
Queer Studies Minor
Women's and Gender Studies Minor

Undergraduate Programs

Queer Studies Minor

The Queer Studies (QS) minor provides students with opportunities to explore how sexuality is central to human societies. The Queer Studies minor promotes intersectional, interdisciplinary scholarly inquiry, education and activism that emphasizes how constructions, experiences and expressions of sexuality (including the invention of homo/heterosexuality and ab/normality, intimacy, kinship networks and embodiment) change over time and are lived in relation to interlocking systems of race, ethnicity, religion, class, nation, age, dis/ability and gender. Students completing the minor will develop the intellectual and practical skills necessary to contribute to scholarship, creative production and innovation in the interdisciplinary field of Queer Studies and to serve as leaders in the creation, enactment and evaluation of efforts to create a more inclusive, just and equitable world.

Minor Requirements
 

Women's and Gender Studies Minor

The Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Minor empowers students to question and contribute to knowledge creation, community formation, activism, creative practice, and policymaking from interdisciplinary feminist perspectives.  The WGS minor encourages active student learning and sophisticated engagement, and a critical understanding of how genders and sexualities shape and are shaped by social, political, ethical, economic, legal and cultural institutions in historical and contemporary contexts. Areas of exploration include femininities, masculinities, and other gender identities. The Women's & Gender Studies minor promotes scholarly inquiry, education and activism that utilizes an integrative approach, exploring the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, dis/abilities, citizenship status, and other social categories within both national and transnational contexts.

Minor Requirements

How to Read Course Descriptions

WGS Courses

WGS 201. Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies in the United States. 4 units

GE Area D1; USCP

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Introduction to theories and research on how genders and sexualities in the US shape and are shaped by historical processes and US institutional formation - specifically social, political, economic, legal, cultural institutions. Emphasis on interlocking systems of gender, sexuality, race and class. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as HNRS 204/WGS 201. Fulfills GE Area D1 and USCP.

WGS 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

WGS 301. Contemporary Issues in Women's and Gender Studies. 4 units

GE Area D5; USCP

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and two lower-division courses in GE Area D. Recommended: WGS 201 (GE Area D1).

Exploration of contemporary issues in local, national, and comparative transnational contexts as addressed within the interdisciplinary field of Women's & Gender Studies, with an emphasis on the complex intersections of gender and sexuality with race, class, and other social factors. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Area D5 and USCP.

WGS 302. Contemporary Issues in Queer Studies. 4 units

GE Area D5; USCP

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and one lower-division course in GE Area D.

Exploration of contemporary issues as addressed within the interdisciplinary field of Queer Studies, with an emphasis on the relationships between constructions, experiences and expressions of sexuality and interlocking systems of race, ethnicity, religion, class, nation, age, dis/ability and gender in local, national, and transnational contexts. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Area D5 and USCP.

WGS 305. Feminist Methodologies. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: One course in Women's & Gender Studies; and junior standing.

Examination of feminist critiques of established methodologies in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences disciplines and exploration and use of feminist methodologies developed both across disciplines and within Women's & Gender Studies. 4 seminars.

WGS 311. Sociology of Genders and Sexualities. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Analysis of social constructions of sex, genders, and sexualities. Explores how gender stereotypes are created and reproduced. Focus on media representations; intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality; and effects on individuals and structures of work, education, family, and abusive relationships. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as SOC/WGS 311.

WGS 320. Women, Gender and Sexuality in Global Perspective. 4 units

GE Area D5

Term Typically Offered: F, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and one lower-division course in GE Area D.

Examination of women's lives, genders and sexualities in relation to intersecting systems of class, race/ethnicity, religion and nation in comparative cross-cultural contexts. Includes study of global and transnational feminisms, reproductive rights, women's labor, women in development, women's politics. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Area D5.

WGS 324. Psychology of Gender. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SU

Prerequisite: PSY 201 or PSY 202.

Investigation of psychological genders and sexualities beyond ideas associated with biological sex. Exploration of sex/gender/sexuality differences from a social psychological (e.g., socialization) perspective. Implications of gender roles (including masculinity, femininity, non-binary) and sexual identities for relationships and health. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as PSY/WGS 324.

WGS 336. Feminist Ethics, Gender, Sexuality and Society. 4 units

GE Area C4; USCP

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing or Philosophy major; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and completion of GE Area C2.

Critical examination of the relations between gender, sexuality, ethnicity, society and ethics from feminist perspectives, with special attention paid to problems in contemporary applied ethics. Joint focus on theory and application. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as PHIL/WGS 336. Fulfills GE Area C4 and USCP.

WGS 340. Sexuality Studies. 4 units

GE Area D5

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and one lower-division course in GE Area D.

Sexuality in a cultural and historical context. Changing definitions of human subjectivity. The cultural and social regimes that control and create sexuality (including the 'invention' of homo/heterosexuality and the social, legal and political systems that define sexual ab/normality). Contemporary issues of sexual orientation and topics of sexuality in relation to gender and race. 4 seminars. Crosslisted as WGS/HNRS 340. Fulfills GE Area D5.

WGS 345. Queer Ethnic Studies. 4 units

GE Area D5; USCP

Term Typically Offered: F, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and one lower-division course in GE Area D.

Theories, research and methods focused on the interlocking systems of sexuality, race, racialization, and ethnicity in local, national and comparative global/transnational contexts. Relationships between racialization and heteronormativity; queer of color critique; queer migration; decolonizing queer organizing, theory, and knowledge production. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as ES/WGS 345. Fulfills GE Area D5 and USCP.

WGS 350. Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology. 4 units

GE Area B7; GE Area F; USCP

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better in at least one of the courses; and completion of GE Areas B2, B3, and B4.

Interdisciplinary examination of the complex relationships between gender, race, culture, science, technology in educational, work, knowledge production, policy, and ethical contexts. Topics may include reproductive, medical, genetic, and emerging technologies and exploration of efforts to create more socially responsible science/technology. 3 lectures, 1 activity. Crosslisted as ES 350/HNRS 353/WGS 350. Fulfills GE Area B7 or GE Area F; and USCP.

WGS 351. Gender, Race, Class, Nation in Global Engineering, Technology & International Development. 4 units

GE Area D5

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and one lower-division course in GE Area D.

Cross-cultural exploration of the intersections of gender, race, class, nation in the global engineering workforce, small- and large-scale technological systems, and international development programs; special attention to 21st century challenges and efforts to create more socially responsible engineering and technology. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as ES/WGS 351. Fulfills GE Area D5.

WGS 370. Religion, Gender, and Society. 4 units

GE Area C4; USCP

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; completion of one course in GE Area B1 with a grade of C- or better; and completion of GE Area C2.

Critical examination of religious ideas and institutions in the United States. Focus on interlocking systems of sex, gender, race, class and religion; individual and group experiences at the intersection of religion, politics and culture. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as RELS/WGS 370. Fulfills GE Area C4 and USCP.

WGS 375. Intersectional Feminist Art Histories. 4 units

USCP

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; and one of the following: ART 112, ART 212, ART 213, or WGS 201.

Intersectional feminist exploration of the role of women, gender, and sexuality in the visual arts and art history. In-depth focus on intersectional feminisms as they impact the study of the visual arts and art history. Not open to students with credit in ART 316. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as ART/WGS 375. Fulfills USCP.

WGS 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: WGS 201 or consent of Women's and Gender Studies Chair.

Individual investigation, research studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

WGS 401. Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: WGS 201. Recommended: Junior standing.

Intensive study of a selected topic in Women's and Gender Studies (such as gender and work, gender and the law, sexuality and the arts). The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Field experience may be required as appropriate. May be repeated for up to 8 units. 3 seminars and a supervised research project.

WGS 417. Feminist Legal Theory. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: Completion of GE D1. Recommended: POLS 112.

Different approaches to US feminist legal theory and topics in gender and US law. Topics covered include employment, domestic violence, sexual harassment, reproductive justice, sex work, rape, and welfare reform. 4 seminars. Crosslisted as POLS/WGS 417.

WGS 421. The History of Prostitution. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: HIST 303; completion of GE Area D5; or graduate standing.

Comparative history of prostitution from antiquity to present. Analysis of prostitution from social, cultural, political, gendered and economic perspectives. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as HIST/WGS 421.

WGS 423. Gender and Work. 4 units

USCP

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: Junior standing; and completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better.

Extent, causes, and intersectional nature of workplace gender inequality. Strategies aimed at creating more egalitarian organizations. Topics include job segregation, tokenism, sexual harassment, work/family balance, gendered jobs, inequality regimes, personnel policies, workplace democracy, and social/labor movement activism. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as SOC/WGS 423. Fulfills USCP.

WGS 434. American Women's History to 1870. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: HIST 303 or completion of GE Area D5, or graduate standing.

Female ideology and experience from the colonial period through the American Civil War. Use of a variety of sources, including women's own writing, in order to understand the history of women as it both reflects and shapes American culture and society. 3 lectures and research project. Crosslisted as HIST/WGS 434.

WGS 435. American Women's History from 1870. 4 units

USCP

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: HIST 303 or completion of GE Area D5, or graduate standing.

The female past in the modern period of U.S. history. Considers how transformations in gender roles are reflective of other significant changes in American culture and society. Emphasis on class, race, and ethnic variations in women's experience. 3 lectures and research project. Crosslisted as HIST/WGS 435. Fulfills USCP.

WGS 450. Feminist Theory. 4 units

USCP

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: WGS 201.

Advanced critical examination of the history and evolution of ideas in feminist theory. Focus on genders and sexualities in relation to race/ethnicity, religion, class, nation, age, dis/ability, with special attention to relationships between theory and praxis/application. 3 lectures, 1 activity. Fulfills USCP.

WGS 455. Queer Theory. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: One course in Women's & Gender Studies; and junior standing.

Philosophical foundations, intellectual history, and current directions of queer theory, understood as the critical study of sexuality. Intersections among sexuality and other material and discursive systems, including race, ethnicity, class, dis/ability, and nationality. 4 seminars.

WGS 457. U.S. Reproductive Politics. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: Completion of GE D1. Recommended: POLS 112.

Multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the law and politics of reproduction in the United States. Topics studied include histories of reproductive regulation, abortion law and politics, technology and fertility, and social policy and reproductive control. 4 seminars. Crosslisted as POLS/WGS 457.

WGS 458. Gender and Sexuality in Modern Europe. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: HIST 303 or completion of GE Area D5, or graduate standing.

Social, economic, political, and cultural effects of changing gender systems in modern Europe, particularly but not exclusively with regard to sex and sexuality. 3 lectures and research project. Crosslisted as HIST/WGS 458.

WGS 467. Women's and Gender Studies / Queer Studies Internship. 4 units

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: WGS 201 and consent of WGS/QS Internship Director.

Supervised work experience in approved agency. Intern subject to of the duties/responsibilities of employees engaged in comparable work. Focus on genders, sexualities, independent utilization of WGS/QS concepts. 30 hours of internship experience per unit of credit. Minimum of 4 units (120 hours). Total credit limited to 8 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

WGS 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

Anya P. Foxen
B.A., Rutgers, 2008; M.A., UCSB; 2011 PhD, UCSB, 2015

Jane L. Lehr
B.A., University of Rochester, 1997; M.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2002; Ph.D., 2006.