Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Yvonne A. Braun, Department Head
541-346-5529
541-346-0652 fax
315 Hendricks Hall
1298 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1298
wgs@uoregon.edu

The Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the diverse experiences of women in both national and international contexts. The department also examines the meaning of gender as a socially constructed category that shapes personal identities, beliefs, opportunities, and behaviors. The wide range of courses explores the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality; the institutional structures that have an impact on women’s and men’s lives; and the broad range of feminist theory that seeks to explain and influence women’s status in society. Among the areas of emphasis in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies are gender and sexuality, queer studies, third-world feminism, cultural representation and literature, women and labor, feminist theory, critical race feminism, immigration and citizenship, and social activism.

Core and affiliated faculty members in the department come from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including history, literature, anthropology, sociology, geography, environmental studies, ethnic studies, philosophy, religious studies, architecture and fine arts, music, Romance and Germanic languages, political science, public policy, and law.

Any student may take women’s, gender, and sexuality studies courses. Some students take a few courses to complement the curriculum in another major. Others choose to fulfill the requirements for a major in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies or a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies or in queer studies.

Most women’s, gender, and sexuality studies courses satisfy group and multicultural requirements. For courses approved to fulfill these requirements, see the current list on the registrar’s website.

Faculty

Oluwakemi Balogun, assistant professor (globalization, nationalism, African studies). BA, Pomona College, 2003; PhD, California, Berkeley, 2012. (2013)

Yvonne A. Braun, associate professor (gender and development, political ecology, social inequality). BA, 1994, State University of New York, Geneseo; MA, 2000, PhD, 2005, California, Irvine. (2005)

Judith Raiskin, associate professor (postcolonial literature, feminist theory, sexuality). BA, 1979, California, Berkeley; MA, 1981, Chicago; PhD, 1989, Stanford. (1995)

Elizabeth Reis, professor (US women’s history, history of sexuality, women and religion). AB, 1980, Smith; MA, 1982, Brown; PhD, 1991, California, Berkeley. (2002)

Shoniqua Roach, assistant professor (African American studies, feminist theory, performance studies). BA, 2012, Pennsylvania State; MA, 2013, Florida; PhD, 2017, Northwestern. (2017)

Carol Stabile, professor (gender, race, and class in the media). AB, 1983, Mount Holyoke College; MA, 1985, PhD, 1992, Brown. (2008)

Stephanie "Lani" Teves, assistant professor (indigenous feminisms, native studies, performance studies). BA, 2002, MA, 2005, Hawaii, Hilo; PhD, 2012, Michigan, Ann Arbor. (2014)

Emerita

Barbara Corrado Pope, professor emerita. BA, 1964, Hiram; MA, 1966, Iowa; PhD, 1981, Columbia. (1976)

Linda O. Fuller, professor emerita. BA, 1966, MA, 1977, PhD, 1985, California, Berkeley. (1989)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.

Affiliated

Shabnam Ahktari, mathematics

Yvette Alex-Assensoh, political science

Susan C. Anderson, German and Scandinavian

Erin Beck, political science

Charise Cheney, ethnic studies

Krista Chronister, counseling psychology and human services

Lynn Fujiwara, ethnic studies

Alison Gash, political science

Lisa M. Gilman, folklore

Amalia Gladhart, Romance languages

Bryna Goodman, history

Michael Hames-Garcia, ethnic studies

Julie Heffernan, education studies

Ellen Herman, history

Sara Hodges, psychology

Jocelyn Hollander, sociology

Lamia Karim, anthropology

Sharon Luk, English

Kathryn A. Lynch, environmental studies

Bonnie Mann, philosophy

Kate Mondloch, history of art and architecture

Dorothee Ostmeier, German and Scandinavian

Eileen M. Otis, sociology

C. J. Pascoe, sociology

Scott L. Pratt, philosophy

Alai Reyes-Santos, ethnic studies

Ellen Scott, sociology

Carol T. Silverman, anthropology

Beata Stawarska, philosophy

Leslie H. Steeves, journalism and communication

Lynn Stephen, anthropology

Analisa Taylor, Romance languages

Courtney Thorsson, English

Elizabeth A. Wheeler, English

Frances J. White, anthropology

Mary E. Wood, English

Priscilla Yamin, political science

Preparation

No specific high school preparation is necessary. Students who transfer to the university from other colleges may apply as many as 8 credits of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies courses to the major or to the minors.

Careers

An understanding of gender and of women’s experiences, abilities, and needs is an asset to careers in such fields as education, social service, government, business, law, medicine, the ministry, journalism, media, technology, counseling, and child care. In addition, a background in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies can be used as a basis for entering a growing number of graduate programs that emphasize the study of women or gender.

Major Requirements

The Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers an undergraduate major leading to a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) degree. Students may major in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies alone or as one of two or more majors. Majors must construct their programs in consultation with women’s, gender, and sexuality studies advisors.

Graded courses in the major must be completed with grades of C– or higher. No more than 8 credits taken pass/no pass in these courses may be counted toward the major.

At least 36 credits must be in upper-division courses. At least 24 upper-division credits must be taken at the University of Oregon. Women’s, gender, and sexuality studies (WGS) majors must attain a grade point average of 2.50 or higher in courses applied to the major.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Core Courses
WGS 101Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies4
WGS 303Women and Gender in American History4
WGS 315History and Development of Feminist Theory4
WGS 321Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture4
WGS 351Decolonial Feminisms4
WGS 3524
WGS 411Feminist Praxis (offered fall term only)4
Electives
WGS upper-division courses8
WGS or other code-approved courses (up to 8 credits can be in lower-division courses)12
Total Credits48

Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements

Core Courses
WGS 101Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies4
WGS 303Women and Gender in American History4
WGS 315History and Development of Feminist Theory4
WGS 321Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture4
WGS 351Decolonial Feminisms4
WGS 3524
WGS 411Feminist Praxis (offered fall term only)4
Electives
WGS upper-division courses8
WGS or other code-approved courses (up to 8 credits can be in lower-division courses)12
Total Credits48

Senior Honors Thesis

Students interested in producing a substantial piece of original research and writing may elect to write a senior thesis in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

To be eligible to write an honors thesis, students should have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 in WGS courses. Students who satisfy the major requirements, maintain throughout their undergraduate studies at Oregon a GPA of 3.50 or above in courses in the major, and submit a copy of the honors thesis approved by their committee to the department receive a baccalaureate degree with honors in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

Thesis Criteria

A thesis must be based on a student’s original research. Depending on the discipline, it can be a written paper that presents the results of the research. Theses average between 30 and 50 pages, including notes and bibliographies.

Only theses that meet the following criteria will be approved and awarded honors:

  • Identifies a clear and original topic or research question
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the literature concerning that topic or research question in the field of gender studies by reviewing that body of literature and providing a substantive bibliography
  • Provides an analysis of the topic or research question, using clearly identified methodology
  • It uses the citational style appropriate to its disciplinary focus
  • The thesis is mindful of the relationships among gender, race, class, ability, and national identity as these pertain to the object of study

Students producing a senior thesis should expect to do the following work over the course of a full year prior to their graduation. In the spring and summer before the thesis writing begins, students need to identify a primary advisor (first reader) and a second reader, both of whom are either a faculty member in the department or an affiliated faculty member (see faculty list). If an affiliated faculty member is the first reader, then the instructor of Reading and Conference: [Topic] (WGS 405) will be the second reader.

In fall, students should register for Reading and Conference: [Topic] (WGS 405) (1–4 variable credits) with their thesis advisor and submit a timeline for completion of the thesis to the thesis advisor.

By the end of the fall term, students should complete a draft of a research proposal that is five to eight pages in length and includes a literature review, a short section on the methods that will be used, research questions or a thesis statement (depending on the discipline), and a bibliography.  

Research proposals must be approved by the thesis advisor and a copy must be submitted to the department. If an affiliate faculty member is the thesis advisor, the proposal must be approved by the student's primary advisor in the department as well.

In winter, students should register for Thesis (WGS 403). Using the timeline submitted in the fall, students spend winter term conducting research and writing the thesis in consultation with their advisor. By the end of winter term, research should be complete and thesis writing should be significantly underway.

In spring, students write, revise, and produce a final draft of the thesis following the timeline submitted in the fall. By no later than the end of the fifth week of the term, students must submit their final thesis to their departmental advisor, their affiliate advisor, or both. Upon approval, students must submit a copy of their final thesis to the department head.

The student’s performance on the thesis and on courses taken during the senior year will be reviewed before the honors distinction is granted. Obtain complete instructions and required forms from the department office.

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor Requirements

WGS 101Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies4
Upper-division courses with WGS subject code 18
WGS or other code-approved courses (up to 8 credits may be taken in lower-division courses)12
Total Credits24
1

History and Development of Feminist Theory (WGS 315) strongly suggested.

Additional Requirements

No more than 8 credits in Practicum: [Topic] (WGS 409) may be counted toward the minor. No more than 8 credits may be taken pass/no pass; no more than 8 credits may count toward both the minor and the student's major. Graded courses in the minor must be completed with grades of C– or higher. At least 16 credits applied to the women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor must be taken at the University of Oregon.

Students must apply for the minor in the women’s, gender, and sexuality studies office well in advance of graduation for transcript evaluation. In order to be eligible for the minor, students must complete all degree requirements and a major in another academic department.

Queer Studies Minor Requirements

WGS 201Introduction to Queer Studies4
WGS course focused on queer studies 14
WGS or other department courses 116
Total Credits24
1

 A minimum of 16 of these 20 credits must be earned in upper-division courses.

Students wishing to minor in queer studies should consult frequently with a women’s, gender, and sexuality studies advisor to determine which courses offered during any given academic year will count toward the fulfillment of the 20 selectable credits. A minimum of 16 of the 24 total credits for the minor must be earned at the University of Oregon. The other 8 may be earned through successful completion of preapproved courses from another university or approved overseas program. A minimum of 16 of the 24 credits must be graded. Students must complete all 24 credits with a grade of P or C– or better.

Students must apply for the queer studies minor in the women’s, gender, and sexuality studies office well in advance of graduation for transcript evaluation. In order to be eligible for the minor, students must complete all degree requirements and a major in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies or another academic department.

Four-Year Degree Plan

The degree plan shown is only a sample of how students may complete their degrees in four years. There are alternative ways. Students should consult their advisor to determine the best path for them.

The degree plan shows courses that are solely within the department (subject code WGS) and suggestions for arranging general-education courses, language courses, and mathematics courses. The plans below do not necessarily include sufficient courses to meet the 180-credit minimum to graduate.

It is suggested that students look for courses that meet the multicultural requirements when taking general-education requirements.

Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies

Degree Map
First Year
FallMilestonesCredits
WGS 101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies 4
WR 121 College Composition I 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
PEMA 116 Women's Self Defense 2
 Credits 14
Winter
WGS 303 Women and Gender in American History 4
WR 122 College Composition II 4
General-education course in social science 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
WGS 315 History and Development of Feminist Theory 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
General-education course in science 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 46
Degree Map
Second Year
FallMilestonesCredits
WGS 321 Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture 4
First term of first-year second-language sequence 5
General-education course in arts and letters 4
Elective physical education course 1
 Credits 14
Winter
WGS 351 Decolonial Feminisms 4
Second term of first-year second-language sequence 5
General-education course in science 4
Elective physical education course 1
 Credits 14
Spring
WGS 250 Gender, Literature, and Culture 4
Third term of first-year second-language sequence 5
General-education course in social science 4
General-education course in science 4
 Credits 17
 Total Credits 45
Degree Map
Third Year
FallMilestonesCredits
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code 4
First term of second-year second-language sequence 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
Winter
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code 4
Second term of second-year second-language sequence 4
General-education course in social science 4
 Credits 12
Spring
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code or approved cross-listed course 4
Third term of second-year second-language sequence 4
General-education course in science 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 44
Degree Map
Fourth Year
FallMilestonesCredits
WGS 411 Feminist Praxis 4
Elective courses 12
 Credits 16
Winter
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code or approved cross-listed course 4
Elective courses 12
 Credits 16
Spring
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code or approved cross-listed course 4
Elective courses 12
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48

Bachelor of Science in Women's and Gender Studies

Degree Map
First Year
FallMilestonesCredits
WGS 101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies 4
WR 121 College Composition I 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
PEMA 116 Women's Self Defense 2
 Credits 14
Winter
WGS 303 Women and Gender in American History 4
WR 122 College Composition II 4
General-education course in social science 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
WGS 315 History and Development of Feminist Theory 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
General-education course in science 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 46
Degree Map
Second Year
FallMilestonesCredits
WGS 321 Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
Mathematics or computer and information science course 4
Elective physical education course 1
 Credits 13
Winter
WGS 351 Decolonial Feminisms 4
General-education course in science 4
Mathematics or computer and information science course 4
Elective physical education course 1
 Credits 13
Spring
WGS 250 Gender, Literature, and Culture 4
Mathematics or computer and information science course 4
General-education course in social science 4
General-education course in science 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 42
Degree Map
Third Year
FallMilestonesCredits
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code 4
General-education course in arts and letters 4
Mathematics or computer and information science course 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
Winter
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code 4
General-education course in social science 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 12
Spring
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code or approved cross-listed course 4
General-education course in science 4
Elective courses 8
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 44
Degree Map
Fourth Year
FallMilestonesCredits
WGS 411 Feminist Praxis 4
Elective courses 12
 Credits 16
Winter
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code approved cross-listed course 4
Elective courses 12
 Credits 16
Spring
Upper-division elective course with WGS subject code or approved cross-listed course 4
Elective courses 12
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48

Graduate Studies

The graduate certificate in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies requires 24 credits in courses approved by the women’s, gender, and sexuality studies graduate advisor. At least 12 of these credits must be in core courses in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. At least 8 of these credits must be in approved graduate courses offered in other departments.

Graduate Certificate Requirements

Core Courses
Select WGS courses totaling 12 credits from the following:12
Seminar: [Topic]
Feminist Praxis
Feminist Pedagogy
Sexuality Studies: [Topic]
Gender, Environment, and Development
Global Perspectives on Gender [Topic]
Reading and Conference: [Topic] 1
Seminar: [Topic]
Practicum: [Topic] 1
Other Courses
Approved graduate courses in other departments8
WGS or other department graduate course4
Total Credits24
1

Indicates a variable-credit course. The student must declare the credit value upon registering online—e.g., Practicum: [Topic] (WGS 609).

Additional Requirements

No more than 4 credits in Reading and Conference: [Topic] (WGS 605) and Practicum: [Topic] (WGS 609) can be applied to the certificate.

No more than 8 credits may be taken pass/no pass without specific approval.

Applicants should arrange an appointment with the graduate advisor.

Courses

Course usage information

WGS 101. Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies. 4 Credits.

Interdisciplinary examination of the diverse experiences, status, and contributions of women in the United States. Topics include social construction of gender, race, sexualities, work, class, violence, and health.

Course usage information

WGS 198. Colloquium: [Topic]. 1,2 Credit.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 201. Introduction to Queer Studies. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the study of sexuality and society from a queer studies interdisciplinary perspective.

Course usage information

WGS 221. Bodies and Power. 4 Credits.

Focuses on gender, the body, and dis/ability as a particular nexus of experience and social meaning, influenced as well by race, sexuality, age and class. This course considers bodies and how we understand them within contexts shaped by social relations and systems of power.

Course usage information

WGS 250. Gender, Literature, and Culture. 4 Credits.

Examines literary and other cultural representations of gendered experiences using novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and visual cultural production.

Course usage information

WGS 251. Transnational and Indigenous Feminisms. 4 Credits.

Introductory survey of transnational and Indigenous feminist scholarship, two intersecting strains of feminism that address the workings of culture, nationalism, and gender in multiple contexts. Explores cross-section of key issues and perspectives using interdisciplinary lenses and methodologies employed by scholars in transnational and Indigenous studies.

Course usage information

WGS 303. Women and Gender in American History. 4 Credits.

Focuses on women and gender in America, highlighting how diverse women have experienced gender roles and sexism since the 17th century.

Course usage information

WGS 315. History and Development of Feminist Theory. 4 Credits.

Feminist theory from the Enlightenment through the Second Wave, with special emphasis on the diverse theories of the 1960s to the present.
Prereq: WGS 101.

Course usage information

WGS 321. Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture. 4 Credits.

Examines intersections of race and ethnicity, class, sexuality, and gender in the history and lives of United States women of color. Explores definitions of community, culture, and identity.
Prereq: one course WGS or ES 101.

Course usage information

WGS 331. Science, Technology, and Gender. 4 Credits.

Topics include the role of gender in the practice of science and the impact of sexism and racism on the development of science and technology.
Prereq: WGS 101 or equivalent.

Course usage information

WGS 341. Women, Work, and Class. 4 Credits.

Explores contexts and cultural attitudes shaping the women's market and domestic labor including race, sexuality, age, and class as well as occupational segregation and control.

Course usage information

WGS 350. Literature as Feminist Theory. 4 Credits.

Analyzes literary and media texts while considering questions and intersections of race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, nation, culture, and power central to the field of women and gender studies, and demonstrates how these intersections within literary texts are sites of knowledge production in feminist theory.
Prereq: one 200 level WGS course.

Course usage information

WGS 351. Decolonial Feminisms. 4 Credits.

Exploration of feminist activism and women’s movements globally, organizing to challenge the state, civil society, international agencies, and corporations for a more just world.
Prereq: One 200-level WGS course.

Course usage information

WGS 361. Gender, Film, and the Media. 4 Credits.

Students read, view, examine, discuss, and write about film and media in terms of gender and feminist and queer theory. Offered alternate years.

Course usage information

WGS 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 401. Research: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 403. Thesis. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable with program director's and thesis adviser's consent for maximum of 12 credits.

Course usage information

WGS 405. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 406. Field Studies: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable for maximum of 12 credits.

Course usage information

WGS 407. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

A current topic is Feminist Research Issues. Repeatable when topic changes.

Course usage information

WGS 408. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 409. Practicum: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 410. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 411. Feminist Praxis. 4 Credits.

Combined internship and seminar explores the history and politics of community agencies and the relationship of feminist theory to practice.
Prereq: one course WGS or equivalent.

Course usage information

WGS 413. Feminist Pedagogy. 2 Credits.

Surveys strategies for facilitating discussions in women's and gender studies classes and the special problems of teaching about gender, race, and sexuality.
Prereq: WGS 101 or equivalent.

Course usage information

WGS 422. Sexuality Studies: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Various topics in sexuality studies, including the relationship between gender and sexuality and between queer studies and women's and gender studies. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 12 credits.
Prereq: WGS 101 or 201.

Course usage information

WGS 432. Gender, Environment, and Development. 4 Credits.

Surveys gender and political, economic, and cultural strategies for development and environmental change around the world.
Pre- or coreq: WGS 101.

Course usage information

WGS 450. Literature and Feminist World-Making. 4 Credits.

Examines feminist world-making in literary texts as a form of political theory, a strategy for thinking critically about the present, imagining the world under different circumstances, and building an alternative world from a feminist perspective.
Prereq: one 300-level WGS course.

Course usage information

WGS 451. Global Perspectives on Gender [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Designed to deepen understanding of diverse global issues and perspectives related to women’s and gender studies. Repeatable twice when topic changes for a maximum of 12 credits.

Course usage information

WGS 507. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

A current topic is Feminist Research Issues. Repeatable when topic changes.

Course usage information

WGS 508. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 510. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 511. Feminist Praxis. 4 Credits.

Combined internship and seminar explores the history and politics of community agencies and the relationship of feminist theory to practice.
Prereq: one course WGS or equivalent.

Course usage information

WGS 513. Feminist Pedagogy. 2 Credits.

Surveys strategies for facilitating discussions in women's and gender studies classes and the special problems of teaching about gender, race, and sexuality.

Course usage information

WGS 522. Sexuality Studies: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Various topics in sexuality studies, including the relationship between gender and sexuality and between queer studies and women's and gender studies. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 12 credits.

Course usage information

WGS 532. Gender, Environment, and Development. 4 Credits.

Surveys gender and political, economic, and cultural strategies for development and environmental change around the world.

Course usage information

WGS 550. Literature and Feminist World-Making. 4 Credits.

Examines feminist world-making in literary texts as a form of political theory, a strategy for thinking critically about the present, imagining the world under different circumstances, and building an alternative world from a feminist perspective.

Course usage information

WGS 551. Global Perspectives on Gender [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Designed to deepen understanding of diverse global issues and perspectives related to women’s and gender studies. Repeatable twice when topic changes for a maximum of 12 credits.

Course usage information

WGS 601. Research: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 602. Supervised College Teaching. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 605. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 607. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 608. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 609. Practicum: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

Course usage information

WGS 610. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.

Repeatable.