Women's Studies at Aquinas College

Women's Studies Courses

WS100 Introduction to Women's Studies (3) PSC

This course is designed to introduce students to Women's Studies as an area of interdisciplinary study and research. Students will read classic and contemporary texts from a variety of disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. Topics include: women's contributions to the arts, sciences, and religion, an overview of feminist/womanist theory, epistemological issues, and feminist research methodologies. The course offer students the opportunity for cultural and cross-cultural study of the effect of representations and the various ways assumptions about gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation impact identities and shape perceptions, thinking, and actions in everyday life.

WS200 Special Topics in Women’s Studies (Variable)

WS210/SY210 Sociology of Marriage and Family (3) (SS1/SS2)

Marriage and family considered with a critical intersectional perspective in the context of contemporary Western culture; traditional and alternative family relationships; gender roles; family; and new attitudes on sexual behavior.

WS211/PG211 Psychology of Women (3)

This course presents concepts, theories, and issues surrounding the psychology of women. Theory and research focused on gender differences will be reviewed and discussed. Current issues including violence against women, sexual assault on college campuses, feminist approaches to therapy, workplace issues experienced by women, and family and relationship issues will also be explored.

WS225/KY 225 Women, Gender, and Sports (3) (SS1/SS2)

This course explores histories, issues, and representations of women, gender, and sports in the United States by examining key topics, from the evolution of sporting cultures and athletic attire, to changing conceptions of women’s bodies, “revolutionary” women athletes, legislation impacting women’s athletics, and representations of women athletes in popular culture. Students will consider how gender as a critical lens can illuminate an understanding of athletics, and how feminism as both theory and social movement intersects with sports. Students will propose, pursue, and present independent research projects deriving from their interests and interdisciplinary course material.

WS230/CN230 Language and Gender (3) (SS1/SS2)

This course explores the relationship between language and gender and introduces students to the ways in which people use language to construct, perform and/or reflect their gender identity/identities. The communicative styles used by women and men in a range of situational and cultural contexts will be examined, as will the interrelatedness of gender with other social identities (sexuality, race/ethnicity, social class) in language use. We will consider issues concerning language structure and ideology, including sexism in the language system and stereotypes or ‘accepted’ beliefs. The course’s goals include achieving an understanding of the major issues in language and gender research, a familiarity with important research in the field, and the ability to carry out research on selected topics.

WS252/AT252 Women, Ceramics, and the Creative Process (3)

This course features the study of contemporary, groundbreaking women ceramic artists through lecture, discussions, and studio work in clay.

WS255/EH255 Women Writers (3) AC

This course focuses on selected texts in English by female authors and draws from all genres and periods.

WS260 Women and the Environment (3) PSC

This course explores representations and theories of ecofeminism that connect nature and women, as well as the work of pioneering and contemporary "environmental advocates," such as Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, and West Michigan women who have led the modern environmental movement. Through a range of readings, written responses, discussion, and a final community engagement project, students apply course models to shape an environmental consciousness for themselves.

WS267/TY267 Women and Spirituality (3)

This course explores the topic of spirituality focusing especially on women, approaching studies through readings, discussions, and class presentations on Scripture, Tradition, and Church history; the anthropology/sociology of gender relations; the lives of women mystics; the experience of women in selected works of literature; the experience of contemporary women, including guest speakers; and the experience of class participants. Class readings, presentations, and discussions regarding all of the above will aim to incorporate varying experiences of race, culture, and life stage development.

WS305/SY305 Masculinities, Femininities, Sexualities, and Society (3)

This course examines the sociology of gender. As a social construction, gender influences various aspects of social life. Particular attention will be given to the role of ideology in shaping conceptions of gender, how those conceptions are constructed through socialization practices, how they are maintained through social institutions, and how gender shapes experiences. This course uses a critical, intersectional approach to understand gender more holistically.

WS309/HY309 Women in American History (3)

A social historical introduction to history from a feminist perspective focusing on women’s lived experience in the United States from the colonial era to the present. Topics include American Colonial women, Native American women, the impact of slavery on all American women, nineteenth and twentieth century social movements (Suffrage, Temperance, Social Reform, Women’s Liberation, Equal Rights Amendment, etc.) and women’s legal issues. This course is not accepted for the General Education Humanities requirement.

WS311/CN311 Gender Communication (3) SS1/SS2

This course focuses on the principles of and perspectives on the similarities and differences in men’s and women’s communication. It also presents skills that men and women can use to communicate more effectively.

WS314/SY311 Gender and Leadership (3)

Examination of how the status of the women is defined and how social constructions influence various aspects of social life. Utilizes a sociological approach and theories that have contributed to establishing current ideas about women and girls, leadership, socialization practices and how they are maintained through social institutions.

WS315/SY315 Women and Development (3)

A sociological examination of women’s involvement in development and social change activities across diverse societies. Use of sociology and women’s studies theories and analyses to understand development roles played by women in public and private spheres.

WS320 Contemporary Issues in Women’s Studies Seminar (Variable

This is an interdisciplinary course in Women's Studies, using a gender lens informed by feminist theory to understand a contemporary issue from multiple conceptual perspectives - disciplinary (arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences); geographical (local, regional, national, global); and methodological (quantitative, qualitative, and creative) in order to better understand and engage intersectional identities and issues around the globe.

WS325/PS325 Feminist Theory and Activism (3)

Feminist Theory and Activism is designed to explore different ways of thinking about sex/gender, power, and justice, and examines how different theories of gender, power and justice shape political activism. By comparing a variety of theoretical perspectives (such as liberal, Marxist and radical feminism), we look at different possibilities for analyzing core feminist concepts and the practical implications of theory.

WS397 Field Experience—WS398 Independent Readings—WS399 Independent Project (Variable)

These courses may be taken with the approval of the Director of the Women’s Studies Program