Programs & Study Options

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Description of Major

Women's and Gender Studies is a 43 unit major housed in the School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University. Our major and minors have been revised in 2018—please come in for advising if you have any questions. Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary and dynamic discipline that is a major presence at universities throughout the country and increasingly, the world. The major offers students the ability to acquire knowledge and develop skills in the following ways:

Knowledge.

Students are trained to critically examine the experiences and opportunities of women and men in relation to race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation. Students develop an understanding of masculinity and femininity as historically and culturally specific constructions that shape human development. Students acquire an advanced appreciation of how and why gender influences and is embedded in the division of labor, mechanisms of social control, and major societal institutions including the family, health care, education, law, religion, the workplace, and the media. Students gain important knowledge about historical and contemporary forms of resistance and activism around issues of gender including feminist movements, gay rights movements, men's movements, women's health movements, and others. Students learn about the major themes in feminist theory and applications of feminist theory to real life problems.

Skills.

The curriculum consistently reinforces the development of strengthened abilities in writing, critical thinking, group project planning and public speaking. Furthermore, WGS students are required to complete a major research project (WGS 425) that provides them with skills in qualitative data collection and analysis.

Experience in the real world.

WGS requires a 4 unit internship. Most students complete this requirement through service in several settings, thereby increasing student experience in different work environments and enhancing their resumes for employment. A complete databank of available internships is maintained and continually updated by the WGS Department. Examples of internships include: Planned Parenthood, United Against Sexual Assault, YWCA, Circle of Sisters, several local elementary and secondary schools, Read to Me Program, Women's Health Resource Center at Sutter Community Hospital, National Women's History Project, and numerous other opportunities.

Ability to double major or minor.

WGS encourages students to double major or minor in another discipline. The 43 unit major is designed to effectively and efficiently coordinate the number of units necessary to accomplish these goals.

Preparation for advanced study.

Many WGS majors pursue advanced degrees. WGS prepares students by providing a foundation in the major trends in feminist theory and research and research and writing skills. Past students have presented papers at conferences and submitted articles for publication in preparation for graduate school. WGS majors have also spent a semester in a university in another country (Ireland and Australia most recently) providing them with experiences and opportunities valuable to advanced education and career development.

WGS Major study plan

Women’s & Gender Studies Major (revised 2018) - 43 Units

  1. Core Requirements – 20-22 units
    • WGS 200 Intro to WGS (GE, category E) 3 units
    • WGS 301 Feminist Lecturer Series (Fall only) 1 unit
    • Or WGS 302 Queer Studies Lecture Series (Spring only) (GE, category C2) 1 unit
    • WGS 375 Gender, Race and Class (GE, category D1; Ethnic Studies) 3 units
    • WGS 385 Transnational Feminisms 4 units
    • WGS 425 Feminist Research Methods (Fall only) 3-4 units
    • WGS 474 Foundations of Feminist Thought 4 units
    • Or WGS 475 Contemporary Feminist Theory (Fall only) 4 units
    • WGS 485 Senior Seminar (Spring only) 4 units
    • WGS 498 Careers in WGS 1 unit
    • WGS 499 Internship 3 units
  2. Pathway - 12 units - please see a WGS advisor for a complete list of possible classes.
    1) Community/ Clinical

    Students interested in community organizing, social work, health care, education, and/or counseling will consider this pathway. Courses emphasize community and identity development, social transformation andjustice movements, institutions and organizations, bodies and health, and service learning.

    -or-

    2. Cultural/Critical

    Students interested in the arts and art activism, cultural work and activism, education, and/or advanced degrees in humanities, critical social sciences, or law will consider this pathway. Courses emphasize critical theories, pedagogies, ideologies and structures, and cultural production, representation, and activism.

  3. Electives - 4 units

    Any WGS course or recognized courses in other departments, 4 units

For more information, please visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Stevenson Hall 3016 or call 664-2840. Students should make an appointment by contacting:

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Email: mcquade@sonoma.edu
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Email: romesbur@sonoma.edu
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F
Email: tung@sonoma.edu

WGS Minor study plan

Women’s & Gender Studies Minor (revised 2018) – 16 Units

  1. Core Requirements – 10 units
    • WGS 200 Intro to WGS (GE, category E) 3 units
    • WGS 375 Gender, Race and Class 3 units
    • (GE Category D1, Ethnic Studies)
    • WGS 474 Foundations of Feminist Thought 4 units
    • Or WGS 475 Contemporary Feminist Theory 4 units
  2. Electives – 6 units
    Pick at least 2 courses from 2 categories for a total of 6 or more units. Some non-WGS courses have prerequisites and restrictions from their home departments. Minors must meet these requirements. Please see a WGS advisor for a complete list of possible classes.
    1. Women and Gender in US Society
    2. Women and Gender in the Humanities
    3. Biological/Psychological Perspective
    4. Transnational Perspectives on Gender
    5. Special Topics on Women or Gender

For more information, please visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Stevenson Hall 3016 or call 664-2840. Students should make an appointment by contacting:

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Email: mcquade@sonoma.edu
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Email: romesbur@sonoma.edu
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F
Email: tung@sonoma.edu

Queer Studies Minor study plan

Queer Studies Minor (revised2018) - 18 Units

  1. Core Requirements – 12 units
    • WGS 255 Intro. to Queer Studies (GE D1) (3-4 units)
    • WGS 301 Queer Studies Lecture Series (1 unit)
    • WGS 305 LGBTQ US History (GE D3) (3 units)
    • WGS 455 Queer Theory/Queer Lives (4 units)
  2. Electives – 6 units
    Two (or more) chosen in consultation with your Queer Studies Minor advisor.
    Examples of suitable electives:
    • WGS 285: Men and Masculinity (4) (E)
    • WGS 300: Gender, Race and Representation (3) (C1, Eth.)
    • WGS 302: Queer Studies Lecture Series (1) (C2) (after satisfying initial 1-unit core requirement)
    • WGS 325: Youth: Gender Perspectives (4)
    • WGS 335: Reproductive Justice (4)
    • WGS 365: Feminism, Activism, and Social Justice (4)
    • WGS 370: Gender in Asian America (4)
    • WGS 380: Indigenous Feminisms (4)
    • WGS 405: Psychology of Gender (x-list PSY 405) (4)
    • WGS 449: Gender & Sexuality in Latin Am (x-list HIST 449) (4)
    • WGS 474: Foundations of Feminist Thought (4)
    • WGS 475: Contemporary Feminist Theory (4)
    • WGS 499: Internship (1-4 units) (in LGBTQ-specific context)
    • ANTH 302 Biological Basis of Sex Differences (4)
    • ANTH 318 Human Development: Sex & Life Cycle (3) (E)
    • BIOL 311 Sexually Transmitted Diseases (3) (B3)
    • HD 365 Topics in HD: Gender and Sexuality (3-4)***
    • KIN 316 Women in Sport: Issues, Images, & Identities (3)
    • NURS 480 Health, Sexuality, and Society (3) (E)
    • NURS 490 Sexual Imperative (4) (C2)***
    • PSY 362 Human Sexuality (4)***
    • SOCI 360 Sociology of Sexualities (4)****
    • SOCI 370 Sociology of Transgender Studies (4)****
    • Other courses with advisor permission
    • *** Many prerequisites and/or restrictions
    • **** Queer Studies minors allowed w/o SOCI major

For more information contact the Queer Studies Minor Advisor or visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Stevenson Hall 3016.

Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Email: romesbur@sonoma.edu

Requirements for a Double Major

The Women’s and Gender Studies major is designed to facilitate a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in any other major offered as a Bachelor of Arts at SSU. The double major is a strength for any resume, as it provides prospective employers with evidence of substantial undergraduate education in more than one field. The double major is especially encouraged for students who want to combine graduate study in a more traditional discipline or field with an emphasis on gender issues.

The WGS major is a 43-unit series of course. Students pursuing the double major must declare their majors in both departments and must have at least 24 units in each major that do not count for the other major. Academic advising must occur in both departments and WGS faculty will only advise for the WGS major. Please note that departments may differ in the units that they will accept toward a double major and as a result, ongoing advising in both departments is critical for a well organized study plan.

For more information visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Stevenson Hall 3016.

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Email: mcquade@sonoma.edu
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Email: romesbur@sonoma.edu
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F
Email: tung@sonoma.edu

WGS Courses

Women's and Gender Studies is a 45 unit major housed in the School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University. Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary and dynamic discipline that is a major presence at universities throughout the country and increasingly, the world. The major offers students the ability to acquire knowledge and develop skills in the following ways:

WGS 200 Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies (3)
Explores social, political, and cultural dimensions of gender in society and culture. This course foregrounds intersectional feminist analyses: how gender is co-constituted with race, sexuality, nation, ability, economy, and other forms of social power. Students learn about the field of WGS, feminist analysis, interdisciplinary methods, and social justice. Satisfies GE Area E.
WGS 255 Introduction to Queer Studies (4)
This interdisciplinary course offers an introduction to the field of Queer Studies by analyzing the role of race, gender, sexuality, and nationalism in the social construction of modern gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) identities. Students also learn of queer theoretical approaches to politics, culture, and society. Satisfies GE Area D1.
WGS 285 Men and Masculinity (4)
This course examines construction of masculinity across axes of race, sexuality, class, nation, and abil ity. Utilizing a multidisciplinary perspective, this course addresses various theories of masculinity and masculinity’s impact on people’s lives in areas such as relationships, media representation, work, culture, development, and health. Satisfies GE Area E.
WGS 300 Gender, Race and Representation (3)
This course uses feminist cultural studies, arts, and media studies methods to explore how intersections of gender and race structure contemporary society. Tracing the production of difference through culture, we foreground the study of race, gender, and representation as a method through which to understand and transform the social world. Satisfies GE Area C1, Ethnic Studies.
WGS 301 Feminist Studies Lecture Series (1-4)
A weekly lecture series (or occasional workshops) offering presentations and discussions of current issues from feminist and/or queer perspectives. There is usually a semester-long focus on a particular topic. The lectures are open to the community. May be repeated for credit.
WGS 302 Queer Studies Lecture Series (1)
A weekly lecture series offering presentations and discussions of ethical, literary, activist, intellectual, and artistic approaches to society and culture from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer perspectives. The lectures are open to the community. May be repeated for credit. Satisfies GE Area C2.
WGS 305 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer U.S. History (3)
Historical development of institutions, ideals, social and cultural transformations, and economic and political processes in the U.S. since colonization with a focus on the evolution of sexual and gender diversity. Satisfies GE category D3, and the state history requirement.
WGS 311 Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies (1 - 4)
A variable-topics seminar focusing upon intensive study of issues related to WGS in society. May be repeated for credit with different topic.
WGS 325 Youth: Gender Perspectives (3-4)
This course examines youth, focusing on the complex interconnections of gender, race/ethnicity, social class, sexuality, and other factors in understanding the experiences and social conditions of youth in the U.S., as well as the methodological issues that arise in conducting research on youth. This course requires community service learning.
WGS 335 Reproductive Justice (4)
Interdisciplinary examination of theoretical, historical, political, and popular discourse about reproduction and sexuality. Focuses on how feminist movements, cultural representations, public policies, and laws regarding reproduction have shaped gender norms and racial knowledge. Highlights the role of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people in shaping reproductive and sexual justice.
WGS 360 Gender, Race and Performance (3)
This course explores how contemporary theater artists construct cultural identity, with a particular focus on gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. Students engage in both written analysis and performance work. Topics covered include culturally specific modes of ritual, belief, and performance; representation of mixed-race identities; and oppressive and resistant strategies in casting and production. Originates in Theater. Cross-listed as THAR 375.
WGS 370. Gender in Asian America (3 - 4 units)
This interdisciplinary course examines gender, race, class, and sexuality in Asian America. We consider how Asian American women and men fit into debates about sexism and racism in the United States - historically and contemporarily. Topics include Asian American participation in women’s/civil right movements as well as popular culture representations. Cross - listed with AMCS 370.
WGS 375. Gender, Race and Class (3 units)
An exploration of the intersection of gender, race, and class in the lives of U.S. women and men through a historical approach to the formations of social and political movements, the construction and policing of identity categories, and demands for equality and justice. Satisfies GE Area D1, Ethnic Studies.
WGS 385. Transnational Feminisms (4 units)
Through feminist analytical lenses, examines transnational movement of goods, bodies, practices, ideologies, and culture. Explores connections between lives and cultures of people in diverse places with those in the U.S. Topics may include labor, migration, cultural production, diasporic literature and art, activism, and state violence.
WGS 390. Gender and Work (4 units)
This course explores intersections of gender, race, class, immigration, and nation within the U.S. labor market. We examine situations facing workers across economic sectors ranging from professionals to service sector labor. Topics may include: juggling work and family, discrimination/harassment, welfare reform, globalization, and activism/resistance to workplace challenges. Prerequisite: WGS 200, 255, 285, 300, 375 or instructor consent.
WGS 395. Community Involvement Program (1 - 4 units)
The purpose of CIP is to encourage student involvement in the community. Units may be earned for work related to WGS. Cr/NC only. May be repeated for credit.
WGS 399. Student Instructed Course (1 - 4 units)
An introductory or advanced course designed by a senior or graduate student and taught under the supervision of faculty sponsor(s). Cr/NC only.
WGS 405. Psychology Of Gender (4 units)
Explores gender through a social psychological perspective. Topics include gender socialization, the structural function of gender stereotypes, masculinity, and gender discrimination. Course originates in the Psychology Department. Cross - listed as PSY 405.
WGS425. Feminist Research Methods (4 units)
A feminist critique of traditional methods of constructing knowledge & research practices and a discussion of gender-inclusive research strategies. Students will be given instruction in library and electronic information retrieval. Students will design, execute and report on a research project. Prerequisite: WGS 200, 255, 285, 300, 375 or instructor consent.
WGS 430. Women and Crime (4 units)
An in-depth analysis of women/girls and crime in the field of criminology and criminal justice. The class examines the significance of gender in pathways to crime as well as the nature and extent of female offending, victimization, and incarceration. The course focuses on feminist theory and methodology. Prerequisites: course restricted to WGS Majors and Minors. Course originates in CCJS. Cross-listed as CCJS 430.
WGS 440. Sociology of Reproduction (3 - 4 units)
An exploration of sociological perspectives on human reproduction. Topics include reproduction and gender identity, the social implications of reproductive technologies, historical and contemporary perspectives on normal pregnancy and childbirth, the cultural context for breastfeeding, and the politics of reproductive rights and choices in the United States. Course originates in Sociology. Cross-listed as Soci 440.
WGS 449. Gender and Sexuality In Latin America (4 units)
This course examines changing definitions, institutions, and behaviors related to gender, sexuality, and the family in Latin America from indigenous civilizations to contemporary societies. Topics include the transition from European colonies to nation - states, and the social, economic, and political changes in Latin America. Course originates in History. Cross-listed as HIST 449.
WGS 450 Woman of Color Feminisms (4 units)
Taking an interdisciplinary approach centering theory, writing, and literature by women of color, we examine intersections of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality and other categories of power for U.S. women of color. Key themes include: politics of representation, stigmatization, state and interpersonal violence, economic justice, reproductive justice, queerness/sexuality, and strategies of empowerment and resistance.
WGS 451. Feminist Perspectives in Literature (4 units)
Feminist Perspectives is an advanced course in reading, writing, and research that will engage feminist perspectives in literature. This course is interdisciplinary in approach and is conducted in a seminar format. May be repeatable once for credit. This course originates in English. Cross-listed as ENGL 451
WGS 455. Queer Theory, Queer Lives (4 units)
This interdisciplinary course offers advanced work in queer studies by looking at the production of theories about same - sex sexualities in history, culture, and politics. The course presents queer theory in conjunction with critical race theory, feminist theory, and post - colonial studies.
WGS 474. Foundations of Feminist Thought (4 units)
Exploration of concepts and authors in diverse feminist theory and praxis from the past three centuries. Building a base of the foundational strands and tensions, students will develop an engagement in key feminist analytical concepts, terms, and thinkers. WGS majors/minors must take either WGS 474 or 475. Prerequisite: WGS 200.
WGS 475. Contemporary Feminist Theory (4 units)
This course examines both historical and contemporary trends in feminist theory. Students examine how feminist theory might address the complex relationship between race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and nation as they relate to the production of knowledge, the implementation of theory and practice, and social change/activism. Prerequisite: WGS 200.
WGS 485. Senior Seminar (4 units)
This course provides WGS students an opportunity for advanced study on a special topic each semester (determined by instructor). The seminar format allows students an intensive experience and heightened responsibility for course content. The course should be taken during the student’s senior year. Restricted to WGS majors. Prerequisite: completed or concurrent enrollments in either WGS 474 or WGS 475.
WGS 492. Syllabus Design (1 unit)
Students work on an individual basis with a faculty member to develop reading materials, lecture and discussion topics, and assignments appropriate to the teaching of a specific student - taught course in women’s and gender studies. Student - taught courses must be approved by the chair, and students must follow established procedural guidelines for teaching in the WGS Department. Most student teachers are required to take WGS 492 before teaching, and WGS 493 while teaching. May be repeated for credit.
WGS 493. Teaching Supervision (1 unit)
Students acting as teaching assistants or student - teachers enroll in this to gain professional skills development with a faculty member.
WGS 495. Special Studies (1 - 4 units)
Upper - division students may elect to do an independent research or action project under the direction of a WGS faculty member. May be repeated for credit.
WGS 498. Careers in WGS (1 unit)
Learn about many WGS career paths, strategize about maximizing coursework, service, and internship experience to prepare for careers, and grapple with some of the gendered challenges and opportunities of the world of work. WGS majors should take alongside internship units. Prerequisite: WGS 200.
WGS 499. Internship (1 - 4 units)
Supervised training and experience for advanced students in community agencies concerned with gender issues and social justice. Student teaching of a student-taught University course is another form of internship. At present we offer credit (and not a grade) for student teaching and off - campus projects. Internships may be paid.
WGS 500. Seminar in Feminist Theory and Research in Social Sciences (3 units )
A survey of feminist critiques of social science theory and research in various disciplines (depending on student interest) -- anthropology, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. A survey of feminist attempts to reformulate and transform social science theory and methods, including debates and disagreements among feminist scholars. Requirements will include an individual research project and analysis. Prerequisite: at least one course in a social science and at least one course that focuses on women or gender (course may be at graduate or undergraduate level).