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Women's Studies - Fall 2014

BIOL 114N – From Conception to Birth
4 semester hours
McWhorter, Michelle

During this course, we will discuss the major concepts in human embryology and development.  There will also be significant discussion of the ethical and moral issues surrounding the human embryo, such as stem cells and cloning.  While there is no laboratory component to this course, you will be required to participate in a panel discussion and submit a written paper on the ethics discussion panel.


COMM 324 – Family Communication
4 semester hours
Warber, Katie

Pre-requisites: COMM 200 and COMM 270S; or permission of instructor
This advanced course examines topics related to 1) family communication and basic family processes, 2) communication in family subsystems, 3) communication during family stress, and 4) family interaction, health and well-being.  Research and theories from communication, sociology and psychology will be used to explain issues related to the family.  Discussion topics include, for example, marital, parent-child, sibling, and intergenerational interactions in the family.  Research pertaining to marital satisfaction, divorce, courtship, and the impact of the family on its children (and vice-versa) will also be examined.


ENGL 180A – Film Noir
4 semester hours
Hinson, Scot

Prerequisite: ENGL 101E
Film noir, or “black film,” has been variously labeled as a period in film history, a style of film, and as a separate film genre with its own themes and conventions.  No matter how you define it, films labeled as film noir are “deeply unromantic” films that “take a sneaking delight in their displays of passion gone wrong and of murderous calculation confounded.”  This course will examine the distinctive “noir” visual style and the characteristic “noir” thematics of lives ruled by an unkind fate.  We will also trace the history of film noir from its origins in German expressionism and postwar nihilism, to its golden period in the 1940's and 1950's, and to its persistence through the rest of the 20th century in neo-noir and retro-noir.  We will also look at the debt that these films owe to what the French called “serie noir,” the searing crime and detective fiction of the 1930's, 40's, and 50's.  We will examine particularly closely the cultural work of these films and the questions film noir raises about the nature of masculinity, femininity, and homosexuality and their representations in film noir.  Writing intensive. Cross-listed with Women’s Studies.


ENGL 180A – Jane Goes to the Movies
4 semester hours
Inboden, Robin

Prerequisite:  ENGL 101E
Jane Austen would probably be bemused (and amused) were she alive today to see the veritable entertainment empire that has sprung from her novels, which she self-deprecatingly described as “little bit[s] (two Inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush, [producing] little effect after much labour." In her metaphor she is a miniaturist, producing tiny portraits—but for over sixty years, her work has filled the big screen, with no signs of stopping any time soon.

In this course we will read the major novels of Jane Austen and view representative film and television adaptations of them.  Not only will we learn basic critical skills for reading fiction and viewing film, but we will find that our discussion of the novels will be illuminated by the choices made (and not made) by filmmakers.  We will also explore the continuing popularity of Jane Austen and her novels:  what does the current boom in Austen adaptations, sequels, prequels, etc. suggest about our own society’s values, desires, and anxieties?  We will also examine Austen’s life in various versions, as well as considering other fictions and films related to her work.  The graded work of the course will include several analytical papers, a final exam, quizzes, and a creative/analytical project. 

Writing Intensive.  Cross-listed with Cinema Studies and Women’s Studies.


ENGL 290A – American Literary Traditions
4 semester hours
Wilkerson, Carmiele

Prerequisite:  ENGL 180A,  ENGL 190A/C or ENGL 270A
Hector St. Jean de Crévecoeur aka Michel Guillaume Jean de CrèvecÅ“ur (1735-1812) immigrated from France to Canada in 1755, and settled in New York state where he became a citizen, changed his name to Hector John St.-John, married an American and bought a farm. In 1782 he published a collection of 12 essays in a volume titled Letters from an American Farmer and in 1925, well after his death, an unpublished set of essays appeared, Sketches of Eighteenth Century America, or More Letters from an American Farmer.  The collections grapple with Crévecoeur’s most famous question “What is an American.” In this course we will examine the American immigrant experience.

We will begin by reading Crévecoeur, using him to explore one of the first definitions of the American Dream and to discuss the largest group of forced immigrants to America, Africans. Our early readings will ground an exploration of 20th and 21st century American writing through individual works by American immigrants.  Heavy Reading.


ENGL 365 – Literary Immersion: George Eliot’s Middlemarch
4 semester hours
Inboden, Robin

Prerequisite:  ENGL 101E
Virginia Woolf called it “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” Martin Amis and Julian Barnes (and not a few others) call it the greatest novel in the English language. Published in 1871-72, Middlemarch exemplifies both the realistic novel and the Victorian multi-plot novel, introducing us to a cross-section of nineteenth-century English village life. An idealistic heiress, a reform-minded young doctor, a self-righteous banker, a clueless squire, a willful artist, an ambitious beauty, a shriveled clergyman—we will meet them all and find, through Eliot’s steady gaze, a core humanity even in the worst of them. Reading responses/quizzes, a brief presentation on historical context, and a take-home final will constitute the graded work of the course, but our focus will be on reading and discussing this monumental and moving work. Cross-listed with Women’s Studies.


ENGL 372A – Bad Girls: From Eve to Mary (Wollstonecraft)
4 semester hours
Richards, Cynthia

Prerequisites:  ENGL 270A and ENGL 280A /Non-majors must have junior standing
This course will examine the work of women writers from the medieval period to the early nineteenth century and will be organized around the most common tropes by which a woman becomes a “bad girl.” I am sure you know those “tropes” already, but to remind you (and to use their less vulgar incarnations) they are: the fallen woman, the shrew, the prostitute, the coquette, and the promiscuous woman. This year, the course will also add a new and modern category for female “acting out;” the mean girl.  The course will begin by looking at the original “bad girl,” Eve, and will examine in detail a period of particularly virulent misogynist attacks during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, all played out through an examination of Eve’s original transgression. We will look at the feminist responses to these debates, including—I would argue--Milton's representation of Eve in Paradise Lost. 

We will then go back to discuss the shrew or masculinized woman, starting with Chaucer’s Wife of Bath and Margery Kempe’s account of her spiritual life and concluding in Margaret Cavendish’s early foray into science fiction The Blazing World (1665).  We will then move on to the figure of the prostitute, focusing primarily on the Restoration stage and the work of Aphra Behn. From there, we will examine the coquette or the tease, a figure of womanhood intrinsically connected—interestingly enough—with the birth and development of the novel in the eighteenth century. We will also take on a modern category for female transgression—“the mean girl”—by exploring the biting, sometimes catty, satire of Frances Burney’s play, The Witlings. We will conclude with the figure of the promiscuous woman, focusing on the overtly feminist work of Mary Wollstonecraft and how that intersected with the complexities of her own troubled, romantic history. As a coda to the class, we will look at Frankenstein, written by Wollstonecraft’s daughter, Mary Shelley, and examine how the “bad girl” goes underground in this novel, strangely taking the form of a masculine monster.

The course will include a midterm and final, one shorter paper (@five pages) and one researched paper (12-15 pages.) There will also be response papers along the way and the research paper will include a personal component. Writing intensive. Cross-listed with Women’s Studies.


HFS 245H – History of Women in Sport
4 semester hours
Jurewicz, Sarah

Historical Perspectives in Women in Sport studies the development of sport from early religious ritual to a modern corporate model in western society.  The genesis and development of recreation, sport, and exercise for women has been influenced by religion, medicine, economics, politics, and ideology.  The intersection of gender, race, and socioeconomic class for women of color is examined, as is the struggle by women for admission in the Olympics.  Sport has served as a historical site for feminist transformation and the development of alternative western sport forms.  Women have “dared to compete”.  The struggle of women to gain entry into sport is both sad and inspirational.  Class structure includes short lectures, videos, small group discussion, and analytical minute papers.  Students write a sport autobiography, conduct a short cross generation sport interview, and study a related topic of interest in depth.


HIST 111H – Medieval Europe
4 semester hours
Livingstone, Amy

Prerequisite:  FYS Only – Advising Section Linked on Tuesdays Noon -1:00
The origins of medieval Europe are grounded in the world of Late Antiquity. This class begins with the last of the Western Roman Emperors by surveying the “barbarian” kingdoms that had been created in the fourth and fifth centuries. Essential to understanding Europe is the relationship between East and West. Starting with a dominant Byzantium in the early part of our course, we’ll examine ups and downs in the East/West relationship in the ninth and early twelfth centuries and their antagonistic relationship after 1204 and the sack of Constantinople. Essential to this story are the lives of women and religious minorities, such as Jews, Muslims, and pagans. Those stories will be woven in with the traditional highlights of the Middle Ages, such as Charlemagne’s ascension as Holy Roman Emperor, the Viking raids throughout Europe, the rise of the Normans and the conquest of England, the reform papacy and the Crusades, and the beginning of the Renaissance. Medieval Europe changed drastically over the thousand years studied in this course, and we will attempt to both understand the events and processes that contributed to that change as well as the shape of Europe at the end of our period.   This course counts toward the PAST minor.


MUSI 187 – Wittenberg Singers
0 – 1 semester hours
Shepherd, Jimmy

All students may participate in a variety of choral and instrumental music ensembles, regardless of major.  Music majors and minors must fulfill the ensemble requirement in their designated programs.  Initial placement in an ensemble is determined by means of an audition with the ensemble conductor; chamber ensembles may be formed if sufficient interest warrants.  Successful participation in a music ensemble may earn one credit each semester towar

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