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Undergraduate Studies Catalog (1999-2001)


Women's Studies - Interdisciplinary Program

140 Faculty Office Building
(716) 395-5700


Director: Jennifer M. Lloyd; Faculty: Michele Carron (Physical Education and Sport), Charles Chehab (Interdisciplinary Arts), Susan Crafts (Sociology), Patti A. Follansbee (Health Science), Sumiko Higashi (History), Kathleen Hunter (Health Science), Patricia Huntington Sigel (Criminal Justice), Owen S. Ireland (History), Barbara Kasper (Social Work), Nancy Leslie (Delta College), Lloyd (History), John K. Marah (African and Afro-American Studies), Mara L. McFaddan (English), Elaine K. Miller (Foreign Languages and Literature), Evelyn S. Newlyn (English), Andrea Parada (Foreign Language and Literature), Christine Plumeri (Criminal Justice), Stanley S. Rubin (English), Robert Rutzen (Sociology), Patricia Sharkey (Nursing) Marjorie H. Stewart (Anthropology).

The Women's Studies program at SUNY Brockport is a multidisciplinary, college-wide program which engenders in students an inclusive perspective, and provides students and faculty a frame work within which to focus on questions, issues, and theories related to women's lives, roles, status, and contributions. The Women's Studies program is also committed to the integration of women's experiences, values, and accomplishments into all College curricula.

Additional goals are to make women visible in their similarities and their differences, and to value personal experience as a way of knowing; to develop a greater understanding of institutional, psychological, and social forces which relegate women to positions of social subordination; and to create and produce new scholarship and new knowledge about women and apply it to personal, political, and institutional change.

Courses deal with such topics as the diversity of women's experiences; gender similarities and differences; women's self-perceptions; images of women in folklore, film, and literature; and the intersection of race, class, and gender. A central objective is the development of knowledge and methodologies relevant to the shaping of social policies affecting women's lives in institutions such as the health care system, the workplace, the family, and the judicial system.

Women's Studies strengthens both individual and career development, and is valuable preparation for fields such as law, administration, social work, education, the health professions, government service, business, counseling, journalism, recreation, and library science. Students may take courses for a minor, a CLAM major, or a concentration within an existing major, as electives, or for independent study.

CLAM Programs in Women's Studies
CLAM (Contractual Liberal Arts Major) programs are possible in Women's Studies. An individualized selection of courses related to an existing major must be established in consultation with two advisors. For further information, contact the Director of Women's Studies at (716) 395- 5700.

Minor in Women's Studies
A minor in women 's studies requires 18 credits, with nine in inter disciplinary core courses: WMS 101, 301, and 401. The remaining nine credits are chosen, with advisement, from the list of approved Women's Studies electives. At least one elective must be an upper-division course. Half the credits for the minor in women's studies (nine credits) must be taken at SUNY Brockport.

The required core courses for the minor are: Credits
WMS 101 Introduction to Women's Studies 3
WMS 301 Feminist Theory 3
WMS 401 Senior Seminar in Women's Studies 3

Women's Studies Courses

WMS 101 Introduction to Women's Studies (A,S,W). Provides an introduction to women's studies, its perspective, and its interdisciplinary nature. Using several disciplines, it examines women's position in culture and society and explores the genesis, development, and impact of our culture's assumptions about women's nature and women's roles. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

WMS 200 Topics in Women's Studies (A,W). To be defined by the instructor in accordance with the specific topic to be covered in that semester. Typically, topic areas are gender and language or women on the margins of society. 3 Cr.

WMS 221 Women's Diversity in American Literature. Cross-listed as ENL 221. In American culture, differences in age, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, appearance, and mental ability have produced rich bodies of literature. This course focuses on the literatures arising from and associated with several of these categories, which cut across race and ethnicity. Focuses on these differences as they impact women. 3 Cr.

WMS 250 Women and the Arts (A,F,W). Cross-listed as IDA 250. Explores the hidden history of women artists. Analyzes the characteristics of feminine movements, and studies the aesthetics of visual and performing arts created by women in various cultures. 3 Cr.

WMS 261 Sex and Culture (A,S,C,W). Explores human sexuality as variously and richly patterned by different cultures. Covers the evolution of human sexuality; cultural significance of biological sex differences; sex roles; patterning of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and transsexuality in selected world cultures; and changing patterns of sexual behavior in the U.S. Emphasizes the female perspective and the interplay of biological, psychological, and cultural factors in the patterning of human sexuality. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

WMS 262 Female: Myth and Reality (A,S,C,W). Explores the roles and status of females from a cross cultural perspective; how females perceive them selves and how they are perceived by others in different societies; and biological differences between males and females as these are used to arrive at socially significant distinctions. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 270 Leadership--an Introduction (A,W). Cross-listed as DCC 250. Introductory course based on the Gettysburg Leadership Model. Twenty inter active leadership modules and an experiential learning component emphasizing goal setting and team building. Specific emphasis on gender and other co-cultural differences impacting leadership. 3 Cr.

WMS 301 Feminist Theory (A). Prerequisite: WMS 101 or instructor's permission. Provides an advanced interdisciplinary and multicultural introduction to the main traditions of feminist theory, to the impact of feminist theory on a variety of disciplines, and to feminist theory as applied to various issues in society and culture. 3 Cr. Fall.

WMS 305 Gender and Folklore (A,I). Focuses on traditional images of women that have been reflected in and reinforced by folklore, and the impact of recent feminist scholarship on our understanding of the origins and social effects of those images. Includes materials such as traditional fairy tales, leg ends (including some from Hispanic tradition), superstition, folk wisdom, proverbs, folk songs, and jokes. 3 Cr. Fall.

WMS 306 Gender and Humor (A,W). An exploration of gender dimensions of humor, drawing primarily on examples from popular culture (jokes, cartoons, television programs, film) in the contemporary U.S. Analysis of content, functions, and the sexual politics of humor. 3 Cr.

WMS 312 Sex, Evolution, and Behavior (A,W). Cross-listed as BIO 312. Studies the relationship between genetics, anatomy, physiology, and behavior from the point of view of sexual reproduction, competition, and fitness. Also explores the relation ship between reproductive mating systems and specific ecological environments. Invertebrates and vertebrates will be examined, with a final discussion on whether humans " fit" the typical patterns encountered in other mammalian species. For non biology majors. 3 Cr.

WMS 313 Gender Politics (A,W). Cross-listed as PLS 313. Explores, from a feminist perspective, socio-political barriers that have made women the "majority minority" or "silenced majority." Includes barriers such as discriminatory legislation, political folkways, sex and gender roles, and myths that have created and perpetuated a male-dominated society. 3 Cr. Fall.

WMS 315 Contemporary Black Women (A,I,W). Cross-listed as AAS 315. Eclectically explores the various positions and roles played by black women in contemporary times against their historical back drop. Focuses on the roles of black women in traditional and contemporary contexts in Africa, black women in rural and urban areas, black women in the Caribbean, and professional black women and their characteristics. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 326 History of European and American Women (A,W). Cross-listed as HST 326. Surveys the history of women in Europe and North America from 1700 to the present. Examines changes in women's economic, social, cultural and political roles, and in images and stereotypes of women, and explores the growing emphasis on reproduction and mothering in the modern era. The focus is on ordinary women's experience. 3 Cr.

WMS 328 Women in America (A,W). Cross-listed as HST 328. Examines cultural images of American women, such as the Victorian lady, the flapper, and Rosie the Riveter, as prescriptions within specific socio-economic contexts, from the ante-bellum period to the present; individual as well as organized resistance to conventional definitions of woman hood; and contemporary issues, including employment, reproductive freedom, and the significance of the media within an historical context. 3 Cr. Fall.

WMS 339 Writings by African-American Women (A,W). Cross-listed as ENL 339 and AAS 339. Explores the literary representations of women in Afro-American fiction from the Harlem Renaissance to the present. Examines the degree to which sexism, cultural stereotypes and racism influence the portrayals and function of women in black American literature. To what extent is the author concerned with women's issues? How has the emergence of the feminist movement influenced contemporary authors? 3 Cr.

WMS 344 Sex, Sin and Sorority: Women in the Early American Republic (A,W). Cross-listed as HST 344. Explores the origins of the modern American woman. Seeks to describe and explain the ways women in America transformed their reproductive, productive, political, and personal lives during the first century of The Great American Republic, c.1776-1876. Aimed at a general audience. Lectures, reading, discussion, quizzes, essay exams. 3 Cr. Fall.

WMS 350 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Western Women (A,I,W). Cross-listed as GEP 350. Examines and explores Western women's experience from ancient Greece to the present from many perspectives: historical, professional, political, social, familial, and legal. 3 Cr. Summer.

WMS 354 American Film Genres (A,W). Cross listed as HST 354. Focuses on American film genres such as musicals, film noir, westerns, science fiction and horror, and melodrama, stressing an under standing of film technique; theories about genre formulation; the evolution of genres within specific socioeconomic contexts during the thirties, forties, and fifties; the relevance of genres to contemporary filmmakers; and the ideological function of film. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 359 European Women (A,W). Cross-listed as HST 359. Examines the history of European women since 1500, including traditional roles in political, cultural, and social life. Focuses on change over the centuries. 3 Cr.

WMS 361 Sociology of S ex, Marriage and the Family (A,W). Prerequisite: any lower-division sociology course. Cross-listed as SOC 361. Examines social variations in sex, marriage and family behavior; and social theories and research. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

WMS 362 Sexual Politics (A,W). Cross-listed as PLS 362. Explores the major theories of sexual politics which include Freud's theory of femininity, reform liberalism, socialist theory, and the theory of radical feminism. 3 Cr.

WMS 373 American Women Scientists in Con temporary Society (A,I,W). Cross-listed as CHM 373. Examines the contributions women have made in scientific fields. Seeks to determine the validity of looming deficiencies of scientists in the near future and assesses role women scientists can and should play in meeting this problem. 3 Cr.

WMS 375 Latin American Women (A,C,I,W). Cross-listed as FCE 375. Analyzes women 's roles within the societies of the Caribbean and Latin America to develop an understanding of the double standards imposed on men and women. Studies the impact of socialization and the development of a critical consciousness. One semester each in English and Spanish. 3 Cr.

WMS 378 Women Writers in American Literature (A,W). Cross-listed as ENL 378. Examines the ways in which American women writers address the particular circumstances of women 's lives during particular decades. Explores the diversity of women's writing by including the works of best-selling writers, women of color, working class women, and radical experimentalists. Provides students with an historical, social and cultural context in which to locate various works. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 380 Issues and Perspectives on Women's Health Care (A,I,W). Cross-listed as NUR 380. Analyzes and examines issues and needs related to the health of women from both an individual and societal focus. Includes women's changing roles and life styles, and traditional and non-traditional modes of health care. Includes such topics as the menstrual cycle, reproductive technology and feminist analysis of health care, presented from a biopsychosocial context. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 396 Women in Sport (A,I,W). Cross-listed as PES 396. Covers the historical, contemporary, and future perspectives of women in sport. Reviews insights from history, psychology, and sociology related to women in sport, as well as athletes' perceptions of their performance. Focuses on information and issues which are fundamental to understanding women's participation in sport. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

WMS 401 Senior Seminar in Women's Studies (A,W). Prerequisites: WMS 101, WMS 301, and senior status; or instructor's permission. Provides advanced study of a significant topic in women 's studies through an integrative interdisciplinary and multicultural approach. Also provides students the opportunity to think critically and analytically about women's lives, experiences, values, and contributions; and requires students to produce a well-reasoned seminar paper. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 402 Women's Health (A,W). Cross-listed as HLS 402. Explores many facets of the health care system and addresses many issues pertaining to the emergence of women taking an active role in maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health. Presented in a non-medical manner to provide useful information any woman can understand and use. 3 Cr. Summer.

WMS 403 Biography and Life History (A,W). Cross-listed as ANT 403. Explores the expression of life stories, their collection and recording, and their presentation in written format. Covers the evolution of the life history in anthropology and oral history; life history as a Western genre; life stories in non Western form; gender and life stories; the life history as an expression of the self versus the life history as a window on culture; and the limitations of life history research. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 419 Human Sexuality (A,W). Cross-listed as HLS 419. Provides each student with the opportunity to gain an awareness of him/herself and others as sexual beings. Examines sexual knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors throughout the various life stages, in order to integrate human sexuality into one's total health and well-being. 3 Cr.

WMS 420 Practicum in Women's Studies (A). Allows students to put feminist theory into practice in a structured setting. Provides a faculty-supervised opportunity to work in a woman-centered organization, to devise and complete projects within the organization, and to study the organization from a feminist perspective. 3 Cr.

WMS 422 Women's Education in the Developing World: A Comparative Perspective (A,I,W,C). Cross-listed as FCE 422. Looks at women's education in the developing world. Raises questions of social mobility, inequality, and women's role in the economic and social development of Third World nations. Reviews recent research, with case studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America. Comparative analysis approach. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 425 Women and Safety (A,W). Cross-listed as HLS 425. Provides exposure to issues involving the relationship between crime and crime prevention in society, and the implication this has for personal prevention. Emphasizes effective decision making in maintaining personal safety and well being; and examines crime prevention and safety for children and other special populations. 3 Cr. Fall.

WMS 427 Women in the Novel (A,W). Cross-listed as ENL 427. Provides an in-depth examination of some of the great English novels, with some attention to novels from other countries, to consider their thematic forms and functions, their literary significance, and especially what they reveal about the roles of women and attitudes to patriarchy. 3 Cr.

WMS 429 Women: History and Theory (A,W). Prerequisite: HST 328 encouraged, but not required. Cross-listed with HST 429. Designed as a reading seminar to investigate how women's history is constructed as social and cultural history, and how the discipline intersects with cultural studies in analyzing representations of women in popular culture, biography, and visual media. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 433 Psychology of Gender (A,W). Prerequisite: A general psychology course (PSH 101, 110, or 112). Cross-listed as PSH 333. Surveys the psycho logical and social impact of sex differences, sex roles, and the development of gender identity on behavior. Examines historical antecedents of gender differences, development of gender identity, and sex differences in performance, attribution, achievement, cognitive, interpersonal behavior, psychopathology, and response to therapy to illustrate "facts" and "fictions" in gender research. 3 Cr.

WMS 435 Legal Rights of the Disadvantaged (A,I,W). Cross-listed as AAS 435 and PLS 435. Issue-oriented. Includes an understanding of how the U.S. legal system can be used to improve the status of the disadvantaged, such as blacks, Hispanics, women, prisoners, poor, students, Native Americans, homosexuals, and those with mental and physical disabilities. 3 Cr.

WMS 442 Topics in Women's Literature (A,W). Cross-listed as ENL 442. Provides advanced study of women in literature and women's literature, focusing, for example, on some aspect of females lives, such as adolescence; on one or more female authors writing in a shared tradition, genre, or period; or on women writing on a common topic or from perspectives held in common. 3 Cr.

WMS 451 Women and Work (A,W). Cross-listed as SOC 451. Examines women's work from cross cultural, historical, and sociological perspectives, with particular emphasis on the analysis of the role assigned to women in late industrial society as housewives. 3 Cr.

WMS 452 Women and Health (A,W). Cross-listed as SOC 452. Analyzes the myths and realities of women, health and illness. Includes a review of the place of women in the health care system as patients and health care providers. Concentrates on women/health/illness in the 20th-century U.S., but uses cross-cultural and historical materials to give an added dimension to the theories and substantive materials of this field. 3 Cr.

WMS 453 Contemporary Women's Issues (A,W). Cross-listed as SOC 453. Focuses on issues concerning women and their changing role in today's society. Singles out various issues for analysis through reading, lecture, and class discussion, all interrelated by virtue of their focus on women. 3 Cr.

WMS 454 Professional Woman--Values and Lifestyle (I,W). Focuses on differences between female and male development and values, the current status of women in selected professions, and strategies for development of a healthy lifestyle. 3 Cr.

WMS 457 Women and Film (A,W). Cross-listed as ENL 457. Focusing on films directed by women, the course considers the following questions: Have women filmmakers depicted the world differently from "dominant" cinema? What possibilities exist for forms of " feminine" film discourse which are truly different from dominant film discourse? What has been the history of women filmmakers? How many of these women have indeed tried to speak a different language? 3 Cr.

WMS 464 Gender Roles and Social Change (A,W). Cross-listed as SOC 464. Prerequisite: SOC 100, 101, 210, or 220. Examines gender inequality in the U.S., and the relation of the economic, political, and social changes in gender roles. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 465 Sociology of the Aging (A,W). Cross-listed as SOC 465. Prerequisite: SOC 100, 210, or 220. Covers information and theories about the social aspects of aging, including health, income, family relationships, role change, and social policy. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 467 The Politics of Poverty (A,W). Prerequisite: PLS 113, HST 212, ECN 111, ECN 202, or SOC 100. Cross-listed as PLS 467. Who are the poor in America? Why are poverty levels highest among women? Why and in what ways do attitudes diverge toward poverty and the role of the public sector in alleviating it? Why is "welfare reform" continually on the public agenda? These questions are examined from an intergovernmental public policy perspective. Equal attention will be paid to their policy implications for women and men. 3 Cr.

WMS 470 Women and Popular Culture (A,W). Cross-listed as ENL 470. Explores women's popular culture to engender a cultural analysis. Considers such questions as how women 's popular culture responds to women's psychosocial needs, and how it functions within the dominant culture. 3 Cr.

WMS 475 Women and the Helping Professions (A,W). Cross-listed as SWO 475. Examines women as clients, helpers, and policy makers in the context of social forces, values, attitudes, and norms. Covers theoretical, developmental, political, and social implications of women 's changing roles. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 479 Victimology (A,W). Prerequisite: Junior or senior status. Cross-listed as CRJ 479. Develops an understanding of crime victimization, both direct and indirect. Focuses on street crime, social and political oppression, victimization of women, and victims of corporate deviance. Emphasizes theory and policy analysis. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 481 Women and Criminal Justice. (A,W). Prerequisite: Junior or senior status. Cross-listed as CRJ 481. Examines women 's relationship with crime and the criminal justice system. Specifically, provides a study of women and crime: victimization, occupational obstacles and opportunities; and develops an understanding of how social, political, and economic conditions affect these problems. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 495 Women, Gender, and Class (A,W). Cross-listed as HST 495. Examines and analyzes European and U.S. women 's experiences between the two world wars in terms of gender and class. Introduces theories of women's and gender history and of gender and class analysis. Seminar format; committed student participation expected. 3 Cr.

WMS 496 Sex and Censorship (A,I,W). Prerequisite: ENL 112 or equivalent. Cross-listed as ENL 496. Considers the expression of sexual themes--and their censorship--in contemporary literature, film, and media. Includes topics such as the erotic in art; definitions of pornography and obscenity; evolution of censorship standards and practices; the Hollywood Code; the U.S. Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (1970) and its critics; and recent feminist perspectives. 3 Cr. Spring.

WMS 499 Independent Study. Arranged in consultation with the professor and in accordance with the regulations of the Office of Academic Advisement, prior to registration. 1-3 Cr.


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