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Graduate Studies Catalog 2007-2009

Women and Gender Studies

(585) 395-5700

Interim Director: Barbara LeSavoy, EdD, SUNY Buffalo.

Graduate work in gender and women’s studies can be undertaken through the Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) degree. Utilizing Liberal Studies seminars and graduate-level gender and women’s studies courses, students can design a Plan of Study that concentrates on their areas of interest within gender and women’s studies. Because gender and women’s studies courses are cross-listed with their home departments, students have considerable flexibility in course selection. Students may also focus attention on a particular aspect of gender and women’s studies by independent study at two levels (WMS 599 and WMS 699). Graduate courses in gender and women’s studies may also be taken, under advisement, as electives in other graduate programs. For information and assistance, please contact the director of the Liberal Studies program at (585) 395-2262 or the director of women’s studies at (585) 395-5700.


WMS 502 Women’s Health (A). Cross-listed as HLS 502. Studies women as healthy functioning human beings. Includes lectures and discussion with guest speakers to present positive information and insights on anatomical, physiological, mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of today’s woman. 3 Cr.

WMS 503 Biography and Life History (A). Cross-listed as ANT 503. Studies the expression of life stories, their collection and recording, and their presentation in written format. Includes the evolution of the life history in anthropology and oral history; genres of life history; gender and life stories; the life history as an expression of the self vs. the life history as a window on culture; and the limitations of life history research. 3 Cr.

WMS 510 Contemporary Women Playwrights (A). Cross-listed as THE 510. Examines selected works by 20th-century female playwrights from America, Africa, China and England, (with units on African-American, Chicana, lesbian, and Asian-American writers) in the context of feminist theory as it applies to theatre practices. Includes explorations of the ways in which contemporary female playwrights present gender and gender experiences as staged with multiple cultural contexts. 3 Cr.

WMS 519 Human Sexuality (A). Cross-listed as HLS 519. 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 521 Women in the English Novel (A). Studies significant authors treated singly or in coherent combinations. Content varies with appropriate subtitles provided for the individual course. May be repeated for credit with significant change in focus. 3 Cr.

WMS 522 Women’s Education in the Developing World: Comparative Perspectives (A). Examines women’s education in the developing world. Raises questions on social mobility, inequality, women’s role in the economic and social development of the third world society. Reviews recent research on the topic, drawing case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Uses a comparative analysis approach throughout the course. 3 Cr.

WMS 525 Women and Safety (A). Cross-listed as HLS 525. Examines issues of violent crime and personal victimization, especially for women, and the implications for personal crime prevention. Includes an in-depth examination of these violent crimes (e.g., sexual assault, relationship violence), followed by a focus on individual strategies for maintaining personal safety and reducing crime risks. Considers crime prevention for children and other special populations. 3 Cr.

WMS 527 Women in the Novel (A). Cross-listed as ENL 527. Examines in-depth select novels and, on occasion, 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 529 American Women: History and Theory (A). A reading seminar. Investigates how women’s history is constructed as social and cultural history with an emphasis on class, and how the discipline interacts with cultural studies in analyzing representations of women in popular culture, biography and visual media. 3 Cr.

WMS 538 Women and Gender in Latin American History (A). Cross-listed as HST 538. Examines at an advanced level the diversity of Latin-American and Caribbean women’s experiences from Iberian conquest to the 20th century. Analyzes the gender dynamics of colonial, national, dictatorial and revolutionary states, economies and cultures, as well as the importance of women’s movements and feminism. Discusses Latina history in the US and Latin-American and Caribbean masculinity in historical perspective. 3 Cr.

WMS 541 American Literature: 19th-century Women’s Novel (A). Cross-listed as ENL 541. Entails an intensive study of the novel as a form of women’s self-representation and cultural criticism. May include novels about family life, anti-slavery and temperance, slave narratives, historical novels, and representations of urban and industrial experience. 3 Cr.

WMS 542 Topics in Women’s Literature (A). Cross-listed as ENL 542. Provides advanced study of women in literature and women’s literature, focusing, for example, on some aspect of female 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 551 Women and Work (A). 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 552 Women and Health (A). 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 US, but uses cross-cultural and historical materials to give an added dimension to the theories and substantive materials of this field. 3 Cr.

WMS 557 Women and Film (A). Cross-listed as ENL 557. Focuses on films by women. Considers the following questions: Have women filmmakers depicted the world differently from “dominant” cinema? What possibilities exist for forms of “feminine” film discourse that 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 570 Women’s Popular Culture (A). Cross-listed as ENL 570. 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. Examines samples of the fiction and films that represent 20th-century American women’s popular culture. 3 Cr.

WMS 581 Women and the Criminal Justice System (A). Cross-listed as CRJ 581. Examines women’s relationship with crime and the criminal justice system. Specifically provides a study of women and crime, victimization and occupational obstacles and opportunities. Develops students’ understanding of how social, political and economic conditions affect these problems. 3 Cr.

WMS 595 Women, Gender and Class - 1920-1940 (A). Cross-listed as HST 595. Examines and analyzes US women’s experiences in terms of gender, class and work. Introduces theories of women’s and gender history and of gender and class analysis. Entails a seminar format and expects committed student participation. 3 Cr.

WMS 596 Sex and Censorship (A,I). Cross-listed as ENL 596. Considers the expression of sexual themes — and censorship of them — 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 US Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (1970) and its critics, and recent feminist perspectives. 3 Cr.

WMS 599 Independent Study in Women’s Studies (A). Designed individually through consultation between the student and instructor to suit the student’s needs and interests and the special competence of the instructor. Additional requirements may be established by the department. 3 Cr.

WMS 699 Independent Study in Women’s Studies (A). Designed individually through consultation between student and instructor to suit the student’s needs and interests and the special competence of the instructor. Additional requirements may be imposed by the department. 3 Cr.

The information in this publication was current as of Summer 2007 when the text was compiled. Changes, including but not restricted to, tuition and fees, course descriptions, degree and program requirements, policies, and financial aid eligibility may have occurred since that time. Whether or not a specific course is scheduled for a given term is contingent on enrollment, budget support and staffing. The College reserves the right to make any changes it finds necessary and may announce such changes for student notification in publications other than the College catalogs. For the purposes of degree and program completion, students are bound by the requirements in effect as stated in the printed catalog at the time of their matriculation at SUNY Brockport. Students matriculated in summer are bound by the catalog in effect the following fall semester. Inquiries on the current status of requirements can be addressed to the appropriate College department or office. Also refer to the Brockport Web site home page at for current information. Printed Summer 2007