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Summer schedule is live!

Photo of Bryce Creek swimming hole. Credit Halvor TwetoBy popular demand, our summer class schedule is up, full of major-required classes to help you get your requirements done at a cheaper price. Plus, this summer we are offering WGS 361 ONLINE so you can get elective/upper division credit for studying gender, queer theory and more through the lens of Buffy the Vampire Slayer–without having to come to campus!

Happy summer everyone!

p.s. Curious about the featured image? It’s Brice Creek swimmin’ hole–a staple of Eugene summer.

Class names

WGS 101 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies – NO PREREQS!
WGS 315 – History/Development of Feminist Theory
WGS 321 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity/Race/Culture
WGS 351 – Intro to Global Feminisms
WGS 352 – Gender, Literature & Culture
WGS 361 – Serious Research Mode: Critical Approaches to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – NO PREREQS!

See below for full descriptions. Registration is open now!

WGS Class Schedule

Class Descriptions

WGS 101 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

Madhurima Das
MTWR 2:00 – 4:30, June 20 – July 17
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance requirement

This class introduces basic concepts and perspectives in Women’s and Gender Studies. Focusing on contemporary women’s  issues, we will examine gender with a particular emphasis on how it interacts with race, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about the ways in which the interlocking systems of colonialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ageism, and heterosexism shape people’s lives. We will also examine how women have resisted these inequalities, worked to create new systems of change, and engaged in national and global transformational politics. Specific topics may include race and racism, body image, sexuality, AIDS and cancer, sexual and domestic violence, and workplace and family issues. We will place these contemporary concerns within their historical, cultural, social, and theoretical contexts, and students will have the opportunity to engage in active discussion.

WGS 315 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture

Jeremiah Favara
MTWR 10:00 – 11:50 pm, July 18 – August 14
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance requirement

What is feminist theory? What is the relationship between theory and practice? What does it mean to do theory?

This course will provide you with a broad overview of the key feminist theoretical debates from the “Second Wave” of feminism to the present. Though we will emphasize feminist theories dating from the late 1960s to the present, we will include earlier historical suppositions as well. By the end of the quarter you will be able to understand feminist theoretical writings not only as abstract philosophical statements but also as products of and responses to specific historical moments.

The selected readings represent different approaches to theoretical inquiry as well as feminist work conducted from within a wide range of disciplines: anthropology, cultural studies, history, media studies, literature, philosophy, psychology, and science and technology. Our goals are that you sharpen your critical skills, appreciate the diversity of approaches and assumptions of feminist theorists, apply feminist theories to disciplinary issues, and develop your own voices as theorists.

WGS 321 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity/Race/Culture

Professor Lani Teves
MTWR 10:00 – 12:20, August 15 – September 4
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills American Cultures requirement

This course examines the ways in which race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect to form systems of inequality, formations of identity, and sites for political agency. Multi-racial interdisciplinary feminist perspectives have interrogated the politics within feminist discussions to re-center intersecting identities to better understand the histories, experiences, and the contemporary politics of women of color. This challenge to both the academy and institutional systems has called for a complication of monolithic assumptions within the “study of women.” The readings emphasize theoretical dialogues confronting the complexities of inclusion/exclusion in feminism, first/third world constructions, and difference within difference that further complicate our assumptions of identity, community, and culture. Such frameworks through the course include, but are not limited to; indigenous feminisms, critical race theory, borderlands, and globalization. Through film and literary narratives students will have the opportunity to critically analyze the social positions, representations, and political projects centering the lives and experiences of women of color.

WGS 351 – Intro to Global Feminisms

Professor Yvonne Braun
MTWR 10:00 – 11:50 pm June 20 – July 17
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills International Cultures requirement

This course is an exploration of global feminisms, feminist activism, and women’s movements organizing locally and across borders. Through films, readings, and discussion, we will explore the varied expressions of women’s activism at the community, national, and transnational levels, considering how feminists construct diverse interpretations of feminism and how, in the era of globalization, feminist and women’s movements engage and challenge the state, civil society, international agencies, and corporations for a more just world. At the same time, we will explore the tensions, coalitions, and conflicts within transnational feminist theorizing and praxis using case studies from diverse regions around the world. This course meets the Social Science group requirement in that it will consider multiple examples of movements from all over the globe and therefore be broadly comparative in scope. It will also consider multiple different cultural contexts.

WGS 352 – Gender, Literature and Culture

Amy Billingsley
MTWR 2:00 – 3:50 pm, July 18 – August 14

Angela Rovak (3rd session)
MTWR 2:00 – 4:20 pm, August 15 – September 4

! Fulfills Arts & Letters group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement

Because some of the most compelling feminist theory is expressed in literature, this class explores the way novels, short stories, memoirs, and poetry contribute to the terms of feminist analysis in a variety of political and national contexts.

In this class we will focus on the theoretical insights offered by literature written by women and on some central issues raised by feminist literary critics. Among the questions we will explore are: What is the relationship between gender and writing? What do women need in order to write? How well (or poorly) do literary traditions fit the expression of women’s experiences? How do women challenge these traditions? What (if anything) constitutes “women’s writing”? How do race, class, and nationality shape literature by women? Is literature a form of feminist theory? Is literature a form of political activism?

The literature for this course is primarily contemporary and it intentionally deals with women’s place in a range of political, cultural, and national contexts. We will study the cultural specificity of each work and their shared themes.

WGS 361: ‘SERIOUS RESEARCH MODE’: Critical Approaches to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professor Edmond Chang
! Fulfills Arts & Letters group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

When Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show debuted in 1997, no one could have foreseen the cult following, the spinoffs, the cultural phenomenon, and the critical and scholarly interest it would inspire. This course will take up a range of critical approaches including media studies, fandom studies, cultural studies, feminist and queer theory.  Our goal is to address the critical question “Why Buffy?” and how might Buffy help us think about the recent resurgence of the figure of the vampire, about the role of monsters, and about cultural anxieties over race, gender, sexuality, and bodies.

This online course will engage in watching, reading, guided discussion, and some analytical writing. You will be required to screen select Buffy episodes (and perhaps other things from the Whedon universe) as the focus of discussion and academic critique. Discussions, response papers, and other assignments will be held online via the course website and Canvas portal.