I N T R O D U C T I O N T O W O M E N’ S and Gender S T U D I E S
SS/DV Women’s and Gender Studies 1500
Class T/TH 10:30 to 11:45 am. Room SS 231
ProfessorPriti Kumar (English)
Office hrs.T/TH 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. or by appointment
Phone801-479-4146 Cell 801-564-0713
Women’s and gender Studies is the interdisciplinary study of women’s experiences, roles, status, ideas, and contributions. Unlike the traditional study of people and societies which most often marginalizes those who are not empowered by the dominant power paradigm (i.e., women, minorities, poor, etc.), Women’s Studies places women at the center of inquiry. This means that we will examine issues that are relevant to women and their lives and we will read works primarily, but not exclusively, by women writers and researchers. Since women constitute an enormously diverse group, we will highlight the perspectives of women from a variety of social classes, cultures, countries, communities, and racial-ethnic backgrounds, as well as women of diverse ages and sexual orientations.
This class is not about male-bashing or bashing anything. It is a scholarly exploration of an academic field. The discipline of Women’s Studies contributes significantly to the understanding of our world, both male and female. Most importantly, the field of Women’s Studies is about making our world a better place for all of us.
The goal of this course is to be open to learn from each other and challenge ourselves to think in new ways about women and men in our transnational world and to recognize the values of the roles, contributions, and scholarship of women in the global society. If you are resistant to this idea, please reconsider taking this course.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Define and describe the field of Women’s Studies
2. Understand and explain the theoretical frameworks underlying Women’s Studies, such as
Power, oppression, domination and feminisms
3. Identify and describe the effects of the social construction of gender, such as roles, images, stereotypes, origins of constructions, and personal and societal responses to
4. Define and explain the implications of the inter-sectionality of gender, race, class and
5. Identify and describe historical and current issues of particular interest to women, such as
Violence against women, reproduction, sexuality, gender roles, health issues,
ageism, the feminization of poverty, the commodification of women and sex (prostitution, sexual slavery), women’s roles past and present in and upon institutions
such as family, work, government, education, and religion, and the effects of mass media
and advertising regarding gender issues
6. Identify and explain the effects of globalization on women and gender issues
7. Create and articulate personal and political change strategies
8. Identify and explain “next steps” in creating positive change for self, others and society
Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives, 6, TH ed. Authors: Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa-Rey, McGraw-Hill, 2010. Please purchase immediately.
1.Attendance and Participation in class discussions 50 pts.
2.Short written responses on films, guest
speakers to our class and other assigned campus
activities (7 in total = 10 @ 10 pts. each) 70 pts.
3.Journals (10 @10 pts. each) 100 pts.
4.Pre (10 pts.) and Post-semester papers (20 pts.) 30 pts
5.Cross-cultural paper and class presentation100 pts.
6.Current Issues Paper and class presentation100 pts.
Total 450 pts.
Final Grades will be computed based on accumulated points and will follow traditional scaling:
94% and above =A73% -76% =C
90% - 93% =A-70% - 72% =C-
87% - 89% =B+67% - 69% =D+
83% - 86% =B63% - 66% =D
80% - 82% =B-60% - 62% =D-
77% - 79% =C+59% or below =F
More information will be available regarding the major assignments of the course in class. Please keep all graded materials returned to you in a folder as I will ask you to turn in everything again in your folder at the end of the semester for a general review and grading. Late work will not be accepted without prior approval by instructor.
Attendance and participation in class discussion: 50 pts.
Attendance is required for each scheduled class period. Absences in excess of three will result in no points for attendance credit. You need to read the assigned material before each class session and be prepared to respond to questions, make points, and enter into the discussion in class. Class discussion points will be assessed by the instructor.
Small writing assignments (campus activities, guest speakers and film responses): 70 pts. (10pts for each assignment)
Films viewed in and out of class, guest speakers coming to class and designated campus or off campus activities will require a two-paged, typed, double-spaced response paper.
Journals: 100 pts. (10 pts. each)
In these brief writing assignments, you will be expected to review and describe the assigned readings or materials and write a two-page, double spaced reflection paper which demonstrates that you have carefully thought about the reading material and are well prepared to discuss the readings in class. (See handout for more details). You will be expected to write two full, typed, double-spaced pages for each journal assignment. See “Tentative Course Schedule” below for due dates. Your journal grades will be based on their quality and completeness. Each journal is worth a maximum of 10 points (10 x 10 submissions = 100 pts.). I will not accept late journals.
Pre- and Post-semester Reflection Assignments: 30 pts. (10 pts. pre-semester, 20 pts. post-semester)
In these two small writing assignments you will briefly answer questions about yourself, your class experiences, and your learning.
Cross Cultural Paper and class Presentation: 100 pts
You will interview a woman from a culture other than your own and compare and contrast her experiences and world views with yours in a 6-7 page paper. You will make a brief (5 min.) oral presentation of the highlights of your paper in class.
Current Issues Paper and class presentation: 100 pts.
You will select an issue we have studied this semester and conduct research and analysis of its current state in a 6-7 page paper. Another choice is to select a book from the attached list of the books and give your critical review and objective analysis of the issues discussed in it. You will make a short (5min.) oral class presentation highlighting the main findings of your research paper.
All written work and class discussion should use gender and race-neutral language. Written assignments should be turned in on time and point deductions will be assessed for late assignments. Please contact me if you need to make arrangements to make any work up. If you email any assignments, it is your responsibility to make sure they are received on time.
Plagiarism and unethical work means, simply, cheating and it will not be tolerated. Any case where the student has knowingly or unknowingly copied or taken credit in any way for work not his/her own will result in the student receiving a failing grade for the course and possibly further University disciplinary action (Student code, Section IV, D & X: A & B). “UNWITTING” PLAGIARISM. Students sometimes plagiarize without understanding that they are doing so. This can also result in a failing grade. Examples included extensive quoting of an author without showing it as “direct quotes” with a source and page number. (Just citing the author and date indicates that you have paraphrased the source and it is your words, not the author’s words verbatim.) Another example is citing a secondary source as though it is a primary source. For example, if a textbook (Brown, 2002) cites (Smith, 1991, p. 63) and you use that same quote with that citation without going to the source itself, you have plagiarized Brown. The correct citation should read “(Smith, 1991, cited in Brown 2002)” and then only Brown will be in your paper Bibliography.
Educate yourself regarding what plagiarism is and how to avoid it; you cannot plead ignorance if you are found plagiarizing. Three particularly good web sites on plagiarism where you can get detailed and more extensive help are:
Class Conduct must be respectful of all persons at all times. Please keep class discussions confidential. CELL PHONES and all other electronic devices must be turned off or have the ringer silenced during class. Please do not read or compose text-messages during class. Food and drinks are permitted in class as long as they do not create disturbances. Children are permitted only with prior authorization. In class, full attention should be paid to whatever is going on and whoever is speaking. Laptops are generally not required and strongly discouraged.
Conflict Resolution: Weber State University recognizes that there are times when course content may differ from a student’s core beliefs. Faculty, however, have a responsibility to teach content that is related to the discipline and that has a reasonable relationship to pedagogical goals. If you, as a student, believe that the content of the course conflicts with your ability to pursue the topic, you may request a resolution from the instructor. (See PPM 6-22.)
Note on Special Needs: Any student requiring accommodations or services due to a disability must contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in room 181 of the Student Service Center prior to the beginning of this course. SSD can also arrange to provide course materials (including this syllabus) in alternative formats if necessary. For more information check SSD’s Website:
If for any reason the university is forced to close for an extended period of time, we will conduct our class via e-mail.
Look for announcement on my e-mail. Code Purple is a good way to be alerted to campus closures, and you are encouraged to sign up for it.
This syllabus is a guide to class activities and readings and will be followed as closely as possible. However, the instructor reserves the right to modify, supplement and make changes as course needs arise. Any changes will be announced in class.
Note: All page numbers refer to our text Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives, 6th Edition.
Week One:Tues., Aug. 30
Course overview andintroduction to the class.
Read pp. 3-17, pp24-26 and 46-49 for Thursday. (Chapter 1).
Pre-semester writing given in class
Journal writing Q and A
Thurs., Sept. 1Discussion on Readings on pp. 1-17, 24-26 and 46-49
Pre-semester writing assignment due
Reading for Tuesday’s class pp. 51-63 (Chapter 2)
Tues., Sept. 6Discussion of pp. 51-63 (Chapter 2)
Small groups work discussed
Readings for Th. pp. 64-68, 82-88
Cross-cultural paper discussed
Thurs., Sept.8 Discussion on the readings from Chapter 2 (P 64 and 82)
First Journal Entry Due- Based on Ch.2’s readings
2For Tuesday read pp. 101-114 (Chapter 3)
Tues., Sept. 13Film response due
Discussion on reading from pp. 101-114
Readings for Thursday and for Journal #2 pp. 115-122, 145-146 (Chapter 3)
Suggestions for campus activities
Discussion on the Readings from Chapter 3
Readings for Tuesday pp. 173-182 (Chapter 4)
Q and A for Cross Cultural Paper
Journal # 2 due- based on Ch. 3’s readings
Tues., Sept. 20 Discussion of readings pp.173-182
Readings for Thursday and for Journal #3 pp. 183-187and pp. 204-206
List of short Films given in class
Thurs., Sept. 22 Response to the film due
Journal #3 Due- based on Ch. 4 readings
Class discussion of the readings pp. 183-187 and 204-206
Reading pp. 209-226 for Tuesday (Chapter 5)
Tuesday, Sept. 27
Discussion (pp. 209-226) Chapter 5
First draft of C C paper
Readings for Journal #4 (pp. 238 - 241, 241 - 243)
Thurs. Sept.29 Journal #4 Due—Based on Ch.5’s readings
Discussion of the Readings (pp. 238 - 241, 241 - 243)
Sign up for class presentations.
Tues. Oct. 4 Cross-Cultural Paper Due
Class presentations of C.C. paper highlights
Select an activity on campus or off campus to attend.
Thurs. Oct. 6Class presentations Cont.
Response to the film due
Readings for Tuesday- pp. 259-273 and pp. 284-290, pp290-296.
Tues. Oct.11 Discussions on all assigned readings.
Current Issues Paper discussed.
Thurs., Oct.13 Journal # 5 due- based on Ch.6’s readings
Readings for Tuesday – pp. 307-321(Chapter Seven)
Tues., Oct. 18 Current Issues Paper – Topics discussed
Discussion of reading – pp. 307-321
Readings for Tuesday and for Journal #6 (pp. 342-349, 358-360)
Thurs., Oct. 20 Journal #6 Due
Discussion of the Readings (pp. 342-358, 360)
Topics for research paper due
Reading – pp. 363-381 (Chapter Eight)
Tues., Oct. 25 Guest Speaker TBA
Discussion of pp. 363-381
Update on Current Issues Paper
Readings for Tuesday and for Journal #7 (pp. 391-399, 412-415)
Thurs., Oct. 27 Journal #7 Due—Based on Ch.8’s readings
Discussion of the Readings (pp.391-399, 412, 415)
Readings for Tuesday – pp. 417-431 (Chapter Nine)
Tues., Nov. 1
Discussion of pp. 417-431
Update on the Current Issues paper due
Readings for Tuesday and for Journal #8 pp. 432-435 and 446-448 (Chapter 9)
Thurs., Nov. 3 Journal #8 due- based on Ch. 9’s readings
Discussion of the Readings (pp. 432-435, 446-448)
Films – TBA
Reading for Tuesday – pp. 465-480 (Chapter Ten)
Tues., Nov. 8 Film response due
Discussion of the Readings (pp. 465-480)
Guest Speaker TBA
Readings for Tuesday and for Journal #9 (pp. 481-482 and 482-485)
Thurs., Nov. 10 Journal #9 and response to guest speaker Due
Discussion of the Readings (481-482 and 482-485)
Q and A about Current Issues Paper
Reading for Tuesday – pp. 503-514 (Chapter 11)
Tues., Nov. 15 Q and A on the current issues paper
Discussion of the Readings (pp. 503-514)
Readings for Journal #10 (pp. 532-536, 553-559)
Thurs., Nov. 17
Discussion of the Readings (pp. 532-536, 553-559)
First Draft of current issues paper due
Readings for Tuesday, Nov 29- PP. 562-575. pp. 600-605 and pp 608-615.
Tues., Nov. 22 Individual meetings.
Work on your paper
Journal # 10 due –based on Ch. 11’s readings
Thurs., Nov. 24 Thanksgiving Holiday
Discussion on readings on PP.565-575. Pp. 600-605 and pp. 608-615.
Class presentations sign up
Current issues paper due.
Thurs.Dec.1Class Presentations cont.
Post Semester written assignment given in class.
Tues., Dec. 6 Class presentations Cont.
Post Semester assignment due
Class work folders due
Thurs., Dec.8 Review of the class work
Last chance to bring your work folders to class
Dec. 13and 15 No Final Exam; please pick up your folders from SS 328c between 12 to 3 p.m.
From Women’s Studies Office. Contact MS Carla Price