Where am I?

Women's & Gender Studies Minor

Women's and Gender Studies at Fontbonne is an innovative interdisciplinary minor that helps students understand how ideas about gender are shaped and perpetuated in society. "It's not just about the experiences of women, though," explains Mandy Rampold, a senior, "It's about gender identity that applies to all people in different ways."

As an interdisciplinary minor, students take courses in a variety of fields, including American studies, business, English, history, human and environmental sciences, performing arts, sociology, and more. But the core courses are taught in the Interdisciplinary Studies department, giving students a strong orientation to the key debates and issues in the field that transcend one disciplinary perspective. "The things I learn in IS classes are intertwined and are all around us," says senior Katelyn Cunningham. "We see gender everyday--we live it, we 'do' it--so it will always be useful."

Women's & Gender Studies Minor - Required Courses:

Requirements include completion of 21 hours of coursework, distributed as follows:

  • Required courses: WGS 101 (Introduction to Women’s Studies), WGS 220 (Masculinities) and WGS 470 (Gender Theory)
  • A choice of 1 of the 3 following: COM 230 (Gender Communication), PSY 275 (Psychology of Women), and SOC 320 (Sociology of Sex and Gender)
  • 9 elective hours from the list of electives housed in other departments

Core Courses

  • WGS 101 Introduction to Women’s Studies (fulfills specialized valuing GER): This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of women's studies. Readings in feminist theory and research, autobiography, and the history of women's rights activism will provide a framework for an investigation of major themes in women's lives. Using contemporary cultures of the United States as our primary field of study, we will also explore dominant ideas about gender, one of the primary terms through which huamn beings articulate identity, define social roles, and assign status. We will consider as well how notions of gender intersect with other components of experiences such as those related to nationality, culture, ethnicity, race, class, age, religion, and sexuality.
  • WGS 220 Masculinities: The course introduces students to main categories, topics, and research of masculinity studies. Through theoretical readings and discussions of popular culture, we will focus on the central debates around men and masculinities. We will examine questions such as "How is masculinity created?," "How do we learn to be men and enact masculinity in everyday life?," "How do race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality affect our masculinities?," and "What is the relationship between masculinity and sexed bodies?" Analyzing male sexuality, intimacy, violence, homophobia and gender equality, we will pay considerable attention to different forms of masculinity and gender politics in the contemporary world.
  • WGS 470 Gender Theory: This course builds upon the understanding of gender studies introduced in WGS 101 by critically examining theoretical approaches to gender studies and analyzing key issues and disputes within the field. This course develops a framework that allows students to identify and examine the relations among the diverse theoretical approaches to gender studies encountered within the discipline, including aspects of feminist theory, gender theory, GLBT/queer theory, and men's studies.

Choice of One of the Following

  • COM 230 Gender Communication
  • PSY 275 Psychology of Women
  • SOC 320 Sociology of Sex & Gender

Elective Courses

  • HES 105 Personal, Professional, and Cultural Dress
  • BIO 110 History of Science and Technology — Women’s Contributions
  • ENG 220 Introduction to Women’s Literature
  • PSY 275 Psychology of Women
  • HES 337 Family Relations
  • PER 314 Multicultural Experiences in Performance
  • HES/HST 440 History of Women in the United States
  • REL 240 Women and Religion
  • BUS 320 Impact of Gender on Management
  • HES 320 Science of Gender in Human Health
  • SOC 320 Sociology of Sex and Gender
  • PER 455/555 Women in Theatre
  • PER 456/556 Sexual Politics in Drama and Theatre

For more information about the Women's and Gender Studies Minor, contact Corinne Taff at ctaff@fontbonne.edu.