Women & Gender Studies

WGST 073B ~ Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
CRN: 90141

If we are to throw off the myths, fantasies, and delusions about gender that separate us from one another and alienate us from ourselves, we must be able to look critically at the cultural institutions and social systems that have shaped us, and we must be able to look at ourselves as well. This course introduces students to a range of feminist approaches and looks at how the subject of "women" is treated in such disciplines as psychology, sociology, economics, literature, art, law, history, and the sciences. Analyzing the mass media, the fine arts, the workplace, the scholarly writing, the course asks such questions as "How are women represented by mainstream culture? How does feminism challenge those representations?" The course also introduces the basic vocabulary of feminist theory, asking, for example, "What is the difference between sex and gender? What are the relationships between gender and social class, sexual orientation, or race?" The class is small (20-student limit) and is always run as a discussion course, with students contributing ideas about the readings and their own experiences. This course has also been designated as a Service-Learning Course in cooperation with COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter).

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 10:00am-11:15am
Contact: 802-656-4282, Annika.Ljung-Baruth@uvm.edu

Annika Ljung-Baruth: Joint Lecturer in Women's and Gender Studies and English, was raised in Sweden and lives in Burlington, Vermont. She is the mother of two girls, and the owner of one crazy, blue-eyed husky and one small, shy, red cat. Her current focus is on representations of the environment and female embodiment in literature.

WGST 073C ~ Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
CRN: 90146

What is Women's and Gender Studies? That is the first question that we will pose as we begin our exploration of some of its key concepts. In this class we will ask many questions and probably find a variety of answers to each one. What is the difference between sex and gender? What is human nature--is there such a thing? How are women and men alike and different, and how do we explain it? How are the categories "women" and "men" significant in helping us understand the world and our experiences in it, and how are they limited? We will examine the ways in which individual and group identities and life experiences are shaped by gender, as well as the extent to which gender is contingent upon other social factors, such as race, ethnicity, and class. The course will entail a variety of disciplinary approaches to feminist scholarship, including readings from history, sociology, economics, cultural studies, and literature. The essays, articles, poems, plays, and videos have been chosen for their power to engage students with the realities of cultural conditions for women; and to promote dialogue with women's voices past and present, including the community within this classroom.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:40am-11:30am
Contact: 802-864-6632, Vicki.Torsh@uvm.edu

Vicki Torsch: Lecturer in Women's and Gender Studies and Anthropology, is an ethnographer and scholar of Pacific Island societies focused on health, gender, and aging. She loves to travel, especially to Pacific islands she hasn't visited before. Favorite things include sailing, ballroom dancing, hiking through mountains and jungles, and snorkeling while taking underwater photos as well as spending time with her new granddaughter. Her current research focus is on grandparent caregivers in Vermont, and she is on the board for Vermont Kin As Parents (VKAP).