Women's studies

Jessica Baldanzi, Associate Professor of English
Beth Birky, Professor of English
Jo-Ann Brant, Professor of Bible, Religion, and Philosophy
Keith Graber Miller, Professor of Bible, Religion and Philosophy
Ann Hostetler, Professor of English
Jeanne Liechty, Professor of Social Work, Director of Social Work Program
David Lind, Associate Professor of Sociology, SST Leader Senegal (MA)
Gilberto Perez Jr, Associate Professor of Social Work
Regina Shands Stoltzfus, Assistant Professor of PJCS
Jan Shetler, Professor of History

Introduction

The women's studies program offers one flexible, interdisciplinary minor:

The women’s studies minor can be combined with any major or incorporated into an interdisciplinary studies major. Visit the women's studies program Web site at www.goshen.edu/wost.

Within the community of faith and learning at Goshen College, the women's studies program examines women's and men's experience in a gendered global society. Courses foster the study and cultivation of feminist scholarship and practice in students' personal and professional preparation. This interdisciplinary program draws on courses from a variety of disciplines and women's resources in the campus community in addition to a core of courses offered by the women's studies program. Courses listed or cross-listed in this program meet the following criteria:

  • Critically examine cultural assumptions about gender as well as race and class.
  • Explore the production of knowledge in disciplines that reflect on women’s and men's lived experiences.
  • Identify and analyze the many systems that shape women's and men's lives and choices.
  • Examine feminist genres, research methods, structures, analytical tools, aesthetics, criticism, contemporary issues and pedagogy.

Minor in women’s studies

18 credit hours

  • Any WoSt or cross-listed courses, selected in consultation with adviser 18

Planning and advising notes

WoSt 200, Introduction to Women's Studies is strongly recommended for all students selecting this minor.

Women's studies courses


WOST 200 Introduction to Women's Studies 3
Introduction to major areas of feminist thought (historical and contemporary) that shaped the field of Women's Studies. Course objectives focus on increasing students' understandings of the social systemic factors (i.e., sociological factors) that influence women's lived experience. Readings, small group discussions, and service learning/activism projects enable students to apply feminist theory concerning women and gender in an interdisciplinary context. This course serves as an introductory survey course for women's studies and a topical exploration for sociology.

WOST 201 Gender in Global Context 3
How do economic development policies impact the basic rights and qualities of life for men and women in different cultural contexts? This course will examine ways that different cultures construct gender roles and how these diverse constructs affect economic development issues in a global context. A Social World Perspectives course in the Goshen core. Pre or Corequisite: Quantitative Literacy.

WOST 207 Women in Literature 3
(Cross-listed from Engl 207/307) Topics and issues in women's literature. Recent courses include Women and Nature, Feminist Literacy Theory, and Gender and the Literary Canon.

WOST 210 Sociology of the Family 3
(Cross-listed from Soc 210) The course combines institutional and functional approaches in the study of courtship, mate selection, marriage, family roles and relationships, family disorganization and social trends affecting the family in contemporary society and culture.

WOST 221 Human Behavior 3
(Cross-listed from SoWk 221) A study of the individual through the life cycle within the social environment. Focus on physical, psychological, social, cultural and religious factors in the development of the self.

WOST 230 Ethnography and Culture 3
(Cross-listed from Soc 230) Course teaches an anthropological approach to cultural studies at a time when global cultural homogenization is producing increasing conflict around cultural differences. Students gain knowledge and skills for making sense of all culturally conditioned experience - both "ours" and "theirs." Lab component teaches ethnographic skills needed by anyone wishing to relate competently to persons whose linguistic, social and cultural backgrounds differ from one's own.

WOST 260 Human Sexuality 3
(Cross-listed from Soc 260) Biographical, psychological and sociological factors determining sex-role identification and role performance; human reproduction, fertility control and sexual disorders; social and spiritual values in human sexuality; sex discrimination and movements toward sex equality.

WOST 275 Gender and Popular Culture 3
(Cross-listed from Wost 375) A critical analysis of gender representation in social institutions, popular culture, literature, and film. Readings and projects will address definitions of femininity, masculinity, as well as gender, power and sexuality, with the objective of helping students critique cultural representations and examine how textual narratives shape their own perceptions of gender, sex, and identity. Individual or collaborative projects take the form of art work, videos, texts (stories, poems, critiques, research) or performances, presented in a seminar format.

WOST 307 Women in Literature 3
(Cross-listed from Engl 207/307) Topics and issues in women's literature. Recent courses include Women and Nature, Feminist Literacy Theory, and Gender and the Literary Canon.

WOST 316 Liberation Theologies 3
(Cross-listed from Rel 316) Liberation Theologies focuses on three contemporary theologies of liberation (Latin Merican Liberation Theology, North American Black Theology and North American Feminist Theology) as they are developing in the Americas. The course examines similarities and differences among these three theologies - in conversation with Womanist and Latina theologies - as each addresses specific theological questions raised by the people of God in actual contemporary situations of exploration and oppression. The course also has a praxis component in which students move outward into the community.

WOST 322 Social Problems 3
(Cross-listed from SoWk 322) Economic and social justice is used as an organizing framework to study the relationship between major social problems and social welfare policy, programs and services. Included are poverty, health and mental-health care, family problems, racism, sexism and other forms of institutionalized oppression. The political aspects of social welfare policy and the legislative process itself are examined in depth. Prerequisites: SoWk 221, 224, 321 or consent of instructor.

WOST 324 Women in the Bible 3
(Cross-listed from Bibl 324) An examination of the characterization of women in Old and New Testament narratives, their role in biblical societies and the early church and their representation in Judeo-Christian culture, particularly our contemporary culture. The course draws upon current research and exegetical strategies in biblical studies. Prerequisite: CORE 120.

WOST 325 Topics 3
Special topics courses in different disciplines that focus on specific issues related to women and/or gender.

WOST 328 Spiritual Writings of Women 3
(Cross-listed from Rel 328) A survey of women's writings about the spiritual journey. Includes a range of medieval through 20th-century women. Examines women's use of their experiences as one source of theologizing.

WOST 330 Gender in World History 3
(Cross-listed from Hist 330) A comparative studies in world history course. Women have been left out of the world's history, particularly women in the non-Western world who are stereotyped as oppressed and passive. Putting women back into the center of world history unsettles older historical paradigms and challenges our ethnocentric assumptions. Explores the diverse experiences of women as active agents in shaping their world through a comparative case-study approach.

WOST 335 Religion and Sexuality 3
(Cross-listed from Rel 330) An exploration of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality in the context of Christian (and other) religious faith(s) and in relation to culturally based attitudes. Topics addressed will include body phenomenology, body theology, gender issues, historical developments, sexuality and spirituality, singleness, marriage, friendship, sexual violence, and a variety of other theological, ethical and relational issues. The course draws extensively on feminist models, themes and authors.

WOST 345 Women's Concerns 3
(Cross-listed with SoWk 345) This course covers a wide range of issues that are part of contemporary North American women's lives. The place of women in society is approached from the position of social and economic justice. The course: (a) examines and critiques the U.S. American women's movement as an interpersonal and psychological phenomenon; (b) identifies cultural, religious, racial, social, economic and political processes as they affect women's lives; (c) considers women to be persons of worth and value with the right of self-determination ; and (d) assists in understanding, contextually, women's requests for help and appropriate intervention strategies. Class participation and small group discussions are important components of course learning.

WOST 355 Contemporary Women's Issues 3
An upper-level topics course that explores selected issues in the lives of contemporary women, such as women's bodies, sexuality and health; mother-daughter relationships; women and war; women and sexual violence; women and economic status in globalizing economies. Professors bring an interdisciplinary perspective to the subject. This course is taught in a cooperative learning environment.

WOST 370 Personal Violence and Healing 3
A seminar course in which advanced students examine selected problems in violence. The course focuses upon the socio-cultural matrix of an individual's encounters with violence and integrates religious and ethical studies with the social sciences.

WOST 375 Gender and Popular Culture 3
A critical analysis of gender representation in social institutions, popular culture, literature, and film. Readings and projects will address definitions of femininity, masculinity, as well as gender, power and sexuality, with the objective of helping students critique cultural representations and examine how textual narratives shape their own perceptions of gender, sex, and identity. Individual or collaborative projects take the form of art work, videos, texts (stories, poems, critiques, research) or performances, presented in a seminar format.

WOST 400 Advanced Readings 1 (1-3)
This independent study provides opportunity for women's studies minors to 1) pursue more individualized, self-guided study and research in a topic of interest, 2) enhance student curriculum in areas where courses are not or cannot be offered due to curriculum limits and 3) strengthen student skills and knowledge in an area of feminist scholarship and/or practice in an area where they have not been able to do course work. A student may take a maximum of three hours credit. Prerequisite: two women's studies classes and program director approval.