INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S STUDIES
ND 18 -- M-TH 10:30-1:00
Dr. Leila Brammer
FAC 324 -- MW 1-2 and by appointment
Women's Studies (custom book). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Primis,
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the inter-disciplinary
field of women's studies, which seeks to understand the creation and perpetuation
of gender inequalities. Unfortunately, time limits force a rather cursory
view of a large field with diverse views. After tracing the historical
emergence of feminist critiques, the course surveys contemporary women's
issues, particularly work and sexuality, and contemporary strategies for
social change. Each section draws on historical analysis and pays close
attention to the variety of women's experiences. Along with the focus on
the United States, an effort has been made to incorporate international
perspectives on women and feminism.
No prior course work is required, but a sincere commitment to understanding
feminism and a willingness to keep an open mind are essential. Women's
studies scholars and feminist activists hold many different views. This
course will openly explore a few of the main areas of study.
Beyond the presumption that gender inequality is unjust, the course
takes no single political perspective. A major goal is to train students
in analytical skills that will help them think critically about gender
in the past, the present, and the future.
Since this is not a traditional read-and-take-a-test class, attendance
is CRUCIAL for developing and understanding the discipline of women's studies;
i.e. attendance is directly linked to success in this class.
Attendance is expected on all days. NO late assignments
or makeups will be accepted, except in cases of EXTREME DOCUMENTED
Attendance is REQUIRED on all presentation days. FIVE
points will be deducted for an absence and 2.5 for being late.
Response Papers 40
Group Presentation 50
Group Peer Grade 20
Total Points 200
NOTE: To pass the course, you will need to satisfactorily complete
Participation: Participation is a large part of this class. Points
will be assigned for assignments, activities, and participation in class
discussion. Also, throughout the term, persons will be assigned to lead
the discussion on certain topics and/or articles.
Essays: Two essays will be assigned. Both will require encountering
the material and your own conceptions and applications of women's studies
in your life.
Response Papers: A series of eight one-page reactions to issues relevant
to the course.
Group Presentation: A 30-35 minute presentation on an issue related
to women's studies.
Group Peer Grade: A participation grade will be assigned by the group
to each member.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this class. The borrowing of ideas
without credit or the borrowing of papers and so forth will result in failure
of this course.
Come see me in my office for help. If the hours are inconvenient, make
an appointment. Since I will be grading you, my input may be important
If the situation warrants, this syllabus may be subject to change at
Jan 4 Introduction
Jan 5 The Condition of Women--A Historical Perspective
Introductory Essay by Martha Schmidt and Verta Taylor
Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
1838: Sarah Grimke, "Legal Disabilities of Women"
1848: The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions
Sojourner Truth, "Book of Life"
1966: National Organization for Women (NOW), Statement of Purpose
1970ó1972: ERA Amendment & Gloria Steinemís Senate Testimony
Jan 6 Introduction to Women's Studies--Oppression and Gender
Marilyn Frye, "Oppression"
Kate Millet, "Theory of Sexual Politics"
Jan Phillips, "The Craft of the Wise: Who Salemís Witches Really Were"
Jan 7 Socialization
Lois Gould, "X: A Fabulous Childís Story"
Horner, "Fail, Bright Women"
de Beauvoir, "The Making of a Woman"
Jan 11 Marriage and Motherhood
Patricia Mainardi, "The Politics of Housework"
Judy Syfers, "Why I Want a Wife"
Betty Rollin, "The Motherhood Myth" .
Jan 12 Work
Gloria Steinem, "The Importance of Work"
National Committee on Pay Equity, "The Wage Gap"
Morrison, White, & Van Velsor, "Executive Women on a Tightrope"
Michele A. Paludi, "Sexual Harassment in College and University Settings"
Jan 13 Violence and Poverty
Introductory Essay by Diana Scully .
James Skipper, Jr., and William L. McWhorter, "A Rapist Gets Caught
in the Act"
Phyllis Chesler, "What Is Justice for a Rape Victim?"
Diana M. Pearce, "The Feminization of Poverty: Update"
Heidi Hartmann, "A Feminist Perspective on the Federal Budget"
Jan 14 Global Issues
Bernice Lott, "Global Connections: The Significance of Womenís Poverty"
Introductory Essay by Carol L. McAllister .
U.N. 4th World Conf. on Women, "Report to the President from U.S. Delegation"
Charlotte Bunch, "Womenís Rights as Human Rights"
Jan 18 Race, Age, Sexual Orientation
Combahee River Collective, "A Black Feminist Statement"
Audre Lorde, "Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference"
Jan 19 The Body I
Nomy Lamm, "Itís a Big Fat Revolution"
Abra Fortune Chernik, "The Body Politic"
Christine A. Smith, "Women, Weight, and Body Image"
Nora Ephron, "A Few Words about Breasts: Shaping Up Absurd" .
Jan 20 The Body II
Introductory Essay by Mary K. Zimmerman
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Frank Deford, "Jackie! Oh!"
Ruth L. Hall, "Sweating It Out"
Jan 21 Communication and Language
Introductory Essay by Mary Crawford
Robin Lakoff, "You Are What You Say" .
Cheris Kramarae, "Joking Matters"
Gloria Steinem, "If Men Could Menstruate ó A Political Fantasy"
Jan 25 Media
Introductory Essay by Therese L. Lueck
Alison Lurie, "Sex and Fashion"
B. J. Goodwin, "Impact of Pop Culture on Images of African American
Jan 26 Group Presentations
Jan 27 Group Presentations
Jan 28 The Future
Mary Daly, "Spiraling into the Nineties"
Germaine Greer, "The Backlash Myth"
Susan Faludi, "The Undeclared War on Women"
Dale Spender, "An Alternative to Madonna"