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Academic Bulletin Gender Studies - 2005-06

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Area of Concentration in Gender Studies

Wabash College is committed to preparing its students for leadership and service in a diverse and changing society. As part of that commitment, the Area of Concentration in Gender Studies affords students the opportunity to gain a firm grounding in an interdisciplinary field that investigates the social, cultural, and biological factors that constitute femininity, masculinity, and sexual identity. Gender Studies explores the similarities and differences between the experiences, perspectives, and voices of women and men by analyzing variations in gender roles that occur across cultures and over time, examining relationships between biological differences and social power, and investigating the complex interaction of gender with race, class, and culture. Gender Studies also involves a critical investigation of strategies that aim to transform unjust or coercive social systems based on gender. Through coursework and an independent senior project, students undertake a systematic and critical analysis of gender issues across academic disciplines. The program is administered by the Gender Issues Committee.

The requirements of the program include the following:

  • Four and one-half courses designated as gender studies courses from at least two different departments outside the major. Three of these courses will focus exclusively on gender studies. The two additional courses will contain substantial relevant content. The Gender Issues Committee will approve this set of courses as part of the application process.
  • A half-credit capstone course in the senior year. This may be either an independent study project that explores the student's chosen focus in greater depth or, if enough students are completing concentrations, a seminar class in which students will explore their topics comparatively. These will be assigned as Division Independent Study courses under the direction of the Committee Chair.
  • Each student's program will be approved and supervised by the Gender Issues Committee, and a member of this committee, or other faculty with relevant expertise, may serve as secondary field examiner on the senior oral examination.

Students may be encouraged to participate in selected off-campus study programs abroad and in the United States, such as the Philadelphia Urban Semester, the New York Arts Program, the Borders Program in El Paso, and the Newberry Library Program in Chicago.

We encourage students to declare the area of concentration by the end of their sophomore year. At that time the student will submit a written proposal to the administering committee, presenting a rationale for the courses selected for the area of concentration. Area of Concentration forms are available in the Registrar's Office.

In addition to the half-credit capstone course in the senior year, the Area of Concentration in Gender studies requires students to take four and a half additional courses related to gender studies.

These courses must be outside the student's major (and any other minor). In general, students may not "double-count" courses toward the Area of Concentration in Gender Studies and toward a major or minor. Nor may they take more than 11 courses in their major field (of 34 needed for graduation) by counting some of these toward completion of the Area of Concentration in Gender Studies.

The courses appropriate for satisfying this requirement will vary but may include such courses as the following:

Rhetoric 360 Gender and Communication
Psychology 102 Human Sexual Behavior
English 497 Seminar in Gender Criticism

Regularly offered courses with substantial relevant content include, but are not limited to the following:

Philosophy 319 Topics in Ethics and Social Philosophy: Feminist Philosophy
Religion 270 Theological Ethics
English 219 Introduction to American Literature before 1900
English 220 Introduction to American Literature after 1900
History 141 America to 1877

Other courses (e.g., freshman tutorials, special topics courses, or other courses of particular relevance to gender studies) can also count toward this requirement.

Students should consult with a member of the Gender Issues Committee for a more complete list of appropriate current course offerings.