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Academic Bulletin Gender Studies - 2010-11

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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.

Career Opportunities
Wabash College students who participate in the Area of Concentration in Gender Studies will enhance their preparation for careers in a wide variety of areas. These include, but are not limited to, human services, law, government, teaching, the arts, clinical work, social work, public relations, advertising, and journalism. Some graduates with expertise in gender studies may also pursue further study of gender as graduate students in a wide range of academic fields.

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 and minor. Two of these courses must have gender studies as their major focus, while the other two and one-half courses must contain substantial relevant content. Students may not take courses in their major or minor and count them toward the Area of Concentration in Gender Studies, even if these courses are not being "double-counted." The Gender Issues Committee will approve this set of courses as part of the application process.
  • A half-credit capstone course in spring of 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 Humanities 487 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 are encouraged to declare the area of concentration in Gender Studies by the end of their sophomore year (although they are free to declare any time before fall semester of their senior year). To declare, the student should submit a written proposal to the Gender Issues Committee, presenting a rationale for the courses selected for the area of concentration. Area of Concentration forms are available in the Registrar's Office.


The following regularly offered courses focus primarily on gender and may be included in an area of concentration in Gender Studies, so long as they do not conflict with the student's major or minor:

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

English 360 Studies in Multicultural/National Literature: Feminism and African Literature
English 497  Seminar in English Literature: “Gender Criticism” or “The Body of the Other”
History 330 Advanced Topics, Modern Europe (Frequent Topics with a Primary Focus on Gender)
Philosophy 219 Ethics & Social Philosophy Psychology 102 Human Sexual Behavior
Psychology 102 Human Sexual Behavior
Psychology 212 Sex, Gender, and Masculinity Religion
Religion 273 Topics in Theology: Religion and Masculinity
Rhetoric 360 Gender and Communication
Theater 103 Seminars in Theater (Frequent Topics with Primary Focus on Gender)

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

Classics 101 Classical Mythology
English 214 British and Irish Lit. after 1900
English 219 Introduction to American Literature before 1900
English 220 Introduction to American Literature after 1900
English 397 Critical Reading History 271 African History to 1885
History 272 African History from 1885
History 497 Philosophy and Craft of History
Philosophy 109 Perspectives on Philosophy: Friendship
Psychology 211 Cross-Cultural Psychology
Psychology 220 Child Development
Psychology 221 Adult Development
Religion 270 Theological Ethics
Religion 370 Contemporary Theology
Rhetoric 240 Communication Theory
Theater 213 American Theater and Drama
Theater 214 Modern European Theater and Drama

Occasional courses (Special Topics or other courses of particular relevance to Gender Studies) may also count toward this requirement with the approval of the Gender Issues Committee. Interested students should consult with a member of the Gender Issues Committee for advice regarding relevant courses and the frequency of offerings. Students should also consult the Academic Bulletin and semester-by-semester information from the Registrar's office regarding when courses are offered.


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