Graduate Studies

Department of Women's Studies

Some academic departments and colleges do not provide a major at the graduate level. However, these departments or colleges do offer courses for graduate credit. Permission to use these courses in a degree program must be obtained from the appropriate Departmental Graduate Committee.

Chairperson:  Aimee Shouse
Office:  Currens Hall 510
Telephone: (309) 298-2214

Graduate Faculty

  • Lori Baker-Sperry, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Aimee Shouse, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Assistant Professor

  • Holly Stovall, Ph.D., CUNY Graduate School and University Center

Course Descriptions

Women's Studies (WS)

405G Women’s Spirituality. (3) This course will examine some of the predominant themes in women’s experience from a multicultural perspective as a means of understanding how women develop their spirituality.

410G (cross-listed with SOC 410G) Women and Poverty. (3) The poverty of women in the United States, including factors of race, place of residence, and age are covered. Structural hierarchies that maintain poverty are examined from a sociological perspective.

420G (cross-listed with AAS 420G and SOC 420G) Race, Class and Gender. (3) The course will examine issues of race, class, and gender in historical, cultural, and contemporary societal contexts. Prerequisites: WS 190, or AAS 100, or SOC 100; or permission of the instructor.

430G (cross-listed with SOC 430G) Sociology of Women’s Health. (3) Uses sociological theories and research to examine the gendered experience of illness. Includes sociological analysis of medical knowledge about women’s health. Topics include medicalization of women’s health, the gendered hierarchy of professions, and feminist critiques of scientific research.

433G (cross-listed with PSY 433G) Psychology of Gender. (3) Examines the psychological, social, and biological bases for societal-defined sex roles. The knowledge of these factors will assist students in recognizing and understanding the influence of gender on human experiences (i.e., behaviors, cognitions, emotions, physiology) and relationships. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of psychology, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.

435G (cross-listed with SOC 435G) Women and Crime. (3) Theories of female criminality, patterns of female crime and victimization, women in corrections, and women as criminal justice practitioners are examined. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 510, or permission of the instructor.

470G (cross-listed with KIN 470G) Gender and Sport. (3) Examines relationships between gender, sport and physical activity within the context of stereotypes and the structure/philosophy of sport and physical activity. The course includes examining sport history via a lens through which to understand the gender dynamics of sport. Prerequisites: WS 190 or permission of the instructor.

494G (cross-listed with BC 494G and ENG 494G) Women and Film. (3) An overview of women in film and television that considers the on-screen images of women as well as the positions of women working behind the scenes (with laboratory).

501 Seminar in Feminist Theories. (3) This course offers an exploration of central theoretical perspectives to promote understanding of key tenets of second wave feminism, classical original feminist writing, and recent postcolonial and anti-essentialist feminist texts.

505 Seminar in Women’s Studies. (3, repeatable) Special topics in women’s studies to be announced. Prerequisite: WS 501; WS 502 recommended.

506 Graduate Readings in Women’s Studies. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Readings selected in consultation with a member of the graduate faculty in women’s studies. Prerequisites: WS 501; WS 502 recommended.

508 (cross-listed with ANTH 508 and SOC 508) Women and Social Movements. (3) This course covers women in social movements. Sociological, anthropological, and feminist theories are used to study women’s movements and social change. Topics include, but are not limited to: suffrage, birth control, environmental, peace, child protection, and international human rights movements. Prerequisites: One previous undergraduate course in women’s studies, anthropology, or sociology, or permission of the instructor.

536 (cross-listed with AAS 536) Graduate Colloquium in Womanist Theory. (3) This course provides advanced explorations into the African and African American women’s perspectives and examines other feminine discourses pertaining to activism/contributions of black women in Africa, the U.S., and Europe. 

571 (cross-listed with AAS 571) Women in Anglophone Caribbean: The Jamaican Experience. (3) This course examines the influence of race, class, and gender on women in the Caribbean, within a largely matrifocal society, and Caribbean women transnationally.