Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

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Major Description  | Requirements | Learning Objectives | LAFPIE Award | Faculty & Staff | Recommended Preparation | Graduate school prep tips from Faculty

The Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Major

Illustration by Julio Salgado, commissioned by the #Health4All campaign
Illustration by Julio Salgado, commissioned by the #Health4All campaign

Whose stories are we not hearing? How do feminist scholars and activists challenge those silences?

Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS), historically referred to as Women's Studies, is a cutting edge interdisciplinary field that examines social and political realities shaped by gender, sexuality, and power. We approach topics from transnational and intersectional perspectives, enabling students to analyze and address issues of gender, sexuality, and social difference at personal, historical, institutional, and structural levels. In our classes we study texts, histories, and experiences from the Global North and South, and examine gender and sexuality as they intersect with race, class, ethnicity, nation, ability, cisgender privilege and other forms of power.

GWSS is devoted to generating and bringing visibility to many kinds of feminist knowledge production such as women of color feminism, transfeminism, queer feminism, feminist science and technology studies, and more. GWSS scholars therefore represent a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, and conduct research in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and arts.

GWSS Minor

IAS also offers a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies.

GWSS Social Media

Find out about GWSS events and join the conversation on our Facebook page.
Follow us on Instagram (@gwssuwb) and Snapchat (@gwssuwb)!

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Major requirements

Prerequisites

While there are no official prerequisites beyond the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, students choosing this major will find it especially helpful to have completed college coursework in feminist studies, history and culture, sociology, or literature.

Degree requirements

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* - min. 2.0 grade (5 credits)
  • BISGWS 301 Critical Gender and Sexualtity Studies (5 credits)
  • BISGWS 302 Histories and Movements of Gender and Sexuality or BISGWS 303** Approaches to Feminist Inquiry (5 credits)
  • GWSS Coursework (30 credits)
  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone - min. 2.5 grade (5 credits)
  • Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)

TOTAL = 70 Credits

* Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.
** GWSS faculty HIGHLY recommend students take both BISGWS 302 & 303. If a student completes both BISGWS 302 and BISGWS 303, 5 credits from these courses can be applied toward the student's GWSS coursework requirement.

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Learning objectives

The Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies curriculum advances the five core IAS learning objectives: Critical and Creative Thinking; Interdisciplinary Research and Inquiry; Diversity and Equity; Writing and Communication; Shared Leadership and Collaboration. Students majoring or minoring in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies will be able to:

  1. Think critically about the operation of gender and sexuality at personal, institutional, and structural levels.
  2. Situate and analyze gender and sexuality at local, national, and transnational levels.
  3. Critically examine the intersection of gender and sexuality with other vectors of identity, power, and privilege such as race, ethnicity, nationality, class, age, and dis/ability.
  4. Undertake critical interdisciplinary research that understands the role of cultural norms and assumptions especially, but not limited to, gender and sexuality in knowledge production.
  5. Collaborate with peers and off campus communities to engage in scholarly and creative activities that intervene in existing debates and create new ways of engaging issues of gender and sexuality.
  6. Write and communicate clearly about feminist theories and manifestations of power and resistance.

Image by GWSS student Nicole Carter

Image by GWSS student Nicole Carter


Illustration by Julio Salgado, commissioned by the #Health4All campaign.
Illustration by Julio Salgado, commissioned by the #Health4All campaign.

Leslie Ashbaugh Feminist Praxis in Education (LAFPIE) Award

Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) at UW Bothell seeks nominations for our 6th annual LAFPIE Award.

The Leslie Ashbaugh Feminist Praxis in Education award is designed as a loving and grateful tribute to the work of Dr. Leslie Ashbaugh, who was a champion of feminist praxis in education. Leslie also had a great sense of humor, and loved to bake pies (hence: LAF-PIE).

For GWSS, feminist praxis is about mobilizing theory into action and activism. What does feminist praxis mean to you? How have you taken feminist theory and inquiry and translated them into activism? This annual award recognizes GWSS students (majors or minors) who demonstrate inspiring and impactful feminist praxis during the course of your studies at UW Bothell. Given that collaboration is a key value within feminist praxis, this award may be granted to either an individual or a team of students. (All members must be GWSS students.)

Requirements

To be considered for this award, students must submit an essay of between 500-750 words which answers: What does feminist praxis mean to you (or your team)? How does your project embody feminist praxis?

In addition to your essay, please provide the name(s), title(s), and contact information for no more than three people, at least one of whom must be UWB faculty or staff, who can speak to the merits of your project.

Deadline

Deadline for submissions is May 2, 2022. Please send your essay and reference(s) as one pdf or word document, titled “LAFPIE_your name(s).2022.” Please email your materials to Dr. Julie Shayne at jshayne@uw.edu AND Dr. Alka Kurian at alkak@uw.edu. Winners will be announced and celebrated at our annual end of the year event: Thurs May 19, 2022 1:30-3:00 pm, on the plaza. Don’t forget to save the date!

Questions about the award?

Contact Dr. Julie Shayne at jshayne@uw.edu. You can learn more about GWSS online, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and snapchat @gwsssuwb.


Faculty

Allied Faculty outside of IAS

Nursing & Health Studies

Educational Studies

Academic Advisor

Research Librarian

Student Representatives

  • Audriannah Horne
  • Henry Nguyen

Recommended preparation

Interested in exploring this major, but not ready to commit? Consider taking one of the below courses! Any of these selections will help familiarize you with the academic program and prepare you for advanced coursework in the major.

  • BIS 221 Gender and Sexuality
  • BIS 222 Introduction to Human Sexuality
  • BIS 224 Introduction to Feminist Studies 
  • BIS 227 Rad Women in the Global South

A. GWSS Core Courses (GWSS:CORE) - 10 credits

All students will be required to take 10 credits of core courses from the options below:

  • BISGWS 301 Critical Gender and Sexuality Studies (5 credits)
  • BISGWS 302 Histories and Movements of Gender and Sexuality (5 credits) or BISGWS 303 Approaches to Feminist Inquiry (5 credits)

**GWSS faculty HIGHLY recommend students take both BISGWS 302 & 303. If a student completes both BISGWS 302 and BISGWS 303, 5 credits from these courses can be applied toward the student's GWSS coursework requirement.**

B. GWSS Coursework (GWSS) - 30 credits

GWSS coursework must either focus on gender, women and sexuality studies histories, themes, and experience and/or use theoretical frameworks and methods grounded in gender, women, and sexualtiy studies approaches.

  • BIS 219 The Politics of Sex Education
  • BIS 221 Gender and Sexuality
  • BIS 222 Introduction to Human Sexuality (formerly offered under BIS 316)
  • BIS 224 Introduction to Feminist Studies
  • BIS 227 Rad Women in the Global South
  • BIS 307 Environmental Justice
  • BIS 310 Women, Culture & Development
  • BIS 324 Gender, Human Rights, and Global Cinema (formerly offered under BIS 339)
  • BIS 368 Women's Lives in Context
  • BIS 387 Women and American Literature
  • BIS 431 Issues in Sexual Politics and Cultures
  • BIS 433 Gender, Work and Family
  • BIS 436 Comparative Family Systems
  • BIS 455 Literature and Sexuality
  • BIS 471 Women in Art
  • BIS 486 Studies in Women and Literature
  • BISSTA 331 The Family in U.S. Society
  • BISSTS 420 Race, Gender, Science and Medicine (formerly offered under BISSTS 497)

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Curriculum

Major = 40 credits
In addition to the 10 credits of core classes, students will complete a minimum of 30 credits in GWSS elective coursework. A minimum of 15 of these credits must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) Level.

Minor = 25 credits
In addition to the 5 credits of the core class (BISGWS 301) students will take 20 credits in GWSS courses. A minimum of 10 of these credits must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) Level.

Core Courses

BISGWS 301 Critical Gender and Sexuality Studies (5 credits)

Catalog description: Explores how sex, gender and sexuality studies has emerged. Examines intersections of gender and sexuality with race, ethnicity, dis/ability, class and nation in order to understand the key terms guiding inquiry in gender and sexuality studies.

BISGWS 302 Histories and Movements of Gender and Sexuality (5credits)

Catalog description: Studies a variety of women's, feminist, and gender and sexuality justice movements around the world. Topics may include: women in armed revolutionary movements; queer activism; embodied protests; civil rights and anti-racism movements; labor activism; and feminist movements.

BISGWS 303 Approaches to Feminist Inquiry (5 credits)

Catalog description: Explores approaches to knowledge (epistemologies) and investigative practices (methodologies) that shape the kinds of questions that feminist scholars bring to social phenomena. In this class we chart key developments in and trajectories of feminist interventions through a range of disciplinary sites.

Electives

GWSS elective courses must either focus on gender, women and sexuality studies histories, themes, and experiences and/or use theoretical frameworks and methods grounded in gender, women, and sexuality studies approaches.

An illustrative list of possible elective courses:

  • BIS 219 The Politics of Sex Education
  • BIS 221 Gender and Sexuality
  • BIS 224 Introduction to Feminist Studies
  • BIS 310 Women, Culture & Development
  • BIS 339 Gender, Human Rights, and Global Cinema
  • BIS 368 Women’s Lives in Context
  • BIS 369 Women Across Cultures
  • BIS 387 Women and American Literature
  • BIS 418 Masculinity, Homoeroticism & Queer Theory in America
  • BIS 431 Issues in Sexual Politics and Cultures
  • BIS 433 Gender, Work and Family
  • BIS 436 Comparative Family Systems
  • BIS 455 Literature and Sexuality
  • BIS 463 U.S. Women’s History
  • BIS 471 Women in Art
  • BIS 486 Studies in Women and Literature
  • BISGWS 302 History and Movements of Gender and Sexuality (if not used for the Core requirement)
  • BISGWS 303 Approaches to Feminist Inquiry (if not used for the Core requirement)
  • BISSTA 331 The Family in U.S. Society

Possible elective courses from other UW Bothell schools include:

  • B EDUC 461 Educational Implications of Gender Inequality
  • BHLTH 455 Women, Culture, and Healing
  • CSS 205 Women in STEM Seminar: College Life
  • CSS 405 Women in STEM Seminar: Career/Professional Life

GWSS Special Topics Courses

GWSS coursework includes the following approved topics courses.

  • BIS 322 Topics in Performance Studies
    • Performing Race and Gender on Film
  • BIS 341 Topics in the Study of Culture
    • Race, Gender and Sexuality in Museum Archives
  • BIS 351 Topics in American Culture
    • Women in Film
  • BIS 387 Women and American Literature
    • American Women Writers and the Question of Coalition
  • BIS 464 Topics in Advanced Cinema Studies
    • Queer & Trans Cinema
  • BIS 480 International Study Abroad
    • Gender, Media and Human Rights in India
  • BIS 490 Advanced Seminar
    • The Power of Feminist Writing
    • The History and Politics of HIV/AIDS
    • Memory Work and Cultural Production in Diaspora
    • Gender and the Politics of Numbers
    • Regulating Sexuality-Activism Policy and Everyday Life
    • Gender, Law & Policy
    • Women, Race, and Class
    • Hollywood Cinema, Gender and Sexuality
    • Commercial Sex Work, Sexual Health, and Global Human Rights
    • Theory and Practice of Queer and Trans Media
    • Culture and Resistance in the Americas
    • Sex Work, Human Trafficking, and Social Justice
    • Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Science Fiction
    • Gender Violence, Policing and the Law
    • Participatory Action Research to Address Sexual and Relationship Violence @ UWB

GWSS Courses Taught by Other Schools

GWSS courses from other UW Bothell Schools include the following.

  • B EDUC 461 Educational Implications of Gender Inequality
  • B HLTH  223 Feminist Approaches to Women's Health
  • B HLTH  420 Women's Global Health and Human Rights
  • BST 205 Women in STEM 
  • CSS 205 Women in STEM Seminar: College Life
  • CSS 405 Women in STEM Seminar: Career/Professional Life

Tips for preparing for graduate school in GWSS and related fields:

  • Get involved in the campus GWSS community, including but not limited to attending films, guest speakers, the Gender Equity Club, student government, etc.
  • Discuss graduate options with faculty as soon as you start considering graduate school.
  • Save your coursework in your portfolio, and begin thinking about the portfolio in relation to your career interests and/or goals.
  • Develop good relationships with faculty whose work you admire. These relationships are important for your intellectual development, and beneficial should you require letters of recommendation.
  • Inquire about internship and research opportunities with faculty and/or Career Services.

black board that says I am an unafraid educator with and for undocumented students! #educatorsout #uwddeepQuestions? 

Contact Professor Julie Shayne, faculty coordinator of GWSS at jshayne@uw.edu

 

http://unitedwedream.org

 

 

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