WGS 390:

Foundations I:
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

Instructor: Katherine Arens
Dept. of Germanic Studies
E.P. Schoch 3.128; 1-4123
Course: Unique # 47245 TTH 12:30-2:00. MEZ 1.122

Class Documents

Class Links

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the settings and practices determining of Women's and Gender studies in US contexts, and at the University of Texas at Austin.

We will start the course by tracing the history of various, mostly Western, feminisms, as they led to the current situation for WGS in higher education and research. The purpose of this survey is to show how post-World-War-II feminisms and gender studies remain strongly marked by history and conditioned by larger political and social movements. This survey sets up where the "third generation" of WGS inside and outside of US higher education sets in (to follow up on 60s activists and 70s-80s trained WGS academics).

After that, we will move to situating the positions of yourself as professionals and your projects within and outside of the academy. The positions that you discover will require you to identify not only a set of resources and institutions with which you need to be familiar, but also a set of production skills that you'll need to make an impact or be effective in your engagement. To that end, you'll be introduced to what resources are available at UT, to research skills you'll need, and to unique library resources.

The final major section of the course will be devoted to an introduction to WGS theory -- specifically, to the roots of modern theory in several nineteenth-century, and then to the interdisciplinary uses characterizing today's canon of WGS research and activisms.

Assignments will be done in stages and shared on BlackBoard to build a community of labor and to have you pool resources. Grades will be accessible from EGradebook.

Books are ordered, and on reserve (as indicated on the book list).