Department of Women’s Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2015-2016 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Chair: Claire L. Sahlin, Cornaro Professor

Location: HDB 307
Telephone: 940-898-2119
Fax: 940-898-2101

The Department of Women’s Studies offers an undergraduate minor, a concentration area for the Bachelor of General Studies degree, a Master of Arts degree, a Graduate Certificate, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

An interdisciplinary, cross-cultural field of study, Women’s Studies promotes understanding of the diversity of women’s lives as they are intersected by race, ethnicity, nationality, age, class, sexuality, religion, and disability. Women’s Studies also uses multiple critical lenses to expand and question existing modes of knowledge and power. It provides a curriculum grounded in diverse feminist theories, methodologies, and ethics; promotes interdisciplinary scholarly endeavors; and seeks to prepare leaders with skills for negotiating change in academic and community settings.

At the graduate level, the Department offers the only freestanding Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region and the only Ph.D. degree in Women’s Studies in Texas. (For further information, see the Graduate Catalog and visit the Department’s web site: ).

Minor in Women's Studies

The women's studies minor enables students to integrate diverse perspectives and combine a traditional major with a multidisciplinary exploration of women and gender, as they intersect with class, "race," ethnicity, culture, region, religion, and sexuality. The minor is based on an interdisciplinary approach with courses offered in a variety of disciplines. Minors are required to take:

Semester Credit Hours Required (18 SCH)
Gender and Social Change: An Introduction to Multicultural-Women's Studies
U.S. Women of Colors
Feminist Theory
3 other Women's Studies courses of their choice

See the Undergraduate Program page on the Women's Studies website for further information on guidelines and contact information.


WS 2013. Gender and Social Change: An Introduction to Multicultural-Women's Studies. Introduction to multicultural-women's studies as an interdisciplinary field and how gender, "race," class, nationality, sexuality, disability, and other identity categories shape human experiences. Examination of social institutions, norms, and practices for their impact on the status and roles of women; visions and strategies for social transformation. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 2033. Womanist Spiritual Activism: Social Justice Theories for Wellness and Transformation. Introduction to interrelated roles of spiritual practice, imagination, and creativity in personal well-being and struggles for social justice. Multicultural, indigenous, and womanist approaches to wellness and social change. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 2053. Women and Minorities in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science. Examines reasons why women and minorities are traditionally under-represented in the areas of engineering, mathematics, and science and includes strategies for increasing their representation. Introduction to problem-solving strategies, useful for any discipline, which emphasize solutions incorporating both current and emerging technologies. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 2383. Gendered Images in Dance and Performance. Survey of the development of gendered images in various dance genres and events embedded in U.S. culture and how movement expression inscribes markers of identity such as gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality in their inscription on the body in performance. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 2393. Introduction to Literature by Women. Introduction to important works of literature by women. May be organized by theme, topic, genre, ethnic group, or nationality. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 2703. Gender and Education. An interdisciplinary examination of the relationship between gender and education in the U.S. Explores how gender relationships are created, maintained, enacted, and transformed through educational structures, practices, and institutions. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 2803. Women in Business. The study of the status and roles of women working both inside and outside the domestic workforce. Examines myths and realities of women's experiences across various socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and cultural groupings. Surveys advances made by women in the workforce and coping techniques developed by practitioners to enable women to be valued in terms of professional competencies rather than gender stereotypes. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3023. U.S. Women of Colors. Multidisciplinary, relational explorations of the histories, theories, cultures, and lives of U.S. women from a wide variety of ethnic/cultural backgrounds. Themes of agency, survival, resistance, and transformation. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3063. Women in Politics. Impact of gender on power and influence in society; political socialization, participation, and leadership of women; women's political issues and movements. Prerequisite: Three hours of government or consent of instructor. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3073. Literature by Women. Advanced examination of literature by women. Organized by theme, topic, or genre. Prerequisite: 9 hours of English. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3083. Ethics and Feminism. A comprehensive study of the literature, principles, and linguistic impact of contemporary ethics with special emphasis on the origins, authors, and audiences related to feminist philosophy. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3163. The Evolving Woman. Emphasizes the physiological, psychological, socio-cultural, and developmental evolution of the female from conception to death. Focuses on issues of each age group from a feminist perspective. Prerequisites: ZOOL 2011, ZOOL 2013, ZOOL 2021, and ZOOL 2023. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3193. Women and Western Religions. Women's religious roles and contributions to religious traditions with emphasis on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; interconnections between religion and gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and culture; and feminist/womanist critiques and transformations of Western religious traditions. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3213. Woman's Roles. Women's roles are examined in the context of social institutions such as the family, the economy, and the government. Implications of sexual inequality, changing gender roles, and diversity by race, ethnicity, class, and age. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3223. Women, Crime, and Justice. Introduction to gender, crime, and justice. Focus on women as offenders, as crime victims, and as employees in criminal justice. Feminist and critical perspectives on women, girls, and crime. Issues of gender inequality in criminal justice policy and practice. Prerequisite: SOCI 1013, SOCI 3213 or WS 3213, WS 2013, or WS 3023. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3343. Women in the Visual Arts. A survey of women visual artists of the western world and how their roles relate to those of women visual artists around the world. An analysis, from a traditional and a feminist point of view, of the recording of the female artist's place in history. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3393. Law for Women. Impact of gender on legal status; evolution of the current legal environment, with an emphasis on parallels between racial and gender discrimination; substantive law regarding working conditions, compensation, education, the family, reproductive rights, and criminal law; feminist perspectives on legal reforms to improve the professional and personal lives of women and men. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3703. Women in Music. An examination of music from the historical, cultural, and contemporary perspectives of women. Topics will include women as composers and performers, and the cultural values that have affected women's participation in musical life. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 3733. Psychology of Women. Issues in the development and behavior of women, including theoretical perspectives, male-female differences, achievement, motivation, stereotypes, androgyny, sexuality, career choices, mental health and disorder, psychotherapy, life-span, and special sub-groups. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 4013. Texts, Trends, and Issues in Women's Studies. Focuses on contemporary women's issues, a body of research or scholarly work relevant to women or topics of a specialized nature such as women and health, women and leadership, women and work, or women of color. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 4023. Sexualities and Identities: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. Sexuality as an identity formation, social category, and theoretical construct. Interdisciplinary in focus and foundation. Aesthetic, cultural, historical, and institutional discourses that frame our contemporary understandings of sexuality. Three lecture hours. Credit: Three hours.

WS 4113. The Family. A sociological and feminist analysis of the family as an institution and of the processes and dynamics of the interpersonal relations of marriage and family life. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 4203. Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Examines the various forms of family violence and sexual assault with an emphasis on women as victims and as survivors. Theoretical explanations, research literature, treatment, and prevention will be studied in relation to child abuse, battering, incest, and sexual assault. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 4493. Feminist Theory. Explores the diversity of feminist theories and their applications to the social, political, and intellectual contexts of women's lives. Includes consideration of historical context for the development of the theoretical perspectives and critiques their analytical strengths and weaknesses. Attention also given to particular theorists. Prerequisite: WS 2013. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 4913. Independent Study. Individual study of topics in feminist theory, scholarship, or practical areas consistent with student interests and needs. Contract between student and professor expected. Prerequisite: Minor in Women's Studies and instructor's approval. Credit: Three hours.


KEATING, ANALOUISE, Professor of Women's Studies. B.A., Wheaton College; M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago.
KESSLER, MARK, Professor of Women's Studies. B.A., University of Pittsburgh; M.A., Pennsylvania State University; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University.
SAHLIN, CLAIRE L., Cornaro Professor of Women’s Studies; Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies. B.A., Bethel College : St. Paul, Minnesota; M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School; M.A., Harvard University; Ph.D., Harvard University.

Assistant Professors

BEINS, AGATHA, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies. B.A., Carleton College; M.A., University of Arizona; M.F.A., Eastern Washington University; Ph.D., Rutgers University.
PHILLIPS, DANIELLE, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies. B.A., Spelman College; Ph.D., Rutgers University.