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EIU Women's Studies

Women's Studies Minor Program

The Women's Studies minor is an 18-hour interdisciplinary program. Each WST minor is required to take WST 2309G, WST 4309, and four approved electives.

WST 2309G
WST 4309

ANT 3960
ART 3685
CMN 3903
ECN 3873
EIU 4108G
EIU 4162G
ENG 3903
FCS 2831
HIS 3900
HIS 3901
HIS 4845/WST 4845
HST 3560
JOU 3970
PLS 3903
PSY 3720
SOC 3903
WST 2903
WST 3309
WST 4000
WST 4275
WST 4800

To view Women's Studies courses for Spring 2017, click here.

To view Women's Studies courses for Spring 2016, click here.


Core Courses

WST 2309G - Women, Men, and Culture (Offered spring and fall semesters)
What does it mean to be female? To be male? How are gender roles created? How have they varied over time and across cultures? These and other questions will be addressed. In addition, students will look at how gender is reflected in the way we communicate and the experiences we have with various social organizations and institutions. (Writing Intensive; Cultural Diversity Requirement)

WST 4309 - Feminist Theory (Offered spring semesters)
What are the Big Ideas in feminism? Who are the Great Feminist Thinkers? What is the relationship between feminist theory and feminist activism? This course addresses these questions through study of feminist theorizing, from early women’s writing for equality through contemporary theories like womanism, ecofeminism, queer theory, and Third Wave feminism. (Writing Intensive) Prerequisites & Notes: 9 semester hours in Women's Studies or permission of the instructor or Coordinator of Women’s Studies Program.

Approved Electives

ART 3685 - Women in Art
How many female artists can you name? How many famous images of naked women can you envision? Those questions drive this course. We study and evaluate the place of women in the history of art, both in their roles as subjects and as artists. We cover a broad historical spectrum, focusing in particular on the social conditions that contributed to attitudes about women in each era that led to the kind of subjects most commonly depicted and the success or failure of women in the profession.

CMN 3903 - Communication of Gender and Body
This course is an exploration of the ways in which identity categories, such as woman and man, feminine and masculine, homosexual and heterosexual, are constructed and maintained through public and popular discourses. In part, we will study the theoretical literatures in communication, feminism, poststructural, and queer theory that “trouble” supposedly static categories of gender.

ECN 3873 - Economics of Race and Gender
Exploration of the economic status of women and of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Surveys the historical role of women and minorities in the U.S. labor market including trends in labor force participation, occupational distribution, wage differentials, labor legislation, and discrimination. (Writing Intensive) Prerequisites & Notes: ECN 2802G or permission of the instructor.

EIU 4108G - The Changing World of Women
This course examines historical perspectives on a variety of women's issues. In a time of gender role flux, where roles are no longer clearly defined by sex, it is necessary to examine these changes and how they have impacted women and the world around them. (No majors are excluded. Writing Intensive) Prerequisites & Notes: Completion of 75 semester hours.

EIU 4162G - Women's Voices: Women in the Theatre
A discussion course that examines the contributions of women to the theatre and the effect those contributions have had on society in general. Attention will be given to the political/social concerns expressed in the dramatic literature. (Theatre majors and English majors are excluded. Writing Intensive) Prerequisites & Notes: Completion of 75 semester hours.

ENG 3903 Women, Literature, and Language
This course content will change depending upon the instructor; each instructor focuses the course according to her/his specialization. ENG 3903 may focus on roles of women in literature, on literature by women, or on women’s relation to language. (Writing Intensive)

FCS 2831 - Women in Contemporary Society
An interdisciplinary study of the emergence of women as a viable force in contemporary society. The course focuses on the following: historical and contemporary contributions of women to society; changing family, political, and business roles of women in contemporary society; status of women in education, health, religion, media, sexual relationships, and gender-based violence; and social, political, economic, and psychological concerns to women.

HIS 3900 - Women in American History
This course covers United States women’s history from pre-colonial times to the present. Historians have explored the varied nature of American women’s lives, and course readings will help students to construct a layered narrative of the diverse experiences of American women. We will begin with the colonial era and survey women’s history, considering the diversity of women’s experiences as well as the historiography of American women’s history, gender history, and feminist history. We will explore these experiences in detail by reading the words of people from the time periods under study to understand social, political, and economic views of women as well as women’s views of themselves. Beyond looking at change across time, we’ll consider how women’s lives differed even within the same time period. We will explore these and other questions through lecture, reading, discussion, document-analysis, and some viewing of media. Students will also have an opportunity to research a historical question of their own choosing, allowing them to focus in-depth on a topic we can only briefly explore in a survey or to pursue a research inquiry on a topic we do not cover in class. (Writing Intensive)

HIS 3901 – The Family in American History
Survey of the family as it developed within the context of American social, cultural, political, economic, and legal history, from colonial times to the present, with special attention to variations due to race, ethnicity, class, and region. (Writing Intensive)

HIS 4845/WST 4845 (cross-listed course) Women and Gender in Modern Europe
Explores the political, social, and cultural history of women and gender relations in Europe from 1789 to the present. HIS 4845 and WST 4845 are the same course; students may not take both. Cross-listed with WST 4845. (Writing Intensive) Juniors and seniors only.

HST 3560 - Women's Health
An examination of the biological and psychosocial dimensions of women's health; the relationship between women and the health care system, and the impact of cultural stereotyping on women's physical and emotional health. Prerequisites & Notes: HST 2000 and HST 3500 or consent of instructor.

JOU 3970 – Race, Gender, and the Media
This course investigates the role of the media in constructing, reinforcing, and/or challenging the notions of race, gender, and sexuality in the U.S. Students analyze issues relating to diversity representations in the media, media workforce, media history, media ownership, among other issues. Students will develop critical perspectives in creating and understanding media messages. Prerequisites & Notes: ENG 1002G.

PLS 3903 - Gender and Public Policy
This course offers an analysis of the policies affecting the relative status and rights of women and men with emphasis on Supreme Court decisions and national legislation designed to promote equality of the sexes. (Writing Intensive)

PSY 3720 - Psychology of Gender
Examines the biological, psychological, and social influences related to gender and how gender-related expectations interact with other cultural assumptions and stereotypes to affect experiences and behavior. Research and theories relevant to understanding gender are emphasized.

SOC 3903 - Gender Roles and Social Change
This course provides an understanding of gender as a social institution and how that institution functions in the United States and other countries. Students explore the dynamic ways gender has been defined and how those definitions affect the daily lives of women and men. The course is framed in the sociological study of sex and gender and current feminist research. With this lens, students examine the way gender affects the social institutions of family, education, work, and politics and what this means for social change. (Writing Intensive)

WST 2903 - Women, Gender, and Violence
This course fulfills State of Illinois training requirements (“40-hour training”) for work in Domestic Violence services and Sexual Assault services. Students will learn about:

  • Social, political, and historical contexts of gendered violence
  • Myths and realities of gendered violence
  • State and local policies
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Advocacy skills and practices, including medical and legal advocacy
  • Feminist activism to end gendered violence

At the conclusion of this course, students will have the opportunity to earn 40-hour training certificates in Domestic Violence and/or Sexual Assault services.

WST 2961 & WST 3961 (1-16 credits) – Study Abroad Elective
Study Abroad is ideal for students in the Women’s Studies minor because it allows you to see first-hand how these forces are at work in people’s lives and to learn from the strategies developed by scholars, activists, and empowered individuals in other nations to address inequity and social justice concerns. If you are a Women’s Studies minor, you probably already understand that you are a citizen of the world, that your life is connected to others’ lives through social and economic forces and through the earth itself and how we relate to it. When you study abroad, you will begin to understand these relationships in new and powerful ways. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor or Coordinator of Women’s Studies Program.

WST 3309 (1-3 credits) - Independent Study
Enrollment in WST 3309 requires approval of the WST Coordinator. Students participating in the Living History Project may enroll in WST 3309 for 1 credit, with permission of the WST Coordinator (use the same application form).

WST 4000 Special topics in Women’s Studies
This course content will change depending upon the instructor; each instructor focuses the course according to her/his specialization. Juniors and seniors only.

WST 4275 (1-12 credits) Internship
Enrollment in WST 4275 requires approval of the WST Coordinator.
WST offers internship opportunities. For more information, please contact the coordinator. Juniors and seniors only.

WST 4800 - Non-western Feminisms: Gender, Culture, and Nation In-depth study of major social concerns and theoretical issues raised in non-western feminist discourses by male and female writers from non-western countries. The course will explore the treatment of gender themes in relation to culture, class, race, and nationality. Prerequisites & Notes: WST 2309G or permission of the instructor or Coordinator of Women’s Studies Program. Juniors and seniors only.

WST 4845/HIS 4845 (cross-listed course) Women and Gender in Modern Europe
Explores the political, social, and cultural history of women and gender relations in Europe from 1789 to the present. HIS 4845 and WST 4845 are the same course; students may not take both. Cross-listed with HIS 4845. (Writing Intensive) Juniors and seniors only.

Other courses may be applied to minor with a waiver, only with permission of the WST Coordinator, if the instructor is a member of the WST Allied Faculty.

For a listing of Women's Studies courses offered in the Fall of 2015, click here.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Women’s Studies Program

3744 Coleman Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920- 3099

EIU FEM Meetings

Tuesdays @ 8pm in Paris Room, University Union

Women's Studies Program Meetings

1/23/17 2pm in the WRC
2/20/17 2pm in the WRC
4/10/17 2pm in the WRC
5/1/17 2pm in the WRC

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