Gender issues are at the forefront of global attention today, and it’s time for GMC to join the conversation. In the wake of the #metoo movement, attention to LGBTQ rights, and an increase of historically marginalized voices being heard, it is clear that we are witnesses to a cultural shift related to gender.
This 12-week Fall Session block course is a student and faculty collaboration; a collection of courses with the shared vision of finding empowerment through understanding what it means to live in a world in which gender is seen as an integral part of personal identity. We will dive deep into the ways in which gender may shape our own sense of self, and use that understanding to both define and discover radical personal empowerment. We will examine current power dynamics in leadership and relationships, how perceptions of gender roles influence the way we communicate, and the ways in which gender is socially constructed. Students completing this block course will earn 9 credits towards the Women and Gender Studies minor.
About Block Courses
Each class in this block course is an extension of an overarching common theme, an avenue to understanding a central topic from several different perspectives and disciplines. A block course is an innovative approach to learning that requires students to take all of the classes in the block together. This creates a cohesive classroom environment and allows for frequent trips off campus. Students will have the opportunity to travel around the New England area to meet with community members leading the way to gender equity. Students will be free to engage in projects that align with their own interests throughout the semester, and will work together to create a tangible final project that has a lasting impact on our community.
ST: Gender, Power and Justice
EDU 3001 02/WST 3015 01, 4 credits taught by Teresa Coker
Meeting Days/Times: MWF 9:30–10:30am, F 12:45–2:15pm
This four credit interdisciplinary course will study gender as a central aspect of human existence, providing the equivalent of a three credit course examining gender through an academic lens while also creating a community for inquiry about the impacts of gender practices on social, cultural, and political thought and behavior. Some topic include: gender and power structures; gender and leadership; feminism; masculinity; intersectionality; international gender issues; gender violence; and sexism. In addition there is embedded the equivalent of a one credit practicum to practice educating, advocating and working for social justice.
ST: Deconstructing Gender: Natural Kinds and Social Construction
PHI 3000 01/WST 3015 03, 3 credits taught by Susan Parrillo
Meeting Days/Times: MWF 10:45–11:45am
What are the differences between sex and gender? Do “natural kinds” exist with respect to gender? Or is gender merely a social construct? In this course, we will explore normative gender roles and expressions, how they are learned and instilled in our sense of identity, and in what ways they are thus perpetuated. By expanding our understanding of the interplay of sex and gender as a social construct, we open the door to authentic self-discovery, identity expression, and empowerment.
ST: Communication in Leadership, Relationship, and Intimacy
PSY 3015 02/WST 3015 04, 1 credit taught by Jennifer Sellers
W 12:45-2:45pm (9/26–10/31)
It is commonly held that men and women are inherently different, and therefore are ‘wired’ to communicate differently. But is this really true? Are “men” and “women” inherently different? And if so, where do these differences come from? In this class we will explore the roles that stereotypes and gender roles play in communication strategies and perceptions across a variety of domains such as sexual encounters, work settings and public life. A significant portion of the class will be focused on finding ways we can work towards finding solutions to problems associated with these socially prescribed differences in communication.
ST: Exploring Sacred Feminine and Masculine
REL 3000 02, 1 credit co-taught by Shirley Oskamp and Gary Lindorff
W 12:45–2:45 (11/7–12/19)
This course examines the presence of the sacred masculine and feminine both in cultures and within individuals. There is much that lies beyond the physical when we speak of feminine and masculine characteristics and qualities, and yet we rarely take time to explore these depths. This course aims to dive beneath the surface using story, metaphor, archetype and dreams to help us develop a deeper understanding of who we are and how we function within the masculine/feminine framework.