Dr. Jamey Piland, Associate Professor of Communication (program chair)
Faculty representing diverse disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences collaborate with and contribute to the Women’s Studies program.
Trinity offers an interdisciplinary minor in women’s studies designed to support the academic life and scholarship of both students and faculty as they investigate and research the status of women in every field of academic inquiry.
The discipline of women’s studies was founded upon the integration of intellectual inquiry and social practice. Students in the program are strongly urged to combine feminist theory with practical applications of their scholarship. The Women’s Studies Program strives for a broad and complex understanding of the female experience in a global context.
Trinity has been committed to the advancement of women since its founding. The university’s general education curriculum expresses this commitment and emphasizes the value of an interdisciplinary, collaborative education. Using cross-cultural and multi-racial perspectives, the Women’s Studies Program explores women’s lives, labor, and arts; it examines the politics of gender, and it studies the history of gender roles as well as representations of those roles in different media. Focusing on the interaction of class, race, gender, and sexuality, it analyzes the relations of power in various cultures, and it provides students with a basic structure of ideas, a framework for analyzing the fundamental shift in understanding arising from a systematic retrieval of history and from women’s changing awareness; the program also investigates strategies for social change.
The program offers a minor in women’s studies to students in the College of Arts and Sciences and supports all of Trinity’s undergraduate majors as well as individualized and interdisciplinary majors. Courses that meet general education requirements may also count toward the minor. The introductory course should be taken in the spring of the student’s second year or the fall of the third year.
The Women’s Studies curriculum offers students skills such as critical thinking, writing, research, and social activism. Students will find these skills are necessary for a wide range of academic disciplines. A minor in Women’s Studies prepares students for careers in many fields, including research, policy, government and nonprofit agencies, publishing, international affairs, education, and advocacy.
Required Courses (6 credits)
BOTH of the following courses:
WST 240 Introduction to Women's StudiesProvides a basic structure of ideas for examining questions of gender differences in history, culture, and contemporary society. Students learn central concepts and research methods in women's studies and use them to examine such topics as family, religion, work, gender, sexuality, and social change.
WST 440 Senior Seminar in Women's StudiesCreates a synthesis of the student's studies in the field and deepens skills in women's studies research, critically presenting, analyzing, and assessing concepts, methods, and data. The topics reflect the most current research in the field. Students take a central role in conducting the seminar, and each one is responsible for an independent research project.
Prerequisite: WST 240
Elective Courses (12 credits)
TWO courses chosen from among:
WST 250 Women in Popular CultureExplores the cultural images and realities of contemporary women and their lives. Print, film, television, short fiction, and artifact will be used to document cultural rates.
Gen Ed Area: Capstone
WST 301 Women, Peacemaking, and NonviolenceConsiders the theoretical foundations of non-violence and explores the application of these principles with reference to the experiences and history of women.
Approved for General Education Capstone.
WST 368 Women and LeadershipExplores women's leadership issues at the intersection of race, class, and gender. Key themes include the relational aspects of leadership, authenticity, identity and power, and the voice of leadership.
General Education Applications Area: Leadership
WST 369 Women and Community ChangeExplores women's roles in U.S. history from the perspectives of women activists. Examines women's impact on social, political, and cultural change in the U.S. including movements for economic justice, race relations, sexual identity, peace, gender equality, public health, and social welfare. Formerly WST 369 Women and Community Change
General Education: Leadership
WST 400 Internship in Women's StudiesRequires students to perform nine hours of volunteer work each week in an internship in advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and federal or D.C. government agencies that advance women's interests. Studies include required readings, journal writing, construction of an ethnography, and compiling and annotating a bibliography.
Prerequisite: WST 240
TWO courses chosen from among:
COM 388 Gender and CommunicationExplores theory and methods for examining communication and gender roles. Topics include gendered communication, gender and media, family communication, gendered violence, gender and education, and gender and institutions.
Gen Education: Capstone Seminar
COM 450 Women In OrganizationsFocuses on the dynamic relationship among gender, power, race, sexuality and class in women's organizational lives. Provides an in-depth exploration of critical feminist theory and research in organizational communication. Emphasis is on the perspectives of diverse women in multiple contexts. Topics include Women in Leadership, Sexual Harassment and Feminist Organizational Theory.
General Education: Leadership
ECON 223 Women in the EconomyApplies the theory of the household and investment in human resources to female labor force participation, marriage, family formation, sex discrimination, women's education choices, and government policies affecting the economic status of women. Formerly ECO 375 Women in the Economy.
Prerequisites: ECON 101 and ECON 102 or permission of the instructor
FLC Area V
ENGL 277 Women Warriors in Film and FictionExamines representations of the figure of the female warrior, from the Amazons to G.I. Jane, in fiction, film, drama, and television. Formerly ENG 218 Women Warriors in Film and Fiction.
ENGL 371 Women in FictionStudies the representation of women in fiction by women writers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Formerly ENG 362 Women in Fiction.
ENGL 373 African American Women WritersExamines the history and images of African Americans, especially women, in selected works by African American women writers ranging from Zora Neale Hurston to Toni Morrison. Formerly ENG 363 African American Women Writers.
ENGL 377 Women in Contemporary American FilmExamines the stereotypical images of women in contemporary American film, including images of the Madonna, the temptress, the witch, and the virgin. Formerly ENG 365 Women in Contemporary American Film.
ENGL 378 African American Women in FilmConsiders the images of African Americans presented in film and especially in the work of African American actors, directors, screenwriters, and producers. Formerly ENG 369 African American Women in Film.
ENGL 434 Jane Austen and Her InfluenceAnalyzes the novels of Jane Austen and adaptations of her works,to evaluate the ways in which Austen has contributed to and influenced the evolution of the novel as a literary genre. Formerly ENG 347 Novels of Jane Austen.
Prerequisites: ENGL 389
ENGL 435 The Bronte SistersAnalyzes the novels of Anne Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, and Emily Bronte; their links to biography; and their exploration of women's lives and roles, with consideration of intertextuality as evidenced in the works of film directors, poets, and novelists which turn on the Bronte sisters themselves and their works, such as Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. Formerly ENG 447 The Bronte Sisters.
ENGL 477 Seminar on Alice WalkerConsiders the literary works of Alice Walker. Formerly ENG 326 Seminar on Alice Walker.
FNAR 247 Women in Music HistoryExplores the history of women in music from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. The course includes reading in primary sources and study of recent research on women as performers, composers, publishers, producers, educators, and patronesses. Students explore both recorded and live performances of music by women. Formerly MUS 252 Women in Music History.
General Education: Knowledge and Inquiry Area
FLC Area II
FNAR 321 Women ArtistsExamines the history of women in the arts from the Middle Ages to the present day and the social conditions which influenced their art. Artists included are: A. Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Georgia O'Keeffe, Judy Chicago and others.
General Education Capstone Seminar
HIS 344A African American Women's HistoryExplores the history of African American Women from the years of slavery to the present, emphasizing their influence in the creation of African American culture. Topics include the experience of African American women as workers, as individuals in their communities, as intellectuals, and as leaders in reform movements and political organizations.
HIS 393 Women in US History to 1900Explores women's experience in United States culture from the colonial period to 1900. Topics include the diversity of women's cultures and the impact of this diversity on family, work, and socialization; women's legal and political standing; and the conflicts among women exemplified in religious, ethnic, class and racial difference.
HUMR 301 Seminar: Perspectives on GenderApproaches the concept of gender from the standpoints of psychology and sociology. Specifically, the topics of socialization, language and communication, sexuality and the media, and work and the family will be addressed in an interdisciplinary fashion. Emphasis will be placed on synthesis and integration, while applying course material to real-world events.
FLC Seminar II
General Education: Capstone
Prerequisites PSYC 101 and SOCY 100
PHIL 237 Women and PhilosophyPresents a theoretical framework for examining the significance of gendered perspectives on history, culture, and contemporary society and examines the philosophical voice of woman in the classical, medieval, and modern accounts of human nature.
POLS 211 Women and the LawExamines Supreme Court rulings, as well as federal and state statutes and court decisions affecting women. Topics include women and employment, sexual harassment, and legal issues involving pregnancy and privacy rights. Formerly PSC 328 Women and the Law.
General Education Curriculum: Knowledge and Inquiry Area
FLC Area V
POLS 299 Honors Seminar: The Political Lives of WomenExplores the interaction of women and the political system through a variety of life story forms, including biographical and autobiographical writing and film. Particular focus is placed on the cultural, ethical, and gender contexts of women's political lives. Formerly PSC 310 The Political Lives of Women.
FLC Area V
Prerequisites: Admission to the Honors Program and POLS 120 or higher level political science course
PSYC 161 Women: Developmental and Multicultural PerspectivesEmphasizes the experiences of women in theories and research which provide a framework for examining adult development. An interdisciplinary and multicultural approach is used which stresses the interrelatedness of psychological, sociocultural, and biological factors in human growth. Central issues of identity, interpersonal relationships, productivity, gender roles, self-concept, and adaptation to transition are explored. Formerly PSY 241 Women: Developmental and Multicultural Perspectives
FLC Area V
PSYC 261 Psychology of Gender RolesStudies theories and relevant research on the development of gender roles and the impact of gender roles on self-impression formation, achievement, interpersonal relations, and sexuality. Other topics include an analysis of gender stereotyping, the influence of biology, the concept of androgyny, and the reciprocal qualities of gender roles. Formerly PSY 205 Psychology of Gender Roles.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or permission of instructor
SOCY 333 Women and the Developing WorldExamines insights that the feminist perspective brings to the issues of development, challenging the assumption that "integrating women into development" will solve problems caused by plans and policies that neglect women. This course is meant to be a guide to recent thinking and literature about women and development, and to the feminist critique of these. The course focuses on multinationals, rural development, and food production, including appropriate technology and income generation, health, migration, education, and communication. Formerly SOC 310 Women and Third World Development.
Prerequisite: SOCY 100.
SOCY 341 Women, Men, and Complex OrganizationsDevelops the student's understanding of sex and gender as organizational variables: the ways in which the structure and processes of organization reflect power relations that are interlaced with dominant forms of gender relations. Attention is given to a broad range of personal, social, and organizational influences that shape gender identity and behavior and the way in which gender behavior affects organizational behavior. Formerly SOC 368 Women, Men, and Complex Organizations.
* Other courses may be approved by the Program Chair. The Women’s Studies Program usually publishes a list of approved courses offered each semester.
Credits earned through AP examinations do not fulfill requirements of the minor.
Credits earned through CLEP examinations do not fulfill requirements of the minor.
Grades in Required Courses:
Students are required to earn a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in all courses counted to fulfill requirements for the minor.
With the exception of internships, courses fulfilling minor requirements may not be taken pass/no pass.
In order to complete a minor in women’s studies, students must take WST 440 Senior Seminar in Women's StudiesCreates a synthesis of the student's studies in the field and deepens skills in women's studies research, critically presenting, analyzing, and assessing concepts, methods, and data. The topics reflect the most current research in the field. Students take a central role in conducting the seminar, and each one is responsible for an independent research project.
Prerequisite: WST 240 that includes a comprehensive assessment.
Students may meet minor requirements with courses taken during study abroad.
The Women’s Studies Program supports and encourages Trinity’s TELL Program. Students applying for experiential learning credit should consult with the program faculty.
Transfer credit from appropriately accredited institutions of higher learning may be counted for minor requirements, dependent on program review and approval. Associations recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEA) confer appropriate accreditation; these associations include but are not limited to regional accreditors.