North Central College - Naperville, IL

Gender and Women's Studies Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

GWS 100 Introduction to Sex, Gender, and Sexuality (3.00)
Gender as practice, performance, and representation has differed for women and men according to race, class, and other divisions throughout time. This interdisciplinary course places critical focus on gender, or the cultural invention and representation of femininity and masculinity. Lectures and discussions examine areas such as: appearance, health, relationships, birth control, and pornography; access to political institutions and power; gender in the workplace; sexuality and sexual orientation; gender representation in popular culture; the impact of women's perspectives on research, knowledge, history, and other cultural institutions; feminisms and cultural politics. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

GWS 220 Family and Intimate Relationships (3.00)
The sociological study of the family and other intimate relationships. Topics examined from a sociological and feminist perspective include the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, the changing definition of the family and the impact of class, race and gender on the family structure. Same as: SOA 220. Core: Social Science.

GWS 230 Gender in the Judeo-Christian Tradition (3.00)
The study of how gender affects religious practices, beliefs, and experiences in Christianity and Judaism. Same as: REL 230. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

GWS 235 Sexuality and Christianity (3.00)
An examination of contemporary Christianity approaches to sexuality in a dialogue with secular philosophies of sexuality. Same as: REL 235. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

GWS 250 U.S. Women's History (3.00)
A survey of American women's history from colonial times to the present. An examination of women's legal and political status, educational and occupational opportunities, family relations, and health with special attention on how and why lives and experiences of women have changed over time. An exploration of the history that women share as a group as well as differences among specific groups of women. Same as: HST 250. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

GWS 280 Women and Literature (3.00)
An examination of the broad spectrum of women's writing-across time, cultures and genres-studying the literary and political significance of the female voice in creative and critical texts. Through an exploration of texts which may include the poems of Sappho, the speeches of Queen Elizabeth I, the plays of Lillian Hellman, the novels of Toni Morrison, the films of Kathryn Bigelow, the theoretical writings of Luce Irigaray, students will also delve into the ways that literature provides a space to interrogate the intersections between gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability/disability and class. Same as: ENG 280. Core: Humanities.

GWS 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

GWS 301 Human Sexuality: A Clash of Values (3.00)
In traditional topics in human sexuality (e.g., natural essence of sexuality, reproductive biology, sex research, marriage and other arrangements, reproductive tissues) there is a clash of values both within a culture and between cultures. This course includes such controversial issues as religious perspectives, pornography, the media, prostitution, and female circumcision. The latter components serve to explore problems that result from the clash of values. Same as: BIO 300. ACR: Intercultural.

GWS 312 Women and American Politics (3.00)
Study of women as citizens, candidates, and office holders within the American political system. Topics include, but are not limited to, social movements, electoral politics, and interest group activities. Same as: PSC 312. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

GWS 315 Sociology of Gender and Sexualities (3.00)
The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism. Same as: SOA 315.

GWS 350 Gender and World Religions (3.00)
An analysis of feminist thought in non-Western religious traditions. The course discusses women's redefinition of traditional concepts, rituals, and practices in a number of religious traditions across the globe. Same as: REL 350. ACR: Religion & Ethics; ACR: Intercultural.

GWS 370 Feminisms (3.00)
A rigorous study of theories and histories of multiple intellectual and activist movements categorized under the term feminisms. The course examines feminisms not just as scholarly modes of inquiry but as activist leadership methodologies.

GWS 375 Theories of Gender and Sexuality (3.00)
A rigorous study that draws on the academic field of queer theory to consider gender and sexuality as constructed categories with powerful material consequences. The course also grapples with a) the question of what it means to be an ally to oppressed populations and b) controversies about the notion of a relationship between biology, genders, and sexualities. The course includes a signification comparative element, considering theories of gender and sexuality across cultural and national borders.

GWS 389 Gender and the Mass Media (3.00)
The critical analysis of the complex relations between gender and the mass media. Special emphasis is placed on the social construction of gender, representations of the body, and the cultural significance of the media. Same as: SPC 389.

GWS 390 Intercultural Seminar in Gender and Women's Studies (3.00)
Specialized topics considered from a global, international, and/or multicultural position, through the lens of gender and women's studies. Content defined by the individual instructor. ACR: Intercultural.

GWS 395 Leadership, Ethics, and Values Seminar in Gender and Women's Studies (3.00)
Specialized topics exploring the concepts of leadership, ethics, and values through the lens of gender and women's studies. Content defined by the individual instructor. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

GWS 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

GWS 490 Seminar (3.00)
Advanced study of an interdisciplinary subject within a seminar format. Content varies from year to year.

GWS 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

GWS 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.