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 Women and Men in Society (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 210 Gender Studies (3.00)
The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions, and feminism. Same as: SOA 210.

GWS 220 Family (3.00)
The sociological study of the family. Topics examined from a structuralist/feminist perspective includes the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, and the impacts of class and race on 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. Prerequisite: One humanities or social science course. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

GWS 280 Introduction to Women's Literature (3.00)
A study of the kinds of works written by women historically and the way female experience is expressed: what the author wants to convey to her audience, and why she chooses the medium she does. Same as: ENG 280. Prerequisite: ENG 196. 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. Prerequisite: Junior standing. 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. Prerequisite: PSC 101, GWS 100, or LEV 121. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

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. Prerequisite: REL 100 or one course in non-Judeo-Christian tradition. ACR: Religion & Ethics; ACR: Intercultural.

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. Prerequisite: Junior standing or instructor consent.

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. Prerequisite: Junior standing. 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. Prerequisite: Junior standing. 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. Prerequisites: GWS 100, one 300- or 400-level course.

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

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