Towson University Women's Studies

Fall 2010 Course Offerings–Undergraduate
July 14, 2010, 12:08 pm
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This fall, we are offering the following undergraduate coures.

Women in Perspective–An examination of the status of women and women’s attempts to achieve economic, legal and social equality and physical integrity in the past and today with an emphasis on U.S. women. The focus is on both the commonalities and the diversity of women’s experience. Topics covered include marriage, motherhood, education, jobs and sexuality, with attention to race and class.

International Perspectives on Women–Interdisciplinary examination of women’s status and activism worldwide, including regional and local comparisons. Roles of governments and international organizations in shaping women’s experiences.

American Women and Popular Culture–Interdisciplinary examination of representations of women, femininity, and masculinity in contemporary American popular culture, using gender to apply critical analysis to film, literature, television, and music, including diverse responses of feminist artists and alternative media. This course will provide students with the critical tools to study women and gender in contemporary American culture by focusing on both heavily marketed, commercial products (television shows, movies, and the music industry) and alternate, less commercial popular culture forms (alternate music, “indie” films, activist art, exceptional television women, “chick lit,” and feminist magazines and “zines”).

Women’s Words, Women’s Lives–Practice in and study of expository writing about women. Readings include fiction, biographies, autobiographies, letters and journals; student writing will focus on such topics as women’s roles, relationships and actions.

Feminist Theory–An examination of the variety of perspectives, theories, debates, and controversies within feminist thought and practice including global activist movements

Reproductive Technologies and the Future of Motherhood–Reproductive science and contraceptive technologies affecting contemporary society, focusing on ethical and legal issues, and changing definitions of motherhood

Masculinities in Perspective–Examines the social construction of masculinities in the United States. Topics include men at work, male sexuality, men and violence, pornography, significant relationships, fatherhood and family life, pop culture, male centered social movements and changes over the lifecycle. Special attention will be paid to race, class, sexuality, age and other differences.

B-More: Baltimore and Urban Communities–In this course, we will analyze the several significant political, economic and cultural issues facing Baltimore and other urban communities. The central focus of this course will be on poverty, discrimination, economic development, and the criminal justice system—with special attention paid to gender, race, class, and youth.

PHIL 270–Philosophy and the Sea–Interested in sailing and the sea? This course consists in an exploration of the relationship between the human self and nature in the context of philosophical discussions utilizing metaphorical concepts of the sea. We will read “Sea Stories” from a variety of authors spanning multiple disciplines in literature, women’s studies, race and ethnic studies, environmental ethics, history, and critical maritime studies to supplement our understanding of the philosophical implications the sea has historically represented in human imagination. Students may have a chance to sail in the Inner Harbor as part of the course. This is a service learning course and students have the opportunity to participate in civic engagement relationships with organizations around the Baltimore port community.

PSYC 470–Social Stigma–This course is an upper-level special topics seminar on Social Stigma. Stigma refers to a quality or attribute which damages or devalues a person’s character in a particular situation or context (Goffman, 1963). To this end, a stigmatizing trait in one context may not carry any stigma in another context. Some stigmatizing qualities include age, race, gender sexual orientation, size, handicap status, HIV status, and physical defect. Research in this area primarily focuses on the experiences of those who are stigmatized, so that will be our approach as well. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss evolutionary explanations for why people stigmatize others, we will differentiate between stigmas that are controllable/uncontrollable and concealable/unconcealable, we will learn about the (surprising) relationship between stigma and self-esteem, we will discuss health and achievement outcomes for members of stigmatized groups, and explore the special nature of interactions between stigmatized and non-stigmatized people. All of this will happen in a discussion (rather than lecture) format. As such, an important aspect of this class is that students are prepared each week by reading and critically analyzing the assigned readings prior to coming to class.


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