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WGS 3559 Pleasure Activism

The history of white supremacy and the heteropatriarchy includes denying sexual pleasure of marginalized communities. A major benefit of pleasure is empowerment, which threatens dominant power structures and leads to restrictive practices and laws. This course focuses on queer activists, feminists of color, disabilities justice activists, and Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) writers who examine the connections between pleasure, oppression, & inner desires & needs—physical, mental, & emotional—as a part of fighting systemic oppression and enacting social change. We will use an intersectional lens to examine the history of sexual oppression and the use of pleasure as a form of empowerment and resistance. Such concepts as decolonization, deconstructing white sexual imperialism, sexual citizenship for people with disabilities, afrofuturism and queer joy will be addressed, along with exploring how music, artwork, podcasts, social media, and hashtag activism feed into pleasure politics and erotic justice.

WGS 3897 Gender Violence​ and Social Justice

This course encourages students to engage in critical thought about gender based violence in the United States and to examine the various approaches to and theories of prevention efforts. The structure of the course is divided into three parts. First, the meanings and nature of interpersonal and sexual violence will be established, including the effects of being the target of violence and the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/sexual orientation. Second, the course will focus on the historical meaning of prevention which focused on potential victims, such as the victim control model, risk reduction rhetoric, and self-defense classes. In addition, an analysis of the criminal justice system as a form of prevention will be addressed. The third section of the course will consist of exploring contemporary definitions of prevention and leading national programs focused on changing perpetrator behavior and cultural systems that support gender based violence. 

WGS 2700 Men and Masculinities

While it is true that what is understood as “masculine” has varied throughout time as well as across cultural contexts and distinct social groupings, it is equally true that, despite this variation, most historical periods, cultures, groups, etc. believe their own understandings of masculinity to be universal. This course deconstructs these belief systems. By the end of the course, students should be able to think critically about where men and masculinities have been, where they are going, and what this might mean more generally for gender relations and gender inequality. 

WGS 2600 Human Sexualities 

This course examines human sexuality from psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and historical perspectives. Topics include sexual research and theoretical perspectives, sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual health, intimacy, communication, patterns of sexual response and pleasure and sexual problems and therapies. Course also includes exploration of the development of sexuality and the intersections of other identities, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality and the law, sexual assault, and other social issues in sexuality. This course will focus on creating a safe environment for honest and authentic conversations about the issues.  Confidentiality and respect will be emphasized to create a community of trust. Students will learn about these issues of sexuality through discussion, experiential activities, film, readings, research, reflective writing and guest speakers.

WGS 4559 Global Perspectives on Men and Masculinities 

What is understood as “masculine” has varied throughout time as well as across cultural contexts and distinct social groupings, but in America we often focus primarily on dominant Western narratives about masculinity and how this impacts society. Such a focus ignores the evidence and research for a larger range of masculine constructs and the cultural flexibility in how masculinities exist. This course takes a panoramic view of perceptions of masculinity in both Western and non-Western cultures and traditions, and will allow for further examination of understanding beliefs in “manhood.” 

WGS 2100 Gender and Sexuality Studies

This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of gender studies in the United States.  Through readings, interactive exercises, discussions, film, and guest speakers you will develop your own understanding of key methodologies and terms employed by gender and sexuality scholars and activists. Students apply what they have learned to contemporary issues that particularly interest them.  Throughout the course, students will push themselves to respectfully challenge their own and others’ preconceived notions about gender/sex/sexuality. In addition, this course explores the intersection of other identities such as race, class and ability to deepen understanding and experience of the multiple dimensions of gender and sexuality. 

KINE 1040 Women’s Self-Defense

This Women's Self-Defense course is part of The National Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program and the REAL Self-Defense Program for Women. It is an empowerment based course, designed to counter the stereotype that women are defenseless against an attacker. This course teaches women awareness of their physical strengths and abilities to use their bodies as personal weapons. It emphasizes a variety of options in practical risk-reduction and basic self-defense, recognizing that every situation is different and that no one choice is right for all women. Course includes discussions on the connection between gender socialization and violence against women, increasing awareness, risk reduction, and assertiveness training in addition to learning different physical defense skills, such as getting out of certain holds, learning strikes, kicks and how to defend yourself from the ground. Much of the class is spent practicing these moves full strength on kick bags and pads, with the goal of making self-defense instinctual. There is also the option of realistic simulation, which entails a fully padded instructor reenacting attacks so students can apply moves learned to a live person.

Courses Taught Previously:

Contemporary Perspectives on Social Justice Movements 

Social Inequalities

Race and Ethnic Relations

Gender and Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism and Social Justice

Multicultural Education 

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