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Spring 2015

WMNS 200-002

INTRODUCTION TO WOMENS STUDIES


A SOCIAL SCIENCES PERSPECTIVE
Instructor: Megan Metcalf Class Meets: M/W 11:00-12:15, Engelmann Hall B38
Class Website: wmnsstudies.tumblr.com

Contacting Your Instructor


Office: Northwest Quadrant
7585
Office Hours: M/W 12:30-2:30
and by appointment
E-Mail: metcalfm@uwm.edu
Required Textbook
Womens Voices, Feminist
Visions: Classic and
Contemporary Readings, Sixth
Edition. Susan Shaw and Janet
Lee. Available at UWM
Bookstore and Online.

Course Grading
Participation (Online and In Class)25%
Weekly Chapter Reading Responses25%
Core Assignments- 30%
Gender Norm Violation- 5%
Feminist Media Analysis- 5%
Gender Socialization Artifact - 5%
Privilege Workshop Response- 5%
Midterm Mini Zine- 5%
Feminist Comedy Critique- 5%
Final Project- 20%

Course Description
This course is designed as an introduction to the interdisciplinary
field of Womens and Gender Studies (WGS). Throughout the
semester, we will be exploring the central concerns of feminism
in the 21st century. In this course, we will use gender as an
analytical lens to consider how gender is both situated in and
intersected by identities which are shaped by social, cultural,
economic, geographic, and historical factors. Additionally, we will
challenge our assumptions about gender and identity, in order to
critique how identity categories (such as gender) are socially
constructed. We will investigate the complex ways in which
gender is employed as a tool of socialization, categorization,
oppression, and discrimination. The overall goal of this course is
to help you begin thinking critically about the situation and
experiences of women and gendered individuals, both historically
and contemporarily. This class will be a hybrid of studentgenerated discussion and hands-on activities and group work.

Spring 2015

WMNS 200-002

Participation and Class Activities (25%)

Course Goals
Foster an inclusive and

respectful active learning


environment, where every
student feels comfortable
expressing their own opinions
and thoughts without fear
Understand the important

issues, debates, questions and


concerns of feminism in the
21st century
Develop a critical perspective

on the intersectional nature of


oppression, including issues of
gender, race, class, and
sexuality
Critique the ways in which

gender constructs and


organizes human experiences
Acquire a knowledge of

feminism as both a political


movement and a personal
identity
Relate course concepts to

current and/or personal events


Create a portfolio of your class

experiences through the


creation of your own class
dedicated Tumblr

Because this course is designed to foster a student-centered


active learning experience, your participation (in class and online)
will be a large part of your grade. To get full participation points
make sure to participate actively in class activities and discussion
both virtually and face to face.Your attendance is factored in to
your participation grade, so if you need to miss more than
three classes, you will need to contact me with a valid
reason or your grade will be impacted. In class activities,
including group work, also count towards participation. You can
make up in-class participation points (due to absence etc) by your
increased participation in the class online. Alternately, if you are
a better face to face communicator, increasing your in-class
participation can make up for points lost from your online
participation.

Weekly Chapter Reading Responses (25%)


Due every Monday before class (11:00 AM). Post to your
Tumblr.
Each week will be reading a chapter from the textbook, Womens
Voices Feminist Visions, Sixth Edition. The purpose of the weekly
reader response is to encourage you to think about how the
concepts we are reading and discussing are personally relevant to
you. What concepts stood out to you? How did you relate to
what you were reading? And more importantly, what did you
learn from the reading, or from analyzing your reaction to it? In
addition to your own response you must:
Come up with at least one question for the class (about
the reading specifically, or any concepts it touches upon).
Every week, I will re-blog a few of your posts on the class blog.
Please comment or join a comment thread on at least one of
these posts.
Guidelines to consider while writing your responses:
What did you agree/disagree with, and why? What did you like or
dislike about the chapter?
How did you respond to the key concepts and themes of the
chapter?
Can you make a connection between current events and concepts
and terms from the chapter? Feel free to post links to news
stories/articles, video clips, podcasts, and so on.

Spring 2015

WMNS 200-002

Core Assignments (30%)


The core assignments are worth 5%
each, so the successful completion of all
core assignments translates to 30% of
your grade. The purpose of these
assignments is to encourage you to be
creative and experiment with the
concepts and ideas that we are learning
about in class. Furthermore, I want to
see how you relate to course concepts
personally, and how you envision these concepts to be acting in the world
around you. These assignments should be posted to the D2L dropbox
and (if you are comfortable with sharing) to your Tumblr.

Estimated Weekly
Workload

The core assignments include:

UWM Womens
Resource Center.
Located in the UWM
Student Union.
414.229.2852.

Privilege Workshop Response- 5% Due by Sunday, February 8th


by Midnight.

We will be having an in-class privilege workshop on Wednesday February 4th.


Attendance and participation is mandatory. This workshop will be facilitated by
someone from UWMs LGBT Resource center. You will be asked to take notes.
Write a response which details what you learned from the workshop.

Gender Socialization Artifact - 5% Due February 11th, by 11:00 AM

Find an artifact which you think represents a component of gender


socialization. These artifacts could include childrens toy advertisements,
commercials, print or digital media, and so on. Write a brief reflection about
why this artifact stood out to you, and include relevant course concepts and
terms.

Reading: 2-4 Hours


Attending Class: 2.5 Hours
Assignments/Coursework: 2-4
Hours
Total Weekly Hours: 6.5-10.5

Resources

UWM LGBT Resource


Center. Located in the
UWM Student Union.
414.229.4116.
UWM Norris Health
Center. 414.229.4716.
UWM Libraries, Ask A
Librarian (Research
Help). 414.229.4659.

Gender Norm Violation- 5% Due February 18th by 11:00 am

Identify a gender norm which you will be comfortable breaking in a public


space. After you break this gender norm, write a summary of what happened and
how you responded personally. If you are not comfortable with this assignment,
an alternate can be provided.

Feminist Media Analysis- 5% Due: March 2nd by 11:00 am

Analyze a film, television show, music video, magazine, or any media item which
you think relates to a concept that we have learned about in class (exhibits sexism, utilizes gender binary
to sell products/ideas, promotes a heteronormative definition of family, and so on). Use key terms and
course concepts to provide evidence for your claims.

Spring 2015

WMNS 200-002

Midterm Mini Zine- 5% Due: March 23rd by 11:00 A.M, bring to class

In place of a midterm exam, you will make a mini zine (or full zine for extra credit) in which you write
about something you have learned in this class so far. Ideas include: Your favorite
concept/idea/term/feminist. Be creative!
I will demo in-class how to assemble the zines, and I will provide you with an easy template.

Feminist Comedy Critique- 5% Due April 1st by 11:00 A.M, post to D2L and Tumblr

Watch a feminist comedian/comedy (Amy Poehler, Ellen Degeneres, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, Broad
City, Girls, Chelsea Handler, Margaret Cho, Mindy Kailing..) or find an example of a comedy/comedian
which relies on sexism in order to be funny. Write up a summary of your findings, and make sure to
include quotes. How did you respond personally to this kind of humor? What key terms or concepts
came to mind while you were watching? What are the broader implications of this kind of humor?

Final Project: Feminism in the 21st Century (20%)


For the final project, you will be working in small groups. In these groups you will be exploring a particular class
concept or question related to feminism in the 21st century. This will include a final project presentation and report.
Dates TBD.

Syllabus Addendum and Policy Links


1. Students with disabilities. Notice to these students should appear prominently in the syllabus so
that special accommodations are provided in a timely manner.
http://www4.uwm.edu/sac/SACltr.pdf
2. Religious observances. Accommodations for absences due to religious observance should be noted.
http://www4.uwm.edu/secu/docs/other/S1.5.htm
3. Students called to active military duty. Accommodations for absences due to call-up of reserves to
active military duty should be noted.
Students: http://www4.uwm.edu/current_students/military_call_up.cfm
Employees: http://www4.uwm.edu/secu/docs/other/S40.htm
(Editorially Revised, 3/25/09)
4. Incompletes. A notation of "incomplete" may be given in lieu of a final grade to a student who has
carried a subject successfully until the end of a semester but who, because of illness or other unusual and
substantiated cause beyond the student's control, has been unable to take or complete the final
examination or to complete some limited amount of term work.
http://www4.uwm.edu/secu/docs/other/S31.pdf
5. Discriminatory conduct (such as sexual harassment). Discriminatory conduct will not be
tolerated by the University. It poisons the work and learning environment of the University and threatens
the careers, educational experience, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff.
http://www4.uwm.edu/secu/docs/other/S47.pdf

Spring 2015

WMNS 200-002

6. Academic misconduct. Cheating on exams or plagiarism are violations of the academic honor code
and carry severe sanctions, including failing a course or even suspension or dismissal from the University.
http://www4.uwm.edu/acad_aff/policy/academicmisconduct.cfm
7. Complaint procedures. Students may direct complaints to the head of the academic unit or
department in which the complaint occurs. If the complaint allegedly violates a specific university policy,
it may be directed to the head of the department or academic unit in which the complaint occurred or to
the appropriate university office responsible for enforcing the policy.
http://www4.uwm.edu/secu/docs/other/S49.7.htm
8. Grade appeal procedures. A student may appeal a grade on the grounds that it is based on a
capricious or arbitrary decision of the course instructor. Such an appeal shall follow the established
procedures adopted by the department, college, or school in which the course resides or in the case of
graduate students, the Graduate School. These procedures are available in writing from the respective
department chairperson or the Academic Dean of the College/School.
http://www4.uwm.edu/secu/docs/other/S28.htm
9. The final exam requirement, the final exam date requirement, etc.
http://www4.uwm.edu/secu/docs/other/S22.htm