Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Division VI Chair: D. Huck

 

Department Chair:  S. Malaklou

 

Faculty: d. patrick, G. Greenlee and S. Malaklou

 

Website: http://www.berea.edu/wgs/

 

Courses: WGS Courses


Course Sequencing Table: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

 

Major/Minor Requirements: Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies B.A.Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor

As a field of inquiry, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies asks students to make the personal political; that is, to interrogate how larger structural inequities engender (inter)personal possibilities. Our classes ask students to think with queer, indigenous, black, and dis/abled life-worlds to imagine alternative ways of being and to create radical coalition through knowledge of shared exclusions. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students are encouraged to build worlds premised on the intersectional, abolitionist work of John G. Fee and others whose commitments to equity are definitive of Berea College’s promise to “[make] of one blood all peoples of the earth.” They learn to operationalize feminism in personal as well as professional contexts, gaining experience through a monthly colloquium series and labor positions available through the department and at the bell hooks center. The department offers both a major and minor.

In addition to supporting students' achievement of the Aims of General Education, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department seeks to assist students in meeting the following learning goals and associated learning outcomes:

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Student Learning Goals & Outcomes

Student Learning Goal 1: Develop an interdisciplinary approach to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies that understands how structures of power overdetermine one’s positionality at the compounded intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, ethnicity, nation, and region.

Student Learning Outcome 1.1:

Develop interpretative analyses of the key concepts and theories that inform intersectional feminisms and their critiques through class discussions, forum responses, exams, and papers.

Student Learning Outcome 1.2:

Decenter white experiences of sex, gender, and sexuality through the planning, researching, and writing of a capstone paper that addresses oppression at the compounded intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, ethnicity, nation, and region, utilizing a variety of inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches.

Student Learning Goal 2: Understand how feminist approaches to sex, gender, and sexuality (and their intersections) are changed by the institutionalization of queer and transgender studies, and how practices of gender non-conformity on Berea’s campus advance the College’s great, historical commitment to gender equity (i.e., the Sixth Great Commitment).

Student Learning Outcome 2.1:

 
Demonstrate an understanding of trans and queer studies by interrogating heteronormative assumptions about sex, gender, and sexuality (and their intersections) and drawing on perspectives from both inside and outside of class to intervene in queer and trans debates. 
 

Student Learning Goal 3: Understand how feminist approaches to sex, gender, and sexuality (and their intersections) are changed by the study of dis/ability.

   Student Learning Outcome 3.1:

Demonstrate an understanding of feminist and queer dis/ability studies or ‘crip’6 theory7 to interrogate heteronormative assumptions about embodiment and its relationship to the mind—or to one’s ‘felt-sense’ of sex, gender, and/or sexuality (and their intersections). Draw on perspectives from both inside and outside of class in order to form your own opinions within crip theory debates.

Student Learning Goal 4: Understand how feminist approaches to sex, gender, and sexuality (and their intersections) are changed by BIPOC (i.e., Indigenous and Black people of color) critiques, and how those critiques advance Berea College’s great, historical commitments to racial and gender equity (i.e., the Fifth and Sixth Great Commitments).

Student Learning Outcome 4.1:

Demonstrate an understanding of indigenous feminist studies to interrogate heteronormative assumptions about embodiment and the mind that reproduce colonial categories of sex and gender difference. Draw on perspectives from both inside and outside of class to form your own opinions about how to upend those categories.

 

Student Learning Outcome 4.2:

Demonstrate an understanding of Black feminist theory to interrogate how the racial hierarchies that enslave Black people are the same ones that produce the sex and gender hierarchies that oppress women and femmes, drawing on perspectives from both inside and outside of class to intervene in those hierarchies

Student Learning Goal 5:  Learn new language and tools that have been used to dismantle intersectional oppression—what Berea College’s own late bell hooks describes as “imperialist white supremacist capitalist [cishetero] patriarchy”—and share those strategies with others, both on campus and in the larger contexts that our students navigate.

Student Learning Outcome 5.1:

Draw on perspectives from both inside and outside of class to imagine and enact new, non-hierarchical relationships that do away with race/ism and sex/gender oppression.

 

Student Learning Outcome 5.2:

 

Demonstrate an understanding of intersectional feminisms and their critiques by enacting a public service project that works towards social transformation on campus.