Course Catalog

01:988:430 IWL Social Action Project

Department of Women’s and Gender Studies Learning Goals Met by this Course

The social action project requires students to link theory and practice by drawing on a scholarly bibliography to guide and inform an in-depth, independent social action project. The project addresses gender and a particular social problem or policy issue, and is advised by a faculty member with expertise in that area. This course will teach students how to devise creative strategies to promote social change; to collaborate across differences with others in course work and in the local and broader community; and to analyze issues of social justice as a primary goal of transformative women’s leadership. Students will be required to display creative problem solving and leadership as they move from project proposal to implementation to evaluation. This course will further develop students’ abilities to communicate orally and in writing, and engage in critical analysis of words and the world. This course will prepare students to engage with multidisciplinary scholarship as they address some of the 21st century challenges they will face as global citizens and leaders.

Additional Learning Goals

Through multiple presentations on individualized bibliographies, students will learn to evaluate and critically assess scholarly sources and communicate their key findings to their classmates. By presenting in panel style format, they will practice communicating effectively in modes appropriate to the discipline of women’s and gender studies. Students in this advanced course for Leadership Scholars will have the opportunity to present the findings of their projects to an expanded audience.

A skills development workshop on conflict resolution and negotiation is embedded in the seminar.

Through our shared text, Leading the Way: Young Women’s Activism for Social Change, we will consider the following questions: What tensions are inherent to organizing for social change? What can we learn from our activist successes and failures? How do we understand different concepts and develop new models of leadership? How do our personal experiences inform our activism? How do we organize and act outside of our own communities? How do we re-imagine leadership, and respect localized knowledge? What do young women bring to leadership and activism, and how are they (you) practicing leadership in new ways? How will you move from these projects into your futures?  Our other readings focus on activism, organizing, and women’s leadership in social movements. Topics we will discuss include: Models of Leadership, Organizing Outside one’s Community, From Life to Activism, Storying the Self, Global/Local Problem Solving, Activism in Health, Creating Change, and Looking to the Future. Two guest speakers (authors from Leading the Way and program alumnae) will visit our class during the semester.