Women’s and Gender Studies is often called the academic arm of feminism for it challenges what is believed to be “known” about women (men and gender variant people), demonstrating that established “knowledge” is often shaped by research that takes elite men’s lives as the unquestioned standard, omitting or distorting diverse embodied experiences. As an interdisciplinary field, Women’s and Gender Studies seeks to correct distortions created when women, people of color, gender fluid and nonconforming people are omitted from the study of the world.
This course investigates how to study the complexity of women’s, men’s, and trans’ lives in ways that take race, gender-power, ethnicity, class, and nationality seriously. Examining multiple analytical approaches, the course will demonstrate how feminist knowledge production challenges long-established beliefs about the world. The course is hands-on in that students will engage in projects that use different techniques of knowledge production including qualitative methods such as focus groups and interviews, quantitative methods, archival research, oral histories, and ethnographic methods. This course is very strongly recommended for students considering writing a senior honors thesis.