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 Course Descriptions

View our current schedule of course offerings from Fall 2010 - Spring 2012.

LAR 201 - 3 credits
Introduction to Studies Across the Disciplines
Prerequisite: ENL 102

An introduction to the writing, research and communications skills required in multidisciplinary studies, which includes a study of the humanities and social sciences as disciplines. Students will learn about the various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, read and analyze texts from the humanities and social sciences, and develop critical understanding of disciplinary research practices for the humanities and social sciences.

LAR 401 - 3 credits
Seminar in Multidisciplinary Studies
Prerequisites: ENL101, ENL102; English Majors, Minors, Liberal Arts English Concentrations, or permission of instructor

Substantial multidisciplinary research and writing. Students will engage in in-depth research of primary and secondary sources across a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. They will research, reason, and write employing the appropriate conventions of the disciplines they are studying. Topics will vary according to instructor. May be repeated with change of content.

ENL 258 - 3 credits
Literary Studies
Prerequisite: WMS 101 recommended

A foundation course for all English majors, examining traditions and innovations in literature and in the study of literature in English. Students develop writing and research skills in the discipline and improve their knowledge of literary terms and forms, literary history and conventions, literary influence, and new and emerging forms and approaches. Genres studied include poetry, drama, fiction, and literary (creative) non-fiction. The course also examines key issues in the profession of literary studies, such as the development of departments of literature, canon formation, and the relationship of literary theory to literary practice.

ENL 260 - 3 credits
Intermediate Composition
Prerequisites: ENL101, ENL102

A course emphasizing the development of skill in organizing materials, the formation of a lively and concrete style and an authentic personal voice, and the growth of useful techniques in the arts of exposition, persuasion, and argumentation.

ENL 305 - 3 credits 
Medieval Literature
Prerequisites: ENL101, , ENL258; English Majors, Minors, Liberal Arts English Concentrations, or permission of instructor

Explores seminal literature of the European Middle Ages in historical and cultural contexts, focusing on English Literature from the Anglo-Saxon period into the 15th century. Organized thematically as well as chronologically, the course looks at how texts represent and influence their times and how they participate in the development of enduring literary traditions.

ENL 307 - 3 credits                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The English Renaissance                                                                                                                                                                                          Prerequisites: ENL101, ENL102, ENL258; English Majors, Minors, Liberal Arts English Concentrations, or permission of instructor

A chronological overview of the major literary works, themes, and genres of the English Renaissance from Caxton and the inception of printing through Milton and the last of the great Renaissance epics. The course focuses on the development of poetic genres and on representative prose forms. Writers studied include Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, Vaughn, and Milton.

ENL 336 - 3 credits
20th-Century American Fiction 1945-present
Prerequisites: ENL101, ENL102

A study of significant fiction in America since the middle of the 20th-century, including Bellow, Ellison, Heller, Pynchon, LeGuin, Doctorow, Morrison, O’Brien, and others.

ENL 347 - 3 credits
Special Topics in Women's Literature
Prerequisite: WMS 101 recommended

Advanced study of a specialized topic chosen by the instructor. Cross-listed as WMS 347.

PHL 101 - 3 credits
Introduction to Philosophy

An introduction to philosophy as the persistent and methodical attempt to think clearly about universal problems of human life, such as ways of knowing and studies in value.

PHL 200 - 3 credits
Special Topics in Philosophy

Offered as needed to present current topics in the field or other material of interest. The specific topic is stated when the course is scheduled. May be repeated with change of content.

PHL 215 - 3 credits
Introduction to Ethics

A critical examination of normative theories of obligation and value. A philosophical examination of some moral problems: abortion, euthanasia, death penalty, sexual equality, reverse discrimination, pornography and censorship, violence, and economic injustice.

PHL 307 - 3 credits
Ecofeminism Philosophy and Practice

Study of ecofeminism as systems of oppressions based on race, class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity that stem from a cultural ideology that enables the oppression of nature. The course explores ecofeminist theories, literature, and practice, including ecofeminist ethics, and the applications of ecofeminism to the lives of individual men and women, as well as cultural institutions and organizations. Cross listed as WMS 307

PHL 326 - 3 credits
Philosophy of Law
Prerequisites: Semester course in Philosophy or consent of instructor

Approaches to the philosophy of law. The course addresses questions like, What gives meaning to law? How is the law interpreted, or how are judicial interpretations justified? What is the relationship between law and morality, or law and culture or custom? The course examines a number of state and Supreme Court opinions (on issues like free speech and expressive liberties, reproductive issues, obscenity, legal ethics, jury nullification, and hate crime legislation) with a critical eye toward their philosophical or juridical soundness. This course is valuable for those considering careers in law, public affairs or politics.

PSC 101 - 3 credits
Introduction to American Politics

Theory and practice of national government in Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court, and the interaction of these institutions with interest groups, political parties, public opinion and the mass media.

PSC 151 - 3 credits
Introduction to Comparative Politics

Study of political institutions, state formation, ideologies, and public policies of foreign countries in developed, developing, democratic and non-democratic states. Comparison with the U.S. and international norms. Stress laid on the use of the comparative method.

PSC 332 - 3 credits
Sex Roles and Politics

Prerequisites: PSC 101 or PSC 238 or WMS 100, and upper-division standing

An examination of the impact of gender as a variable in American politics. The course analyzes women in the electorate as candidates, as office holders, and as political participants including participation in political organizations and lobbying groups. Cross-listed as WMS 332.

PSC 339 - 3 credits
Women and Public Policy

Prerequisites: PSC 101 and upper-division standing

Examines public policies and landmark Supreme Court opinions relating to gender equality and women’s interests in the United States. Topics may include educational policies, employment policies, childcare policies, health care policies, reproductive rights, and policies relating to women as criminals. Cross-listed as PST 354, WMS 339.

WMS 101 - 3 credits
Introduction to Women's Studies

Basic concepts and perspectives in Women’s Studies, placing women’s experience at the center of interpretation. With focus on women’s history and contemporary issues, the course examines women’s lives with emphasis on how gender interacts with race, class, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women’s lives: how the interlocking systems of oppression, colonialism, racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism shape women’s lives; and how women have worked to resist these oppressions.

WMS 201 - 3 credits
Introduction to Feminist Theory

Overview of the different frameworks within feminist theory: cultural feminism, liberal feminism, Marxist/socialist feminism, radical feminism, womanist feminism/multicultural, French feminism, third wave, and lesbian. These theories will be examined through the work of founders of feminist theory like Adrienne Rich, Simone DeBeauvoir, Robin Morgan, Charlotte Bunch, Audre Lorde, and Betty Friedan, among others.

WMS 208 three credits
Global Perspectives on Women

Prerequisites: WMS 101 recommended

Cultural, social, and political issues involved in women’s movements for development and change around the world explored through history, political theory, sociology, anthropology, literature, and art.

WMS 246 - 3 credits
Women Writers

Examination of the relationship between the woman writer and her work through a study of literature by and about women. Cross-listed as ENL 246.

WMS 300 - 3 credits
Topics in Women's Studies

Special topics in Women’s Studies. The topics will be determined by the faculty member and will therefore vary. May be repeated with a change of topic.

WMS 305 - 3 credits
Contemporary Feminist Theory and Practice

The theoretical works of contemporary feminism (1945-present), covering such theorists as Simone de Beauvoir, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, and Gloria Anzaldua. Readings and discussions examine feminist theories and their applications to the lives of individual women and the practices of women’s organizations and institutions.

WMS 312 - 3 credits
Feminist Research Methods

Framework for thinking and learning about research in women’s studies. The course provides an overview of the terminology and key concepts in feminist research methods. It begins with an examination of feminist critiques of traditional methods of research and conceptions of knowledge. The course then covers, among other things, work on standpoint theory, research methods in the natural and social sciences, ethical/political issues in research and the practice of cross-cultural research.

WMS 332 - 3 credits
Sex Roles and Politics

Prerequisites: PSC 101 or PSC 238 or WMS 101, and upper-division standing

An examination of the impact of gender as a variable in American politics. The course analyzes women in the electorate as candidates, as office holders, and as political participants, including participation in political organizations and lobbying groups. Cross-listed as PSC 332.

WMS 339 - 3 credits
Women and Public Policy

Prerequisites: PSC 101, and upper-division standing

Examines public policies and landmark Supreme Court opinions relating to gender equality and women’s interests in the United States. Topics may include educational policies, employment policies, child care policies, health care policies, reproductive rights, and policies relating to women as criminals. Cross-listed as PSC 339.

WMS 348 - 3 credits
American Women Playwrights

Prerequisites: ENL 102

Analysis, evaluation, comparison, and appreciation of plays by 20th-century American women playwrights and insights into their themes and the images of women that they create. Cross-listed as ENL 348.

WMS 359 -  3 credits
Men and Masculinities

Prerequisites: SOC 101 or ANT 111 or SOC/ANT 113 or WMS 101

The social construction of male identity and culture. Male sexualities, relationships, sports, health, work, violence, warfare and changing male culture will be explored. Cross-listed as ANT 359, SOC 359.

WMS 499 - 3 credits
Women's Studies Capstone

Prerequisites: WMS 101; WMS 312

The WMS capstone course is designed to cohere a major student’s core curriculum work. While the subject matter may change depending on the interdisciplinary connections, the course will be grounded in feminist scholarship and will require a research project that draws upon feminist theories and feminist research methods, along with a public presentation at the end of the semester to the class and WMS faculty. The course will be an opportunity for students to integrate their major course knowledge and demonstrate their ability to apply feminist theory and research methods.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Online programs and courses are offered by the Departments and Colleges of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, in collaboration with the Division of Professional and Continuing Education and UMass Online.

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