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WGS Summer 2022 Newsletter

WGS Summer Newsletter

WGS is excited to share a special issue of our WGS Connect Newsletter! The first ever summer edition of our newsletter offers highlights from this year’s Feminism in Motion. This year’s fourth annual event featured 28 student presentations/poster presenters as well as roundtable discussions and plenty of artistic doodles.

We hope you enjoy this special issue! WGS is already outlining the next newsletter, and we cannot wait to share the next iteration of WGS Connect this fall! In the meantime, be sure to check this blog site and our social media to keep up-to-date on Women’s and Gender Studies’ current events and spotlights.

WGS would also love to hear from you! Always feel free to reach out with ideas for the blog or newsletter. We embrace all things collaboratively produced and will continue to embody that philosophy in all that we do.

Use the button below to view this special digital PDF, complete with embedded links and lots of great info on WGS students, faculty, events, and more.

Summer 2022 Course Brochure

Summer 2022 Courses WGS Summer Courses

Summer fun can include time in the classroom! Take a look at the courses being offered for Maymester, Summer I, and Summer II that are a part of Women’s & Gender Studies.

MAYMESTER

Feminist Pedagogy, WGST 320.01, CRN 31386, Online, Dr. Kris De Welde

Pedagogy is the term used to describe approaches to teaching and learning. In this course we will explore pedagogies that are informed by, for example, feminist, critical, anti-racist, liberatory, and abolitionist perspectives with attention to the ways that students’ education experiences may or may not reflect these approaches. Informed by queer feminist critique of artificial binaries (such as student-teacher) and power dynamics in educational spaces (which reflect broader in/equities), we will consider how engaged and liberation-focused pedagogies can “spill over” beyond classroom spaces into other aspects of our lives. We will engage in reflective practice – individually and in community – to imagine how these approaches can move us toward social justice.

Psychology of Gender, PSYC 350.01, CRN 31322, Online, Dr. Lisa Ross

This course presents social, cognitive, biological, evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives on gender, including gender development and roles. Major themes include nature and nurture contributions to gender, gender differences versus similarities, gender versus sex, the influence of gender assumptions, biases and roles, and challenging prejudice to improve gender relations.

Psychology of Social Change, PSYC 332.01, CRN 30385, Online, Dr. Jennifer Wright

In a world struggling with a number of serious environmental and social-justice issues, how do we effect social change? How do we create a healthier, cleaner, safer, more compassionate world? How do we, as individuals, become better people? In this class, we will select environmental and social justice issues, and then explore theoretical and empirical perspectives on how our beliefs, reasoning, and emotions–as well as our goals, desires, and fears–positively and negatively influence our attitudes and actions concerning these issues. We will review the literature on habit formation and the ways in which people can effectively change their attitudes and behaviors, both as individuals and as societies. In the process, we will tackle the applied problem of actually enacting change in our own lives.

Women’s Health Issues, HEAL 323.01, CRN 30656, Online, Dr. Christy Kollath-Cattano

The course deals with a wide variety of health issues of concern to women. Major categories of topics include utilization of the health care system, issues of concern to women of diverse backgrounds, normal physiological health and well-being, common physiological and psychological health problems, and cultural as well as societal influences on women’s health.

 

SUMMER I

Human Sexuality, HEAL 217.01, CRN 30947, Online, Dr. Sarah Maness

The format focuses on providing information necessary for establishing a sound knowledge base on topics including sexual anatomy and physiology, birth control, basic psychological concepts of sexuality, sexually transmitted infections, family planning and parenting. The information is presented in relation to the decision-making process as applied to understanding one’s own and others’ sexuality.

 

SUMMER I & SUMMER II

Intro to Women’s & Gender Studies, WGST 200.02, CRN 30744, Online, Dr. Kaj Brian

Intro to Women’s & Gender Studies, WGST 200.01, CRN 30682, Online, Dr. Malia Womack

This is an interdisciplinary course designed to explore the rich body of knowledge developed by and about women and gender. We study gendered structures and their consequences in contemporary cultures and societies. In addition, we examine feminist theories and relevant social movements.

 

AV Drive for “Elders Speak” Oral History Project

AV Drive for Wassamasaw Tribe
Please consider donating new or gently used AV equipment to help support the “Elders Speak” oral history project underway with the Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians. See flyer for details.
 
WGS will be collecting supplies on behalf of the Wassamasaw Tribe at the WGS office between today and May 5th. The WGS Office is open Monday – Thursday 11 A.M. – 6 P.M. You may also email thomaspr@cofc.edu to schedule a specific day and time to drop off your donation.

Fall 2022 WGST Special Topics in Social & Political Organization

WGS Fall 2022 Special Topics

WGST 321.01 Women, Globization, & Migration

CRN 16273, Online with Scheduled Online Meetings, Thursdays 4PM-6:45PM

Dr. Malia Womack

Women are vulnerable to poverty and commonly lack access to adequate social, cultural, institutional, and material resources necessary for survival. The collective identity “woman” comprises more than half of the world’s population yet is regularly marginalized in local, transnational, and global economies. The collective identity “woman” is also internally diverse. Many women endure compounded oppression (which makes them more vulnerable to impoverishment) related to identity traits including but not limited to sexuality, gender expression, sex, race, skin color, languages, age, geographic location, education, familial relationships, and gender-based violence. This course explores the experiences of diverse and intersectional women in an increasingly globalized world and in various geographic locations. In this class students will consider how gender discrimination, intersectionality, migration, economies, and globalization are deeply and intimately related. Students will reflect on their own positionality within global power hierarchies and will engage in the course material in a self-reflexive and investigative manner.

 

WGST 321.02 Latin American Feminists & Human Rights

CRN 16278, Online Exclusively

Dr. Malia Womack

International human rights are designed based on the ideology that all people deserve basic rights because of their shared humanity. However, Latin American feminists commonly argue that the international human rights processes are rife with inequalities at the local, transnational, and global levels, are not effectively enforced, are resources for Western imperialism, and are Western and male centric. This class problematizes human rights failures. In particular, the class explores how human rights treaties and operations (in their present form) cannot adequately address the complexity of lived experiences, diversity, and intersectionality. This course documents how feminists throughout Latin America have mobilized against colonialism, poverty, gender discrimination, and other inequalities by engaging in domestic as well as transnational activism around international human rights. Latin American feminists have unrelentingly promoted equality and are transforming how human rights are understood throughout Latin America and the world.

WGST 323 ST: Queer Friendship, Kinship, Comradeship, & Community as Liberation Praxis

WGST 323 Special Topics

This special topics course is an immersive and experiential study of the ways in which LGBTQ+ people engage queer friendships, kinship, comradeship, and community as liberation praxis. Centering WOC, QTBIPOC, and white anti-racist feminists and the traditions they have co-created including healing, disability, and transformative justice among others, we will explore theories, perspectives, and approaches to queer friendship, kinship, coalition, and community. Honoring our particular situatedness, a substantial portion of the course will highlight historical and contemporary examples of relational social justice work among QTBIPOC and white anti-racist LGBTQ+ social justice collectives and grassroots community organizations in the South. Lastly, we will take up somatic and relational culture informed community building practices as a part of in-class activities and outside-of-class assignments, experientially learning with one another and others ways of fostering and sustaining queer friendship, kinship, comradeship, and community.

Fall 2022 WGS Course List

Fall Course Brochure

Women’s & Gender Studies Fall 2022 Course Brochure is ready! Peruse course offerings – especially some of the amazing special topics courses being taught fall semester. Click on the WGS Fall 2022 Course Brochure button to download a PDF version with all descriptions. Below are summaries of special topics courses that are sure to fill up quickly. Need an advising session? Be sure to contact Prof. Kris De Welde or Prof. Claire Curtis to schedule an advising appointment before registration begins.

WGST 321.01 ST: Women, Globalization, & Migration

Women are vulnerable to poverty and commonly lack access to adequate social, cultural, institutional, and material resources necessary for survival. The collective
identity “woman” comprises more than half of the world’s population yet is regularly marginalized in local, transnational, and global economies. The collective
identity “woman” is also internally diverse. Many women endure compounded oppression (which makes them more vulnerable to impoverishment) related to
identity traits including but not limited to sexuality, gender expression, sex, race, skin color, languages, age, geographic location, education, familial relationships, and
gender-based violence. This course explores the experiences of diverse and intersectional women in an increasingly globalized world and in various geographic
locations. In this class students will consider how gender discrimination, intersectionality, migration, economies, and globalization are deeply and intimately
related. Students will reflect on their own positionality within global power hierarchies and will engage in the course material in a self-reflexive and investigative
manner.

WGST 321.02 ST: Latin American Feminists & Human Rights

International human rights are designed based on the ideology that all people deserve basic rights because of their shared humanity.  However, Latin American feminists commonly argue that the international human rights processes are rife with inequalities at the local, transnational, and global levels, are not effectively enforced, are resources for Western imperialism, and are Western and male centric.  This class problematizes human rights failures.  In particular, the class explores how human rights treaties and operations (in their present form) cannot adequately address the complexity of lived experiences, diversity, and intersectionality.  This course documents how feminists throughout Latin America have mobilized against colonialism, poverty, gender discrimination, and other inequalities by engaging in domestic as well as transnational activism around international human rights.  Latin American feminists have unrelentingly promoted equality and are transforming how human rights are understood throughout Latin America and the world.

WGST 321.03 ST: Revolutionary Lives

This course examines revolutionary movements in Latin America’s long Cold War through a biographical approach. We will explore how individuals navigated periods of upheaval and violence, how their revolutionary ideologies challenged or transformed how they thought about and formulated their own gender identities, and how they imagined different futures for themselves and their communities.

WGST 322.01 ST: Art & the Invention of Race, c. 1300-1800

This course explores the role of the visual arts in the development of the modern concept of “race” during the rise of European global empires. Specific topics to be covered include, for example, the depiction of “monstrous races” in ancient and medieval art and their connection (or not) to modern racial categories; early “ethnographic” representations of Asian, African, and Indigenous American peoples by European explorers; representations of European explorers by African, Asian, and American artists; and depictions of enslaved Africans in European and American artworks. We will pay particular attention to the methods artists developed to make visible the changing understandings of race and to the ways in which representations of racial differences intersect with perceptions/representations of gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic class.

WGST 323.01 ST: Queer Friendship, Kinship, Comradeship, and Community as Liberation Praxis

This course is an immersive and experiential study of the ways in which LGBTQ+ people engage queer friendships, kinship, comradeship, and community as liberation praxis. Centering WOC, QTBIPOC, and white anti-racist feminists and the traditions they have co-created including healing, disability, and transformative justice among others, we will explore theories, perspectives, and approaches to queer friendship, kinship, coalition, and community. Honoring our particular situatedness, a substantial portion of the course will highlight historical and contemporary examples of relational social justice work among QTBIPOC and white anti-racist LGBTQ+ social justice collectives and grassroots community organizations in the South. Lastly, we will take up somatic and relational culture informed community building practices as a part of in-class activities and outside-of-class assignments, experientially learning with one another and others ways of fostering and sustaining queer friendship, kinship, comradeship, and community.

WGST 323.03 ST: Camp, Kitsch, & Cult Movies

This course will explore the art, analysis, and legacy of transgressive cinema by focusing on three closely related but distinct categories: camp, kitsch, and cult films. In examining these films, as well as scholarly analysis of their role in criticizing mainstream culture, students will develop skills of observation, inquiry, and analysis that will deepen their understanding of the arts and empower them to engage challenging texts on a higher level. We will also be addressing larger issues including gender and sexuality, violence, genre and fan cultures.

WGST 323.04 ST: Examining Hollywood Film

This is an advanced writing course designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of film as an art form, “Hollywood” as a cultural institution and commercial enterprise, and as the ideological frameworks within and around cinema. Students will examine a variety of theoretical frameworks of film criticism, and be exposed to the films of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” to the late 20th century. To focus our discussion on cinema and representation, this course will use representations of gender and race as its primary lenses for understanding the impact, potential, and stakes of Hollywood representation.

WGST 324.01 ST: Sexuality of Childbirth

This course examines the sexuality of pregnancy and birth in the context of feminist thought and theory by carefully studying the medical model of birthing and comparing this with the midwifery model of birthing.  Medicalized childbirth tends to dissociate sexuality from the experience of birth, and a cultural anxiety around childbirth points to a larger anxiety about female sexuality in general. But a vaginal birth happens through female genitalia and needs to be understood physiologically as a sexual event. Childbirth really can be transformative, even positive and pleasurable: erotic, ecstatic, and orgasmic, yet currently in the United States there is so little education or exposure to pregnancy and childbirth in our culture, and the media tends to portray birth as a gruesome medical emergency. Here we will explore how supportive care potentially plays a key role in easing the physical, emotional, and psychological transition to motherhood while situating childbirth as a place of radical feminist discourse.

 

Ketner Emerging Leaders Scholarship Cohorts for 2021-2022

Ketner Emerging Leaders

WGS is excited to highlight the recipients of 2021-2022 Ketner Emerging Leaders Scholarship.

The Ketner Emerging Leaders Scholarship was established to reward students with a record of working to achieve social justice, to encourage students to become integrally involved in activities to promote social justice, and promote leadership that leads to social justice.  The intent is to inspire and financially aid students who are actively engaged in creating and promoting social justice locally, nationally, and globally. It is the Donor’s wish that through this scholarship, and the experiences that recipients have at the College, that Ketner Emerging Leaders will be change agents who identify social problems and devise steps to ameliorate those problems.  Ketner scholars are not simply volunteers.  They are change agents that are committed to making a positive impact locally, nationally, and globally.

Scholarship applications are available from December 1st through February 8th every year. Learn how to apply through CofC’s Cougar Scholarship Awarding System (CSAS) here. Stay tuned for the 2022-2023 cohort announcement!

The College Today Features WGS Director’s Research That Aims to Close the Equity Gaps in Academic STEM

Kris De Welde

CofC’s The College Today is featuring WGS Director Prof. Kris De Welde’s research which aims to close the equity gaps in academic STEM. Read the article on CofC’s website or below!

Words by Mike Robertson:

A recent report from the American Association of University Women indicates that women make up only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Even though women earn about half of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees, there are still large disparities across areas like computer science and mathematics. And, at the doctoral level, only 5% of doctoral degrees are earned by minority women.

These inequities drive the gender and racial equity gaps in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs, such as those in computer science and engineering. Kris De Welde wants to address those gaps.

De Welde, professor and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the College of Charleston, is leveraging a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Education and Human Resources Core Research program (EHR) for her research project, “ADVANCE and Beyond: Understanding Processes of Institutional Change to Promote STEM Equity and Education.”

Building on previous research that documents organizational interventions and strategies to promote gender equity in academic STEM fields, De Welde and research colleagues at the University of Colorado Boulder and Michigan State University are studying the organizational processes that are essential in creating what they call the “scaffolding” for successful change initiatives.

“There have been many, many studies about what it takes to create systemic change, and we know that it requires more than a single intervention,” says De Welde. “Change approaches have to be systemic, because we are really trying to revise institutional culture, as well as policies and practices. Interventions have to happen at multiple levels and using multiple levers.”

“Scaffolding processes” may include things like strategic communication strategies that reach multiple audiences, the use of theory to support change initiatives, and sustainability planning for the long-term viability of the project.

“Our goal is to not just uncover these processes,” says De Welde, “but to also test our understanding of how they work together alongside intervention strategies for institutional transformation.”

Since 2001, the NSF has invested over $270M to support ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program projects in an effort to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. De Welde says these interventions have had a tremendous impact on many institutions and hence many individuals.

“While the initial focus is on women and minoritized individuals in STEM fields, the impact is much broader,” she says, adding that closing the intersectional equity gaps in academic STEM should be a universal goal. “When you create an institutional change initiative that brings equity to an institution, it benefits everyone.”

De Welde’s four-year research project began last year.

WGS Spring 2022 Newsletter

WGS Connect Spring 2022 Newsletter Cover

WGS is excited to share the newest issue of our WGS Connect Newsletter! After a brief hiatus (last issue dropped in January 2021), we’re back to share an issue packed with exciting and informative details about what the Women’s and Gender Studies program has been up to over the previous year. We are fortunate to be a program with active majors/minors, faculty, and a flourishing supportive community outside CofC.

This issue contains features highlighting scholarship recipients, new faculty affiliates, a review of WGS’ commitments to racial justice, and so much more. We hope readers enjoy the current issue. WGS is already outlining the next newsletter, and we cannot wait to share the next iteration of WGS Connect this summer! In the meantime, be sure to check this blog site and our social media to keep up-to-date on Women’s and Gender Studies’ current events and spotlights.

WGS would also love to hear from you! Always feel free to reach out with ideas for the blog or newsletter. We embrace all things collaboratively produced and will continue to embody that philosophy in all that we do.

Use the button below to view this special digital PDF, complete with embedded links and lots of great info on WGS students, faculty, events, and more.

Women’s History Month 2021

March is Women’s History Month!

Women’s History Month is intended to commemorate, honor and make visible the contributions of women throughout history (or better yet, her-story). But, being visible does not always equate to being legible, or being heard.

This year WGS at the College of Charleston is theming our programming in celebration of our first woman Vice President, Madame Kamala Harris, who now famously quipped to her rudely interrupting debate opponent, “Excuse Me, I’m Speaking.”

Our programming looks back and also forward, intending to make visible and legible those women and femme-identifying rebels, agitators, knowledge creators, artists, and visionaries who trailblaze for equity and justice – historically and in present day. Join us in celebrating HER-stories!

WHM event calendar

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