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Introduction to Feminist and Gender Studies/Women and the Body


Block 1: Heidi R. Lewis (FG110: Introduction to Feminist & Gender Studies)

Block 2: Tonja Olive (FG206: Women and the Body)

This course fulfills the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

FG 110: This course is designed to introduce students to Feminist & Gender Studies (FGS), the academic study of gender and sexuality from a feminist, interdisciplinary, and intersectional perspective. The Feminist and Gender Studies discipline arose in the 1960s and 1970s, originally as Women’s Studies, due to the efforts of those committed to the student, civil rights, and women’s movements. During the early developments, the major concern of our field was incorporating gender into existing theoretical and critical lenses, because women’s voices were underrepresented in the academy. Over the years, however, our intellectual endeavors have evolved, expanding our theories and critical practices to include interrogations of power, inequality, and privilege along the lines of sexuality, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, religion, physical embodiment, and other social markers. For these reasons, our scholarly endeavors necessitate interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches that advance pedagogical, scholarly, and activist collaboration both within and outside of the academy. Hence, our program, like our discipline, remains invested in eradicating inequality and privilege in our local, national, and global communities whether or not they are explicitly academic. 

FG 206: Women & the Body is to explore the philosophical and rhetorical dimensions of women’s bodily experiences.  In doing so, we will examine issues of women’s identity, subjectivity and embodiment.  Part of the way we will explore these issues is through an investigation of body image, race, reproduction, and sexuality.  Much of the reading in this course focuses on theoretical discussions of these issues.  However, we will also rely on film, music, and narrative to understand the relationship(s) between women’s bodies, their identities, and their definition in society.  

A set of linked, one-block courses that must be taken together, with one instructor in each block; separate grades will be assigned for each block.


• This course serves as a gateway to the Feminist and Gender Studies major and minor.

• Both blocks fulfill prerequisites for the FGS major and minor. Block 1: FG 110, provides 1 unit required for the FGS major and minor. Block 2: FG 206 provides 1 unit applicable [optional] for the FGS major and minor.

• In FG 110 Introduction to Feminist & Gender Studies, students are required to attend afternoon sessions (approximately 1-2 hours) with the FYE mentor starting at 1:30 pm twice each week.  These sessions will focus mostly on reading, conducting research, and writing in the Colket Center for Academic Excellence and Tutt Library.  Additionally, each Monday (excepting the first Monday of the block), students are required to attend individual conferences with the instructor for 15-30 minutes between 11 am – 3 pm.  Regarding creative projects, students will produce short, thesis-driven videos that explore feminist and gender studies in small groups.

• In FG 206 Women & the Body there will be possible afternoon film viewings and discussion.

• Occasional field trips—TBD.