Women's Studies

Exploring Society and Culture from an Intersectional, Multicultural Women's Perspective

Program Overview
Course Descriptions
Program Coordinator

Program Overview

Women's Studies SeminarThe Minor in Women‘s Studies is open to any degree-seeking student at Tennessee State University. The Women‘s Studies Minor at Tennessee State University seeks to develop, enhance, and strengthen the University‘s general education program by providing an organizational structure for the focused study of women as serious academic inquiry.

An 18-hour undergraduate minor, the Women‘s Studies Program brings together and integrates courses from across many departments of the University that explore issues of gender, sexuality, and inequality through examinations of the lives of women, the work of women, and the social representations of women, in contemporary and historic contexts, around the globe and within the U.S., and across differing races, ethnicities, classes, and social groups. The Women‘s Studies Program is expressly multidisciplinary and interdepartmental, and its purpose is to provide a framework for new scholarship about women — multiculturally, multidimensionally, and multinationally.

Within a University community richly diverse in gender, age, race, nationality, ethnicity, faith, economic structures, and sexual orientation, the Women‘s Studies program provides another forum for students to consider the social construction of difference through analyses of literature, the arts, the media, social theory, histories, and cultures. The Women‘s Studies Program at TSU promotes integrative thinking, reevaluation, and new ideas about women, as a local contribution toward expanded global understanding and respect for women.

Participating students may major in any area or program leading to a bachelor‘s degree at the University while taking the minor (18 semester hours).

The goal of the Women‘s Studies minor is to enhance students' understanding of the complexity of our shared world through the analysis of the construction of gender identities. The students as citizens and educated members/leaders of their communities and the world need to know and appreciate their own gendered human cultural heritage and its development in historic and global contexts. Because of its implicit multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach, the Women‘s Studies Program borrows substantively from all fields of study, and Women‘s Studies paradigms will concomitantly serve to strengthen both the investigations and goals of students‘ major fields of study and their materials, and to deepen students' appreciation of their own major fields.

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Core (6 hours)

WMST 2000 Introduction to Women‘s Studies (3 hours)
WMST 4000 Independent Study/Capstone (3 hours)

Electives (12 hours)*

AFAS 3000 African Male (3 hours)
AFAS 3050 African Female (3 hours)
AFAS 3600 African Extended Family (3 hours)
AFAS 3620 African American Family (3 hours)
ANTH 2300 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3 hours)
ECFS 4630 Family Relationships (3 hours)
ENGL 3010 Critical Approaches to Literature (3 hours)
ENGL 3860 Women in Literature (3 hours)
ENGL 4600 African-American Women Writers (3 hours)
HIST 3100 American Women‘s History to 1890 (3 hours)
HIST 3110 American Women‘s History 1890 to the Present (3 hours)
HIST 4240 History of Feminism (3 hours)
PSYC 3310 Principles of Human Sexuality (3 hours)
SOCI 2400 Courtship and Marriage (3 hours)
SOCI 3101 Sex, Gender, & Social Interaction (3 hours)
SOCI 3200 Anthropology (3 hours)
SOCI 3600 The Family (3 hours)
WMST 4100 Special Topics in Women‘s Studies (3 hours)

*Only one 2000-level course from the list above may be applied toward the minor.

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Course Descriptions

WMST 2000. Introduction to Women’s Studies. (3). Functioning as an overview to and integration of the women‘s studies courses available to TSU students across the University, this introductory course to the Women‘s Studies program and minor offers a conceptual and theoretical baseline from which each student may develop her/his trajectory of study. The course is expressly multidisciplinary and multicultural; it explores feminist theories and looks at women and gender as treated in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. This introduction may be team taught and may represent ideas from the perspectives of faculty within differing disciplines. No prerequisites.

WMST 4000. Capstone/Independent Study. (3). This one-semester course acts as the capstone for the Women‘s Studies minor
in that the individual student will produce an independent research work that synthesizes his/her major field with the required
course work in the Women‘s Studies minor. This course will be monitored by the WS Coordinator/Coordinating Committee, but
the student will also work with a faculty member from her/his major area. Enrollment by permission of the WMST
Coordinator/Coordinating Committee. Prerequisite WMST 2000 or by permission.

WMST 4100. Special Topics. (3). This interdisciplinary course can be proposed by the instructor either based on individual or
student interest. The course must be approved by the Women‘s Studies Coordinating Council/Committee and fulfill the
competencies of the Women‘s Studies Program. Topics may include but are not limited to the history of Women‘s Studies,
representations of women in music, a comparative study of women‘s movements and activisms, feminism and racism, specific
representations of women within different nationalities, etc. Permission of the instructor required.

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Program Faculty

Dr. Rebecca Dixon, Program Coordinator
Humanities Building 121
(615) 963-5726

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