WST 383 Advanced Women's Studies

WomanCourse Description
Syllabus | Assignments

An overview of women’s studies that examines the pervasive and often unacknowledged ways that gender shapes our social institutions, individual knowledge and interpersonal relationships. Includes history, literature and film by and about women. May be used to satisfy general curriculum distribution in social science. This is a writing-intensive class.

NOTE: This is a themed section of WST 383, in which we will focus on the female body, particularly in relationship to constructs of gender and sexuality.


NOTE: Many of these articles are assigned for discursive discussion. In other words, I have purposefully selected readings that will spawn varying responses and digressions, so that each student can share unique experiences and develop her or his own philosophies.

Pamela R. Fletcher

“Whose Body is It Anyway?
Transforming Ourselves to Change a Rape Culture”

Catharine MacKinnon
"Rape: Coercion and Consent"
(first 6 pages only)

Mary Gaitskill
"The Girl on the Plane"

CNN: Anderson Cooper
Sex Consent Forms: Interview with Sexologist
Create Your Own Sex Consent Form

Case Study
Kaitlyn Hunt Case (link)

Case Study
Mike Tyson Rape Case (link)

Lindy West
"How to Make a Rape Joke"

View Daniel Tosh’s rape joke here
(link to video)

John Berger

Naked and Nude (Ways of Seeing)

Sut Jhally
"What's Wrong with a Little Objectification?"

Christopher Boulton
"Porn and Me(n): Sexual Morality, Objectification, and Religion at the Wheelock Anti-Pornography Conference"

Emily Martin
"Medical Metaphors of Women's Bodies:
Menstruation and Menopause

Lindy West
"Modesty is Bullshit"

Judith Butler
Excerpt from Undoing Gender, "Introduction: Acting in Concert" (pp. 1-2 only)

Sojourner Truth
"Ain't I a Woman?"

Old Testament Story of Bathsheba and David
II Samual 12:1-27 and 13:1-31
Rembrandt: Bathsheba Taking a Bath

bell hooks
“Selling Hot Pussy: Representation of Female Sexuality in the Cultural Marketplace” (pp. 113-116 only)

Anne Balsamo
"On the Cutting Edge: Cosmetic Surgery
and the Technological Production of the Gendered Body"

Faith Wilding
"Vulvas with a Difference"

Kathy Davis
“My Body is my Art: Cosmetic Surgery as Feminist Utopia?”
(pp. 454-455 only)

Artel and Wengraf
“Positive Images: Screening Women’s Films”

Diane Waldman
"There's More To a Positive Image Than Meets the Eye"

Barbara Creed

“Lesbian Bodies: Tribades, Tomboys and Tarts”

Human Sex Map

Jennifer Moore
"BDSM: A Feminist Perspective

Kim Surkan
“More Gender, Less Presumption:
Cybersex as an Alternative to A Culture of Violent Sexuality”

PowerPoints & Media

NOTE: Some of these PowerPoint presentations have graphic images and strong language. I suggest that students view them after they are discussed in class, rather than before, so that they may be read in the context of those lessons. Also, not all lessons are accompanied by PowerPoints.

Whose Body Is It, Anyway?
Introduction: Women's Bodies Over History
History of Sex - Vol. II (DVD) and III (link click "free download")
Sexual Practices Stats | Sexual Violence Stats
Fletcher and MacKinnon Review
MacKinnon Video

Florida Law

Overview | Sexual Battery
Sexual Battery (Chapter 794)
Lewd and Lascivious Battery on Minors (Statute 800.04)

Cultural Construction and Representation
"Medical Metaphors" and "Naked and Nude"
"What's Wrong with a Little Objectification?"
Cultural Practices: Women's Bodies
Cosmetic Surgery
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Florida Law: FGM
"Positive Images" and "There's More to a Positive Image Than Meets the Eye"
Monstrous Feminine and Final Girl
I am a Man: Black Masculinity in America
Sexism, Strength & Dominance: Sexism in Disney Films
Oppressed Majority (Directed by Eleaonore Pourriat)

bell hooks: Cultural Criticism & Transformation
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Gender, Sexuality, Identity Politics
Terminology: Gender and Sexuality

Lesbian Bodies
If These Walls Could Talk 2