Women's and Gender Studies

Course Descriptions

WGS 1000 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (4)

This course serves as a introduction to the academic discipline of women’s and gender studies. Encouraging individuals to develop to their fullest potential, women’s studies uses feminist and interdisciplinary methods to teach, conduct research, and expand existing bodies of knowledge. Critical thinking, the production of theory, and the assumption of community and global responsibility are integral to these methods. In this class students will explore these ideas while becoming aware of the ways in which gender is a social construct that  impacts the political, economic, and social realities of  women and men’s lives.

WGS/CRJ 1800 – Women and Crime (4)

This course explores women’s involvement in the criminal justice system- from victim and offender to practitioner and service provider.

WGS/PHL 2016 – Family Ethics (4)

This course is an introduction to historical and contemporary ethical perspectives on the family and its relation to the broader social, religious, and political order. Service Learning sections are available.

WGS/CSI 2020 – Identity, Gender, and Social Justice in High Point (4)

This course explores the relationship of identity to ongoing social justice movements for equality within the frame of a contemporary U.S. context. As a service learning course, students will partner with community programs that address the individual and collective needs of the city of High Point’s residents, enhancing their understanding of course concepts through the application of real-world problem solving. The weekly readings and classroom meetings will engage students in a critical examination of identity and social justice theories alongside the current events in the High Point community.

REL/WGS 2028 –  Gender, Sexuality, and Christianity in America (4)

This course will examine gender and sexuality within American Christian history. We will critically examine changes in how gender and sexuality are perceived and constructed according to various Christian interpretations in America. Beginning with sexual regulation in the Puritan age, the course will look at how sexuality and gender have been regulated according to a specific set of white, male, Protestant ideals across three centuries. It will then turn to the twentieth to examine how these ideals were challenged through a growing Catholic presence and the twenty-first century to examine how these ideals are continuously challenged by the rise of liberation theologies and rights-based movements which seek to broaden Christian notions of sexuality and challenge its gender binary. This course DOES count as a general education requirement for Religion.

WGS/SOA 2030 – Sociology of the Family (4)

The course will provide a survey of the American family, including racial-ethnic variation within the family. Recent transformations of the family will be emphasized. Topics will include cohabitation, civil unions, marriage, divorce, remarriage, parenting, provision of care to aging family members, and domestic violence. The effect of public policy on family formation and function will be examined.

REL/WGS 2038 – Gender, Sexuality, and Islam (4)

This course will examine the place of women in the tradition, history, and main social and legal institutions of Islam. Arguably, Islam, as a major system of beliefs in the world, affects Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Consequently, besides examining the basic tenets and texts of the religion about gender and women, this course focuses on the variety of ways in which Muslims and non-Muslims have understood and interpreted the role of women in Islam.

WGS/SOA 2040 – Race and Ethnicity (4)

This course is an introduction to the sociology of race and ethnicity. The course surveys general theoretical approaches to race and ethnicity and applies them to specific historical developments in American race relations. Specific contemporary issues will be addressed in the course, including: racial/ethnic identity, residential segregation, immigration, education, and affirmative action. Emphasis will be given to the intersection of race/ethnicity, class and gender.

WGS/ENG/GBS 2220 – Women’s Literary Tradition (4)

Exploring women’s roles as producers and consumers of literature, this course traces the evolution of a women’s literary tradition through the reading and discussion of a variety of authors and genres. Rather than follow a strict linear trajectory, the course is arranged thematically to reflect the diversity of women’s voices, roles, and experiences. Topics to be covered include identity and difference, the female body, and marriage and motherhood. Prerequisites: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

WGS/HST 2240 – U.S. Women’s History (4)

This survey course will examine the history of U.S. women, place their experiences in the context of political, social, and cultural change, and consider the ways evolving notions of gender both shaped women’s lives and broader U.S. history. Students will examine the lives of famous and unknown women and analyze how their experiences reflected the time and situations in which they lived. Honors section available.

WGS/COM/SOA 2274 – Women, Gender, and Culture (4)

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the historical and contemporary practices and perspectives of women’s studies in America, exploring the range of voices from our foresisters of past decades to young females today. We will question systems of oppression, differences, and hierarchies; look at the interactions of sexuality and power; examine the social construction of gender; explore the performative aspect of gender; delve into women’s connection to both high and popular culture; and analyze the ways in which our society inscribes gender on our physical bodies. Attention will also be given to various situations of women outside of the United States.

WGS/SOA 2850 – Globalization and Poverty

This class is designed to confront the hard truths about globalization, a kind of open-ended discussion of our common humanity, and globalization’s inevitable links to social inequality and suffering. In the first half of the course, we will critically engage popular discourses of globalization (and the metaphors that drive it), and we will build an understanding of the actual, existing political, economic, technological, and social processes that enable globalization as well as world poverty. In the second half of the course, we will investigate through ethnographic case studies the subtle cultural processes that shape and are shaped by global structures and that instantiate non-Western globalizations. Prerequisites: SOA 1010 or SOA 1020.

WGS 2881, 3881, 4881 – Special Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies 

Variable credit. May be repeated.

WGS/REL 3007 – Women in the Bible (4)

This course examines selected stories about women in both Testaments from literary, historical, sociological, and theological perspectives. The hermeneutic of liberation employed will examine the texts for both their oppressive and their liberating potential.

WGS/SOA 3025 – Sociology of Work and Family (4)

Work and family are institutions that around which many individuals organize their lives. The course will explore questions that address the interconnection of work and family: How do jobs affect family life? What effect does family life have on men’s and women’s experiences in the paid labor market? How effectively do existing policies address the challenges faced by working families? Although the course will focus on contemporary U/S. society, comparison to one or more non-U.S. countries will be made. Prerequisites: SOA 1010 or SOA 1020 and SOA 3120 or SOA 3700 or permission of the instructor.

WGS/SMG 3030 – Gender Issues in Sport (4)

This course will expose students to obvious and subtle issues in the sport domain that contribute to different opportunities and experiences for individuals based on gender. The relationship between sexuality, masculinity, femininity and sport has been a slow evolving process throughout history. This course will examine such topics as masculinity in sport, media representation in sport, and transgressing femininities in sport. Students will discuss gender equity issues as they relate to sports coverage and career opportunities in sports organizations.  Prerequisite: Junior standing.

WGS/SL 3100 – Feminist Theory and Praxis (4)

This course examines feminist theory and praxis through the lens of service learning. In partnering with community programs that empower and address the needs of women, students will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of course concepts as they put feminist thought into action. The weekly readings and classroom meetings will engage students in a critical examination of several influential and emerging works of feminist theory. The theories and methodologies discussed in class will then be practiced, tested, and analyzed through students’ engagement with community partners.

WGS 3110 – Culture of Masculinities (4)

How many times have you heard, either in real life or in popular media, the phrase “be a man”?  How might we make sense of this sentence?  Is it a command?  What assumptions sit behind each word in the command?  Whose power or identity is informed or limited by its assumptions?  Who gets to determine what it means to “be a man”?  Is it self-evident?  If so, to whom?  Under what conditions might a figure (and what sort of figure?) feel compelled to make this demand?  What does it say about masculinity (the set of traits and actions that we might assume go into “being” man) that this phrase could even be made in the first place?  What do we think about a gender that needs, it seems, to be enforced through this sort of command?  In short, what does it mean to “be a man”?  This course explores the meaning of masculinity and how maleness is gendered through popular culture. Popular culture should never be mistaken for a simple diversion or entertainment. Instead, it provides us with stories, images and scripts that enable us to imagine and practice the socially constructed ideal of hegemonic masculinity. The social norms of masculinity generated by popular culture are evident in the clothes we buy, the ‘looks’ we aspire to, and the ways we think of love and romance. Learning to think critically about the images, practices, and stories found in popular culture allow us to more deeply examine males’ diverse experiences as boys and/or men and the attached public discourses about masculinities in the West. The major focus of the course is to examine how the social order influences men’s actions and the way men perceive themselves, other men, women, and social situations. As such, we will be conducting an intersectional exploration into how masculinity is embodied and lived out in American culture.

WGS/HST 3241 – Sex and the City: American Women and the Urban Landscape (4)

This seminar course examines the relationship between the urban environment and women’s history. Special attention will be paid to changes in work – working conditions, types of employment offered, the shifting nature of domestic labor – and leisure. Sample activities include film viewings and analysis  of physical structures. Prerequisite: One 1000- or 2000- level history course or permission of the instructor. 

WGS/HST 3242 – War, Gender, and Military in U.S. History (4)

This course will allow students to evaluate the role gender has played in shaping American society, with particular attention paid to how moments of stability (peace) or instability (war) prompted either the revision or affirmation of standard gender roles.

WGS/SPN/GBS 3280 – Latin American Women Writers (4)

Discussion and literary analysis of poetry, prose, theatre, and essay by Latin American women writers. This course will introduce students to canonical women authors as well as lesser known writers of the region. Works will be studied as an expression of the cultural context in which they were produced. Discussion will be centered on how these works enter into a dialogue with issues that affect women and their role in Latin American society. Special attention to the discussion, understanding, and application of techniques for literary analysis. Prerequisites: SPN 2130 with a grade of C or higher, and SPN 2140 or SPN 4010, or the permission of the instructor. 

WGS/ENG/GBS 3298 – Women Writing Worldwide (4)

This course, cross-listed in both the departments of English and Women’s and Gender Studies, pairs together current feminist theory with contemporary fiction by women writers from around the world. Topics covered include construction of the female body, women and work, relationships and family, exile and immigration, and women and war.

WGS/PSC 3311 – Women and Politics (4)

This course considers the theoretical foundations of women’s role in society and examines the scope and nature of the difference that women make in politics. It examines the changing role of women in American politics-as citizens, voters, candidates and elected officials-from the 1800’s to the present. Finally, it evaluates the ways that legislation and litigation have altered the political and legal rights of women in modern society.

WGS/SOA/COM 3334 – Media Representations: Race, Class, and Gender (4)

This course is a critical and theoretical study of the assumptions and representations of mainstream media- advertising, music, film, television, comics, and animation- through the lenses of gender, race, ethnicity, whiteness, sexuality, age, and ability, considering media content as well as media production and audience reception. Prerequisites: Junior standing or the permission of the instructor.

WGS/COM 3372 – Games and Identity (4)

This course examines the intersections of gender, race, culture, ethnicity, and sexuality with video game play. Students will complete the course with an understanding of how games represent and stereotype groups, identities are constructed, and the effect identities have on the interpretations, production of, access to, and enjoyment of games. Readings will include cultural and interpretive theoretical texts in game studies, gender studies, digital rhetoric, and the social sciences.  This interdisciplinary course, which pulls from the humanities and the social sciences, helps students become critical thinkers and researchers of new media while providing them with a theoretical vocabulary that will help inform their future research and creative projects. This class serves as a general elective for majors and non-majors. Pre-requisites: ENG 1103 & Sophomore standing. 

WGS/COM/GBS 3374 – Global Media Representations of Women (4)

In this course, students will examine theoretical and key issues on global media representations of women. Topics include the nature of media and how it creates and challenges stereotypes, as well as its exclusionary representation. We will examine women’s portrayals in media forms that include: television, print and online media, music videos, advertisements, video games, etc. We will also examine the work of women in the industry. Prerequisites: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103, and junior standing.

WGS/BIO 3500 – Biology of Women (4)

This course will examine the physiology of the adult female body and will address health issues that are unique to or different in women. Emphasis will be placed on the effects of female sex hormones on multiple processes (reproductive, nervous, endocrine and cardiovascular) in the body.

WGS/EMG 3550 – Events for a Diverse Society (4)

This course is designed to enhance student understanding of leisure and specifically events for a diverse society. Specifically, this course emphasizes events as leisure, tourism, and hospitality spaces for leisure and employment for a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic society, as well as for persons with disabilities. As the course explores the significance of events within our leisure and workplace, it will focus on the impact of leisure delivery systems on diverse populations within our society.  In addition, students will learn to think critically, understand and respect different perspectives, and appreciate the cultural and contextual nature of their leisure choices and actions.  Implications of personal biases will be a thread throughout the course.

WGS/SOA 3650 – Gender and Sustainability (4)

This course will critically analyze sustainability from gendered perspectives. This course introduces students to the concept of sustainability from a three-pronged perspective that considers the economic, social, and environmental pillars that are the foundation of holistic sustainability science. Students will learn how these three pillars are all critical to achieving truly sustainable development as defined and promoted by the United Nations. Through readings, written assignments, and class discussions, students will examine the intersectionality of gender and sustainability with class, race, age, nationality, religion, power,  politics, social movements, and health from local and global perspectives. Students will critique practical applications of sustainable development programs and the role of gender in creating a more sustainable future. Students will have the opportunity to learn about gender and sustainability through case study analyses stemming from a variety of geographic regions. Prerequisite: SOA 1020 or WGS 1000.

WGS/ENG 4150 – Rhetoric, Identity, and Culture (4)

Advanced study of the theoretical and practical considerations necessary for public writing with respect to the ways that cultures and communities are constructed through language and txt. Students will consider the relationship sbetween identity and professional writing as they develop skills such as writing for diverse audiences; assessing sources for credibility, bias, and suitability; and evaluating rhetorical styles for effectiveness. Prerequisites: ENG 2125 or permission of the instructor.

WGS/COM/SOA 4424 – Gender Speak (4)

This course—coming from both a theoretical and practical perspective—will focus on gender literacy, providing you with the tools to be more conscious and mindful of the ways you choose to communicate gender. Springing from a social constructionist framework, we will examine our society’s normalized gendered practices and seek ways to understand how to negotiate that system with agency. Prerequisites: Junior standing or permission of the instructor.

WGS/SL 4434 – LGBTQ+ Studies + Advocacy (4)

This course will survey the study of LGBTQ+ identities in America. It will parallel gender theory alongside a history of sexualities, histories that are often overlooked. We will examine how LGBTQ+ communities, persons, and advocacy efforts changed alongside other major social events in American history and at modern day gender/queer theory. As a Service Learning course, the course will look for ways to advocate with the LGBTQ+ community here in High Point through either education or awareness endeavors.

WGS 4444 – Independent Study in Women’s and Gender Studies (1-4)

Individual study and research under the guidance of a faculty member who offers coursework in the WGS program.

WGS/WEL 4475 – Culture of Fitness (4)

Fitness culture is a sociocultural phenomenon, which refers to the culture that surrounds physical exercises and the associated gym culture in which those exercises are performed. This course will follow the historical development of this phenomenon from its inception with the gymnastics of ancient Greece and Rome to its effect on modern culture through World War II, the Cold War, and finally to its commercialization. In addition, this ourse focuses on the influences on fitness culture; namely the mass media, peer influence, personal trainers, sport fashion, and branded exercises. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

WGS/EXS 4675 – The Body and Identity (4)

This course looks deeper at how our bodies fit (and don’t fit) within society and are a physically and socially constructed entity that influences our identity. The way we move, adorn, and utilize our bodies all reflect and also help shape our sense of who we are. In a way, our appearance is linked with our essence. Grasping the significance of the body involves studies of personal psychology and physiology as well as studies of historical, social, and cultural variations in experience and identity. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

WGS 4810-4815 – Student Internship 

Credit-bearing internships are arranged through the Office of Career and Professional Development and Internship Resource Center. Three, four, six, eight, ten, or twelve credits.


The High Point Admissions Office is Located in Wrenn Hall.

Tours are available 7 days a week. Please contact us to schedule your visit.
(800) 345-6993
(336) 841-9216
(336) 888-6382 (fax)

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