Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGST)

Subject-area course lists indicate courses currently active for offering at the University of Louisville. Not all courses are scheduled in any given academic term. For class offerings in a specific semester, refer to the Schedule of Classes.

500-level courses generally are included in both the undergraduate- and graduate-level course listings; however, specific course/section offerings may vary between semesters. Students are responsible for ensuring that they enroll in courses that are applicable to their particular academic programs.

Course Fees

Some courses may carry fees beyond the standard tuition costs to cover additional support or materials. Program-, subject- and course-specific fee information can be found on the Office of the Bursar website.


WGST 508. Queer Performance3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: What constitutes queer performance? Is queer who you are or what you do? Is sexuality all we mean by queer? What are the historical, aesthetic, and political aspects of queer performance? Integral to our theoretical discussions will be questions of practice and production: Where is queer performance staged and how is it received? How is it produced, for whom, by whom, and with what funds? Is queer inherently or even necessarily radical? Within rigid Western notions of gender, the "Queer Performer," is a gender outlaw; an individual who pushed at the edges of gender, forcing us to recognize that gender has little to do with our biological sex. Their performances of their gender(s), race(s), and/or sexuality(ies) challenges our prevailing notions of what it means to be Queer and what it means to perform identity. This course will examine the artistic and aesthetic performances of various Queer Performers to foster an understanding and appreciation of the rich diversity of the forms of performance styles and practitioners that might be called "lesbian," "gay," "transgender," and "queer," among others. Secondly, it will motivate students to examine the broad social, political, religious, and cultural contexts in which queer performance takes place. Lastly, this course will allow students to contemplate what it means to be a spectator of performance through a queer perspective, regardless of one's identity, or sexual orientation.

Note: Cross-listed with WGST 608 and HUM 608.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 509. Women and Medicine3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: In this course we will focus on women and medicine in the United States from the early 19th century to the 21st century. We will be concerned with women as patients, caretakers, and practitioners, and the sexual and racial politics of health care.

Note: Cross-listed with HIST 509.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 512. Gender, Race, Work, and Welfare3 Units

Prerequisite(s): 9 hours of social sciences course work at the 300-level or above; or consent of instructor.

Description: Introduction to theory and research on labor market and welfare state with focus on gender and race/ethnicity as they influence women's experiences of and ideas about work and welfare. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 512 and SOC 512.
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 512 / PAS 512 / SOC 512 and WGST 612 / PAS 612 / SOC 612.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 513. U.S. Social Justice Movements3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Junior-level standing.

Description: Course will begin with abolitionism, then concentrate on social justice upsurges of the 20th century, with emphasis on women in the civil rights and Black liberation movements. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with HIST 513, PAS 513, SCHG 513.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 520. Women's Personal Narratives3 Units

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 102 or ENGL 105 or WGST 199; Junior standing.

Description: Course examines issues such as race, class, religion, geography, and sexual orientation surrounding the writing/reading of women's personal narratives (e.g., diaries, letters, autobiographies, oral histories, biographies, and films) from the 19th and 20th centuries. (Humanities)

Note: Cross-listed with ENGL 554.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 523. Gender and Popular Music - WR3 Units

Description: Course explores the way gender structures the production, distribution, and consumption of popular music, including variety of genres in the past and present, with attention to the intersectional roles of race, class,and sexuality. (Humanities).

Note: Approved for the Arts & Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 530. Feminism in Western Civilization, 1790-1920 - WR3 Units

Description: Comparative analysis of feminist movements in the United States, Britain, and Europe, stressing intellectual background, social composition, goals and political strategies. (Social Sciences)

Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).
Note: Credit may not be received for WGST 530 or HIST 588 and WGST 630.
Note: Junior-standing recommended.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 531. Women in the Twentieth Century in Europe and the U.S. - WR3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.

Description: The history of women in Western society, including Europe and the U.S. in the twentieth century. Includes political, economic, social, and cultural developments. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with HIST 583.
Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).
Note: Credit may not be earned for WGST 531/HIST 583 and WGST 631.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 532. History of American Sexualities - WR3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.

Description: The course focuses on sexual behaviors and meanings in America from the colonial period to the late twentieth century and how sexual meanings impact people's identities, choices, and social positions. The course also concerns the interaction of gender, race, and class. (Social Sciences)

Note: HIST 211 and HIST 212 is recommended.
Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).
Note: Credit may not be earned for this course and HIST 589.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 533. Women in 19th-Century America - WR3 Units

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 102 or ENGL 105, or the equivalent.

Description: Course focuses on material conditions, ideologies, and knowledge-systems that shaped American women's lives in the 19th century, with attention to race, class, and regional differences. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with HIST 506.
Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).
Note: Credit may not be earned for both HIST 506 / WGST 533 and WGST 633.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 538. Woman and Sport3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: An effort to understand the role of the American woman in sport. Studies concepts about women, sport, and society in contemporary and historical perspectives. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with SPAD 529.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 540. Women's Health in Africa - WR3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing.

Description: Examination of population growth, early marriage, family size and cultural and religious beliefs on reproductive health of contemporary African women. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 562.
Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 540/PAS 562 and WGST 640/PAS 662.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 543. Black Women's Voices - WR3 Units

Prerequisite(s): At least 6 credit hours in Social Science or Humanities or consent of faculty.

Description: Global synopsis of black women's studies and social thoughts. Highlights roadblocks and bridges experienced. Captures race, gender, class and spatial dimensions. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 542.
Note: Approved for the Arts & Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 543/PAS 542 and WGST 643/PAS 643.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 547. Language, Race, Class, and Gender3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.

Description: Course investigates the intersections of linguistic behavior with questions of race,class and gender. Students will gain an understanding of the multiple characteristics of communication. (Humanities)

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 547.
Note: Credit may not be earned for this course and PAS 547.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 556. Feminist Theory - WR3 Units

Description: Survey of the history and scope of the feminist tradition with emphasis upon liberal, radical, Marxist, socialist, psychoanalytic, and postmodern approaches to feminist theory. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with POLS 568.
Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 556/POLS 568 and WGST 656/POLS 668.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 558. Women in Developing Countries - WR3 Units

Description: Follows the progress of the international women's movement by focusing on the emergence of women leaders and their work in developing countries since the First World Conference on Women, 1975 to the present. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with POLS 563.
Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 560. Feminist Philosophical Literature3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.

Description: Examination of central works by feminist philosophers in such sub-disciplines as ethics, political philosophy, and epistemology. (Humanities)

Note: Cross-listed with PHIL 518.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 571. Francophone Women Writers - WR3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Faculty consent.

Description: Readings of literary and non-literary texts by women of the French-speaking world. (Humanities)

Note: Cross-listed with M L 506.
Note: Approved for the Arts & Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 582. Gender, Race and Culture in Health Care3 Units

Prerequisite(s): A Philosophy course at 300-level or above, or consent of instructor.

Description: Examines ways social groupings and systems affect the kind of health care needed and the kind people receive. Addresses both biases and stereotypes, and empirical claims about biologically-based differences.

Note: Cross-listed with PHIL 582.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 584. Women in East Asian History3 Units

Description: The history of women in China from ancient times to the twentieth century, with comparisons to women's experiences in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with HIST 584.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 589. Independent Study: Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies-Humanities1-3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Restricted to students who have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and have completed a minimum of 12 hours in WGST courses; permission of instructor.

Description: Provides opportunity for a student to do advanced interdisciplinary, humanities work on a Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies topic.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 590. Independent Study: Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies-Social Sciences1-3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Restricted to students who have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and have completed a minimum of 12 hours in WGST courses; permission of instructor.

Description: Provides opportunity for a student to do advanced interdisciplinary, social sciences work on a Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies topic. Topics announced in Schedule of Courses.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 591. Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies: Social Sciences3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: Provides advanced study of a special topic related to women, gender or sexuality from an interdisciplinary, social sciences perspective. Topics announced in Schedule of Courses. (Social Science)

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 592. Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies: Social Sciences - WR3 Units

Description: Provides advanced study of a special topic related to women, gender or sexuality from an interdisciplinary, social sciences perspective. Topics announced in Schedule of Courses.

Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 593. Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies: Humanities3 Units

Description: Provides advanced study of a special topic related to women, gender or sexuality from an interdisciplinary, humanities perspective. Topics announced in Schedule of Courses. (Humanities)

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 594. Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies: Humanities - WR3 Units

Description: Provides advanced study of a special topic related to women, gender or sexuality from an interdisciplinary, humanities perspective. Topics announced in Schedule of Courses.

Note: Approved for the General Education requirement in written communication (WR).

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 600. Research/Writing in Women's and Gender Studies.1 Unit

Prerequisite(s): Restricted to students admitted to WGST MA or graduate certificate program.

Description: Course focuses on buliding research and academic writing skills. Students will become familiar with primary/secondary-source databases and with the process and structure of academic writing in the social sciences and humanities.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 601. Feminist Research in the Humanities3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Restricted to students admitted to WGST MA or graduate certificate program, or permission of instructor.

Description: Course examines ways feminist concerns have influenced research questions in the humanities (history; philosophy; religious, cultural, and literary studies). Readings focus on gender issues as they relate to power, representation, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 602. Feminist Research and Methods in the Social Sciences3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Admission to WGST MA or graduate certificate program, or Sociology MA, or permission of instructor.

Description: Through readings across social sciences disciplines (i.e.; in sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, political science), course will analyze many ways feminist theory and methodology have influenced research in the social sciences.

Note: Cross-listed with SOC 672.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 603. History of U.S. Feminisms3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Restricted to graduate students.

Description: Course focuses on social, ideological, and institutional dynamics that have shaped the development of feminisms in the U.S. since 1840. Students will read primary and secondary sources related to self-described feminist movements as well as other movements aimed at gender and social justice.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 608. Queer Performance3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: What constitutes queer performance? Is queer who you are or what you do? Is sexuality all we mean by queer? What are the historical, aesthetic, and political aspects of queer performance? Integral to our theoretical discussions will be questions of practice and production: Where is queer performance staged and how is it received? How is it produced, for whom, by whom, and with what funds? Is queer inherently or even necessarily radical? Within rigid Western notions of gender, the "Queer Performer," is a gender outlaw; an individual who pushed at the edges of gender, forcing us to recognize that gender has little to do with our biological sex. Their performances of their gender(s), race(s), and/or sexuality(ies) challenges our prevailing notions of what it means to be Queer and what it means to perform identity. This course will examine the artistic and aesthetic performances of various Queer Performers to foster an understanding and appreciation of the rich diversity of the forms of performance styles and practitioners that might be called "lesbian," "gay," "transgender," and "queer," among others. Secondly, it will motivate students to examine the broad social, political, religious, and cultural contexts in which queer performance takes place. Lastly, this course will allow students to contemplate what it means to be a spectator of performance through a queer perspective, regardless of one's identity, or sexual orientation.

Note: Cross-listed with WGST 508 and HUM 608.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 609. Women and Medicine3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: In this course we will focus on women and medicine in the United States from the early 19th century to the 21st century. We will be concerned with women as patients, caretakers, and practitioners, and the sexual and racial politics of health care.

Note: Cross-listed with HIST 609.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 612. Gender, Race, Work, and Welfare3 Units

Description: Introduction to theory and research on labor market and welfare state with focus on gender and race/ethnicity as they influence women's experiences of and ideas about work and welfare.

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 612 and SOC 612.
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 612 and PAS 612/SOC 612.
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 512 and PAS 512/SOC 512.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 615. Seminar in the Sociology of Disabilities3 Units

Description: Intensive examination of sociological perspectives on medicine, culture, and science to examine the meanings, experiences, demographics, and impact of disability in historical and contemporary contexts.

Note: Cross-listed with SOC 642.
Note: Credit may not be earned for this course and WGST 415 or SOC 442.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 620. Women's Personal Narratives3 Units

Description: Course examines issues such as race, class, religion, geography, and sexual orientation surrounding the writing/reading of women's personal narratives (e.g., diaries, letters, autobiographies, oral histories, biographies, and film) from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Note: Credit may not be earned for this course and WGST 520 or ENGL 554.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 622. The Body in Popular Media3 Units

Description: Examines the relationship between culture and the body, focusing on how Western philosophy, as well as gender, race and class, have constructed popular images of and attitudes toward the body.

Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 522 and WGST 622.
Note: WGST 522 does not carry graduate credit.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 625. Art and Trauma3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

Description: Representations of Trauma in the Visual Arts is an advanced exploratory seminar examining the changing relationships between trauma and its representation in the twentieth century. Beginning with the Holocaust, the course charts a trajectory from this most profound of collective traumas, to the refinement of clinical definitions of trauma (e.g., PTSD) in the wake of the Vietnam War, the development of trauma studies in the humanities in the 1990s, to the recent "pictorial turn" within scholarship on trauma. This historical framework will be brought to bear upon the dynamics of how trauma and visuality have been approached by scientists, scholars, and artists. Each week's reading and viewing materials will offer students an example of historical or clinical account of trauma, a secondary or applied analysis, and its artist's original work that responds to the particular traumatic event under consideration. In this regard, students will be encouraged to negotiate the discursive relationships between history, theory, and practice.

Note: Cross-listed with ARTH 625.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 630. Feminism in Western Civilization3 Units

Description: Comparative analysis of feminist movements in the United States, Britain, and Europe, stressing intellectual background, social composition, goals and political strategies.

Note: Credit may not be received for WGST 530 or HIST 588 and WGST 630.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 631. Women in the Twentieth Century in Europe and the U.S.3 Units

Description: The history of women in Western society, including Europe and the U.S. in the twentieth century. Includes political, economic, social, and cultural developments.

Note: Credit may not be earned for WGST 531/HIST 583 and WGST 631.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 632. History of American Sexualities3 Units

Description: The course focuses on sexual behaviors and meanings in America from colonial period to the late twentieth century and how sexual meanings impact people's identities, choices, and social position. The course also examines the interaction of gender, race, and class.

Note: Credit may not be earned for this course and WGST 532 or HIST 589.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 633. Women in 19th-Century America3 Units

Description: Course focuses on material conditions, ideologies, and knowledge-systems that shaped American women's lives in the 19th century, with attention to race, class, and regional differences.

Note: Credit may not be received for this course and for HIST 506 or WGST 533.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 640. Women's Health in Africa3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

Description: Examination of population growth, early marriage, family size, and cultural and religious beliefs of reproduction on the health of the contemporary African woman.

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 662.
Note: Credit cannot be earned for both WGST 540/PAS 562 and WGST 640/PAS 662.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 643. Black Women's Voices3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

Description: Global synopsis of back women's studies and social thoughts. Highlights roadblocks and bridges experienced. Captures race, gender, class and spatial dimensions.

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 643.
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 543/PAS 542 and WGST 643/PAS 643.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 645. Southern Women: Black and White3 Units

Description: Course focuses on questions of identity for southern women, black and white, by contrasting stereotypes and ideals with realities for these women in the slave, Jim Crow, and modern south.

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 645.
Note: Credit may not be earned for this course and WGST 545 or PAS 545.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 656. Feminist Theory3 Units

Description: Survey of the history and scope of the feminist tradition with emphasis upon liberal, radical, Marxist, socialist, psychoanalytic, and post modern approaches to feminist theory. (Social Sciences)

Note: Cross-listed with POLS 668.
Note: Credit may not be earned for both WGST 556/POLS 568 and WGST 656/POLS 668.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 682. Gender, Race and Culture in Health Care3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Admission to Bioethics MA or consent of instructor.

Description: Examines ways social groupings and systems affect the kind of health care needed and the kind people receive. Addresses both biases and stereotypes, and empirical claims about biologically-based differences.

Note: Cross-listed with PHIL 682 & BETH 682.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 689. Independent Study: Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies-Humanities1-3 Units

Description: Provides opportunity for a student to do advanced interdisciplinary, humanities work on a Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies topic.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 690. Independent Study: Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies-Social Sciences1-3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

Description: Provides opportunity for a graduate student to do advanced interdisciplinary, social sciences work on a Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies topic.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 691. Advanced Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies-Social Sciences3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

Description: Provides advanced study of a special topic related to women, gender or sexuality from an interdisciplinary, social sciences approach.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 692. Advanced Topics in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies-Humanities3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

Description: Provides advanced study of a special topic related to women, gender or sexuality from an interdisciplinary, humanities perspective.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 695. Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Practicum3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Consent of chair.

Description: 150 hours of field work in a community organization, culminating in a portfolio, research project, or grant proposal.

Course Attribute(s): CBL - This course includes Community-Based Learning (CBL). Students will engage in a community experience or project with an external partner in order to enhance understanding and application of academic content.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 698. Master's Degree Project3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Consent of chair.

Description: Students pursuing the non-thesis option will complete a master's project as a requirement for the MA. The master's project will consist of a culminating essay or research portfolio in accordance with departmental guidelines.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

WGST 699. Thesis3-6 Units

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes