Course Descriptions


WST 200: Women, Culture, and Society

Goal: To explore in an interdisciplinary context the wide range of social and cultural issues which affect women's experiences across time and cultures.

Content: Topics to be explored may include gender roles and images in history, language, literature, religion, art and science; sexuality, family, reproduction, and parenthood; work, employment, and the economics of gender; law, rights, government, and politics; past and contemporary feminist movements. Methods include cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural study of women's lives, gender analysis and the questioning of the role that gender plays in all fields of study, cooperative and collaborative learning, sharing and learning from each other's experiences as a method of personal empowerment.

Taught: Spring.

Prerequisite: None.

Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Historical Events & Phenomena; (HUM)

Credit: 3 hours.


COM 202: Public Speaking
To provide an overview of the theory and principles of public address; to provide diverse opportunities for application of these principles in oral communication situations.
Content: Informative, persuasive, and special-occasion speechmaking; discussion of the communication process; ethics
of speech-making; and basic speech analysis.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Gen. Ed. Category: Developing; Speaking Competency; (HUM)
Credit: 3 hours.


COM 216: Intercultural Communication
To compare communication as it occurs across cultures; to increase students’ awareness of other cultures; to examine how culture influences communication.
Content: Examination of the relationships among cultures, communication, institutions, and public and private life.
Taught: Alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Expanding; Diverse & Interdependent World; (HUM
Credit: 3 hours.


COM 250: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women

Goal: To enhance understanding of the socio-cultural differences and similarities among women.

Content: Through a theoretical focus on race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, social economic class, (dis)ability, etc., students will explore the historical root systems, institutional structures, and lived experiences of a diversity of women. (Note: Non-Western emphasis.)

Taught: Alternative years.

Prerequisite(s): None.

Gen. Ed. Category: Expanding; Women's Experiences; (HUM)

Credit: 3 hours.


COM/WST 300: Gender and Communication
Goal: To explore the similarities and differences in men’s and women’s communication styles; to explore such issues as friendship, workplace experience, leadership styles, professional relationships, and gendered interactions in family
Content: Critical analysis and discussion of a variety of journal articles, theoretical texts, films, and speeches, with primary focus given to those produced by women.
Taught: Alternate years.

Prerequisites: COM 103 or WST 200 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

COM 310: Rhetorical Criticism
Goal: To discuss a variety of critical methods by which to analyze, interpret, and evaluate public communication, with special emphasis on women’s speeches; to introduce students to techniques of message analysis; to develop speech
writing skills.
Content: Examination of persuasive strategies and linguistic choices in oral and written discourse; three speeches applying the techniques of message analysis discussed in class.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: COM 103 or 202 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.


COM 340: Persuasion
Goal: To investigate rhetoric as a persuasive cultural tool through the analysis of symbols; evidence and reasoning;beliefs, attitudes, and values; cultural and societal influence; and audience needs and expectations.
Content: Discussion of contemporary theory and research in persuasion; investigations of the identification and persuasion paradigms of rhetoric; applications of persuasion theory to campaigns, social movement discourse, and
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: COM 103 or COM 202 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.


WST 350: Feminist Theory.

Goal: Provides a comprehensive survey of different approaches to Women's Studies research.

Content: This course exposes students to a variety of theoretical and research Feminist methodologies used by scholars in Women's Studies. The broad set of learning skills provided by this course is meant to be combined with a supplemental specialized methodology course so that the student can develop a thorough approach to Women's Studies research in her concentration of choice.

Taught:  Fall.

Prerequisites: WST 200; suggested junior standing.

Credit: 3 hours.


WST 401: Senior Seminar (Women's Studies)
Goal: Provides an integrative capstone experience for Women’s Studies majors, allowing them to develop independent projects in Women’s Studies and share their ideas in a workshop setting.
Content: This course encourages the student to make connections among the various parts of her course of study.  Student workshops will be facilitated by the Women’s Studies Chair, and independent research and writing will be conducted in consultation with the student’s chosen advisor and the Women’s Studies Chair. The results of the student’s research will be presented at the annual Women’s Studies Symposium.
Taught: Fall.
Prerequisites: WST 350; supplemental methods course; suggested senior standing.
Credit: 1 hour.


COM 402: Senior Seminar (Communication)
Goal: To provide a student with a capstone course that will provide an overview of communication research methods.
Content: Construction of the senior portfolio; group study and discussion of current communication topics. Content may vary from year to year.
Taught: Annually.
Prerequisites: Status as a declared communication major or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.


WST 402: Symposium Lab (Women's Studies)
Goal: Students will organize and direct several events for the Wesleyan campus, including the annual Women's Studies Symposium, then learn to polish their own research for review by a professional audience..
Content: This is a one-hour weekly workshop that allows Women's Studies majors and minors to work together to plan the annual Women's Studies Symposium (WSTS) and Women's History events in March and other spring semester activities. The focus of the WSTS Lab is to provide a platforms for both the presentation of scholarly work and for activism and advocacy opportunities for Women's Studies students and the Wesleyan community. Students will use the WSTS workshop to exchange ideas and polish their own projects, then, using responses from the seminar, finalize a portion of their projects for a professional audience in the form of a publication, professional presentation, or academic writing sample. Majors must take this lab twice, and minors must take this lab once.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisites: WST 200; suggested junior standing; declared status as a Women's Studies major or minor.
Credit: 1 hour.



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Rev. 09.15