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Gender Studies

Jennifer Helgren, Director

Phone: (209) 946-2343

Minors Offered

Gender Studies

The Gender Studies Program at Pacific is a thriving interdisciplinary consortium of faculty and students committed to both a curricular and cultural environment supportive of the study of gender. We are interested in how gender intersects with definitions of nationality, race, ethnicity, and class; and how gender identities are constantly redefined over time. By exploring the relationship between gender identity and cultural meaning, we prepare students to think comparatively, structurally, and critically about their experiences and impact on the world. The dialogue we foster among the liberal arts, natural sciences, and the professions enriches the intellectual life of Pacific’s students and faculty, as well as our surrounding community.

Minor in Gender Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 20 units and 5 courses with a Pacific minor grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn a minor in gender studies.

Minor Requirements:

GEND 011Introduction to Gender Studies4
Electives (Four from the other approved courses list)16


Note: 1) Only 2 of these courses can be taken in the same department. 2) There are special topics courses, frequently offered, which may be included toward the minor requirement.

Gender Studies Courses

GEND 011. Introduction to Gender Studies. 4 Units.

This course explores the social construction of masculinities and femininities throughout history and in the contemporary world. Students learn about the differences between sex and gender, the relationship of gender to power, and the ways in which gender is inscribed in various cultural discourses and practices. A multi-disciplinary analysis is incorporated throughout the course. (DVSY, GE1A, GEND)

GEND 191. Independent Study. 2-4 Units.

GEND 197. Undergraduate Research. 1-4 Units.

Other Gender Studies Courses

ARTH 114. 20th Century Art and Film. 4 Units.

Major styles of the 20th century that include Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism, etc., and their appearance in visual arts, theater design, and film are explored. Students also evaluate how Western European artists borrowed imagery from other cultures and their relationship to colonialist concerns. Students also consider representations of the body and how this imagery relates to gender constructions. The effects of urbanization upon the artistic enterprise and the development of abstract and non-objective art are also considered. This course satisfies a requirement of Film Studies minor. (GE2C, GEND)

ARTH 116. Contemporary World Art 1945 to Present. 4 Units.

This course explores major artists, styles, and movements in world art from 1945 to the present. Gestural abstraction, Pop, Photo Realism, Happenings, Video, Performance, Conceptual and Political art as well as film are a few of the trends that are considered. Ever-expanding notions of what constitutes art in this pluralistic era is also examined. This course satisfies a requirement of the Film Studies minor. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)

ENGL 041. British Literature before 1800. 4 Units.

This course studies the major authors, works and traditions from Beowulf through the Pearl Poet, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Swift and others, to Johnson. There is a balanced concern for particular works, for historical continuity, for distinctive features of movements and periods such as the Renaissance and the Augustan period, and for the expanding definition of English literature. (DVSY, GE2A, GEND)

ENGL 123. Film, Literature, and the Arts. 4 Units.

This course investigates the theory, practice and critical methods underlying aesthetic form in the arts, including film, literature, painting and sculpture. Corollary illustrations are drawn from music and architecture. This comparative course attempts to examine the underlying styles and structures among the arts. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)

ENGL 125. Critical Colloquium. 4 Units.

Students study the theory and practice of the major modes of interpreting and criticizing literature, that include but are not limited to formalist, psychoanalytic, structural, gender and feminist and deconstructionist perspectives offered by designated English Department members and guest lecturers. (GEND)

ENGL 126. Environment and Literature. 4 Units.

This course examines the intertwining of science, technology, nature, and culture as reflected in environmental literature. Its content and approach are interdisciplinary. The required reading include literary texts and writings from the natural and social sciences, which engage with the debates on the construction and destruction of "nature", sustainability, biodiversity, and bioengineering. The intersections of environmental imperialism, environmental justice, globalization and ecological crises are major components of the course inquiry. (DVSY, ENST, ETHC, GE3C, GEND)

ENGL 127. Contemporary Critical Issues. 4 Units.

Students examine major aspects of literary theory from structuralism to post-structuralism. The course focuses on the interplay between and among such movements as deconstruction, post-colonialism, the new historicism, phenomenology and psychoanalysis. The course also discusses how contemporary theory has impacted such topics as gender, canon, reader-response and post-modernism. (GEND)

ENGL 131. Shakespeare. 4 Units.

Eight to ten of Shakespeare's plays, are studied from a variety of critical perspectives, such as the historical, psychological, philosophical, formalist, cultural and theatrical approaches. Selections are examined from each major genre (comedy, tragedy, history). Specific plays vary from term to term; the reading list may include such works as Twelfth Night, The Tempest, King Lear, Macbeth, Richard II, Henry IV (Parts One and Two) and Henry VIII. (DVSY, FILM, GE2A, GEND)

ENGL 135. Major American Authors. 4 Units.

This course is an advanced, in-depth analysis of an individual author (or pair of authors) including aesthetic qualities of the work throughout the author's career, historical and cultural contexts shaping the work, literary influences on the author's writing and thought, influence on other writers, and major scholarship about the work. Students conduct directed research. By semester the focus of the course changes to include authors such as Twain, Dickinson & Whitman, Ellison & Wright, Faulkner & Morrison, Frost & Stevens, Kingston & Tan, Melville, Steinbeck & Dos Passos. This course may be repeated once for credit with a different focus. (GEND)

ENGL 141. Topics in British Literature Pre-1800. 4 Units.

This course studies a single literary period designed to strengthen students' critical reading and writing skills as well as examine questions of literary themes, cultural and intellectual context, national identity, ethnicity, class, and/or gender. Student conduct directed research. Topics vary with titles such as The Age of Beowulf, The Medieval Mind, English Renaissance, Women Writers before Austen, and The Age of Unreason: 18th Century Literature. This course may be repeated once for credit with a different focus. (DVSY, GE2B, GEND)

ENGL 144. Medival Women Readers and Writers. 4 Units.

What did women write before 16th century? Who was the readership of their texts? How did male authors represent women in medieval literature? What did their books look like before the advent of print? This course explores the intellectual life of medieval women in relationship to their socio-cultural and historical contexts. We will look at women as readers and producers of literature and try to understand how these roles were reconcilable to women’s many other roles, such as mother, wife, businesswoman, etc. In addition, we will examine how women are represented in manuscript illuminations, and how images shape early readers’ interpretations and contribute to the process of making meaning. Readings are grouped according to the sociocultural context in which works about (and by) women were produced, though we will see that some texts resist such simplistic classifications. (DVSY, GE2B, GEND)

ENGL 145. Romances of Magic in the West. 4 Units.

From the seven Kingdoms of Westeros to the Romances of Magic in Western Europe, this course contemporary incarnations such as The Game of Thrones? Drawing on gender theory and cultural analyses of race, class, religion, and colonialism, we will study medieval romances spanning the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries and consider various types of romance – historical, national, popular, chivalric, family, and travel romances, among others – to show how cultural fantasy resourcefully responds to changing crises, pressures, and demands in society. By engaging with the geographies known to and imagined by medieval English romance, we will map nascent, 15th-century English nationalism against earlier discussions about the medieval origins of romance as the imaginative self-portrait of 12th-century aristocracy. (DVSY, GE2B, GEND)

ENGL 161. Topics in American Ethnic Literature. 4 Units.

Studies of contributors to American Literature within the context of their shared ethnicity are the focus of this course. Topics change and possible offerings include American Immigrant Literature, African-American Poetry, Black Women Writers, Blues, Jazz and Literature, and Chicano/a Literature. This course may be repeated once for credit with a different focus. (DVSY, ETHC, GE1B, GEND)

ENGL 162. Asian American Literature. 4 Units.

If “postmodernism” signals “the end of master narratives” and “the end of nature,” as critics claim, then postmodernism can be understood in terms of epistemological challenges to the production of knowledge. Such challenges have opened up new possibilities for creativity, narrative, and critical inquiry. This course introduces students to major texts by Asian American writers, whose reinventions of literacy genres revitalize the power of literature, as they seek to engage with the legacies of colonialism and their connections to economic globalization, environmental degradation, and resistance from the Global South. (ETHC, GE1B, GEND)

FREN 051. French Literature in English. 4 Units.

A study of selected themes, periods, and genres in French and Francophone literature is examined. For specific topics, see FREN 124, FREN 122, and FREN 128. All readings, discussions, lectures, and exams are in English. This course is applicable to French Studies Majors, Minors, Gender Studies minor and all interested students. (GE2A, GEND)

FREN 128. Images et Voix de Femmes. 4 Units.

Students study images and voices of women from medieval times to the present. The course includes an analysis of "la condition feminine" in the French literary and cultural context with a focus on authors that include Marie de France, Louis Labe, Mme de Lafayette, George Sand, Colette, Wittig, Nemirovsky and others. The course is in French. Prerequisite: FREN 025 with a "C-" or better or permission of the instructor. It is occasionally offered in English as FREN 051. May be repeated with permission of the instructor. (GEND)

HESP 141. Sport, Culture and U.S. Society. 4 Units.

This course is designed to explore the relationship between sport, culture and society in both the USA and the broader global world. Students learn to critically examine a wide range of topics that include, but not limited to, sport and gender, sport and race, global sports worlds, drugs and violence in sport, sport and politics and the crime-sport nexus. The intention of this course is to develop the student’s sociological imagination and encourage the student to think critically about the role sport plays in the development of societies, ideologies and everyday life. (DVSY, ETHC, GE1B, GEND)

HIST 041. The Problem with Latin America. 4 Units.

Since independence from Spain in the early nineteenth century Latin America has been plagued with struggles to achieve political stability, social justice, and economic development. Though an analysis of social movements, this course focuses on salient issues in the history of the independent nations of Latin America from the 1820s to the present and emphasizes the development of diverse societies and cultures. Students examine issues of state building, labor movements, inter-regional conflicts, and interethnic relations. The course uses a variety of sources - films, lectures, readings, and discussions - in an attempt to understand how social movements shaped and were shaped by economic and political forces. Finally, the class studies how colonial legacies, neocolonial ties and globalization have affected Latin America and its people. (GE1C, GEND)

HIST 065. Women and War. 4 Units.

This course takes an international approach to studying the history of women and war. The objective is to better understand how women’s experience during war has changed over time and differed for women in a variety of countries. The class begins by studying the mythology of women and war, connecting ancient Greek war goddess Athena with present-day Hollywood depictions of women warriors. Lectures then focus on the theories positioning women in war history, and proceeds with a survey of women’s participation in several modern wars, comparing women’s experience in the U.S. with women in other parts of the world. Finally, the course ends with an in-depth discussion of several key themes in the histories of women and war: domestic ideology, prostitution, nursing, soldiering, war work, and protest/peace politics. (GEND)

HIST 113. Europe Since 1945. 4 Units.

Since the end of World War II, Europe experienced a period of peace and stability unprecedented in its history. This course examines the emergence of Europe out of the rubble, the new postwar order, the division of Europe during the cold war, and the political, economic and social changes in modern Europe. The class looks at the building and the collapse of the Berlin Wall, life behind the Iron Curtain, the break-up of European empires and the end of colonialism. European life and societies changed dramatically with the establishment of the European Union, the students' revolt in the 1960s and the women's movement. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, new hopes and problems have replaced Cold War fears. The class also examines these changes and look at Europe at the beginning of a new millennium. (GE1C, GEND)

HIST 119. History Goes to Hollywood. 4 Units.

This course examines how films shape our understanding of certain historical events. It provides students with the tools to watch films critically and to place them in the context of a broader historical time period. The films selected cover different time periods from the ancient to the modern world and portray a variety of national and cultural contexts. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)

HIST 133. Women in United States History. 4 Units.

The course examines the history of women in the United States from the colonial era to the present. In addition to examining political reform, it offers insights into the day-to-day lives of diverse American women at various points in the female life cycle. The course is organized chronologically and thematically to promote the study of women in relation to major historical events and to explore women's roles in families, communities, the nation, and the world. It examines cultural models of American womanhood, including maternal, domestic, sexual, and social models, their development and recent changes. The course uses various primary and secondary sources to evaluate both current and historical arguments regarding the status, roles, and experiences of American women. (DVSY, GE1B, GEND)

HIST 135. Women in Time and Place. 4 Units.

In the early twenty-first century news reports have covered the first mainstream woman presidential candidate, the Supreme Court's upholding of the Congressional "partial birth" abortion ban, mothers protesting the war in Iraq and young women fighting there, and how women in the US still make only 77 cents for every dollar men make. This course uses historical analysis to understand several current "women's issues." such as reproductive rights, women's roles in wartime, political participation, sports and body image, and work. The course considers the perspectives and experiences of women from various social and cultural groups and sets US women's experience in an international context. (DVSY, GE2B, GEND)

HIST 151. People's History of Mexico. 4 Units.

This course surveys the history of Mexico from its origins in pre-Columbian civilizations to the present day. In the process, students examine major historical themes and developments - the society and culture of the Aztecs and Mayas, the distinctive features of the colonial empire, the eras of Independence and of Revolution, modernization and post-modernity - as experienced by or as expressions of the actions and aspirations of Mexico's people. The course focuses on the historical experiences and struggles of Mexico's diverse ethnic and social groups and foregrounds their roles in the development of a uniquely Mexican nation. (GE1C, GEND)

HIST 167. Gender in the History of Science/Medicine/Technology. 4 Units.

This course introduces students to the literature on gender in the history of science, technology, and medicine. Students learn how to use gender to analyze scientific practice and examine how it intersects with other historical categories such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, and nationality. The course explores five interrelated topics: (1) The historical participation of women and men in scientific work, (2) the scientific and historical construction of sex and sexuality, (3) the influence of ideologies of gender on the methodology of science, medicine, and engineering, (4) the gendering of technologies and artifacts, (5) the relation between ideas of gender, science, and politics. Based on their increased historical understanding, students reflect upon their own gendered experiences and expectations in encountering science as students, as laboratory workers, patients, and consumers. This course is open to both science and non-science majors. (DVSY, ETHC, GE3C, GEND)

PSYC 066. Human Sexuality. 4 Units.

This course is the study of the biological, psychological and cultural bases of human sexual behavior. Topics include female and male sexual anatomy and physiology, love and communication, sexual behavior patterns, homosexuality and bisexuality, contraception, pregnancy and childbirth, sexual difficulties and sex therapy as well as sexually transmitted diseases. The course also examines changes in sexual functioning throughout the life span and it explores the development of male and female gender roles and the effect of gender roles on various aspects of life. This course is open to freshmen but does not count toward major. (GE1A, GEND)

RELI 044. Sex, Sin, and Salvation. 4 Units.

This course explores and analyzes sexuality and gender in terms of ethics and religion. It focuses primarily on historical and contemporary Christian perspectives with some attention to other religious traditions and philosophical viewpoints. Topics include such issues as sexual ethics, homosexuality, sexuality and spirituality, gender roles and connections between gender and ethical perspectives. (GE2B, GEND)

RELI 128. Social Topics in Early Christianity. 4 Units.

Students study of one or more social issues prominent during the early stages of Christianity. Topics vary according to the interests of faculty and students. (DVSY, GEND)

SOCI 041. Social Problems. 4 Units.

This course is an exploration of the process by which various social conditions become labeled as social problems worthy of policy responses. It examines the various roles played by the media, government actors, activists and everyday citizens in this process, and pays particular attention to the role of power in enabling some social groups to label the behaviors of others an problematic while deflecting attention from their own practices. This course focuses predominantly on the US, but also engages in comparative analysis with other countries. (DVSY, ETHC, GE1B, GEND)

SOCI 079. Social Psychology. 3 or 4 Units.

Who are we? How did we come to be the way we are? How does the way we understand ourselves relate to our understandings of society? This course addresses these questions through the field of sociological social psychology. Sociological social psychology investigates how our understandings of our individual selves and the wider social world are shaped through social interaction. Topics include the nature and scope of social psychology, the structure of social interaction, the development and maintenance of the social self, and the production and influence of culture. The course also explores the ways that hierarchies of race, class, gender and nation shape social identity. Prerequisite, may be taken concurrenlty: SOCI 051 or permission of instructor. (GEND)

SOCI 123. Sex and Gender. 4 Units.

The course material explores how various social institutions in contemporary society shape our understanding of gender, sex and sexuality. Although grounded in sociological analysis, the class is interdisciplinary and intersectional in nature as many of the course texts are drawn from a range of social science disciplines. The lectures, assigned reading, and activities address how sex and gender are intricately linked to other social statuses such as race, class and age. Prerequisite: a course in sociology or permission of instructor. (DVSY, ETHC, GEND)

SOCI 125. Sociology of Health and Illness. 4 Units.

This course introduces students to the sociology of medicine and the delivery of health care, with an emphasis on the interaction of patients, health care professionals, and social institutions. Topics of examination include health care settings, provider-patient relationships, ethical issues in health care, and trends in medicine and policies. Additionally, the course explores how race, class, and gender affect people’s health and illness in addition to how health policies shape the medical system, and how definitions, attitudes, and beliefs affect health and illness. (DVSY, ETHC, GE1B, GEND)

SOCI 127. Family and Marriage. 4 Units.

This course explores the social dynamics of human intimacy within families. Family life is examined through a historical, cultural and political lens to place the social institution in a broad societal context. The evolution of the family is studied both historically and comparatively. Special attention is given to the sociological significant of sexuality, changing roles of men and women, intimacy, marriage and divorce, domestic violence, parenthood, childhood and aging, and alternative ways of living together. The course texts examine family life across race and ethnic groups, social class, religion and geographic location. Prerequisite: a course in sociology or permission of instructor. (ETHC, GEND)

SOCI 172. Social Inequality. 4 Units.

Are some more equal than others? This course examines the historical causes, current structure, and consequences of social inequality. The emphasis is on contemporary social, economic and political issues in the United States. This course focuses on various group experiences of inequality due to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, nativity, etc. Various sociological perspectives and empirical research are applied to gain a better understanding on how social inequality is created, manifested, and maintained. Students investigate the effects of social inequality on society, and possible frameworks to reduce the level of social inequality. Prerequisite: SOCI 051 or permission of instructor. Recommended: SOCI 171. (DVSY, ETHC, GEND)

SPAN 114. Cine hispano/Hispanic Film. 4 Units.

A study of the development of Latin American or Peninsular cinema through the analysis of themes, styles, and cinematic techniques. Themes include Latin American women film directors or films of Pedro Almodovar, among others. The course is taught in Spanish. Films in Spanish have English subtitles. The course is occasionally offered in English. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)