Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Course Descriptions

The Women's Studies and Gender Studies program is interdisciplinary and includes courses across the humanities, social sciences, law, theology, and social work. Below are some of the courses that have been offered through the program, all of which are grounded in feminist pedagogy and methods.

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary fields of both Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, exploring the ways in which sex and gender manifest themselves in social, economic, cultural, and political arenas. It draws upon scholarship in women’s and feminist studies, masculinities studies, and queer studies, fields that in turn draw upon a variety of intellectual perspectives or disciplines, including history, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, literary studies, and biology, among others. Students will use gender-based theory to look at the ways in which gender identification and representation influences individuals and societies.


Women and Global Migrations through Culture (Lombardi-Diop - Fall 2020)

This topics course varies from semester to semester and deals with topics related to WSGS and social justice including identity, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and relationships of power in national, transnational, and international contexts. The special topic I have decided to cover this semester is Gender and Migration through Culture. The course examines the cultural expressions available for women as they migrate to the Global North, with a focus on women of color migrants crossing to Europe and the United States.


A Cinematic Lens (Ortega Murphy - Spring 2020)

US Women of Color Feminisms (Bost - Fall 2019)

Identity and State (Zimmerman - Spring 2019)

US Women of Color Feminisms (Bost - Fall 2018)

Global and Local Feminisms (Hemenway - Spring 2018)

Migration Through Gender & Culture (Lombardi-Diop - Spring 2018)


Critical Issues in Journalism: Gender & Power (Geisler, Lamberti - Fall 2018)

This course focuses on the history and development of feminist thought and the impact of feminism on the general United States culture. It is devoted to an intensive study of the various ways feminist have envisioned social, political, and cultural inequality. Readings span the history of modern feminism in the 18th century to early decades of the second wave in the 1970s. Special emphasis is given to the 20th century and the primary focus is on western feminist history. The course is not exhaustive, nor global, but rather an overview of western feminist thinkers.


The course is divided into two modules: foundational theories and interdisciplinary applications. The ‘queering’ nature of the course makes its interdisciplinary approach open to both ‘high culture’ (cultural theory, literature, film) and ‘low culture’ (visual pop culture) and is designed to break boundaries, including national ones, beyond dominant cultural normativity.


This supervised field experience uses experiential learning at a wide variety uses experiential learning at a variety of women's political, cultural or educational organization as the basis for learning and refining skills which cab benefit gender equity.


An independent program of reading and research arranged between the student and the supervising faculty member in the student's major department. Students will complete a final research project integrating their major fields with women¿s studies. Permission of WSGS Director is required.


This course explores feminist contributions to research in the field of social sciences. In particular, it addresses the importance of feminist methodology in the understanding of women’s experience, as well as that of the marginalized. Over the last decades, feminist theorists have developed frameworks that enable researchers to identify and alter relations of power in society. Feminist theory challenges conventional approaches to the production of knowledge and promotes research as a tool of transformation at institutional and individual levels. Various feminist research practices, that incorporate concepts such as that of intersectionality, will be discussed as means of emancipation for women and other marginalized groups.



Zombies and Gender (Hovey - Fall 2020)

This class looks at one cultural myth—the zombie-- that emerges in the collision of colonization, slavery, and the Industrial Revolution, as an intersectional figure representing stolen wages, stolen bodies, and stolen lives. The Zombie appears as the “monstrous Eve,” of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and as a figure of voudou in Haiti, produced by the plantation system to terrorize slaves with the prospect of unceasing labor. Entering popular culture as a remnant of Caribbean colonial occupation, the Hollywood zombie of the 1930s reflects white fears of racial contamination; reworked as the Cold War creature signifying desegregation and the Communist horde, the zombie signifies the returned MIA dead in the Vietnam era, then devouring consumers in the 1970s. Zombies become the dispossessed New Orleans underclass after hurricane Katrina, and today they evoke the faceless horde of forgotten workers under late capitalism, marking the end of individualism, citizenship, and “civilization” as we know it.

Women in a Global Context (Singh - Fall 2020)

As the name suggests, the course is a deliberation on women’s perspectives, identities, and positioning globally. It reviews a broad range of readings and audio-visual material from across disciplines to explore the populations of women in the world and their political, social, and economic orientations. This course will review social, cultural, economic and political conditions across societies and their role in promoting and /or limiting women's rights. It examines the relationships between women’s status, development institution, and social policy on poverty, women’s rights, violence, health and mental health, and environmental sustainability. The course analyzes the representation of women in reference to these issues in media and new media. The contrast between psycho-socio-economic realities and well-being outcomes of women across developing worlds will be explored.


This course uses supervised project-based experiential learning to allow students the opportunity to apply feminist analysis and practical skills to a student-designed project that will be completed within the timeframe of a course term.


This is a project-oriented course that represents the culmination of the WSGS major. Students will build on their previous work in WSGS 391/Methodologies in WSGS to plan and complete a project under the direction of a faculty or community organization mentor. The project may be conducted individually or as a group but must (1) demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach; (2) draw on theory and scholarship in women's studies and gender studies; and (3) reflect the intentional use of feminist methodologies in practice. Prerequisites: WSGS 330, WSGS 391.


This course examines the issues of sex and gender within physical/biological anthropology.

Through study of gender cross-culturally, students will understand the historical circumstances, social structures, and cultural ideologies which shape categories and concepts of sex and gender. The course draws on ethnographic and linguistic findings to trace local meanings of gender in a variety of societies.

This course examines four areas relative to women in the criminal justice system: the historical view of female criminality; women as defendants in criminal cases and women in prison; women as victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and women as professionals in the criminal justice system.

This course explores the role of communication practices in the production, reinforcement and transformation of gendered identities, and the role of gender in the process of communication.

This course focuses on the representation of women in literature, as discussed in a variety of literary works.

This course investigates significant issues raised in and by women-authored works. Readings may cover fiction, drama, and/or poetry from any literary period.

Offered variously as:

ENGL 306A: Women Writers Pre-1700

ENGL 306B: Women Writers 1700-1900

ENGL 306C: Women Writers Post-1900

Examination of women artists in Western culture and the societies in which they lived and worked from the Medieval period to the present. Women's production as artists, the various styles and subject matter they embraced, and their relation to artistic trends of their eras. Social attitudes about gender in Western culture are considered in order to understand issues surrounding women and art.

This course provides a historical introduction to sexual behaviors and attitudes in the United States from the early American period to the present. The primary emphasis concerns the impact of social and political change on sexual norms and behavior. 

This course examines comparative perspectives on feminism, sexuality, and women in the family and in public life in Europe 1700-present. 

This course studies the lives of Asian women in China, Japan, and Korea from early modern times to the present by examining changing roles of women and how these changes have come about.

This course examines the historical interplay of gender, race and class in the lives of African-American and white women in the United States.

This course examines the changes in gender roles and the relationship between men and women from the colonial era to the present.

This course focuses on Women and Politics in the United States.  It looks at women's movements both historical and current, how women and men in the United States act differently in politics in terms of voting behavior, as political candidates, and as elected leaders.

A survey of classical and contemporary feminist political theory.

The legal arrangements and public policies that structure the relationships of women and men in American society.

This course offers a cross-mational perspective of women's status in the political world, as voters, activists, and officeholders. It examines women's participation in the developed and developing world. Students will acquire knowledge of the role of women as political actors in a multitude of nations in the world.

Psychological aspects of parenting are reviewed from the perspectives of both parent and child with consideration given to the effect of developmental, social, and cultural forces.

Overview of psychological research and theory concerning differences and similarities between genders.

Review of psychological aspects of women's experiences. Topics include psychological aspects of biological events such as menarche, pregnancy, menopause; aspects of women's work and family roles; and mental health issues relevant to women. 

Prejudice from a psychological perspective. Applying psychological concepts, research, and theory to understand the origins and consequences of prejudice as well as potential remedies.

This course examines the connections between the media of mass communication and multiple forms of popular art and culture. Topics considered include the social, political and cultural organization of mass communication and its impact on values, expectations, and life styles of contemporary society.

This course explores the social organization of sex and gender.

This course looks at the nature of work through the lens of gender. It considers how male and female labor force participation has changed over time. It examines the ways working families are transformed when women combine employment with domestic responsibilities and child care, or when men's jobs no longer provide a family wage.

Contemporary family structures encompass a variety of living arrangements and social relationships.  This course considers differences and similarities among the various family types and explores the social, cultural and economic forces structuring family life.

This course examines the manner in which contemporary society is divided by race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and gender, and the impact of social institutions on these divisions. An emphasis will be placed on income/wealth differences, status differences, class conflict and social conflict over time.

Expanding our awareness of the various systems of oppression and privilege that contribute to our self-awareness and self-concept as well as our perceptions of others (macro). Social work students will understand the concepts of privilege, oppression and social justice in their work with all diverse populations.

Examination of the religious traditions in light of the nature of women's religious experiences.