MA Program in Women’s and Gender Studies
Women’s Studies Certificate Program

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all summer courses will be offered online.



WSCP 81000 – Queer Academics: Where and to What Queer Theory Can Apply
GC: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00-9:45 PM, 3 Credits, Professor Mark McBeth (
Cross-listed with MALS.


Queer Theory has gained a reputation of abstract thinking that doesn’t actually do anything except theorize the non-normative systems that often thwart Queer energies. It allegedly doesn’t perform much more than academic navel gazing.  However, in this course, we will read, write, research and perform how this seemingly esoteric theory-bound mindset has both informed activist work and infiltrated the academic labors that intellectuals do (and how they attempt to make a difference with it).

Starting with histories of the early homophile assimilationists and moving through the “Gay Is Good” liberationists and then eventually arriving at the AIDS activism and Queer movements, we will investigate how these “homosexual” evolutions have influenced and advanced Queer thinking that has both left us in a sort of status of homonormativity, yet potentially offered other moments of Queer creative escape and revitalization. Looking back at archival documents of early 20th-century movements as well as updating our knowledge about current activism, this course wanders and wonders through the conundrums of 20th to 21st century Queer intellectual labors, activism, and outcomes.  Where have we been? Where are we now?  Where do we want to be?

The course will rely on founding scholars (i.e., Sedgwick, Warner), delve into more updated iterations (i.e., Halberstam, Muñoz, Marcus), and search for who’s out there (i.e., we’ll search together).  A three-week course will offer an intense overview and foresight of Queer theory, but rely on the non-normative insights and energies of those who plan to participate in it.  Rather than produce normative seminar papers in this short intensive course, students will produce Queer performances of their intellectual labor in the course.

In the early 1990s, the professor of this course took a course with Eve Sedgwick, entitled “Queer Performativity.”  It changed his life and Queer thinking of the world. As a nostalgic view of this course, he would like to replicate some of the Queer energies that happened at that historical moment and see how 21st-century students can replicate and advance the objectives of that course of one of our Queer founders.


WSCP – 81000 – Introduction to Race and Ethnicity
GC: Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, 3 Credits, Professor Natalie Etoke (
Cross-listed with MALS.

Focusing on the longue durée of imperialism since 1492 and accounting for the consequences of the Native American genocide, racial slavery, colonialism, historical violence and the ongoing struggles for social justice and freedom, this course looks at the ways in which white supremacy creates racial boundaries. We will analyze the relationship between race and power to show how it shapes citizenship and American identity.  Throughout the course, you will expand your critical thinking and reflection skills, make meaningful connections between race and everyday experience, develop a personal understanding of how race interacts with larger social and historical forces. In this course, we  will draw from the fields of Sociology, Ethnic Studies and Cultural Studies to explore the meanings of race, racism, and racial justice.

We will address the following questions:
What does it mean to study race and ethnicity?
How have conversations about race changed over the last few years?
How is the idea of racial hierarchy woven into the fabric of The United States of America?

How does it shape our daily life and our sense of self?
How does it structure inequality in our society?
What are the social and historical processes that have shaped our understandings of race and ethnicity?

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the difference between race and ethnicity.
  2. Think critically about their own racial position, recognize and appreciate racial experiences that differ from their own, and explain the significance of racism in today’s world.
  3. Describe how issues of race and ethnicity have shaped American institutions, laws, and practices over time.
  4. Identify and evaluate the strategies each author uses to make her/his argument as well as the theoretical claims they present.
  5. Critically analyze race and ethnicity in news media.


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