Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Course descriptions

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.

(Last offered Fall 2017)

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

(Last offered Spring 2012)

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.

(Last offered Spring 2017)

This course explores the role of women in contemporary societies. 

U.S. Latina Feminisms (Bost - Fall 2017)

This course will investigate various incarnations of U.S. Latina feminisms across the disciplines, focusing on literature, philosophy, history, visual arts, and digital media.  We will compare and contrast representations of politics and identity from Chicana, Puerto Rican, and Cuban writers, artists, and thinkers, with particular attention to questions of gender, sexuality, citizenship, faith, environment, activism, and power.  Authors studied will include Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Aurora Levins Morales, Irene Vilar, Achy Obejas, and Maylei Blackwell.  Course assignments will include mindful discussion, regular in-class exercises, brief papers, and a final project.


WSGS 201: Contemporary Issues in WSGS explores issues to women's studies, feminism, and gender studies from the perspective of a particular discipline, depending on the faculty member teaching the course. This may, for example, include Communication, English, History, Sociology, or Theology. Students will examine the subjects of women and gender, as well as the challenges of conducting feminist or gender scholarship within the discipline and how new research changes or transforms that scholarship.

This course explores a broad range of cultural expectations for gender diversity and the experiences of women in different cultures. 

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 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 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.

This course is designed to provide an overview of multiple factors influencing the health and lifestyle of women. The purpose of the course is to help women regulate, control and become more active participants in their own health maintenance. Health problems faced by women, historical perspective of women's health, as well as current barriers to health are discussed. Open to non-nursing majors.

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.

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.

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

This course explores the social organization of sex and gender.

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

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

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.

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.



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.