Courses

Gender and Sexuality Courses at St. Olaf College, 2011-12

Fall 2011

Family Studies 253: Human Sexuality
Instructor: Devyani Chandran
This course explores the varied dimensions of human sexuality as they relate to, affect and are affected by past and present human relationships. Sexual problems and issues are examined for the development of a value framework and for the enrichment of family life. The course emphasizes critical thinking skills applied to current issues in human sexuality (e.g. gay marriage, gender issues, sexual violence). Students examine issues in contemporary research and ethics in sexuality. Offered each semester. Counts toward family studies concentration.

Religion 209: Introduction to Feminist Theology
Instructor: David Booth
Students examine traditional Christian doctrines in light of feminist critiques and reformulations. The course focuses especially upon language and images of God, the person of Christ and the work of redemption and understandings of human nature. Students evaluate arguments for and against the compatibility of Christianity and feminism. Prerequisite: BTS-B.

Religion 256: Gender and Religion
Instructor: Mara Benjamin
All religious systems organize gender in different ways. This course examines gender as a critical category of analysis for religion by using contemporary scholarly perspectives on religion. Anthropology and other social sciences, history, film, fiction, and other sources may be used. The instructor in any given semester will draw on one or more religious traditions to provide case studies.

Sociology/Anthropology 261: Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Instructor: Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb
This course compares gender patterns and issues in various cultures around the world, such as Latin America, the Middle East, India, the U.S., and East Asia. How do cultural expectations for women and men vary? Why do some societies have more gender equality than others? How do economic and political change, including globalization, impact gender roles? How do U.S. and Third World feminism compare? Offered annually in the fall or spring semester. Counts towards ARMS major and concentration and Africa & the Americas concentration.

Women’s Studies 121: Introduction to Women’s Studies
Instructors: Diane LeBlanc / Rebecca Richards
Required for the women’s studies major and concentration, this course introduces students to the concept of gender as a category of analysis. It is designed for students who seek a fuller understanding of themselves as women and men and a wider knowledge of the experiences and achievements of women. Offered each semester. Counts towards American studies major.

 

Interim 2012

Sociology/Anthropology 246: GLBT Lives and Issues
Instructor: Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb
This course explores the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from several social science perspectives. Students examine whether gender and sexual orientation (both heterosexual and homosexual) are socially constructed or biologically natural, and what cross-cultural and historical examples can tell us. Students also study controversies over the family and religious status of GLBT people, why homosexuality has become such a political issue, and movements for change. Offered during Interim. Counts towards American studies major.


Spring 2012

Family Studies 253: Human Sexuality
Instructor: Devyani Chandran
This course explores the varied dimensions of human sexuality as they relate to, affect and are affected by past and present human relationships. Sexual problems and issues are examined for the development of a value framework and for the enrichment of family life. The course emphasizes critical thinking skills applied to current issues in human sexuality (e.g. gay marriage, gender issues, sexual violence). Students examine issues in contemporary research and ethics in sexuality. Offered each semester. Counts toward family studies concentration.

Religion 264: Theology and Sexuality
Instructors: David Booth and Mara Benjamin
This course addresses theological understandings of love, desire, embodiment, and relationship in the context of human sexuality. Students study classic theological treatments of sexuality, with attention to the tension between positive and negative appraisals of sex; and they study contemporary theological discussions about subjects that have given rise to controversy, such as marriage, gender, family, or commodification. Prerequisite: BTS-B.

Religion 344: Feminist Christian Ethics
Instructor: David Booth
How might the Christian ethical systems that have dominated western culture look different if women’s experiences and perspectives had been more centrally included? This course focuses on the continuities and contrasts between traditional Jewish and Christian ethics and the feminist and womanist ethical challenges to them which have emerged over the last quarter century. Prerequisite: completion of BTS-B and BTS-T or permission of instructor.

Sociology/Anthropology 260: Marriage and the Family
Instructor: Ryan Sheppard
This course provides a social science understanding of the “contemporary American family” and analysis of marriage and family issues from a cross-cultural perspective. Students discuss issues of dating and mate selection, marital and parent-child relationships over the family life cycle, gender issues, work and family roles, and problem-related issues affecting families (divorce, violence and death) caused by rapid changes in society. Offered annually in the fall or spring semester. Counts towards American studies major and family studies concentration.

Sociology/Anthropology 261: Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Instructor: Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb
This course compares gender patterns and issues in various cultures around the world, such as Latin America, the Middle East, India, the U.S., and East Asia. How do cultural expectations for women and men vary? Why do some societies have more gender equality than others? How do economic and political change, including globalization, impact gender roles? How do U.S. and Third World feminism compare? Offered Fall or Spring Semester.

Women’s Studies 121: Introduction to Women’s Studies
Instructors: Jan Hill
Required for the women’s studies major and concentration, this course introduces students to the concept of gender as a category of analysis. It is designed for students who seek a fuller understanding of themselves as women and men and a wider knowledge of the experiences and achievements of women. Offered each semester. Counts towards American studies major.

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