Women & Gender Studies


Faculty Coordinator

  • Dr. Paula K. Hinton         phinton@tntech.edu
    History of Am. Women   HH 112      372-3339


  • Dr. Lori Maxwell  lmmaxwell@tntech.edu                                                                                                             Political Science      DN 319     372-3683

  • Ms. Margaret Johnson, MLA majohnson@tntech.edu                                                     English                         HH212B                       372-3346                                  

Class Description:

This course is required for all students pursuing a minor in Women and Gender Studies. However, it is open to all students. You should give serious consideration to obtaining a minor in Women and Gender Studies if you are not already. 

This class is team-taught and interdisciplinary. At an intellectual level, what this means is that you will get the benefit of the expertise of five different instructors from five different disciplines, utilizing different methodologies. Questions addressed include: What does it mean to study “gender”? When is it useful to focus on commonalities among women or men, when is it necessary to stress differences? In what ways do gender differences and gendered power relations organize the social world and shape people’s experiences and self-perceptions? We will examine historical constructions of gender, key debates, the academic shift from women’s studies to gender studies, major historical and literary landmarks, gender theory, and cross cultural issues.

Units covered may include:

  • histories of the women’s movement
  • developments in feminist thought
  • the social construction of gender and sexuality
  • work and wage issues
  • gender roles within the family
  • gender and culture
  • gender and literature
  • gender, law, and politics
  • gender and language
  • gender and violence

Class Objectives:

  • To gain knowledge of the field of gender studies from an interdisciplinary approach
  • To sharpen awareness of how the field of gender studies can be applied to your own field of study
  • To sharpen your critical awareness of how gender operates in institutional and cultural contexts
  • To increase your ability to analyze how gender operates within your life
  • To provide you with the opportunity to do original research, oral history, or service learning projects within your community


Any student who believes he or she will require special consideration to meet the requirements of the course must consult the Office of Disability Services (RUC-11) (372-6119) during the first week of classes and complete an Accommodation Request (AR).

Required Texts:

  • Miriam Schneir, Feminism in Our Time: The Essential Writings, World War II to the Present ISBN 0679745084
  • Miriam Schneir, Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings ISBN 0679753818
  • Sandra Cisneros, The House of mango Street
  • Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

(Other reading assignments will be distributed in class or put on reserve in the library.)


  • Three-inch 3-ring Binder OR Scrapbook
  • Sheet protectors
  • Glue stick
  • Dividers

Grades and Requirements:

Journals/Small Projects/Quizzes......240 points (80 points per professor)                                                 

Participation...........................................60 points

Cumulative Final Project.....................200 points

At the end of the semester,

  • 450-500 points A
  • 400-449 B
  • 350-399 C
  • 300-349 D
  • Below 300 F

Journals/Small ProjectsQuizzes: Each professor will assign you some sort of journal assignment or small project. Journal assignments will entail critiques of and reactions to the assigned reading. You will also need to explain how the readings relate to class lectures and discussions. Small Projects may include film/book/article critiques, 3-5 page research papers, etc… You will complete a separate Journal/Small Project for each professor. (i.e., one for History, one for Political Science, etc…)  Quizzes may be given at the beginning of each class period over the assigned readings.

Assignments need to be typed and placed in your binder when you turn them in.  You must turn them in at the beginning of class on the day they are due.  Late assignments will cost you three points for every day they are late.

Participation: Your participation grade is based upon attendance, paying attention in class, not being disruptive, and your active involvement in discussions and projects.

Cumulative Final Project:  (The Un-Bind-Hers) The final project is a combination journal/scrapbook of sorts.  You must include:

  • all of your earlier assignments
  • glossary
  • revisions of work turned in throughout the semester where appropriate and if necessary, responding to earlier critiques
  • an introduction:  write this during the first week of the class (why are you taking the class, what are you hoping to learn, what are your expectation, fears, etc.)
  • a conclusion:  write this just prior to turning in you Un-Bind-Her at the end of the semester (summarize the themes of the course, discuss how your views changed, and what you learned that you didn't already know, how the class changed your life, etc.)
  • at least one extra "project" - it can be anything else you wish to add:  you could expand upon earlier work, conduct extra research, do a small project, etc.  Feel free to use any and all visuals you wish to add.  (In the past, students have analyzed magazine advertisements and/or songs; interviewed the women in their family about a particular subject; put together a collage of images reflecting a particular issue or the course itself, researched the impact of Nancy Drew books, examined gender in fairy tales...)
  • We will be grading you on organization, critical analysis, creativity, and thoroughness.  Points will be deducted for missing assignments, incomplete work, little evidence of effort, sloppiness, no sense of cohesiveness, and a lack of analysis.

Course Policies:

No Whining!  This is not an "easy A."  There will be times when the reading load and/or work load will be heavier than others.  Plan accordingly!  Your mantra should be "there are no exams, there are not exams, there are no exams..."

Do not miss class. If you know that you will have to miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact that week’s professor and make arrangements with him/her to make up the work.  Since a portion of your grade is determined by your participation, it is unwise to miss class unless it is absolutely necessary.

Be prepared. Be prepared when you come to class. Have assignments read and any homework ready to turn in at the beginning of class.

Behave in a professional manner.

  • Arrive to class on time. It is disrespectful to your professor and classmates when you arrive late. Your attendance will NOT be noted if you arrive after the professor has taken roll, or if you leave after roll is taken (unless previous arrangements have been made, or an emergency arises).
  • We will be discussing all sorts of topics. Please, allow everyone to have a voice and respect their right to say whatever they wish. When someone is talking, pay attention. You might want to respond or at least consider their words.
  • It is just plain rude to sleep in class, read, work on other assignments, or talk to your classmates while the rest of us are trying to concentrate. Prepare to be asked to leave.
  • Turn off all cell phones!   Do not leave them on vibrate either. Anyone caught using a cell phone in any way during a quiz will receive a zero (0).
  • Laptop computers are fine, but they are only to used to take notes!  If you are caught checking your email, playing games, looking at porn (and yes that has happened!) or anything else other than taking notes, you will not be allowed to bring your laptop to class any more.

Academic Integrity: Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any form of academic dishonesty (cheating on quizzes, copying the work of someone else, plagiarism, etc…) will result in your receiving a zero (0) for that assignment/quiz/etc. and additional actions may be taken. (Please see the student handbook for a definition of plagiarism.)

Lecture Schedule and Due Dates

  • Week 1  (1/20) Introduction - Meet your teaching team
  • Week 2  (1/27) HISTORY - Dr. Hinton - Women's History/Feminist Writing
  • Week 3  (2/3) NO CLASS MEETING - INSTEAD...You are required to attend at least 2 sessions at the WoMeNet Conference here at TTU.  The conference is Thursday, February 4, 2010
  •                 (2/4)  Attend at least 2 sessions at the WoMeNet Conference
  • Week 4  (2/10) HISTORY - Dr. Hinton - Women's History/Feminist Writing
  • Week 5  (2/17) HISTORY - Dr. Hinton - Women's History/Feminist Writing
  • Week 6  (2/24) POLITICAL SCIENCE - Dr. Maxwell - Foreign Policy
  • Week 7  (3/3) POLITICAL SCIENCE - Dr. Maxwell - Foreign Policy
  • Week 8  (3/17) POLITICAL SCIENCE - Dr. Maxwell - Political Culture
  • Week 9  (3/24) POLITICAL SCIENCE - Dr. Maxwell - Political Culture
  • Week 10  (3/31) ENGLISH - Johnson - Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • Week 11  (4/7) ENGLISH - Johnson - Hispanic Feminist Writing
  • Week 12  (4/14) ENGLISH - Johnson - American Feminist Writing
  • Week 13  (4/21) ENGLISH - Johnson - Chinese-American Feminist Writing
  • Week 14  (4/28) Present "Un-Bind-Hers" to class - Final Class Discussion with teaching team  *Overall themes  * Merits of course  *Future implications  *Evaluations