WGST 3000 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies CRN 81919 Fall 2019 MW 12:00-12:50 August 19 - December 9, 2019

Log in to MyVSU and find our class in Blazeview, http://www.valdosta.edu

This syllabus link is also in Blazeview: http://mypages.valdosta.edu/chjames/WGST3000Fall2019.html

Dr. Christine James

Office: 1203 Ashley Hall, Valdosta State University

Office Hours: MTWR 2:00pm-3:15pm

Office Telephone: 229-259-7609

Mailbox: Philosophy Department Office, Valdosta State University Fax: 229-259-5011

E-mail address: chjames@valdosta.edu (It always helps to mention which class you are in when you email)

Once class begins you should actually use the Email feature within the class Blazeview area to contact me.

Our two textbooks, in the order they are needed:

How to do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students 2nd Edition by Colin Robson ($23 used, $30 new)

Paperback: 170 pages

Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (December 19, 2016) Language: English

ISBN-10: 1118691326

ISBN-13: 978-1118691328

https://www.amazon.com/How-Research-Project-Undergraduate- Students/dp/1118691326/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1533075467&sr=8-2- fkmr1&keywords=how+to+do+a+research+paper+robson

Everyday Women's and Gender Studies: Introductory Concepts 1st Edition

by Ann Braithwaite and Catherine M. Orr ($25 used, $35 new, kindle edition is more expensive) Paperback: 456 pages

Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (August 7, 2016) Language: English

ISBN-10: 0415536669

ISBN-13: 978-0415536660

https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Womens-Gender-Studies- Introductory/dp/0415536669/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533075580&sr=1- 1&keywords=everyday+women%27s+and+gender+studies

Purpose and goals of the course: This course will provide a chance to become familiar with women’s and gender studies and to analyze the ethical, social, and political issues surrounding everyday lives, as well as the theories that make up WGST as an academic discipline. Because WGST has a special interest

in research projects and papers, we will also spend time discussing how to shape your research work and produce good research projects that can be used by you for undergraduate conferences and publications.

Learning Outcomes:

In accordance with the revised learning outcomes for the Core Curriculum of the Georgia State System, and the VSU Core Curriculum, our course follows the Area C and E Learning Outcomes:

"Students will analyze, evaluate, and interpret diverse forms of human communication." And “Students will demonstrate knowledge of diversity in individual and social behavior, the structure and processes of the United States government, and the importance of historical changes over time.”

Philosophy courses at Valdosta State University contribute to the VSU General Education Outcomes listed at the link below, with special emphasis on numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8.


The Learning Outcomes for our WGST 3000 are:

  1. To evaluate the distinctions among the various approaches to women and gender, including the theoretical and historical nature of WGST as an academic field.

  2. To analyze how WGST applies to ‘real-world’ circumstances and to specific case studies in research examples, and to understand how the theories apply to real world policy issues.

  3. To become conversant with understand the historical and structural context of gender.

  4. To recognize and define different world views, adopting a reasonably viable one and justifying it in a philosophically informed way that emphasizes critical reasoning and argument.

  5. To demonstrate the ability to analyze, in both oral and written discourse, selected social issues within an appropriate ethical framework and offer alternative resolutions to the problem.

  6. To be familiar with what academic research is, and to understand how it can be applied to daily life as well as specific careers.

Course content: This course provides an introduction to the theoretical principles and decision making process relevant to WGST. We will use a method combining specific cases from the research literature with the history of ethical principles from the philosophical literature.

Requirements: Class participation and contact, one examination, and two written papers. How grades will be calculated:

A = 100 - 90%

B = 89 - 80%

C = 79 - 70%

D = 69 - 60%

F = 59 - 0%

Class participation, contact, Discussion = 40% 1 First Exam at 20% = 20%

2 Papers at 20% = 40%

Total = 100%

*****Please note that I am not obligated to accept late work or to allow work to be turned in after the date given.*****

Participation Policy: Because this class is an internet-based class, your participation in the class will be evaluated through your contact with each other as a using a variety of internet resources, including the Blazeview Discussion tool and websites as well as posting related to the class text. You should take part in the internet discussions on a regular basis to receive full credit. In general, you should plan to take part in Discussion every day. Most of the time, you should answer the Discussion topic with an independent first response, and with responses to your fellow students to get a back-and-forth debate going. In general, it would be good to make your own first response to the discussion question you see for a particular date and pages in the book, then go back in and reply to two other students.

Access Statement: Students with disabilities who are experiencing barriers in this course may contact the Access Office for assistance in determining and implementing reasonable accommodations. The Access Office is located in Farbar Hall. The phone numbers are 229-245-2498 (V), 229-375-5871 (VP) and 229-219-1348 (TTY). For more information, please visit VSU’s Access Office or email: access@valdosta.edu

Campus Carry: For information regarding HB 280, please see http://www.usg.edu/hb280/additional_information or http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/finance-admin/police/campuscarry/

Title IX Statement: Valdosta State University (VSU) is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. VSU is dedicated to creating an environment where all campus community members feel valued, respected, and included. Valdosta State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy status, sexual harassment and sexual violence), sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, or veteran status, in the University's programs and activities as required by applicable laws and regulations such as Title IX. The individual designated with responsibility for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning nondiscrimination policies is the University's Title IX Coordinator: Maggie Viverette, Director of the Office of Social Equity, titleix@valosta.edu, 1208 N. Patterson St., Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31608, 229-333-5463.


Readings and Topics for Discussion

8/19-8/21 Week 1: On these dates, make sure you have bought the textbooks, and try to log in to the class. Be sure to get the textbooks as soon as possible, in online classes having the books from the beginning is so important! As soon as you log in, be sure that you have done all of the following: post

your first Discussion message introducing yourself to the class (Discussions are under Communication), take the first introductory Quiz tool (which is just a short set of getting to know you questions under Assessments), and post your first practice Assignment item (which is where you upload a short .doc

.docx or .rtf saying who you are, to show you know how the Assignment tool works, it is also under Assessments). These short welcome Discussion, Quiz, and Assignment have a due date of 8/24/2019 at 11:59pm.

Reading: Robson Part 1 Chapter 1, pages 9-18


8/26-8/28 Week 2: Read Robson Part 1 Chapter 2, pages 19-58

In general, starting now, each set of pages you see here in the Syllabus and in the Calendar have a Discussion topic you must do, replying to the question, and then replying to other students. Go to MyVSU, then Blazeview, then the Home Page of the class. You might need to search for it if you have had many previous Blazeview classes by typing in the name of the class or the semester. Next, see the choices inside the class on the middle menu bar. Content gives you the content pages of the class, Communication will give you a pull down menu with Discussions and Email as choices, etc. This Discussion on the first few pages of the book has a target due date of 8/31 at 11:59pm, and will lock after that time.


Skills Inventory Discussion This Week, using the attached document and discussing your strengths and weaknesses in research methods. Try to complete this discussion by 9/1 at 11:59pm.

9/2 Labor Day Holiday, No Class

9/4 Week 3:

Read Robson Part 1, Chapter 3 pages 59-79

Remember that Blazeview often goes down on Friday nights for maintenance. Work ahead for these items, so that you show you are in the class and working. (Dr. James has to turn in “proof rolls” or “attendance verifications” that prove you are attending and participating in our class.)


This week’s discussion is on types of research and organizing sources using Adrienne Fry’s paper and her sample chart for her literature review, as well as a powerpoint attached to this discussion on how to evaluate a sample of a past student’s paper. Target date for this discussion to be completed is 9/8 at 11:59pm.

9/9-9/11 Week 4:

Exam 1 will be in the Quizzes this week and must be completed by 9/15 by 11:59pm. Remember Quizzes in online classes are timed, so you have 2 hours to complete the exam once you click on it. Save you answers often. Please try to complete Exam 1 before this date and time. I will make the Exam available until this date at midnight, but remember your 2 hour window of time to do it. That means you should ideally click on the Exam before 10pm.

During these dates, also read Braithwaite and Orr, Intro and Chapter 1, pages xi-58, and post in Discussions.


Discussion for this week: How do the readings in this section show the range of questions that Women’s and Gender Studies can deal with as an academic discipline? Notice that the objects that scholars in WGST can vary widely too. We can read WGST study texts like women and men writing about the experience of motherhood, we can see discussions of images that portray what it means to be a woman, and we can find evidence in language and

terminology of how women’s experience is understood. This discussion will also have additional attachments describing the different kinds of “feminism” that scholars refer to in their writing. Target date to complete this discussion is 9/15 by 11:59pm.

9/15 Exam 1 must be completed by midnight, in the Quizzes under Assessments (11:59pm)

9/16-9/18 Week 5:

Read Braithwaite and Orr, Chapter 2, page 59-117, and post in Discussions.


Discussion for this week involves a set of questions about the terms in these readings: What is gender? How is it different from biological sex? What is colonialism? How has colonialism influenced whether or not some bodies are seen as “threatening” or “not threatening”? Target date to complete this discussion is 9/22 at 11:59pm.

9/23-9/25 Week 6:

Read Braithwaite and Orr, Chapter 3, pages 119-173, and post in Discussions.


The discussion for this week involves comparing one of the articles in the book with a paper attached to the discussion. Privilege and oppression operate simultaneously and in ways we are often not aware of – accessibility is an issue that transcends gender for many people. For this discussion, compare one of the

articles in this section of the book (your choice) with the paper attached to this discussion which is by Karen Elaine Krivsky about Universal Design on University campuses and ADA compliance. Does the concept of Universal Design answer the concerns expressed in the reading, or not? Target date to complete this discussion is 9/29 at 11:59pm.

9/30 Monday: No Class Meeting, Dr. James has to go to a meeting. 10/2 Writing Practicum in class! Bring your draft!

9/30-10/2 Week 7: Prepare Paper One, due in the Assignments Tool by 10/1 at 11:59pm.

10/6 Paper One due in the Assignments Tool under Assessments by 11:59pm 10/7-10/8 Fall Break, No Class

10/9 Week 8:

Read Braithwaite and Orr, Part Two, Chapter 4 pages 177-238 and post in Discussions.


This discussion is about bodies and health as discussed in WGST scholarship. On the issue of women’s bodies, and women being expected to discipline their bodies, women’s health can be affected in many different ways. One issue is the concept of beauty and how beauty standards may be influenced by stereotypes and biases. Look at the attached information about Jessica Helm

and her research on beauty products marketed to black women, and compare it with this section of the book. Does the reading in our book resonate with the research that Jessica Helm did from the science/quantitative research side?

Target date to complete this discussion is 10/13 at 11:59pm.

10/14-10/16 Week 9:

Read Braithwaite and Orr, Chapter 5, pages 239-300 and post in Discussions.


The discussion for this section of the book will focus on the article from The Atlantic called “My Family’s Slave” by Alex Tizon. He wrote about his own family’s involvement in the systematic extraction of domestic care workers from the Philippines. Compare the experience he wrote about with the issues of globalization and care work from this section of our book. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/lolas- story/524490/ Target date to complete this topic is 10/20 at 11:59pm.

10/21-10/23 Week 10: Read Braithwaite and Orr, Chapter 6, pages 301-372 and post in Discussions.


This discussion is focused on applying the readings in this section of the book to examples from popular culture. In the context of fashion, the issues of stereotyping and cultural appropriation are interconnected. Here are a variety of examples, choose either one linked video example or one attached article example to discuss and compare with the readings in this section. Target date for this discussion to be completed is 10/27 at 11:59pm.

The Fabric of Cultural Appropriation in Fashion (Race, Black-White) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGEv9OU-vgg

The 1491s The Halloween Hell No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0kJJ-DTGQQ

The 1491s Native American Comedy Group covering song “I’m An Indian Too” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BHvpWP2V9Y

How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation at Coachella | Pop Feminist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwV3LApkKTk

Jon Ronson Online Shaming https://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_what_happens_when_online_shaming_spirals_out_of_control

Social Media Rape Unconscious Women; Cressida Hayes pdf in Blazeview Constitution and Revenge Porn pdf in Blazeview

Copyright to Combat Revenge Porn pdf in Blazeview

10/28 – 10/30 Week 11: Read Braithwaite and Orr, Chapter 7, pages 373-416 and post in Discussions.


For this discussion, look in to the movement called “Idle No More” online. Compare it with the various types of feminism we discussed in Week 4. I also copied information about them here. What kind of feminist theory would you find most viable after our reading in class? What kind of feminist activism would you see as most potentially effective on our campus? Target due date for this discussion is 11/3 at 11:59pm.

11/4 – 11/6 Week 12: Working on Second Research Paper.

Read Robson Part 2, Chapter 4 pages 81-104. As of this date, discussions in Blazeview end, and assignments will focus on the steps of writing your second research paper.

Begin forming your literature review for your second paper and share your work in the Discussion area for this week.


11/11 – 11/13 Week 13: Working on Second Research Paper. Read Robson Chapter 5 pages 105-130.

Separate the articles you found in your literature review into subgroups, like the subgroups in the chart we reviewed in Adrienne Fry’s paper about volunteers in the first part of our class. Discuss your subgroups in discussion and begin to draft your paper.


11/18 – 11/20 Week 14: Working on Second Research Paper. Read Robson Chapter 6 pages 131-144.

Discuss how the draft of your paper is going. I recommend uploading a full rough draft of your paper before thanksgiving week so that we can all give each other comments and check grammar and spelling and proofread for each other.


11/25-11/29 Week 15 Week Off: T-Day Break

12/2-12/4 Week 16: Last Week, Finish Final Paper, come to my office for individual help

Final “Exam” Time – In our class, we have a Final Second Paper rather than an exam. Prepare your Final Second Paper and turn in through the Assignment Tool under Assessments. This paper is due by Friday 12/13 at 10:15am in the Assignments dropbox in Blazeview.

Final Exams: 12/10-12/13

Our class meets MW at 12:00pm. For classes that meet at this time, the final exam due time is Friday December 13 at 10:15am. Remember to turn in the final paper by this time. Here is a schedule for all final exam times:

https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/registrar/documents/fall-2019-final-exam- schedule.pdf

Graduation: 12/14

Discussion Advice

In the online environment the Discussions area acts as the classroom. It's where you'll meet the other students, engage in discussion, ask questions and post work. Your participation grades will be based on your posts to Discussions, and the participation and Discussions are one of the largest parts of your grade in the course. Every course takes some time to ramp up. That is, to get the discussion going. The first week some students have difficulty getting on. Then everyone has to get acclimatized to the surroundings and catch up... Then everyone has to get used to checking in on a regular basis... Then, everyone has to be focused on the discussion. It takes a lot but it will happen and you'll get a lot out of it.

So don't become passive, waiting for others to chime in. If nothing's happening, post more! You'll make it easier for other students to join in. Online instructors will use these guidelines to grade your participation and the content, timeliness, support and use of language of your posts:

Participation Content of Post Timeliness

Support, backing up your claims Use of Language

Use of Text, Citations, Research

Discussion Grades and What They Mean:

A Provides comments regularly. Interacts with a variety of participants. Reveals solid understanding of topic and the readings in our text as evidenced by original and thoughtful posts, responses and questions. Has considered the arguments deeply.

Cites the textbook with details. Posting meets deadline Comments well supported Complete sentences, well organized, grammatically correct and free of spelling errors.

B Provides comments in a regular manner. Reveals adequate understanding of topic. Has considered the arguments well. Posting meets deadline Comments mostly well supported. Complete sentences, well organized, but some grammar and/or spelling errors.

C Provides comments in a regular manner. Reveals adequate understanding of topic. Has considered the arguments. Posting meets deadline Comments mostly well supported. Complete sentences, but argument isn't coherent. Has three or more grammar and/or spelling errors per paragraph.

D Sporadically provides comments. Interacts with only one or two participants. Reveals a restricted understanding of the topic limited to information that could be derived from online material and prior posts. Posting fails to meet deadline Comments somewhat well supported Poor sentence structure, inadequate organization, several grammar and/or spelling errors.

F Provides minimal comments and information to other participants. Reveals a lack of understanding of the topic. Posting fails to meet deadline Comments not very well supported Poor sentence structure, confusing organization, many grammar and/or spelling errors.

A few more pointers: Length does not equal quality. It depends on what's in there. A high number of posts does not mean you're doing high quality work. Formatting makes a difference. Preview your messages to make sure they don't come out as giant paragraphs. Use subheadings to help you organize your thoughts.

In general, you want every post you make (in the questions on the readings pages) to be detailed. Cite specific information from the readings and use quotes. Also, remember that your grade includes 1) your own first post in response to the questions, 2) how you debate with other students and keep the conversation going,

especially by replying to other students in class (that's why you should do some messages every day even if you don't see a new question yet, and 3) how many of the other students' posts you opened and read. Blazeview keeps track of how many of your fellow students' posts you actually read and I can see those numbers, so if you only open and read 5 other people's posts on a topic, but someone else was reading all 200 in the topic and replied to 20 other students, they would probably get the higher grade compared to you as long as those posts were substantive and well detailed and well written.

Tips on Philosophy Courses

Tips for doing well in Philosophy classes, adapted from a handout by Robert Scott:

  1. People might assume that Philosophy is just opinions, it’s actually not. It’s about knowing specific principles, concepts, key terms, and ideas that are in the classic texts of philosophy. Citing the reading is important, and you should aim to cite the readings in all your work, including Discussions, Quizzes (Exams), and Papers (Dropbox). Think of it as a class in the history of ideas, and your responsibility is to show you know where ideas come from in the text.

  2. Read text with a pencil, underline the important ideas and key concepts. Write down technical ideas, key terms, key distinctions between two terms, definitions, diagrams, etc. to help you remember them.

  3. Write questions or reactions you have to the text in the margin of the book. Ask about these questions in class, and keep them in mind, since they may provide good points to make about that author in papers you will write for class.

  4. Read ahead to see the ultimate objectives of the chapter and of the individual readings. Keep in mind the overall picture of the chapters given in the introductory sections to each chapter in the book.

  5. Work with the new terminology frequently, and try to apply it to situations outside of class. I would recommend flash cards to help you memorize the meanings of new terms quickly.

  6. For longer readings, be sure to review the reading as a whole after you have read it section-by-section. What was the main question the author wanted to address? What were the answers? What concepts were used to make the points?

  7. When confronted with a difficult reading or question, break it down into parts, and into individual ideas. This will at least help to clarify the question, even if it might not give the answer. And for philosophy, clarifying the question is really half the battle!

  8. Ponder an unsolved problem and return to it every so often to see if it will give. Inspiration may happen at an unexpected time, and the subconscious mind does work on problems even when we aren't consciously aware of it.

  9. Begin work on all the class tasks early, and spread out your work over time so as to maximize your chances for comprehending the readings accurately, memorizing the information, and grappling with the questions for papers.

  10. If you do need to meet with an instructor outside of class, be sure to have your questions for the instructor planned out ahead of time, to make the meeting as productive as possible.

  11. Always think about the philosophical issues for yourself, rather than waiting to be told what to think or believe.

  12. Study for all exams on a daily basis, for at least a week before the exam date. You will need to know who said what, from memory.

  13. Try to anticipate the questions that will be asked on an examination beforehand. Questions may come from the readings or from lectures and class discussions, but in either case, certain terms and concepts will be emphasized more than others.

  14. Listen carefully to different points of view, and actively respond (when you read, when you are in class, and when you write your philosophy papers)!

  15. Philosophy involves skills, like learning to appreciate a good debate, learning to imagine the world differently than we assume it to be, and appreciating the world with a sense of wonder.