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Graduate Certificate

Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies is pleased to offer a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. This interdisciplinary certificate is designed to meet the needs and interests of students across the university, including those enrolled in Ph.D., MA, and professional programs. The certificate is also open to members of the North Carolina public interested in this course of study.

For a list of Spring 2023 Graduate Certificate Courses, click here!

Benefits

  • A credential for academic positions requiring training or expertise in WGST
  • Advising and mentorship opportunities within the WGST community at UNC
  • Opportunities to connect with graduate students from across the university who are interested/working in WGST.

Requirements

  • One required course – WGST 790
  • Two elective courses, (3.0 hours each). We highly encourage students to take at least one course outside of their home department.
  • Participation & contribution to Department
    • Examples of how you can “participate and contribute” to the Department include events and teaching. For example, you can attend a WGST-sponsored event, participate in a presentation of original research, or TA-ing for WGST-101.

Enrolling

Individuals wishing to enroll in the certificate program should submit a Cover Letter and a CV to the Director of the Certificate Program, Dr. Ariana Vigil.

The cover letter should outline the student’s background and interest in feminist research and teaching. Students should submit these materials within one year ofenrolling in courses that they hope to use toward completing the certificate.

Students who are currently enrolled and have already completed some of the requirements for the certificate will be evaluated on an ad hoc basis.

Based on the application, particularly the statement of interest, the program coordinator will recommend a faculty advisor for the prospective applicant. The applicant will be expected to meet with the advisor to discuss their specific interests.

Applicants’ materials will be reviewed by an Advisory Panel every semester and students will be notified once they have been accepted into the program. The Advisory Panel consists of:

  • Ariana Vigil, Director of Certificate Program, Professor and Chair, Women’s and Gender Studies and History
  • Karen Booth, Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Lydia Boyd, Associate Professor, African, African American and Diaspora Studies
  • Jes Boon, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
  • Barbara Friedman, Associate Professor, Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • Sharon James, Professor, Classics

Women’s and Gender Studies 700 – 899

Please note that this inventory may change, and that several courses may not be offered every semester.

WGST 790
GRADUATE SEMINAR IN WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES

In-depth survey of historical and contemporary developments in feminist theory and knowledge production. Required for the Graduate Certificate. This course is offered every Spring semester.

WGST 890
TOPICS IN WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES

This course allows faculty in WGST to offer graduate-level courses on special topics pertinent to their current research. This course is often offered in the Fall semester, it will be offered Fall 2021.

WGST 796
INDEPENDENT READING AND RESEARCH FOR GRADUATES

Intensive reading and research in a student’s chosen area of interest under faculty supervision. Results in a written report. Permission of the Chair and a faculty member required.

Cross-Listed Graduate Courses 700 – 899

While there are many classes that may count toward the certificate requirements, we have listed the classes in the order of frequency in which they are offered – classes at the top of the list have been offered more regularly in recent years.

WGST 841/MEJO 841
Issues in Media and Society

Righteous Furies: Women’s Mediated Anger as a Politics of Resistance
In this graduate seminar, we will explore women’s anger in popular and commercial cultural forms as both explicit and implicit political expression. What are the sources of women’s anger, and how has it manifested in a range of media content? For what groups of women are mediated expressions of anger read more or less charitably? How are contemporary media producers making space for women’s anger? What media platforms offer women room to organize around common sources of anger and amplify their collective power? How has women’s anger been, as “a powerful source of energy serving progress and change,” as Audre Lorde put it, and how can we assure it remains so?

COMM 824
SEMINAR IN FEMINIST STUDIES IN COMMUNICATION

Engages with the complexity of transnational feminist thought by focusing on its diversity. Through various themes — from postcolonial theory to popular culture — we map the relationships that emerge between self, state, nation, and feminism to engage with key ideas and emerging issues in contemporary feminist thought.

WGST 730/HIST 730
FEMINIST AND GENDER THEORY FOR HISTORIANS

Readings in contemporary feminist and gender theory with a focus on theories that address the construction, writing, and general practice of history.

WGST 735/HIST 735
READINGS IN THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY AND GENDER

Readings of the historical study of sexuality and gender in different historical contexts.

ANTH 711
FEMINIST ETHNOGRAPHY

This graduate seminar considers issues in qualitative research methodology through reading and discussing feminist ethnographies and critical assessments of such work. Asks questions about interdisciplinarity and the dilemmas of field research and writing. Highlights the feminist politics of positionality of the researcher and the ethnographic representation of subjects of research.

WGST 768/POLI 768
FEMINIST POLITICS

A survey of feminist approaches to politics and political inquiry.

EDUC 776
GENDER, RACE, AND CLASS ISSUES IN EDUCATION

Provides an understanding of, and remedies for, the racism, sexism, and class divisions that schools can perpetuate. Examines curriculum, counseling, and interaction in classrooms; structure and leadership; and fundamental assumptions.

EDUC 715
GIRLHOOD, CULTURE, AND CURRICULUM

Who is a girl? How do the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, citizenship status, and other such markers of difference influence what is known and knowable about girl/hood/s? What are the temporal spaces of girlhood? How does the idea of girlhood travel across times and geographies, such as, places and spaces? How does school function as an apparatus for the socialization, acculturation, and disciplining of girl/hood/s? What are the cultural and curricular constructions.

HBEH 705
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER HEALTH: A POPULATION PERSPECTIVE

This seminar course explores health challenges faced by LGBT populations. Discussions will span a variety of health behaviors and outcomes, determinants of health, developmental stages, identities, and settings. Students will be able to identify conceptual frameworks and considerations relevant in LGBT health research and practice.

The courses below count toward the Certificate requirements but have been offered less frequently in recent years

WGST/ANTH 753
Gender, Sickness, and Society. 3 Credits.

This seminar deals in depth and cross-culturally with the nature of gender and the ways in which social comprehension of gender, gender status, and gender relationships impinge upon differential experience of health and sickness of men and women from a historical and contemporary perspective.

WGST 715/ANTH 715
FEMINISM AND SOCIETY

Selected topics in feminist analysis of social life, with materials drawn from a global range of societies.

WGST 725/HIST 725
READINGS IN THE COMPARATIVE OR GLOBAL HISTORY OF WOMEN AND GENDER

Readings in the history of women and gender in a comparative or global perspective.

WGST 751/ART 751
GENDER AND VISUAL CULTURE

This course explores a range of feminist theories and investigates visual images, for example, paintings, films, rock videos, and advertisements, through issues of gender, race, class, and sexual identity.

WGST 755/HIST 755
READINGS IN MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN WOMEN’S HISTORY

Readings in the history of women, gender, and sexuality in Medieval and Early modern Europe.

WGST 768/POLI 768
FEMINIST POLITICS

A survey of feminist approaches to politics and political inquiry.

WGST 770/HIST 770
READINGS IN MODERN EUROPEAN WOMEN’S AND GENDER HISTORY

Readings in the history of women and gender in Europe from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

WGST 775/PHIL 775
ADVANCED STUDIES IN FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY

Seminar in recent developments in feminist philosophy. Topics include feminist critiques of and constructive approaches toward ethics, epistemology, aesthetics, and philosophy of science.

WGST 851/SOCI 851
SOCIOLOGY OF GENDER

Reviews theory and research on variation in men’s and women’s gender roles, with emphasis on industrialized societies and women’s roles.

WGST 858/COMM 858
SEMINAR IN FEMINIST STUDIES OF FILM AND TELEVISION

This graduate seminar will explore theoretical and practical points of contact between feminism, film and television using psychoanalysis, narrative analysis, ideological analysis, and cultural studies.

WGST 865/HIST 865
READINGS IN AMERICAN WOMEN’S HISTORY

Readings in the history of women and gender in the United States.

Cross-Listed Courses 400

Available to Graduate Students

The courses are listed according to the frequency in which they are offered – courses offered more regularly during the past few years are listed first.

WGST 573/PSYC 573
PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN AND GENDER

Prerequisite, PSYC 101 or WGST 101. This course will discuss theories, methods, and empirical research findings on the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of the psychology of women, as well as topics such as feminist psychology, intersectionality, bias in psychological research, sexual orientation, sexuality, lifespan development, work, and health. Men and masculinity, the psychology of transgender persons, and a critique of the gender binary are also discussed. Instructor: Nicole Else-Quest, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

WGST 666/ENGL 666
QUEER LATINA/O PHOTOGRAPHY AND LITERATURE

This course explores Latina/o literature about photography in relation to photography by queer Latina/o artists and, through this double focus, poses certain questions about identity, subjectivity, and culture.

WGST 442/MEJO 442
GENDER, RACE, CLASS AND MEDIA

Concepts and methods to examine media representations of race, gender and class, with a focus on current practices/platforms and possibilities for change.

WGST 424/RELI 424
GENDERS AND THEORIES IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION

This course has two primary purposes. First, it will introduce students to important contemporary gender theory, particularly concerning various forms of sexual and nonconformity. We will begin with an exploration of Foucault’s formative texts and then examine major themes in contemporary gender and queer theory. Second, we will consider various applications of these theoretical resources to the religion. We will read a number of recent texts utilizing gender theory to excavate aspects of religion in contemporary culture, then we will turn to focus on a particular significant, and under-analyzed, theme in religious studies scholarship, the long scholarly portrayal of the shaman or magician as a sexual deviant.

WGST 524/COMM 524
GENDER, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE

Prerequisite, COMM 224; permission of the instructor for non-majors. Course examines the speeches and other texts that announced and embodied the goals and political strategies of multiple branches of three waves of feminist activism in the United States.

WGST 444/SOCI 444
RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER

Conceptualizations of gender, race, and class and how, separately and in combination, they are interpreted by the wider society. Emphasis on how black and working class women make sense of their experiences at work and within the family.

WGST 471/ASIA 471
GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN MIDDLE EASTERN LITERATURE

We examine gender and sexuality in literature written by various authors from the Middle East. Our discussions will focus on the significance of sexuality, harems, same-sex desire and homosexuality, construction of female sexuality, masculinity, contraception and abortion, the institution of marriage, gay/lesbian underground subcultures, and social media as sexual outlet.

WGST 438/ANTH 537/FOLK 537
GENDER AND PERFORMANCE

Examines the culturally and historically variable ways in which individuals constitute themselves as cis- or transgendered subjects, drawing upon extant expressive resources, modifying them, and expanding options available to others. Performance of self as the product of esthetically marked or unmarked, everyday actions.

BUSI 527
GENDER AT WORK

Taylor Swift’s sexual assault lawsuit, the infamous Google memo, workplace harassment, paid paternity leave – Mark Zuckerberg took off four weeks! Our era has been marked by a #MeToo ripple effect. Gender topics impact every employee, organization, and industry. You will explore these timely and tricky topics and understand how and why they affect you, teams, and organizations. Topics include gender facts, myths, perceptions, stereotypes, recruiting, hiring, pay gaps, current topics, problems, and solutions.

WGST 443/ANTH 443
Cultures and Politics of Reproduction

This course takes a cross-cultural approach to understanding how reproduction and associated phenomena become arenas where political debates are played out, and where global and local social relations are contested.

WGST 451/ART 451
WOMEN IN THE VISUAL ARTS II

This course will focus on a limited number of topics related to the representation of women and/or the status of women as producers of art.

WGST 458/ANTH 458
ARCHAEOLOGY OF SEX AND GENDER

Exploration of gender relations in past and gendered archaeological practice in present, including relevance of gender to general social theory in archaeology, and development of research designs addressing gender meanings and practices, childhood, identity, sexuality.

WGST 477/POLI 477
ADVANCED FEMINIST POLITICAL THEORY

Examines in greater depth and complexity current issues in feminist political theory. Topics: theories of subjectivity and solidarity; feminist post-structuralist and post-marxist thinking; gender in the public sphere.

WGST 479/HIST 479
HISTORY OF FEMALE SEXUALITIES IN THE WEST

Spanning the ancient, medieval, and modern West, this course explores normative and non-normative female sexualities, ideas about female bodies, and the regulation of female sexuality by families, religions, and states.

WGST 482/ASIA 482/RELI 482
SEX, GENDER, AND RELIGION

This seminar draws on feminist and philosophical theory, including the works of Plato, Butler, and Foucualt, as well as postcolonial theory, to explore the categories of sex and gender in South Asian religions. We also analyze the moral cultivation of the self in relation to gender identity in South Asia.

WGST 486/EURO 486/RUSS 486
MODERN RUSSIAN WOMEN WRITERS

Using Svetlana Alexievich’s example, we will explore the names behind the “Russian Women’s Prose” phenomenon: Masha Gessen, Valeria Narbikova, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Tatyana Tolstaya, and Lyudmila Ulitskaya. The course will delve into gender identity and body politics as they manifest themselves on the literary texts of lasting aesthetic quality and social relevance. Taught in English; some readings in Russian for qualified students.

WGST 503/ANTH 503
GENDER, CULTURE, & DEVELOPMENT

Classic writings and debates relating to gender and development, with emphasis on recent work that critiques conventional development models. The scope is global, with special attention to Latin America and to such questions as how alternative approaches to gender, culture, and development may be more inclusive of diverse peoples and grassroots movements for change.

WGST 561H/COMM 561H
PERFORMANCE OF WOMEN OF COLOR

Understanding that the hard work of solidary- and coalition-building cannot be accomplished without a commitment to engaging with and respecting difference, this course focuses on the nuanced stories that women of African, Latin, Asian, Middle-Eastern and Native American descent tell about living, working, loving, and building community within various US cultural contexts. With an analytical toolbox drawn from theories of feminism, race, ethnicity, decolonization, and performance, we will examine the cultural narratives and critical perspectives these diverse women offer through their poetry, short stories, and drama. Course participants will create performances, live, mediated, art-object, reflection papers and a research paper as critical tools in analyzing course materials. Performance will serve as a process-oriented, participatory, and experiential way of critically engaging our theme. We will do important, hard work together, and, we will have fun doing it.

The following courses count toward the Certificate requirement but have not been offered frequently in recent years.

WGST 430/AAAD 430
CULTURE, GENDER AND PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT

Participatory development theory and practice in Africa and the U.S. are in the context of other intervention strategies and with special attention to culture and gender. Permission required.

WGST 440/ANTH 440
GENDER AND CULTURE

Cross-cultural perspectives on the social uses of gender distinctions. Focus on women’s lives outside the U.S. and Europe. Comparison with students’ social context.

WGST 446/ENGL 446
AMERICAN WOMEN AUTHORS

Study of major American women writers from the seventeenth century into the twentieth century.

WGST 475/PHIL 475
FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY: ISSUES IN GENDER, RACE, AND CLASS

This course will make an in depth analysis of one or more of the issues in the marginalization, inequalities and injustices of gender, race and class. The course will look at how these groups have been marginalized, disparaged, or neglected within classical philosophical traditions, in an effort to recuperate, challenge, and rectify the injustices of the past. Critique is essential for this project. Our critiques will lead to reconstructions, but also will serve to generate distinct questions and perspectives for understanding gender, race and class, their commonalities as well as their differences.

WGST 537/HIST 537/ASIA 537
WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST

This course explores the lives of women in the Middle East and how they have changed over time. Focus will change each year.

WGST 562/COMM 562/HIST 562/FOLK 562
ORAL HISTORY AND PERFORMANCE

Examines performance as a means of interpreting and conveying oral history texts. Performance-centered approach to underscore gender distinctions in the telling and making of history; to enhance students’ identification with narrators as historical agents; and to promote public presentation and discussion of historical research.

WGST 568/HIST 568
WOMEN IN THE SOUTH

An exploration of the distinctive themes in southern women’s lives, using the evidence of history and literature.

WGST 569/HIST 569/AAAD 569
AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN’S HISTORY

This course explores the experiences of African-American women from slavery through the seventies. We will examine broad themes such as labor, family, community, sexuality, and religion. In the process we will consider the diverse experiences of black women within the context of United States history. Readings consist of a combination of historical documents, narratives, songs, newspaper articles, et cetera, as well as articles and monographs on selected issues.

WGST 576/HIST 576
THE ETHNOHISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN

This course introduces students to the study of Native American women through the perspectives of anthropology, history, and autobiography. Fulfills an Arts & Sciences Western Historical perspective and the Cultural Diversity requirement.

WGST 620/SPAN 620
WOMEN IN HISPANIC LITERATURE

A study of the inscription of femininity in texts by Spanish and Spanish American authors. Readings will be available in Spanish or in English translation. Lectures will be conducted in English.

WGST 665/ENGL 665
QUEER LATINA/O LITERATURE, PERFORMANCE, AND VISUAL ART

This course explores literature, performance art, film, and photography by Latinas and Latinos whose works may be described as “queer” and that question terms and norms of cultural dominance.

WGST 666/ENGL 666
QUEER LATINA/O PHOTOGRAPHY AND LITERATURE

This course explores Latina/o literature about photography in relation to photography by queer Latina/o artists and, through this double focus, poses certain questions about identity, subjectivity, and culture.

WGST 684/ENGL 684/FOLK 684
WOMEN IN FOLKLORE AND LITERATURE

Explores images of women pictured in the folk imagination and traces those conceptions through created literature. Broadly based in folklore, literature, history and classics. Interdisciplinary approach reveals how writers are influenced by the folk cultures that surround them.

Women’s and Gender Studies 400-699

Avaliable to Graduate Students

WGST 410/GLBL 410
COMPARATIVE QUEER POLITICS

This course focuses on two related issues in the effort to understand and assess the prospects of the emerging global movement for equality for sexual minorities: the histories and practices of local- and national-level queer movements and the international organizations and networks that have emerged to link these diverse communities.

WGST 465
GENDER, IM/MIGRATION, AND LABOR IN LATINA LITERATURE

Students will explore the representation of intersections between gender, identity, immigration and migration via Latina/o literature. Emphasis will be placed on the intersections between labor, migration, and U.S. immigration policy.

WGST 550
CONSTRUCTION OF WOMEN’S BODIES

Looking specifically at the social and cultural construction of women’s bodies, this course considers the ways in which biological difference is imbued with social significance.

WGST 553
THEORIZING BLACK FEMINISMS

Introduction to the theoretical and practical contributions of African American feminists who maintain that issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class are central, rather than peripheral, to any history or strategy for bringing about social justice in the United States.

WGST 555
WOMEN AND CREATIVITY

Women and Creativity will present an overview of the variety and diversity of contemporary American women’s experiences of creative expression. We explore how women have been historically excluded, silenced and minimized by institutionalized notions of creativity and art.

WGST 610/GLBL 610
FEMINISM, SEXUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS

This course examines how feminist, HIV, sex work, and LGBT activists have used, criticized and transformed the United Nations’ human rights discourses in struggles against sexual oppression.

FAQs

Why pursue a Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies?
This certificate is designed to formally meet the needs of students with interdisciplinary interest in women’s and gender studies, including sexuality studies. Through the program, you can expect to gain valuable knowledge about the history of feminist thought, relevant areas of research in the field, and how to utilize feminist research and pedagogy in your own work. Your coursework will allow you to examine contemporary issues relevant to gender and sexuality from interdisciplinary perspectives, including history, literature, communication, and media studies, among others. This formal credential will signal to future employers that you have firm grounding in women’s and gender studies, are an interdisciplinary scholar, and can oversee undergraduate and graduate level work that utilizes feminist methods.

What are the requirements?
Students are required to complete 9 hours of coursework, with a grade of P or H, one of which must be WGST 790 and one of which can count both toward your degree major and toward the certificate. Students are also required to participate in WGST-sponsored events and/or activities such as serving as a T.A. for WGST 101, presenting research at a WGST colloquia and/or attending events, speakers, conferences, et cetera.

How does one enroll?
In order to apply to the certificate program, students should send a cover letter and a CV to Ariana Vigil. Your cover letter should introduce your research and teaching interests as well as your interest in pursuing the certificate. Once these materials have been received. Dr. Burrill will contact you and ask that you arrange a meeting with a member of the advisory panel. This meeting will allow you to learn about and/or ask questions about the certificate and establish your suitability for the program and a potential certificate advisor.

Who can serve as my certificate advisor?
Any member of the Graduate Certificate Advisory Board. Current members are listed on this page.

What is the role of the certificate advisor?
The certificate advisor is your point person within the program and the person you can turn to with any questions or concerns. The certificate advisor will sign all relevant paperwork and help you stay on track to completing the certificate. We recommend you check-in, meet, with your certificate advisory once per semester.

What are some courses that count toward the certificate?
A list of courses that count toward the certificate can be found above. The list is updated as frequently as possible. Please email Dr. Vigil if there is a course you are interested in that is not listed.

Can classes taken at other institutions count towards the certificate?
Yes, WGST courses offered at Duke, NC State, and/or UNC-Greensboro can count toward the course requirements. They should be graduate level courses and offered through or cross-listed through the corollary WGST Department. There is no substitute, however, for WGST 790 – that must be taken at UNC.

How many participatory events am I expected to attend?
We would love for you to attend as many events as interest you but a total of two events attended will meet this requirement.

Do you have a listserv?
Yes, if you would like to be placed on the graduate WGST listserv, please email Ariana Vigil

Questions?

Professor Ariana Vigil

Ariana Vigil

Department Chair
Program Director
206 Smith Building
919-962–3369

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