98-99 University Bulletin Entry for:

Women's Studies Program

(file last updated: [8/10/1998 - 15:29:9])


Undergraduate Program

Women's studies is an interdisciplinaryfield that draws on the sciences, social sciences, humanities,and the arts. The Women's Studies Program at Brandeis integratesthe study of women's lives and of gender with the general curriculum.In addition to examining women's experiences and contemporaryfeminist theory, the courses offered by the program encouragestudents to address sexual, cultural, racial, and ethnic differences.We welcome female and male students to explore these topics inan interdisciplinary framework. Our goal is to provide a forumin which multicultural and women's issues are discussed, debated,and studied. Finally, we seek to create a community that offersintellectual stimulation at Brandeis by hosting visiting exhibitsand scholars; sponsoring concerts, readings, lectures, symposia,and conferences; publishing the Women's Studies Program newsletter,Working Papers Series, All Sides of Ourselves; providingstudent prizes and research opportunities and supporting othergender-related student organizations such as Women's Month andthe Women's Resource Center.

Graduate Programs in Women'sStudies

Interdisciplinary in design,the graduate programs aim to give students a solid grounding intheir discipline-specific studies while offering them tools forincorporating women's studies into their research. Introducingstudents to the latest work in a variety of fields, women's studiesoffers the possibility of cross-disciplinary dialogue. This programenhances the ability of students to compete effectively for facultyopenings in women's studies.

How to Become an UndergraduateProgram Member

Because the courses in theWomen's Studies Program are listed in many different departments,it is possible to add this program to most concentrations. Studentsshould enroll in WMNS 5a, offered every fall, as early as possiblein their career at Brandeis. A meeting is held every fall at whichinterested students can meet women's studies faculty and studentsto discuss the program. Because the program requirements, listedbelow, offer great flexibility in designing a course of study,each student should work with her or his women's studies facultyadvisor to shape a program that addresses that student's interests.In the senior year, students complete a senior research paperon an approved topic that may also serve as a senior project orthesis in the student's concentration. Students register for theprogram by visiting the women's studies office and being assigneda women's studies advisor. They are then invited to participatein all women's studies events, including a monthly Women's StudiesProgram community meeting.

How to Be Admitted tothe Graduate Program

The joint master's degree inwomen's studies and a discipline has two options.

The first option is a jointterminal master's degree in women's studies and anthropology,women's studies and English and American literature, women's studiesand Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, or women's studies and sociology.Except in rare circumstances, this option is available only atthe time of admission. This degree option may require one or twocalendar years, depending on requirements in the affiliating program.

The second option is availableto Brandeis graduate students who are enrolled in Ph.D. programsin American history, anthropology, comparative history, Englishand American literature, the Graduate Heller School, the InterdisciplinaryProgram of Literary Studies, music, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies,psychology, and sociology. Students may elect a joint master'sdegree in women's studies and their program, with their advisor'spermission as well as the agreement of the Women's Studies Program.This degree option replaces a master's degree in the student'sprogram and may be entered at any time during the student's graduatecareer.


Shulamit Reinharz, Chair


Erica Harth, Graduate AdvisingHead

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Jyl Lynn Felman, UndergraduateAdvising Head

(Women's Studies)

Pamela Allara

(Fine Arts)

Joyce Antler

(American Studies)

Silvia Arrom


Lynette Bosch

(Fine Arts)

Marc Brettler

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Bernadette Brooten

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Olga Broumas

(English and American Literature)

Mary Campbell

(English and American Literature)

Olga Davidson

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Mary Davis

(American Studies)

Susan Dibble

(Theater Arts)

Sylvia Fishman

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Stephen Gendzier

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Janet Giele

(Heller School and Sociology)

David Gil

(Heller School)

Laura Goldin

(American Studies)

Karen Hansen


Linda Hirshman


Deirdre Hunter

(Women's Studies)

Sherry Israel

(Jewish Communal Service)

Jacqueline Jones


Hilda Kahne

(Heller School)

Jane Kamensky


Alice Kelikian


Thomas King

(English and American Literature)

Jytte Klausen


Karen Klein

(English and American Literature)

Ann Koloski-Ostrow

(Classical Studies)

Margie Lachman


Sarah Lamb


Marya Lowry

(Theater Arts)

Victor Luftig

(English and American Literature)

Robin Miller

(Germanic and Slavic Languages)

Alan Mintz

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Susan Moeller

(American Studies)

Phyllis Mutschler

(Heller School)

Julie Nelson


Jessie Ann Owens


Richard Parmentier


Angela María Pérez

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Michal Regunberg

(Public Affairs)

Amélie OksenbergRorty

(History of Ideas)

Eli Sagan


Nancy Scott

(Fine Arts)

Carmen Sirianni


Faith Smith

(African and Afro-AmericanStudies)

Susan Staves

(English and American Literature)

Judith Tsipis


Joan Tucker


Constance Williams

(Heller School)

Dessima Williams


Leslie Zebrowitz


Graduate Faculty AdvisoryCommittee

Bernadette Brooten

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Janet Giele

(Heller School)

Karen Hansen


Erica Harth

(Joint Program of LiteraryStudies)

Jacqueline Jones

(History of American Civilization)

Alice Kelikian

(Comparative History)

Thomas King

(English and American Literature)

Sarah Lamb


Jessie Ann Owens


Shulamit Reinharz


Joan Tucker


Requirements for the UndergraduateProgram

A.Successful completion of WMNS 5a, preferably by the junior year.(Under certain circumstances, WMNS 105a may fulfill this requirement).

B.Four additional semester courses chosen from the list provided


C.A senior research paper on an approved topic.

Students are urged to takeat least one course that focuses on minority and/or Third Worldwomen or gender issues. No more than one course on the familymay count toward completion of the requirements for the program.

Requirements for the JointDegree of Master of Arts in Anthropology and Women's Studies

Students who are candidatesfor the joint degree of master of arts in anthropology and women'sstudies must:

A.Complete WMNS 205a, the foundational course in women's studies.Under certain circumstances an alternative course can be takeninstead of WMNS 205a. See advisor for approval.

B.Complete ANTH 144a (The Anthropology of Gender).

C.Complete two elective graduate courses in women's studies chosenfrom the list of courses in the Bulletin, at least oneof which must be from a field other than anthropology.

D.Complete ANTH 190a ([formerly ANTH 200a] History of AnthropologicalThought), and ANTH 193b ([formerly ANTH 203a] Contemporary Issuesin Anthropological Theory).

E.Complete three additional elective graduate courses in anthropology,selected with the approval of their advisor.

F.Submit an acceptable master's research paper, dealing with a topicrelated to anthropology and to women's studies, approved by theiradvisor. The paper must be evaluated by their advisor and oneadditional faculty member.

G.Attendance at the year-long, noncredit, eight-part Women's StudiesColloquium Series.

There is a residence requirementof one full year of course-work. There is no language requirementfor the joint master's degree in anthropology and women's studies.Students interested in the joint degree program should consultwith the anthropology department women's studies liaison.

Requirements for the JointDegree of Master of Arts in English and American Literature andWomen's Studies

A.ENG 200a (Methods of Literary Study).

B.WMNS 205a, the foundational course in women studies. Under certaincircumstances, an alternative course may be substituted for WMNS205a. See advisor for approval.

C.Five additional courses in the English department selected from100-level courses and graduate seminars (200-level courses). Atleast two of these courses must be at the 200 level. One of thesefive courses must be listed as an elective with the Women's StudiesProgram.

D.One women's studies course in a department other than the Englishdepartment.

E.Attendance at the year-long, noncredit, eight-part Women's StudiesColloquium Series.

F.Language requirement: A reading knowledge of a major foreign language(normally modern European or classical Greek or Latin) must bedemonstrated by passing a written translation examination. Thecompletion of the language requirement at another university doesnot exempt the student from the Brandeis requirement.

G.Thesis requirement: This project must be 25 to 35 pages long.Papers written for course work, papers presented at conferences,and papers written specifically for the M.A. degree are all acceptable.The paper must engage a feminist perspective or deal with literarysubjects appropriate to women's studies. The paper must satisfythe reader's standards for excellence in M.A. degree level work.Each paper will be evaluated by a reader for whom the paper wasnot originally written. For further information, contact the women'sstudies advisor in the English department.

Requirements for the JointDegree of Master of Arts in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies andWomen's Studies

Students interested in thejoint two-year terminal M.A. degree program must first be admittedto the M.A. degree program in NEJS in the regular manner.

Program of Study

Courses must include a designatedfoundational course in women's studies, one women's studies coursein NEJS, one women's studies course outside of NEJS, and the year-long,noncredit, eight-part Women's Studies Colloquium Series. The remainingcourses must be jointly approved by each student's NEJS advisorand by the NEJS women's studies advisor.

Residence Requirements

Ordinarily, two years of full-timeresidence are required at the normal course rate of seven courseseach academic year. Students who enter with graduate credit fromother recognized institutions may apply for transfer credit forup to four courses, or, with prior approval of the M.A. advisor,candidates may receive transfer credit for up to four coursesfor study at a university abroad.

Language Requirement

All candidates are requiredto demonstrate proficiency in biblical or modern Hebrew or inArabic.

Comprehensive Examination

All candidates for the Masterof Arts degree are required to pass a comprehensive examination.


In areas of NEJS that do notrequire an M.A. thesis, students receiving a joint M.A. degreein women's studies and NEJS must complete a research project onan issue connected to women's studies.

Research Project

This project must be at least25 pages long, in a format suitable for submission to a specificjournal or for presentation at a professional conference. It maybe a revision of a paper previously completed while enrolled inthe M.A. degree program at Brandeis. It must concern a topic relevantto NEJS and women's studies. The project is read by two facultymembers within NEJS and by an additional member of the Women'sStudies Program Committee. It must be defended before that three-personcommittee by the first week of May of the year in which the candidateintends to receive the degree. (Check the date with the Officeof the University Registrar. It may vary with the academic calendar.)Once the project is found to be of acceptable M.A. degree quality,one copy of the project should be submitted to the women's studiesoffice, and an additional copy should be deposited in the BrandeisLibrary.

Requirements for the JointDegree of Master of Arts in Sociology and Women's Studies

Program of Study

The joint Master of Arts degreein sociology and women's studies is a one-year (12-month) program.Requirements include the completion of seven courses to be distributedas follows: the foundational course in women's studies (WMNS 205a);one graduate course outside sociology listed as an elective inwomen's studies; one graduate sociology course listed as an electivein women's studies; plus three other regular graduate sociologycourses (one methods, one theory, and one outside the area ofgender). Also required are a directed study focused on studentresearch, year-long attendance in the eight-part Women's StudiesColloquium Series (noncredit), and submission of two substantialM.A. papers or a thesis.

Residence Requirement

One year.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign languagerequirement for the joint master's degree.

Requirements for the JointDegree of Master of Arts in Conjunction with Doctoral Programsfor Brandeis Ph.D. Students Only

The length of time and thenumber of courses required varies since programs have their ownrequirements for a master's degree. Each program has a women'sstudies advisor who works with students to develop their courseof study. Students are thus able to take full advantage of theinterdisciplinary nature of women's studies by designing an individualizedprogram that cuts across several fields.

WMNS 205a Graduate FoundationalCourse in Women's Studies

This is an interdisciplinarycourse offered through the Women's Studies Program. It includespresentation of feminist material in various fields. Specificthemes vary from year to year.

Additional Courses

Two courses cross-listed withwomen's studies (one inside the student's program and one outside)and two or more additional courses that can be non-women's studiescourses in the student's program.

Colloquium Series

Provides an opportunity forstudents to hear a wide range of feminist scholars speak abouttheir work. Students are encouraged to participate in selectingspeakers whom they wish to hear.


The thesis must have a women'sstudies focus and be approved by the student's program and theWomen's Studies Graduate Committee.

Additional Requirements

Students should consult thewomen's studies advisor from their program to ensure that allmaster's degree requirements in their program are satisfied.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for UndergraduateStudents

WMNS 5a Women in Cultureand Society: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

[ cl12 wiss ]

Enrollment limited to 45.

This introductory, interdisciplinarycourse explores women's experiences in the United States and othersocieties, focusing on the diversity of women's lives. Basic socialscience assumptions and new feminist perspectives are used toexamine a broad range of topics, fields, and issues. Usually offeredevery fall.

Ms. Felman

WMNS 92a Internship in Women'sStudies: Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children

Prerequisite: WMNS 5a. Enrollmentlimited to 15.

This course combines fieldworkin violence prevention programs with a weekly seminar concerningviolence against women and children. The seminar examines thetensions and commonalities between "family violence"and "feminist" approaches, with an emphasis on feministscholarship. Usually offered every fall.


WMNS 98a Independent Study

Signature of the instructorrequired.

Independent readings, research,and writing on a subject of the student's interest under the directionof a faculty advisor. Usually offered every year.


WMNS 98b Independent Study

See WMNS 98a for special notesand course description. Usually offered every year.


WMNS 99a Senior Research

Signature of the instructorrequired.

Independent research and writingunder faculty direction, for the purpose of completion of thesenior research paper. Usually offered every year.


WMNS 99b Senior Research

See WMNS 99a for special notesand course description. Usually offered every year.


(100-199) For Both Undergraduateand Graduate Students

WMNS 105a Feminism for theYear 2000 and Beyond

[ wi ss ]

Prerequisite: WMNS 5a oranother WMNS course. Signature of the instructor required.

Topics for discussion include,but are not limited to: the politics of gender and culture; essentialismand anti-essentialism; interconnections and disconnections betweenracism and sexism; motherhood, career, and the time bind; andthe current, backlash against feminism. Usually offered everyyear.

Ms. Felman

WMNS 106b Women in the HealthCare System

[ ss ]

Enrollment limited to 25.

Explores the position and rolesof women in the U.S. health care system and how it defines andmeets women's health needs. The implications for health care providers,health care management, and health policy are discussed. Usuallyoffered every year.

Ms. Arndt

WMNS 120a Race and the Law

[ ss ]

Enrollment limited to 100.

Explores how race has beendefined and used to uphold or undermine the principles espousedin the Constitution and other sources of the law in the UnitedStates. Issues discussed range from treatment of American Indiansat the nations birth to the modern concept of affirmative action.One of our premises is that ideally the law represents the synthesisof the narratives of various elements of a society. Special one-timeoffering. Will be offered in the fall of 1998.

Ms. Hill

WMNS 180a Reading and WritingAutobiography

[ wi ss ]

Prerequisite: WMNS 5a. Signatureof the instructor required.

Explores the ways lives areembedded within their social and cultural contexts, how thesecontexts change over time, and the ways men and women constructtheir lives. Particular focus will be on the impact of sexuality,race, and religion, with attention also given to class, gender,and ethnicity. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Felman

(200 and above) Primarilyfor Graduate Students

WMNS 205a Graduate FoundationalCourse in Women's Studies

This is an interdisciplinarycourse offered through the Women's Studies Program. It includespresentation of feminist material in various fields. Specificthemes vary from year to year.


WMNS 220a Women, Media,and the Law

Explores the role of womenas judges, attorneys, parties, and commentators in legal proceedings.By examining cases, legal commentary, and other materials, weexplore how the law has been shaped by womens participation. Wediscuss the advances that are necessary for equality to be achieved.Through high profile cases we Examine whether the gender of theindividuals involved shape the way the media reported the cases.We also discuss how media reporting shapes public perception ofthe legal system. Special one-time offering. Will be offered inthe fall of 1998.

Ms. Hill

WMNS 299a Directed Readingsin Women's Studies

Usually offered every year.


WMNS 299b Directed Readingsin Women's Studies

Usually offered every year.


Elective Courses

The following courses may becounted among the four electives required for completion of theprogram. They are not all given in any one year, and thereforethe Course Schedule for each semester should be consulted.

AAAS 133b

The Literature of the Caribbean

AMST 102a

Women and the Environment

AMST 118a

Gender and the Professions

AMST 121a

The American Jewish Woman:1890-1990s

AMST 123b

Women in American History:1865 to the Present

AMST 124b

American Love and Marriage

AMST 139b

Reporting on Gender, Race,and Culture

AMST 150b

The Family in the United States

ANTH 127a

Medicine, Body, and Culture

ANTH 142a

AIDS in the Third World

ANTH 144a

The Anthropology of Gender

ANTH 145a

Anthropology of the Body


Human Reproduction, PopulationExplosion, Global Consequences

CLAS 145b

Topics in Greek and Roman Artand Archaeology

COML 160b

Women, Literature, and Film

COML 195a

Feminism and Film

COML 198a

Feminist Theory in Literaryand Cultural Studies

ECON 58b

Gender and Economics

ENG 16a

Nineteenth-Century African-AmericanLiterature: Texts and Contexts

ENG 116b

Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-CenturyAfro-American Literature

ENG 134a

The Woman of Letters, 1600-1800

ENG 144b

The Body as Text: Castiglioneto Locke

ENG 147b

Modern Irish Literature

ENG 151a

Lesbian and Gay Studies: Desire,Identity, and Representation

ENG 157b

American Women Poets

ENG 181a

Making Sex, Performing Gender

ENG 197b

The Political Novel in theTwentieth Century

ENG 240a

Sex and Culture

ENG 250a

Representations of Eighteenth-CenturyMarriage: Literary Texts, Historical Documents

FA 19b

Lives of the Artists

FA 61b

Inventing Tradition: Womenas Artists, Women as Art

FA 131b

Center Stage: Women in ContemporaryAmerican Art

FA 173a

Georgia O'Keeffe and StieglitzCircle

FREN 190b

Advanced Seminar

HIST 55b

The History of the Family

HIST 127a

Women, Sexuality, and FamilyLife in Early Modern Europe

HIST 139a

Women, Gender, and Family

HIST 153a

Americans at Home: Familiesand Domestic Environment, 1600 to the Present

HIST 154b

Women in American History:A Survey, 1600-1865

HIST 187a

Problems in American Women'sHistory

HIST 188b

Hidden Bonds of Womanhood:Women in the South, 1830-1990

HIST 193b

Anatomy, Sexualities, and Gender

HS 319a

Work, Individual and SocialDevelopment, and Social Welfare

HS 326a

Race, Class, and Gender

HS 540b

Families, Work, and the ChangingEconomy

HS 549a

Family Policy

LGLS 120a

Sex Discrimination and theLaw

LGLS 126b

Marriage, Divorce, and Parenthood

MUS 58b

Construction of Gender in Opera

MUS 152b

Women and American Theater

NEJS 115b

Women and the Bible

NEJS 116a

Jewish Women's SpiritualityThrough the Ages

NEJS 135b

The Construction of Genderin Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature

NEJS 148b

Lesbian, Gay, and BisexualJews and Christians: Sources and Interpretations

NEJS 153b

History of Jewish and ChristianWomen in the Roman Empire

NEJS 157b

The Political and Social Studyof Women in Israel

NEJS 172a

Women in American Jewish Literature

NEJS 174b

Changing Roles of Women inAmerican Jewish Life

NEJS 176a

Seminar in American JewishFiction: Literary Readings: Roth and Ozick

NEJS 191b

Revisioning Jewish Life inFilm and Fiction

NEJS 195b

The Women's Voice in the MuslimWorld

NEJS 237b

Gender and Jewish Studies

PHIL 28a

Western Philosophical TraditionsIncluding Men and Women

PHIL 121a

After Vice: Politics, Philosophy,and the Regulation of Sexuality

POL 125a

Women in American Politics

POL 159a

Seminar: The Politics of theModern Welfare State: Women, Workers, and Social Citizenship

PSYC 160b

Seminar on Sex Differences

PSYC 163b

Women and Madness

RECS 137a

The Heroine in Nineteenth-CenturyRussian Literature

SOC 105a

Feminist Critiques of AmericanSociety

SOC 112a

Topics on Women and Development

SOC 117a

Sociology of Work

SOC 127a

Theories in Social Psychology

SOC 130a


SOC 131b

Women's Biography and Society

SOC 134a

Women and Intellectual Work

SOC 166a

Freud, Women, and Society

SOC 169b

Issues in Sexuality

SOC 171a

Women Leaders and Transformationin Developing Countries

SOC 206b

Advanced Topics in Family Studies

SOC 207a

Feminist Theory

SOC 223a

Sociology of Work and Gender

SPAN 164b

Studies in Latin American Literature

SPAN 192a

Contemporary Hispanic Women'sFiction in Translation

Through cross-registration,additional courses are available to graduate students from theGraduate Consortium in Women's Studies at Radcliffe College. Insome cases students may apply to the Women's Studies Program touse a course offering from the consortium to fulfill their foundationalcourse requirement.