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Black Women's Studies Minor

The minor in Black women’s studies, offered jointly with the Department of African American Studies, gives students an opportunity to critically engage theories and histories of justice and social change within the Black community, both nationally and transnationally.

The Joint Minor in Black Women's Studies

The minor sits at the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality and allows students to bring a critical race critique to their primary area of study and a range of future employment possibilities, such as nonprofit management, social justice advocacy, law, health-related fields, student affairs and government and public policy.

Foundation Courses

Note: Students admitted prior to 2020 should follow the requirements described further below. These requirements are for students admitted in 2020 and after.
Foundation Courses: 6 credits, two courses

1. Introductory Course – 3 credits – Choose from these three courses

  • WMST263/AASP 298I: “Introduction to Black Women’s Studies”
  • WMST265/AASP298B: “Construction of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community”
  • *WMST264/LGBT 264: “Quare/Queer Contentions: Explorations of Sexualities in the Black Community”

2. Historical Course – 3 credits – Choose from these three courses

  • WMST314/AASP313: “Black Women in U.S. History”
  • AASP498I/HIST360/WMST498M: “Women and the Civil Rights Movement”
  • *AASP398G: “Gender, Labor, and Racial Identity in Diasporic Communities”

Electives: 9 credits, 3 courses – Of the 9 elective credits, 6 must be upper-level (300 or 400)

Choose from the list below. A list of the courses available each semester will be available from the program advisor during the registration period.

Comparative Coursework – Of the 15 total credits, 3 must come from a comparative or non-U.S. course, indicated below with an *.

 

Approved Course Offerings

Lower Level Courses

  • WMST263/AASP298I/AASP203: “Introduction to Black Women’s Studies”
  • *WMST264/LGBT264: “Quare/Queer Contentions: Explorations of Sexualities in the Black Community”
  • WMST265/AASP298B: “Constructions of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community”
  • WMST267: “Introduction to Black Women’s Cultural Studies”
  • WMST298N: “Racialized Gender and Rebel Media”
  • THET240: “African Americans in Film and Theater”

Upper Level Courses

  • WMST314/AASP 313: “Black Women in U.S. History”
  • *WMST360: “Caribbean Women”
  • *ENGL362: “Caribbean Literature in English”
  • WMST370: “Black Feminist Thought”
  • *AASP398G: “Gender, Labor, and Racial Identity in Diasporic Communities”
  • *WMST410: “Women of the African Diaspora”
  • WMST448/ENGL448: “Special Topics in Women’s Studies”: Acceptable courses include:
  • *”Caribbean Literature by Women”
  • *”Women Writers of the African Diaspora”
  • AASP398U: “Selected Topics in the African Diaspora; Angela Davis”
  • ENGL439A: “Spotlight on Major Writers; Toni Morrison: Race, Gender, & American Culture”
  • *FREN478B: “Themes and Movements of French Literature in Translation: Francophone Women Writers”
  • WMST488: “Senior Seminar”: Acceptable courses include –
  • “Black Women in the Public Eye”
  • “Black Women and the Arts”
  • AASP483: “Gender, Sexuality and the Black Family”
  • AASP493: “Feminist and Nationalist Thought in the Black Community”
  • AASP498: “Special Topics in Black Culture”: Acceptable topics include – “Race, Gender & Labor”; “Black Masculinities in Art, Music & Dance”; “Black Women in Popular Culture: From the Blues to Beyonce”
  • AASP498I/HIST360/WMST498M: “Women and the Civil Rights Movement”
  • WMST496/THET496: “African American Women Filmmakers”
  • WMST498Z: “Black Women’s Art and Culture”

 

Old Program Requirements

Note: Students admitted after 2020 should follow the requirements described above. These requirements are for students admitted prior to 2020.

Requires 15 credits; including 9 credits at the 300-400 level distributed as follows:

WMST263/AASP298I/AASP203: “Introduction to Black Women’s Studies”
Introduction to Black women’s studies, Black women’s history, lives, political thought, and cultural practices. Comparing Black women’s own self-perceptions and behaviors with the social norms and ideals about women within the Black community and in the larger society, the course examines the racial/sexual politics of Black women’s lives.

OR

WMST 265/AASP 298B/AASP 213: “Constructions of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community”
Investigates the ways that African Americans are represented and constructed in public and private spheres and explores the social constructions and representations of Black manhood and womanhood from various disciplinary perspectives.

AND

WMST314/AASP313: “Black Women in U.S. History”
Covering African American women’s history from slavery to the present by applying analytical frameworks of race, gender and class to understand the life cycles and multiple roles of women of the African diaspora as mothers, daughters, wives, workers and social change agents.

Additional Course Requirements
One course (3 credits) from Area I – Comparative or Non-US course
One course (3 credits) from Area II – Humanities
One course (3 credits) from Area III – Social Sciences

No course with a grade less than “C-” may be used to satisfy major requirements, and an overall
GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.

 

WGSS Undergraduate Alumni

Learn more about the career and life paths of our alumni, who work in fields ranging from law to social work.

Alumni Testimonials