Wom-102 Women’s Voices, Women’s Lives

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WOM-102 Women’s Voices, Women’s Lives

Spring 2012


3 Credits
Professor: Kelly Wilz Office Phone: 715-389-6550

Email: kelly.wilz@uwc.edu Office Hours: Mondays 12pm-4pm

Course Description

An introductory and interdisciplinary humanities course drawing upon diverse texts and methodologies representative of humanities disciplines. Students will examine multicultural readings ranging from creative nonfiction, essays, feminist theory, philosophical reflection, fiction, poetry, historical accounts, drama, cultural critique, feminist analysis, memoir, visual arts, letters, diaries, and others to build an understanding of the multiple scholarly approaches in the humanities to the study of women’s lives.  

Department Learning Objectives for this course

o   Interpret and synthesize information and ideas

o   Read, observe, and listen with comprehension and critical perception.

o    Communicate clearly, precisely, and in a well-organized manner.

o   Recognize and use a variety of written communication forms and styles.

o    Engage with and critically reflect on a work of creative expression.

o  Discuss their engagement with and critical reflection on a work of creative expression.

  • After taking any course in women’s studies, students will understand the interrelationship of social structure and gender.

Required Texts, Tools, and Materials:
You will need a flash drive (thumb drive) or CD to open your PowerPoint presentations.

Baumgardner, Jennifer and Amy Richards. Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, 10th

Anniversary Edition, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).

Brumber, Joan Jacobs. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls, (New York: Vintage, 1998).

Enloe, Cynthia. Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives, (Berkeley:

University of California Press, 2000).
*Additional readings will be on D2L on the course home page or in the “links” section.
Assessment: The UW Colleges-wide assessment program was established to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum, programs, and services of the institution.  The institution-wide assessment activities focus on analytical, quantitative, communication, and aesthetic skills because they are of primary importance in the general education of our students.  This semester, students in all women's studies courses will be assessed on analytical skills. We will also conduct an assessment of student learning specific to the discipline of women's studies.
Reading note: Our readings are examples of actual scholars “doing gender studies”—as a result, you will often find them on the shorter side (20 pages or so) but at the same time dense and challenging. As a result, I will expect you to read with a dictionary to look up words that are unfamiliar to you and your course portfolio is a place for you to jot down questions, comments, and ideas. I expect you to be an active reader who “talks back” to the text and reads critically and with a curious and questioning mind. This means I expect you to take the readings seriously and to engage with them as an apprentice scholar. Be sure to set aside plenty of time each week to read intensely, actively—and leave time to work through difficult ideas, vocabulary, and meanings.

Assignments / Requirements:
-Reading Responses
For every reading, you will turn in reading response. Since you must read in order to foster an intellectually challenging and engaging atmosphere, reading responses will be due prior to the beginning of class for each chapter at 2pm and no later the day they are due. Since these will be uploaded to D2L, you may also turn them in earlier than the 1pm deadline if you wish. This will give you adequate time to prepare for the class discussion that day, and to comment on your peers’ responses as well. These reading responses should be typed and include: the main argument/thesis of the article/chapter, a transcription of one passage from the readings that you think is worth discussing, and 5-6 sentences on why you chose the passage you did. These should be roughly 1 page long single spaced. Not every reading will have a clear thesis (i.e. “This article/chapter will argue…”), so it is your job to find the author’s main argument(s) and paraphrase them into your own words when applicable. In addition, some days you may have more than one reading. Unless specified by me, you are to pick one of the readings and choose to write your response on that. Or, another option would be to find themes across the readings and write your response that way. Either way is fine. No late submissions are accepted. However, if you facilitate discussion for that day/chapter, you do not need to turn in a reading response.
So, for the 1st reading response, for example, you would do the following:

1.       Go to D2L

2.       Click under the “drop box” heading
3.       You will see Reading Response 1: Wood, “Opening the Conversation,” pgs. 1-4

4.       Click on this link

5.       Upload your reading responses.
In addition, you will submit your reading responses to a discussion thread. Once you submit your paper, the discussion thread will appear under “discussions.”  You will not see it until you’ve uploaded your papers.

1.       Go to “Discussions”
2.       There is 1 Forum, “WOM-102 Reading Reponses”
3.       Under the forum, you will see a topic
4.       Click on the topic:  (i.e. Reading Response 1: Wood, “Opening the Conversation,” pgs. 1-4  

5.       Cut and Paste your reading response into the discussion

The discussion portion of the reading response serves to offer examples of other students’ work and gives you a place to discuss questions or comments you had about the readings, or about other classmates’ work. Active discussion is also part of your participation grade and is expected with every reading response. No late submissions are accepted.

For each response and writing assignment, you will be asked to submit your writing to the Online Writing Lab prior to when the assignment is due. Because you have limited time to turn these in, you must submit them in advance to when the writing assignment is due. Depending on how busy the OWL is, you may get these within an hour, or up to 2 days, so plan accordingly. The Online Writing Lab (OWL): The OWL is a service that affords UW-Colleges students the opportunity to e-mail drafts of their writing to the OWL staff and receive feedback from a peer writing tutor. The OWL is part of the Study-Center Tutoring Program at UW-Waukesha, which is certified by the College Reading & Learning Association. Check it out at: http://waukesha.uwc.edu/academics/owl/
-Participation and Attendance

Attendance is required in WOM-102. You have three “free” absences all term regardless of the circumstances. For each absence after two I will subtract one-third of a letter grade from your final grade. That means that if you miss three classes, the highest grade you can earn is an A-. No exceptions. I do not discriminate between “excused” and “unexcused” absences except in the case of university-sanctioned events or religious holidays. I expect frequent and thoughtful participation in this course. This includes listening to others and working in groups as well as contributing during our class-wide discussions. Part of your participation grade will be commenting on others’ reading responses in the discussion thread.

You are expected to listen attentively while your fellow classmates and I are speaking, and to actively participate in class discussions. You are not expected to know all the answers. Questions, tangents, and incomplete thoughts are welcome. Please note, however, that disrupting the class, surfing the internet, texting, interrupting others while they are talking, or being disrespectful to your classmates or myself will count against your participation grade.
Course Policies and Expectations

I expect all written assignments to be typed, with one-inch margins all around and in 12-point Times New Roman font. You will be penalized 1/3 of a letter grade for each formatting requirement you fail to fulfill.

Late Assignments

I do not accept late assignments and do not give “make-ups.” Whether or not you are present in class, all assignments must be turned in prior to the beginning of class on the day they are due (via the drop box on D2L). You will lose 1/3 of a letter grade for each day an assignment is late. It is your responsibility to contact me regarding any circumstances that may affect your ability to complete an assignment on the day it is due.


A grade of incomplete can be assigned only after the student and instructor mutually agree that this is the best course of action under the circumstances.

Academic Honesty:

The Board of Regents, administrators, faculty, academic staff, and students of the University of Wisconsin System believe that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education and of the University of Wisconsin System. The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with instances of academic dishonesty. Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of others’ academic endeavors. Students who violate these standards must be confronted and must accept the consequences of their actions.

Using someone else’s work as your own without careful citation is unethical. Similarly, letting someone else use your work is also unethical. If you find yourself in a position where you are unsure as to whether or not you will be able to complete an assignment, please contact me so that we can make appropriate arrangements.
Writing and Writing Help

If you have writing concerns and are unable to meet with me, I encourage you to contact The Learning Center: Located next to the Hamilton Roddis Memorial Library, TLC provides students with easy, convenient access to reference materials, as well as the experienced, professional staff to help resolve academic problems. Call 384-1706 to schedule an appointment or drop in!

The Online Writing Lab (OWL): The OWL is a service that affords UW-Colleges students the opportunity to e-mail drafts of their writing to the OWL staff and receive feedback from a peer writing tutor. The OWL is part of the Study-Center Tutoring Program at UW-Waukesha, which is certified by the College Reading & Learning Association. Check it out at: http://waukesha.uwc.edu/academics/owl/
Office Hours

My office hours are for you. Please come by whenever and as much as you need to with any questions or concerns you may have about readings, assignments, or the course in general. If for some reason you can’t make my office hours, I am happy to make an appointment at a mutually convenient time.

Special Needs

If you have any special needs that might affect your performance in this course, please let me know as soon as possible so we can create a plan to accommodate them.


I will often send important information to you (due dates, changes in schedule or readings, or request for you to print something off) via email. I expect that you will check email everyday and that you will be prepared for class.

Inclement weather:

In the event of inclement weather, a weather cancellation page will be activated on the UW Marshfield/Wood County Web site.  It will be updated as needed from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.   During “weather episodes” students are advised - via email, computer lab screens and TVs -  to check the current student Web site for cancellation updates.  

Cell Phones: All cell phones are to be turned off during class.

In Class Facilitation: (2 @ 100pts each) 200pts

Reading Responses: (23 @20pts each) 460pts

Midterm Exam: 150pts

Final Exam: 200pts

Attendance/Participation: 100pts


Total: 1110

Grade Distribution:

A= 90 - 100%.

B = 80 - 89%.

C = 70 - 79%.

D = 60 - 69%.

F = 59 % or below

In Class Facilitation:
Leading seminar discussion:  You will be responsible for organizing and leading discussion on readings during the semester.  Your task is (1) to devise a set of framing questions to distribute to the class, and (2) to lead a focused discussion of the reading. This includes generating links between your reading and other readings (when relevant) or making connections with previous readings.  
You will be evaluated on the basis of your demonstrated understanding of the material; your ability to generate critical questions; the relevance of your questions to seminar topics; your ability to draw out connections between readings and/or with previous readings; and your ability to engage discussion among a variety of participants. What do you see as the primary arguments being made? How are they supported? What questions do the readings raise for you? How do they articulate with previous readings?  What do you find useful or interesting?  Do not treat this as a lecture-style presentation but as an opportunity to generate dialogue.
Each facilitation should include at the bare minimum:

  1. History and background of the author and assigned reading (10pts) (this should include useful information about the author, and reasons WHY you think he/she wrote the article/chapter).

  1. A brief summary of the primary argument of the reading. Please locate what you feel is the main thesis of the author’s argument and be able to paraphrase in your own words. (30pts)

  2. Specific passages that support this argument or that you find particularly interesting or intriguing, a list of key terms or important ideas, and some examples which help illuminate the goals of the author. (30pts)

  1. Discussion questions that not only pertain to the reading at hand but also to other readings we’ve discussed in class. Keep in mind these facilitations should last the entire hour, so be prepared with enough questions to keep the conversation going. (30pts)

Reading Response Grading Rubric:
20/20=A: Thoughtful response. Clearly identified thesis and paraphrased in own words. No spelling or grammatical errors. Followed directions in terms of formatting. Sentences flowed well. Overall, it is clear students understand material and are able to relate it not only to their own lives, but to other readings and ideas.
18-19/20: A-/A: Thoughtful response. Clearly identified thesis and paraphrased in own words. Very few spelling or grammatical errors. Followed directions in terms of formatting. Sentences flowed well. Overall, it is clear students understand material and are able to relate it not only to their own lives, but to other readings and ideas.
16-17/20=B-/B: Was able to identify thesis, but wasn’t able to clearly paraphrase thesis in own words. A few spelling and grammatical errors and maybe some sentence structure issues. Student seems to understand the material on a surface level but doesn’t go much further.
14-15=C-/C: Struggles to articulate thesis. May not paraphrase in own words, or manages to misunderstand thesis and therefore paraphrase doesn’t articulate what author is arguing. Has a hard time connecting it to other readings or relating it to their own life. Many spelling and grammatical errors as well as issues with sentence structure. May attempt to understand main points, but fails to grasp the key arguments. Student may not provide much depth. May not follow directions in terms of proper formatting.
13/20=D: Does not accurately articulate thesis. Either it is missing or wrong. Does not paraphrase in own words. So many grammatical and spelling errors it is difficult to read. Sentences do not flow. Does not follow directions in terms of formatting. Student does not provide depth at all (due to shortness of response). Does not relate to other readings since there is no understanding of main points and arguments.
10/20=F: Does not understand assignment and turns in something that does not follow directions of what is being asked.
0/20=F: Does not turn in reading response.

Course Calendar:

Week 1

Jan. 24

Jan. 26

Syllabus review, course requirements, and how to use D2L

Read: Wood “Opening the Conversation,” 1-4 (D2L)

Read: Wood, “The Rhetorical Shaping of Gender: Women’s Movements in the United States” 65-92 (D2L). (Do response on 1st Wood reading)

Due: Reading Response 1; *Assign Facilitation Days

Week 2

Jan. 31
Feb. 2

Read: Baumgartner and Richards, “Still Manifesting,” ix-xiii and Prologue,

Read: Baumgartner and Richards “A Day without Feminism,” 3-9

Read: Pozner, “Whatever Happened to the Gender Gap,” 198-203 (D2L)

Read: Bennett and Ellison, “Tracking the Wage Gap” Newsweek, 2010. (D2L)

Watch: Mad Men Season 1 Episode 1

Due: Reading Response 2
Read: Koedt, “Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm” (1970) (D2L)


Due: Reading Response 3; Guest Speaker: Jen Brilowski, Executive Director and Passion Consultant

Week 3

Feb. 7
Feb. 9

Watch: Gloria: In Her Own Words (2011, 72m)

Watch: Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm (2007, 74m)

Week 4

Feb. 14

Feb. 16

Read: Baumgartner and Richards: Chapter 1: The Dinner Party

Due: Reading Response 4

*Assign Midterm
Read: Baumgartner, “Roe in Rough Waters,” 65-70 (D2L)

Read: Voss, “My Late Term Abortion,” 81-85 (D2L)

Read: Block, “Sex, Lies, and Abstinence,” 85-91 (D2L)

Read: McConahay, “Tell me Everything: Teens Talk Back about Abstinence Education,” 94-96 (D2L)

Due: Reading Response 5

Week 5

Feb. 21

Feb. 23

Read: Baumgartner and Richards: Chapter 2: What is Feminism?

Read: Laporte, “Jersey Shore’s Surprise Feminists,” The Daily Beast, 2010. (D2L)


Due: Reading Response 6
Read: Baumgartner and Richards: Chapter 8: What is Activism (start at pg. 298-314)

Read: Baumgartner and Richards: Epilogue: A day with Feminism: 315-321

Read: Valenti, “Sex and the City Voters, My Ass,” 213-226 (D2L)

Due: Reading Response 7; Guest Speaker: Andi Raine, LM, CPM, Co-Founder, Appleton Community Midwives

Week 6

Feb. 28

Mar. 1

Read: Thistlethwaite, Susan Brooks. “What Herman Cain’s fundraising bonanza says to women about Sexual Harassment” (Washington Post, 2011)


Due: Reading Response 8
Read: McNulty, Stephanie. “Mothers in Higher Education” (Inside Higher Ed, 2011)


Due: Reading Response 9

Week 7

Mar. 6

Mar. 8

Read: Statement on the Budget Repair Bill Proposal (JR ISB 11) University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Consortium


Due: Reading Response 10
No reading—Midterm Due

Week 8

Mar. 13

Mar. 15

Militarism and Women

Read: Enloe, Prologue, Chapter 2: The Laundress, the Soldier, and the State

Due: Reading Response 11
Read: Enloe Chapter 3: The Prostitute, the Colonel, and the Nationalist (pgs.49-59 and 65-89)

Due: Reading Response 12

Spring Break

March 19-23:

No Class

Week 9

Mar. 27

Mar. 29

Read: Enloe Chapter 4: When Soldiers Rape

Watch: 60 Minutes: War against Women: Militarized Rape in the Congo (12:10m)

Read: Enloe Conclusion: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Due: Reading Response 13
Read: Chideya, “Working-class women as war heroes” (Alternet.org, 2003)


Read: Elliston and Lutz, “Hidden casualties: an epidemic of domestic violence when troops return from war,”http://www.southernstudies.org/sites/default/files/HiddenCasualties.pdf (Southern Exposure 31.1 Spring 2003)

Due: Reading Response 14

Week 10

April 3
April 5

Start: Miss Representation (2011, 85m); Assign Final Exam

Finish: Miss Representation (2011, 85m)

Week 11

April 10

April 12

Our Bodies, Ourselves

Read: Brumberg, Introduction and Chapter 1

Due: Reading Response 17
Read: Brumberg, Chapter 2

Due: Reading Response 18

Week 12

April 17

April 19

Read: Brumberg, Chapter 3

Due: Reading Response 19
Read: Brumberg, Chapter 4

Read: Hoffman, “Mom, I'm Fat”: How I Responded To My 7-Year-Old Daughter” (Huffington Post, 2012) (D2L)


Due: Reading Response 20

Week 13

April 24
April 26

Read: Brumberg, Chapter 5

Due: Reading Response 21
Watch: The Beauty Myth (50m)

Week 14

May 1
May 3

Read: Brumberg, Chapter 6

Due: Reading Response 22
Read: Brumberg, Chapter 7

Due: Reading Response 23

Week 15

May 8
May 9

Last day of classes: Course evaluations
Final Exam Due

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