Students will apply a womens studies lens to an issue or topic of interest to them and examine what we know about the issue and how examining how gender studies and womens studies lenses might change how the issue is understood/should be studied.
Choose an issue that you are interested in and re-examine it using the lens of gender and women’s studies. Research the issue in scholarly sources; are there unexamined or underexamined biases in this work that connects with gender (gender alone or intersectional issues that connect to gender are also fine)? What are they? How might our understanding, discussion, proposed solutions for this issue change if we take gender further into account?
It is likely your topic will already have some studies that look at this–this is fine. Look at what scholars have already suggested, summarize how they re-envision the issue, and add your own suggestions–are there aspects the scholars you’ve read haven’t noticed or explored enough? Do you see new patterns after looking at more than one suggestion of what is missing?
Your paper should be around 3 double-spaced pages with 12 point font (Times New Roman or something similar) not counting any title page or notes. You should center your paper around an analytical thesis that assesses how looking at your issue changes how it should be seen/understood, summarize what has already been written about the topic, and suggest further research, issues to explore, and/or solutions to pursue. These can be a combination of your own and those you find compelling in the literature. You should consult multiple scholarly sources to support your paper, and use a consistent citation system, either APA or Chicago Manual of Style.
Topic suggestions: You probably want to start with something that sounds or appears to be gender neutral, like heart disease, nursing home care in the US, or dress codes in schools or at work. Then apply gender to that issue and see how adding gender changes the picture.
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