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iStudy Course Syllabus

G St 201: Introduction to Gender Studies
University of Mississippi

3 credit hours


Instructor name:

Nancy L. Provolt, M.A.

Instructor Information:

Nancy L. Provolt, M.A.

Areas of specialization:

  • Women and the Environment (EcoFeminism)
  • Women and Activism
  • Women and Poverty
  • Women and Culture; A Global Analysis
  • Entrepreneurship for Women: A Global Analysis
  • Women in Non-Profit and For-Profit Corporation; A Multidimensional Approach
  • Entrepreneurship for Women: A Global Analysis
  • Women and the American Experience
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • American Studies and Innovation
  • Ethics and Health


If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi, Department of Outreach
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826


This is an introductory course to familiarize you with the concepts and questions of the interdisciplinary research assignments of womenís and gender studies. We will be examining various social, economic, and cultural systems that shape our experiences of gender in the contemporary United States. Over the course of the fourteen lessons, you will read selected material, watch videos, and participate in online writing assignments ñ all focusing on women and gender.

The course begins with a brief history of feminism, then with a discussion of major concepts of womenís & gender studies. After these introductory units, the course units center on particulars such as sexuality, family, wage labor, and violence. Throughout the course, we will be interested in historical dimensions of present-day situations; and we will also be concerned with the ways gender interacts with other systems of oppression, such as race and class. Please note that this is a Gender Studies course and we will be examining these issues from a feminist perspective.


Required texts:

textbook cover

Women's Voices, Feminist Visions (6th edition)

ed. Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee

ISBN-13: 978007802700

All other required readings and videos are in Blackboard.

It is your responsibility to order your textbooks. Online textbook retailers such as,, or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices.
Use the ISBN numbers to make sure you are ordering the exact book required in this syllabus.


If you complete this course successfully, you will:


This course consists of 14 instructional modules (or lessons).

Topic Reading Assignments
Due for Grades
Start Here
Syllabus and Orientation

You MUST take the syllabus quiz within 2 weeks of enrolling or you will be dropped from the course. NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Syllabus Quiz
An Introduction to Women and the American Experience
  • Womenís Studies: Perspectives and Practicesî (WV, pp. 1-14)
  • Baumgardner & Richards, ìA Day Without Feminismî (34)
  • Rich, ìClaiming an Educationî (28)
  • Hooks, ìFeminist Politics: Where We Standî (37)
  • New York Radical Women, ìNo More Miss Americaî (33)
  • Declaration of Sentiments, 1848 (BB=Blackboard unit readings folder)
  • ìThe New Feminism, Ladies Home Journal, 1970î (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
The Social Construction of Difference in American Society
  • ìLorber, "The Social Construction of Gender " (BB)
  • Oudshoorn, "Sex and the Body" (BB)
  • Kessler, "The Medical Construction of Gender" (BB)
  • Lopez, "The Social Construction of Race" (BB)
  • Dalmage, ìTripping on the Color Lineî (BB)
  • Dennis the Menace cartoon (BB)
  • U.S. Census Bureau categories, 1860-2000 (BB)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Understanding the Root of Sexism, Hierarchy and Patriarchy in America
  • ìSystems of Privilege and Inequalityî (WV)
  • Collins, "Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection" (72)
  • May, "Intersecitionality" (79)
  • Yeskel, ìOpening Pandoraís Boxî (95)
  • McIntosh, "White Privilege and Male Privilege" (86)
  • Langston, "Tired of Playing Monopoly?" (BB)
  • Wendell, ìThe Social Construction of Disabilityî (101)
  • Combahee River Collective Statement (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Learning Gender in America
  • ìLearning Genderî (WV, pp. 116-135)
  • Fausto-Sterling, ìThe Five Sexes, Revisitedî (136)
  • Wong, ìWhen I Was Growing Upî (159)
  • Fine, ìUnraveling Hardwiringî (129)
  • Blackwood, ìTrans Identities and Contingent Masculinities: Being Tomboys in Everyday Practiceî (150)
  • Kimmel, "What are Little Boys Made Of?" (BB)
  • Kimmel, "Masculinity as Homophobia" (BB)
  • "Tough Guise," part 1 (a film) (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Inscribing Gender on the Body
  • ìInscribing Gender on the Bodyî (WV, pp. 181-204)
  • Brumberg, "Breast Buds and the 'Training Bra'" (205)
  • Steinen, "If Men Could Menstruate" (209)
  • Grossman, ìBeating Anorexia and Beating Feminismî (211)
  • Weitz, ìWhat We Do For Love" (221)
  • Miya-Jervis, ìHold That Noseî (231)
  • Saltzberb & Chrisler, "Beauty IS the Beast" (BB)
  • Staples, "Just Walk on By" (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Research assignment 1 Research assignment exploring ideals of female or male bodies. Complete this assignment before moving to the next unit. Do not begin the next lesson until the research assignment has been submitted.
Gender and Sexuality in America
  • Shaw, Lee, ìSex, Power and Intimacyî (313-333)
  • Valenti, ìThe Cult of Virginityî (334)
  • Bass, ìGate C22î (339)
  • Rupp, ìA World of Differenceî (339)
  • Smith, ìDismantling Hierarchy, Queering Societyî (354)
  • Allen, ìSome Like Indians Endureî (346)
  • Stoltenberg, "How Men Have (a) Sex" (BB)
  • Messner, "100% Straight" (BB)
  • Koedt, "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm" (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Reproductive Politics in America
  • Shaw, et. al. ìHealth and Reproductive Justiceî (362-394)
  • Edwards, ìThe Gender Gap in Painî (395)
  • Gaines, ìSouthern Discomfortî (396)
  • Koerth-Baker, et. Al. ìFreedom to Choose?î (424)
  • Woods, ìA Global Health Imperativeî (400)
  • Davis, "Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rightsî (BB)
  • Roberts, "The Future of Reproductive Choice for Poor Women of Color" (BB)
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, "Reproductive Laws, Women of Color and Low-income Women" (BB)
  • Center for Reproductive Rights, "Governments Worldwide Put Emergency Contraception Into Womenís Handsî (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Mid Course Exam
Proctored Exam

Be sure to complete all previous assignments before taking this exam. Complete this test before moving on to the next unit.

The midterm covers units 1-7.

To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding
Family Systems
  • ìFamily Systems, Family Livesî (WV)
  • Goldman, "Marriage and Loveî (452)
  • Miya-Jervis, "Who Wants to Marry a Feminist?î (454)
  • Warner, ìFamily Wayî (456)
  • Angelou, ìOur Grandmothersî (112)
  • Kahf, ìMy Grandmotherî (468)
  • Schwartzapfel, ìLullabies Behind Barsî (466)
  • Shulman, "A Marriage Agreement" (BB)
  • Lehrer, "Family and Women's Lives" (BB)
  • Crittendon, "How to Bring Up Children Without Putting Women Down" (BB)
  • Collins, "Bloodmothers, Othermothers, and Women-centered Networks" (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Gender and Wage Labor
  • ìWomenís Work Inside and Outside the Homeî (WV, pp. 470-478ñ boxed inserts are part of the assignment)
  • Hesse-Biber & Carter, ìA Brief History of Working Women" (503)
  • Heath, ìWill Marriage Equality Lead to Equal Sharing of the Housework?î (500)
  • Chang, ìColor me Nontoxicî (522)
  • Bose & Whaley, "Sex Segregation in the Labor Force" (BB)
  • Crittenden, "The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued" (BB)
  • Sandler, "In Case of Sexual Harassment" (BB)
  • National Committee for Pay Equity, "Questions and Answers on Pay Equity" (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Gender and Poverty In America
  • ìEhrenreich, ìMaid To Order: The Politics of Other Womenís Workî (517)
  • Coontz, ìThe Triumph of the Working Motherî (515)
  • Levintova, ìVirtuous Valentine? Think Againî (524)
  • Richter, ìSex Work as a Test Case for African Feminismî (530)
  • Glenn, "Women and Labor Migration" (BB)
  • Salzinger, "A Maid by Any Other Name (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Gender-based Violence, Women and Rights
  • ìResisting Violence Against Womenî (WV, pp.537-564)
  • Smith, ìBeyond the Politics of Inclusion" (565)
  • Davis "Betrayed by the Angel: What happens When Violence Knocks and Politeness Answersî (571)
  • Lockwood, ìShe Saidî (568)
  • Chinapen, ìSex Trafficking in the U.S.î (568)
  • Atherton-Zeman, ìHow Some Men Harass Women Onlineî (574)
  • Bridges, "Lisa's Ritual Age 10" (577)
  • St. George, ìTextual Harassmentî (540)
  • Hobday, et. Al. ìAnti-LGBTQ Violence: Three Essaysî (577)
  • Carter, ìPreventing Sexual Assaultî (BB)
  • Baldor, ìSex Abuse Continues at Military Academiesî (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Research assignment 2 Research assignment that investigates how feminist magazines confront culture. Complete this assignment before moving to the next unit. Do not begin the next lesson until the research assignment has been submitted.
Confronting and Creating Culture
  • ìWomen Confronting and Creating Cultureî (WV, pp. 250-275)
  • Dickinson, ìThe Wifeî (278)
  • Lorde, ìPoetry is Not a Luxuryî (281)
  • Merchant, ìWonderî (722)
  • De Leon, ìIf Women Ran Hip Hopî (287)
  • Weiner, ìBeyonce: Feminist Iconî (296)
  • Radsch, ìCyberactivism and the Role of Women in the Arab Uprisingsî (298)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry

Gender and Religion

  • ìReligion and Spirituality î (WV, pp. 635-649)
  • Stanton, "Introduction to THE WOMAN'S BIBLE" (650)
  • Brown, "Fundamentalism and the Control of Women" (651)
  • Marcos, ìDecolonizing Religious Beliefsî (660)
  • Almirzanah, ìThe Prophetís Daughtersî (666)
  • Plaskow, "Standing Again at Sinai" (670)
  • Ostriker, "Everywoman Her Own Theology" (673)
  • Riswold, ìFeminist Questions of Christianityî (673)
  • Miller, ìThe Non-Religious Patriarchyî (682)
  • Haught "God Say Yes to Meî (651)
  • Madigan, "After Fleeing Polygamist Community, an Opportunity for Influence" (BB)
Reading Quiz, Journal Entry
Final Project

You must submit your final project before you can schedule and take your final exam. Until you submit the project, the final exam folder will not appear.

Final Project
Final Exam
Proctored Exam

Be sure to complete all previous assignments before taking this exam. Any assignments not completed before the exam is taken will receive a grade of zero. All course work must be graded before you will be eligible to take the Final Exam.

The final mainly covers lessons 8-13, but the essays may span the whole course.

To be scheduled
and completed
to finalize credit



94 - 100% = A
90 - 94% = A-
87 - 90% = B+
84 - 87% = B
80 - 84% = B-
77 - 79% = C+
74 - 77% = C
70 - 74% = C-
64 - 69% = D
Below 64% = F


The grading format is as follows:

Unit Assignments (journals, quizzes, and written assignments) 50%
Research Assignments (#1, #2, and the Final Project) 15%
Midterm 15%
Final 20%



A student who wishes to receive credit for an Independent Study course must take all required exams under the supervision of an approved test site official (a proctor). There is a testing center available to iStudy students on the Oxford campus (DETL, Distance Education Testing Lab) to proctor examinations for students in the Oxford area. Students near Tupelo, Southaven, Grenada, or Booneville can use our regional campus testing centers. Other students are allowed to take exams from any approved 2-or 4-year college or university. Testing centers and head librarians at public libraries can also serve as proctors, but K-12 schools are not acceptable. More information is available on the iStudy website. If you are testing in Oxford, you need to submit an exam application via Register Blast. The link to Register Blast can be found at the iStudy website. If you are not testing in Oxford, you need to submit an online exam application via the iStudy website.



In an Independent Study course, a student's reading comprehension and written communication skills become even more important than in traditional lecture courses because they are the student's primary means of receiving knowledge and demonstrating mastery of that knowledge. Accordingly, reading comprehension and written communication skills are necessary for success in this course.

Online Attendance Verification: The University requires that online students show active virtual participation as a substitute for physical presence. Active participation is evaluated by submission of a graded assignment within the first two weeks of the course. Simply logging in to Blackboard does not count. For iStudy, you can show engagement by taking the syllabus quiz. You will be dropped from the class if you fail to take the quiz by the end of the second week after enrollment. If you have already submitted any other assignment, you do not need to take the quiz.

Videos: Most lessons contain at least one video, so you'll need speakers or headphones and the download capacity to watch short videos.


  1. The course readings and assignments do not necessarily reflect my personal opinion or perspective. I am teaching the subject matter and welcome everyoneís respectful input and views.
  2. Spelling and punctuation in submitting work are very important. If you need any assistance with material you don't understand, please feel free to let me know.
  3. The University plagiarism/cheating policy: There is no tolerance for plagiarism or cheating at the University or in this course. The University requires faculty to report any dishonest work, and the student will both fail the course and possibly be expelled from the college. This policy will be practiced in this course. To ìplagiarizeî is to take someone elseís words or ideas and pass them off as your own. If you take an authorís words and change them around or do a few substitutions, it is plagiarism even if you cite the source. Using another studentís paper to do an assignment is also plagiarism. Donít plagiarize. A student who plagiarizes will receive an ìFî in this course regardless of the studentís average in the course.
  4. Quoted material: In your Research Assignments, Midterm Exam and final exam, you may not include lengthy quoted material such as more than 3 sentences at one time. Instead, write about the course material in your own words. You must include quoted material in your posted discussion messages on the readings. Be sure to cite the page number and authorís last name when citing a quote. This is called integration of the readings for the discussion board. *Check out how to quote in the Additional Resources area of the course*
  5. For the research assignments, one page = one full page in length..
  6. Syllabus changes: I reserve the right to make changes in the syllabus when necessary to meet learning objectives.

Please be honest with your work! You and your work both deserve it.

Grading: It is imperative to follow the requirements when completing unit work as well as research assignments, Midterm and Final Exams. If no direct quote from the readings is integrated into your analysis to the unit question, then up to 20 points can be deducted. It is also a requirement to cite the authorís last name as well as the page number when using a direct quote. Not doing so is considered to be plagiarism. Please see the policy below regarding this. Points will be deducted accordingly if all components of the questions are not thoroughly answered. Merely stating ìI agreeî does not constitute a thorough answer and points will be deducted depending upon how much of the question is not answered.

Work load: Students in a face-to-face class spend 2.5 or more hours in class each week and an additional 2-3 hours working on class material for every hour spent in class. That equals approximately 8-10 hours per week of work expected of a student. For this class, the unit work may take you a little less than 2.5 hours. The out-of-class work should take an average of 4-5 hours per week. Please be sure that you are able to manage your time appropriately so that you can be successful in this course. As you know, time does go fast so be sure to pace yourself. Time management is crucial to being successful. Be sure to provide yourself with enough time to complete the required readings and assignments on a regular basis. If you do not fully complete the current unit you are in, you should not move to the next unit. If you turn in a unit before completing the previous one, it will not be graded.

Research Assignments: You must submit two research assignments (3-4 full pages, format depending upon the report) along with a final project. You may not use quoted material from any of the course readings or from other published sources in activity reports. Use your own words only. Research assignments are shown on the Lessons page when they are due. The research assignment requires you to do something in addition to the reading for the unit. Whatever the particular activity, your research assignment for the unit must relate the activity to at least two of the readings in the unit for that week. You may not submit a research assignment on a unit after the next learning unit begins. No late research assignment papers will be accepted. Please note there is no making up a research assignment. This is a great way to explore the readings and to earn points. You must cite at least two course readings as well as provide a works cited and title page as well as a title page. Any of these requirements not being met results in a loss of points. All papers must meet MLA requirements. Submit your Research Assignments via the Blackboard dropboxes.

Final Project: You must submit your final project before you can schedule and take your final exam. For the final project, you will choose between two different research topics and you will also choose the format to use when presenting the results.

Professional Standards in Communication. Students are required to utilize professional netiquette in this online course. This means being respectful at all times. This class is a safe and learning friendly environment where all opinions matter. Check out for more information regarding netiquette. E-Mail Netiquette: When sending an e-mail to me please make sure that you are addressing me by using ìDear Professor Provoltî or ìHello Professor Provoltî and then proceed to write your message. Do not begin your e-mail with ìHeyî or ìGuess Whatî, etc. All caps comes across as yelling through e-mail as well. Also, be certain to sign your name at the end of your e-mail. I try to respond to all e-mails as quickly as possible. However, standard reply time is two days. You are adults in a college setting so I expect professionalism in the e-mails that you send to me.


The University of Mississippi is committed to the creation of inclusive learning environments for all students. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your full inclusion and participation or to accurate assessment of your achievement, please contact the course instructor as soon as possible. Barriers may include, but are not necessarily limited to, timed exams and in-class assignments, difficulty with the acquisition of lecture content, inaccessible web content or the use of non-captioned or non-transcribed video and audio files. Students must also contact Student Disability Services at 662 - 915 - 7128 so that office can:

  1. provide you with an Instructor Notification form
  2. facilitate the removal of barriers
  3. ensure you have equal access to the same opportunities for success that are available to all students

For more information, please visit their website at


You should not share your private personal passwords (for your Blackboard account or for your email) with anyone else, including brothers or sisters, boyfriends or girlfriends, or parents. Logs of all your activity within the Blackboard course environment, including the Internet location from which you are accessing Blackboard, are available to the instructor and to the Independent Study office. Any evidence of logins to a student's Blackboard course by someone other than the student will be treated as an act of academic dishonesty and will result, at minimum, with failure in the course; the student may also be subject to the more severe disciplinary actions outlined in The University Policy on Academic Dishonesty. (ACA.AR.600.001)

Academic Dishonesty is expressly prohibited by The University of Mississippi. See The University of Mississippi's M Book. This includes plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Plagiarism is not only prohibited by the university but it could also be a legal offense (ex: copyright, infringement, fraud, etc.).

To be absolutely clear, working with another person to answer submitted questions or any of the test questions is unacceptable. If it is determined that any student has violated this policy, the instructor will take the appropriate steps under The University of Mississippi's Academic Dishonesty policy. These range from failing the course to being suspended from The University of Mississippi.

If you have any questions about plagiarism please consult the web links below or contact the iStudy office.


Set aside a regular time for studying and preparing your lessons.

You can contact your instructor in one of these ways:

  1. Contact your instructor directly by using the Email Your Instructor link to send an email via Blackboard.
  2. Contact your instructor indirectly by sending a written message or email message ( to the instructor in care of the iStudy department. Your message will be promptly forwarded to the instructor.

Do not let unanswered questions keep you from getting the maximum out of each lesson.

Welcome to iStudy

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