Faculty Resources: Developing WGS Courses and Affiliated Courses

There are several ways to develop courses in WGS: Special Topics (WGS 270), Crosslisting, and Affiliation.

  1. Below is the link to the form for submitting a WGS course as a Special Topics Course, WGS 270. The process for submission is quite simple:faculty fill out the form and provide a syllabus to the WGS Advisory Council. If the course is approved, it can be taught for one semester as a pilot or trial. WGS Special Topics courses can later be resubmitted to the department curriculum committee and then the CWCC and Senate for votes that would, if approved, give the course permanent status.

CURRENT WGS Topics Instructor Proposal Form

2. The information below is a document describing what cross listing is (and isn’t), how to submit a course for cross listing with WGS, what are affiliated WGS courses, and how to submit a course for WGS affiliated status.

WGS Cross-listing and WGS Course Affiliation

Descriptions, Requirements and “How To”As a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary field of study, Women’s and Gender Studies increases its offerings at colleges and universities nationwide through both cross-listed and affiliated courses, which are shared with a variety of departments in the college.


Cross-listing signifies that a course fits appropriately under two different areas of study, each area indicated by its own HEGIS code that shares the same course number but differs by discipline (i.e., Women in Literature—ENG 223/WGS 223). A student can register for the course under either code. Note that the first discipline listed is thecontrolling disciplineso that all scheduling, staffing and delivery concerns rest wholly with that discipline’s department/unit.

To apply for a course to be cross-listed, a professor should first get approval from his/her department, then contact the Coordinator of WGS who will bring the syllabus to the WGS faculty for review. If agreed that the course presents learning equally in WGS and the home discipline, the Coordinator will fill out a change in curriculum form. That form will be signed by the department before sending a request for cross-listing to the English department Curriculum Committee for approval (WGS’ home department), then to the CWCC and onward.

For examples of WGS cross-listed courses, refer to the current HCC catalog.

WGS Affiliation:

A WGS affiliated course has a significant portion of its contents that examine topics central to Women’s & Gender Studies within that course’s discipline and subject area. For example, a particular section of Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100) may include several units on gender socialization, social media and bullying, and family and parenting, but the course is foremost an overview of sociology. Unlike cross-listing, a course designated as a WGS affiliated course reflects in its code its department/unit, as in SOC 100. Only specific sections would be designated as WGS affiliated courses.

Requirements for WGS Affiliation:

In the most general terms, any course proposed as a WGS affiliated course will conspicuously disseminate knowledge about women and gender in at least one curricular unit significant to the course as a whole. In fulfilling that aim, the course will provide frameworks with which to examine the interlocking nature and systems of gender, race, class, sexuality, sexual identities, ethnicity, and religion. Such a course will state as one of its primary objectives that students gain analytical tools for critical understanding of the complex ways that gender and related social identities shape our world and our personal lives within the context of the home discipline. Such studies may include examination of how gender and sexuality norms shape content and methodologies of traditional disciplines.

To review a course as a WGS affiliated course, we will follow these specific guidelines/criteria:

  1. Course Content:
  • The course will engage students with readings and assignments about women, gender and sexuality, e.g., the historical marginalization and contributions of women, gender socialization, sex identities, gender representation in artistic production and media, LGBTQ history, homophobia and transphobia, masculinity, and recognition of the diversity of people’s gendered and sex-oriented lives. (see further breakout of possible topics listed, below*). Thus, students learn to use gender and sexuality as categories of analysis.
  • Although an affiliated course will have students examining women, gender and sexuality in at least one particular curricular unit, (see breakout of what constitutes a unit, below**) an affiliated course will not “just add women and stir” (Charlotte Bunch, 1987). It will raise gender-related perspectives throughout the semester—in class discussions, online dialogues, and among options for writing and research assignments.

*Among the general topics to consider for inclusionin an affiliated course:

  • Ways that gender intersects with race, religion, class, ethnicity, ability and sexual orientation to shape all human experience, including the pursuit of learning (Hunter College website)
  • Gendered assumptions within traditional methodologies, theories, and research within the particular discipline
  • Diverse images of women and of men in literary/artistic production and/or media (including social media)
  • Facts, research, global/local current events, information about women, men and/or sexual minorities, distinguishing between “truths” and “distorted truths”

**What constitutes a unit? Each unit should have:

  • Guiding questions: What are the ideas, issues and themes to be explored? (Note: all my syllabi are thematically arranged so these guiding questions are always connected to other thematic strands in the syllabus).
  • Readings: What readings, films and other resources will be used to explore these themes?
  • Assignments and activities: Which assignments and activities will be used to explore the content of the readings?
  • Evaluation: What methods will be used to evaluate student learning- both of content and the acquisition of skills?
  1. Course Pedagogy:
  • A WGS affiliated course fosters direct student engagement with issues central to feminism. Establishing a vigorous intellectual environment where students demonstrate analytical skills, the classroom promotes inquiry and the consistent exchange of ideas. Thus, pedagogy should motivate students to hone their critical thinking by questioning assumptions, offering them various modes for articulating their individual, developing opinions on issues raised.
  • A WGS course should help students connect feminist content to life outside the classroom. Toward this end, faculty should encourage students to reflect on how their academic discoveries about gender are produced in everyday life–within their own experiences and in larger contexts such as the cultural, social, political, psychological, economic, historical, local/national/global feminist action groups, and the technological complexities with which we live. As such, a WGS affiliated course helps students conceptualize tools for contributing to social change.
  • A WGS affiliated course will offer students the option of incorporating feminist perspectives in at least one high stakes assignment and several low stakes assignments.

To apply for course affiliation to have your course become one of the Women’s and Gender Studies offerings within our option, faculty first seek approval from their department chair. Next, they send to the WGS Coordinator a detailed course syllabus that includes the list of readings, assignments and also fill out the form that has been developed and approved for this purpose. On that form is a space for describing teaching methods to illustrate the types of student-centered engagement with materials that students will experience in this class.





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