[The header image is a still from Jamila Woods' video for Baldwin (2019). On the board we have a quote from James Baldwin, also shown at the video's beginning, saying, "Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you have to do is put it on your head" which is a wonderful message for our course. Moreover, the refrain "readin' the books you ain't read" seems like a lovely mirror for some of our work together.]

I have had some personal experiences that make it hard to talk or read about some of the topics in the course. What should I do?

Of course the choice is entirely yours, but I hope that you will consider taking this course even if the syllabus includes difficult or triggering topics. As I explain here, I never want to traumatize or re-traumatize anyone. Please reach out to me or your GSI to think through alternative assignments. You definitely do not just have to "power through" a difficult topic.

It seems like there is an open seat in the section I want, but the system is not allowing me to enroll. What's going on?

In this course, there are seats that are reserved for students in particular categories. For instance, a certain number of seats are reserved only for first year students or only for honors students. If you see empty seats but cannot enroll, that means you do not meet whatever the restriction is. Please add yourself to the waitlist if you'd like.

Can I get an override?

While we all appreciate your enthusiasm about the course unfortunately we are not able to give overrides to anyone. This course is designed with very small discussion sections so that every student has time and space to work through the course concepts and materials. It would be unfair to the GSIs to add extra students to their work responsibilities and, frankly, in violation of their contracts.

I'm on the waitlist. What can I do to get into the course?

Typically courses this large have some churn at the beginning of the semester. Some students who enrolled end up dropping, giving some students on the waitlist an opportunity to enroll. That said, we cannot tell if this will happen, or if you personally will be able to get into the course. If you are on the waitlist, my recommendation is to attend lecture and section, so that you will be caught up if the Fates make it possible to get off the waitlist. Neither Prof. Alexy nor your GSI can issue any overrides because we cannot ask any GSI to be responsible for extra students.

I'd like to switch to another section. How can I do that?

Once you have enrolled in the course, the only way you can switch to a different section is to drop the course and re-enroll in the course again in the new section you want. As you might guess based on the previous answer, there is some risk that you will not be able to re-enroll because there is no space in the section you want. That said, of course you are welcome to try! Keep in mind that a section can look like it has an open seat when, in fact, it is full because an override has already been sent out. If you want to transfer into a section and you can see a waitlist for that section, please understand that it's full.

Do sections meet the first week?

Yes, they do. Our first sections will meet on Wednesday 9/1, Thursday, 9/2, and Friday 9/3. We will do lots of important work in the first sections, so please plan on joining in. Also remember that section will include a reading quiz about this course website. You can prepare by reading through this website, familiarizing yourself with what we'll be doing together throughout the semester.

Are discussion questions due the first week?

Yes, they are. Please turn in Discussion Questions to your section Canvas page by noon on Wednesday. They should concern the reading that is due that day.

How can I figure out what is due each week?

Good question. The short answer is that you should look at your section canvas page. Other than the first and last week, you have some reading or homework due each week. Those assignments are detailed on the syllabus. Every week you also need to submit four open-ended discussion questions by noon on Wednesday, which will be used during your discussion section meeting. In section, you will also have a reading quiz based on the homework assigned that week. Many, but not all, weeks you will have some short writing due at 5pm on Friday. The final version of your project is due on December 17 at 5pm.

Can I turn in work early?

Yes, you're welcome to submit assignments as early as you want.

Can I turn in work late?

Yes, you're welcome to submit most work after a deadline. Late work will lose three points per day from the grade. However work that is graded credit / no credit can not be submitted late (because there is no way to subtract three from "credit.")

Do sections meet the last week?

Well, that depends on how we define the "last week." The last sections will be in Week 14 on Wednesday 12/1, Thursday 12/2, and Friday 12/3. The final lecture will occur after those sections, on Wednesday, December 8.

I have a disability and want to coordinate what I need. What should I do?

There are a few different places to start and you're welcome to pick whichever contact person or center works best for you. You can contact the SSD office and ask for their help. They will prepare and share materials with all your instructors. You are also welcome to contact either Prof. Alexy or your GSI, and we are also happy to help. If you have a specific accommodation you need, we would be happy to learn about that from you. Please don't hesitate to reach out.

I am deaf and need to read lips. I am concerned about how wearing masks during discussion section might make that impossible for me. What should I do?

Please email Prof. Alexy or your GSI as soon as possible. We have a few different options about how to make lip reading possible while also being Covid safe, and we are happy to enact whichever option works best for you.

This course seems to have a lot of work?

Great job looking at the syllabus! If this isn't what you can or want to do, we totally understand. Honestly, compared to the last time I taught this (pre-pandemic) this version has many fewer assignment. I am still exhausted by trying to live through a global pandemic and I figure you might be too. That said, remember it is a 4-credit course so if you want to compare it, please compare it with other 4-credit courses you've taken. We will talk together about how some people mistakenly assume that Women's and Gender Studies is easy, which in turns sets them up for challenges when it turns out it isn't. We will consider how those assumptions translate into things like lower course evaluations for faculty of color, among other structural problems.

Does this course have a final exam?

It does not. The course has no exams at all but weekly writing and a final project. You do not need to be on campus during our assigned exam period.

Can I drop any grade in this course?

No, you can't but there are many assignments worth relatively little of the final grade, so you have plenty of space to make mistakes or figure things out. As explained on the this page, there are a lot of different ways to do well in this course. We have specifically designed assignments to reward different skills and abilities. So, for instance, there are very regular assignments that are credit / no credit, meaning you can get all the points by turning it in on time. This is designed for students who might feel less sure or confident of the materials, to give you very low stakes assignments in which you can ask questions and try to figure things out.

How can I sign up for office hours to talk with my GSI or Professor Alexy?

We would be very happy to talk with you! Please find more details for each of our schedules here. You can sign up for an appointment. If our regular office hours don't work for your schedule, email any one of us and we'll do our best to find another time that works for everyone.

How can I make my weekly writing response stronger?

Good question! Here is the rubric we use to grade weekly responses. Take a look at it as you write or revise your responses. If you would like to discuss strategies please consider talking with Prof. Alexy or your GSI in office hours.

I missed a lecture. How can I see / hear the recording?

The lectures are video and audio recorded and posted to Canvas as soon as possible after lecture each day. You can access them by looking for the lecture page (ie. 240-001) on Canvas / Media Gallery. Email Prof. Alexy if you have any problem accessing them.

Where can I find the lecture slides?

We are not sharing the lecture slides on their own, but they are all embedded in the lecture recordings.

How can I earn extra credit?

Check out all the information about extra credit available here.

How many points, or how much credit, comes from each extra credit opportunity?

This is a great question that we won't be able to fully answer until the end of the semester. Right now, my guess is that each extra credit opportunity will end up counting for about 0.2 points. Because I am trying to give as many extra credit opportunities as possible, and I am adding opportunities as I learn about them, I don't know how many total opportunities will occur throughout the semester.

Can I round up my final grade?

No. Final grades are calculated and assigned through the system outlined here. We won't be rounding up.

I am not a feminist and don't want to be. Can I join the course?

Of course! Everyone is welcome. I fully expect there will be a range of opinions and experiences in the class.

I'm thinking about becoming a Women's and Gender Studies major or minor. How can I get more information?

Terrific! The department of Women's and Gender Studies actually has two different majors - Women's & Gender Studies and Gender & Heath – and four different minors, including Gender Race & Nation, Gender & Health, LGBTQ and Sexualities Studies, and Social Class and Inequality Studies. They are all great and offer lots of support and flexibility for students in them. Please read through information on the department homepage and make an appointment to talk with a WGS undergraduate advisor to discuss anything.

I'm thinking about becoming a Women's and Gender Studies or Gender & Health major or minor but other people have been asking me "What can you actually do with that major??" So what can I do with this major or minor??

I love this question so much because I am so impressed and inspired by the list of actual jobs and careers that current alums now hold. Please check out the list but also click to expand each of the categories. Don't forget to explore the detailed profiles of current students (as of the class of 2020) and alum, including our very own GSI Victoria Bell! Wonderfully, this course (WGS 240) also played a happy role in her professional development.