WMST-L File Collection:

Pedagogical Issues and Strategies

Last updated: Sept. 5, 2010

The following files from the WMST-L file collection offer discussion of pedagogical issues and classroom strategies:

Activism Course Readings
(This discussion of suggested readings and other resources to introduce students to feminist activism took place on WMST-L in November 2006.)

'Burnout' in Women's Studies
(Discussion of 'burnout' among people teaching Women's Studies, though some participants point out that the phenomenon occurs in other fields as well. 2-part WMST-L discussion. November 2001)

Coming-of-Age Novels for Conservative Students
(WMST-L discussion in August 2000 about coming-of-age novels suitable for use with conservative freshmen. The discussion gave rise to consideration as well of whether one should teach gay/lesbian novels in such a course.)

The Concept of Invisibility
(This discussion was begun by someone who was about to teach Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, but it quickly moved to a broader consideration of the notion of "invisibility." WMST-L discussion, October 2006)

Conservative Students in Women's Studies Classes
(Suggestions for how to deal with conservative students. January 1993)

A Course on Women and Food
(Suggested resources for a course on women and food. WMST-L discussion, December 2003)

Dealing with Disruptive Students
(January 1997; 2 parts)

Dealing with Disruptive Students II
(September 1999)

Dealing with Disturbing Films
(WMST-L discussion from February 2001 that focuses especially on some films by Spike Lee and on Boys Don't Cry)

Dealing with Sensitive Subjects in Class
(WMST-L discussion, February 1993. See also the related file Dealing with Sensitive Subjects II)

Dealing with Sensitive Subjects II
(WMST-L discussion from May 2000 about how to deal with student objections to discussing sensitive subjects in class. See also the earlier, related discussion above)

Doing Work on Time: Teaching Strategies
(Suggested strategies for getting students to do their assigned reading/work on time. October/November 1997 discussion)

Evaluating Student Journals
(Discussion of whether/how to evaluate student journals. WMST-L, January/February 1995)

Evolutionary Psychology?
(Two brief WMST-L discussions from April and May 2008 that offer resources for dealing with the claims of evolutionary psychology. The May discussion focuses primarily on works useful for an Intro to Women's Studies course.)

Exercises and Projects for Intro to Women's Studies
(Suggested exercises and projects appropriate for an Introduction to Women's Studies course. Most of the suggestions were offered on WMST-L in December 1997.)

Exercises for the First Day of Class
(Suggested exercises and strategies to use on the first day of a women's studies class to orient students to feminism. Suggestions come from WMST-L discussions in 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2003, and 2006. See also Exercises and Projects for Intro to Women's Studies.)

Experiential Learning Activities
(WMST-L discussion of activities "designed to enable students to experience a brief slice of life from a perspective other than their own." November 1999)

Feminism and Social Change: Suggested Readings
(Suggested readings for a course on Feminism and Social Change. WMST-L query and responses, including syllabi. November/December 2003.)

Feminist Criticism of the Media
(Suggestions for works about and/or examples of feminist criticism of the media appropriate for an undergraduate class. WMST-L discussion, January 2004.)

Feminist Jokes
(Resources and issues for Women's Studies faculty wishing to inject some feminist humor in the classroom. WMST-L discussion, October 2003.)

Feminist Pedagogical Resource Guide: Introduction to Women's Studies
(This .pdf document, compiled in 2002-2003 by WMST-L member Farrah Ferriell, consists of suggestions offered on WMST-L concerning the Introduction to Women's Studies course. Sections include assignments, exercises and activities, projects, and references and pedagogical research tools.)

Feminist Pedagogy
(This 2-part WMST-L discussion from December 2001 considers such issues as what feminist pedagogy is, whether it is compatible with giving students failing grades, its use in large classes, and whether it is more than a synonym for good teaching practices.)

Feminist TV Characters
(Identification of television characters more contemporary than Murphy Brown who are 'unselfconsciously feminist.' WMST-L discussion, March 2004.)

Feminist Visions of the Future
(A brief WMST-L discussion of resources for teaching about feminist visions of the future. December 2003.)

Films and Texts for a Sexuality Course
(Two discussions about resources for a course on sexuality: one seeks appropriate films, the other asks about current texts. The discussions took place on WMST-L in July and October, 2004.)

Gender and Teaching Evaluation
(The effect of gender on evaluating teaching. WMST-L, January 1993. Of related interest is Student Ratings of Professors are not Gender Blind, an essay by WMST-L member Susan Basow.)

Gender and Teaching Evaluation II
(Additional discussions of the effect of gender on teaching evaluations, one from December 2000/January 2001, the other from September 2002. See also the preceding file.)

Globalization Resources
(Resources and strategies for dealing with globalization in a women's studies course. WMST-L discussion, March 2003.)

Grading and Writing Instruction
(Difficulties involved in grading and in teaching students to write. 3 parts: March/May 1999. Also of interest may be a more recent discussion, Writing Assignments in Large Classes.)

Grading Group Projects
(Issues involved in assigning grades for group projects. October/November 1997)

Have Women Achieved Equality?
(Discussion of how to deal with some students' belief that today "men and women are equal in every area of life." July 1998; 3 parts)

How to Empower Students in the Intro Course
(A discussion of how to empower students and prevent them from feeling powerless in the face of their growing awareness of societal problems. It took place on WMST-L in September 2005. Of related interest is an earlier file, Is Women's Studies Too Negative?)

Introducing Feminism in an African American Studies Course
(Suggestions for readings and films that would be useful in introducing the topic of feminism in an African American Studies course. WMST-L discussion, February 2005.)

Intro to Women's Studies: Group Projects
(Suggestions for group projects appropriate for the Introduction to Women's Studies course. These suggestions appeared on WMST-L in May 2004. See also the earlier files Exercises and Projects for the Intro to Women's Studies and Grading Group Projects.)

Intro to Women's Studies: Recommendations
(The first of two pages offers responses on WMST-L in October 2001 to the question "What one thing would you recommend to someone about to teach an Introduction to Women's Studies course?" The second page offers a variety of other recommendations from 2005 for teaching the Intro course.)

Intro to Women's Studies: Suggested Readings
(Suggested texts, works of fiction, and other readings appropriate for an Introduction to Women's Studies course. Two WMST-L discussions: January 2000 and February 2008. The January 2000 discussion also includes brief attention to copyright issues.)

Issues Involving a 'Gender Autobiography' Assignment
(A discussion of the advisability of making a 'gender autobiography' assignment in the Intro to Women's Studies course, and also of the role of faculty members in whom students confide. WMST-L discussion, December 2005)

Is Women's Studies Too Negative?
(A WMST-L discussion from May 1993 addressing the complaint that Women's Studies courses focus too much on negative aspects of women's experiences.)

Language and Gender Exercises
(Suggestions for language and gender exercises suitable for an intro class. WMST-L discussion, May 2008.)

Making 'Contemporary' Women's Literature Relevant
(A discussion of ways to make women's literature of the 1970s and '80s, and the feminism it reflects, relevant to 21st-century students. The discussion took place on WMST-L in January 2005.)

Male Alienation in Women's Studies Classes
(April 1993; 2 parts)

Men in Women's Studies Classes
(January 1997; 2 parts)

Men in Women's Studies Classes II
(February 1999; 2 parts)

Men in Women's Studies Classes III
(November 1999; 2 parts)

Men in Women's Studies Classes IV
(The focus on this October 2003 WMST-L discussion is on existing research on this topic.)

Men in Women's Studies: The Mary Daly Case
(A discussion of Boston College professor Mary Daly's controversial decision to bar men from her women's studies classes and instead to teach them separately. February through November 1999, with follow-up in February 2001; 3 parts)

Men's Studies?
(The following discussion of "men's studies"--what it is, what its relationship is to women's studies, etc.--took place on WMST-L in January/February 2000)

Motivating Discussion by Female Students
(How to encourage female students to speak up in class. WMST-L, December 1993)

Multicultural Intro Texts
(Some suggestions for Introduction to Women's Studies texts that have abundant multicultural selections. WMST-L discussion, June 2002.)

Multicultural Women in the U.S.: Book Suggestions
(Suggested books that might be used in a course on "Multicultural Women in the United States." The suggestions were offered on WMST-L in July 2005.)

The Pedagogy of Discomfort
(Recommendations for works dealing with discomfort as a teaching tool and as a form of pedagogy. WMST-L discussion, September 2002. A related file is the 1994 discussion 'Safe Space' in the Classroom.)

Pop Culture and the Curriculum
(What is the worth of popular culture? Are Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Nancy Drew legitimate objects of study? Is their inclusion in the curriculum a sign that standards have been lowered? A lenthy discussion of this and some related issues took place on WMST-L in September 2006. This five-part file focuses primarily on the part of the discussion concerned with pop culture.)

The Poverty Game as a Teaching Tool
(Three-part WMST-L discussion. October-November, 1999. See also a related discussion from 2005, Resources for Teaching about Poverty.)

'Privilege' Exercises
(Five-part WMST-L discussion about exercises that help raise students' awareness of 'privilege' -- their own and others'. April 2002.)

Prostitution / Sexwork
(A four-part WMST-L discussion from April 2002 that arose in response to a query about influencing students' understanding of prostitutes/sexworkers.)

Quizzes in Women's Studies Courses?
(A WMST-L discussion from February 1995 about whether or not to give quizzes in Women's Studies courses, and what alternatives exist.)

Religion in a Feminist Theory Course
(A May 2006 WMST-L discussion about ways to deal with religion in a feminist theory course.)

Reproductive Technology in Courses
(Suggested resources for including a discussion of reproductive technology in gender courses. These suggestions were offered on WMST-L in June 2005.)

Requirements for the Women's Studies Major
(This discussion of the requirements for the Women's Studies major at various U.S. institutions took place on WMST-L in September 2003)

Resources for Teaching about Poverty
(A WMST-L discussion from August 2005 about exercises, books, and other resources for teaching students about poverty. Also of interest may be an earlier discussion, The Poverty Game as a Teaching Tool.)

Resources for Teaching about Second Wave Theories
(Books, articles, web sites, etc. that may be helpful for teaching about second wave theories. WMST-L discussion, March 2010. Also of interest may be Teaching '70s Feminism and 'Waves' of Feminism.)

Revitalizing a Feminist Theory Course
(WMST-L discussion in December 2003 on how to revitalize a graduate course in feminist theory. In particular, how does one make such a course include not just problems but also solutions and applications to real life?)

The Rhetoric of Gender: Course Suggestions
(Some suggested resources for a course on the rhetoric of gender. WMST-L, August 2008.)

"Safe Space" in the Classroom
(How to create "safe space" for women in the classroom--and is this a good thing to do? WMST-L discussion; November 1994. See also the related file The Pedagogy of Discomfort.)

Service Learning Courses for Women's Studies
(Some suggested resources for service learning courses in Women's Studies. WMST-L discussion, October 2002. See also the 2005 discussion Service Learning in Women's Studies)

Service Learning in Women's Studies
(An April 2005 WMST-L discussion of suggested resources and strategies for service learning in Women's Studies. See also an earlier discussion, Service Learning Courses for Women's Studies.)

Short Stories: Women and Education
(Suggestions for short stories and some non-fiction useful for a course on women and education. WMST-L discussion, January 2004)

Sizism: Resources for Teaching
(Resources for teaching about sizism/body image. A WMST-L discussion, August 2001)

Songs for Women's Issues
(Responses to several queries for songs about such issues as abortion, rape, women's safety, etc. as well as mention of several women who perform women-oriented songs. All messages appeared on WMST-L in 2000.)

Student Workloads
(Do we expect students to read/do too much in our courses? If we reduce the workload, are we "dumbing down" the curriculum and ultimately shortchanging our students? These questions and others formed the basis of a lengthy discussion that took place on WMST-L in October 1996. 4 parts.)

Students' Resistance to Thinking for Themselves
(WMST-L discussion in April/May 1993)

Students Who Deny That Problems Exist
(A WMST-L discussion about how to respond to students who deny that gender problems exist in media representations--or in life more generally. May 2001. See also the earlier related files, Have Women Achieved Equality? and Teaching Students to "Get It".)

Teaching about Abortion
(How to teach about abortion and other controversial issues. WMST-L discussion, March/April 1993)

Teaching about Abortion: Films
(Suggestions for films to use when teaching about abortion. WMST-L discussion, June 2008. Also of interest may be the earlier files Teaching about Abortion and Teaching about Abortion to Conservative Students.)

Teaching about Abortion to Conservative Students
(How to teach about abortion in a conservative classroom. WMST-L discussion, February 2002)

Teaching about Class
(Suggested resources for teaching about class. WMST-L discussions, May/June 1994 and August 2010)

Teaching about "Coming Out"
(A September 2007 WMST-L query asked about issues such as "coming out" and "the closet," as well as about critiques of those tropes.)

Teaching About Patriarchy
(A brief discussion of how to teach about patriarchy that took place on WMST-L in August 2006. See also the earlier file Patriarchy: Use of the Term.)

Teaching about Patriarchy and the Status of Women
(Discussion of how to help students understand patriarchy and its effects on the status of women. WMST-L, February/March 2008.)

Teaching about Pornography
(Whether/how to teach about pornography in a Women's Studies course. WMST-L discussion, September 1993. See also the later file Feminist Views of Pornography.)

Teaching about Rape
(A May 1996 WMST-L discussion about rape and how to teach about it.)

Teaching about September 11
(A discussion of how to deal with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in a Women's Studies class. WMST-L discussion, September/November 2001. 2 parts.)

Teaching Beauty and the Beast
(Suggested strategies and resources for teaching the Beauty and the Beast story, and feminist variants. WMST-L discussions, April 2006 and January 2010.)

Teaching Butler and Haraway
(Suggestions for teaching difficult texts by theorists Judith Butler and Donna Haraway. WMST-L discussion, February 2001. See also a later file, Feminist Critiques of Judith Butler's Theories)

Teaching Pornography: Scholarly Articles
(A WMST-L discussion in April 2006 about scholarly articles dealing with teaching pornography. The following WMST-L files may also be of interest: Teaching About Pornography, Feminist Views of Pornography, Dealing with Sensitive Subject Matter in Class, and Dealing with Sensitive Subjects II.)

Teaching 'Pretty Woman'
(Suggestions for teaching the film 'Pretty Woman' in a Women's Studies context. WMST-L discussion, September 2003.)

Teaching Sapphire's Novel Push
(A discussion of resources and strategies for teaching Sapphire's novel push. WMST-L, November 2009.)

Teaching '70s Feminism
(The challenges of teaching feminist thought and activity of the 1970s. Includes considerable discussion also of the notion of "waves" of feminism. WMST-L discussion, July 2001. 4 parts. See also the later (2002) discussion, 'Waves' of Feminism.)

Teaching Students to "Get It"
(WMST-L discussion about how to help students recognize that women still face oppression. October 1999)

Teaching 'Women and the Media'
(Suggestions for teaching a course on 'Women and the Media.' WMST-L, September/October 2003.)

Teaching Women's Studies to Disadvantaged Women
(Suggestions for teaching women's studies to women with histories of drug addiction and prostitution. WMST-L discussion, October 2003.)

Texts for Course on Race, Class, & Gender in U.S.
(Suggestions for texts that discuss gender fully and can be used in a Sociology course on Race, Class, and Gender in the U.S. WMST-L discussion, March/April 2004.)

Theory As Activism
(Writings that discuss theory as activism, and a consideration as well of activism as theory. WMST-L discussion, January 2004.)

Tips on Detecting and Preventing Internet Plagiarism
(Notes from a 2001 NWSA presentation by Phyllis Holman Weisbard, University of Wisconsin System Women's Studies Librarian and WMST-L member.)

Transnational Feminism: Resources and Issues
(WMST-L discussion, December 2007)

Using Eminem in Women's Studies Courses
(This lengthy discussion of how/whether to use Eminem's music in Women's Studies courses took place on WMST-L in February/March 2001. 4 parts.)

Using Facebook in the Classroom
(Should professors use social media such as Facebook in their courses? This WMST-L discussion from May 2010 looks at some of the advantages and problems of using Facebook in the classroom.)

Using Literature in a Women's Studies Course
(Suggestions for how faculty can use literature in a Women's Studies course even if they are not trained in literary study. WMST-L discussion, September 2004.)

Using Wikis in Class
(Suggestions and observations about using wikis in the classroom. WMST-L discussions, April 2006 and May 2008.)

Web Page Assignments in Women's Studies Classes
(Discussion of objectives and resources for web page assignments in Women's Studies classes. WMST-L discussion, September 2001)

What is 'Feminist Theory'?
(WMST-L discussion in October 1997 about what we mean by and how we teach "feminist theory.")

Where to Publish Undergraduate Research
(Suggestions for where to publish undergraduate research in Women's Studies. WMST-L discussion, May 2003, with some material added later.)

White Privilege
(A five-part file. The first two parts describe and assess Peggy McIntosh's well-known work on white privilege; parts 3 and 4 focus on the question of whether Jews are considered 'white' by themselves or others; part 5 raises questions about the "white" status of other ethnic groups. Part 1 includes WMST-L messages from 1992 to 2003; parts 2, 3, and 4 date from September/October 2001; part 5 dates from July/August 2003. See also the file White Privilege II.)

White Privilege II
Further discussion of white privilege. This 3-part discussion appeared on WMST-L in January 2003 (Parts 1 & 2) and September/October 2005, May 2009, and August 2010 (Part 3). Parts 1 & 2 focus on using Peggy McIntosh's work in the classroom and consider as well whether such use should be deemed "education" or "indoctrination." See also the earlier file White Privilege.)

Women and Physically Demanding Jobs
(Three-part WMST-L discussion in July 2001 that focused on women's performance in physically demanding jobs such as firefighter. Among the issues covered were dual standards, discrimination, differential death rates for men and women, and how to teach about such topics.)

Women, War, and Peace
(Suggested readings on women, war, and peace for a lower-division women's studies course. WMST-L discussion, September 2001. See also an earlier discussion entitled Women and War: Suggested Readings.)

Women's Speeches for Rhetorical Analysis
(Recommendations for women's speeches that can be used by students for rhetorical analysis. WMST-L discussion, August 2002.)

Writing Assignments in Large Classes
(This two-part discussion of how to handle writing assignments in large Women's Studies classes took place on WMST-L in January 2005. Also of interest may be an earlier discussion, Grading and Writing Instruction. )

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