WMST 300, Fall 2013 UMD on TTh, 11 – 12:15 pm at WDS 1114

Katie King's Office: 2101C Woods Hall UMD

office hours: Tuesdays from 3:30-5:00 (often available right after each class) & some Wed afternoons by appointment; Office phone: 301.405.7294 (voice mail)


But best email for fast reply is:
KK’s website with MESSAGES:
You can follow Katie on Twitter @katkingumd
hashtag for our class #ws300

What should you do if you unavoidably miss class? FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS! (find them on the <Assignments> tab, scroll down to the bottom. They are also included in your syllabus on Google docs, link here and just below too! 



How to Read handout 
Many Worlds handout 
Intellectual Friendships handout 
Good Advice for all college courses handout 

Davis handout 

Timeline template 


Birds of Lace, a feminist press: click for source
What worlds do you imagine? How does your feminism shape these worlds? How have feminists altered the world in which you find yourself today? Which feminist reconceptualizations have made these changes possible? What feminist reconceptualizations will you work to create?

In this class we will explore the work such reconceptualizations do and how they are the ground upon which academic feminism and other sites of feminist knowledge-making build. Women's Studies connects us to feminist communities and practices, within and also beyond the academy. In this course we will see Women's Studies as braided into many movements for social justice, and into alternative communities and visionary actions. Woven together these all constitute feminist reconceptualizations of knowledge, in the academy and in everyday life.

Enjoying epistemologies on the ground – that is, seeing reconceptualizations in action – is one way to describe what we will be doing. Intellectual "fun" is one of the goals of the course!

This course is required for all women's studies majors, minors and certificate students. To create our own community of scholars and activists, we want to all get to know each other and work with each other. Ours here is an active and ambitious learning community visioning and revisioning together our field, women’s studies.

All students please do come to office hours to just talk. I want to get to know each of you personally! I want to know how the class is working for you, what touches and excites you, how your projects are going.

Let me know in office hours or after class when you need help, or any special accommodations, the sooner the better. Folks with disabilities or who need time from class to observe religious holidays, please contact Katie ASAP to make any arrangements necessary. If you are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with the academic demands of this or any other course, you can also contact the Learning Assistance Service, 2202 Shoemaker Building, 301-314-7693. They have educational counselors who can help with time management, reading, math learning skills, note-taking and exam preparation skills. All their services are free to UMD students.

explore our required readings:

·       Berger. 2011. Transforming Scholarship: Why Women's and Gender Studies Students Are Changing Themselves and the World. Taylor and Francis. 9780415873284. Available on the Kindle B004QM9OP0.
·       Berger. 2009. The intersectional approach: transforming the academy through race, class, and gender. North Carolina. 9780807859810. Available on the Kindle B003ELQ5AQ and as a Google eBook. 
·       Davis. 2007. Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves: How Feminism Travels Across Borders. Duke. 9780822340669. Available on the Kindle B003DSHWT8 and as a Google eBook.
·       Hewitt. 2010. No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism. Rutgers. 9780813547251. Available on the Kindle B003DSHWT8. 
·       Zandt. 2010. Share This!: How You Will Change the World with Social NetworkingBerrett-Koehler. 9781605094168. Available on the Kindle B003KK5DOA and as a Google eBook. Also available as an audiobook on

[OPTIONAL FOR EXTRA CREDIT: you can add to or substitute for Zandt, with different amounts of extra credit, the following: 
• McGonigal. 2011. Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Penguin. ISBN 9780143120612. Available on the Kindle B004G8Q1Q4 and as a Google eBook. Also available as an audiobook on
• everyone will read two chapters from McGonigal anyway (on reserve):  Fun Failure: Chapter 4 & Saving the Real World Together: Chapter 14 (pp. 64-76; 296-244).] 
• to see more about McGonigal and the kinds of things she has to say, click on the Media tab for this class (see above!) 

Notice how many of the books are available on the Kindle, an ebook reader. You do not need the Kindle device to read these, but can download an app for your computer/laptop or smart phone or iPad to read them without one: Some are available as Google eBooks. To learn how to read these on your computer, look at: Usually the price is a bit lower for each of these, many available for less than $10, although you cannot resell such books. Please ensure access to as many of our course books as you can, bring those you have obtained or notes about them to the first class.

All readings are also on reserve at McKeldin Library. All will be on 24 hr. reserve. Library instructions are hereYou are required to read these books, not to buy them, or even to own them. Share them, rent them, borrow them, xerox them, scan them. Fair use means producing copies for your own private research use. Of course you can help others in obtaining originals for such fair use copying. Be sure to locate them long before you need to read them! ISBN numbers are included to make ordering them easier if you wish to buy them. Some electronic reserves are downloadable from our Canvas library reserves module. Go to my , login > 300 from Course list > Modules (on left) > Course Reserves > PDF icons to view and download materials, and to see that our books are available at the circulation desk at McKeldin. This is the only use we have for Canvas.

how the class will be organized

This class is a seminar course so discussion and participation are essential! If you are a shy person who is usually quiet, this is the class in which you will need to stretch, challenging yourself to share your thoughts just as they happen! Prepare yourself mentally, do whatever preparation you need to work this out well, and come to Katie if you need a good pep talk! We are a kindly group and long to hear what you think! Discussion will be punctuated by mini-lectures and demos from the class website too, so you will not be on stage all the time. The website also will give you a chance to prepare before class and to review afterward as well.

In other words, the class will involve BOTH taking things in, absorbing them and learning to put them in context, AS WELL AS actively using what we come to know, sharing it others, thinking on one's feet, brainstorming and speculating, figuring out how it all fits together. YOU MUST KEEP UP WITH THE READING TO DO THIS WELL! Some educators call these forms passive and active learning. One can take in and absorb more complicated stuff than one can work with and work out, at least at first. We do both in the class, but we also realize that active learning requires patience and imagination, a bit of courage to try things out without knowing something for sure yet, and a willingness to play around with being right and wrong, guessing and redoing.

The website for our entire class is located here:
This is where graphics, mini-lecture materials and notes, communications and assignment help, and other vital class information and presentations are displayed. You can complete your assignments properly only if you stay very familiar with this website. Bookmark it immediately! Plan on visiting our website and reading email every couple of days, and not just a few minutes before class. These are class requirements. If you have any difficulties getting access to these resources come and talk to me as soon as possible. Any announcements about cancellations due to weather or other considerations, and general class requirements will be sent out on coursemail and you need to see them quickly. To get help go to OIT's Help Desk at the Computer and Space Sciences Building, Rm. 1400, or checkout the help desk webpage at:

In this small class we will all be class buddies together. Get to know everyone in the class, share contact information, and support each other if in emergencies anyone must be absent with class notes and discussion. Everyone should also have at least one class partner too. We will choose partners early in the semester, and partners should help each other brainstorm projects, edit each others’ work, provide feedback before assignments are due, and help each other work in drafts, starting projects early and completing them in good time.



Tuesday 3 Sept – Welcome to Our Course!
·       HANDED OUT: SyllabusHow to Read (also on website for download as well, check the <Info> tab for links)
·       Intro to course texts. Bring all the books you have so far!
·       NEPANTLERAS & BOUNDARY OBJECTS – on course website <Home> tab, read before class if possible. Free Scribd Mobile app: 
We will start off making class buddies and beginning to create ourselves as a community of intellectual friends. We will use the selections on Nepantleras & Boundary Objects to share our interests, backgrounds, feminist issues, and experiences. We will discuss how the class is set up to conscientiously practice feminist scholarship and its related actions. Helping each other and practicing solidarity. Reading ahead, reading to discuss, reading for research, rereading for further work and to grasp complexity, reading in libraries, on the web, with electronic devices, with other people. Our workshops and planning assignments ahead of time. Will you chose Zandt or McGonigal? Why?

BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS: Watch McGonigal’s TED talk embedded on the class website on the <Media> tab. READ a chapter you choose from either McGonigal or Zandt, as well as Chap 2 from Transforming Scholarship, on Claiming Your Education.


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