GEND 1040                                                                          Ken Harmon
Introduction to Gender Studies                                   [email protected]
MW 2:00-3:15  GWC 408                                                Office: Gateway Center, Suite 530
3 Credit Hours                                                                    Office Hours: TR 11:15am-12:15pm
Fall 2022                                                                                                           & by appointment
Prerequisite: ENG1020 or ENG1024                         Office Phone: (980) 598-3218

Welcome to Introduction to Gender Studies!

This course introduces students to the concept of gender. It explores the biological, psychological, social, historical, and performative aspects of gender and the effect that gender roles, biases, and expectations have on society and on the lives of individual women and men in the U.S. and around the world. In this course students are introduced to the topics of gender role socialization; the role that gender plays in institutions such as the family, schools, workplaces, and prisons; the interplay of gender, politics and the law; and the portrayal of gender in popular culture. The relationships between gender and race and gender and sexuality are also examined. 

Required Texts:  

Atwood, Margaret.  The Handmaid's Tale.  Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; 1st Anchor Books Edition, 1998.  ISBN:  978-0385490818

-All other readings provided by professor

Recommended Items:  

A laptop, a tablet (such as an Ipad), and/or a smart phone. You should bring one of these items to class every day. These will be used to complete in-class course work such as blogging



Upon satisfactory completion of this course, a student should have the ability to:

1.Define gender and describe the different dimensions of gender.
2.Identify and describe common theories regarding gender and gender creation.
3.Describe the relationship between gender and race.
4.Explain the process of gender socialization in childhood.
5.Describe the effect of gender on the family, education, economics, politics, legal and penal systems, and popular culture.
6.Identify and describe important health and medical issues with a gendered dimension.
7.Describe the relationship between gender and sexuality.


This course will involve several different kinds of assignments in an attempt to reinforce material and give you a chance to flex different kinds of scholarly and creative muscles. Those assignments will include short, fairly informal response papers, more formal analytical writing, a creative project of your choice, a chance to lead discussion, and a final project that may include all of these approaches and others.

1) BLOG POSTS:  There are very informal responses to questions that I pose in class that ask you to engage in some way with the texts we have read for homework or visuals that I present in class. These are free-writes, and I do not deduct points for grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. You must, however, however, answer the question posed and demonstrate familiarity with texts.

2.) RESPONSES: These are informal responses to the readings or explorations of your ideas, so they do not need to be research-based or make an argument. They should, however, be well thought-out and well-written. Each response should engage with one or more of the assigned readings for the day. Your response paper might attempt to answer one or more of the questions I have posed on the schedule, or it might draw some connection between the day's texts and others that we have looked at. Think of these as focused free-writes.

Responses are a means for you to integrate yourself in conversation with the authors,  
texts, and class discussion. While they are scholarly writing insofar as they are graded according to the thoughtfulness of your response and the connections you make to the class texts, they also allow you space to reflect your own opinions, ideas, concerns, revelations about the subject material. There is no right or wrong “answer” for these, and each student is entitled to express her/his opinion on the subject at hand. Make sure, though, to place your opinion in conversation with our class texts, discussion, lecture; in other words, students should avoid blanket statements like “I believe... I think...” and instead try to thoughtfully construct your opinion piece as a scholarly response to the specific topic.  

The 2 page responses will be graded according to four main criteria: thoughtfulness of  
response content; link to class texts, authors, discussions; and writing grammar,  
mechanics, etc.  

1) Thoughtfulness of response content (including link to class texts, author, and discussions):  
a. All questions/prompts are answered thoroughly, but not overly wordy.  
c. Response features comments that demonstrate deeper processing of topic/writing prompt than superficial commentary.  

2) Links to Class Content and Writing Mechanics

a. Student clearly links her/his opinion to class authors, films, and discussions by referencing at least one such item throughout response paper.  
b. Student demonstrates understanding of topic at-­‐hand, and can clearly integrate points from films, authors, and discussions, into her/his own argument.  
c. Response contains no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors, is formatted correctly, and correctly cites material.

* Each section is worth 5 points for a total of 10 points.

5 points = no errors, outstanding work  
4 points = no error, good work  
3 points = few errors, average work  
2 points = multiple errors, average work  
1 points = multiple errors, sub-­‐par work  

3.) FILM ANALYSIS: For this essay students will take a feminist approach to Steven Spielberg's film, The Color Purple (based on the novel by Alice Walker).  The essay should draw upon other course content in some way and will be written for an academic audience familiar with the texts.
4.) LITERARY ANALYSIS: For this essay, you will take a feminist approach to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale by considering some aspect of gender, race, childhood socialization, the idea of family, education, economics, and/or the legal/penal system. In addition to drawing upon the texts we have read as a class, you will also need to include sources located using the library's databases.  This assignment requires outside research

Your topic must be an original one that arises from you own curiosity surrounding course texts, discussion, and content. 

5.) GENDER IN THE NEWS:  The field of Women's and Gender Studies extends well beyond the academic classroom. From politics to television, music and education, issues relating to the topic are everywhere. In order to demonstrate Women's and Gender Studies' relevance in everyday life, students will locate and share a news story relating to a class topic. In addition to providing a link to the article, etc., the student should include a 300-­‐500 word response that explains how the item relates to class discussion (i.e.: why is this article significant?) and a brief, scholarly commentary on the item.

Each post is worth 10 points: 4 points for connection to class; 4 points for critical analysis of item; 2 point for general writing etiquette (grammar, spelling, clarity). Students must post a total of 3 FIN throughout the semester; at least 2 news posts should be from credible sources (city/national papers, Time magazine, etc), while a 3rd can be from a popular culture source (magazines, YouTube, Tumblr, Jezebel, etc.). Each post should be posted no later than class time on the specific dates indicated on the course schedule.


Daily Assignments (30%)
Blogs                               50               (3.5%)               (10@ 5 points each)
Reading Quizzes         40               (10%)                ([email protected] points each) (1 quiz extra credit)
Gender in News           30               (7.5%)               ([email protected] points each)

Major Assignments (70%)
Reader Responses     100                     (20%)   ([email protected] points each)
Film Analysis                80                     (20%)
Article Critiques          20                     (10%)  ([email protected] points each)  
Literary Analysis         80                     (20%)

  Final Grades:
  360 - 400 A
  320 - 359 B
  280 - 319 C
  240 - 279 D
  0 - 239 F

NOTE:  You must complete ALL major assignments in order to pass the course.
 Failure to complete any of the required assignments will result in a final course grade of F.

Official academic grades can be accessed via jwuLink. Grades maintained in the Ulearn course management system are for tracking purposes only and may not reflect all of the criteria considered with calculating a student's final grade.



Taking classes is your job here at the university. Thus, you should treat the work and requirements accordingly. In the workplace things such as absences, tardiness, and not doing your work properly have negative consequences. This is the case in my class as well. Many students’ low grades are a result of not following directions or policies as well as not expending enough effort. It is your responsibility to be aware of the policies on this syllabus. If you miss class it is your responsibility to check with your classmates to find out what you have missed. And though you are always welcome to follow up with me if you are absent, do not ask me if you “missed anything important.”

Your grade is dependent on a number of factors that, together and holistically, inform the evaluation and assessment of your performance. In summary, these criteria include attendance, participation, reading responses/journal entries, reading quizzes, discussion questions, a presentation, and the successful completion of any other reading and written assignments.

Note: The reading load is quite heavy and the pace fast. Also, because writing is a means of discovery and a pathway to understanding, it is an important activity in this class in conjunction with the reading. Indeed, you should think of your writing as a mode of reading that will help you begin to understand the literature at hand. When essays, journals, and in-class assignments are considered together you will be doing some kind of writing assignment every week. Be prepared to spend much time carefully reading, considering, discussing, and writing about the texts in the course. If you cannot devote the time necessary to keep up with the assignments, and to do so in a critical manner, you will not do well in this class and may want to consider if this is the right class for you.

PLAGIARISM: All course assignments ask you to write using what you have learned in the course and using your own thinking and writing skills. If you use any ideas, paraphrases, or exact wording from a source other than yourself (including the textbook), you must document the source using MLA parenthetical documentation style (see handbook or ask instructor). Any source used but not documented will be considered plagiarism, for which you will receive a failing grade for the course. You might also be placed on probation or expelled from the university. If you have any questions about plagiarism, ask before you act. Ask me; also see Best Practices for Avoiding Plagiarism.


A. Plagiarism, a SERIOUS, academic violation, which can lead to an F for the course, is the use of WORDS, IDEAS, or STRUCTURES of others (published sources, friends, relatives) without acknowledgment. There is no excuse for willful plagiarism.
B. Except where appropriate (quoting or paraphrasing from primary or secondary sources), your work is presumed to be totally your own writing (i.e. original).
C. When you QUOTE OR PARAPHRASE FROM ANY sources, you MUST cite them with appropriate specific documentation (usually author and page number in parentheses + Works Cited list at end). This includes subject matter of the essay. If you quote or paraphrase precisely from a work of literature, you must cite the author of that work.  
D. If you do not understand the format for documenting sources, see me for help before turning in an essay. Refer to your handbook for further clarification.

Examples of plagiarism can include, but are not limited to: 

a) Using another student’s work and submitting portions or the entire assignment with your name. 

b) Reusing your own work from a previous assignment or publication without acknowledging the earlier use and obtaining permission for the reuse from the faculty to whom the reused work is submitted. 

c) Failing to include citations, quotations, or works cited pages when using outside sources. 

d) Creating false citations, quotations, or works cited pages that do not correspond to the information you used in your assignment. 

e) Unauthorized collaboration: having another person edit portions of your assignment in their own words. 

Student Expectations include, but are not limited to: 

a) Understanding and complying with the Academic Integrity Policy. 

b) Obtaining clarification if they do not understand whether certain conduct covered by this Policy is permitted or if they do not understand how to properly credit sources. Students acknowledge that not knowing is not an excuse for violating this Policy.

c) Agreeing that by taking courses at JWU, their assignments may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software (e.g., for textual similarity review and/or for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted assignments will be included as source documents in the plagiarism detection database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism or misuse of such assignments. Use of any plagiarism detection software service is subject to the usage policy posted on the software website.

TURNITIN.COM: All major essays written for this course must be submitted electronically to no later than class time on the date that an assignment is due. Essays that are not uploaded to will not be accepted. 

SMARTTHINKING TUTOR: Students are required to submit each draft of an essay assignment to the SmartThinking tutor a total of two times per essay for feedback and are expected to use that information to revise each essay assignment. If a student fails to do so, they will lose one letter grade per each assignment not submitted to the tutor. See the SmartThinking link in Ulearn for submission details.

SUBMITTING COURSE ASSIGNMENTS: You are required to electronically submit all assignments to Ulearn or a blog for this course. Assignments not submitted in the manner will not be accepted. Any items sent by email will be deleted.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to attend all classes, arrive on time and remain for the entire class period, and report to class fully prepared with all required materials. While active learning will take different forms in different classroom contexts, students are expected to demonstrate active engagement in the classroom. 

​​You are allowed two absences (excused or unexcused) without penalty. Five absences (excused or unexcused) will result in automatic failure. If you do not attend a student conference, you will be considered absent. After two absences your final grade for the semester will be reduced as shown
You are responsible for tracking your absences.

Absences         Points deducted from final grade
      3                                                 40

      4                                                 100

      5                                                 200


It is the student’s responsibility to initiate procedures leading to a formal withdrawal (“W”) in order to avoid a failing (“F”) grade. To receive a W, a student must withdraw prior to October 28, 2022. 

TARDIES: If a student is more than 10 minutes late for class or leaves more than 10 minutes before class is over, they are counted absent for the day. 

ETIQUETTE: Students are expected to respect their classmates’ time and learning environment. Therefore, show up for class prepared and on time. ALL CELL PHONES SHOULD BE SET TO SILENT BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASSROOM. Each time a cell phone disrupts class the entire class will take a pop quiz. Also, if a student leaves the classroom to answer a call, they will be counted absent for the day and not allowed back in the classroom that day. Other disruptive classroom behavior, defined as anything that would interfere with “an instructor’s ability to conduct the class” or “The ability of other students to profit from the instructional program,” is strictly prohibited. This includes texting while the professor is lecturing or during group work when students should be focused on completing the task at hand.


NOTE: Persons other than registered students are not allowed to attend academic sessions, laboratory classes, computer labs, and other University academically supported areas.

LATE PAPER/ASSIGNMENT POLICY: Turn in all your assignments on their scheduled due dates. You must submit the final drafts of all essays and their associated process work (critique, reflection, etc.) in Blackboard. NO PROCESS, NO GRADE. Keep a duplicate copy of all assignments you turn in and save all of your files in several locations (flash drive, hard drive, email, etc.). I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE PAPERS.

REVISION: You may rewrite one failing essay (original grade of D or F); the rewritten essay may receive no higher than a “C.” Revision must accompany the original graded copy.

GRADED ESSAYS: All essays for this course are graded electronically. Please see the Turnitin Grademark Feedback video in ulearn for instructions to obtain the comments and grading rubric for your essay. 

STUDENT E-MAIL: Students are required to obtain and use a JWU e-mail account for University communication. You must obtain your password to do so. Student accounts are created automatically for those who are active and in good standing. Student email addresses are available through Immediately contact the helpdesk at 1-866-598-4357 if you need assistance. Take care of this the first day of class. Students are expected to maintain an email account throughout the semester and check it daily for important information regarding upcoming assignments, course announcements, etc.

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENTS: Students will often complete in-class assignments and short writing projects. In-class projects and quizzes are team-based and scheduled for a specific class period and cannot be made up after that class date.

WORKSHOPS/WRITING PROCESS: All essays will be critiqued by peer groups in class. Essays without workshop response will drop one full letter grade.

Scores for major essays are reduced by one full letter grade for each missing item of the writing process: invention/prewriting; late first draft or no first draft; Smarthinking report and revision plan; reflection

PARTICIPATION: Come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings. Contribute productively to discussion. Quizzes and in-class writings are usually based on the readings.


WRITING CENTER: Located in the academic building, 4th floor (Suite 410), the writing center is open to all Johnson & Wales University students who need help with writing, whether they are taking an English course or not. Students are encouraged to seek assistance with essays, research projects, and related assignments. Students are asked to make an appointment with a Writing Center staff member in order to receive prompt assistance. The center provides 30 minute appointments and is staffed from 8:30-4:30 M-R. Consultants work with students on any part of the writing process -- planning, drafting, focusing, organizing, revising, or editing, and with papers from all disciplines. Please do not hesitate to use the tutor’s assistance. Remember to bring a copy of your assignment and your drafts to any Writing Center conference.

Going to the Writing Center does not guarantee you a good grade because tutors will not proofread your papers. The Writing Center’s goal is to improve your overall writing skills (organization, thesis & supporting paragraphs, audience/assignment issues, as well as teaching punctuation and grammar rules after reviewing big picture issues), which sometimes takes several sessions, depending on your existing writing skills. For more information, you may contact them at [email protected]

You may also visit the Center for Academic Support website at:

You may book an appointment by calling them at 980-598-1500 or dropping by Academic Center 410 during these hours.

You may also book an appointment online using these steps:

  Go to JWU Link. 
  Go to Academics. 
  Go to USucceed. 
  Click on “Courses”. 
  Click on the link beside your English class to schedule an appointment

ACCOMMODATIONS: Johnson & Wales University is dedicated to providing access to education. While maintaining the highest academic integrity, the University strives to balance scholarship with support services which will assist special needs students in functioning in the University's academic environment. Reasonable accommodations are available with proper documentation, and can be discussed with the director of The Center For Academic Support (4th floor of the Academic Building).
Because some programs of study have technical standards and requirements, applicants and students with special needs or physical disabilities should contact the director of the Center for Academic Support to discuss the availability of reasonable accommodations where appropriate. Copies of the technical standards applicable to various programs are available from this office. Once you have arranged accommodations with this office, please tell me so that I am aware of your accommodations well before the first paper/assignment.


All students are required to read, understand, and abide by the provisions of the Catalog and Student Handbook applicable to their campus, which can be found at 

In particular, students should be aware of the following university policies:

General Information and Policies
Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment
University Holds

Academic Policies:
Academic Integrity/Academic Integrity Review Process/Turnitin Notification
Occupancy in Class
Outcomes Assessment  

Student Affairs:
Student Code of Conduct 

Student Services:
Center for Academic Support/Services/Students With Disabilities