WGS 344 - Special Topics in Gender, Culture, and Representation
Fall 2022, Section 001 - The Theatre of US Women's Liberation
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)
Department: LSA Women's and Gender Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Modern women’s liberation in the United States emerged from the fire of New Left and Black Power in the 1960s-70s, and the theatre provided one of the movement’s most vigorous weapons. This seminar will explore theatre and performance works created alongside or in response to radical (sometimes called “second-wave”) feminism in the US. Whether through “street theatre” protests, performance art, devised theatre, or more recognizable dramatic forms, feminists regularly turned the theatre into a weapon for smashing patriarchy and building sisterhood. Examining their theatrical accomplishments, we will ask such questions as: How did the theatre change to accommodate the insights of women’s liberation? What effect did phrases like “the personal is political,” “identity politics,” “consciousness raising,” and “patriarchy” have on the way theatre was made? What makes a feminist play—and how does the answer change depending on what feminist principles one is upholding? How did radical feminists represent class, race, sexuality, and solidarity on their stages? How do playwrights from later decades remember the early flourishing of women’s liberation, and how differently does it look in memory rather than in practice?

Our readings will be representative feminist theatre works alongside political manifestoes and social and literary analyses, as well as samples of the feminist theatre criticism that emerged in their wake. Playwrights may include Valerie Solanas, Martha Boesing, Karen Malpede, Meredith Monk, María Irene Fornés, Ntozake Shange, Split Britches, Karen Finley, Robbie McAuley, and Wendy Wasserstein. 

 No prior experience with feminist texts or with theatre and performance is necessary. Engaged and open-hearted discussion is required. Assignments will include discussion questions posted before class, interpretive essays of course texts, and a longer final project that may be creative.


Major Requirement: American Literature; Identity/Difference


WGS 344 - Special Topics in Gender, Culture, and Representation
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
002 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 11:00AM - 1:15PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for WGS 344.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for WGS 344 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)