An introduction to the vibrant field of women's studies, this course introduces students to the basic concepts in the field as well as making connections to our lives. An interdisciplinary field grounded in a commitment to both intellectual rigor and individual and social transformation-to the world of ideas and the material world in which we live-women's studies asks fundamental questions about the world and our lives. What does it mean to be a woman? How is the category "woman" constructed differently across social groups, cultures and historical periods? Are there common experiences and essential characteristics that define all women? How do the differences among women according to race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nationality complicate our commonalities? How do we analyze women's multiple identities and social positions? How can an understanding of women's lives empower us to act as agents of personal and social change? Readings include a range of women thinkers both in the U.S. and around the world, grounding our analyses in multiple voices, highlighting both the diversity, richness and power of women's ideas and reflecting the diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives in the field.