Skip Course Information

Course Information

Instructor Info:Pamela Stone
Office Extension x6203
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
12:30 PM - 01:50 PM Cole Science Center 3-OSTE
12:30 PM - 01:50 PM Cole Science Center 3-OSTE

The main goal of this course is to examine the health issues/risks women face in the United States. We will examine the roles of medical research and the public health community in setting the health care agenda for women. Through the course students will gain a clearer understanding of the biology of life cycle changes, how health inequalities are generated and perpetuated, and how to think critically about their own health choices. From infancy to old age we will explore perceptions of wellness and illness across the life span focusing on such areas as: growth and development, menstruation, contraception, pregnancy and birth, menopause, osteoporosis and heart disease (to name a few). We start with women's health in antiquity and progress to contemporary times, charting the major trends in patterns of disease and poor health and examining women's bodies and women's role in constructing health dialogues in medicine. Enrollment for this class is limited to second- and third-year students.

Course Objectives:

We will look at women and health in an interdisciplinary perspective asking questions about how biology and culture interact and how does culture construct perceptions of health. We will examine the ways in which gender inequality is socially constructed, and the important rile that social institutions, ideology, and cultural practices play in creating and perpetuating various forms of inequality, particularly in regards to health and wellness for women. We will also look at the diversity of healthcare delivery across race and class asking such questions as: How does poverty impact women’s wellness, child and maternal morbidity and mortality, breast cancer rates, understanding of heart disease in women, the effects of obesity on incidences of diabetes, and osteoporosis as a disease.

Evaluation Criteria:


  •  Attendance
  • Participation
  • Preparation
  • Writing Assignments
  • Research Paper 



Class is discussion-based

  • You are encouraged to be an active participant and an active listener in class; thus, attendance and preparation are necessary and mandatory. 
  • Discussion will be based on course readings, sometimes directly and other times these readings are meant to offer background on the topics being discussed. You are expected to complete all readings promptly and to come to class on time with questions and comments.
  • Because discussion is based on course readings, you must bring the readings with you to class.  All assigned readings must be printed out and/or you must bring the assigned book with you. Online course readings are available on Moodle.
  • You are expected to take notes during class.  You should have a dedicated notebook for the course that you bring with you each time. This notebook should include your notes from your readings as well as from class.  As the course progresses, we will often refer to earlier materials and you should be prepared for this.


There will be a number of writing assignments due throughout the semester.  Please plan your time accordingly to work on your writing, and have time to reread and proofread papers before you hand them in.

  • All assignments must be completed promptly and thoroughly in order to receive a final evaluation (or grade) for this course. 
  • Late assignments will be noted on a student’s evaluation and/or will be reflected in a student’s grade.  Consistently late assignments can result in the student being asked to withdraw from the course.


The best classes are always the ones where students are committed and engaged.  People must be physically and mentally present for this to happen.  Therefore, I have an attendance policy.

  • More than two unexcused absence throughout the term will result in a “no evaluation”/ or no grade.
  • If you miss class for any reason, you are responsible for making up any readings, assignments, and/or notes from that day.  You should consult the course website and your peers for work you’ve missed.  I will not respond to emails asking about missed readings, assignments, and/or notes.


Final evaluations will focus on the following areas:

  • Effort, especially willingness to challenge oneself
  • Attendance, preparation, and participation
  • Skills development especially in critical reading and writing
  • Quality of written work and attention to detail
  • Written work being on-time - willingness to improve on writing and analysis
  • Individual improvement throughout the semester

Additional Info:

Help is available

I cannot stress this point enough.  Part of your Hampshire education is not only learning new concepts and ideas, but also figuring out how to ask for assistance when you need it. If you are struggling with course materials or are experiencing other difficulties that interfere with course work, please get in touch with me immediately.  I can’t help you if I don’t know there’s a problem.

Students with Disabilities

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me by our second class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students should also contact Joel Dansky, Hampshire’s Disabilities Service coordinator. He may be reached at 413-559-5423 or via email For more information, please see the Disabilities Services webpage:


Please turn off all cell phones, Blackberries, pagers, and other distracting, ringing, singing, texting, non-course-related machines. If you have a reason to take a call in class (home emergency, doctor, etc…) you must let me know before class starts – and your phone should be set on vibrate.

Laptops are allowed in class for presentations and/or for designated in-class research only – this will be noted on the syllabus or announced in class.  You should be fully engaged during class lectures and discussions, and laptops are a serious distraction to the user and those around him or her.  I will allow exceptions to this rule only in cases of a documented learning difference or other extenuating circumstances.  If you require permission to use a laptop during class, please consult with me privately within the first two course periods.  If you are granted permission, you are expected to use the laptop for course purposes only.


Hampshire College is part of a broader community of scholars, a community where ideas, hypotheses, new concepts, and carefully established facts are the currency. None of us, faculty or students, are able to survive without borrowing from the work of others. Just as we expect to have our work recognized in examination reports; reappointments and promotions; or the footnote of those who borrow from us, so must we carefully recognize those from whom we borrow.

Plagiarism, whether intentional or not is a serious offence. You are tasked with understanding the rules and standards or scholarship as well as the specifics of appropriate citation. If you have questions or concerns about what constitutes plagiarism, please ask. Non satis non scrie (not to know is not enough).