Women and Creativity

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HUM 142

       Course Name: Women and Creativity

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores selected creative work done by women. Content includes literature, art, music, film, and philosophy; may also explore women’s creativity as manifested through shaping of community and domestic institutions, and through domestic arts. Focus may be either historical or contemporary.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After completing the course students should be able to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the contributions made by women in at least three areas of creative endeavor.
  2. Analyze the nature and process of creativity, particularly as they relate to women and their experiences.
  3. Develop interpretations of creative work and offer support for their interpretations both orally and in writing.
  4. Explore the ways in which the creativity of women has been limited by their social, political and economic circumstances and the strategies employed by women to overcome these limitations.
  5. Develop their abilities to appreciate and respond to creative work and explore ways to develop their own creativity.
  6. Exhibit an understanding of the creative contributions of women not only within the context of Western civilization but also within the rich traditions of world cultures.
  7. Identify and debate the ideas, values and/or political views advocated in the works assigned.
  8. Exhibit values related to teamwork and collaboration, fostered by the pedagogy of shared-inquiry and critical dialogue appropriate to the humanities and philosophy.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

(This is a sample outline of topics.  Instructors may choose entirely different topics or genres that demonstrate the breadth of women’s creativity.  For example, drama, film or dance might be emphasized.  In your outline of topics please specify the dates when you will cover specific topics and other important dates such as exams and paper deadlines.)

  • The nature of creativity
  • Creativity and women
  • The historical situation of women
  • Requirements for Creativity--Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, Gcina Mhlope’s The Toilet, Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens
  • Literature--Christine de Pizan’s The City of Ladies, Aphra Behn’s The Rover, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Selected Poets
  • Art--Quilts, Crafts and Folkart, Artemesia Gentileschi and Renaissance women painters, Mary Cassatt and Impressionism, Kathe Kollewitz, Frida Kahlo
  • Music—Sappho, Hildegard von Bingen, Clara Schumann, Traditional Native American Music, Miriam Makeba, Lila Downs, Women and the Blues, Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, Contemporary American music….Queen Latifah and hip hop, Sarah McLachlan and Lilith Fair, Women Rockers
  • Philosophy—Hypatia of Alexandria, Ann Finch Conway, Mary Wollstonecraft, Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Martha Nussbaum, Judith Butler, Nel Noddings.
  • Women in Film, Photography and Architecture
  • Contemporary Art….Guerrilla Girls, Graphic Novels, Body Art

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures and discussion
  2. Small group work
  3. Films and slide shows
  4. Listening to musical selections
  5. Field trips to galleries, plays, and musical performances
  6. Guest artists

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

(Please include information here about all expectations you have for your students regarding behavior, work, etc. The following are sample topics you may wish to cover. Please be aware that you must require students in this course to produce at least 15 pages of critical written assignments over the course of the semester. These may be assigned in a variety of ways including journals, response papers, field trip projects, etc.)

  1. Standards for written work
  2. Quizzes/Exams
  3. Participation
  4. Essays
  5. Final Project
  6. Special policies about make-up exams, late papers, or other matters of concern

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

(Appropriate instructional materials include novels and poetry written by women.  An anthology such as Women in Music edited by Carol Neuls-Bates or Women, Art, and Society by Whitney Chadwick would also be appropriate.)

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

(In this section, the instructor will present the percentages or point breakdown for all the elements of the final grade. Please note that at least 40% of the grade must be based on written work rather than objective exams, oral presentations, etc.)

For example:
Quizzes/Exams…………………………………………40 points
Journals/Essays…………………………………….......40 points
Oral Presentation of a Final Project……………………10 points
Attendance and Participation…………………………..10 points

Grading Scale.  90% - 100% = A // 80% - 89% = B // 70% - 79% = C // 60% - 69% = D // below 60 = F

XI.   Other Course Information

Instructor information
Office and office hours:
Email and website:

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.