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University of Oklahoma

Spring 2022 Advanced Programs - Advanced Programs Face to Face or Virtual - International and Area Studies

[IAS 5940] Topics - International Studies - 226

Stephanie Szitanyi

Course Description

Topics in International Studies: Gender and War

Recently, the United States military has undergone and implemented a series of policy changes related to gender and military service, including the lifting of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the combat ban on women. Concurrently, gender has been known to play a distinct role in war, both as a tool and policy for statecraft. What then is the contemporary relationships between gender and war? This course provides an overview of this broad topic and question, reviewing the central role of women and, more generally, the role of gender plays in the politics of war and conflict. It also examines contemporary debates associated with gender and war, and, by extension militaries, particularly in the context of the United States, challenging historical and socially constructed associations that link men with war and dialectically women with peace.

The course is divided into three core foci: first, a historical review of women’s acknowledged (though more often unacknowledged) participation in war. Second, it considers debates associated with gendered bodies (women’s bodies in particular) in a.) their biological and social capacities to engage in violence in the context of war and conflict, and b.) the use of bodies as a terrain on which gendered violence is inflicted during war. Third, the course considers how public narratives associated with gender and war, and oppositely, gender and peace are generated

Class Dates, Format, Location and Hours

DatesMarch 22 – March 27, 2022
FormatFace to Face
Location for on-site coursesBuilding 422, 1st Floor, RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, IP28 8NF
HoursTuesday - Friday 6:00-9:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyFebruary 21, 2022

Site Director

Name Ms. Laura Lozano
Office address/location Education Center, Bldg. 427, 1st Floor, RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, IP28 8NF
Office hours Tuesday & Thursday- 0830 - 1630
DSN and CIV phone DSN: 238-4172 or CIV: 44-(0)1638-544172 

Professor Contact Information

Course Professor:Stephanie Szitanyi, PhD
Professor availability:The professor will be available via email to students. Students may contact the professor to set up meetings, if necessary, via Skype or Zoom. Professor will be available for meetings on base in limited amounts.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.

Other required readings, articles, book chapters provided by the instructor and will be uploaded to Canvas course site.

Mandatory films which are part of the course and which can be viewed for free online.

War and Gender How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa
War and Gender How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa
by Joshua S. Goldstein
Published by Cambridge Univ Pr
ISBN: 9780521001809
Gender, War and Conflict
Gender, War and Conflict
by Sjoberg
Published by Polity Press
ISBN: 9780745660028
Gender Trouble in the U. S. Military : Challenges to Regimes of Male Privilege
Gender Trouble in the U. S. Military : Challenges to Regimes of Male Privilege
by Szitanyi, Stephanie
Published by Springer International Publishing AG
ISBN: 9783030212278

Course Objectives

·        Identify and explain gendered processes associated war and conflict

·        Describe feminist methods and theoretical approaches to the study of security, war, and peace

·        Assess the gendered nature of arguments associated policy debates in the 21st Century U.S. military 

·        Conduct a field-study of a military museum or memorial site and provide a gendered analysis of that space in written format

Course Outline

Course of Study:

The course will follow a series of 8 lectures with associated readings spread out across the duration of the one week of the class. Students will need to complete some readings and assignments before the course begins and should expect to complete some work after the final official day of the course. Lecture slides and readings will be available for download from the Canvas course webpage prior to the first class. These lectures are entitled:

1.      Where Are the Women? Feminist Perspectives on Women in War and Peace;

2.      Women’s (Historical and Contemporary) Participation in War;

3.      Nature vs. Nurture;

4.      Women’s Participation and Inclusion in Combat;

5.      Gender and Terrorism;

6.      Sexual Violence in War and Militaries;

7.      (Gendered) Public Memorialization of War and Militaries; and

8.      Gender and Peace Movements 

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

Detailed assignment instructions will be made available to students on the Canvas course webpage one month prior to the first class. All assignments will employ either the APA, MLA, or Chicago style guides.


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F. 

Incomplete Grade Policy

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Stephanie Szitanyi, PhD


·        2016 PhD (Political Science) Rutgers University, NJ, USA

·        2006 MA (International Relations and European Studies) Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

·        2005 BA (International Studies) Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, USA

Current Positions

·        Assistant Dean, Schools of Public Engagement, The New School, NY USA

Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

·        Women in the military

·        Civilian-military relations

·        Feminist IR theory

·        Militarism and Militarization

Representative Publications and Presentations

·        Gender Trouble in the U.S. Military (2020). Palgrave MacMillan.

·        “We Could be Headed for a Record-Breaking Women’s Vote” Dame Magazine. Published online 19 Oct. 2020.

·        “Female Vets Could Lead the Change in 2020” The Hill. Published online 13 Nov. 2018.

·        “This Year Congress Could be Invaded by Female Combat Veterans,” The Hill. Published online 27 Apr 2018.

·        “Semiotic Readings of the USS Midway Museum: Making Women Disappear in the Military,” International Feminist Journal of Politics. DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2013.876300. Published online 27 Mar 2014.

Major Professional Affiliations

·        Reviewer, International Feminist Journal of Politics.

·        Committee Member, Fulbright Student Program. The New School, NY. 2018.

·        Guest Lecturer, 2016 New York University Center for Global Affairs “Role of Women in U.S. National Security.” New York, NY.

·        Chair, 2016 International Studies Association (ISA) Conference “Feminist Activism and Peace.” Atlanta, Georgia.

·        Executive Committee Graduate Student Representative, 2015-2016 International Studies Association (ISA), Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section.

·        Discussant, 2014 International Studies Association (ISA) Conference “Envisioning the Global – Visual Methodologies and Approaches to Research.” Toronto, Canada.

·        Discussant, 2013 International Studies Association (ISA) Conference “Militarizing Gendered and Racialized Effects of the ‘War on Terror.’” San Francisco, California.

·        Chair, 2012 International Studies Association (ISA) Conference “The Aftermaths of the War on Terror: Renegotiating Gendered National Identities” San Diego, California.