Women’s and Gender Studies

Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines gender as a social and cultural construction. Drawing upon academic areas such as history, psychology, popular culture, literary criticism, and anthropology, the major crosses and blends the boundaries of traditional disciplines. This allows us to raise important questions regarding the way we have organized ourselves; our chief social, political, economic, and cultural institutions; and knowledge itself.

Women's and Gender Studies explores various ways of learning by shaping its classroom environment and encouraging an intentionally interactive dynamic. As a student of the women's and gender studies program your opinions will be valued as important perspectives and contributions to classroom dialogue. Our knowledgeable faculty will nurture your intellectual growth and treat you as an equal with the understanding that we are all teachers and learners.

Currently, the women's and gender studies program offers a major and an 18-credit minor. This design allows you to benefit from the interdisciplinary focus of the field, and to acquire a wealth of information across academic programs. As an area of academic study, the women’s and gender studies program provides new frameworks that are sensitive not only to issues of gender, but also race, social class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, and ability. By analyzing the powerful and problematic impact of inequalities, women’s and gender studies revises the way we see ourselves and our world. As a student within the program you will be offered a wide range of courses that encourage critical thinking, social awareness and sensitivity, and commitment to change through civic responsibility and participatory action.

Women’s and Gender Studies Program courses are designed to encourage students to find their voice, articulate their ideas in a space intended to be safe and supportive, while also challenging students to consider difficult topics. The classrooms invite students to speak, and to engage one another. There is an intentional interactive dynamic to the classroom, and the classroom conversations typically are generative. That is, they produce more conversations and awareness. This helps students recognize their own experiences, while connecting them or situating them to broader social forces. Faculty and students engage in conversations inside of the class but outside as well, making faculty accessible to students.