Women's Studies

Overall goals

The Women’s Studies Program offers students the opportunity to study women, gender, and sexuality through an interdisciplinary curriculum taught by program faculty and faculty affiliated with a range of departments across the university. Students learn to apply the methods and theories of the social sciences, humanities, arts, and sciences to the study of women’s experiences, as well as to gender and sexual identities. They explore a growing body of feminist theories that revise our understanding of gender, society, and culture. We encourage students not only to intellectually understand the importance of class, race, sexuality, physical ability, and gender to people’s lives, but also to learn actively through fieldwork (community internship). During their internship, students acquire valuable skills that enable them to make informed decisions about their future professional goals and aspirations.

Disciplinary objectives for majors

·         Develop an understanding of the importance of the study of gender.

·         Recognize ways gender permeates society and how it intersects with other categories of identity (such as race, class, sexuality and nationality).

·         Take into account social, historical, and cultural variables in the study of women’smaterial and cultural experiences as a social group; the workings of gender, both as an analytical category and as a social force; and the social, political, and cultural functioning of sexuality.

·         Have a good knowledge of the historical impact of gender on U.S. American culture and politics as well as on social movements.

·         Have a good knowledge of the historical development of feminist thought in the U.S. and its relationship to transnational feminist theories.

·         Know about major debates and controversies within the development of women’s and gender studies.

·         Understand feminist critiques of methodologies in a chosen discipline.

·         Understand the connection between disciplines as they examine gender.

General skills

·         Acquire basic organizational, reading, and writing skills.

·         Construct simple essay arguments with use of various types of sources, cultural, theoretical, literary, and historical.

·         Know the difference and relationship between various forms of interpretation and notions of truth claims.

·         Appreciate a variety of critical, scholarly perspectives.

Advanced Skills

·         Critically examine written and visual materials and scholarly sources.

·         Formulate analytical questions about feminist as well as non-feminist texts, literary, philosophical and historical.

·         Learn to build intellectual arguments and articulate them in written and oral forms.

·         Demonstrate the ability to write an analytical essay.

·         Write an extensive research paper on a chosen topic.

·         Develop speaking and presentation skills.

·         Gain the ability to use the library and other technologically appropriate sources for research and writing.

·         Learn how to collect and organize historical and textual data.

·         Learn in a variety of settings, including informal ones like retreats and colloquia.

·         Develop working relationships across hierarchies of education level, age and status.

·         Work collaboratively in groups and lead a working group.

·         Apply academic learning to a work experience outside the university.