Gender and Women's Studies Overview

Frances Gouda, Program Director

Anne E. Clifford, Program Administrator

Professors: Kristen R. Ghodsee†, Jennifer Scanlon

Visiting Faculty: Susan Faludi, Frances Gouda

Contributing Faculty: Susan Bell, Margaret Boyle, Aviva Briefel, Jorunn Buckley, Judith S. Casselberry*, David A. Collings, Rachel Ex Connelly, Sara A. Dickey, Pamela M. Fletcher, Celeste Goodridge, David Hecht, Ann L. Kibbie, Tracy McMullen, Elizabeth Pritchard, Marilyn Reizbaum, Nancy E. Riley, Jill Smith, Rachel Sturman†, Susan Taffe-Reed, Susan L. Tananbaum†, Birgit Tautz, Shu-chin Tsui, Krista Van Vleet

The gender and women’s studies curriculum is an interdisciplinary program that incorporates recent research on women and gender. Gender and women’s studies combines the scholarly traditions of each field in new and productive ways to develop a culture of critical thinking about sexuality, gender, race, and class. Courses in gender and women’s studies investigate the experience of women and men in light of the social construction of gender and its meaning across cultures and historic periods. Gender construction is explored as an institutionalized means of structuring inequality and dominance. The program offers a wide range of courses taught by faculty members from many departments and programs.

Requirements for the Major in Gender and Women’s Studies

The major consists of nine courses, including three required core courses—Gender and Women’s Studies 1101 {101}, 2201 {201}, and an advanced-level capstone seminar (numbered 3000–3999 {300–399})—that are designed to illuminate the diverse realities of women’s experience while making available some of the main currents of feminist thought.

The six remaining courses for the major may be chosen from the set of gender and women’s studies courses, or from a set of courses in other disciplines that have been approved by the Gender and Women’s Studies Program Committee to count toward the major. Gender and women’s studies courses are numbered to indicate the level of course instruction. The general level of instruction is indicated by the first number, so that courses numbered 1000–1049 {10–29} are first-year seminars, those numbered 1100–1999 {100–199} are introductory courses, those numbered 2000–2969 {200–289} are intermediate-level courses, and those numbered 3000–3999 {300–399} are advanced seminars intended for juniors and seniors.

In total, no more than three of the six elective courses may be from any single department outside of gender and women’s studies. The departmental affiliation of the course is considered the department of which the instructor is a member. Courses will count toward the major if grades of C- or better are earned. One course taken with the Credit/D/Fail grading option may count for the major as long as a CR (Credit) grade is earned for the course.

During the spring of their junior year, students who wish to undertake an honors project must secure the agreement of a faculty member to supervise their independent study project. The honors project supervisor must have taught gender and women’s studies courses and served on the Gender and Women’s Studies Program Committee. If the student’s chosen supervisor has not fulfilled both of these requirements, the student may appeal for permission from that committee. Two semesters of advanced independent work (Gender and Women’s Studies 4000 and 4001 {401 and 402}) are required for an honors project in gender and women’s studies. No more than two independent study courses may count toward the gender and women’s studies major.

Requirements for the Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies

The minor consists of Gender and Women’s Studies 1101 {101} and 2201 {201}, normally taken in the first or second year, and three additional courses. With the agreement of the major department, students may count one of their major courses for this minor. Only two courses from any single department outside of gender and women’s studies will count toward the minor. All courses must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail) and students must earn a grade of C- or better in order for a course to count toward the minor.