2020 Women’s Studies Programs

A Women’s Studies education offers students a flexible program of study examining feminist scholarship and the history, status, contributions, and experiences of women in diverse cultural communities. The program of study emphasizes the significance of gender as a social construct and as an analytical category.  The B.A. degree prepares students both for continuing advanced study in women, gender, and sexuality studies; law; medicine; media studies; and for direct entry into careers in a wide range of fields; including social services, government, public policy, education, and the non-profit sector.

Skip to the Women’s Studies Major Requirements
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Thematic Concentration Areas

As a central aspect of the 2020 Women’s Studies Major and Women’s Studies Certificate the department has introduced Thematic Concentration Areas. Students will choose from the 6 areas designed by the department or create an area of their own with the advisor. These informal thematic concentrations are:

  • Social Justice
  • Transnational Politics and Perspectives
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Class
  • Bodies, Genders and Sexualities
  • Arts, Technologies, and Cultural Production
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer + Studies
  • Student Designed

There is a degree of overlap in the concentrations and in the courses offered under each, since the subfields within gender, race, and queer studies necessarily overlap and intersect, but each concentration reflects a particular set of interests and scholarly approaches within the fields that make up Women’s Studies. Each of our courses (and many from related departments) will be assigned to a particular concentration (and most will count toward two or even more concentrations).

Social Justice Courses in this concentration come from a variety of perspectives that examine social inequalities and ways to address them. This can include histories of social movements and contemporary activist engagement. Students will develop tools to act as a force for change in the world.

Transnational Politics and Perspectives There will be an emphasis on explorations beyond the US context and include an analysis of imperial histories and interventions. TPP courses examine how power works in the circuits that connect people in different geographic locations. Students explore the asymmetric flows of bodies, goods, and ideas and how questions of race, class, and gender can be compared and connected across geographic regions.

Race, Ethnicity, and Class These courses are rooted in global imperial histories and American experiences of enslavement, dispossession, colonization, and immigration. Among other things this includes an emphasis on the Black diasporic experience in the United States.

Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities Students interested in this area will explore how knowledge about the human body has been shaped by cultural ideas of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and ability. Courses will range across a variety of geographic locations and disciplinary approaches.

Arts, Technologies, and Cultural Production This concentration explores the role of media, culture, and technology in challenging and perpetuating systems of gendered and racialized oppression. Courses are likely to focus on art and culture created by members of marginalized communities, the relationship between aesthetics and politics, digital feminisms, and/or on analysis of the cultural systems that shape media and technology.

LGBTQ+ Studies These courses offer focused, interdisciplinary study of the lives, experiences, identities, creative work, political movements, knowledge production, and cultural representations of LGBTQ people and communities. This concentration area recognizes the breadth of perspectives on identity, representation, politics, and interlocking systems of oppression that comprise the growing, dynamic, and expansive field of the study of genders and sexualities today.

The Student Designed concentration area is one that a student creates with the department advisor based on a clear and compelling interest that can not be explored in the existing thematic concentration areas.