Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
The WGSS curriculum is based in feminist scholarship - both within traditional disciplines across the academic divisions and in response to questions that cannot be answered within the framework of a single discipline. To foster this interdisciplinary inquiry, the Women’s Studies Program was established in 1978 and has been built upon the feminist teaching, scholarship, and activism from faculty and students with a wide variety of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives. In the past few decades, the program has grown and evolved, changing its name to the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program in 2008 to recognize important changes within feminist scholarship.
Acknowledging this important history, WGSS courses retain Women’s Studies’ focus on examining previously unavailable information about the lives and contributions of women, as well as the ways cultural ideas about gender are informed by, and intersect with, race, class, religion, nationality, ability, and other axes of difference. . In addition, feminist scholarship has recognized and explored commonalities between women’s oppression and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other sexual and gender minorities worldwide, as well as the varied experiences of masculinity throughout the globe. In this vein, WGSS courses explore the cultural construction of sex, gender, and sexuality in the context of their relationship between theoretical and experiential knowledge. By privileging historically marginalized voices, WGSS encourages scholarship and teaching that is committed to the feminist principle of creating a more just world for all.