The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program empowers students to transform the world.   Students acquire the knowledge and skills to prepare them as innovators, scholars and activists; to cultivate them as leaders in feminist and social justice projects, in journalism and digital media, in law and public policy, and in community organizing and corporate enterprise.

Across and within WGSS and WGSS cross-listed courses, careful attention is paid to gender and sexuality as dynamic, structuring forces—on the body, online, across axes of social difference, in history and contemporary culture, for intimacy and activism, within local, national, and transnational scenes and circuits of power.  Through investigations along multiple and overlapping scales, students are uniquely equipped to assess, theorize, and reshape configurations of gender and sexuality in our everyday lives.

Students receiving a B.A. in WGSS will:

  1. cultivate analytic skills in the interdisciplinary field of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies;

  2. acquire broad knowledge of the major themes, questions, and  contestations that have generated and continue to animate women’s, gender and sexuality studies scholarship;  

Analytic Skills

WGSS students develop critical thinking and effective writing skills.

WGSS students emerge as creative scholars who are able to approach research questions and political problems with originality and confidence.

WGSS students are familiarized with a variety of the quantitative, qualitative, and interpretive methodologies that scholars employ to learn and produce knowledge about women, gender, and sexuality. WGSS students acquire advanced knowledge in one or several methodologies in order to complete their Senior Essay.

WGSS students work with classmates and faculty to generate new, provocative, and necessary contributions in the field.  The comparative smallness of WGSS is also its strength. Student work particularly closely with and under the advisement of WGSS faculty.

WGSS students provide new insights and conduct original research on women, gender, and sexuality.  WGSS’s emphasis on independent, informed, and inventive thinking propels students to be feminist, LGBT, and social justice leaders, wherever their professional futures take them.

Knowledge in the Field

The WGSS core and distribution requirements ensure that students are thoroughly familiar with foundational, ongoing, and contemporary themes, problems, and debates in the study of women, gender and sexuality.

Students learn as well about the historical emergence and political genealogy of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies as a scholarly discipline.

The study of women, gender, and sexuality is distinctly interdisciplinary.  Students therefore approach topics from several disciplinary vantage points, including but not limited to: race and ethnic studies, history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, philosophy, literature and literary theory, media studies, art and art history, religious studies, transgender studies, and feminist and queer theory.

Students comprehend how gender and sexuality has been, can be, and could be conceived and embodied across a range of social divisions, including but not limited to:  race and ethnicity, class, ability and disability, education, age, and religion.   Students consider too how gender and sexuality are articulated in colonial, postcolonial and transnational contexts.

WGSS encourages students to appreciate the changing and conflicting ways that international political economy, security and terrorism, migration and immigration, and transnational flows of goods, communication, and information, inform gender and sexuality identities, expressions, aesthetic forms, and politics.

Questions of representation have been central to the study of gender and sexuality at least since its institutionalization in the academy. Students are offered opportunities to interrogate representations of gender and sexuality in politics, medicine, law, literature, film, theater, television, photography, digital media, and the academy.