Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Genders and sexualities are powerful organizing forces: they shape identities and institutions, nations and economies, and cultures and political systems. Careful study of gender and sexuality thus explains crucial aspects of our everyday lives on both intimate and global scales. The scholarship in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is interdisciplinary and wide-ranging, drawing on history, literature, cultural studies, social sciences, and natural science to study genders and sexualities as they intersect with race, ethnicity, class, nationality, transnational processes, disability, and religion.

Students majoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies take a series of core courses, develop an individual area of concentration, and write a senior essay. The program encourages work that is interdisciplinary, intersectional, international, and transnational. Individual concentrations evolve along with students’ intellectual growth and academic expertise. Recent examples of concentrations include literature and queer aesthetics; transnational feminist practices; the intellectual history of civil rights activism; AIDS health policies; gender, religion, and international non-government organizations (NGOs); women’s health; food, sexuality, and lesbian community; and gender and sexuality in early education. Our majors go on to careers that are similar to those of all liberal arts majors, though heavily favored in careers that are beneficial, meaningful, and satisfying, such as non-profits, higher education, K-12 education, medicine, and public interest law.

First-year students interested in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies are encouraged to take one or more of the following introductory courses: