Women’s and Gender Studies asks fundamental questions about human existence: Are women and men born or made? Do those categories adequately express gender identity and how do we understand femininities and masculinities throughout history? How does intersectionality-racial, ethnic, class, sexual identity-affect the experience of gender? What structures and social forces are involved in shaping our ideas about gender? An interdisciplinary program that invites students to take classes in anthropology, sociology, history, literature, politics and other disciplines, Women’s and Gender Studies challenges students to question what is “natural” about gender identities and roles in society; to examine the origins of such views and how they have changed over time; and to analyze how race and class intersect with sexualities and gender to construct modern society and popular culture. The program focuses on uncovering the contributions women have made to society through history and how they have envisioned social justice and the common good. True to its roots in social movements that fought for equality, Women’s and Gender Studies seeks to understand how systems of oppression function and how different groups respond to and resist injustice at home and abroad. To that end, the program teaches students to think deeply, to read critically, to write clearly, and to speak convincingly. Furthermore, Women’s and Gender Studies prepares students to be agents of change who take community responsibility and social justice seriously, offering them multiple opportunities to engage in service learning and similar projects. Thus the program fulfills its mission of educating the whole person for the complexities of a globalizing world.
Women’s and Gender Studies courses are interdisciplinary in nature, cross-listed with a range of departments including but not limited to anthropology, biology, communication, English, ethnic studies, history, performing arts, politics, psychology, sociology, Spanish, theology and religious studies.
Myrna Santiago, PhD, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, Director
Zeynep Atalay, PhD, Sociology
Monica Fitzgerald, PhD, Justice, Community & Leadership
Emily Klein, PhD, English
Jennifer Heung, PhD, Anthropology
Molly Metherd, PhD, English
David Quijada, PhD, Ethnic Studies
Alvaro Ramirez, PhD, Ethnic Studies
María Luisa Ruiz, PhD, Global and Regional Studies
Scott Schönfeldt-Aultman, PhD, Communication
Sharon Sobotta, Director of the Women’s Resource Center
Aeleah Soine, PhD, History
Denise Witzig, PhD, Women’s and Gender Studies
Shawny Anderson, PhD, Communication, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts
Catherine Davalos, MFA, Performing Arts
Rebecca Engle, MA, Performing Arts
Jose Feito, PhD, Psychology
Rosemary Graham, PhD, English
Jeannine King, PhD, English
Kathryn Koo, PhD, English
Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, PhD, History
Patrizia Longo, PhD, Politics
Hilda Ma, PhD, English
Lisa Manter, PhD, English
Marie Pagliarini, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies
Cynthia Van Gilder, PhD, Anthropology
Claire Williams, PhD, Kinesiology
When students have completed a minor or major in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, they will be able to:
- IDENTIFY and understand assumptions and arguments about gender, race, class, and sexuality in scholarly, popular, public, and interpersonal discourses.
- EVALUATE diverse theories of feminism and debates about gender.
- DIFFERENTIATE among complex and diverse points of view regarding gender, race, class, and sexuality in a variety of academic fields.
- WRITE clear and well-reasoned prose employing appropriate methods of research in the field.
- ENGAGE in Social Justice Praxis, including intellectual or social advocacy locally or globally.
Split majors combine work in Women’s and Gender Studies and another academic department or program. A split major must be approved by the chairs or directors of both departments. This major ordinarily comprises nine upper-division courses (six in one field and three in another), in addition to the lower-division prerequisites in WGS (ie., WGS 001 ) and the other department. All split majors in WGS must complete the four core courses (WGS 001 , WGS 107 , WGS 177 , WGS 196 ).
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsMinor
CoursesWomen’s and Gender Studies - Lower Division
In addition, new courses are approved on a term-to-term basis. Examples of such electives include ENGL 154 - Studies in African-American Literature or ENGL 141 - Studies in Medieval Literature .
Women’s and Gender Studies - Upper Division