Women's and Gender Studies Department

Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that explores how gender and other categories of identity (e.g., sexuality, race and social class) interact with structures of inequality to shape human experience. Particular attention is given to changing social practices to promote greater equality, mutual understanding and human flourishing.

By using gender as a category of analysis, Women’s and Gender Studies asks new questions and pioneers new research and curricula in a wide variety of disciplines; encourages students to reconsider traditional interpretations of female and male experiences across cultures and throughout time; examines gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and race as interlocking categories of experience; places women at the center of inquiry; and makes central the experiences, culture, and achievements of those whose history and perspectives have been most marginalized. Courses encourage critical thinking, empower students as both learners and teachers, enrich students’ sense of the planet’s diverse heritage, connect knowledge from other college courses, transform students’ personal sense of self in society and show ways to integrate classroom learning into choices of daily life. We seek to foster in students the knowledge, imagination, personal voice and courage to thoughtfully question and evaluate the underlying assumptions behind traditional and contemporary theories, methods, and norms— to ask if the assumptions accurately describe the world, and if humanity is served well. We prepare students to be active citizens who are alive with a sense of social justice, aware of career options, with the skills and appreciation to live and work passionately in a deeply interconnected, diverse and global society.

students look at handout in class

Degrees & Programs



  • Women's and Gender Studies