About Our Department

Faculty and students in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies use an interdisciplinary approach to examine the construction of women, gender, and sexuality throughout the world. The interdisciplinary research and training in our department positions people to be thought leaders and agents in addressing inequality in all its forms. Our graduates have gone on to work in fields such as business, entertainment, law, medicine, and social work. This community of scholars and activists is committed to doing the critical work of reimagining and producing a more inclusive future.

Why Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at WashU?

Among the first in the nation (est. 1972), the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University has emphasized the importance of gender and sexuality to such disciplines and interdisciplinary programs as philosophy, psychology, history, education, law, architecture, art history and archaeology, anthropology, political science, international studies, American culture studies, and studies in culture and languages.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students are often leaders in campus organizations that deal with issues concerning women, gender relations, sexuality and health. They also participate in a wide spectrum of co-curricular organizations available to undergraduates, including Students for Choice, Uncle Joe's Peer Counseling, LIVE, Student Forum on Sexuality, SARAH, Pride Alliance WU, and the Representation Project.



Certainly WGSS helps students better understand social relationships, gender, and sexuality. But WGSS also prepares students to critically think in any situation, whether or not they have encountered it before. That skill set is indispensable. Many majors follow careers dissimilar from their initial training. WGSS casts the widest net in that sense. Regardless of whether or not my work involves gender or sexuality issues, I know that I have been trained to succeed efficiently, empathetically, creatively, and justly

―Rishi Rattan, MD WGSS Alumna
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Natalie Aaronson

Julia Birnbach

Caitlynn Bohanon

Julia Bulova

Hani Fish-Bieler

David Frankel

Nikki Goldstone

Gracie Kaul

Elanor McRae

Ayda Oktem

Sydni Perry-Anderson

Renee Reiter

Sierra Revels

Emma Ruskay-Kidd

Dani Saraff

Leah Thompson

Kennedy Wiley



Stephanie Berger

Maya Borenstein

Alex Brown

Lena Cramer

Nautica Farrell

Samantha Goldman

Natalia Gordon

Anneliese Haas

Brianna Hines

Sarah Kazan

Sari Liebhaber

Courtney Mitchell

Jessica Nassau

Callie Samton

Aliya Schenck

Hannah Shapiro

Gaby Smith

Sabrina Spence

Reese Toomre

Kennedy Young



Emma Merrigan, PhD,  Hispanic Languages and Literatures

Payne Banister, AM, Theater and Performance Studies

National Women's Studies Association awards the Alison Piepmeier Book Prize to WGSS faculty member, Cynthia Barounis

National Women's Studies Association awards the Alison Piepmeier Book Prize to WGSS faculty member, Cynthia Barounis