Courses in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) examine how gender and sexuality affect and intersect with many aspects of the world in which we live, including political structures; social relations; economic institutions; the production of literature, art and history; and cultural representations of gender, sexuality, race, class and ethnicity. The curriculum provides opportunities to explore the specificity of gendered experiences, concerns and perspectives, and to see how these vary among different social groups and at different points in time. WGSS courses examine the ways constructions of difference—ethnicity, race, class, nationality, ability and religion—intersect with constructions of gender and sexuality. The department has four areas of focus around which courses are organized: literature/theory/history; sexuality/the body/health; global and transnational feminist and gender studies; and critical race studies of gender and sexuality. Students may choose to concentrate in one of these areas or to investigate all four.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies encourages students to think critically and to participate actively in their education. Most classes are small, rely heavily on classroom discussion, and emphasize interaction between faculty and students. Courses in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies can be taken as electives, toward a primary or secondary major, or toward a minor. Graduate students can pursue a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.