WGS Program Goals
Students graduating with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies should be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the following terms, concepts, and ideas.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the history of women’s studies as an academic discipline, with an understanding of its growth and relation to the fields of gender and sexuality studies.
- Articulate and understand the history of feminism and the ways in which feminism has enhanced the lives of women and men.
- Demonstrate fluency in feminist theories and methodologies and their applications to a number of different academic fields.
- Understand the difference between “sex” and “gender” and be able to explain social construction theories of identity.
- Recognize shifting definitions of “man” and “woman” in relation to evolving notions of “masculinity” and “femininity.”
- Appreciate women’s contributions to society historically, culturally, and politically.
- Appreciate variations in women’s experiences across time, nations, and cultures.
- Analyze historical and contemporary systems of privilege and oppression, with special attention to the ways gender intersects with race, class, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, religion, and nationality.
- Analyze the ways in which the media has a role in the shaping of identity, particularly along intersections of gender, race, and class.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the “personal is political” through the application of classroom learning to personal life, the workplace, the community, and active civic engagement.
WGS Program Learning Outcomes
Students who graduate with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies are expected to demonstrate competence in the following skill areas:
- Intellectual and Analytical Skills
- Integrative and Applied Learning
- Social and Personal Responsibility
- Define and explain the practices of the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, as well as properly use the principal terms in the field.
- Identify major concepts and assumptions of feminist study.
- Evaluate, clarify, and frame complex questions using a feminist perspective in conversation with at least one other major field of study.
- Describe major theories and theorists in Women’s and Gender Studies.
- Construct a project related to a research area in Women’s and Gender Studies, making sure to identify, appropriately select, and implement diverse epistemological and methodological approaches in the construction of a paper or project in response to a well-developed research question.
Intellectual and Analytical Skills
- Identify, categorize, and distinguish elements of the main theories associated with Women’s and Gender Studies in order to engage in classroom discussion, papers, and projects appropriate for the discipline.
- Evaluate the reliability and comparative work of competing quantitative and qualitative information resources and their contributions to the field of Women’s and Gender Studies.
- Incorporate multiple information resources presented in a variety of media and properly cite these sources.
- Discuss the importance of context for understanding and interpreting women’s and men’s experiences.
- Recognize societal institutions and power structures that occur within patriarchal society, and analyze the ways in which these institutions and structures impact the material realities of women’s and men’s lives differently.
Integrative and Applied Learning
- Identify the intersection of coursework and personal experience.
- Understand the field of Women’s and Gender Studies in relation to contemporary and/or recurring problems in society.
- Recognize the ways feminist theory invites us to understand gender, human behavior, political institutions and oppression in a new light, with a reflection on how these factors operate in the one’s own life.
- Demonstrate the feminist commitment to ground theory in real experience, through an examination and practice of how feminist theory and methodology must—and do—intersect.
- Complete a substantial project that is field-based and/or evaluates a significant challenge or problem, offering a practical and implementable solution.
- Recognize historical and contemporary struggles to achieve social justice and human rights in relation to gender.
- Develop ways to address societal and power inequalities to improve women’s status.
- Engage in promoting social justice and human rights.
- Understand how knowledge from different cultural perspectives affects one’s understanding of Women’s and Gender Studies in relation to prominent institutions and practices in society.
- Understand how feminist theories and methodologies have local, national, and global applications and consequences.
- Recognize and analyze the ways societal institutions and power structures within a patriarchal society impact the material realities of women’s and men’s lives differently in response to not only gender, but also race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, class, ability, sexuality, age, etc.
Social and Personal Responsibility
- Engage in critical self-reflection, promoting self-awareness.
- Connect knowledge and experience, theory and activism, and Women’s and Gender Studies to other courses and fields of study.
- Recognize and work against sexist/racist/homophobic writing, thinking, and practices.
- Apply knowledge for social transformation and citizenship.
- Engage in theoretically informed civic engagement in the context and concerns of gender, race, sexuality, and social justice.