Women, Gender & Sexuality Program

Women, Gender & Sexuality is an interdisciplinary program in which students study gender and sexualities with an emphasis on transnational perspectives.

By examining social issues, literary, scientific, and historical materials, students develop a critical, socially engaged sense of how gender and/or sexualities shape and are shaped by the world around them. Topics range from women’s political participation to body politics to lesbian/gay parenting and transgender concerns. Courses currently being offered focus on women’s media, literature, and art, women in sports, queer theory, gender politics, and LGBTQ Studies.

The program offers a WGS Major, WGS Distinguished Major, and a WGS Minor as well as research opportunities and education abroad.

Students gain credit toward a major or minor by registering for WGS prefix courses as well as primary and adjunct courses across departments, programs, and schools. Primary and adjunct courses have been offered in association with African American Studies; American Studies; Anthropology; Art History; Classics; Comparative Literature; Drama; East Asian Languages and Cultures; Education; English; French; German; History; Latin American Studies; Media Studies; Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures; Music; Nursing; Philosophy; Politics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Slavic Languages and Literatures; Sociology; Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese; and other units.


Led by 2006 Bernard D. Mayes Award recipient Charlotte J. Patterson, Ph.D., WGS’s core faculty represent a range of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. They have conducted research on women, gender, and sexualities in many areas of the world, including India, Iran, South Africa, and the United States, and they bring that expertise with them into the classroom. Aside from regular classroom and advising activities, faculty members meet with majors and minors at lectures in the program’s colloquium series and at other sponsored events.


Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, many of our students are double majors. We also encourage non-majors and minors to explore the variety of courses we offer.