2018-2019 University Catalogue 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2018-2019 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Women’s Studies

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Professors Loe, Wider
Associate Professors Julien, Simonson, Thomson
Assistant Professors Serna, Woolley (Director)

Advisory Committee Berdo, Buell, Fourquet, Germain, Julien, Knuth Klenck, LaFrance, Loe, Metzler, Page, Rajasingham, Ríos-Rojas, Serna, Simonson, Spring, Thomson, Van Wynsberghe, Wider

The Women’s Studies Program is built on the understanding that gender is a crucial category of human knowledge and action. Women’s studies recognizes the complexity of human lives as gender interconnects with sexuality, race, class, ability, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and age in the constitution of experience and identities. It thus seeks to provide insights which lead one beyond older and more exclusionary theories and practices.

The program is at its core interdisciplinary, integrating knowledge from different disciplines to encourage critical engagement with all forms of experience from a feminist standpoint. Interdisciplinary study leads students to question frameworks, concepts, and methods, enabling them to understand better both the past and the contemporary world, while envisioning a future beyond traditional roles and inequities. By emphasizing interdisciplinarity, the program seeks to help students acquire the tools to analyze critically the societal, cultural, global, and personal issues that shape their lives and challenge them to look at these issues from multiple perspectives. It also encourages them to reflect on the ways in which knowledge is produced within different and oftentimes unrecognized systems of oppression, and to examine categories that are presented as natural and permanent in their cultural and historical context. Finally, the program strives to help students acquire the skills of critical analysis and imagine alternatives that challenge the naturalizing of inequalities.

Consonant with the goal of promoting new theoretical frameworks, the related and emerging field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies provides the basis for an independent minor affiliated with the Women’s Studies Program.

Honors and High Honors

Students who qualify and choose to work toward honors in women’s studies should announce their intention to do so by submitting proposals preceding their final term of study at Colgate. During the final term, honors candidates register for WMST 499  and carry out individual research projects related to their central topics of study. Honors in women’s studies may be awarded to majors who have a GPA of at least 3.30 in all women’s studies courses, who have completed an approved women’s studies honors project, and whose projects have been approved by faculty sponsors and by the women’s studies director. High honors in women’s studies may be awarded to successful honors candidates who have been invited to present the results of their written projects in oral form to the women’s studies faculty. A committee of faculty will vote on granting high honors for exceptionally strong intersectional projects that engage feminist theory and communicate across disciplines.

Related Minor


The Combahee River Collective Feminist Praxis Award — awarded to graduating seniors who have demonstrated sustained intersectional leadership and coalition-building that highlight and challenge the ways major systems of oppression are interlocking. It recognizes them for working toward a nonhierarchical distribution of power on our campus and in our community as they promote the vision of a revolutionary society.

The Women’s Studies Award for Academic Excellence — awarded by the program to a senior major in women’s studies on the basis of the highest grade point average within the Women’s Studies Program.


Majors and Minors



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