Program Overview

A new look at old ideas

In the past, many courses focused almost exclusively on male ideas, perspectives, and achievements. In addition, academic scholarship often contained unexamined biases about women and people from diverse backgrounds. Women's Studies restores balance to the classroom by exploring some fascinating questions about our understanding of women and gender.

For example:

  • Do we assume there are differences between men and women?
  • How have roles of women developed from the earliest of times to the present?
  • Why, how, and where did patterns of subordination or domination occur and become established through history to the present?
  • How did family, religious and political traditions influence these patterns?
  • What are the assumptions and theories about women and how have they affected women?

Women's Studies courses ask new questions. Students reconsider a variety of interpretations of the female experience in many cultures and groups, during many periods of history, and in many different disciplines. The program provides students and faculty with a supportive intellectual climate for asking new questions, challenging many ideas and methodologies, and pursuing areas of interest about women's lives and their contributions.

How can Women's Studies help me personally?

  • Provide me with courses that examine women's experiences, roles and accomplishments in the past, present and future.
  • Help me gain insight into the psychological and social issues we face today.
  • Help me identify and remedy past neglect of and bias against women in traditional scholarship.
  • Provide me with a multicultural and multidisciplinary perspective on human experience.
  • Help me understand and be able to work with people who come from diverse backgrounds.
  • Help me learn ways of empowering all people.
  • Help me examine alternatives to the status quo.
  • Help me examine and challenge my personal beliefs and values.
  • Encourage me to share openly my ideas, feelings and experiences.
  • Help me examine basic assumptions about theoretical, social and political structures.