About Us

watercolor painting of Blake Hall, where WGSS is located, in room 318We see our particular strengths in our interdisciplinary ties and our coverage of international women’s studies. As a program we are committed to, and have an excellent track record of, fostering interdisciplinary research and mentoring faculty in these sometimes difficult joint positions. In disciplinary terms, we have three historians (two American and one European), one philosopher, a political scientist, a psychologist, and a theatre professor. We also have strong ties to the area studies programs; our faculty are affiliated with African Studies, European Studies, and American Studies. Our Core faculty are excellent teachers, evidenced by the fact that they have won three Kemper awards and a Silver Anniversary Teaching Award in the past five years. In addition the graduate teaching assistants have won two university wide teaching and two university wide service awards in that period.

Women’s Studies core faculty are nationally and internationally regarded researchers, having won NEH, Guggenheim, U.S. Institute for Peace, and NSF grants in the past decade. Women’s Studies faculty synergize research on women, sexuality, and gender across campus, through active participation in campus research seminars and initiatives. Women’s Studies faculty direct the Gender Studies seminar in the Hall Center for the Humanities, which facilitates interaction among scholars across the University with interests in gender.

There are no national rankings for Women’s Studies programs, in part because there are so few doctoral programs. However, there is an active national organization, the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), of which KU is a member, and which collects data and disseminates information about Women’s (Gender) Studies programs. We attend the national meetings to keep abreast of current trends and issues. Nationally the trend in Women’s Studies is toward studies of global women’s issues, global feminisms, and sexuality studies; many top programs have a specialist in gender and science. KU Women’s Studies is also actively pursuing the development of a regional women’s studies consortium.

Strengths

  • Feminism—feminist social movements, transnational feminist identity and migration, & black feminist theory
  • Literary and Cultural Production—representation, new media, visuality, & narratives
  • Inequality— sexuality, race, gender, health, & violence
  • Sexualities & Bodies—intimacy, capitalism, & trafficking
  • Feminist Methodsgender and the archives, feminist fieldwork, feminist empiricism, & feminist oral history

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