Program Director and Associate Professor Schrock
Continuing Part-time Instructor Richards
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Ohio Wesleyan is an interdisciplinary program that examines how historical and current constructions of gender impact society. The program has a three-fold mission. First, we aim to engage students in the intellectual content of the discipline, which examines women’s issues, the role that constructions of gender play in shaping our thinking and social institutions, and the relationship between gender and other aspects of identity, including race, class, age, religion, and sexuality in society. Second, we strive to instill in students the importance of interdisciplinary inquiry. They develop an understanding of women’s and gender issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, that is, one that recognizes the interconnections among the disciplines and that draws on the methodologies and knowledge-bases of more than one discipline, so as to analyze problems related to women and gender in their full and multifaceted character. Third, we aim to show our students the real-life implications of their academic engagement in the context of globalization. That is, we challenge students to be cognizant of the social and ethical implications of knowledge practices and to see the relationship between theory and practice in both local and global contexts.
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is dedicated to helping students to develop rigorous analyses of the gendered dimensions of culture, politics, ideas and texts. We aim to teach our students the history, analysis and practice of feminist scholarship and its connection to political service and activism. To that end, we require our students to take an introductory course, a senior level theory seminar, a course dedicated to analyses of representations of gender in the media and to choose between taking a course dedicated to examining current feminist scholarship on sexuality or a course that focuses on women’s movements in a global context. The required courses in the major and minor explore gender and justice issues, provide analytic methods and conceptual tools to conduct rigorous analysis and teach our students how to analyze and practice feminist scholarship as well as examine relations between feminist scholarship and activism. The elective courses do the same in the context of their field of study.
Women’s and Gender Studies course are categorized in two ways: (I) Program Courses are interdisciplinary, taught within the WGS program, and carry a WGS prefix and course number. Some of these courses are also cross-listed with other departments. These courses focus on the study of women and constructions of gender through the frameworks of feminist theories, methodologies and activism. These courses explore how constructions of femininity and masculinity, coupled with additional social locations and identities (race/ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sexuality and nationality) shape our social world and our individual subjectivities. (II) Electives are courses taught by faculty whose primary appointment is in another department or program. These classes generally address the study of women and gender within the context of a particular discipline (such as English or History).