Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary department for students who wish to explore gender and its relation to other axes of power: race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. We use these concepts to analyze human experience in its bodily, political, economic and cultural dimensions. Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies covers a complex variety of theoretical and empirical scholarship both within traditional disciplines and in interdisciplinary frames in the humanities, in the social sciences and in the natural sciences as well as combinations of the three. The Department is committed to critical perspectives and bodies of knowledge that contribute to possibilities for transformation and change.
Early in their sophomore year, students interested in the major should consult the Department to plan their major. Students also have the option of electing a combined major and a minor. Areas of faculty research specialization include feminist and queer politics and ethics in U.S. public life; contemporary and historical social movements; gender and global political economy; sexuality and the state; sociology of the body, sex and gender; critical science studies of gender and sexuality; transnational feminisms; Asia-Pacific cultural studies; comparative literature and critical theory.
Complementing the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, the Barnard Center for Research on Women maintains an extensive and expanding resource collection on women’s issues. Many of these resources, including BCRW's own online journal, The Scholar & Feminist Online, are available onBCRW's multi-media website. BCRW also sponsors a variety of events that are invaluable to students interested in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies participates in a Consortium with Africana Studies and American Studies that supports the development of intellectual and curricular projects across the three fields and offers a concentration and minor in studies of race and ethnicity, with an attention to global and diasporic frameworks. We are particularly interested in relations between and among, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and nation. The Consortium is working to create models for research and teaching that contribute to new ways of understanding processes of social differentiation and that help to create new possibilities for social relations.