Comparative Women’s Studies
The Comparative Women’s Studies major is characterized
by a flexible, faculty-monitored interdisciplinary plan of
study designed to meet the needs of individual students. It
aims to expose students to a substantial body of knowledge
about the social construction of gender in various cultural
contexts from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. It also
provides students with the analytical tools for understanding
the lives and experiences of women in various cultural contexts.
While providing conceptual models for a comparative
analysis of the situation of women globally, especially women
of African descent, the Comparative Women’s Studies major
provides opportunities to analyze the hierarchies of race,
class and gender. The Department also exposes students to
feminist critiques of traditional scholarship in the disciplines
and masculine biases in the history of the acquisition of
knowledge. The Comparative Women’s Studies offerings
provide the critical skills and background for students preparing
for graduate study as well as professional careers.
Upon completion of the Comparative Women’s Studies
major, the student will be able to:
- analyze in a systematic manner the situation of women
in our own and other cultures from a variety of disciplinary
- analyze the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, class,
and sexuality construct the social, cultural, and biological
experience of both men and women in all societies.
- recognize the masculine bias in the history of knowledge.
- research women’s experiences in an unbiased manner.
- analyze images of women in literary texts, the media, and
the arts, and explore relationships between these images
and societal attitudes toward women.