Welcome

What is Women's and Gender Studies?

In recent years, scholars in the field have increasingly recognized that gender and gender inequality cannot be understood in abstraction from other axes of social identity and power, especially those of race, class, sexual orientation, and nation.

The program in Women's and Gender Studies offers students the opportunity to examine, from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, gender's intersections with other dimensions of social power and identity. All Women's and Gender Studies classes encourage students to think systematically and critically about gender and to confront the challenges of moving toward a more equitable world.

Courses may focus on developments within feminist thought, on applications of feminist scholarship to a particular field of study, or on selected topics concerning gender and gender inequality.


WGS Program “Mission Statement”

Feminist scholarship, which arose in the late twentieth century in response to the historically masculine bias of the academy, explores the important but often hidden ways that gender and gender inequality have shaped, and been shaped by, our cultural, social, and personal worlds. In recent years, scholars in the field have increasingly recognized that gender and gender inequality cannot be understood in abstraction from other axes of social identity and power, especially those of race, class, sexual orientation, and nation. Thus, the program in Women's and Gender Studies offers students the opportunity to examine, from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, gender's intersections with other dimensions of social power and identity. In addition to addressing these intersections, courses may focus on developments within feminist thought, on applications of feminist scholarship to a particular field of study, or on selected topics concerning gender and gender inequality. All Women's and Gender Studies classes encourage students to think systematically and critically about gender and to confront the challenges of moving toward a more equitable world.


Why I contribute to WGS:

"I contribute to the Women's and Gender Studies Program because I want to help promote and sustain the area of study that did more for me academically and personally than any other coursework in my time at Willamette. WGS gave me the basic understanding and critical thinking skills necessary to analyze everything from entrenched power structures to vapid pop culture misogyny. In my post-WU work and life, I have continued to explore the foundation of feminist studies that I began while in college through personal study and professional work experience. My work on a Congressional campaign and in non-profit environments has tested my faith in feminism as a theory and practice to set both women and men free given the perpetuation of power dynamics in all spheres.   I contribute to WU′s WGS Program as it will take another generation of feminist scholars and activists to keep pushing for the day when there truly is equality amongst all peoples. With each wave of feminism we break new barriers but many remain. Donate to WGS today." -Nat Okey, Class of 2002

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New WGS Courses:

Coming Spring 2015: ECON 342: The Economics of Race & Gender 
 
In this course, students are exposed to the political economy of race and gender. Topics addressed include: race/gender in the labor market; household decision making and bargaining; the duality between race/gender and public policy; and structures of constraint and social reproduction. These topics will be addressed from a pluralist perspective where arguments and models from multiple economic paradigms will be introduced.
 
This course will be taught by Dr. Tabitha Knight, a new faculty member in Economics.  Please read about Dr. Knight below.

Tabitha Knight, Economics

Tabitha KnightKnight comes to Willamette from Colorado State University, where she successfully defended her doctorate in May. Her recently defended dissertation is titled, “The Gender Dynamics of Public Finance: A Chinese and Cross-Country Analysis.” A feminist macroeconomist, Knight's expertise is in the intersection of economic development, international trade and finance, and the economics of race and gender. She currently has a paper evaluating the effects of public spending on women and men’s relative welfare (as measured by employment growth) in China under review at Feminist Economics. She earned her BS in business administration (finance) from California State University, Sacramento. Her training in heterodox theories will be a great resource as the department continues to develop the revised major. Knight is married, and she enjoys working in her wood shop, playing with her dog Sarah, snowboarding and watching sports programming in her free time. Two years ago, she learned to ice skate to play ice hockey in a recreational league.