Established in 1976, the Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Program (formerly The Women's & Gender Studies Program) at Montclair State University is an interdisciplinary program with a dual purpose: to study women's experiences and contributions to communities, cultures, and nations; and to explore the multiple systems and discourses that construct our understandings of gender and sexuality. The program — which is comprised of a major and two minors — emphasizes critical thinking in addressing the intersectionality of sex, gender, class, race, sexuality, ethnicity, and culture and their impact on social, political, and creative endeavors. With the inclusion of gender studies in our mandate, we study both dominant forms of gender and alternative manifestations of femininities and masculinities, while also investigating the ramifications of adhering to these very categories of identity.
Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies is a dynamic field of study. Our faculty are active feminist and GLBTQ scholars in areas such as American politics, cultural studies, educational theory and pedagogy, World history, family and child studies, feminist theology, justice studies, global and U.S. sexuality studies, sociolinguistics, sociology, and transnational literary study. Their research enriches the scope and depth of the course offerings available to our majors and minors.
The specific goals of the Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Program are:
- to impart a knowledge of the history and evolution of feminist theory and practice;
- to provide a nuanced understanding of the diverse feminist debates that occur within and across disciplines;
- To examine the complex, and often competitive, relationship between feminism and the LGBTQ movement;
- to advance an understanding of how gender and sexaulity are inflected by such components of identity as race, class, culture,age, ability, nationality, ethnicity, etc.;
- to study the diverse and diffuse systems of power that impact gender and sexuality;
- to examine the complex relations between local and transnational feminisms and LGBTQ identities in this era of globalization;
- to explore the material and theoretical connections between personal and political concerns;
- to encourage students to use their knowledge to create a community-based agenda aimed at social change.
In order to achieve these goals the Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Program offers students core courses in Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies (GSWS) with electives offered in conjunction with 22 different departments and programs on campus.
Learn more about us through our Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Timeline.
Dickson Hall 332
Montclair State University
1 Normal Ave
Montclair, NJ 07043
Why Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies?
The Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Program at Montclair State offers students a strong education in the newest theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding and examining how gender, sexuality, and related factors contribute to the diverse economic, political, and cultural institutions and relationships that shape people's lives. GSWS challenges students to employ a new analytical lens to investigate current issues in business, policy analysis, education, the arts, and other important arenas.
Workplace dynamics, gender equity, diversity issues, and processes of globalization—core topics in our GSWS courses—are important in a range of career fields. Graduates with degrees in Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies find meaningful careers in private enterprise as well as governmental bureaus, non-profit organizations, and community agencies that demand insight into the interconnected complexities of contemporary life along with an expertise in women's issues and gender relations. Corporations want employees who can think critically, develop innovative approaches to problems, and set new standards of leadership performance. GSWS graduates are just such people. Additionally, the Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies program offers a foundation for graduate work in professional degree programs such as teaching, counseling, social work, legal studies, public health, business administration, and advocacy.
The Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies major is designed for students who desire a thorough understanding of the history, theories, actions, and issues constituting the interdisciplinary field of Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies. Themajor effectively combines the two current minors in the program (Women's & Gender Studies and LGBTQ Studies) to offer an integrated approach to both gender and sexuality studies. Our major also works effectively with a second major without unnecessary duplication of courses, but with the added intellectual enhancements and skills that come from thinking about gender, race, culture, sexuality, and globalization in realtion to other disciplinary topics and methodologies.
The Women's and Gender Studies minor is best suited to students who have already declared a primary field of study but desire an additional way of approaching issues in that field. The minor introduces students to the significant issues in Gender & Women's Studies and allows students to pursue their intellectual questions through a variety of elective courses.
The GLBTQ Studies minor offers a unique opportunity to examine relevant questions involving national and international GLBTQ subjects and communities from multiple perspectives. Established in 2008, the minor consists of two core course and four electives. All courses address GLBTQ issues from different fields of study, hence producing an interdisciplinary dialogue that promotes critical thinking and develops critical perspectives on the complexities of gender, sexuality, and sexual identities. (View more information about the GLBTQ Studies minor)