This is a program in which students and faculty are enriched emotionally and intellectually. Our curriculum features wide ranging courses in a variety of disciplines as well as integrative core courses that are structured around generative cutting edge debates in feminist theory, practice and pedagogy. This interdisciplinary view does not limit itself to a single doctrine, methodology or position, but encourages students to develop their own feminist stance. There is consistent and integrated attention to differences of race, class, generation, nation, sex and sexuality, with influences from Queer Studies and Post-Colonial Theory. The relationship between theory and activism appears throughout the Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies curriculum in both individual courses and through the required Internship and Senior Project.
Senior Demonstrative Project
In the Senior Demonstrative project, students pursue their own activist project, putting their base of theory to action. The project provides an opportunity for students to synthesize the theoretical and practical experiences gained in the Major and to demonstrate their depth of understanding of a particular issue or problem to the larger Earlham community.
The internship enables students to apply theoretical approaches raised in Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies courses to practical situations in the world beyond the classroom. Internships can be done on an off-campus program, during the summer, or in Richmond during the academic year.
Please refer to Project & Internship Resources for more information.
A Living Community
Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies includes both curricular and co-curricular initiatives. The program and its faculty support organizations such as Earlham's Action Against Rape. We also advise and support a student-run Womyn's Center; this is both a place and a group that sponsors films, art shows, workshops, and feminist student activism. The program supports College peer advocacy regarding sexual assault.
Earlham's Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies students and faculty offer and attend lectures, readings and cultural events that address national and international women's and social justice concerns. We collaborate with local/regional activist organizations, visiting authors, academics and activists on campus, in nearby cities, and at regional and national conferences about academic and activist issues. Recent campus visitors include Patricia Hill Collins, Angela Davis, Chandra Mohanty, Kimberly Crenshaw, Susan Bordo, MUSE (women’s choir), Tim Wise, Leslie Fineburg and Chimananda Adichi.
Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies students participate in virtually all of the College's and Great Lakes Colleges Association's (GLCA) off-campus programs. Recently, the Program offered a May Term in Ghana, studying gender and development. Of particular interest to those wanting an off-campus internship are The Philadelphia Center — a GLCA-affiliated program — and the New York Arts Program. Other Popular WGSS student destinations are the Earlham-sponsored Border Studies, East Africa/Tanzania and Jordan programs.
Small groups of students join with faculty members to do groundbreaking collaborative research exploring a shared interest. These projects fulfill either the Internship or Intensive Research course requirements. The Program’s Ghana May Term was researched and planned by such a group. Past groups have addressed the work of women in the Civil Rights Movement, the reception and use of Adrienne Rich's work, and the nature of women's friendships.
Earlham Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies graduates are everywhere doing everything. They are attorneys and social workers, advocates, acupuncturists and schoolteachers, midwives, carpenters, and college professors.
Approximately 70% of WGSS majors pursue graduate and professional programs. The most popular areas of graduate work are in law, mental health, education, library science, non-profit management and creative writing. Majors have completed graduate degrees at the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, Iowa University, Smith College School of Social Work, Tuffs, Northeastern University, Indiana University, the City University of New York and Brown University and others.
WGSS graduates’ are using the skills and knowledge they gained in the program as:
- A fellow in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer at Planned Parenthood of America in Washington, D.C.
- A Senior Trial Attorney at EEOC
- The Executive Director of JustFaith Ministries
- A Principal at MC Lane Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in diversity education and organizational structures
- The Dean of the Library Services at Bergen Community College
- A teacher at Youth Build Charter School of California and a member of their Youth Justice Coalition