Degree Essentials

Women's Studies


Director: Professor Barbara Fultner, Philosophy and Women's Studies

Associate Professor Toni King, Joint Appointment with Black Studies

Associate Professor Isis Nusair, Joint Appointment with International Studies

Assistant Professor Clare Jen, Joint Appointment with Biology

Visiting Assistant Professor Jill Gillespie, Women's Studies

Visiting Assistant Professor Tabitha Chester, Joint Appointment with Black Studies

Affiliated Faculty: Professors Robin Bartlett (Economics), Karen Graves (Educational Studies), Mary Tuominen (Sociology/Anthropology); Associate Professors Susan Diduk (Sociology/Anthropology), Amanda Gunn (Communication), Sarah Hutson-Comeaux (Psychology), Linda Krumholz (English), Sara Lee (Physical Education), Gill Wright Miller (Dance), Trey Proctor (History), David Przybyla (Psychology), Sandy Runzo (English); Assistant Professors Bill Kirkpatrick (Communication), Diana Mafe (English), Christine Pae (Religion), Megan Threlkeld (History), Sheilah Wilson (Studio Art);

Academic Administrative Assistant & Coordinator of the Laura C. Harris Symposium Melissa Feldner

Departmental Mission and Goals

Mission Statement The Women's Studies Program at Denison University takes its mission to be three-fold. We intend to foster a critical awareness of and intellectual sensitivity to content, method and real-life implications of the field.

First, we aim to engage students in the intellectual content of the discipline: women's issues, the role of gender, transnationalism, and the intersectionality between gender and other politicized aspects of "identity," including race, class, age, religion, sexuality;

Second, we strive to instill in students an appreciation of the holistic character of Women's Studies. Women's Studies scholarship is not just a question of content but also of method -- methods that are inflected by the interdisciplinarity of Women's Studies. Students explore how Women's Studies treats women's issues in different disciplines, such as literary studies, political science, sociology, communications, philosophy, biology, etc., as well as developing their understanding of these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective (i.e. one that takes into account and sees the interconnections between this array of disciplines).

Third, we aim to show our students the real-life implications of their academic engagement. That is, we challenge students to see the relationship between theory and practice: to see how the academic study of women's issues and gender is informed by and has the power to transform real lives, both others' and our own.

Curricular Goals Denison's Women's Studies faculty are dedicated to helping students develop rigorous analyses of culture, politics, ideas and text, as well as creative leadership skills. We hope to teach our students the history, analysis and practice of feminist scholarship, means of creative expression for their intellectual interests and concerns, and political service and activism.

To that end, we require our students to take an introductory course, "Issues in Feminism," a "Feminist Methods" course, and a "Feminist Theory" course, as well as a senior capstone experience that involves active community engagement and written response or a sustained research project.

The required courses in the major and minor should explore gender and justice issues, provide both the methods and information to conduct rigorous analysis, engage our students in ways that challenge them to take their thinking about the material into the world, and embody feminist pedagogy. The elective courses will do the same in the context of their field of study.

Students have the opportunity of participating in a variety of internships located throughout the country that acquaint them with women's issues. Students are encouraged to develop leadership skills by taking an active part in campus life, including projects developed by the program. Projects have included a national grant application, a campus-wide study on violence, and a benefit concert.

The Women's Studies Program sponsors regular symposia on gender issues that include presentations by Women's Studies faculty as well as Women's Studies scholars from throughout the United States. With the support of the Laura C. Harris endowment, the Women's Studies Program has hosted internationally-renowned scholars including M. Jacqui Alexander, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, Judith Butler, Cynthia Enloe, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Winona La Duke, Jack Halberstam, and Linda Alcoff. Program members also participate in the Great Lakes Colleges Association, which provides conferences for Women's Studies students and faculty.

Women's Studies Major

Women's Studies majors are required to take a total of 32 credit hours. Many students double major in Women's Studies and another field. Students may sign up for a course either under the department number or under the Women's Studies number. Both numbers will count toward the Women's Studies major or minor. No more than two courses at the 100 level may count toward the major. All Women's Studies majors must take the following:

  1. Required core courses:

    • WMST 101 Issues in Feminism 4 credits

    • WMST 310 Feminist Research Methods 4 credits

    • WMST 311 Feminist Theory 4 credits

    • WMST 451 or 452 Senior Research 4 credits

  2. One course on women of color in the United States. 4 credits

  3. One course on transnational feminism. 4 credits

  4. Three courses cross-listed with three of the four divisions of the college: Sciences, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities. These courses may also satisfy the requirements of II and III.

  5. At least one of the above courses must be cross-listed with Black Studies.

Women's Studies Minor

Women's Studies minors are required to take a total of 24 credit hours. No more than two courses (including WMST 101) will be at the 100 level. All Women's Studies minors must take the following:

  1. Required core courses:

    • WMST 101 Issues in Feminism 4 credits

    • WMST 310 Feminist Research Methods 4 credits

    • WMST 311 Feminist Theory 4 credits

  2. Three elective courses in Women’s Studies or cross-listed with Women’s Studies subject to the following constraints:

    • One course cross-listed with Black Studies

    • One course on Transnational Feminism

    • Other elective

The first two requirements may be satisfied by the same course.

Students are encouraged to consult with the Director of Women's Studies in making their choices.