The Program offers a variety of courses and an undergraduate minor, and we sponsor public lectures, film screenings, and discussions. Boston University faculty interested in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies participate in a lively intellectual community as part of the Faculty Network on Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Interested graduate students from across Boston University take courses not only at BU but also through the Boston-area Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies (GCWS), to which we belong.
The WGS program is proud to announce its inaugural graduate seminar which will be taught by Professor Erin Murphy in fall semester 2013: “WGS 801: Theories and Methods in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.”
Our program began in the 1970s and emerged in the 1980s as the Boston University Women’s Studies Program, a site of intellectual inquiry and feminist consciousness-raising concerning women’s lives. At that time studying women remedied newly recognized omissions across the academy. Beginning in the 1970s the Women’s Studies faculty created a rich array of courses in the humanities and social sciences concerning women in diverse cultures, societies and institutions throughout the world. The field of women’s studies soon grew to include inquiry into the gendered experiences of men alongside the continuing study of women.
Scholars began to problematize the very notion of sex as a biological given or social reality and focused concern on topics in sexuality that could not be reduced to concerns with gender. Current scholarship in the field examines the extent to which sexuality and gender have been linked together historically (through the recruitment of sexuality as the “performance” or “proof” of gender, for instance) as well as aspects of sexuality that are distinct from gender. This approach has led to important new insights, while also contributing to an understanding of how gender and sexuality intersect with other categories such as race and class. Our current program name, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies makes it clear that Boston University is a place at which the study of sexuality is welcomed and encouraged, both in conjunction with and alongside the study of gender.
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Tessy Aura’s outstanding video “Martha Nussbaum’s Functional Capabilities List” with the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program!!! Be inspired!