The Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality

The Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS), based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, brings together faculty and students from nine Boston-area universities and colleges who share an interest in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Consortium courses involve a team of faculty who hail from different institutions and different disciplines. Students also come from many disciplines and from the various universities which participate in the GCWS, including Harvard, MIT, Brandeis, Boston College, and Boston University. The GCWS’s team-taught, interdisciplinary courses can provide a fantastic supplement to the programs of graduate students at BU. One GCWS course is required for the Graduate Certificate in WGS.

GCWS website:

  1. With the approval of the faculty of his/her BU graduate program, a student may receive a grade and graduate credit for completing a GCWS course that has been established on the MIT inventory.  That approval is signified by the BU official signatures on the forms (step 2, 3 below).  An MIT twelve unit course is equivalent to a BU four-credit course.
  2. The student should fill out a BU Cross Registration Petition (available on the Registrar’s Office web site.
  3. The student must also fill out the GCWS Student Registration form, securing all signatures as indicated (the Director of WGS will sign for the ‘Academic Dean’ of school/faculty).
  4. Copies of the GCWS registration form will be forwarded to the BU Cross Registration staff member in the Registrar’s Office.
  5. Once the course has been completed and graded, an official MIT transcript will be forwarded to BU.  The grade and course title will be added to the BU transcript.
  6. Standard BU tuition charges will apply; BU financial aid may be used for these courses.

Boston University Graduates Students can enroll in GCWS courses.  There is no additional fee.

2016-2017 Application Deadlines

GCWS Courses:

  • Fall application deadline: August 22nd, 2016
    Spring application deadline: January 4th, 2017

Micro Seminars:

  • Application deadline for Fall 2016 Micro-Seminars:  September 1st, 2016
  • Application deadline for Spring 2017 Micro-Seminars:  December 15th, 2016

Current/Upcoming Courses

Workshop for Dissertation Writers in Women’s and Gender Studies

Fall/Spring: Tuesdays, 5:30 – 8:30 PM
September 13, 2016 – May 9, 2017

A writing workshop for graduate students at the dissertation level.  Classes will include presentations and discussions of dissertation writers’ work-in-progress.  Discussions will include both theoretical considerations and practical ones as we address feminist research in historical archives, feminist fieldwork, feminist interpretation of literary, visual and material culture, and feminist research that theorizes the political…  more »

Feminist Inquiry

Spring semester: Mondays, 6:00 PM- 9:00 PM
January 30, 2017 – May 8, 2017

How are feminists to construct methods of inquiry that give voice to the multiply located perspectives of marginalized subjects and communities without replicating the masculinist, racist, classist conceptual structures and methodologies that constitute traditional Western epistemologies?  Feminist Inquiry is a seminar designed to investigate the methodological approaches and conceptual frameworks that inform feminist theorizing, critical analysis, and research across a range of disciplines… more » 

Feminism and Islam

Spring semester: Wednesdays, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
February 1, 2017 – May 10, 2017

The fundamental debate about Islam, whether in the academy, the media, or the public sphere, is whether or not Islam is compatible with democracy, civil society, nationalism, secularism and so on. In sharp contrast to this ongoing debate is general consensus about the “gender problem” in Islam. This predominant view casting Islam as an “excessively patriarchal religion” not only essentializes Muslim women as victims and Muslim men as oppressors but also reduces the so-called “Muslim world” to an inherently static condition of patriarchy. more »

Changing Life: Genes, Ecologies, and Texts

Spring semester: Wednesdays, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
February 1, 2017 – May 10, 2017

In this course you will develop your abilities to expose ways that scientific knowledge has been shaped in contexts that are gendered, racialized, economically exploitative, and hetero-normative. The class will be structured through four projects that concern… more »

GCWS Micro-Seminars

GCWS Micro-Seminars are a new pilot program for the 2016-2017 academic year. These are five-week, un-graded, graduate-level reading, writing, and discussion-based graduate seminars organized around specific themes in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Micro-seminar structure and location:
Seminars meet for two hours, once a week, over five consecutive weeks at one of our GCWS member institutions. In 2016-17, our four micro-seminars will be hosted atBoston College, Tufts University, The Harvard Graduate School of Education, and MIT.  Specific building and room assignments are listed with the micro-seminar descriptions where available. 

How to apply:
Students will apply through the GCWS web site through the GCWS course application page:

  • Application deadline for Fall 2016 Micro-Seminars:  September 1st, 2016
  • Application deadline for Spring 2017 Micro-Seminars:  December 15th, 2016

2016-2017 Micro-Seminars:

Sex Panics and Social Control
Taught by Catherine Connell, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University
Wednesdays, 5 – 7 PM (9/21/16 – 10/19/16)
*Meets at Boston College*

Who Can Play? Race, Gender, Sports, and Bodies
Taught by Jo Trigilio, Director of Gender/Cultural Studies at Simmons College and Senior Lecturer of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies;
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 PM (10/18/16 – 11/15/16)
*Meets at Tufts University*

Compulsory: Education and the Dispossession of Youth in a Juvenile Prison: A reading with the author
Taught by Sabina Vaught, Associate Professor of Education at Tufts University
Fridays, 10 – 12 PM (2/3/17 – 3/3/17)
*Meets at the Harvard Graduate School of Education*

Critical Menstruation Studies
Taught by Chris Bobel, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston
Wednesdays, 6 – 8 PM (3/22/17 – 4/19/17)
*Meets at MIT*