Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) Program at BU

The Boston University Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) Program fosters interdisciplinary research and teaching related to the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, citizenship status, disability, and other dimensions of social life that sustain and exacerbate systems of inequality. We seek to understand the consequences of structures of gender and sexuality inequality across a diverse array of temporal, cultural, and geographic contexts.

The WGS program offers an undergraduate minor and a graduate certificate. WGS faculty work in and across the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences and are committed to innovative scholarship and pedagogy, including the interdisciplinary team-teaching that is the cornerstone of both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Graduate students from across Boston University can take courses not only in the graduate certificate program but also through the Boston-area Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies (GCWS). Boston University faculty and students interested in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies participate in our lively intellectual community through our colloquia, workshops, public lectures, film screenings, discussions, and other events.

Program History

Our program began in the 1970s and emerged in the 1980s as the Boston University Women’s Studies Program, a site of feminist theorizing and consciousness-raising emphasizing women’s lived experiences. At that time, studying women remedied newly recognized omissions across the academy. The BU Women’s Studies faculty created a rich array of courses centering women’s social experiences and contributions. The field of women’s studies soon grew to investigate the operation of gender and sexuality for people of all genders and to consider the co-constitutive dynamics of race, class, and disability, among others. Our revised program name, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies reflects this change in the field and in our engagement in intersectional inquiry.

Today’s BU WGS builds from these intellectual commitments and incorporates postcolonial, critical race, and disability critique among other areas of critical theory. We also engage a variety of feminist and queer methodologies and pedagogies in service of challenging inequalities through our research, teaching, and service.

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