Department Office: Stalker Hall, room 109
Web site: http://web.indstate.edu/wmnstudy/
Women’s studies is an interdisciplinary field that draws from a variety of academic areas to examine the creation and perpetuation of sex/gender systems. In many cultures, sex/gender systems, as well as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class, function as lines of division and oppression that restrict access to education, the work force, and full participation in social and political life. Course work in women’s studies explores constructions of identities and asks how political institutions, the law, the economy, art, history, literature, and education (among other agencies) shape understandings of gender and human relations. Feminist theories that address possibilities for social change are specifically explored.
The Women’s Studies Program offers an academic minor that is available to all students. A minor in women’s studies benefits students in almost any major because it promotes the development of cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to work well with diverse groups of people. It is highly recommended to students who plan to work in social service areas (law and law enforcement, social work, public administration, teaching, or nursing) or students who plan a career in business. Students interested in majoring in women’s studies are encouraged to declare the major in liberal studies and work with the women’s studies academic advisor to identify a major course plan in women’s studies.
The Women’s Studies Program offers core courses in the discipline as well as a variety of electives in over 11 programs in the arts and humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the physical sciences. A listing of currently approved women’s studies elective courses is available on the program’s web site. Many women’s studies core courses and electives also fulfill General Education requirements. Independent study and fieldwork opportunities may be arranged through the program director.
Advising is an important component of the women’s studies minor, as students who work closely with their advisor are more likely to meet their goals and achieve academic success. Women’s studies minors are encouraged to maintain regular contact with their academic advisor and the program director, and they are expected to meet for advisement prior to registration each semester.
Women’s studies teaching and learning is not confined to a traditional classroom. The curricular program is matched with a robust co-curricular program that has included a yearly Take Back the Night event, conferences featuring undergraduate and graduate faculty research, performances, exhibits, and field trips.