Women's and Gender Studies

Director's Message

Welcome to Women's and Gender Studies at Winthrop University!

Women's and Gender Studies has been conceptualized as an interdisciplinary field of study to address three biases within academic disciplines:

  1. the existing misogyny in much of the treatment of women;
  2. the absence of women within disciplinary discourses;
  3. claims of universality within theory and research which are actually based on male experience.

Women's and Gender Studies offers a critique of such biases by bringing the experiences and perspectives of women into the discourse. Moreover, Women's Studies offers feminist reconceptualizations of: 

  1. basic concepts used within the study of women, gender, and society; 
  2. existing structures and institutions of power in our society and our world; 
  3. visions of what a just world would look like

Women's and Gender Studies attempts to link theory and practice, often from the perspective of those who live at the intersections of multiple oppressions. An understanding of how interlocking systems of oppression operate is crucial to working toward their demise.

What is the difference between sex and gender? How have women and men experienced different and changing roles and treatment throughout history and across the world? How have assumptions about gender role stereotypes constrained women and men in society? What is the relationship between gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, post-coloniality, age, ability, and culture in the lives of women globally? How do these differences affect constructions of ˜womanhood' and the actual experiences of women globally? What have women done in various political, cultural, and economic contexts to express themselves, challenge oppression, and create a better world for themselves, their communities, other women, and their families? These are just a few of the questions Women's Studies explores from an interdisciplinary perspective and from within the approaches of the traditional academic disciplines. Jennifer Disney

With a student population that is 68% women, Winthrop University is in a unique position to utilize the nature and character of our university as a strength in the areas of Women's Studies curriculum, cultural event programming, and campus life. Bring us your ideas and be a part of what we are about at Winthrop University! If you have any questions that have not been answered by the information on our website, please feel free to contact me.

Dr. Jennifer Leigh Disney
Director, Women's and Gender Studies