(College of Letters & Science)
Kathryn Olmsted, Ph.D., Interim Department Chair; term ends June 2020
Department Office. 1200 Hart Hall; 530-752-6429; http://gsws.ucdavis.edu/Faculty. http://gsws.ucdavis.edu/faculty
The Major Program
Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary major founded on the understanding that the social production of gender is inseparable from that of race, sexuality, class, nationality, ability and other categories of difference. Our curriculum places feminist concerns within a transnational context, while respecting the need for geographic and historical specificity. These frameworks inform our teaching, our research, our institutional and community practices, and the principles we bring to our classrooms. Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies offers a wide range of classes that use the lens of gender to examine colonialism and post colonialism, globalization, history, sexuality, queer theory, literature, popular culture, feminist video production, area studies, film fashion and food. The Department offers both an undergraduate major and minor. We also work collaboratively with other units on campus to sponsor two undergraduate minors, Sexuality Studies and Social & Ethnic Relations, and an undergraduate concentration in transnational production and consumption.
The Department. One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Department is that students, in consultation with the peer and faculty advisors, can pursue their particular academic interests and design their course of study accordingly. In devising their major plan, students will draw on courses offered in African American & African Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Comparative Literature, English, French, German and Italian Studies, History, Linguistics, Native American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Textiles & Clothing, and other related disciplines.
In addition to offering a broad array of courses that deal with gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality, the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Department affords interested students the opportunity to earn internship credit and conduct independent research as well as take advantage of the Honors Thesis option.
Students design a program of study in consultation with an advisor that is in accordance with their individual career goals. Many Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies majors find it advantageous to pursue a double major, or to minor in another field of study. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements, students majoring in the program will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies.
Career Alternatives. A degree in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies opens many possibilities for future employment. The major introduces students to relevant social issues, fosters critical thinking, develops strong verbal, writing and research skills and encourages social advocacy.
Pre-professional students will discover that a major in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies offers useful preparatory training for medical or law school. It is particularly suitable for those interested in specializing in social policy, international development, social justice or gender-related work in a wide range of institutions and contexts. Students who plan to do practical work in counseling, clinical psychology, social services, education, media or politics will also find a major in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies provides a strong foundation. Those who wish to pursue graduate level research in such fields as anthropology, comparative literature, cultural studies, economics, education, ethnic studies, English, film studies, history, languages and literatures, performance studies, philosophy, political science, and sociology will also benefit from a strong Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies undergraduate background in critical theory, social analysis, history and a sound understanding of cultural representation and narratives of difference.
Increasingly, media and cultural institutions, corporations, and personnel firms are hiring specialists in women and gender studies trained in understanding the complex cultural challenges and demands arising from diverse communities. State and federal agencies need people who have special understanding of the problems that diverse groups of women face in society, industry, and the professions. Educational institutions across the spectrum need specialists to develop and administer women and gender studies programs, multi-cultural community centers, LGBTQ organizations and other organizations designed specifically to deal with gender, social diversity and inequality, and a growing range of old and new social challenges arising in the context of globalization.
Some of our alumni have developed careers other than those described above. Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies faculty and peer advisors can provide even more ideas about possible future careers. Doing internships related to coursework enables students to integrate theory with hands-on practice and service in the community.
Graduate Study. The Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Department offers a designated emphasis in Feminist Theory & Research for students enrolled in the Ph.D. programs of fifteen other affiliated departments.
Major Advisor. Rodrigo Bonilla, firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-752-6429