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The Department of Women’s & Gender Studies offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the diverse experiences of women in both national and international contexts. The Department also examines the meaning of gender as a socially constructed category that shapes personal identities, beliefs, opportunities, and behaviors. The wide range of classes explores the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality; the institutional structures that have an impact on women’s and men’s lives; and the broad range of feminist theory that seeks to explain and influence women’s status in society. Among the areas of emphasis in Women’s & Gender Studies are gender and sexuality, queer studies, third world feminism, cultural representation and literature, women and labor, feminist theory, critical race feminism, immigration and citizenship, and social activism.

Core and affiliated faculty in the Department come from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including history, literature, anthropology, sociology, geography, environmental studies, ethnic studies, philosophy, religious studies, architecture and fine arts, music, romance and Germanic languages, political science, public policy, and law.

The Department of Women’s & Gender Studies offers students:

  • Unique opportunities to participate in internships in the community and to pursue individual research projects;
  • Ability to engage in participatory learning and teaching experiences in feminist pedagogy seminars and as discussion facilitators for the introductory class; and
  • Close interaction with faculty, individualized guidance and advising, and courses that prepare them for employment and/or further education in graduate schools or professional schools of law, medicine, teaching, or social work.

Current Events

A Colonial Compromise: Professor Elizabeth Reis on fixed gender identities in colonial Virginia

Professor Elizabeth Reis recently was interviewed on BackStory with the American History Guys, “a public radio show that explores contemporary issues and themes through a historical lens.” Professor Reis discusses a 1629 trial that raised troubling questions about fixed gender identities in colonial Virginia.

Hear her interview here!


Upcoming Events


Northwest NWSA 2014 Conference + TeachOUT + OUT/LOUD

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies is pleased to announce the 2014 northwest regional meeting of the NWSA national conference, May 16th – 17th. This is the fifth annual forum on gender and sexual orientation minority issues in education and is combined this year with TeachOUT and OUT/LOUD.

NW NWSA Conference Homepage

Conference Registration – UO Ticket Office

Conference Overview

The Northwest National Women’s Studies Association leads the region in women’s studies in educational and social transformation.  The region is comprised of women’s and gender studies


Department News

Farewell and good luck Monica Guy!

Congratulations and best wishes to Monica Guy, who has just started a position as the office manger in the Department of Philosophy! Monica served as the WGS budget and office manager for 7 years and is sad to leave, but excited for new adventures. Please join the Department of WGS in wishing her the best of luck in her new endeavor. Don’t worry, she hasn’t gone far–she’s just across the lawn in Susan Campbell!

While we search for a new office manager, the WGS office will be running on semi-reduced hours, effective immediately. We will open the following hours (also