Writing in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program has always put a special emphasis on writing as an integral part of the critical exploration of society and culture. Both of our introductory courses (Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies and Introduction to Sexuality Studies) teach the fundamentals of academic writing, and thus count towards fulfilling the writing requirements of the College. The vast majority of our electives are student-centered, process-oriented seminars in which students work individually and in groups to prepare written and oral reports and critiques. Furthermore, the program’s commitment to developing our students’ writing skills is most evident in the Senior Capstone course, in which all of our majors and minors are required to produce a senior-long paper.

Open only to seniors pursuing a major or a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, the Capstone Seminar creates a synthesis of their studies in the discipline, and aims to improve upon their research and writing skills. In order to demonstrate their competence as feminist writers, students apply feminist research methods and theories to a research problem/question of their own choosing.  Each student is asked to formulate their own definition of feminist scholarship, and to understand a variety of critical, theoretical, and empirical approaches to studying major feminist concerns and topics. By the end of the course, students aspire towards writing a long paper that is of sufficiently high quality as to merit consideration for potential publication.