Open Access Articles- Top Results for Women%27s studies

Women's studies

"Feminist studies" redirects here. For the journal, see Feminist Studies.

Women's studies links gender to race, sexuality, class, and nation in order to define identity as a complex social phenomenon. [1] Popular methodologies within the field of women's studies include standpoint theory, intersectionality, multiculturalism, transnational feminism, autoethnography, and reading practices associated with critical theory, post-structuralism, and queer theory. The field researches and critiques societal norms of gender, race, class, sexuality, and other social inequalities. It is closely related to the broader field of gender studies.


The first accredited Women's Studies course was held in 1969 at Cornell University.[2] The first two Women's Studies Programs in the United States were established in 1970 at San Diego State College (now San Diego State University) and SUNY-Buffalo. The SDSU program was initiated after a year of intense organizing of women's consciousness raising groups, rallies, petition circulating, and operating unofficial or experimental classes and presentations before seven committees and assemblies.[3][4] The first scholarly journal in interdisciplinary women's studies, Feminist Studies, began publishing in 1972.[5] The National Women's Studies Association (of the United States) was established in 1977.[6] The first Ph.D. program in Women's Studies was established at Emory University in 1990.[7]

As of 2012, there are 16 institutions offering a Ph.D. in Women's Studies in the United States.[8][9] Courses in Women's Studies in the United Kingdom can be found through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.[10]

Methodology of Women Studies

Women's studies faculty practice a diverse array of pedagogies. However, there are common themes to the ways that many women's studies courses are taught; ideally, teaching and learning practices draw on feminist pedagogy. Women’s studies curricula often encourage students to participate in service-learning activities in addition to discussion and reflection upon course materials. The development of critical reading, writing, and oral expression are often key to these courses, which can be listed across curricula in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.[vague] The decentralization of the professor as the source of knowledge is often fundamental to women's studies classroom culture.[11] Courses are often more egalitarian than those in traditional disciplines, stressing the critical analysis of texts and the development of critical writing. Not dissimilar to gender studies, women’s studies employs feminist, queer, and critical theories.[citation needed] Since the 1970s, scholars of women’s studies have taken post-modern approaches to understanding gender as it intersects with race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age, and (dis)ability to produce and maintain power structures within society. With this turn, there has been a focus on language, subjectivity, and social hegemony, and how the lives of subjects, however they identify, are constituted. At the core of these theories is the notion that however one identifies, gender, sex, and sexuality are not intrinsic, but are socially constructed.[citation needed]

Women studies programs are involved in social justice and design curricula that are embedded with theory and also activism outside of the classroom. Some Women Studies programs offer internships that are community-based allowing students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how oppression directly affects women’s lives. This experience, informed by theory from feminist studies, queer theory, black feminist theory, African studies, and many other theoretical frameworks, allows students the opportunity to critically analyze experience as well as create creative solutions for issues on a local level.[citation needed] However, Daphne Patai, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has criticized this aspect of women's studies programs, arguing that they place politics over education, arguing that "the strategies of faculty members in these programs have included policing insensitive language, championing research methods deemed congenial to women (such as qualitative over quantitative methods), and conducting classes as if they were therapy sessions."[12] It is important to note, however, that many Women’s Studies curricula engage with a variety of different epistemological and methodological practices.[vague] Feminist scholarship is diverse and utilizes positivism, critical realism, and standpoint theory in its interdisciplinary scholarship.[13][vague]


Feminist activism not only focuses on women’s issues but has spread throughout many other movements including (but not limited to) environmental issues, body politics, feminist art, identity issues, reproductive rights, gender issues, animal rights, homosexual rights, and ethnic minority rights. These forms of activism can include letter writing, boycotting, protesting, the visual arts, bodily demonstrations, education, and leafleting. In current feminism, the focus has shifted to encompass an outlook and desire for equality for all—identifying oppressive systems and forces around the world that affect all types of beings. Feminist activism explores the intersections of social, political, and cultural histories (among various others denominators), their implications, and dedicates time and energy to the liberation of all people from injustices.[citation needed][vague]

Simply studying or being a student of women’s studies can be seen as activism in it of itself; others consider women's studies to be an academic field which is separate from the feminist movement.


Some of the most predominant institutions to have women's studies programs at the undergraduate or graduate level include the University Of California system, Emory University, and universities in Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York.[14]

Many women's studies courses are designed to explore the intersectionality of gender and other topics. For example, in gender and science research, the sciences are explored and critiqued through feminism, as when Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of Biology at Brown University, explores biology through the feminist lens. Through her research, she has published many books on the topic including

See also


  1. ^ "WomanStudiesHumans". web. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Kahn, Ada P. (2006). The Encyclopedia of Stress and Stress-related Diseases (2nd ed.). Facts on File. p. 388. ISBN 0816059373. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Salper, Roberta (November 2011). "San Diego State 1970: The Initial Year of the Nation’s First Women’s Studies Program". Feminist Studies 37 (3): 658–682. 
  4. ^ "SDSU Women's Studies Department". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "History". Feminist Studies. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  8. ^ NWSA searchable database
  9. ^ "Artemis Guide to Women's Studies in the U.S.". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, United Kingdom". UCAS. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Shrewsbury, Carolyn M. (1987). "What Is Feminist Pedagogy?". Women's Studies Quarterly 15 (3/4): 6–14. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Patai, Daphne (January 23, 1998). "Why Not A Feminist Overhaul of Higher Education?". <span />'Why Not A Feminist Overhaul of Higher Education?'<span />. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 
  13. ^ Sprague, Joey. Feminist Methodologies for Critical Researchers: Bridging Differences. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira, 2005.
  14. ^ "Women's History." U.S. News & World U.S. News & World Report, 2009. Web. 20 Nov 2012.


  • Borland, K. (1991). That's not what I said: Interpretive conflict in oral narrative research. In Giuck, S. & Patai, D. (Eds.), Women's Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History (pp 63–76). NY: Routledge
  • Brooks, A. (2007). Feminist standpoint epistemology: Building knowledge and empowerment through women’s lived experiences. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 53–82). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Brooks, A. & Hesse-Biber, S.N. (2007). An invitation to feminist research. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 1–24). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Buch, E.D. & Staller, K.M. (2007). The feminist practice of ethnography. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 187–221). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Dill, T.B & Zambrana, R. (2009) Emerging Intersections: Race, Class and Gender in Theory, Policy and Practice. NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Fausto-Sterling, Anne (2000). Sexing the body: gender politics and the construction of sexuality. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-07714-5.
  • Halse, C. & Honey, A. (2005). Unraveling ethics: Illuminating the moral dilemmas of research ethics. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30 (4), 2141-2162.
  • Harding, S. (1987). Introduction: Is there a feminist method? In Harding, S. (ed.), Feminism & Methodology. (pp. 1–14). IN: Indiana University Press.
  • Hesse-Biber, S.N. (2007). The practice of feminist in-depth interviewing. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 111–148). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Hyam, M. (2004). Hearing girls' silences: Thoughts on the politics and practices of a feminist method of group discussion. Gender, Place, and Culture, 11 (1), 105-119.
  • Leavy, P.L. (2007a). Feminist postmodernism and poststructuralism. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 83–108). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Leavy, P.L. (2007b). The practice of feminist oral history and focus group interviews. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 149–186). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Leavy, P.L. (2007c). The feminist practice of content analysis. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 223–248). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Leckenby, D. (2007). Feminist empiricism: Challenging gender bias and “setting the record straight.” In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 27–52). CA: Sage Publications.
  • Lykes, M.B. & Coquillon, E. (2006). Participatory and Action Research and feminisms: Towards Transformative Praxis. In Sharlene Hesse-Biber (Ed.). Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis. CA: Sage Publications.
  • Miner-Rubino, K. & Jayaratne, T.E. (2007). Feminist survey research. In Hesse-Biber, S.N. & Leavy, P.L. (Eds.), Feminist Research Practice (pp. 293–325). CA: Sage Publications.

Further reading

  • Berkin, Carol R., Judith L. Pinch, and Carole S. Appel, Exploring Women's Studies: Looking Forward, Looking Back, 2005, ISBN 0-13-185088-1 OCLC 57391427
  • Boxer, Marilyn J. (1998). When Women ask the Questions: Creating Women's Studies in America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-5834-8. OCLC 37981599. 
  • Carter, Sarah, and Maureen Ritchie (1990). Women's Studies: A Guide to Information Sources. London, England and Jefferson, NC: Mansell and McFarland. ISBN 0-7201-2058-6. OCLC 20392079. 
  • Committee on Women's Studies in Asia (1995). Changing Lives: Life Stories of Asian Pioneers in Women's Studies. New York, NY: Feminist Press at the City University of New York. ISBN 1-55861-108-8. OCLC 31867161. 
  • Davis, Angela Y. (2003). Are Prisons Obsolete?, Open Media (April 2003), ISBN 1-58322-581-1
  • Davis, Kathy, Mary Evans and Judith Lorber (editors) (2006). Handbook of Gender and Women's Studies. London, England; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-4390-0. OCLC 69392297. 
  • Fausto-Sterling, Anne (1992). Myths of gender: biological theories about women and men. New York: BasicBooks. ISBN 0-465-04792-0.
  • Fausto-Sterling, Anne (2000). Sexing the body: gender politics and the construction of sexuality. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-07714-5.
  • Fausto-Sterling, Anne (2012). Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415881456.
  • Grewal, Inderpal and Caren Kaplan, An Introduction to Women's Studies: Gender in a Transnational World, ISBN 0-07-109380-X OCLC 47161269
  • Griffin, Gabriele (2005). Doing Women's Studies: Employment Opportunities, Personal Impacts and Social Consequences. London, England: Zed Books in association with the University of Hull and the European Union. ISBN 1-84277-501-4. OCLC 56641855. 
  • Ginsberg, Alice E. The Evolution of American Women's Studies: Reflections on Triumphs, Controversies and Change (Palgrave Macmillan: 2009). Online interview with Ginsberg
  • Griffin, Gabriele and Rosi Braidotti (eds.), Thinking Differently : A Reader in European Women's Studies, London etc. : Zed Books, 2002 ISBN 1-84277-002-0 OCLC 49375751
  • Howe, Florence (ed.), The Politics of Women's Studies: Testimony from Thirty Founding Mothers, Paperback edition, New York: Feminist Press 2001, ISBN 1-55861-241-6 OCLC 44313456
  • Hunter College Women's Studies Collective (2005). Women's Realities, Women's Choices: An Introduction to Women's Studies (3rd edition ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515035-X. OCLC 55870949. 
  • Jacobs, Sue-Ellen (1974). Women in Perspective: A Guide for Cross-Cultural Studies. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-00299-7. OCLC 1050797. 
  • Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky and Agatha Beins (2005). Women's Studies for the Future: Foundations, Interrogations, Politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-3618-9. OCLC 56951279. 
  • Krikos, Linda A. and Cindy Ingold (2004). Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography (3rd edition ed.). Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 1-56308-566-6. OCLC 54079621. 
  • Larson, Andrea and R. Edward Freeman (1997). Women's Studies and Business Ethics: Toward a New Conversation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510758-6. OCLC 35762696. 
  • Lederman, Muriel, and Ingrid Bartsch, eds. The Gender and Science Reader. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.
  • Loeb, Catherine, Susan E. Searing, and Esther F. Lanigan (1987). Women's Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography, 1980-1985. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 0-87287-472-9. OCLC 14716751. 
  • Luebke, Barbara F. and Mary Ellen Reilly (1995). Women's Studies Graduates: The First Generation. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University. ISBN 0-8077-6274-1. OCLC 31076831. 
  • MacNabb, Elizabeth L. (2001). Transforming the Disciplines: A Women's Studies Primer. New York, NY: Haworth Press. ISBN 1-56023-959-X. OCLC 44118091. 
  • Messer-Davidow, Ellen, Disciplining Feminism : From Social Activism to Academic Discourse, Durham, NC etc. : Duke University Press, 2002 ISBN 0-8223-2829-1 OCLC 47705543
  • Patai, Daphne and Noretta Koertge (2003). Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies (New and Expanded edition ed.). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-0454-3. OCLC 50228164. 
  • Rao, Aruna (1991). Women's Studies International: Nairobi and Beyond. New York, NY: Feminist Press at the City University of New York. ISBN 1-55861-031-6. OCLC 22490140. 
  • Rogers, Mary F. and C. D. Garrett (2002). Who's Afraid of Women's Studies?: Feminisms in Everyday Life. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. ISBN 0-7591-0173-6. OCLC 50530054. 
  • Rosenberg, Roberta (2001). Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Anthology. New York, NY: Peter Lang. ISBN 0-8204-4443-X. OCLC 45115816. 
  • Schiebinger, Londa. Has Feminism Changed Science?. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. Print.
  • Ruth, Sheila, Issues In Feminism: An Introduction to Women's Studies, 2000, ISBN 0-7674-1644-9 OCLC 43978372
  • Simien, Evelyn M. (2007). "Black Feminist Theory: Charting a Course for Black Women's Studies in Political Science". In Kristin Waters and Carol B. Conaway. Black Women's Intellectual Traditions: Speaking their Minds. Burlington, VT and Hanover, NH: University of Vermont Press and the University Press of New England. ISBN 978-1-58465-633-3. OCLC 76140356. 
  • Tierney, Helen (1989–1991). Women's Studies Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-24646-7. OCLC 18779445. 
  • Wiegman, Robyn (editor), Women's Studies on Its Own: A Next Wave Reader in Institutional Change, Duke University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8223-2950-6 OCLC 49421587

External links

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