The mission of the Women's and Gender Studies Department at Saint Louis University is to provide an academic environment for faculty and students from departments across the University to explore feminist and gender scholarship.
The Department offers an undergraduate major, an undergraduate minor, a Master of Arts, and a graduate minor. The Department takes leadership in organizing university-wide scholarly discussions of research, pedagogy and course development with a focus on values, ethics, and social justice. The Department's faculty contribute to the international body of research in Women's and Gender Studies.
One can trace the subordination of women in cultural practices, scientific doctrines, and classical texts represented in the varied disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences. Women's and Gender Studies pursues the intellectual and ethical task of examining this subordination, recovering the voices of those who have struggled against it and fostering the ability of students to think critically about it while becoming aware of their own worth and dignity.
The Department offers a model for other disciplines to pursue interdisciplinary research and promote the University's Mission of striving to transform societies in the spirit of social justice.
Five Dimensions of the Saint Louis University Experience
Scholarship and Knowledge
Women's and Gender Studies has been a formal academic field since 1970 and has provided forms of analysis, methods of scholarship, and new content for exploration in humanities, social sciences, and the sciences. Students learn to apply their feminist knowledge in all of their classes and in their lives outside of the classroom.
Intellectual Inquiry and Communication
Fields in the social sciences and the humanities have changed and the practices and research strategies within many professional fields have been substantially enhanced by Women's and Gender Studies scholarship. The cross-listing of Women's and Gender Studies courses makes visible in all disciplines the importance of gender issues, particularly as these courses challenge cultural biases against women. Women's and Gender Studies provides a critical edge in academic disciplines and networks for academic conversation that resists oppression and embraces diverse representation.
The Women's and Gender Studies Department provides a safe space for faculty and students to work together across disciplines on issues which are vital to each. Voices historically and conventionally ignored are now included in these conversations.
Leadership and Service
The presence of Women's and Gender Studies on Saint Louis University campus is itself an example of the Jesuit commitment to educating "men and women in the service of others." Women's and Gender Studies supports an annual award for SLU women who make a difference at the University and in the community as well as those whose scholarship in this field merits special recognition. The department has served to provide intellectual leadership in interdisciplinary conversations and to connect the College or Arts and Sciences with professional schools.
Spirituality and Values
Women's and Gender Studies faculty and scholars recognize each person is a gift and strive to include issues of race, ethnicity, and class in their analyses. They thereby support the importance of human worth and dignity and undoing the injustices that prevent all persons from reaching their full human potential.