- What is Women's and Gender Studies?
Mission of Saint Louis University's Women's and Gender Studies Program
The mission of the Women's and Gender Studies Program 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 Program offers an undergraduate major, an undergraduate minor and a graduate minor in the field of women and gender studies. The Program takes leadership in organizing university-wide scholarly discussions of research, pedagogy and course development with a focus on values, ethics and social justice. The Program's faculty contribute to the international body of research in women's 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 Program offers a model for other disciplines, provides for self-criticism and helps 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 from these perspectives and apply them within the women's studies courses and within other courses as well.
Intellectual Inquiry and Communication
Fields in the social sciences and the humanities have changed as a result of women and gender studies and the practices and research strategies within many professional fields have been substantially enhanced by women's studies and scholarship. The cross-listing of Women's and Gender Studies courses makes visible to all the disciplines the importance of gender issues, particularly as these courses challenge cultural biases against women. The field of Women's and Gender Studies provides a critical edge in academic disciplines and has networked with individuals and groups for academic conversation that resists oppression and embraces diverse representation.
The Women's and Gender Studies Program provides a locus for faculty and students to work together on issues which are vital to each. Thereby, faculty and students form relationships with people across disciplines. Of special note, voices historically and conventionally ignored are now included in conversations.
Leadership and Service
The fact of a Women's and Gender Studies Program on Saint Louis University campus is itself an example of the Jesuit commitment to educating "men and women in the service of others." The Women's and Gender Studies Program 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 program has served to provide intellectual leadership in interdisciplinary conversations and to integrate the College with professional schools.
Spirituality and Values
Women's and Gender Studies faculty and scholars recognize each person is a gift and so consequently 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 fulfilling their full human potential.