Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program


Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Colby is committed to feminist anti-racist scholarship and research. We offer interdisciplinary classes that are intersectional and transnational, with commitments to critical race and critical caste scholarship, queer theory and queer of color critique, masculinity studies, Indigenous feminisms, and transnational activisms. We stress multidisciplinary methods in our coursework and provide “real world” application of WGSS knowledge—from writing grant proposals to reading alternative archives.

Our “core courses” taken by majors and minors in WGSS consist of Introduction to Women’s Studies, Feminist Theories and Methodologies, and the Senior Seminar capstone course. We add new electives each semester, but some student favorites include Queer of Color Critique, Critical Race Feminisms and Tap Dance, and Gender and Film.

A WGSS major graduates with a strong grounding in a variety of feminist research methodologies. Core courses train students in interdisciplinary methods and rigorous theoretical reading and writing. Students draw on courses in other programs and departments for training in empirical methods and for topical breadth. A WGSS major graduates having completed a program that is tailored to the student’s developing interests. Our program’s graduates are trained to think independently, courageously, and boldly about their own subjectivities and the world around them.

Faculty

Director, Associate Professor Sonja Thomas
Appointments in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Associate Professor Sonja Thomas; Assistant Professors Laura Fugikawa and 
Jay Sibara; Visiting Assistant Professor AB Huber

Professors with Cross-listed Courses in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Professors Hideko Abe (East Asian Studies), Kimberly Besio (East Asian Studies), Lyn Mikel Brown (Education), Cedric Gael Bryant (English, African-American Studies),  Ben Fallaw (History and Latin American Studies), Cheryl Townsend Gilkes (Sociology, African-American Studies), Jill Gordon (Philosophy), Mary Beth Mills (Anthropology), Nikky-Guninder K. Singh (Religious Studies), Mark Tappan (Education), Larissa Taylor (History), and Andrea Tilden (Biology); Associate Professors Dean Allbritton (Spanish), Chandra Bhimull (Anthropology, African-American Studies), Audrey Brunetaux (French and Italian), Megan Cook (English), Annie Kloppenberg (Theater and Dance), Laura Saltz (Art and American Studies), Katherine Stubbs (English), John Turner (History), and Natalie Zelensky (Music); Assistant Professors Ana Almeyda-Cohen (Spanish), AB Brown (Theater and Dance), Sarah Duff (History), Jin Goh (Psychology), Britt Halvorson (Global Studies), Annie Hikido (Sociology), Benjamin Lisle (American Studies), Seth Kim (Cinema Studies), Mohammad Shabangu (English), and Gwenyth Shanks (Theater and Dance); and Visiting Assistant Professors Danila Cannamela (French and Italian), Amber Hickey (American Studies, Art History), and Danae Jacobson (History)  


Requirements +

Requirements for the Major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Twelve courses, including an introductory course (WGSS 101); a course in feminist theory (WGSS 311); a senior seminar (WGSS 493); and nine additional courses designated as WGSS courses or courses cross-listed under WGSS, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. Students may also petition the program director to have a non-listed course counted toward the major by demonstrating that the majority of their own course work is on WGSS topics.

Students may count toward fulfillment of the major requirements a maximum of one semester of independent study (WGSS 491 or 492) or four credits of Senior Scholars work (if approved by the WGSS coordinating committee).

The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses taken toward fulfillment of the major. Courses counted toward the major may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Honors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Students majoring in WGSS may apply to participate in the honors program their senior year by submitting a formal statement of their intention to the WGSS coordinating committee by April 15 of their junior year. The written proposal must include a description of the proposed work, a timeline, and the agreement of a faculty sponsor and a secondary faculty reader. A 3.5 major average at the end of the junior year is a condition for entry into the program. By the beginning of the senior year, students must develop and circulate to the WGSS coordinating committee a prospectus for the project, written in consultation with the project’s faculty advisor. A 3.50 major average at the end of the senior year and a public oral presentation of the project are conditions for successful completion of this program. Honors course credits do not count toward elective credits in the major. The final project will usually consist of 50 pages or more of superior quality.

Requirements for the Minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Six courses, including an introductory course (WGSS 101); a course in feminist theory (WGSS 311); and a senior seminar (WGSS 493); and three additional courses designated as WGSS courses or cross-listed under WGSS, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. No more than one semester of independent study (WGSS 491 or 492) may be counted toward fulfillment of the minor requirements.

The point scale for retention of the minor applies to all courses taken toward fulfillment of the minor. Courses counted toward the minor may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Other Applicable Courses +

Electives in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies

Note: As course offerings change yearly, this list may not be comprehensive.

  • WG 120 Gender and Film: Narrative Film, Resistance, and Revolt    
  • WG 120 Race Gender and Sport
  • WG 232 Queer Politics
  • WG 233 Critical Race Feminism and Tap Dance
  • WG 317 Boys to Men
  • WG 341 Gender and Human Rights
  • WG 343 Decolonize this Place
  • WG 397 South Asian Feminisms
  • WG 341 Gender and Human Rights

Courses from Other Departments That May Be Applied to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major or Minor

Note: As course offerings change yearly, this list may not be comprehensive.

American Studies

  • 245 Land Sovereignty and Art
  • 254 Surveillance Culture
  • 342 Political Violence: American Cultures of Radicalism
  • 366 Race, Gender and the Graphic Novel
  • 375 Race, Gender, and Visual Culture
  • 397 Comparative Ethnic Studies

Anthropology

  • 344 Black Radical Imagination
  • 373 The Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality
  • 397 Indigeneity and the Politics of Authenticity

Cinema Studies

  • 215 The Image of Women and Men in American Film

East Asian Studies

  • 251 Gender Politics in Chinese Drama and Film
  • 278 Language and Gender

English

  • 316 Sex, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages
  • 336 Early American Women Writers
  • 369 Reading Race Now
  • 413 Virginia Woolf
  • 422 Queer Theory and U.S. Literature and Cultures
  • 493 Seminar (when appropriate)

French Studies

  • 358 Passionate Discontent: The 19th-Century Epidemic
  • 379 Race and Gender in France

History

  • 245 Science, Race, and Gender
  • 300 South African Women’s Memoir
  • 313 Women in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
  • 319 History of Sexuality and Disease in Premodern Europe
  • 320 Joan of Arc: History, Legend, and Film
  • 324 History of Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity
  • 381 Women and Gender in Islam
  • 3xx  U.S. as Empire

Philosophy

  • 215 Feminist Philosophies
  • 217 Feminism and Science

Psychology

  • 223 Social Identities

Religious Studies

  • 257 Women in American Religion
  • 275 Contemporary Witchcraft: Formalists, Feminists, and Free Spirits
  • 297 Gender and The Bible
  • 312 South Asians and Global Literature, Film, Art, Environmentalism

Sociology

  • 276 Sociology of Gender
  • 344 Sociology of Sexualities
  • 355 African-American Women and Social Change

Spanish

  • 276 U.S. Latina/Chicana Women Writers
  • 362 All about Almodóvar
  • 364 Gender, Sex, and the Spanish Body
  • 493 Seminar: Queer Spain

Theater Dance

  • 1xx Performance/Performance studies
  • 2xx Performance Art: The Body Politic