Women and Gender Studies

Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

Women and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary department that combines the substance and methodologies of many disciplines such as history, anthropology, sociology, communications, psychology, literature, and law, in the study of sex, gender, and sexuality with an emphasis on women and sexual minorities. Sex is the biological difference between male and female; gender is the meaning of biological difference — the stereotypes, assumptions, and expectations society attaches to difference. The study of sexuality includes identity, cultural practices, and institutions. To fully understand the complexity of human experience, sex, gender and sexuality must be analyzed together with race/ethnicity, class, culture, and nationality. With increasingly global perspectives, the goal of the WGS curriculum is to introduce students to basic approaches in a variety of fields so that they will be prepared for the challenges of working in coalition in the 21st century. Most WGS courses are interdisciplinary, cross-listed with other departments.

In the classroom, WGS faculty are committed to creating participatory learning environments. They emphasize student-centered and cooperative learning, critical thinking, openness to ideas and discussion, and respect for others. Students are encouraged to make connections between thought and action, the academy and the community, theory and practice. The department will provide interested students with opportunities for internships, community-based projects, and research.

Minor and Certificate Opportunities
Students in all programs may take WGS courses as electives or they may pursue a minor as defined below. We also offer a graduate certificate, which may be incorporated into a graduate degree or taken as a free standing certificate. See the Graduate Certificate section of this Guide for more information.

Graduate students enrolled in 400-level WGS courses will be expected to demonstrate graduate-level competencies (especially in communication, research, analysis, and integrative skills) and to complete extended and advanced projects and/or readings.

WGS minor and graduate certificate students must select an adviser from among the department faculty.


To earn a minor in Women and Gender Studies, students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours. The program may approve the transfer of no more than two lower-division courses, and at least 7 hours must be upper-division course work taken at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Students must take at least one course in each area.

Subject Area
Course Choices
* WGS 133 Women and Gender in Mexico and the US (3 hr; Comparative Societies)
* WGS 301 ECCE: Women, Gender and Society (4 hr; US Communities)
Diverse Voices
* WGS 353 ECCE: Women Across Cultures (4 hr; Global Awareness)
* WGS 403 Women of Color and Minority Women (4 hr)
* WGS 466 Multicultural American Women’s Literature (4 hr)
WGS 411: Feminist Theories (4 hr)
An elective approved by your WGS advisor (3-4 hr)

All substitutions must be approved by your WGS faculty advisor.

Degree Opportunities
Students can design their own degrees focusing on sex, gender and sexuality through the Liberal Studies Department (B.A.) or the Liberal and Integrative Studies Department (M.A.). Students create their own curriculum by working with a degree committee that includes WGS, LIS, LNT and other faculty and peers. Students have designed degrees combining the study of gender and sexuality in areas such as media, arts, social services, law, criminal justice, and mental health.


Undergraduate Minor, Graduate Certificate


Heather Dell, Deborah Kuhn McGregor, Michael Murphy, Hinda Seif
Associated Faculty: Deborah Anthony, Terry Bodenhorn, Mary Bohlen, Leanne Brecklin, Barbara Burkhardt, Cecilia Cornell, Lan Dong, Kathryn Eisenhart, Lynn Fisher, Kim Furumoto;Tena Helton, Nithya Karuppaswamy, Roxanne Kurtz, Jennifer Manthei, Karen Moranski, Karen Mooney, Rosina Neginsky, Lynn Pardie, Sheryl Reminger, Hazel Rozema, Pamela Salela, Nancy Scannell, Tih-Fen Ting, Annette Van Dyke, Angela Winand
Emerita Faculty: Mattilou Catchpole, Margot Duley, Pat Langley
Associated Emerita Faculty: Rachell Anderson , Jan Droegkamp, Judy Everson, Nancy Ford, Barbara Hayler, Jacqueline Jackson, Sandra Mills, Rosamond Robbert


Phone: 217/206-6962
Email: wgs@uis.edu
Website: www.uis.edu/womenandgenderstudies