Women's and Gender Studies
Explore the Role of Gender throughout Society
Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) is an interdisciplinary field that draws ideas, information, and methods from many traditional academic disciplines to explore the important role of gender throughout society.
At Southern Miss, the Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) Program offers both an undergraduate and a graduate minor. In addition to courses specific to the program, we offer classes in a variety of academic areas, from sociology to literature, nursing to human performance, theatre and dance to speech communication, history, and political science. Specific courses are listed under the appropriate program.
Women's and Gender Studies courses are for all students—men, women, genderqueer, cisgender, straight, and LGBTQIA—who are interested in gaining new insight into women, gender, and sexuality issues.
What Will I Learn?
Women’s and Gender Studies seeks to expand students’ understanding of the contributions of women to human cultures while also taking a broader, far-reaching lens to consider the role played by gender as a social category.
Through a variety of courses, students will learn how gender:
- Influences people’s everyday lives, often in ways that are unacknowledged and unrealized;
- Is embedded in our social institutions, including politics, economics, education, religion, and the family;
- Intersects with race, class, sexuality, and other identities;
- Organizes knowledge and people’s understanding of the world;
- Is viewed from different perspectives, including global feminisms and transnationalism.
Women's and Gender Studies Affiliate Faculty
Dr. Rebecca Tuuri
In Strategic Sisterhood: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle, Dr. Rebecca Tuuri offers a sweeping view of the Council's behind-the-scenes efforts to fight racism, poverty, and sexism in the late twentieth century. Her book examines how the group teamed with U.S. presidents, foundations, and grassroots activists alike to implement a number of important domestic development and international aid projects. Read More
A minor in Women’s and Gender Studies can be paired with any major, and in many cases, students can get a WGS minor without taking any more credit hours than they would need to take for their major alone.
The WGS minor helps student better understand gender issues that are pertinent to almost every context of life where people of different genders and sexualities interact. In many career fields, understanding gendered issues is increasingly important, including in social services, counseling, human resources, education, healthcare, law, and politics. It is particularly useful for jobs that require managing equity issues such as the wage gap, equal employment opportunities, family leave, sex discrimination, gender or sexual harassment, violence against women, and Title IX.
Some majors that work well with this minor are:
- Social sciences: Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology
- Applied social sciences: Social Work, Criminal Justice, Public Health
- Humanities: History, English, Philosophy
- Communication: Public Relations, Media, Communication Studies
- Business: Management, Business Administration
- And many more!
Graduate Minor Requirements
The program offers both a master's-level minor and a doctoral minor. The graduate minor in Women’s and Gender Studies is designed to develop the student’s proficiency in a variety of feminist theories and research methodologies at an advanced level. The courses approved for the minor must be listed on the student's official Plan of Study. Since new courses may become available for Women’s and Gender Studies credit in any given semester, the candidate should be advised by the Director of Women’s and Gender Students as well as by the candidate’s major professor.
Undergraduate Minor Requirements
The undergraduate WGS minor can be paired with any major at the University. Aside from the introductory Women's and Gender Studies course, SOC 301, students can choose from a variety of women and gender-related courses in different disciplines to complete their elective courses for the minor. These include the following courses:
- ANT 452: Language, Gender and Culture
- CJ 463 / WGS 427: Family Law
- CJ 464 / WGS 428: Family Violence, Investigation and Deterrence
- CMS 475: Gender Issues in Speech Communication
- ENG 468 / WGS 403: British Women Writers
- ENG 478 / WGS 402: American Women Writers
- FAM 450: Sexuality in the Family System
- HIS 328 / WGS 310 : Ancient and Medieval Women
- HIS 329 / WGS 329: Women in Modern European History
- HIS 420 / WGS 430: History of Women and War
- HIS 423 / WGS 423: Gay and Lesbian History
- HIS 477 / WGS 410: Women in American Society
- MCJ 355 / WGS 355: Gender, Race, and Media
- PS 405 / WGS 420: Women and Politics
- PS 488 / WGS 421: Women and the Law
- PS 455 / WGS 455: Women and Human Rights
- SOC 415 / WGS 425: Sociology of Gender
- WGS 401: African Women Writers
- WGS 450: Seminar in Women’s and Gender Studies
- WGS 490: Directed Research in Women’s Studies
Students may also take special topics courses in various disciplines that have been approved by the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies. Since new courses may become available for Women’s and Gender Studies credit in any given semester, the candidate should be advised by the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies.