The Department of Gender and Women's Studies

group of students

The field of Gender and Women’s Studies encourages students to analyze and to re-imagine the seemingly familiar worlds of women’s lives. The program adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women, gender, and sexuality by working across boundaries within the humanities and social sciences. It is guided by feminist theoretical insight into different forms of power, inequality, and privilege. Students investigate the construction not only of gender, but also of race, class, and sexuality. They examine not only the present but also the past, not only the United States but also today’s increasingly global, transnational world. Students will develop the skills to interpret and to analyze systems of oppression and, ultimately, to work toward a more just human society. From course content and assignments to ethical questions about the conditions of women around the world, the Gender and Women's Studies program embodies a commitment to women in all their diversity and reflects our conviction that women must be active agents in defining themselves and creating knowledge.

Students who major or minor in Gender and Women’s Studies enroll in courses housed both entirely in the program and in courses offered in other disciplines. Faculty who teach in the program include representatives from departments throughout the college. A major or minor in Gender and Women’s Studies supports career choices in human services, education, business, public policy, and other fields calling for social and historical awareness, critical thinking, and engagement with human diversity.

Students examine a range of feminist theories that address not only gender but also
race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, nationality, and other differences.

Response to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act


For more information, please contact:

Professor Phyllis Kaminski, Chair

Department of Gender and Women’s Studies

88 Spes Unica Hall, Rm. 154E 
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4702

The Women's Studies Program at Saint Mary's College was established in 1985. In 2012, the program changed its named to Gender and Women's Studies, and in 2014 the GWS major was approved. If you would like to read more about how the program got its start, please see the attached article " One for the Team: 10 Years of Women's Studies at Saint Mary's" from the spring 1996 edition of the Courier.