Women Studies Takes New Name
The UW's Department of Women Studies is no more. Effective March 1, 2011, the department has a new name: Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.
The department provides a framework for the study of women's and men's lives, both throughout history and in contemporary times. Students are encouraged to understand intellectually the importance of class, race, sexuality, physical ability, nationality, and gender, and to learn actively through community internships and by contributing to ongoing movements for social change around the world.
"We are excited that our new name better reflects both our discipline and the expertise in our department," says David G. Allen, chair of the department. "While we maintain a clear focus on women's lives, much of our work addresses the social processes that help create those lives. We put 'gender' first because it is a central process by which people become seen as masculine or feminine. We continue to study the ways in which being a woman shapes one's life in conjunction with other factors like class, race, and nation."
The name change reflects the growth in the field of sexuality studies and a desire to use more inclusive language. According to Allen, peer institutions across the nation are adopting similar adaptations. A recent survey shows that students in the department are very supportive of this transition and look forward to the change.
For more information about the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, visit http://depts.washington.edu/webwomen.
Return to Table of Contents, March 2011 issue