School of Liberal Arts
Director: Debra Michals
Professor: Simona Sharoni
Adjunct Faculty: Elizabeth A. Leahy, Elizabeth Miles, Annalyssa Murphy, Mary Beth Salerno,
Faculty Emeritus: Gordene MacKenzie
Affiliated Faculty from over 14 departments and programs cross-list courses with WGS
Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Committee: Cinzia DiGiulio, Susan Marine, Ellen McWhorter, Marie Plasse, Sandra Raponi, Simona Sharoni, and Kathleen Sills
Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) offers an interdisciplinary program that includes gender studies, women’s studies, feminist studies, sexuality studies and masculinity studies. The department is committed to a multicultural curriculum that integrates diverse perspectives. Women’s and Gender Studies courses emphasize interactive learning in which student involvement, critical thinking, and personal insight are encouraged and made relevant in the learning process.
The Women’s and Gender Studies department at Merrimack College equips students with the analytical skills to integrate insights from a variety of fields and disciplines enabling them to become conversant with a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches and apply them to the study of gender.
Women’s and Gender Studies students examine the social, cultural and scientific construction of gender; the dynamics of gender relations; processes of social change; and the intersection of gender with race, ethnicity, class, nation, and sexuality. This department combines courses offered by faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies department and courses offered by affiliated faculty in other departments and programs. Upon successful completion of the Women’s and Gender Studies major or minor, graduating seniors are also awarded a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies.
Students select from courses that focus on cultural representations of gender, sex, race, and ethnicity in film, media and popular culture; gender and the law; cross cultural, global, and historical characterizations of gender and gender movements; literary narratives, and theories about gender; economic aspects of gender; and ethical, psychological and sociological dimensions of gender. Students in WGS can gain experience off-campus in courses that take learning out of the classroom and into the field. This can take the form of experiential learning and internships, as well as in fieldwork courses, where students engage with diverse cultures and landscapes in different areas such as the Southwest.
The major and minor in Women’s and Gender Studies lead to a wide spectrum of challenging careers. The Women’s and Gender Studies major and minor equip students with a range of interdisciplinary skills and a background in diversity which is highly valued in the 21st century labor force. The curriculum also helps prepare students for graduate study in the fields of women’s/gender/sexuality studies or for advanced study in traditional disciplines and professional fields. Many WGS majors and minors are currently enrolled in or have completed graduate work in the fields of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Law, Community Engagement, Sociology, Communication, Psychology, Education, History, Social Work, and Political Science.
Women’s and Gender Studies Learning Objectives
Women’s and Gender Studies majors and minors should be able to:
- Use gender as a category of analysis and understand how gender intersects with other social and cultural identities, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, and nation.
- Apply cross-cultural and global awareness to “big questions” about women and gender, and critically consider those questions from multiple perspectives.
- Connect knowledge and experience, theory and activism, and engage in critical reflection.
- Apply knowledge for social transformation and engaged citizenship.
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsMinor