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Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Interdisciplinary Minor)


From the pages of great novels to the halls of political power, and from the corporate boardroom to the family home and place of worship, the impact of women and gender on our society has emerged as a vital field of study. The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor at St. John’s University--open to all majors--covers a wide range of social, cultural, political, philosophical, historical, artistic, scientific, and literary issues from the vantage point of women, gender, and sexual minorities.

The program addresses the following critical questions:

  • How is gender socially constructed?
  • How does studying women and gender change how we understand society, history, the economy, and ideas of progress?
  • What is feminism?
  • How do feminist theorists envision a just society?
  • How do cultural ideas of masculinity shape politics and society?
  • Does the female novelist have a voice?
  • To what extent are the traditional goals of natural science androcentric?
  • Is the Enlightenment ideal of rationality gender-based?

Minor Program Requirements

Students choose 15 credits from among the following courses, taking no more than six credits in any one discipline:

ANT 1085 Gender and Cultures around the World
ANT 1110 Kinship, Family and Gender
ART 1840 Sexism in Cinema and Television
ART 3100 Women in the Arts
ART 3725 Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Pre-Christian Art
CLS 1240 Women in the Ancient World
ENG 3260 Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century
ENG 3280 Early English Feminisms
ENG 3350 American Women Writers to 1900
ENG 3475 Black Women's Rhetorics
ENG 3570 Women and Literature
ENG 3680 Reading the Body: Race, Gender, and Text
FRE 3830 French and Francophone Women Writers
FRE 3902 Women Writers in France
GOV 1280 Feminism and Politics
GOV 2860 Transnational Gender Politics
HIS 3140 History of Sexuality
HIS 3300 Women in Latin American History
HIS 3460 Gender in Islamic History
HIS 3560 Women in Medieval Europe
HIS 3561 Witches, Wives and Queens: Early Modern European Women
HIS 3562 Women in Modern Europe
HIS 3731 Women and Gender in Early America: from Settlement to the Civil War
HIS 3732 Women and Gender in Modern America: Civil War to the Present
HIS 3735 Women and Social Movements in U.S. History
HON 3240 Women and Theology
ITA 3902 Women Writers in Italy (in English)
LLT 1240 Women in the Ancient World
LLT 3902 Women Writers in France
PHI 3330 Introduction to Feminist Philosophy
PSY 2240 Psychology of Women
RCT 2100 Transnational Feminist Rhetoric
RCT 2150 Romance and Communication
SOC 1025 Gender and Cultures Around the World
SOC 1925 Gender and Cultures Around the World
SOC 1150 Sociology of the Family
SOC 1170 Inequality; Race, Class and Gender
SOC 1570 Gender, Violence, and the Movies (Mini-Course)
SOC 2020 Gender and Development
SOC 2110 Women and Crime
SOC 2220 Domestic Violence
SOC 2330 Human Trafficking
SOC 2430 Sociology of Gender
SOC 2440 Gender Identity in Popular Culture
SOC 2470 Gender in a Global Context
SPA 3450 Feminist Themes in Spanish Literature (in English)
SPA 3902 Feminist Themes in Spanish Literature
THE 2340 Women in Theology
THE 3240 Feminist and Womanist Theologies

Minor credit may also be awarded for internships, with approval of the program director.

Career Options

The minor provides students with knowledge of the cultural, social, and political forces that shape our concepts of gender and the world around us. As an interdisciplinary program, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies allows students to develop strong analytical, communication, and research skills they can apply to any field. Students who minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies have enjoyed particular success in graduate programs in law, politics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, English, and social work.

As indicated in a recent report by the National Women’s Studies Association, “Women’s Studies reveals the gaps that emerge in other disciplines’ understandings of knowledge when scholars and researchers alike take into account gender, race, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, and ability as important research variables.” Above all, the report states that the field, “promotes access to institutions and to paradigms of knowledge” for people who are historically underrepresented in the academy, the professions, and society.

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program sponsors events that allow students to engage with other scholars, teachers, and activists in the field, as well as diverse artistic and cultural expressions related to women, gender, and sexuality. Students have the opportunity to showcase their research and scholarship, and to build professional relationships relating to their interests, all of which contribute to career success.

More Information

Amy Gansell, Ph.D.
Program Director
[email protected]