About Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

The Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota promotes feminist scholarship, teaching, and programming that centers on the relationship between knowledge, power, and social justice. GWSS challenges traditional disciplines and their methodologies, employs decolonizing and feminist pedagogies, and programming with cutting-edge speakers and events. Running through all of this is a commitment to restructure institutional relationships between the University and vulnerable communities in order to address and undo structural inequalities. We make change through our scholarship, teaching, and out-of-classroom engagements and commitments.

While gender and sexuality are fundamental to our field, we recognize that our lives and identities as gendered beings are also deeply and inextricably informed by other differences (such as race, nation, caste, and disability) that intersect at the core of who we are and how we function. And so we are committed in everything we do—our research, teaching, and engagement with communities—to fostering an inclusive understanding of human experiences that explores and embraces these differences, while also struggling against the systemic inequities and oppressions in which these differences are implicated. This commitment goes hand in hand with a resolve to recruit, retain, support, and work with undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff who occupy disadvantaged locations due to their race, caste, nation, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, ability, language, and/or citizenship, and due to wars; interpersonal, street and state violence; and/or displacement in a global context.

We push against established boundaries while providing a rich and rigorous education that asks students to view the world around them with a curious yet critical lens. The department offers an undergraduate major and minor in GWSS, an undergraduate minor in GLBT Studies, a doctoral degree in feminist studies, and a graduate minor in feminist and critical sexuality studies.