243 Conklin Hall
Program Director: Catherine Fitzpatrick
The women's and gender studies program offers an undergraduate major and minor, and a minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) studies.
The interdisciplinary women's studies program provides a framework for the study of gender and questions of culture, history, politics, and economics. Women's studies courses also integrate scholarship on race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class together with perspectives on gender. The women's studies program is an interdisciplinary program, and the scholarship of women's studies has transformed teaching and learning in many disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and sciences. Women's studies courses emphasize active learning and critical thinking, and address the diversity of women's experiences based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation.
A variety of courses, including Introduction to Women's Studies (21:988:201,202) and Topics in Women's Studies (21:988:389,390), are available to students who wish to direct their future career plans, studies, and research into fields requiring knowledge of the new scholarship on women and gender.
Students can pursue a research project and/or an internship. The Individual Research in Women's Studies (21:988:401) course requires a substantial written project, while the Women's Studies Internship (21:988:425) involves ongoing organizational work in the campus community or outside agencies.
Students may wish to consider a double major that combines women's studies with another discipline.
A minor in women's studies is an excellent complement to many majors, including social work, psychology, political science, sociology, English, business, nursing, and history.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies minor looks at the lives, experiences, and representations of LGBTQ people, using historical, contemporary, and theoretical contexts to analyze their communities, institutions, languages, art, literature, and relationships to heterosexual norms. LGBTQ studies also provides a scholarly venue for investigating the intervention of queer theory, an analytic approach that has crossed numerous disciplines, including English, gender studies, history, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and biology. This approach prioritizes attention to both queer sexualities and heteronormativity; that is, the numerous social institutions and structures that privilege heterosexuality (from tax codes to tacit definitions of acceptable versus obscene sexual representations). It includes an analysis of the ideologies that define a "normal" (meaning heterosexual and reproductive) definition of family. As part of this analytic project, LGBTQ studies teaches students how to make explicit the connections between sexuality and systems of power cohering around race, gender, political economy, forms of governance, and prominent social institutions, including nationality, citizenship, and religion.
An LGBTQ studies minor will be appropriate for students who hope to pursue graduate study in an interdisciplinary field such as American studies, gender studies, LGBTQ studies, African American and African studies, or women's and gender studies. It will also be useful for students who plan to go into a professional program such as counseling and psychology, education, law, or public health. It will be of use for those hoping to find employment in businesses that need managers who can work with a diverse array of people, including LGBTQ people. Finally, it will be useful for students considering a career in the nonprofit arena including public policy, advocacy, and community service. Students from many of the professional schools at Rutgers University-Newark should find the minor to be useful (including students of law, nursing, criminal justice, social work, and Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences).