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Mission Statement

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department prepares students to become future professionals, scholars, activists, and artists who engage critically with gender and sexuality issues in multicultural and transnational contexts.
Our departmental mission is:
1) to familiarize students with the histories of feminist thought and social movements,
2) to teach them how to apply feminist, queer, and transgender theories in their writing and research, and
3) to train them in developing interdisciplinary problem-based methods applicable within and beyond scholarly settings.
Our department offers a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as well as an undergraduate minor and a graduate certificate in the field. At the heart of all of our programs is a profound commitment to the critical study of gender and sexuality as an intellectual project indebted to past and present activist movements and committed to future social change. We believe in the transformative potential of feminist, queer, and trans studies, and we envision our innovative approaches to research, teaching, and mentoring as enacting positive effects in the world around us. Our courses provide students with the conceptual tools needed to analyze and challenge the gender and sexual norms that intersect with racial and ethnic formations, political and economic structures, and dominant standards of health and ability. The major and minor include opportunities for undergraduates to conduct original research, to develop community-engaged projects, and to complete on- and off-campus internships. In doing so, students prepare to launch careers in law, education, healthcare, social work, public policy, and community organizing. The M.A., Ph.D., and graduate certificate programs provide students with advanced training in theories of sex, gender, and sexuality, the history of feminist pedagogy and the formation of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies as a field, and the development of boundary-pushing methodologies effective within academia and other non-academic research settings.
The department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is uniquely equipped to train students in the art of interdisciplinary research. Our core faculty all hold graduate degrees or certificates in women’s, gender, or feminist studies and, along with our 14 affiliated faculty, work in and across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and health sciences. The department’s areas of specialization include 1) the study of bodies, disability, and the politics of health; 2) the analysis of racialized and sexualized representations in media, literature, and social sciences; and 3) the critical examination of global economic processes and transnational social movements. As a department committed to collaboration and the process of producing knowledge collectively, we actively forge alliances with a wide range of feminist scholars, programs, and initiatives across campus in the hopes of enhancing gender and sexual diversity at Stony Brook University, in the state of New York, and far beyond.