Women’s Studies is by its nature interdisciplinary, having arisen in the U.S. concurrently with the political and societal changes championed by the “second wave” women’s movement of the1960’s-70’s. Because it is a discipline that is being reshaped by theoretical and curricular innovations on a national and, indeed international level, this evolution is reflected in the YSU Women’s Studies curriculum and administrative structure. Throughout the 1990’s, the curricular existed in tandem with community outreach via the Women’s Center. YSU currently offers a academic minor in Women’s Studies, although a student may choose to major in Women’s Studies through ICP.
“The personal is political,” a slogan coined in the early days of the women’s movement, in fact corresponds to the goals of general education, to help students grow beyond their individual personal concerns into empowered and aware citizens. Its vision is transformational, recentering academic discourse from its traditional male-dominated disciplines. Therefore its program of study is not only encapsulated in discrete courses, but in dialogue across the curriculum and career development of its students. It is a characterized by an admixture of scholarly inquiry and political advocacy
The core course for the program is WMST 2601, “Introduction to Women’s Studies,” also fulfills the university General Studies Requirement (GER) in the category of “Societies and Institutions.” Learning Outcomes for this course include:
- Students will analyze the social construction of gender and the intersection of gender with other systems of inequality in women’s lives.
- Students will examine the status of women in society and evaluate ways to improve that status through individual action for social change.
- Students will recognize how institutions in society affect individual lives and be able to think critically about the role of patterns of privilege and discrimination in women’s lives, including issues of gender, race, age, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and abilities.
- Students will analyze the importance of individual women, women’s organizations, and women’s movements, their contributions to our culture, and the changes brought about by these groups and individuals.
A minor in Women’s Studies consists of 18 semester hours. Students may elect WMST 4850, “Senior Research Project” as capstone, which may be taken for 1-3 credits.