CWS Goals and Objectives
The comparative women’s studies major is characterized by a flexible, faculty-monitored interdisciplinary plan of study designed to meet the needs of individual students. It aims to expose students to a substantial body of knowledge about the social construction of gender in various cultural contexts from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
It also provides students with the analytic tools for understanding the lives and experiences of women in various cultural contexts. While providing conceptual models for a comparative analysis of the situation of women globally, especially women of African descent, the comparative women’s studies major provides opportunities to analyze the hierarchies of race, class and gender.
The department also exposes students to feminist critiques of traditional scholarship in the disciplines and masculine biases in the history of the acquisition of knowledge. The Comparative Women’s Studies offerings provide the critical skills and background for students preparing for graduate study as well as professional careers.
Upon completion of the Comparative Women’s Studies major, the student will be able to:
- Analyze in a systematic manner the situation of women in our own and other cultures from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
- Analyze the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality construct the social, cultural, and biological experience of both men and women in all societies.
- Recognize the masculine bias in the history of knowledge.
- Research women’s experiences in an unbiased manner.
- Analyze images of women in literary texts, the media, and the arts, and explore relationships between these images and societal attitudes toward women.