Jul 14, 2024  
College Catalog 2024-2025 
College Catalog 2024-2025

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Department Faculty: Sonita Sarker, Myrl Beam (Chair)

Steering Committee: Sonita Sarker (Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies), Myrl Beam (Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Erika Busse-Cardenas (Sociology), Elizabeth Jansen (Biology), Morgan Sleeper (Linguistics)

Affiliated Faculty:  Samuel Asarnow (Philosophy), Erika Busse-Cardenas (Sociology), James Dawes (English), Paul Dosh (Political Science), Susanna Drake (Religious Studies), Amy Elkins (English), Maria Fedorova (History/Russian Studies), Rachel Gold (English), Walter Greason (History), Duchess Harris (American Studies), Rotem Herrmann (Philosophy), Tara Hollies (History), Joanna Inglot (Art and Art History), Elizabeth Jansen (Biology), Jim Laine (Religious Studies), Brian Lush (Classics), Victoria Malawey (Music), Ahoo Najafian (Religious Studies), Joan Ostrove (Psychology), Jessica Pearson-Patel (History), Jenna Rice (International Studies), Juliette Rogers (French and Francophone Studies), Kirisitina Sailiata (American Studies), Beth Severy-Hoven (Classics), kt shorb (Theater and Dance), Linda Sturtz (History), Amy Sullivan (History), Satoko Suzuki (Asian Languages and Cultures), Claudia Tatinge Nascimento (Theater), Xin Yang (Asian Languages and Cultures), Della Zurick (Political Science)

In the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department (WGSS) at Macalester College, students investigate key questions raised within feminist and queer theories and the fields of women’s, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay studies. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field interlinking the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts. Through a rich array of core and crosslisted courses, students examine interlocking systems of cultural and political difference based on gender, sexuality, race, nation, class, ethnicity, and ability, through comparative national and transnational perspectives; and develop practical and theoretical skills for understanding and engaging the historical, social, cultural, economic, and political contexts shaping our world. The department strongly encourages students to engage diverse communities at Macalester and beyond, and supports students in completing independent research, internships, study away, and senior and honors projects. Our graduates have applied their work in a wide variety of careers in academia, literature and the arts, law, politics, business, health and medicine, and non-profit work.

General Distribution Requirements

WGSS 210 WGSS 218 WGSS 220 WGSS 229 , WGSS 240 WGSS 250 , WGSS 258 WGSS 259 WGSS 263 , WGSS 310 , WGSS 315 WGSS 325 , WGSS 330  count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities. WGSS 205 WGSS 248 WGSS 305 WGSS 324 WGSS 355 WGSS 364  and WGSS 405  count toward the social science distribution requirement. WGSS 217 WGSS 252 , WGSS 262  and WGSS 354  count toward the general distribution requirement in fine arts. WGSS 117  counts toward the math/natural science distribution requirement. Courses in the department numbered WGSS 100 , WGSS 200 WGSS 300  and WGSS 400  will count toward either the humanities or social science distribution requirement (announced at registration), depending on the subject matter. Any topics courses (WGSS 194 , WGSS 294 , WGSS 394 , WGSS 494 ) require approval by the department to qualify for general distribution credit. Courses approved for women’s, gender, and sexuality studies offered through other departments meet the general distribution requirements of that department.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism, and U.S. identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements  section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Topics Courses

WGSS 194 , WGSS 294 , WGSS 394 , WGSS 494  

Examination of special topics of interest to faculty and students. Occasionally offered. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.