The Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program is one of the first interdisciplinary programs at William & Mary. It was founded in 1991 as Women's Studies, and renamed in 2013. We explore the roles gender and sexuality play in human experiences, through interdisciplinary, international, and intersectional approaches. Students question norms, work together to create community action projects, and gain insight into identities in and through a web of relations to others, globally and locally. Around twenty students each year graduate with a B.A. in GSWS. Our alumni go on to careers in non-profits, law, government, social work, environmental activism, education, journalism and graduate programs in Queer and Feminist Studies, Literature, Psychology, Performance Studies, Media and Film.
We offer a major and minor, and encourage all students to engage with our program. Our courses span the humanities and social sciences. Many of our courses are discussion-centered, and all are inter-disciplinary. Our students become agile thinkers who can move beyond restrictive boundaries.
In the classroom, students are acquainted with current scholarship in women, feminist, trans, queer and sexuality studies. The program also provides opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they gain from the classroom as they move through the world. Students are encouraged to engage in activism, undertake their own research projects, and to gain real-world experiences and perspectives through Internships. You may complete an internship for academic credit with a local community organization.
We invite a significant GSWS scholar each spring for the annual Minnie Braithwaite Lecture. We also have a brownbag discussion series in which a faculty member or student shares his or her research in a friendly, informal setting.