Women and Gender Studies Program Launches New Minor

Women and Gender Studies Program Launches New Minor

In continuation of Mason’s commitment to diversity, the Women and Gender Studies program will launch a minor in LGBTQ Studies starting Fall 2019. One of the first of its kind in the commonwealth of Virginia, this minor will draw from the history of the LGBTQ movement in the United States as well as transnational movements on debates around gender and sexuality.

“As one of the first, I know we as a faculty and staff are up to the challenge of creating a transformative experience for our LGBTQ studies students,” said David Corwin, program coordinator for women and gender studies.

Students with this minor will gain training from both scholars and practitioners with years of experience in higher education, curricular activism, and community-based organizations. They will be able to apply theories of gender and sexuality to a variety of institutions and workplace settings and advocate for social change. Students will also be prepared to go on to graduate school in a variety of humanities and social science disciplines where they can focus on LGBTQ related research and pedagogy.

“Students are very excited for this minor because it provides a formalized curriculum around the topics they’re interested in. In the first week of the minor becoming available we had four students declare,” Corwin said.

After the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same gender marriage, the mainstream LGBTQ movement moved its activism focus on issues related to gender and sexuality. Now, the movement looks at those left out of the LGBTQ conversations and advocate for their equality. The movement is calling for a more inclusive approach that includes the intersections of race, ability, national identity, and religion into LGBTQ related conversations. As the movement diversifies, the Women and Gender Studies program wanted to expand their approach to teaching these issues through creation of the minor.

In addition to the minor, the program offers a BA in integrative studies with a concentration in women and gender studies, as well as an MA in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies.