Department of Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies

http://www.twu.edu/ws/

Interim Chair: Dr. Mark Kessler
Location: WH 307
Phone: 940-898-2119
Fax: 940-898-2101
E-mail: womenstudies@twu.edu

Graduate Degrees Offered

The Department of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies offers an exciting curriculum that integrates diverse perspectives and critically applies feminist/womanist scholarship on behalf of social justice. The Master of Arts degree in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies emphasize an understanding and appreciation of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) as a transdisciplinary field of study. Undergraduate and graduate courses are regularly taught by over thirty faculty from across the University. WGS uses multiple critical lenses to question, expand, and transform existing modes of knowledge and power in the service of social justice. It provides a curriculum grounded in diverse feminist and womanist theories, methodologies, and ethics; promotes interdisciplinary scholarly endeavors; and seeks to prepare leaders, particularly women, who will have the skills to negotiate change in academic and community settings.

M.A. in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies

The M.A. degree is a program that focuses on issues related to understanding difference, identity, and power across a variety of contexts. Through a theoretically rigorous transdisciplinary curriculum, we offer students a unique opportunity to combine social-justice issues with transformational, multicultural scholarship. In addition to coursework and a culminating project (either a thesis or a comprehensive exam), students may assist in teaching Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies courses, work with community organizations, and participate in professional development and mentoring programs. Graduates of our program work in a range of careers, academic areas, and social-justice groups, including Ph.D. programs in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies, a traditional discipline, and fields such as law and public policy; agencies and organizations that serve minoritized communities; creative and arts-based projects; and businesses and corporations. Students may apply to begin in the program in the fall or spring semester, and the department will review applications throughout the year.

Ph.D. in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies

The Ph.D. degree prepares students to revitalize academic life by producing new forms of knowledge through transdisciplinary, transformative dialogues among faculty and students in diverse disciplines. We follow a cohort model, where students take a number of doctoral-level seminars together. Doctoral degree recipients will be grounded in a rigorous graduate education and equipped with effective communication and research skills, holistic-critical thinking skills, and transformative teaching technique. As part of the program’s unique transdisciplinary focus, students will obtain a deep understanding of scholarly production, research methodologies, and pedagogies in various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. They will use this knowledge to create new dialogues among knowledge fields inside and outside the academy. Graduates will be prepared to serve as professors of women's and gender studies and related disciplines and as leaders in nongovernmental , social service and research agencies that address social-justice issues. Students are admitted to the program on alternating years. No new doctoral students will be admitted to begin study in fall semesters of odd years (e.g. fall 2019, fall 2021).

Master of Arts program in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies

In addition to the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the Department of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) requires the following for admission into the master’s degree program:

  1. A 3.0 GPA with supporting course work in the liberal arts and sciences or interdisciplinary studies.
  2. A written statement about the applicant’s background, interests, and goals and how TWU's M.A. program in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies can assist the applicant in meeting these goals. The statement should be approximately 1,000 words.
  3. A writing sample, preferably from an academic course, that is at least 1,300 words and does not exceed 2,600 words (excluding notes and references).
  4. Two letters of recommendation from individuals (preferably professors) familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional work.

Items 2-4 should be submitted directly to the department via our womenstudies@twu.edu email address.

The GRE is not required for admission to the M.A. program in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies. M.A. applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year. Specific application procedures and deadlines are available at the TWU Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies Website.

Doctor of Philosophy program in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies

In addition to the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the Department of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies requires the following for unconditional admission into the Ph.D. degree program:

  1. A completed master’s degree.
  2. A grade point average of 3.5 or above on prior graduate-level course work.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can address the applicant’s past academic performance and future academic potential in the field of WGS.
  4. A statement of purpose: a short essay (approximately 1,000 words) discussing the applicant’s personal and professional goals and how TWU’s Ph.D. program in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies can assist the applicant in meeting these goals.
  5. A writing sample: an academic paper not to exceed 6,500 words, not including notes and references.
  6. A current curriculum vitae or resumé.

Items 3-6 should be submitted directly to the department via our mailto:womenstudies@twu.edu email address.

The GRE is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies. We admit students into the doctoral program in alternating years. Specific application procedures and deadlines are available at the TWU Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies website.

Prerequisite coursework for the Ph.D. degree program in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies

Ideally, the previously-earned master’s degree should include foundational courses in WGS or other feminist scholarship, with at least one course in each of the following areas: feminist/womanist theories, U.S. women of colors, and feminist pedagogies. If comparable courses have not been part of the prerequisite master’s degree program, they must be completed as part of the doctoral degree in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies. Applicants should have an understanding of the field of WGS and familiarity with feminist and/or womanist theories.

Provisional admission to the Ph.D. degree program in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies

Admission to the Ph.D. program in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies may also be awarded on a provisional basis. Applicants who do not meet the unconditional criteria for admission, but who have a GPA of at least 3.0 on prior graduate-level course work, may be considered for provisional admission on an individual basis. Additional factors that may be considered in the provisional decision include the following:

  • scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
  • scholarly activities, and/or
  • professional leadership activities.

Students may minor in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies at both the master’s and doctoral levels. Courses designed to complement the student’s major field will be selected in consultation with the student’s advisory committee. Normally a minor requires 6 semester credit hours at the master’s level and 12 semester credit hours at the doctoral level.

Courses

WS 5023. Foundations for Scholarly Inquiry in Women's and Gender Studies. Historical origins and development of Women's and Gender Studies within higher education, including critiques and contributions by women of color; relationships between theorizing and activism; the challenges of multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinarity; and emerging issues. Emphasis on development of research, writing, and communication skills. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5043. Art, Activism, and Social Justice. Investigation of history and contemporary examples of the use of artistic works by activists and social movements. Focus on feminist art, art activism, and artists who create art for political purposes. Exploration of theoretical frameworks to analyze art, aesthetics, performance, and visual culture. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5093. Law, Gender, and Sexuality. Evolution of legal rights for women and sexual minorities and theoretical issues raised in concrete legal cases. Examination of debates over equality approaches in law; ways in which law constructs gender and sexuality; and the intersecting roles of gender, sexuality, and race in legal doctrine and theory. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5193. Rights, Race, and Social Justice. Interpretations of the utility of constitutional rights in movements for social justice, with special attention to struggles for racial equality. Readings in legal studies, social sciences, critical legal studies, and critical race theory that address the relationship of legal rights and change. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5253. Transgressive Identities: Queer Theories and Critical 'Race' Theories. Feminist and womanist interventions into recent developments in queer theories and critical "race" theories; the effects of racial, sexual, and gender impersonation, passing, and masquerade on identity categories. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5263. Feminism and Religion. Women's contributions to the formation and development of religious traditions with emphasis on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; interconnections between religion, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and culture; feminist critiques and transformations of religious traditions; relationships between spirituality and social change. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5283. Ecofeminist Theorizing, Spirituality, and Activism. Ecofeminist theorizing concerning interconnections between environmental degradation, sexism, racism, and globalization; spiritual dimensions of ecofeminism; and ecofeminist approaches to social change and environmental justice. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5293. Gloria Anzaldua Seminar: Theories, Politics, and Transformation. Investigation of the theories and literature of Gloria E. Anzaldua, focusing on her contributions to feminist theory, queer theory, poststructuralism, and other contemporary theoretical movements in the social sciences and the humanities. Examination of Anzaldua's impact on Women's and Gender Studies, ethnic studies, and other academic disciplines. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5353. Feminist Pedagogies. Feminist philosophies of education and their significance to Women's and Gender Studies; pedagogical strategies for developing critical consciousness about social inequalities; preparation for teaching undergraduate courses in Women's and Gender Studies. Prerequisite: Three graduate credit hours in Multiclutural Women's and Gender Studies. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5363. Feminist/Womanist Epistemologies. Feminist, womanist, and indigenous engagements with Cartesian knowledge systems, focusing on recent developments in epistemology/ontology/metaphysics and their potential contributions to social-justice work; investigations of how social, geographical, historical, and bodily location(s) affect knowledge production, consumption, and transformation. Prerequisites: WS 5463 and three additional graduate credit hours in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies, or permission of instructor. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5373. Black Feminist Thought. Examination of various strands of black feminist thought from the nineteenth century to the present. Distinct methodologies of black feminist theorists and how theories may be used for political and social transformation. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5383. Women At Work: Race, Migration, Labors. Investigation of impact of race, class, and gender politics on the migration and labor experiences of women. Examination of media representations of women workers and similarities and differences in work experiences among women from diverse cultural backgrounds. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5453. Women in Music. Examination of the lives and works of groundbreaking women composers and musicians ranging from the Middle Ages to the present within their social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5463. U.S. Women of Colors. Histories, theories, cultures, consciousness, and lives of U.S. women of colors from a variety of perspectives; issues related to conflict, agency, survival, resistance, intervention, and transformation. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5773. Qualitative Research Methods. Qualitative research philosophies including phenomenological, critical, and feminist perspectives. Research design, data collection, analysis, and writing. Strategies for studying women's lives and developing culturally sensitive models. Responsible research and professional ethics including IRB process. Hands-on research. May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5843. Feminist/Womanist Theories. Exploration of feminist/womanist critical inquiry, focusing on particular theoretical issues, historical writings, and/or disciplinary contexts within the diverse body of scholarship of feminist/womanist theories. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5853. Spiritual Activism: Social Justice Theories for Holistic Transformation. Exploration of issues related to spirituality, political activism, personal changes, and social transformation, focusing on multicultural approaches to social change. Investigates the roles of the imagination, creativity, and the arts in struggles for social justice. Examines indigenous contributions to holistic forms of activism. Prerequisites: WS 5463 and six additional hours of graduate credit in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies or permission of instructor. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5903. Special Topics. Seminars on topics related to womanist/feminist theories or current areas of inquiry in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5911. Independent Study. Individual study of topics in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Credit: One hour.

WS 5913. Independent Study. Individual study of topics in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies. May be repeated for credit. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5933. Internship in Women's and Gender Studies. Supervised practical experience in an agency or organization related to the intellectual and career interests of students. Ten practicum hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5983. Thesis. Credit: Three hours.

WS 5993. Thesis. Credit: Three hours.

WS 6103. New Directions in Feminist/Womanist Theories. Recent controversies, significant research questions, and new directions in feminist/womanist theorizing. Investigation of recent interventions in Women's and Gender Studies and feminist/womanist theories and theorizing. May be repeated for additional credit when content varies. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 6203. Women's and Gender Studies Disciplinary / Interdisciplinary Knowledges. History of academic disciplines and knowledge production, the challenge of Women's and Gender Studies to conventional academic divisions, and the potential of Women's and Gender Studies to transform academic disciplines. Prerequisite: WS 5363 or instructor approval. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 6303. Transdisciplinary Feminist Research Methods. Relational exploration of feminist, womanist, and multicultural research methods from a variety of disciplines including those in the social sciences and humanities, focusing especially on Women's and Gender Studies' impact on research methods. Overview of research tools and techniques, including qualitative, quantitative, historical, and literary research methods. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 6403. The Politics of Publication and Writing. Issues related to academic writing and publishing, especially focusing on the fields of Women's and Gender Studies and multicultural-feminist scholarship. Submission of at least one article to a peer-review journal and one abstract for a conference presentation. Three seminar hours a week. Credit: Three hours.

WS 6911. Independent Study. Individual study of topics in womanist/feminist theory, scholarship, or student's interests and needs. Credit: One hour.

WS 6912. Independent Study. Individual study of topics in womanist/feminist theory, scholarship, or student's interests and needs. Credit: Two hours.

WS 6913. Independent Study. Individual study of topics in womanist/feminist theory, scholarship, or student's interests and needs. Credit: Three hours.

WS 6983. Dissertation. May be repeated for additional credit. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the qualifying examinations. Credit: Three hours.

WS 6993. Dissertation. May be repeated for additional credit. Prerequisite: WS 6983. Credit: Three hours.