Women's Studies Overview
The Women’s Studies minor was first proposed by Dr. Carolyn Tyirin Kirk and was included in the Monmouth College curriculum in 1990. Since that time, new courses have been added in various departments that count toward the completion of the Women’s Studies minor. The Monmouth College Women’s Studies minor is a multi-disciplinary minor that considers feminist theories and perspectives in courses across the curriculum. Currently, Women’s Studies faculty come from twelve different disciplines (Anthropology, Art, Classics, Communication, English, History, Modern Foreign Languages, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology) and all are committed to the ideals of liberal arts and the importance of serious feminist criticism in the academy. The interdisciplinary nature of the Women’s Studies Program affirms multiple feminisms and diversity of feminist thought. The minor stresses the skills of critical thinking, analytical and synthetic thinking, clear and organized prose writing, discussion strategies, and feminist praxis, and the importance of making wide-ranging connections across traditionally conceived boundaries. This minor was created to be flexible, to enhance all majors, and to consider and question human assumptions about gender and gender relations.
The objectives of the program are:
1. To encourage the members of the MC community to think critically and sensitively about gender and gendered issues.
2. To sharpen students’ critical awareness of how gender operates in institutional, social, and cultural contexts and in their own lives.
3. To introduce students to critical gender theories including feminism(s) in a demanding intellectual environment.
4. To introduce students to women’s history, feminist theories and criticism.
5. To provide a critical theoretical framework through which to view and assess knowledge of gender inequalities within and across cultural contexts.
6. To strengthen student ability to write and speak coherently, logically, analytically, and correctly through research and application of feminist criticism.
7. To understand how feminisms and feminist critiques are used to make informed judgments that strengthen community, build public policy, and reconfigure sexist institutions—currently and historically.
8. To understand how feminist thinking and feminist criticism have impacted and/or challenged traditional disciplines of the liberal arts.
9. To understand women’s major contributions to knowledge and art which have been historically overlooked and/or marginalized.
10. To heighten student’s awareness of the complex intersection(s) among gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.