Madison, WI




History  of Women's and Gender Studies at Edgewood College

The Women’s Studies was conditionally approved as an experimental minor at Edgewood College in the spring of 1984. The program was the result of many long hours by Sister Jean McSweeney, Cindy Rolling, Sister Esther Heffernan and Charlotte Meyer. The goal was a curriculum that verified and reflected on women’s achievements, not merely by including Emily Dickinson in an American literature course or by referring to Florence Nightingale in a course on British history. Courses were designed in various disciplines that centered on women’s experiences and achievements and that would cross-list as Women’s Studies courses. Two such pioneering courses were Women Writers (ENG 215) and Women and Society (SOC 365). Ultimately other disciplines such as psychology, political science, sociology, religion and all the humanities and arts were also included.

In the fall of 2004, the Women's Studies Program Committee voted in favor of changing the name of the program to "Women's and Gender Studies."  This was done as a result in the changing field of women's studies to focus more on social constructions of gender and ways that gender is experienced.  This has expanded the program to include a more diverse range of courses like "Men and Masculinities" and to expand to more on-campus groups such as Friends Like Us.

Excerpted from "Stirring Things Up" by Charlotte Meyer, Edgewood Today, Spring 1996.

What is Women's and Gender Studies?

Simply put, it is the study of women and gender.  To a larger extent, Women's and Gender Studies looks at the history, achievement, analysis, development, evaluation, discovery, integration, theory, and experiences of women and the impact of gender in the United States and the world in the past, present, and future.  It is an interdisciplinary combination of literature, history, anthropology, sociology, education, law, biology, psychology, philosophy, politics, economics, art, and religion into a broad range of understanding and interaction.

Women’s Studies is a coordinated interdisciplinary program developed to study women, their experiences, their contributions to the fields of learning, and the critical role of gender in human life. Women’s and Gender Studies offers a minor consisting of designated courses in several departments and within the Women’s and Gender Studies program itself.

Edgewood offers an Interdisciplinary Minor.  "Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies" is an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of women's and gender studies.  The Women's and Gender Studies seminar offers an opportunity to explore these topics in more depth.  Additional courses in the WS Program are cross-listed with other departments of all interests.  These courses emphasize:



ã Edgewood College 2005
Questions about this site may be directed to wgstudies@edgewood.edu