Women's and Gender Studies Program

The Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) program at Washington and Lee University offers students both the opportunity to complete a multi-disciplinary minor in feminist and gender studies, and a stimulating co-curricular environment in which to develop as intellectual and community leaders. Founded in 2001, the WGS is a vibrant academic program that links the classroom with the world and offers the theoretical basis for activism and social change.

A demanding introductory course and disciplinary distribution requirements give all students a sound theoretical orientation to defining and articulating concepts and practices in Women's and Gender Studies, while diverse course offerings from professors in disciplines that range from psychology to English, from Romance languages to political science, philosophy to sociology and anthropology, make it easy for students to draw connections between their major fields of studies and the evolving work of gender scholars. Our faculty encourages students to see their studies as relevant to their everyday lives and important for understanding and responding to social justice issues. Students do just that--in a math student's investigation into why so few women study math in college, in a fraternity member's paper analyzing how his fraternity brothers' drinking habits shape male privilege, or in a missionary's daughter's attempt to better understand how a feminist might read the Bible.

The flexible Women's and Gender Studies capstone requirement allows students to pursue their particular interests with the kind of intensity that turns classroom competence into an abiding passion.

Do you want to make audiences laugh with women's humor? Or challenge the ways in which media images invade our consciousness and control our bodies? Study women artists or find out how women changed history? Want to learn how we might get more diverse elected officials, and figure out why homophobia is still part of public policy? Or write a poem that moves its readers to action against sexist oppression? Join us. That's what we do.

Upcoming Events

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News & Announcements

Annie Persons, a sophomore Robert E. Lee Research Scholar from Atlanta, presents at the weekly Brown Bag Luncheon series for summer research students.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Exploring Poetry's Possible Worlds

With a summer research assist from Washington and Lee junior Annie Persons, W&L English professor Lesley Wheeler embarks on a book connecting contemporary poetry and speculative fiction.

Gender Action Group Blog

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Speaking into the void, purple veils, etc.

Thanks to all those who are advancing this conversation. I agree about the experience Anna, Ashley, and Annie note–how hard it is to speak when one’s voice is automatically invalidated by...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Positive change conference?

Hi and thanks Anna, Annie, and Ashley for articulating so well the hard to articulate issues with some W&L traditions. In response to the question about what can be done to awaken sororities to...

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Great series of questions and issues

Just wanted to say that Anna, Annie, and Ashley have posted an excellent series of questions and ruminations about gender at W&L and about what the fall-out is or can be for openly questioning...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Student Thoughts from Spring Term

Hi all, We thought that it would be appropriate to begin the series of blog posts with some words from us, because we have each been thinking about a lot of things in the past month and would value...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gender Action Group at Washington and Lee University

Welcome to  the blog for Washington and Lee’s Gender Action Group (GAG, yup, that’s our acronym!).  This group formed in the wake of the Juicy J controversy of Fancy Dress, 2014.  Our...