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Housed within WPI’s School of Arts & Sciences, the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies (GSWS) program is dedicated to the study of interlocking systems of oppression (including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ethnocentrism, and colonialism) and their impact on the lives of those not only on campus, but across the world. 

Through GSWS, WPI students have the opportunity not only to examine the centrality of gender and sexuality in arenas like law, religion, reproductive technologies, social contracts, art, literature, and popular culture, but to bring discussions about race, class, and identity to the forefront of their daily lives.

With a goal of nurturing a generation of inquisitive, empathetic students who aren’t afraid to challenge themselves and others, GSWS has also built a cross-campus collaborative partnership with the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). With the opportunity for students to delve deep into their collective resources, expertise, and support systems, GSWS, OMA, and DEI work together to amplify and support the voices of all students as they learn and work to develop their “whole selves.”

Students are taught to embrace challenges and to not shy away from conflict. Their engagement with WPI’s pillars of theory and practice enable them to not only recognize the systemic inequalities in our classroom and communities, but to strive for dynamic response and change.

Student talking in classroom

A Glimpse of GSWS

The topics studied in GSWS are just as varied and diverse as those studying (and teaching) them, which begs the question—what kinds of courses can you expect to take as part of WPI’s newest program? Utilizing a blend of expertise in Humanities & Arts and Social Science & Policy Studies, GSWS has crafted a selection of courses that embraces differences, introspection, and social change. Check out just a few examples below.

  • EN 3226: Strange and Strangers
  • HI 3312: Topics in US Social History: Mental Health
  • HU 1500: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies
  • HU 2501: STEM-inism
  • HU 2502: Global Feminisms
  • PY2716: Philosophies of Difference
  • RE 3721: Topics in Religion: Religion and Gender
  • ENV: 2600: Environmental Problems in the Developing World
  • GOV 2320: Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
  • PSY 2401: The Psychology of Education

Continued Conversations throughout Arts & Sciences Week

In keeping with WPI’s continued commitment to the exploration, study, and discussion of the roles of race, class, and identity in the world of STEM and beyond, the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s program is thrilled to host author LaTanya McQueen for an interactive virtual event as part of this year’s Arts & Sciences Week.

McQueen’s essay collection, And It Begins Like This, explores race, gender, and personal and national history; her novel, When the Reckoning Comes, is due out next year. The event will feature an introduction written and delivered by a WPI student writer, followed by a reading by McQueen and a Q&A session. Join us as we continue an open, ever-expanding dialogue on these and more of today’s most crucial social topics. Check back soon for more information!

Michelle  Ephraim

Michelle Ephraim

Associate Professor

Michelle Ephraim is the Shakespeare scholar at WPI. She is the author of Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage (Routledge, 2008) as well as numerous articles on 16th- and 17th-century literature. Professor Ephraim also teaches writing courses on Creative Nonfiction and Speculative Fiction (Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy). Her essays have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Lilith, Tikkun, The Morning News, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Lindsay Greer Davis

Lindsay Davis

Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Lindsay Davis is a broadly trained interdisciplinary historian whose research interrogates the gendered, racial, and cultural foundations of the American prison state. Her current book project, "Lessons in Captivity: A Cultural History of Gender and Criminality During the Transitional Carceral Era, 1930-1973," examines the cultural coverage of women prisoners - in "real life" and in film - in an era preceding mass incarceration. In the classroom, Dr.

Crystal  Brown

Crystal H. Brown, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor-Social Science

Crystal H. Brown earned her Ph.D. in Political Science with a focus in the subfields of Comparative Politics, International Relations, and U.S. Foreign Policy at the University of Oregon. She also has a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Pennsylvania State University. Her areas of interest include comparative immigration and integration policies, human rights, refugees, race/ethnicity and politics, and international security studies.

Rebecca  Moody

Rebecca Moody

Assistant Teaching Professor

My research centers around religion in North Africa and the Middle East with a focus on Islam; I approach the study of Islam through its representation in visual culture. My first book project, an outgrowth of my dissertation, focuses on recent fiction film by Moroccan women filmmakers as oblique forms of resistance to dominant narratives about Muslim women. My research tends to be very interdisciplinary: I draw on religion, cultural studies, feminist theory, film theory and affect theory.