Department Overview

three students studying on the Quad

The Department of Gender and Race Studies was established in 2009 when the longstanding Department of Women’s Studies came together with the African American Studies Program to be housed in one departmental unit.  This academic department draws on the best traditions in the fields of Women’s Studies and African American Studies in order to educate students about local, national, and global issues related to women and communities of color.

The Department of Gender and Race Studies is committed to offering interdisciplinary training at both the graduate and undergraduate levels that:

  • Helps students to understand the intellectual, historical, and political legacies of women and African Americans, in both a national and a transnational/diasporic context
  • Enriches scholarly discussions on race, gender, sexuality, disability, and other social justice concerns on the local, national, and transnational level
  • Develops students critical thinking skills used for oral and written communication
  • Offers students the opportunity to use knowledge gained in the classroom to enrich their local communities through activism and service
  • Increases students technological knowledge and skills by engaging in digital technology and new media

Mission Statement

The Department of Gender and Race Studies is committed to examining and producing knowledge that promotes social justice approaches to gender and race inequities by recognizing the intersections of categories of difference and the operations of social hierarchies, and by providing a forum for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and service that facilitates the critical investigation of the status and roles of women, African Americans and other people of color locally, nationally and globally.