IPFW was the first public university in Indiana to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree with a women’s studies major, and today the Women’s Studies Program is one of the fastest growing areas of study at IPFW. Currently, IPFW offers a B.A., A.A., certificate, and minor in women’s studies, as well as a range of courses that meet college distribution and general education requirements.
Learning Women’s Studies
Emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach to learning, the Women’s Studies Program brings together the expertise of faculty from a broad range of traditional academic disciplines, including biology, English, music, and psychology, to name just a few. This approach reflects the core principle behind interdisciplinary studies: namely, that the problems and potential of society are best understood through study, dialogue, and research that draws upon and integrates multiple disciplinary perspectives and expertise. Just as important, the Women’s Studies Program offers small classes that emphasize a student-centered approach to learning, one that recognizes the value of self-exploration, collective investigation, community dialogue, and feminist methods of research.
Given all of this, it’s not surprising that many students find their women’s studies educations transformative. Indeed, women’ studies can open the door to new perspectives on both women and the world.
Living Women’s Studies
A women’s studies degree has all the practical applications of a traditional degree, if not more. Students in our courses have the opportunity to strengthen their critical thinking, speaking, writing, and research skills—which are all cornerstones of successful career preparation. They study the large issues that are of increasing importance to employers, from diversity and globalization to conflict resolution and problem-solving. Reflecting this versatility and expertise, IPFW graduates in women’s studies have gone on to successful careers in law, education, human services, business, government, and non-profit organizations serving community needs and solving the problems of the 21st Century. They demonstrate firsthand that meaningful social transformation can come about only through the combination of knowledge, thought, and action.
This course will address the theory and practice of feminist and queer activism. Students will learn about the historical roots of these activist movements including first and second wave feminism, critical race feminism, transnational feminism, the feminist sex wars, and the history of gay and lesbian activism. The course will look at specific instances of direct activism and discuss their execution. In addition, it will take a turn to the practical and students will work collectively to create their own activist projects.
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