Director: Associate Professor Patricia Delaney
The Gender Studies Program fosters awareness of the relationship between gender and culture—that is, between the ways in which culture shapes perceptions of femininity and masculinity, and how these perceptions interact with other aspects of culture. Gender Studies examines these processes in their historical and contemporary manifestations.
An interdisciplinary program, Gender Studies draws from a wide range of faculty and courses, including fine arts, liberal arts, humanities, social and natural sciences and pre-professional programs. Since much of culture is grounded in constructions of gender, issues examined in courses may encompass sexual identities and orientations, intersex and transgender issues, social practices, gender-influenced cultural productions and historical change. Courses across the curriculum may consider such matters as how biology intersects with culture, how gender creates and maintains structures of power, how aspects of the humanities are gender-inflected, and how gendered identities affect personhood. The purpose of such academic exploration is to expand curricular possibilities that enable students to comprehend more fully the complex factors that shape their experiences of themselves, others and the world. Service learning and active engagement in contemporary gender issues are essential aspects of the Gender Studies Program.
Students can take a variety of courses at Saint Michael’s or, with permission of the coordinator, take courses through our exchange program in Women’s Studies at the University of Vermont.