Meet Mahsheed Mahjor, 2017 Student Commencement Speaker

Mahsheed Mahjor '17 self-designed a major focusing on Women in the Socio-Political World. A citizen of Afghanistan, Mahjor's commencement speech was featured on PBS Newshour.

Why do women and men still have wage inequities? How do different societies and cultures define femininity and masculinity in intersection with ethnic histories and mythologies of racial difference? What does the history of medically defined and racially specific gender structures (male, female and transgender) reveal about the way in which power flows through a society? When we explore the ideas about racial Otherness and masculinity, for instance, as they are embedded in our world (the films we see, the sciences we study and practice, etc.), what new visions of societal and global life might we build?

These are just some of the questions that Women's & Gender Studies addresses.

The Women's & Gender Studies Program at Muhlenberg offers a six-course minor that students can combine with any major. Recent WST graduates have majored in biology, psychology, communication and media studies, sociology, history, English, and religion studies. Our graduates have gone into careers in areas such as anthropology, the public health sector, law, publishing and public policy-making. Others have gone on to graduate study in fields that include the natural sciences, history, political science, psychology, sociology, theatre and English.

Current Women's & Gender Studies methodologies offer students, scholars and activists a range of analytic lenses through which to read the important interactions of gender, sexual identification, ethnicity, class and nationality. Taking the six courses for the minor introduces students to intellectual viewpoints, critiques and new questions—and the new objects of study to match those new questions. We examine what is at stake, culturally and politically, for all of us.

Students and scholars in Women's & Gender Studies use the methods of many disciplines, including history, literary studies, biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, communication and media studies, philosophy and religion studies. In addition to the Women's & Gender Studies courses listed, special topics courses are often available on a semester-by-semester basis. Students may also be able to count an internship or an independent study (with approval) and Women's & Gender Studies courses offered at other LVAIC institutions.


Dr. Kate Richmond

Director of Women's & Gender Studies
Address Muhlenberg College Psychology 2400 Chew Street Allentown, PA 18104