Mahsheed Mahjor, '17, Self-Designed Major in Women's & Gender Studies, delivers commencement speech 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.

WST 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. Women's & Gender Studies graduates have gone into careers in areas such as antropology, 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 WST courses offered at other LVAIC schools.


Advisory Board:
Maura Finkelstein
Margo Thompson

Kate Richmond

Women's Studies




We wanted to share some recent news stories that highlight our field, NWSA members and leaders, and call attention to important trends and issues.

Women’s studies has changed over the years—and it’s more popular than ever

Drew Nelson, a business major at Indiana University, never expected he would pick up a minor in the subject.

“I wasn’t very interested in the subject, to be honest, but once I started doing a lot of the class readings and having discussions with people in the class, I got kind of interested,” Nelson said.
Read the full story here.

A New Era of Student Unrest?

Student activism sporadically reoccurred in the 2000s, when, according to University of Illinois Professor Barbara Ransby, students shape “the conscience of the university” by raising awareness about racial inequality, sexual assault on campus, immigrant rights, homophobia and unequal rights for the LGBTQ community, as well as global issues such as the Palestinian crisis.
Read the full story here.

NWSA President Barbara Ransby Featured
Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond

 A historian, writer and political activist, Ransby’s work focuses on the civil rights movement and feminism.
See all of the women selected here.

A feminist glossary because we didn’t all major in gender studies
Like any "ism," feminism is rich with jargon, which can lead deeply personal conversations to turn unnecessarily dense. And while some terms are entrenched, others are contemporary additions to an evolving lexicon. To help you break through, here are definitions for everything from "feminism" and "misogyny" to "bropropriated" and "feminazi."
Read the full story here.

Saucon Valley would be on the cutting edge with gender studies course
In the introductory class on women’s and gender studies at Lafayette College, students examine how gender shapes their interactions with the world.
Read more about the debate to approve a gender studies elective for high school seniors here