Women's and Gender Studies Program
Ansley Pope came to the college because of its reputation as a midsize liberal arts and sciences institution. Like a lot of freshmen, he was undecided about a major, but he was drawn to women’s and gender studies because of the faculty. Ultimately, he knew it was the right choice.
“A lot of students at the College meet regularly with the chair of their department or the director of their program one-on-one,” Pope says. “That’s been really important to me, and it’s definitely one of the advantages you find in WGS. Also, activism and inclusion are vitally important aspects here, which means that the students, faculty and staff in the Women’s and Gender Studies major (WGS) are really invested in the program.”
For Pope, the Intro to WGS class was a pivotal moment. “It really shaped the way I view things, and it led me to get involved in so many issues.” One of those was volunteering with Girls Rock Charleston!, a grass-roots organization that works with girls and transgender youth through music. Another was working with the local chapter of Southerners on New Ground, which is dedicated to LGBTQ liberation.
One of Pope’s most formative experiences in WGS took place when he was asked to be a teaching assistant in a course entitled Race, Sexuality and Diversity. “I helped the professor plan the class sessions and determine which interactive element would be most effective for each session. Essentially, I had the opportunity to help determine the best means of getting students to think critically about the way they interact with racism and sexism.”
Though he’s not certain where this major will lead, Pope knows he’ll be well prepared for whatever he chooses. “The beauty of WGS classes is that so many are discussion-based. So you become adept at working with others and formulating and expressing your ideas. Ultimately, I may work in higher education, or get involved in community organization with a nonprofit. There are really so many avenues you can take with this major.”
Our program explores the intersections of gender, class, race, ethnicity, age, religion, ability and sexuality. Students in this major examine women and gender in different cultures, contexts, and time periods. They discuss complex cultural issues and learn to think on their feet as they develop a range of analytical approaches.
❱❱ This program can give you a distinct advantage for future employment or graduate study.
❱❱ It fosters critical thinking, develops strong verbal, writing and research skills.