Women's Studies has been taught at the Colleges since 1969 and was among the first programs to offer a major in the country.
Its emergent goals were to question critically foundational tenets of knowledge. The field concerns itself with rethinking and redefining core assumptions about women, gender, race, class and sexuality in ways that identify and redress social, historical, economic, political and cultural inequities.
Women's Studies majors and minors engage in innovative and scholarly history, theory, research and activism across a broad band of academic study toward what is proposed as feminism's broader project of creating new kinds of questions, forms of expression, representation, knowledge and epistemology.
Women's Studies offers an interdisciplinary major, a B.A., and a minor.
If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in Women's Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.
Requirements for the Major (B.A.)
interdisciplinary, 10 courses
WMST 100, WMST 300, WMST 401, a feminist research and methodology course (WMST 323, WMST 305, WMST 301 or other as approved by the program), and six additional women’s studies elective courses that create an area of concentration and include courses from at least two divisions and at least four departments or programs.
Requirements for the Minor
interdisciplinary, 6 courses
WMST 100, a 300-level feminist theory course (WMST 300, ENG 304, POL 375, or SOC 340), and four additional women’s studies elective courses from at least two divisions and at least two departments or programs.
Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with an understanding of multiple perspectives on gender.
Below, you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making Women's Studies a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
WMST 204 The Politics of Health
Examine health issues as they relate to the politics of race, gender and sexuality, and explore how gender affects health treatment through various movements for reproductive rights, AIDS activism, sterilization and safer sex education. Then enroll in PHIL 156 Biomedical Ethics, and examine other ethical issues, such as the allocation of medical resources, that arise in the practice of medicine, in the delivery of health care and in biomedical research.
WMST 247 Psychology of Women
Study the distinct paths from early case studies of "hysteria" through late 20th century renderings of PMS, bodily dissatisfactions and eating disorders and discover how psychology's views, treatment and study of women's lives have changed. Learn more about psychology by enrolling in PSY 221 Introduction to Psychopathology, and focus on the theoretical models, diagnosis and assessment of adult psychological disorders.
WMST 309 Stormy Weather: Ecofeminism
Track the debates on environmentalism and feminism, including questions of oppression, environmental degradation, weather and technologies of war as it seeks to chart new ways out of our current environmental quandary. Study more about the environment in BIO 225 Ecology, and examine ecological theories as they apply to individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems.