The Women, Feminist, and Queer Studies Program—open to all students—teaches students to think critically about the multiple systems of power through which sexual and gendered identities are constructed and to engage with real-life political and ethical issues from diverse perspectives.

The program offers courses that examine the lives and experiences of women in a variety of historical, cultural, and political contexts, as well as courses that explore the intersections of feminist theory, queer theory, and activism.

Women, Feminist, and Queer Studies is an exciting multidisciplinary field, bringing together faculty from many departments who share the conviction that gender and sexuality are fundamental categories of analysis in all disciplines.

Students interested in Women, Feminist, and Queer Studies may select from team-taught integrative courses at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as from a variety of courses cross-listed with other departments. Students who wish to declare a concentration or a correlate sequence in Women, Feminist, and Queer Studies work with program advisors to plan a course of study tailored to their particular interests. Students take an introductory course, courses from at least three disciplines, at least one course in feminist theory, and other courses germane to their self-designed programs. A senior thesis or project is required. Recent topics include “Global Feminisms” and “Feminist Approaches to Science and Technology.”


Headshot of Ashanti Shih

Ashanti Shih, Assistant Professor of History, is a 2023 Sinnott Award recipient. Ashanti’s scholarly work, which brings issues of race and indigeneity into dialogue with histories of science and environment, will focus on the colonial histories and legacies of the Arboretum’s vast collections of temperate woody plants from North America and East Asia.

Mootacem Mhiri

Thanks to the efforts of Professor Mootacem Mhiri, Senior Lecturer in Arabic, Vassar has been selected to host a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) in Arabic. Professor Mhiri will serve as the Academic Advisor of the FLTA. “As part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, the Fulbright FLTA Program is designed to develop Americans’ knowledge of foreign cultures and languages” (Fulbright Foreign Student Program).

Paula Bren

Paulina Bren has written a “captivating portrait” (The Wall Street Journal), both “poignant and intriguing” (The New Republic): from award-winning author Paulina Bren comes the remarkable history of New York’s most famous residential hotel and the women who stayed there, including Grace Kelly, Sylvia Plath, and Joan Didion.

Anne Brancky

Anne Brancky, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, is the author of The Crimes of Marguerite Duras: Literature and Media in Twentieth-Century France, recently published by Cambridge University Press. This work explores a new framework for analyzing Duras’ literary works and journalism.


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