Welcome to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

(effective July 1, 2014)
Monica R. Miller, Assistant Professor, Religion Studies and Africana Studies

Assistant Professor of Religion Studies and Africana Studies, Monica R. MIller, has been named the new program Director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies effective July 1. Miller holds research interests in religion in youth culture, popular culture, identity and difference, new black religious movements and theory and method in the study of religion. She earned her Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Science from Chicago Theological Seminary (2010), M.T.S. from Drew Theological School (2006) and B.A.  in Religious Studies from Fordham University (2004). Among a host of articles and book chapters, Miller is the author of Religion and Hip Hop (Routledge, 2012). Miller currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow with The Institute for Humanist Studies (Washington, DC), is Co-Chair and founder of Critical Approaches to the Study of Hip Hop and Religion Group (American Academy of Religion), Principal Investigator of “Remaking Religion” which examines changing patterns of religion and irreligion in youth culture in Portland, Oregon, member of the Culture on the Edge scholarly collective (University of Alabama), contributing editor of The Marginalia Review of books in history, theology, and religion, and editorial board member of The Journal of Hip Hop Studies . Miller is co-author of forthcoming volumes, Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain with Anthony B. Pinn and rapper Bernard "Bun B" Freeman (Bloomsbury Press), in addition to Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion (Equinox, 2014) and The Religion and Hip Hop Reader with Anthony B. Pinn (Routledge). Her work has been featured in a host of regional and national print, radio, live video, and TV news outlets including NPR, The Washington Post, The Oregonian, The Root, Left of Black, and Huffington Post Live.  She has presented her research at colleges, universities, and conferences throughout the U.S., Cuba and Canada. Miller writes for Huffington Post, BET.com, and the Culture on the Edge Scholarly Collective. She maintains a website at http://www.religionandhiphop.com and can be found on Twitter @religionhiphop.

Women, Gender and Sexuality Program

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) is an interdisciplinary field of academic inquiry that critically examines the diverse realities of women's and men's lives and the ways in which gender, sexuality, and power differentials shape human lives and human societies. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies pursues a fundamental critique of knowledge by challenging the basic assumptions, methods of inquiry, theoretical frameworks, and knowledge claims of traditional fields of inquiry that have thought it unimportant to study women, gender, or sexuality. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies seeks to create new paradigms of knowledge and inquiry, to develop more truthful and comprehensive understandings of humans and our world, and to explore non-sexist alternatives for more richly human lives and more fully human social orders.

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program has several major goals: to expand students' understanding of women's present status and rich history; to stimulate a critical examination of sex/gender and sexuality systems with regard to social institutions and individual lives; to develop in students an integrative analysis in which gender is multifaceted, diverse, and embedded in a matrix of power relations including (but not limited to) race, class, sexuality, and nationality. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies draws on multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives including: history, literatures, cultural studies, the arts, the social sciences, and science. In the best tradition of a liberal arts education, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies encourages women and men to think critically and constructively, to redesign knowledge, and to gain a better understanding of themselves and their world. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers an undergraduate minor, and undergraduate major, and a graduate certificate.

The Women's Studies program began in 1972 with the offering of a minor in 1978. As of 2008, WGSS offers a minor, a major and a graduate certificate. In 2012, the program name was changed to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to more fully reflect the scholarship and interests of our faculty and students.

Want to learn what you can do with a Women's Studies degree? Read over the following brief articles by Ms. Magazine's Spring 2007 issue.

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