Our Mission

Program Background

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program was established as the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Connecticut in 1974. The first formal program of its kind in the state, it was founded as a flexible interdisciplinary academic program devoted to the critical analysis of gender and the pursuit of knowledge about women. The WGSS program offers an undergraduate minor and major as well as a graduate certificate in Feminist Studies. The program’s faculty is comprised of core faculty and affiliate members from approximately 15 departments across five colleges.

Faculty and students in the WGSS Program explore the construction of women, gender, and sexuality in different social, cultural, political, economic, aesthetic, and historical contexts by combining methods and insights of traditional academic disciplines with innovations in interdisciplinary feminist scholarship. Our research and teaching illuminate the complex and changing local, comparative, and transnational processes that contour gender and sexuality; examine local, comparative, and transnational settings; and analyze the diverse narratives, structures, and patterns that shape everyday life, social institutions, and cultures.

Mission Statement

The mission of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut
is threefold:

  1. to transform scholarship in existing academic disciplines by incorporating the study, contributions, and feminist analysis of gender and sexuality;
  2. to create a new body of interdisciplinary feminist research and teaching that concentrates on women, gender, sexuality; and
  3. to build a supportive and critical scholarly community that advances our understanding of the construction, reproduction, and resistance to inequality.

These activities further three goals:

  1. to institutionalize the generation of feminist and queer knowledge about women, gender, and sexuality within and across disciplines and other interdisciplinary sites; and
  2. to develop understanding and opportunities for political activism that advances social justice; and
  3. to provide individuals with the means to integrate feminist and queer theory into their scholarship, professional work, and everyday lives.