Twenty-first century students at MUW The first graduating class (1889) of the Mississippi I.I. & C.
MUW OFFERS BOTH A MAJOR AND A MINOR IN WOMEN'S STUDIES which are housed in The Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy. The major and minor in women's studies are grounded in MUW’s history as America’s first public college for women and its ongoing commitment to academic and leadership development for women. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students in the minor critically examine the social construction of gender and the status of women in diverse cultural contexts and time periods. The women’s studies program emphasizes both scholarly exploration and the application of knowledge to practical women’s issues. The minor requires 18 hours of coursework, including WS 200: Introduction to Women's Studies. Women’s studies students enjoy learning both in and out of the traditional classroom while independently researching women’s issues, planning programming, preserving women’s history and attending professional conferences. A women’s studies minor enhances any major and offers opportunities for creative projects and collaborative research with faculty mentors from a variety of disciplines.
THE MAJOR IN WOMEN'S STUDIES was approved by the IHL board in 2012. Like the women's studies minor, it is interdisciplinary, but is housed in the Department of Langauges, Literature and Philosophy. The major requires 33 hours of coursework. WS 200: Introduction to Women’s studies is required as a pre-requisite to the other courses in the major, and the program also requires either a senior level independent research Capstone project (WS 499) or a senior level internship. This major fits naturally into the overall academic life of the campus, because an important part of MUW’s mission is academic and leadership development for women. In addition, since the Director of Women’s Studies is also the Director of MUW’s Center for Women’s Research and Public Policy, this major is strongly connected with the CWRPP’s mission, which is “dedicated to advancing research, providing information, and analyzing policies important to women and girls.” Women's Studies majors, which include men as well as women, will learn more about women’s roles in all aspects of society, and by understanding old biases and barriers, will be better prepared to enter the work force. Current women's studies students have completed internships which collected women’s oral histories focused on women’s educational history, military service, and the civil rights movement. They have worked as interns at the Southern Women in Public Service Conference and with the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women. In addition, since MUW now has an exchange program with China Women’s University, an institution with a strong women’s studies major, these exchange students may now easily continue as women’s studies majors while they are enrolled here at our institution.
WHY MAJOR IN WOMEN'S STUDIES? While Mississippi and the nation are making some gains in bridging the gender gap, a recent report from the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research emphasizes that women in the USA, and Mississippi women in particular, are still struggling toward equity in education, employment, and health. In fact, the IWPR labeled Mississippi as overall, “the worst state for women.” In 2010, the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women reported that 24 percent of Mississippi women lived in poverty, up from 22 percent in 2000. A systematic study of the problems and the issues connected with gender inequity brings awareness and understanding. With understanding comes the power to change society for the better. An interdisciplinary major in Women’s Studies at our institution reflects the truth of women’s needs in our world: we must work in collaboration to achieve comprehensive improvement for women in health, education, politics, economics, media image, etc. Women's Studies provides a broad, liberal arts background that helps build skills in critical thinking and problem solving, data collection and analysis, oral, written and presentation expertise, and collaborative teamwork . A major in Women's Studies also provides in-depth knowledge of the gender dynamics, strategies and organizational skills needed to address gender inequalities, promoting skills which are needed in the human resources field, in political think tanks, in management, and in a variety of professions such as law, science and medicine.
For advising in women’s studies, see Dr. Bridget Smith Pieschel, the Director of the Center for Women's Research and Public Policy:
Office Phone: 662-241-6125
Affiliated Faculty in Women's Studies at MUW
Dr. Holleen R. Krogh, Psychology Dr. Deborah Miranda, Nursing
Dr. Johanna Price, Speech-Lang. Pathology Dr. Van Roberts, Communication & Film
Dr. Kim Whitehead, Religion, English Dr. Amber Handy, History
Women's Studies Courses
WS 200 - Introduction to Women's Studies
WS 262 - Women in Spanish Film
WS 303 - Images of Women in Film
WS 308 - Western Women's Roles in Religion
WS 315 - Women Artists in History
WS 324 - Women in European History: From Antiquity to the French Revolution
WS 326 - Women in American History
WS 350 - Women in Literature
WS 352 - Psychology of Women
WS 375 - Women in Medieval Literature
WS 382 - Women's Health Issues
WS 384 - Strategies for the Managerial Woman
WS 400 - Special Topics in Women’s Studies
WS 425 - Gender Development
WS 499 - Women's Studies Capstone Course
Many other courses with significant women’s studies content may be counted toward the minor with departmental and advisory committee approval.
Contact Us: Phone: 662-241-6125
··················· Mailing Address:· Center for Women's Research and Public Policy
················································ 1100 College Street, Orr Annex
················································ MUW Box 269
················································ Mississippi University for Women
Columbus, MS 39701