Founded in 1973, the University of Michigan Women’s and Gender Studies Department is an interdisciplinary academic unit within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The Department is a diverse intellectual community dedicated to excellence through feminist research, teaching, and activism. It seeks to build interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty and students that bridge gender, racial, ethnic, economic, and national divides; create new knowledge about women, gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability; challenge unequal distributions of power; and improve the lives of all individuals and communities.
Activism and Women’s and Gender Studies
Since its inception, Women’s and Gender Studies has striven to integrate feminist theory and practice. Women’s and Gender Studies considers scholarship and activism to be tandem sites for comprehending the historical circumstances that shape social injustice and for spurring ethical reflection on social transformation. Both are key to understanding how individuals and communities resist social inequality or reproduce it. Scholarship offers the results of rigorous research to help us understand the process of coalition building and social change, while activism inspires, grounds, and emboldens feminist research.
Women’s and Gender Studies students consistently rate their feminist practice and service-learning experiences as among the most beneficial components of their undergraduate educations. They point out the numerous ways in which their hands-on, activist projects contribute to their growth as feminist practitioners of change, their intellectual and ethical development, their personal maturity and ability to communicate effectively, and their success in the job market. Their expanded knowledge and enhanced interpersonal competencies provide them with confidence to be positively engaged as students and as citizens of the world.
Our students are leaders in such organizations as the F-Word, Muslim Student's Association, Hispanic Heritage Month, SAPAC (Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center), Prison Creative Acts Program (PCAP), Students for Choice, Dance Marathon, Alternative Spring Break, the Panhellenic Association, LSA Student Government, and It’s Great to be a Girl Feminist Mentorship Program.