Welcome! Women's Studies is a lively, engaged, real-world course of study that seeks to understand the lives, status, and accomplishments of women around the world, and to explore how gender affects all our lives. A deeply interdisciplinary field since its founding in the 1970s and 80s, Women's Studies grew from a conviction that traditional academic studies were impoverished by their ignorance of women's lives and their blindness to the gendered roles that, while they are always changing in subtle ways, still structure human societies. Women's Studies seeks to be deliberately "intersectional" in its analysis--which means we seek to understand the ways that one's real or perceived racial and ethnic identification, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity / expression, abilities and disabilities, can shape one's experience of being a man or a woman. In this department, we focus on the local--what should our sexual harassment, sexual assault policies be, here on campus?--and the global--what can we learn from the work of Indian physicist and "alter-globalization" activist Vandana Shiva?
Students at Wittenberg report many different reasons for minoring in Women's Studies. Some discover the interest gradually when they choose courses for general education requirements. Others choose Women's Studies as a minor because it supplements their major in a particularly enriching way. Others minor in Women's Studies because of their career goals--they may want to work in domestic law or women's health care. Almost all students recognize that this minor helps them to better understand their own lives and experiences as women and men.