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. We believe in the importance of ending 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 identity of one's own race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, abilities and disabilities shape one's experience of living life as a man or a woman. In this department, we focus on the local: What should our sexual harassment and 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.