We are committed to a critical and feminist understanding of gender and power across cultural contexts, social locations, and disciplinary boundaries.

Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program

Otterbein offers both a major and minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Our core courses study the key concepts, questions, and analytical tools developed by scholars working in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies across diverse disciplinary fields. They also cover key contemporary debates in feminist theory and practice, as well as the historical formation of these debates in addition to pivotal ideas, questions, and modes of inquiry that animate gender and sexuality studies — as distinct and inter-related fields. After completing these courses, WGSS majors declare a three-course concentration, or focus area, in the subject of their choosing. The concentration is designed to encourage coherent inquiry into an issue, period, field, discipline, thematic, critical problem, or research question in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

WGSS majors may choose from a list of standard options for the concentration or design one of their own (with the approval of the WGSS director). Concentrations may include (but are not limited to):

  • Gender, Culture, and Representation
  • Power and Identity
  • Social Activism and Political Change
  • Queer Studies
  • Gender in a Global Context
  • Women and Leadership
  • An individualized Concentration designed by the WGSS major.

Why study Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Otterbein?

  • Our program seeks a deepened understanding of the history, contributions, conditions, and issues affecting women in local, national, and transnational contexts
  • It also promotes a broad exploration of the multiple systems and social meanings that construct our understandings of gender and sexuality
  • We think comparatively and collaboratively about feminist politics, gender categories, and sexual identity and practice.
  • The program also encourages feminist and anti-oppressive pedagogies in the classroom; supports critical research and faculty development in women’s and gender studies; sponsors co-curricular programming that addresses women’s and gender issues; provides outreach opportunities for the campus community; and offers itself as an ally and advocate for women and GLBTQ students, staff, and faculty at the University.