Women's and Gender Studies

A man and a woman looking at each other.

WGS classes focus on women, gender, race, and sexuality. (Image courtesy of Clare Bayley. Used with permission.)

Exploring gender with the tools of different, and often multiple, disciplines, Women's and Gender Studies subjects strive to help MIT students better understand how knowledge and value take different forms depending on a variety of social variables. In the course of their inquiry, students not only learn how to use gender as a category of analysis, but also reflect on the manifestation of gender in their own lives, leading to a range of personal and intellectual discoveries. Although gender is a central component of every subject, the study of gender requires attention to connections between gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, nationality, and other social categories; different subjects shed light on different aspects of such connections.

WGS is also an important resource for faculty with an advanced knowledge of gender studies within particular disciplines who are interested in learning more across disciplinary lines; it also welcomes faculty who have an emerging interest in the field of Women's and Gender Studies. WGS offers an undergraduate curriculum consisting of core classes and cross-listed subjects from several departments. Students may concentrate, minor, and petition for a major departure in WGS. There are more than 30 faculty members who are affiliated with the Program from fields as diverse as architecture, history, comparative media studies, brain and cognitive sciences, literature, and political science, for example. The Program in Women's and Gender Studies offered 26 subjects during the academic year 2011-2012, with approximately 200 students enrolled.

Women's and Gender Studies Courses

Course # Course Title Level
WGS.101 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies Undergraduate
WGS.110J Sexual and Gender Identities Undergraduate
WGS.111 Gender and Media Studies: Women and the Media Undergraduate
WGS.115 Gender and Technology Undergraduate
WGS.125 Games and Culture Undergraduate
WGS.140J Race and Identity in American Literature: Keepin' it Real Fake Undergraduate
WGS.141J International Women's Voices Undergraduate
WGS.150 Gender, Power, Leadership and the Workplace Undergraduate
WGS.151 Gender, Health, and Society Undergraduate
WGS.154J Gender and Japanese Popular Culture Undergraduate
WGS.161J Gender and the Law in U.S. History Undergraduate
WGS.170J Identity and Difference Undergraduate
WGS.172J Rethinking the Family, Sex, and Gender Undergraduate
WGS.231J Writing About Race: Narratives of Multiraciality Undergraduate
WGS.233J New Culture of Gender: Queer France Undergraduate
WGS.234J The Invention of French Theory: A History of Transatlantic Intellectual Life since 1945 Undergraduate
WGS.236 East Asian Culture: From Zen to K-Pop Undergraduate
WGS.237J Race and Gender in Asian America Undergraduate
WGS.270J Violence, Human Rights, and Justice Undergraduate
WGS.271J Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics: Playing God or Doing Good? Undergraduate
WGS.272J Slavery and Human Trafficking in the 21st Century Undergraduate
WGS.274J Gender and Representation of Asian Women Undergraduate
WGS.276J Cultures of Computing Undergraduate
WGS.301J Feminist Thought Undergraduate
WGS.455J Gender, Sexuality, and Society Undergraduate
WGS.456J The Contemporary American Family Undergraduate
WGS.457J Gender, Power, and International Development Undergraduate
WGS.459J Women in South Asia from 1800 to Present Undergraduate
WGS.492 Popular Culture and Narrative: Literature, Comics, and Culture Undergraduate
WGS.493 Media in Cultural Context: Popular Readerships Undergraduate
WGS.510J Literary Interpretation: Virginia Woolf's Shakespeare Undergraduate
WGS.512 Major Authors: After the Masterpiece: Novels by Melville, Twain, Faulkner, and Morrison Undergraduate
WGS.512 Major Authors: Melville and Morrison Undergraduate
WGS.514 Medieval Literature: Medieval Women Writers Undergraduate
WGS.517 American Authors: American Women Authors Undergraduate
WGS.576 Advanced Essay Workshop Undergraduate
WGS.591J Traditions in American Concert Dance: Gender and Autobiography Undergraduate
WGS.595 Theater and Cultural Diversity in the U.S. Undergraduate
WGS.608J Cultural Performances of Asia Undergraduate
WGS.610J The Economic History of Work and Family Undergraduate
WGS.620J Medicine, Religion and Politics in Africa and the African Diaspora Undergraduate
WGS.S10 Gender, Power, Leadership, and the Workplace Undergraduate
WGS.S10 Reproductive Politics in the United States Undergraduate
WGS.S10 Special Topics in Women & Gender Studies Seminar: Latina Women's Voices Undergraduate
WGS.615 Feminist Inquiry: Strategies for Effective Scholarship Graduate
WGS.640 Gender, Race, and the Construction of the American West Graduate
WGS.640 Screen Women: Body Narratives in Popular American Film Graduate
WGS.640 Studies in Women's Life Narratives: Interrogating Marriage: Case Studies in American Law and Culture Graduate
WGS.645 Gender, Health and Marginalization Through a Critical Feminist Lens Graduate
WGS.645 Issues of Representation: Women, Representation, and Music in Selected Folk Traditions of the British Isles and North America Graduate
WGS.693 Gender, Race, and the Complexities of Science and Technology: A Problem-Based Learning Experiment Graduate

Archived Women's and Gender Studies Courses

Some prior versions of courses listed above have been archived in OCW's DSpace@MIT repository for long-term access and preservation. Links to archived prior versions of a course may be found on that course's "Other Versions" tab.

Additionally, the Archived Women's and Gender Studies Courses page has links to every archived course from this department.