Women's and Gender Studies

Mosiac of Knowledge


Clark launched its Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) program in 1979. In spring 2006, the university approved the Women's and Gender Studies major. The program continues to offer a minor. The WGS major provides students with a solid foundation in women's studies and gender analysis, introduces them to a range of disciplinary approaches to women and gender, and helps them develop an area of specialization within the field. Courses stress the importance of social ideas and relationships, such as those shaped by gender, ethnicity, race, and class to better understand individual and collective experiences, past and present. The major requires a minor in another field (and encourages a double major) in order to reinforce connections with existing majors.

Clark's Women's and Gender Studies program is part of the Worcester Consortium in Women's Studies, comprised of seven institutions of higher education, each with their own faculty active in women's studies research and teaching.

Women from the Worcester region, including Lucy Stone, Abby Kelly Foster, Dorothea Dix and Clara Barton, have been important players in the struggle for human and women's rights. Worcester was home to the first (1850) and second (1851) National Women's Rights Conventions.

2014 Women’s and Gender Studies Award Recipients

Lauren Cyr '14 and Hannah Yukon '14
The HAZEL: in honor of early Women’s Students Dean Hazel Hughes, for outstanding academic work by an undergraduate student.

Mary Scully '14
The ALICE: in honor of wonderful long time Clark trustee (and WS fan) Alice Higgins, for outstanding contributions to the Clark and/or wider community of women and girls. Nominate a senior student who has been “out there” making a positive difference in the lives of Clark and/or Worcester women and girls.

Erin Riley '14
The CYNTHIA ENLOE Scholar/Activist Award: awarded to a student who has worked hard to advance scholarship in Women’s Studies and has been an activist in this cause.

Professor Kristen Williams' new book ETHNIC CONFLICT: A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO CASES OF CONFLICT bridges the subfields of international relations and comparative politics.

Ethnic Conflict book coverAs ethnic groups clash, the international community faces the challenge of understanding the multiple causes of violence and formulating solutions that will bring about peace. Allowing for greater insight, Jesse and Williams bridge two sub-fields of political science in Ethnic Conflict—international relations and comparative politics. They systematically apply a “levels of analysis” framework, looking at the individual, domestic, and international contexts to better explore and understand its complexity. Five case study chapters apply the book's framework to disputes around the world and include coverage of Bosnia, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. Never losing sight of their analytical framework, the authors provide richly detailed case studies that help students understand both the unique and shared causes of each conflict.

For more information visit CQ Press.

Dangerous Designs by Parminder Bhachu Woman in stylish salwaar-khameez Professor Parminder Bhachu

Sociologist Parminder Bhachu writes about British-Asian women fashion entrepreneurs and the impact of the global economy on cultural identity.