About Women’s and Gender Studies at Clark
The Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Program at Clark University has a long and vibrant history.
WGS was initially launched as Women’s Studies in the mid-1970s, thanks to organizing by a dozen undergraduate women. These students had heard of “this new field called Women’s Studies” and wanted their own Clark faculty to offer these innovative courses. Clark’s first Women’s Studies courses debuted in 1975 with Women in Politics, offered by Professor Sharon Krefetz, and Fiction by Women Writers, created by Professor Serena Hilsinger.
Soon other faculty began offering women’s studies courses, an undergraduate minor was created, and a new women’s studies Ph.D. program was launched in 1992 (the Ph.D. program closed in 2008).
In 2006, the program changed its name to Women’s and Gender Studies, and a full-fledged major in WGS was established at Clark. Students now can choose to major or minor in WGS.
Cynthia Enloe: Internationally Renowned Scholar, Former Director, and Current Affiliated Research Professor
Cynthia Enloe served as director of the Women’s Studies Program and as chair of the Political Science Department, and received the Outstanding Teacher Award three times. She now is a research professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE), and is affiliated with both Women’s and Gender Studies and Political Science.
She is known throughout the world for her research and scholarship on feminism and militarism.
The Late Angela Bowen: Our First Ph.D. Recipient
The first graduate of Clark’s Women’s and Gender Studies Ph.D. program was Angela Bowen, a celebrated feminist scholar, writer, activist, and dance educator (not necessarily in that order). When she died in 2018, the New York Times published a lengthy obituary.
“I’m a black, lesbian, feminist, writer, activist,” she once said. “I see all of those as equal functions. I feel as though I’ve got a mission to be out front.”