The women’s studies program at Hamline University prepares students to understand the situation of women nationally and globally. Women’s studies students develop cultural and political awareness, as well as the confidence and ability to identify and challenge systems of oppression that limit the freedom and potential of all people.
Learning in women’s studies allows students to:
- explore the intersectional impact of gender, sexuality, race, class, and ability on women’s experience;
- develop awareness of cultural diversity and the process of social transformation; and
- conduct research on the situation of women nationally and globally.
Women’s studies offers a major, a minor, and a double-major in legal studies and women’s studies.
- Women’s studies major and minor. The women’s studies major and minor are designed to be flexible. Learning in the major and minor combines theoretical, practical, and research opportunities that prepare students for advanced study and professional work in a variety of occupational fields including non-profit, business, government, and human rights. Students study the roles and contributions of women as well as the effects of a variety of social and cultural systems on women’s experience. Students gain multicultural competencies that allow them to closely analyze texts and social systems, write critically, and speak confidently.
- Double-major in legal studies and women’s studies. This interdisciplinary double major provides students with a unique program of study that allows them to explore intersections between the law and other areas such as gender, sexuality, race, class, and ability. This combination of learning experiences in two fields, combined with practical and theoretical experiences, prepares students to make social change in the pursuit of creating a better world for everyone. Students develop competencies that will allow them to engage in a variety of opportunities in the law, public policy, non-profit work, human services, legislative initiatives, human rights, or social service. Through elective coursework, students can simultaneously complete a paralegal certificate; this pairing of practical legal training with a liberal arts program focused on cultural and political awareness is highly valued by employers. Students interested in pursuing the double major in legal studies and women’s studies should consult www.hamline.edu/cla/lgst-wstd/.
Opportunities for Nonmajors
Women’s studies courses are open to nonmajors, except the research seminar and courses where prerequisites or other limits are set.
Honors in Women’s Studies
Honors projects are student-initiated and culminate in the production of professional quality research projects. Honors projects offer an opportunity in the junior and senior year for students to work closely with a faculty member on a significant project designed to explore more deeply a particular focus within women’s studies. The student should initiate the project by discussing possible topics with a potential advisor and the chair of women’s studies. Students wishing to be considered for departmental honors in women’s studies should review the detailed information and application forms available from their academic advisor or the chair of women’s studies early in their junior year. Those who successfully defend the honors projects will be awarded honors at graduation, and their accomplishment will be recognized on their academic transcript.
The women’s studies academic honor society is Iota Iota Iota. Qualifying students may apply for membership by contacting the women’s studies chair.
Each student majoring in women’s studies must complete a qualifying internship related to women’s studies. Internship guidelines are available from the women’s studies chair.
Women’s studies prepares students to think critically, analyze ideas and policies skillfully, manage diversity in and out of the workplace, apply social justice concerns, and work toward social transformation. This liberal arts field leads to an array of career choices, in areas such as public service, business, law, health, and non-profit. Women’s studies majors interested in attending graduate school should discuss securing recommendations and obtaining information on graduate programs and entrance exams with the program chair during their junior year.
Cross-listed courses are offered in a variety of departments, and have included topics relating to women and gender in art, communication, biology, globalization, history, literature, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology. Students should consult Piperline each term for current cross-listings in women’s studies by using the “area of study” sort function or contact the women’s studies chair.
Colleen Bell, professor. BS 1975, Iowa State University; MS 1979, University of Wisconsin-Madison; PhD 1986, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Research and teaching interests: women’s studies, social conflict, social justice, youth activism.
Kristin Mapel Bloomberg, professor. Hamline University Endowed Chair in the Humanities. BA 1990, Hamline University; MA 1992, St. Cloud State University; PhD 1998, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Research and teaching interests: women’s studies and feminist theory; woman suffrage and women’s social movements, especially the American Midwest; late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American women’s history, culture, and literature.