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    A Note from the Women’s and Gender Studie...

    October 2, 2018
    By: Jean Harris, Ph.D.

    When I joined the University of Scranton in the fall of 1987, there was no academic program in women’s or gender studies. There were, however, numerous courses in several departments that focused on women’s experiences through feminist frameworks.

    In 1988, the College of Arts and Sciences dean invited faculty members to discuss our interests in a women’s or gender studies program. After an initial meeting attended by dozens of faculty members, the Gender Studies Task Force (GSTF) was established to develop and propose an academic program. I chaired the task force, which successfully proposed an interdisciplinary concentration in Women’s Studies. Personally, I preferred that the program be titled Gender Studies. Some faculty members suggested we call it Feminist Studies. The GSTF, based on its research and understanding of our University, developed consensus on a Women’s Studies concentration; an academic program that brought together existing University courses that focused on the experiences of women, modes of authority, and feminist theories.

    With the addition of new faculty and more women’s studies courses over the years, in 2008, the University approved a major in Women’s Studies. Then in 2017, acknowledging the evolution of faculty scholarship and course offerings, Women’s Studies was renamed Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS). WGS at the University has come a long way in 30 years! 

    Dr. Jean Wahl Harris joined the University faculty in the Fall of 1987. She earned a B.A. in Law and Society, a M.A. in Political Science and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
    Dr. Jean Wahl Harris joined the University faculty in the Fall of 1987. She earned a B.A. in Law and Society, a M.A. in Political Science and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
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