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Faculty of Arts – Women’s & Gender Studies

Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Alberta is home to feminist research, social justice studies, and engaging citizenship

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) is a hub for feminist research, social justice studies, and engaged citizenship at the University of Alberta. Women’s and Gender Studies is a field of study that encourages students to ask big questions about the way that gender impacts how we think, how we live, and how we understand ourselves and others. Though the field historically focused on the lives of women, in the contemporary Women’s and Gender Studies classroom, an emphasis is placed on the ways that gender, race, class, age, sexuality, ability, and size work together. The MA Program in Gender and Social Justice Studies, which offers course-based and thesis routes,  is committed to intersectional analysis of social justice, and we take interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the political, aesthetic, and ethical questions that arise from the study of gender and social justice. Students develop the skills necessary to produce independent scholarly analysis, research, and action aimed at social justice and the reduction of social inequalities. The program includes:

  •  Social Justice Workshop in which students critically interrogate the relationship between social justice theory and practice; topics explored in the workshop may include the relationship between volunteerism, engaged citizenship, and knowledge production for social change; the difference between criminal justice and social justice; and restorative, transformative, and redistributive theories of justice.
  • a specialization in Digital Humanities (course-based program) that provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to the growing sector of digital research, teaching, and activism.

Professors in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies work on a wide variety of feminist research projects and hold research expertise in gender and international development, sexuality and queer studies, critical animal and food studies, feminist religious studies, feminist cultural production, trauma and cultural memory, engagement scholarship and more. Additionally, the undergraduate and graduate programs are linked to a vibrant community of disciplinary based scholars with research interests and expertise in feminist, gender, and sexuality studies.

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