Gender Studies is a dynamic interdisciplinary field of academic study and research that begins from interrogating “gender” as a social and cultural concept that has real impact on human lives, practices, and institutions. Drawing on continuing scholarly developments, Gender Studies invites you to question assumptions about how gender and associated issues impact the social and political world and inform academic study and practice across the Natural and Social Sciences, Humanities and arts.
At New College, students approach Gender Studies from many angles and areas of study. Some students begin by examining gendered dynamics in literature or the arts, while others begin with the cross-cultural concerns of anthropology or how biology is or is not gendered, questions about how gender shapes social policy, or with an interest in how gender inflects the field of ethics.
What joins them in conversation is a will to examine how human understandings of gender and sexual identity have changed over time and how they continue to shape our experience of the world. Broadly defined at New College, Gender Studies encompasses work that could also be called women’s studies, masculinity studies, lesbian and gay studies, queer studies or feminist studies. It also intersects with the issues raised in the various fields of ethnic studies.
Our Gender Studies program attracts a diverse group of students both in terms of self-identity and range of academic interests. Our cohort of declared Gender Studies concentrators includes students:
At New College, you can choose to complete an Area of Concentration (AOC) in Gender Studies or combine your work with another field, completing what we call a “joint disciplinary” AOC. Students have completed joint AOCs with a variety of other fields — you can see a full listing by checking out our Gender Studies Outcomes page.
As a Gender Studies student at New College, you’ll explore:
Your course work may include group tutorials or Independent Study Projects (ISPs) on topics of special interest. Internships and activist and service-learning opportunities are also strongly encouraged.
Our Gender Studies faculty are all active scholar-teachers; their research includes a longitudinal study of coding gender in children’s literature, an exploration of marginalized gendered and race experiences in francophone writers from Québec, the Ivory Coast and Cameroon, an examination of how female embodiment inflects legal speech in 18th-century Britain, or psychological studies of prejudice. Our Gender Studies graduates pursue varied careers, including legal or public policy work, nonprofit advocacy, social services, health/counseling and education.
Graduates from our Gender Studies program have gone on to work in a wide variety of fields and for companies and organizations as diverse as People’s Grocery, the U.S. Department of Education, Community Legal Services, City University of New York, Alachua County School District, Ithaca College, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, Portland Community College, The Jackson Sun, The Miracle Project of Vista Del Mar, the Florida State Attorney’s Office, San Diego Head Start, Todd AO Editworks, The Ohio State University, George Mason University and the College of Wooster. For more information on the diverse careers led by our alumnae/i, visit the Outcomes page.
Gender Studies students are expected to complete work in all three academic divisions (Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences); complete coursework that engages gender as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, nationality, or disability; and to incorporate gender approaches in their senior thesis or project.
Examples of Regularly Offered Courses
The Gender Studies program values and encourages students to engage in internships and other extra-curricular activities. These opportunities allow students to gain real-world experience and to prepare for graduate school and employment. Internships are required for all students seeking the full Gender Studies Area of Concentration. Some examples of student internships include:
Cross Listing and Gender Studies Eligible Courses
Students are able to earn Gender Studies credit for taking a wide variety of courses, even from courses that are not primarily related to the field. For this reason, faculty members distinguish between full Gender Studies and Gender Studies Eligible courses. A course that focuses primarily on Gender Studies content will automatically earn credit towards the AOC requirements. Other courses will allow the opportunity to earn Gender Studies credit upon the approval of and collaboration with professors. These Gender Studies Eligible courses require students to consult with professors to discuss a trajectory throughout the semester that will earn Gender Studies credit. This cross-discipline collaboration is essential to providing students with a well-rounded understanding of Gender Studies theories on a global scale.
Examples of Gender Studies Eligible Courses:
Gender Studies pulls from faculty across the entire campus. Faculty who affiliate with Gender Studies are choosing to make themselves available to students with broad interests rather than insular disciplinary ones, so these faculty tend to be particularly generous, interested in student learning and personal development, and willing to step outside their own comfort zone. For instance, faculty trained as laboratory scientists have been willing to help students interested in learning more about the struggles of women scientists and shared their personal knowledge and sponsored students researching women’s contributions to the sciences. Faculty with expertise in women writers have worked with students interested in African American masculinity to learn more about ongoing masculinity and critical race studies, or faculty focused on labor issues have been willing to help students interested in learning more about the particular challenges facing African women.
Faculty with expertise in gender and feminist theory have worked with students to explore the full range of thinking about sexual identity and the non-identitarian field of queer theory. Sometimes faculty have been willing to collaborate with each other to create a kind of composite and comparative group tutorial, offering a short two- to three-week unit of a course in an area they know well so that students can get a good overview of how “gender” impacts fields from classics to anthropology, from tropical botany to philosophy.
In addition to the staff of the Gender Studies Program, faculty throughout the College address issues related to Gender Studies in their courses, research and tutorials. The faculty members listed below are all affiliated with the Gender Studies Program:
New College is proud of our many Gender Studies graduates. Here is a look at what some of them are currently up to:
Amy Laitinen, ’97, is deputy director for higher education at the New America Foundation. Prior to joining New America, she was a senior policy analyst for higher education at Education Sector, a nonpartisan education think tank in Washington, D.C., where she focused on student financial aid and federal higher education tax policy. Laitinen previously served as a policy advisor to the undersecretary and assistant secretary for vocational and adult education at the U.S. Department of Education where she was responsible for developing policy and budget proposals for postsecondary education, adult and workforce education, and interagency policy. She also led policy design efforts for President Obama’s proposed $12-billion American Graduation Initiative and served as a policy advisor in the White House, where she helped plan the White House Community College Summit.
Jennifer Glass is the Barbara Bush Professor of Liberal Arts in the Department of Sociology and Research Associate in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin. She has published more than 50 articles and books on gender stratification in the labor force, mother’s employment and mental health, and religious conservatism and women’s economic attainment. She was elected vice president of the American Sociological Association. “New College really changed the trajectory of my life,” she says. “I never would have gone to graduate school had it not been for my fantastic mentor, who encouraged me and pushed me through my thesis project (which, when I looked back on it a few years ago, was better than most of the M.A. theses my students are writing today!)”
Lauren O’Neill-Butler is a New York–based writer and the managing editor of Artforum.com. A frequent contributor to Artforum and to Artforum.com, she has also written for Art Lies, Bookforum.com, Paper Monument, and Time Out New York. She teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and the School of Visual Arts, and has been a visiting critic at numerous institutions including Hunter College, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Parsons The New School for Design and PS 122 Gallery, New York.
Sarah Viren earned a master of fine arts in creative writing (nonfiction) in 2011 from the University of Iowa — College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She received a Fulbright fellowship for 2011-12 for travel to Colombia with an English Teaching Assistantship grant.
Carly Earnshaw is a therapist and care manager at Edgewood Center for Children and Families. She holds a master’s in clinical psychology from New College of California.
Kate Hubin Piliero is currently vice president of corporate communications at Lions Gate Films.
Sara Irwin is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church with a degree in theology from General Theological Seminary in New York. She is rector of Christ Church in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Jana Daugherty is outreach and intake coordinator at Portland Community College.
Amy Murphy is a doctoral fellow at the University of Florida School of Teaching and Learning.
Laurie Sansbury holds a J.D. from University of Alabama Law School and is currently a Public Defender Corps Fellow in Shelby County, Tennessee, as part of a nationwide program for widespread justice reform.
Fiona Lewis is an author who writes LGBTQ erotic fiction under the pen name Fiona Zedde and was a finalist for the Lamda Award. Most recently she published a children’s book, Dreaming in Color. Her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including “From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth.”
Craig Willse is assistant professor of cultural studies at George Mason University and co-editor of Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death. He previously taught at the College of Wooster, University of California at Riverside and both Macaulay Honors College and Hunter College of CUNY. He completed his Ph.D. in sociology at the City University of New York (CUNY).
Jason Jacobs is assistant professor of foreign languages at Roger Williams University in Providence, Rhode Island. He completed his Ph.D. in literature with a special focus on medieval French and Italian literatures and queer theory at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Kimberly Jean Kroflich works for the State Attorney’s office in Brevard County, Florida, with special emphasis on the legal needs of children.
Sofia Memon works for Community Legal Services in Philadelphia where she practices law in the areas of public benefits and language access.
Christa Craven is an associate professor of Anthropology and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies (Chair from 2012-2017) at the College of Wooster in Ohio. She is the author of Pushing for Midwives: Homebirth Mothers and the Reproductive Rights Movement and a textbook with Dána-Ain Davis, Feminist Ethnography: Thinking Through Methodologies, Challenges & Possibilities. She is currently working on a project interviewing lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-, and queer families about pregnancy, adoption, and loss.
Allison Whitcomb received her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University School of Medicine. She completed behavioral health clinical training at Fenway Health, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQIIA healthcare providers, and is now a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a clinical counselor and health educator at a local college in Boston.
Mia Newell earned a master of social work degree from the University of Illinois. She now works with RAINN as a Training Supervisor for the National Sexual Assault Hotline, as well as at the Mcclendon Center as a Mental Health Counseling Specialist.
Wilmarie Ríos Jaime is the public affairs associate at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in the Washington, D.C. Public Affairs office, where she serves as a content developer.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Gender Studies
• American University
|Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Gender Studies: |
“Does It Pay To Care? The Commodification of Care and Remuneration in The Market” by Crystal Miller
“Opposites (Still Must) Attract: Constructions of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Modern Young Adult Literature” by Bre Gregg
“Don’t Speak, I Know Just What You’re Saying: Gender Role Orientation, Self-Silencing, and Relationship Satisfaction” by Francesca Leyva
“What is Queer-Ness? A Prototype Analysis of Queer Identity” by Molly Swift
“The Divine Feminine: A Feminist Study of Goddess Appropriation within the Jewish Renewal Movement and Western Interpretations of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism” by Zoe Rayor
“Communicated Gender: A Content Analysis of Contemporary Children’s Toy Commercials in the U.S.” by Mackenzie Pawliger
“Marketing Masculinity: A Content Analysis of Gender Role Presentations in Super Bowl Commercials at the Turn of the 21st Century” by Allison Whitcomb
“An Anthropology of Remembering: Queer Theory, Collaborative Archaeology, & the Apalachea past” by Lee Bloch
“MADRE: An Ethnographic Study of Feminism, Social Change and Women’s Human Rights” by Erica Lindegren
“’Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Queerest of Them All?’ A Crip Perspective on Fairy Tale Intertextuality” by Jody Francis Mailer
“’You can still be a feminist, be proud of being a woman, and deal with the gender binary’: Issues of Sex and Gender at Indian Brook Camp” by Flavia Grattery-Musinsky
“’Smarten Up and Act Dumb, Sister!’: Representations of Sexuality and Gender in Children’s Television Media” by Zoe Nicole Kenney
“God’s Liberated People? Men and Women in the Metropolitan Community Church” by Kathleen O’Neal
“Traditional Place and Feminist Space: The Japanese Tea Ceremony Makes Room for Empowerment” by Morgan Boecher
“Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going: Feminist Voices in Anthropology” by Roxanne Sawhill
“Promoted Gender Roles in Heterosexual Teenage Dating: 1950s and 2000s” by Scarlett Taylor
“Representations of Women in the Work of Gustave Flaubert and Leo Tolstoy” by Jillian Horowitz
“Whose Development in ‘Theatre for Development’?: Donors, Directors, and Local Participation in a South African Non-Governmental Organization” by Laine Forman
“The Fiction of Choice: Abortion Plots, Gender and Patriarchy in Four Twentieth-Century Texts” by Merode “Mem” Ward-Lichterman
“Interracial Intimacy in Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa” by Salome Blignaut
“Sentence/Sentience: An Exploration of Unbounded Linguistic Assemblage within Experimental Poetics” by Meghan Hawkins
“Lessons in Love: The Role of the Mentor-Lover in Nineteenth-Century Women’s Novels.” by Crystal Dawn Kopp
“She-Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Novels” by Natalia Real
“’All Our Human Boundries were OverRun’: Reconfiguring Motherhood in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina and Cavedweller” by Sarah M. Young
“Masculinity, Sexuality, and Identity in Three Queer Texts, 1900-1910” by Kate Mulkern
“The Media’s Reception of Queer Images in Music Videos in the 1980s and 1990s” by Brian Van Valkenburg
“The Construction and Enactment of Queer and Jewish Identity” by Beth Prentiss
“Identity in the House of Difference: Constructing the Situational Subject in Audre Lorde’s Zami” by Rebecca Balon
“Egalitarian and Difference Feminism in Fantasy Literature: Strategies for Breaking through Oppression in the Works of McCaffrey, Pierce, Le Guin and McKillip” by Sarah Nelson-Steinberg
“Questions de Genre: Story and Identity in the Feature Films of Safi Faye” by Holly Herrick
“Relational Aggression in Gay Male Relationships; Examining the Role of Internalized Homophobia” by Richard Alan Robertson, II
“First Do No Harm’: Intersexuality and the Rise of the Medical Profession” by Kim Heinz
“The Shifting Margins of Whiteness and Otherness: Hispanic American Women and the Social Construction of Race” by Sasha Wortzel
“Gender Bias in Physiological Stress Research” by Jennifer Potter
“Telling Stories: Narratives of Female Identity in Three Canadian Novels” by Jillian Crowther
“The Healing Power of Narrative: The 1937 Haitian Massacre and Two Literary Representations” by Kara Kristina Larson
“A Matter of Choice: The Impact of State Intervention on Reproductive Rights in the United States and France” by Corey Callahan
“Inanimate Abjections: Configuring Identity in the Work of Hans Bellmer, Cindy Sherman, and Mike Kelley” by Lauren O’Neill-Butler
“Writing Herself into Existence: Contemporary American Women’s Life-Writing” by Taryn Morvillo
“America Under Construction: Nineteenth-Century Women’s Travel Narratives of Westward Expansion” by Christine Marie McCullough
“Images of Cross-Dressing in Four Nineteenth-Century Novels: Gender, Class, and Power” by Marcy W. Murray
“The Private ‘I’ in the Public Sphere: Narratives of Space, Place, and Community in the Lesbian Detective Novel” by Sarah Strozier Viren
“Constructing Domestic Violence within the Battered Women’s Shelter: Workers’ Role.” by Cathryn Cayce Hughes
“(Dis) Integrated Material: Cyborg Feminism and the Posthuman Body” by Katherine E. Hubin
“Locating Socially Effective Literature: Difference, Fictionality and Self-Construction in Kingston, Lorde and Duras” by Hillary Hall
“Textual Bodies: The Remaking of Meany in Works by Marie Cardinal, Clarice Lispectora and Janice Galloway” by Ayla Samli
“Existence in the Inquiry: The Dynamism of Feminist Existentialism” by Sara Irwin
“Making, Remaking, and Reclaiming the Witch: Constructing Witches in American Fiction” by Sydnie Petteway
“Choice and Reproductive Justice: Understanding of Puerto Rican Women’s Sterilization Experiences” By Wilmarie Ríos Jamie
“Coloring the Page: Examination of Racialized Femininity and Embodied Power Within Women’s Magazines” By Lauren DeJesus-Glasgow
The Gender Studies Office is located upstairs in Palmer C, 215. Books, DVDs, and some materials on local volunteer and internship opportunities are available in the Gender Studies Office. Please contact our Program Coordinator, Alexandra Vargas-Fournier, to schedule a visit to access any of the resources in the Gender Studies office. We also suggest that you contact our current Program Director, Emily Fairchild, and our Program Advisor, Steve Shipman, to ask about applying for a concentration in Gender Studies.
Student Affairs also supports gender-related activities and events. The Gender and Diversity Center (GDC) is a meeting place for student groups interested in working on social justice issues.The GDC’s professional staff strives to foster an environment that is conducive to the social, intellectual and academic well-being of the New College of Florida community by providing a space that facilitates learning and by making available resources for exploring, communicating and supporting diverse experiences. Through programming, advocacy and collaboration, the GDC coordinator dedicates his/her services and resources to working with campus entities to facilitate an environment that is inclusive, responsive and supportive to the needs of underrepresented campus participants at New College of Florida. The Center is available for studying, impromptu meetings and relaxing! We have a television/VCR, slide projector and a dry erase board, and can comfortably seat up to 25 people. We offer programming related to diversity, multiculturalism and student success issues; diversity and gender related materials that may be borrowed; a place to host meetings and gatherings; leadership development and transition support.
Peggy Bates Award
Each year the Gender Studies program gives a small award named for Professor Emerita Margaret (Peggy) Bates to students who have presented their research at academic conferences or who have completed special research at another institution related to Gender Studies. More information on these awards is available through the Gender Studies Office.
Gender Studies students are especially likely to be involved with student groups or local organizations addressing issues of reproductive health, poverty and access to services or education, domestic violence, body image, etc. For instance, some students are involved with:
Visiting speakers come not solely to deliver a single large lecture, but to work with students and faculty in workshops, tutorials and informal gatherings. Past speakers and events include:
• Marilyn Lerner, internationally acclaimed jazz pianist, improviser and psychotherapist, also performed as part of New Music New College.
• bell hooks, acclaimed professor, author, cultural critic, and activist whose work focuses on the connectivity between race, capitalism and gender.
• Joan Roughgarden, noted ecologist and evolutionary biologist, Stonewall Book Award winner, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Guggenheim Foundation.
• Joan Benoit, Olympic marathon gold medalist, motivational speaker, and women in sports activist.
• Fatou Diop, sociologist from Université Gaston Berger and Fulbright Fellow: Specialist in the Muslim World.
• Michael Messner, professor, sociologist and author whose work focuses on gender-based violence, Pursuit of Justice Award winner from California Women’s Law Center.
• Ruth Behar, McArthur Fellow and Professor of Anthropology at University of Michigan, acclaimed author.
• George Rousseau, professor and cultural historian at University of Oxford, co-director of the Centre for the History of Childhood, fellow of the Royal Historical Society.