The Women and Gender Studies Department at San Francisco State University was founded in 1976, one of the first such departments in the United States. Forged out of transformative activism and scholarship, the department uses interdisciplinary approaches and foregrounds transnational and intersectional relationships among gender, race, sexuality, nation, labor, technologies and globalization. Our students engage in challenging academics, work closely with professors and lead community initiatives. Faculty typically teach three courses per semester (though competitive awards of release time for research are often available), maintain an active research and publishing profile and advise undergraduate and Master’s students in the department. We encourage intellectual collaborations within the department as well as across the profession, and also support applications for internal and external funding to support research productivity.
The Department of Women and Gender Studies examines the power relationships between gender formations and political economies, cultural productions, and embodiments. Understanding gender as co-constituted with race, class, sexuality, and nation, the department deploys an interdisciplinary and transnational methodology to build feminist archives, conversations, and tools for social justice. In developing and communicating its understanding of gender and power, the department pays particular attention to insights from critical race and postcolonial studies. Viewing the production of knowledge about gender as itself political, the department seeks, in its research, teaching, and community building, to explore both gender’s embeddedness in current forms of injustice as well as its past and emergent potential for transformative politics.
The Department offers an M.A. in Women and Gender Studies, as well as a B.A. major, minor, and a range of general education and elective courses.