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Women's Studies Minor

Examining how gender shapes our experiences

The Women's Studies minor is an interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary program that seeks to provide students and the university community with educational frameworks and strategies for intellectual and personal growth, positive social change, and political awareness that informs active participation in public affairs. It prepares students to gain an awareness of women's issues, to understand how social constructions of gender and sexuality affect and have shaped daily experience, broader social structures, institutions, social relations, and cultural and aesthetic production. By its very definition, attention to gender necessitates an approach that examines gender across race, class, sexuality, age, and nationality.

History: A women's studies committee was convened in 1987 by Nancy Anderson, Barbara Ewell, Connie Mui, and Catherine Wessinger. With the ardent support of Sister Fara Impastato, the committee developed and approved a women's studies minor and program in 1989. In addition, the committee reopened the Women's Resource Center in 1995. The WRC had initially opened in 1975 and closed in 1980. Since the reopening, the Women's Studies program and the Women's Resource Center have collaborated on programming and initiatives. 

Mission: The Women's Studies minor and program at Loyola University New Orleans supports the mission of the university by educating the whole person in a critical and analytical understanding of women and gender across history and cultures and by promoting social justice in both an intellectual and an activist context. 

Who We Are

The Women's Studies program is directed by Natasha Bingham.
Office: Monroe 281
Campus Box: 112
Phone: (504) 865-2794
Email: nbingham@loyno.edu
 

Participating faculty also include: 

  • Patricia Boyett, Co-Chair, Women's Studies Committee Women's Resource Center, Director & Department of History, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Typhanie Jasper Butler, Office of Community Engaged Learning, Teaching & Scholarship Director
  • Alice Clark, School of Music & Theatre Arts, Professor
  • Anne Daniell, Department of Religious Studies, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Victoria Elmwood, University Library, Assistant Professor
  • Jason Ezell, University Library, Associate Professor
  • Allision Edgren, Department of History, Visiting Assistant Professor 
  • Valerie Goertzen, School of Music & Theatre Arts, Professor
  • Constance Mui, Department of Philosophy, Professor
  • Kedrick Perry, Equity & Inclusion, Vice President (administration, cabinet)
  • Janna Saslaw, School of Music & Theatre Arts, Professor
  • Lindsay Sproul, Department of English, Assistant Professor
  • Jaita Talukdar, Department of Sociology, Associate Professor 
  • Rae Taylor, Department of Criminology & Justice, Chair/Associate Professor  Sociology
  • Victoria Vega, School of Music & Theatre Arts, Professor
  • Rachel Wallace, Department of History, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Elizabeth Watkins Department of English, Assistant Professor 
  • Kate Yurgil, Department of Psychology, Associate Professor 

 

Women's Studies Subcommittees

Collaborative Faculty-Student Grant Committee: Three members serve on this committee, which awards a $500 grant to support and promote faculty-student collaborations with a focus on women’s issues, including how gender and sexuality affect daily experience, broader social structures, institutions, social relations, and cultural and aesthetic production. Types of projects may include but are not limited to research projects, scholarly papers, creative works, and community events and programming. Sponsored projects should take place during the spring semester and must be completed by the end of the summer semester. Grant recipients are required to give a final presentation to the Loyola community during the following fall or spring semester. The committee, in concert with the Women’s Studies co-chairs, promotes the submissions. The committee develops an evaluation process and collaborates with the Women’s Studies chairs and the Women’s Resource Center director to host the presentation.

 

Curriculum Committee: The Curriculum Committee designed eligibility criteria for Women’s Studies courses that the full Women’s Studies Committee approved. Each course must meet the requirements as outlined in the next section. The committee reviews course proposals submitted by Loyola faculty. In addition, the committee reviews courses a student would like to take abroad to count for the minor.

 

SCAP Committee:  The subcommittee, composed of three members, has developed a rubric assessment instrument of the paper or presentation by graduating seniors pursuing a Women’s Studies minor to determine how well the graduating students are achieving the learning outcomes. The subcommittee will report its findings to the curriculum committee and the full committee and recommend any changes that it deemed necessary.

 

Steering Committee: The Steering Committee is composed of five members and includes: the current co-chairs, the previous co-chair, and the Women’s Resource Center director. The committee meets periodically to develop an agenda for the committee and to address particular issues.

 

Writing Contest Committee: This committee is generally composed of three members. The members collaborate with the Women’s Studies chairs to advertise the contest in the fall of each year. In the spring of each year, they review submissions and select up to two recipients for the Nancy Fix Anderson Women’s Studies Essay award and up to two recipients for the Barbara C. Ewell Creative Writing Women’s Studies Award. The recipients of the awards are honored during Loyola’s Honors Convocation. They are featured in the Women’s Resource Center’s magazine, The Feminist Forum alongside the publication of their winning submissions.

 

Contact Us:

To reach members of the committee, please see the committee members section.  The co-chairs also monitor the following Women’s Studies email for general inquiries. wsc@loyno.edu

Curriculum & Assessment 

 

Course Offerings & Declaring a Minor 

The Women's Studies minor is a 21 -credit hour program (7 courses). Students can use the course section search (LORA) system to find courses that are eligible for the minor.  Before declaring a Women's Studies Minor, please contact the current program chair or email wsc@loyno.edu

Women’s Studies Minor Assessment

  

Starting in 2022, all Women’s Studies minors  at the beginning of the fall or spring semester in which they graduate,  must submit a one-page reflection paper or a ten-minute recorded presentation based on a prompt provided to them by the chairs of the Women’s Studies committee that demonstrates their understanding of one of the primary key learning outcomes of the Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Minor curriculum. The Women’s Studies co-chairs will reach out to graduating seniors to facilitate this process.

Proposing a Women’s Studies Course 

Eligibility Criteria for Women’s Studies Courses: As designed by the Curriculum Committee, faculty interested in teaching a course in the Women’s Studies Program must submit to the Women’s Studies Curriculum Committee a brief narrative justifying why the course qualifies to be included as a Women's Studies course and a syllabus of the proposed course. For a course to be approved for credit in the Women’s Studies minor, it must dedicate at least 60% of the course material and assignments to discussions of women’s and gender issues. Additionally, Women’s Studies members have put together a set of eligibility criteria (included below) that interested faculty are expected to incorporate in the course objectives, course content, and student learning outcomes of the proposed course. Faculty preparing to submit a course proposal must:

 

1. Submit a brief narrative demonstrating how the course fulfills and engages with the eligibility criteria. The curriculum committee has recommended that a course needs to satisfy at least five of the eligibility criteria, which may in some cases include more than five criteria.

2. Interested faculty members are required to submit a syllabus that shows a sustained engagement with the eligibility criteria that is further reflected in student learning outcomes (such as those demonstrated through course assignments). Faculty who wish to have their courses included in the WS minor should submit their syllabi at least a month prior to student advising/registration week.

 

 Eligibility Criteria:  This course will satisfy at least 5 of the following elements of the eligibility criteria. The committee, however, encourages faculty to include as many of the following criteria when designing a Women's Studies course:

 

____ covers issues that discuss how women’s and men’s lives are affected in gender specific ways.

 

____     covers issues that discuss the socio-historical experiences of women.

 

____     studies creative, literary and scholarly works produced by or about women.

 

____     explores feminist theories that ground discussions on gender equality and justice. 

 

____ demonstrates that gender (or even sex) is a socially constructed, hierarchical phenomenon that places emphasis on differences between women and men, and bestows unequal material and social privileges based on such differences.

 

____ demonstrates that social institutions, through laws or expectations governing gender-appropriate behavior, maintain and reinforce the gender binary.

 

____ demonstrates engagement with the role feminist and other social movements played in challenging gender as a system of inequality and privilege.

 

____ takes on an intersectional approach to show how gender interacts with other social statuses (ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, religious status, and others) to create unique experiences for women and men.

 

____     engages in the methodologies and/or pedagogies of the field of Women’s and Gender Studies.

 

____     privileges women as producers of knowledge, rather than simply as subjects of study.

Requirements

See an overview of the program's curriculum and requirements.

Grants, Writing Contest & Awards

Women's Studies Program Faculty/Student Collaborative Project Grant

The Women’s Studies Committee periodically awards a $500 grant to support a faculty-student collaborative project with a focus on women’s issues. The deadline to submit an application for the 2022 cycle is January 12, 2022. Sponsored projects should take place during Spring/Summer 2022, and all Loyola faculty and full-time students are eligible to apply. They should present their project in the fall 2022 or spring 2023 at an event sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s Resource Center.  To obtain an application, email Allison Edgren, amedgren@loyno.edu. Applications will be reviewed by Women’s Studies Committee members, and award recipients will be notified via email. See the call for submissions, the application information, and detailed instructions below:

PROPOSAL TO LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS

WOMEN’S STUDIES COMMITTEE

Faculty-Student Collaborative Project Grant

Purpose

The Women’s Studies Committee will award a $500 grant to support and promote faculty-student collaborations with a focus on women’s issues, including how gender and sexuality affect daily experience, broader social structures, institutions, social relations, and cultural and aesthetic production. Types of projects may include but are not limited to research projects, scholarly papers, creative works, and community events and programming.

Award Timeline

Sponsored projects should take place between Spring 2022 and Fall 2022. Grant recipients are required to give a final presentation to the Loyola community during Fall 2022 or Spring 2023. Presentations may be in-person, virtual, or hybrid.

Eligibility

All Loyola faculty and full-time students are eligible to apply.

2021-22 Deadlines

Submissions OPEN: November 15, 2021

Submissions CLOSE: January 21, 2022

Decisions announced: February 4, 2022

 

SAMPLE APPLICATION

LATE OR INCOMPLETE PROPOSALS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

PROPOSAL TO LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS

WOMEN’S STUDIES COMMITTEE

Student-Faculty Collaborative Project Application

 



Faculty Information


Student Information


Name (print):


Name (print):


Signature:


Signature:


Department:


Major:


Email:


Email:

 


 


I. Project Summary (100 words):

 

 

Women’s Studies Program Writing Contest

Submission Deadline for 2022 Contest: February 11, 2022

Email submissions in pdf format  to: wsc@loyno.edu

 

Nancy Fix Anderson Women’s Studies Essay Award: This award honors Dr. Nancy Fix Anderson, Professor Emerita of History (1974-75; 1979-2006), a founding member of the Women’s Studies Program and former chair of the Women’s Studies Committee. A popular teacher and committed scholar in women’s history, she was one of the first women faculty to receive Loyola's prestigious Dux Academicus award (1994). The contest is open to all Loyola students. Entries should be non-fiction prose, such as research papers, position papers, reports. Essays should have been written in a course for academic credit during the academic year in question or in the previous Spring or Summer term and validated by the instructor of the course to be authentic and original. Topics can be in any academic discipline, but it must concern an issue specific to women or gender. The committee may choose up to two students who submitted entries to receive this award.

 

Barbara C. Ewell Creative Writing Women’s Studies Award: Entries may be any work of creative writing, including poetry, fiction or drama. Entries must be the student’s original work, published or unpublished, relating to the subjects of women and/or gender. Several years ago, the committee named the award in honor of Barbara Ewell, one of the Women’s Studies Program’s founders and most distinguished members. The Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor received the Dux Academicus Award in 2003. She is the author of Kate Chopin, a variety of articles on Renaissance poetry, various North American writers, and feminist pedagogy. She has co-edited two collections, Louisiana Women Writers: Critical Essays and Bibliography and Southern Local Color: Stories of Region, Race and Gender. The committee may choose up to two students who submitted entries to receive this award.

 

Recipients Awards - 2021

 

Barbara C. Ewell Creative Writing Women's Studies Award - Recipient

Victoria Mayfield, “The Cocoa Butterflies Parley”         

 

Nancy Fix Anderson Women's Studies Essay Award - Co-Recipients

Delaney Harper: “Smothered Voices: Sexual Oppression, Black Women, & Methods of Dismissal.”      

Aniya Teno, “Transgender Women: Gender Violence & Justice”

The award-winning essays and poem are featured in the Women’s Resource Center’s The Feminist Forum  Feminist Forum, June 2021 by Loyola University New Orleans

 

Sister Fara Impastato Outstanding Women's Studies Award

 

The Women’s Studies Committee named this award after Sister Fara Impastato, one of the founders of the Women’s Studies Program in 1989. She was among the first professors to teach courses focused on women as well as an ardent supporter of the first Women’s Resource Center (WRC), which opened in 1975 and closed in 1980. In addition, she supported the reopening of the WRC in the 1990s. The committee may select up to two graduating students in the Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Minor to receive this award.

 

2021 Co-Recipients

Shosh Pojawa                         

Isabella Bernal        

The recipients were featured in the Women’s Resource Center’s The Feminist Forum (June 2021) Feminist Forum, June 2021 by Loyola University New Orleans - Issue         

 

Women's Studies Programming

The Women’s Studies Committee engages in a variety of programs each year. It collaborates with several departments and the Women's Resource Center. 

Upcoming events include: 

 

Women’s History Month Lecture Series

The Women’s Studies Committee, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Department of History collaborate to host a series of lectures on Tuesdays in March.

 

Feminist Festival

The Women’s Resource Center hosts an annual Feminist Festival and partners with the Women’s Studies program on many of the programs and activities. This year the festival will be held from March 21-25.

Take Back the Night New Orleans

The Women’s Resource Center in collaboration with the University Counseling Center, the Women’s Studies program, representatives from several community organizations, Dillard University, Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, and Xavier University host Take Back the Night New Orleans. It is held annually in October.