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Mission Statement

The mission of women's studies is:

  1. to study women and gender from feminist perspectives, valuing previously marginalized experiences, histories, texts, and aesthetic sensibilities;
  2. to implement curricular and pedagogical innovations attentive to the complex relationships between power and knowledge;
  3. to create an academic community supportive of feminist scholarship and to nurture subsequent generations of feminist scholars and activists;
  4. to contribute through our work as scholars and educators to the project of building a world in which all people enjoy intellectual, social, economic, and political freedom and equality.

To this end, the Women's Studies Program at Hofstra University seeks to educate our campus community about the experiences of women in particular, and about human diversity in its many forms, through our undergraduate curriculum and co-curricular events. We offer a major and a minor that integrate knowledge across established disciplinary divisions. In our courses, students learn about the social, economic, political, intellectual, and creative contributions of women past and present, examine the similarities and differences among women within and across cultures and at different historical moments, and study how gender in combination with race and ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical ability shapes the lives of men and women. The interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to intellectual inquiry, the focus on women, and the analysis of gender undertaken in our women's studies courses complement, extend, and at times challenge the knowledge students learn in discipline-based courses. Our courses cultivate intellectual tools that enrich our students' understanding of their own lived experience, the communities they inhabit, and the world beyond.