Women’s Studies at Michigan
Founded in 1973 as an interdisciplinary program, the University of Michigan Women’s Studies Department is one of the strongest and most mature such Departments in the country. As an interdisciplinary academic unit within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, we are a diverse intellectual community dedicated to excellence through feminist research, teaching, and social activism. Our 30+ faculty members represent the full range of the humanities and the social sciences, as well as the professions of medicine, health, and the law. A large cohort of additional faculty across the University contribute their energies by cross-listing courses, team-teaching with Women’s Studies faculty, advising undergraduate and graduate students, serving on committees, and pursuing feminist scholarship in their own disciplines.
Through our scholarship, curriculum, and activism, we seek to build interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty and students that bridge gender, racial, economic, religious, and national divides; create new forms of knowledge; and tie the University to our communities by promoting social justice.
Activism and Women’s Studies
Since its inception, Women’s Studies has striven to integrate feminist theory and practice. Women’s Studies considers scholarship and activism to be tandem sites for comprehending the historical circumstances that shape social injustice and for spurring ethical reflection on social transformation. Both are key to understanding how individuals and communities resist social inequality or reproduce it. Scholarship offers the results of rigorous research to help us understand the process of coalition building and social change, while activism inspires, grounds, and emboldens feminist research.
Women’s Studies students consistently rate their feminist practice and service-learning experiences as among the most beneficial components of their undergraduate educations. They point out the numerous ways in which their hands-on, activist projects contribute to their growth as feminist practitioners of change, their intellectual and ethical development, their personal maturity and ability to communicate effectively, and their success in the job market. Their expanded knowledge and enhanced interpersonal competencies provide them with confidence to be positively engaged as students and as citizens of the world.
Our students are leaders in such organizations as the F-Word, Muslim Student's Association, Hispanic Heritage Month, SAPAC (Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center), Prison Creative Acts Program (PCAP), Students for Choice, Dance Marathon, Alternative Spring Break, the Panhellenic Association, LSA Student Government, and It’s Great to be a Girl Feminist Mentorship Program.