WGSS Program Statement in Support of Black Lives and Protests Against State-Sanctioned Violence and Discrimination
June 12, 2020
The faculty of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Stockton University, like so many around the world, are saddened and outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade at the hands of police, murders that represent the tip of the iceberg of state-sanctioned violence and discrimination against Black citizens. We wish to add our voices to those of the National Women’s Studies Association in denouncing these killings, in connecting them to “structural racism and systemic violence rooted in white supremacy, racialized heteropatriarchy, capitalism, militarism, imperialism, and the carceral state” (NWSA), in supporting protesters, activists, and all who are fighting for change, and in calling for resistance, solidarity, and justice.
As members of the Stockton community, we stand with student and alumni leaders and activists, and pledge to follow the lead of BIPOC colleagues and students in setting institutional priorities and responding to our students’ very legitimate fear, trauma and anger. As an academic program, we renew our commitment to intersectional analysis and pedagogy and commit to more deliberately engaging in antiracist assessment, teaching, pedagogy, and activism among ourselves, with our students and in our communities. We understand that Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs, and white feminists in particular, have much work to do to address the racism within our disciplines and our complicity with racist structures, and we pledge to do that work.
We call upon Stockton University to ensure that its dedication to supporting Black Lives Matter, as articulated by President Kesselman in his June 6th statement, is explicitly anti-white supremacy, anti-rape, and anti-violence in relation to women, trans/queer, and disabled communities, as well as BIPOC, immigrant and all communities.
The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program faculty
WGSS Mission Statement
Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) expands the traditional base of a liberal arts and sciences education by focusing on women’s contributions, roles, and perspectives that are otherwise omitted from traditional curriculum offerings. WGSS engages feminist practice to further the understanding and analysis of gender and sexuality. Faculty from all schools within the University take a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to the study of women, gender, and sexuality in WGSS courses offered through both General Studies and degree-granting academic programs.
Participation in the program can lead to a minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, which is noted on a student’s academic transcript. Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies courses are open to any student at Stockton University.
WGSS Goals and Learning Outcomes for the Minor
The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies’ curriculum facilitates critical thinking, student and faculty engagement, and an awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures and experiences by developing competency in feminist activism, theory, and methods. In particular, the WGSS minor will be able to demonstrate achievement in the following:
- Identifying and defining fundamental principles, generalizations, or theories related to the study of women, gender and sexuality;
- Applying feminist theories and methods to multiple academic disciplines and texts as well as to experiences beyond the classroom;
- Analyzing and critically evaluating global and national perspectives and representations related to women, gender and sexuality;
- Engaging with communities, from the local to the global, through feminist activism and scholarship;
- Developing a clearer understanding of and commitment to personal values;
- Developing skill in expressing oneself orally and in writing.
Not every WGSS course will address all the above learning outcomes; students completing the minor will demonstrate their competency in these six areas through the completion of their final portfolio.
–Betsy Erbaugh, Coordinator