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WGS Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies offers an advanced program of study grounded in contemporary issues and current scholarship. The program can be completed on its own or combined with a Masters of Arts in English.

The program is designed to serve both students preparing for further graduate study and working professionals. It is especially useful for teachers, who will gain strategies for navigating the gendered terrain of the classroom.

For students in the Master of Arts in English, five courses are required: two Women and Gender Studies (WGS) courses and three ENGL classes in your graduate program that have an approved gender designation. Students will choose TWO of the following WGS courses:

  • WGS500: Gender, Culture, and Society
  • WGS510:  Feminist Theories
  • WGS520: Gender Equity in the Classroom

In order to add the Gender Certificate to your program of study, pick up an Application to “Add/Remove Graduate Certificate Endorsement” at the Records and Registration office in Green Hall and notify your graduate advisor of your intention to complete the certificate.

Fall 2017 WGS courses that can be used to satisfy the core requirements for the Gender Studies Graduate Certificate:

WGST 510 Feminist Theories

Professor Marla Jaksch

Thursday  4:00-6:40 pm 

The basic theoretical questions that we will address in this course range from deceptively simple ones, which attempt to define concepts such as woman/ women, the body, gender, nature, otherness, labor, oppression and change, to more abstract interrogations of the theoretical assumptions operating within the explicative frameworks of postmodernism, poststructuralism, social constructivism, postcolonialism, materialism and transnational feminisms.


WGS 520 Gender Equity in the Classroom.

Professor Marla  Jaksch

Mon/Thurs 2:00-3:20 

This graduate seminar examines theoretical writings on feminist pedagogy and also addresses practical issues related to teaching Women’s and Gender Studies.  Participants will develop familiarity with feminist pedagogies and their significance for the field of Women’s and Gender Studies; interpret their own educational experiences within the context of feminist reflections on education; formulate their own philosophies of education; and develop and test pedagogical strategies for developing critical consciousness about social inequalities.


Maymester 2017 and Fall 2017 English Graduate Courses that can be used to satisfy the elective requirements for the Gender Studies Graduate Certificate:


Maymester 2017

ENGL 670: The Witch in Literature

Professor Michele Tarter

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday (5/22/17 – 6/9/17)

10:00am to 1:15pm

The witch has been a figure in literary history since the beginning of time. Who is she, and what does she embody? Who creates her, and to what end? This course will explore the socio-historical constructions of this figure and trace her through a wide spectrum of literary texts, including legal and historical treatises, fairy tales, short stories, drama, film, children’s literature, poetry and even cartoons. In addition to the Maymester course on-campus, students will have the enhanced learning opportunity of traveling to Salem, Massachusetts for 4 days (dates of trip to be determined), where they will conduct archival research of the 1692 witch hunt at the Peabody Essex Museum (in addition to visiting many museums and living history programs). Through in-depth and on-site study of witch hunts and literary recreations of this figure, students will analyze the cultures which have persisted in creating, recreating and reviving this timeless, powerful and equally feared character throughout the ages.


Fall 2017

ENGL 505 Contemporary Literary Theory

Professor Harriet Hustis

Wed 5:00—7:30 pm

An introduction to the scholarly methods necessary for graduate work in literature and to the study of theoretical frameworks important to contemporary literary criticism, including formalism, structuralism, Marxism, deconstruction, feminism, post-colonial studies, cultural studies, new historicism, and psychoanalysis. The course exposes students to the primary texts from which those theoretical frameworks are derived and requires students to critique and construct applications of those theories to specific literary texts.


ENGL670-03: Queer YA Literature

Professor Emily Meixner

Tues 5:00—7:30

This course will examine the expanding range of queer texts available to middle grade and young adult readers and the ways in which this body of literature serves as an ideological touchstone for both hegemonic and contested depictions of adolescence and adolescent sexuality. The primary focus of the course will be fiction; however, participants will also have the opportunity to consider contemporary non-fiction offerings as well.  Our readings of these texts will be informed by the work of post-structural, feminist, and queer theorists in addition to the growing body of scholarship on queer children’s literature.