2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Georgetown University’s women’s and gender studies program. Despite its limited resources — just two full-time faculty members and no access to tenure lines — the program offers an essential interdisciplinary academic space for not only its own majors, but students across disciplinary focuses and career interests. WGSTea is a three-part op-ed miniseries that offers a glimpse into the power and necessity of the WGST program after 30 years from the perspective of a faculty member, a recent alum and a current WGST major.
April Sizemore-Barber, an assistant professor in the women’s and gender studies program, encourages readers to continue to engage in discussions of gender equality in a time when that goal seems too elusive. As someone who has worked in the field of intersectionality for many years, she iterates the need for Georgetown to create a women’s and gender studies department and calls on everyone to continue to hope for a time when “lessons taught in women’s and gender studies program classrooms are fully incorporated into the broader campus culture.”
Kimberly Blair, who graduated from the College in 2015, reflects on how the women’s and gender studies program has impacted her life beyond Georgetown. Working as both a lawyer and an advocate for reproductive rights, she explains how the program gave her the confidence that allowed her to demand a higher salary and more resources. She argues that it is not only important for a major to stimulate your interest, but to challenge your very approach to life.
Annie Mason, a senior in the College, discusses the importance of recognizing the women’s and gender studies program as a full department. Drawing on her experience as someone who was once ashamed to tell people it was her major, Mason discusses how WGST’s challenging and provoking curriculum caused her to value her education in new ways.