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About the Women's & Gender Studies Department

Teaching, learning and doing in Women’s & Gender Studies at Cal Poly is designed to promote scholarly inquiry, education and activism. As described by the National Women’s Studies Association (2013), Women’s & Gender Studies “is fundamentally about the study of power and societal inequalities.” Our students are empowered to question and contribute to knowledge creation, community formation, activism, creative practice, and policymaking from interdisciplinary and intersectional perspectives. 

Cal Poly established the minor in Women’s Studies in 1990. Our first minors graduated in 1991-92. During the 2016-17 academic year, 45 students graduated with minors in Women’s & Gender Studies from Cal Poly and another 66 number of students will return to Cal Poly as WGS minors in Fall 2017. This means that FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, Cal Poly had over 100 students active in the Women's & Gender Studies minor in one academic year!

Getting Bigger! The New Queer Studies Minor at Cal Poly

In Fall 2017, the Women’s & Gender Studies Department launched a new Queer Studies minor. This minor provides all Cal Poly students with opportunities to explore the central role of sexuality in human societies. 

Courses and learn-by-doing opportunities in the Queer Studies minor examine how constructions, experiences and expressions of sexuality change over time and are lived in relation to interlocking systems of race, ethnicity, religion, class, nation, age, dis/ability and gender. 

Through this exploration, the Queer Studies minor prepares students to contribute to scholarship, creative production and innovation in the interdisciplinary field of Queer Studies. Queer Studies students also gain hands-on experience serving as leaders in the creation, enactment and evaluation of efforts to create a more inclusive, just and equitable Cal Poly and world.

You, Us, and Women’s & Gender Studies at Cal Poly

Women’s & Gender Studies at Cal Poly is a visible and valued part of the Cal Poly community. Faculty, students, and staff from across the university are part of Women’s & Gender Studies at Cal Poly. We look forward to working with and learning from you. 

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