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Department of Women's and Gender Studies

The Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Syracuse University has three distinct but interconnected missions as it seeks to foster interdisciplinary and intersectional teaching, research, and service on women and gender worldwide. Our educational mission is to transform the university’s organization of knowledge by reaching across the epistemological and methodological divisions of historical, political, literary, economic, philosophical, representational, technological, and scientific analysis. In our Department’s dual emphasis on interdisciplinarity and intersectionality we offer students new knowledge while equipping them with a wide range of analytical and methodological skills. Because of the expansive character of women’s and gender studies as an academic field, the research mission of our Department is to develop new interdisciplinary scholarship, creative work, and methods for improving the study of women and gender, and to evaluate critically more traditional scholarship and research in these areas. The civic and global mission of women’s and gender studies is to create a women’s learning, inquiry, and research environment at Syracuse University that addresses or responds to issues of concern relevant to the lives of women on our university campus and in our local cities, the state, across the Americas, and globally. In all three missions the Women’s and Gender Studies Department builds on its already existing excellence in the study of difference and power in transnational, cross-cultural contexts.

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New WGS Chair


Professor May specializes in Black feminist thought, feminist philosophy, African American literature and intersectionality. May is also the newly elected president of the National Women’s Studies Association, a professional organization devoted to feminist scholarship and to the field of women’s and gender studies.