As an academic unit at UW-Eau Claire, the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program coordinates teaching, research and scholarship in the field of WGSS. This is a unique academic program that incorporates praxis--practice that is informed by theory and gendered analyses. WGSS is a discipline in its own right yet operates most often in multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary modes.
Enacted as a discipline, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is a site of social change/activism as much as theory; therefore, the program supports and incorporates the following theoretical approaches to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies courses:
- They are taught with feminist pedagogical techniques and from a feminist theoretical perspective;
- They integrate theory with activism whenever possible; and
- They advocate for gender justice both on campus and in the larger community.
Though other offices advocate for gender justice on campus, WGSS currently serves as an identifiable center for focused concern about issues of climate affecting women students, faculty and staff at UWEC. In addition, WGSS actively fosters interaction with surrounding communities.
The teaching and learning process in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is centered on inter-disciplinary research, collaboration, and services. Outreach and action projects are integral parts of this process. Interaction with the world tests academic theory learned in course work against the realities of women's lives. The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies paradigm thus incorporates teaching, research, and service as necessary components to developing curriculum and extending frontiers of knowledge in an evolving interdisciplinary field and a changing world.
Everything is pretty hands on, and that's what I like about the program. The learning environment in our labs is amazing. Our department allows us to test out all different types of instrumentation and the applications for it.