Senate approves Department of Women's Studies name change
Senate has approved a proposal to change the name of the Department of Women’s Studies to the Department of Gender Studies, effective January 1, 2010. The change, which was decided unanimously at the November 26 senate meeting, reflects an ongoing shift, as traditional women’s studies moves towards a multi‐faceted approach that encompasses racial, gendered and sexual diversity.
“The change from Women’s Studies to Gender Studies has occurred at a number of academic institutions,” says Women’s Studies Head Beverley Baines. “It speaks to the contemporary research and debate that our faculty and students are participating in, and points to our interdisciplinary approach to the way in which gender is constituted.”
The change also reflects efforts to build stronger links between the undergraduate program and the new Master of Arts in Gender Studies that was approved by Senate earlier this year. “Naming both the undergraduate and graduate programs Gender Studies will demonstrate academic, intellectual and institutional coherence,” says Ms Baines.
The original proposal to change the name from Women’s Studies to Gender Studies was approved unanimously by the Arts and Science Faculty Board in September. It was considered by the Senate committee on academic development at its meeting on November 4, 2009. A separate proposal is expected to be put forward to change the undergraduate degree names to Gender Studies from Women’s Studies.