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Feminist Studies

Feminist studies at Hampshire connects critical feminist scholarship to a wide variety of disciplines. Nearly all students will, at one point or other, be asked to consider the questions and problems of their own academic focus from a feminist perspective, and many concentrators choose to make this consideration a central tenet of their research.

A feminist studies concentrator will likely develop a course of study that spans several academic fields ranging from gender theory, media criticism, literature and history, to women’s health, queer rights, political economy, and law. Emphasis is placed on understanding feminism through multiple cultural lenses both in the United States and internationally.

Affiliated Faculty
Student Project Titles
  • » From the Desire to Be to Becoming Otherwise: Feminist Critique and its Futures
  • » Buried Sunshine: Gender, Power, and Silence in the West Virginia Mine Wars
  • » The Politics of Femininity in Popular Indian Films
  • » Building Dutiful Daughters: Cultural Violence in Thai Prostitution
  • » How Do We “Write” the Feminine Body?: A Literary Account of the Female Reproductive Identity as Defined by a Reconsideration of the Body’s Boundaries
  • » Beauty: The Experience and Struggle of Females Within the African Diaspora
  • » You Can Do Anything!: A Critical Analysis of Girl Empowerment Messages Through Qualitative Research
Sample First-Year Course

Third World, Second Sex

What happens to women when societies “modernize” and industrialize their economies? Is capitalist economic development a step forward or a step backward for women in industrialized and developing countries? In this seminar we look at debates about how some trends in worldwide capitalist development affect women’s status, roles, and access to resources, and locate the debates in historical context. We will consider the implications of “the global assembly line” for women’s employment and empowerment, the population control debate, the effects of economic change on family forms, the nature of women’s work in the so-called “informal sector,” and what’s happening to women in the current worldwide economic crisis.

Sample Courses at Hampshire
  • » Commodities of Desire
  • » Creating Families
  • » The Epidemiology of Women’s Health
  • » Family, Gender, Power
  • » Feminist Fictions
  • » Feminist Legal Theory
  • » Feminist Philosophies of Culture & Cross-Cultural Exchange
  • » The Future of Feminist Theory
  • » Gender, Race & Class
  • » Girls to Women: Psychological, Literary & Post-modern Perspectives
  • » A History of Mothering & Childhood in Early Modern Europe
  • » Nuns, Saints & Mystics in Medieval & Early Modern Europe
  • » Odd Women: Gender, Class & Victorian Culture
  • » Sex on the Brain: Gender, Sex & Biology
  • » Third World, Second Sex
  • » Topics in Women’s Health
  • » Woman & Poet
  • » Women & Politics in Africa
  • » Women & Work
  • » Women’s Lives, Women’s Stories
Through the Consortium
  • » Construction of Gender (AC)
  • » Feminisms & the Fate of the Planet (SC)
  • » Gender, Law & Society (SC)
  • » Intro to Women’s Studies (UMass)
  • » Sexual Revolutions in U.S. History (MHC)
  • » Sociology of Family (MHC)
  • » Witch/Vampire/Monster (AC)
Facilities and Resources

Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program at Hampshire College (CLPP)
Founded in 1981, the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program at Hampshire College (CLPP) was created to train and inspire new generations of reproductive rights activists and leaders. The CLPP program activity expands the definition of reproductive rights to include social and economic justice, civil liberties, LGBTQ rights, access to health care, youth empowerment, and other related social change issues. The CLPP program includes courses and lectures, the annual activist reproductive rights conference, the national campus newsletter, National Day of Action, New Leadership Networking Initiative, and the Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps which places students at reproductive rights and related grassroots, national, and international social change organizations.

Population and Development Program
CLPP’s companion program, Population and Development, was established in 1986 to bring a global perspective to the study and investigation of population and environmental issues and challenge traditional views of over-population and immigration as primary causes of environmental degradation, political instability, and poverty. The program offers courses and forums, sponsors visiting scholars and activists to speak on campus, and publishes papers and curricula advancing alternative analysis and investigation on reproductive rights, population, development, environmentalism, and women’s health.   

Hampshire Center For Feminisms
The Hampshire Center For Feminisms
is a resource center dedicated to raising awareness of gender and women’s issues and providing support and resources to members of the Hampshire College community. The center provides a range of services and organizes a variety of educational events and workshops, support groups, speak-outs, discussions, film screenings, and informal social gatherings. The center also houses the Counselor Advocate program, which provides information, support and advocacy on issues of sexual harassment, rape, incest, and other forms of abuse. Center facilities are always open to student groups and organizations working on related issues.

Five College Women’s Studies Research Center
Hampshire students can also participate in the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center located at Mount Holyoke College. Founded in 1991 as a site for scholarly activity on issues relating to women and gender, the center’s main purpose is to encourage engaged, critical feminist scholarship from diverse perspectives. To this end, it hosts up to fifteen scholars and activists each year for three to eight months. It also seeks to create a forum in which women’s studies faculty from the five institutions can present and discuss their work and interact with associates through faculty seminars, workshops, and conferences.


Contact Us

Office of the Dean of Faculty
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax 413.559.6081

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