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Founded in 1972, the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies fosters the interdisciplinary study of women, gender, and sexuality, through a rich multicultural and internationally informed academic environment. Our Program seeks to produce intellectually rigorous, analytical and creative work that embodies the perspective of gender in its local and global dimensions through teaching, research, and outreach activities.

The WGSS Department is pleased to welcome Ayesha Hardison, Langston Hughes Visiting Professor, in Fall 2014.

Ayesha Hardison is Associate Professor of English at Ohio University, where she teaches courses in African American literature. Her first book, Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature (American Literatures Initiative, University of Virginia Press, 2014), examines representations of African American women during the World War II/pre-modern Civil Rights Movement era and the politics of black literary production during that period. As part of this research, her essay on Zora Neale Hurston is forthcoming in African American Review. Her second book project, Specters of Segregation: The Post-Civil Rights Literary Imagination, will explore depictions of the Civil Rights Movement in contemporary literary texts. Earning her PhD in English from the University of Michigan, Professor Hardison has received fellowships and awards from The National Academies Ford Foundation, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in African American literature at Pennsylvania State University. She is currently a junior fellow in the Charles J. Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities at Ohio University.

The Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative — (ASHTI »)

Dr. Hannah Britton, Professor of Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies is part of a team of KU researchers (faculty and students at the University of Kansas) studying a myriad of issues surrounding human trafficking and developing a prevention model with the goal it could one day apply both nationally and internationally. "We're working on an empirical model for assessing vulnerabilities within populations that can eventually lead to exploitation," said Hannah Britton, director of the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative.

ASHTI, which means peace, is working to find solutions to trafficking and exploitation transnationally. We are developing individual and collaborative research projects to understand the components of human trafficking in the US and in our international field sites. We are interested in the patterns of both contemporary and historical slavery and how they can inform each other. Led by Hannah Britton and housed at the Institute for Policy & Social Research, ASHTI draws on KU's existing faculty strengths and research centers designed to address contemporary issues of migration, immigration, international studies, inequality, gender studies, public health, and public policy.

Degrees Offered

WGSS & History Prof. Marta Vicente and WGSS 549 "History of Feminist Theory" students, Fall 2013.


    Image of Alesha Doan, New Chair of WGSS

    We are excited for the skills, background, and energy Prof. Doan is bringing to the program, and wish John Younger the best in his new position as Director of Jewish Studies.

    A 40th Anniversary: February Sisters and the Birth of Women's Studies

    On February 4, 1972, a group of women took over a building on campus and made some demands, including more women faculty and a women's studies program -- this event changed the face of KU and is the spark that led to our department.

    WGSS celebrated the 40th anniversary of these events with a week-long series of talks, panel discussions, and art exhibits, culminating in a talk by Angela Davis and a banquet.

    Angela Davis in Budig 120, February 7, 2012, 5-6 pm

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