Director, Cheryl Toman

Director, Cheryl Toman

On behalf of our Advisory Committee and our Core Faculty in Research and Teaching, I would like to welcome you to the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University. Although we are a small program, we offer a minor and major in WGST and we have dedicated faculty ready to help you craft a vigorous and fascinating program of study so that your experiences with us will not only be personally rewarding but also instrumental in building your future career.

Women’s Studies programs have existed in the United States since 1970 but much has changed over the years. In the early days, many recognized feminism as a movement of mostly white, middle class women. Today, we speak of feminisms–in the plural–and our program offers opportunities in research and learning that demonstrate how the field has grown to include multicultural voices that speak the truth about ethnicity, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and identity politics. Today’s feminisms are transnational and transformative.

We offer courses cross-listed with a variety of disciplines and currently include study abroad opportunities in Europe and the Middle East. Our courses focus on issues here at home, but also look at women and gender in the so-called developing world. Globalization, environmentalism, media and technology, and our relationship with pop culture are of particular interest. We are always working to expand our offerings, dedicated to providing a cutting-edge program.

I can personally attest to the value of adding WGST to your program of study. Growing up in a working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, I could see how sexism and racism were linked but it wasn’t until I studied the theories behind such realities that I truly understood the complexities. It was in graduate school that I realized the power of African and Arab women’s voices and their perspectives have greatly impacted the way I see the world today.

I invite you to challenge yourself and expand your horizons through exploring our offerings in Women and Gender Studies. The result could be life-changing in the most positive of ways. As our program grows to reflect the times, we will be developing more and more courses focusing on LGBTQ studies and sexuality studies to complement offerings we already have in Women’s Studies and feminism. We also hope to add more courses on women and science as well. Our talented faculty and dynamic students will allow the program to reach new heights.

Cheryl Toman, Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Professor of French and Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program