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    Student FAQs

    Updated Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 9:30p MDT.

    The Program

    Isn't Feminist & Gender Studies a department?

    Feminist & Gender Studies is not a department. Like Race, Ethnicity, & Migration Studies; Southwest Studies; Film & Media Studies; and others; Feminist & Gender Studies is a program. While this may change in the future, the current faculty decided, in consultation with the former Dean of the College, the change is not a priority at this time.

    What is the program's mission statement?

    Feminist & Gender Studies fosters inquiry into structures and modes of power as they are mediated by gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, class, nation and citizenship, age, and ability. Through teaching, scholarship, and service, we study and develop critical interdisciplinary and feminist theories and practices in collaboration with artists, activists, and scholars at Colorado College and beyond.

    What is the program's vision statement?

    Feminist & Gender Studies aims to embody a feminist ethos of critical engagement and responsiveness that is attentive to shifting relations of power; to be an intellectual, political, and creative space for the pursuit of exemplary collaborative initiatives locally, regionally, nationally, and transnationally; and to remain conversant with myriad intellectual legacies while reimagining the possibilities of feminist knowledge and practice.

    When did the program graduate its first students?

    The first class of Feminist & Gender Studies (then Women's Studies) minors graduated in 1987. They were Monica J. Backsen, Stephanie A. Donaldson, Sheila J. Farr, Ann H. Lenz, and Kristin L. Mernitz. The first class of Feminist & Gender Studies (also then Women's Studies) majors graduated in 1998. They were Blake H. Hedinger, Briana N. Kerstein, and Christina A. Pierson. Blake and Briana were advised by Margaret Duncombe (Professor Emerita, Sociology), and Christina was advised by Charlotte Mendoza (Professor Emerita, Education).

    In 2018, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the major during Homecoming, featuring keynote speaker Brady Montalbano-Connaughton (Feminist & Gender Studies '03). Brady was also featured in our first annual "Alumni Spotlight" in 2019. Click here to read more about her and to view or read her keynote address.

    Also, stay tuned for our second annual "Alumni Spotlight" (December 2020), which will feature inaugural major Briana N. Kerstein.

    The Faculty and Staff

    Who are the Feminist & Gender Studies faculty?

    Professor Heidi R. Lewis (Director and Associate Professor), who joined the college as a Riley Scholar-in-Residence in 2010 (and is also now Director of that program), became a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2011, then Assistant Professor in 2012, earning tenure during the 2017-2018 academic year; Professor Nadia Guessous (Assistant Professor), who joined the college in 2015; and Professor Rushaan Kumar (Assistant Professor), who joined the college in 2017. Click here for more information.

    Which courses does Professor Lewis teach?

    CC106 Knowledge, Identity, and Power; FG110 Introduction to Feminist & Gender Studies; FG200 Feminist Theory; FG212 Critical Media Studies; FG214 Hidden Spaces, Hidden Narratives: Intersectionality Studies in Berlin (study abroad); FG240 Hip Hop Feminism; FG309 Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack: Critical Whiteness Studies; FG312 Black Feminist Theory; and FG316 Critical Race Feminism. Click here for more information.

    Which courses does Professor Guessous teach?

    FG211 Critical Feminist Methodologies, FG218 The Discourse of the Veil, FG219 Gendered Controversies, FG222 Gender & Sexuality in the Modern Middle East and its Diasporas, FG318 The Politics of Transnational Feminism, FG320 Middle Eastern and Islamic Feminist Thought, and FG322 Junior Seminar. Click here for more information.

    Which courses does Professor Kumar teach?

    FG114 Introduction to Queer Studies, FG236 LGBTQ Social Movements in the U.S., FG258 Masculinities, FG302 Transnational Sexualities, and FG416 Senior Seminar. Click here for more information.

    What are Professor Lewis’ research areas?

    Feminist theory, politics, and discourse (particularly Black feminism); hip hop culture; and critical media studies. Click here for more information.

    What are Professor Guessous’ research areas?

    Gender and sexuality; postcolonial and transnational feminism; religion and secularism; progressive politics; modern subjectivity; affect and viscerality; and North Africa, the Middle East and Islam. Click here for more information.

    What are Professor Kumar’s research areas?

    Transnational gender and sexuality, critical trans/masculinity studies, postcolonial media, public culture, and queer social movements in India and the South Asian diaspora. Click here for more information.

    Are there opportunities to conduct research with professors in the program?

    Professors Lewis, Kumar, and Guessous typically contact prospective students about research opportunities. However, interested students may also contact the professors for more information.

    Who is the program Staff Assistant?

    Linda Inzer is the Staff Assistant for Feminist & Gender Studies, as well as the Asian Studies and Race, Ethnicity, & Migration Studies programs. Click here for more information. 

    The Students

    How can I graduate with distinction?

    Typically, students graduating with distinction have maintained a 3.5 GPA in their Feminist & Gender Studies courses and earned an A- or A in FG404 and FG405.

    How can I earn the Shannon McGee Prize?

    This prize is awarded to juniors or seniors who have demonstrated a real and abiding interest in Feminist and Gender Studies. Feminist & Gender Studies faculty decide who will receive the reward, which is presented at Honors Convocation in recognition of the student’s active engagement, activism, or leadership. Click here for more information.

    What is Iota Iota Iota (Triota)?

    In 2011, Feminist & Gender Studies developed the Student Advisory Council, which provided majors and minors with myriad leadership opportunities. In August 2016, the Council became an official chapter (Delta Mu) of Iota Iota Iota (Triota), a National Women’s Studies Honor Society with over 50 chapters nationwide, with “Iota” selected to represent three goddesses: Inanna, Ishtar, and Isis. Triota strives to maintain the feminist values and encourage diversity, egalitarianism, and a supportive academic environment for all students, while encouraging volunteerism, advocacy, and activism within the community as important methods for promoting and maintaining feminist values.

    The Delta Mu chapter assists with The Monthly Rag; plans and implements programs (in collaboration with student organizations and other departments and programs), including, but not limited to, film screenings, panels, workshops, and guest speakers; supports and represents the program during on and off-campus events, such as New Student Orientation and Homecoming; develops and maintains networks with other feminist organizations at neighboring colleges and universities, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and other Triota chapters; and represents the program at the National Women’s Studies Association annual meeting. Click here for more information.

    Can I be a member of Iota Iota Iota (Triota)?

    We invite you to join Triota, if you are at least a second semester sophomore, have a GPA of 3.0 or above, and have taken at least 6 units in Feminist & Gender Studies (cross-listed courses count). Click here for more information.

    Can I become an officer of Iota Iota Iota (Triota)?

    Delta Mu chapter officers—President, Vice President, and Administrator—are elected by Feminist & Gender Studies majors and minors each spring. Click here for more information.

    What is The Monthly Rag?

    The Monthly Rag is a newsletter published each block that provides “a monthly flow” of feminist analyses, interests, and ideas by members of the Colorado College community (not necessarily Feminist & Gender Studies majors or minors). Click here for more information and/or to read past issues.

    Can I be the Editor for The Monthly Rag?

    The program typically hires a paid Editor Apprentice every two years. The position is advertised on Handshake during the spring semester, and the Apprentice (typically a first-year student or sophomore) is trained by the current Editor during the subsequent year. Pending a successful experience (determined by the Director of Feminist & Gender Studies, the current Editor, and the Apprentice), the Apprentice is promoted to Editor during their junior or senior year. The next Editor Apprentice will be hired in Spring 2021. Click here for more information.

    Can I be a Content Creator for The Monthly Rag?

    Two paid Content Creator positions are advertised on Handshake during the spring semester, typically every two years. The next two Content Creators will be hired in Spring 2022. Click here for more information.

    I have exciting news I'd like to share, but I don't want to seem like I'm bragging—what should I do?

    We understand your concerns, but we are always excited to celebrate the accomplishments of our community. Please click here to share your news.

    The Curriculum

    What are the 100-level courses offered in the program?

    These courses introduce students to foundational theories, modes of inquiry, and key debates within Feminist & Gender Studies. They are survey courses that emphasize breadth without preoccupation with comprehensiveness, locating and historicizing feminist thought and politics. They assume no prior knowledge and emphasize accessibility to different learning styles, requiring varied assignments that require minimal original or secondary research outside the syllabus.

    100-level courses offered in the program include CC106 Knowledge, Identity, and Power; FG110 Introduction to Feminist & Gender Studies (required for both the major and minor unless a student has completed FG114); and FG114 Introduction to Queer Studies (required for both the major and minor unless a student has completed FG110).

    Click here for more information.

    What are the 200-level courses offered in the program?

    These courses cultivate deeper understanding of theories, concepts, and interdisciplinary sub-fields within Feminist & Gender Studies, assuming no prior knowledge and requiring no prerequisites. They emphasize ways of connecting, synthesizing, and employing feminist theories and concepts, continuing to pay attention to foundational texts and concepts in relevant sub-fields, while recognizing the always shifting landscape of Feminist & Gender Studies. Assignments require intermediate level independent thinking and research skills.

    200-level courses offered in the program include FG200 Feminist Theory (required for the major and minor); FG211 Critical Feminist Methodologies (required for the major and minor); FG212 Critical Media Studies; FG214 Hidden Spaces, Hidden Narratives: Intersectionality Studies in Berlin (study abroad); FG218 The Discourse of the Veil, FG219 Gendered Controversies; FG222 Gender & Sexuality in the Modern Middle East and its Diasporas; FG236 LGBTQ Social Movements in the U.S.; FG240 Hip Hop Feminism; and FG258 Masculinities. 

    Click here for more information.

    What are the 300-level courses offered in the program?

    These courses generate complex understandings of theories of identity and subjectivity within relevant sub-fields, paying attention to intellectual and activist legacies, including a consideration of methodological questions. They permit more engagement with advanced contemporary texts and require prerequisites in order to presume prior knowledge and skills that may or may not be related to the relevant sub-field. Building on prior intellectual work, students position themselves within relevant sub-fields in service to their developing critical preoccupations, so these courses emphasize advanced level independent thinking and research. 

    300-level courses offered in the program include FG302 Transnational Sexualities; FG309 Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack: Critical Whiteness Studies; FG312 Black Feminist Theory; FG316 Critical Race Feminism; FG318 The Politics of Transnational Feminism; FG320 Middle Eastern and Islamic Feminist Thought; and FG322 Junior Seminar. 

    Click here for more information.

    What are the 400-level courses offered in the program?

    These courses require senior standing and are taken within the pass/fail paradigm. They permit critical interventions that generate fresh perspectives on relevant sub-fields in Feminist & Gender Studies, emphasizing the co-creation of various aspects of the course curriculum with the professor. They also focus on the impetuses for and broader implications of feminist epistemologies.

    400-level courses offered in the program include FG404 Senior Project, FG405 Advanced Senior Project, and FG416 Senior Seminar. 

    Click here for more information.

    What are the differences between core and other courses?

    The phrase "core courses" has two important meanings in Feminist & Gender Studies.

    First, there are core courses and cross-listed courses. Core courses are taught by our core faculty (Professor Lewis, Professor Guessous, Professor Kumar, and our visiting faculty), while cross-listed courses taught by faculty in other departments or programs.

    Second, we use the phrase "core courses" to refer to non-electives required for the major or minor, including, but certainly not limited to, FG110 Introduction to Feminist & Gender Studies, FG211 Critical Feminist Methodologies, and FG416 Senior Seminar. Then, there are electives taught by our core faculty and faculty in other departments and programs.

    Click here for more information.

    Are there opportunities to study off-campus or abroad in the program?

    Professor Lewis has taught FG214 Hidden Spaces, Hidden Narratives: Intersectionality Studies in Berlin each summer since 2014 (except 2020 due to COVID-19). Click here for more information and stay tuned for forthcoming opportunities for engaged off-campus study.

    Does the program offer summer courses?

    Typically, yes. See Banner or click here for more information.

    The Major

    How do I declare the major?

    We recommend students take some courses with Professor Lewis, Professor Guessous, and/or Professor Kumar before deciding to major. Subsequently, students may contact any one of these professors to discuss declaring. Please note, though, students do not choose their major advisor. Rather, to be considerate of labor equity, we have an advising rotation practice that will be explained to students at the point of declaration.

    Click here for more information about major requirements.

    Can I choose my major advisor?

    No. To be considerate of labor equity, we have an advising rotation practice that will be explained to students at the point of declaration.

    How do I complete the major?

    Students must complete 14 units for the major. Click here for more information about major requirements.

    Is there a limit on how many 100-level courses can count for my major?

    Yes. In addition to the required 100-level core course (FG110, FG114, or CC106), students may take one additional 100-level elective with the approval of their major advisor. Additionally, majors are required to take two cross-listed courses and may take one of those at the 100-level with the approval of their major advisor. 

    Click here for more information about major requirements.

    Is there a limit on how many 200-level courses can count for my major?

    Yes. In addition to the required 200-level core courses (FG200 and FG211), students may take up to three 200-level electives with the approval of their major advisor. Additionally, majors are required to take two cross-listed courses and may discuss taking one or both of those at the 200-level, also with the approval of their major advisor. 

    Click here for more information about major requirements.

    Is there a limit on how many 300-level courses can count for my major?

    Not typically. However, we recommend students take an ample amount of 100 and 200-level courses before taking 300-level courses and to discuss this with their major advisor. 

    Click here for more information about major requirements.

    Can I count cross-listed courses for my major?

    Yes. Majors are required to take two cross-listed courses approved by their major advisor. Click here for more information about major requirements.

    Is there a limit on how many cross-listed courses I can take for the major?

    Yes. Majors may only take two cross-listed courses approved by their major advisor. Click here for more information about major requirements.

    Can I count courses that are not cross-listed for my major?

    Not typically. However, special cases may be considered by the major advisor.

    Can I choose my senior capstone project topic?

    Typically, yes. Students articulate these and other interests when they submit capstone project proposals in FG322 Junior Seminar.

    What kind of senior capstone project can I do?

    Students can submit traditional essays, creative writing, grant proposals, and other types of projects, which reflects the plurality of our discipline. These ideas are articulated when capstone project proposals are submitted in FG322 Junior Seminar.

    Can I choose the first and second readers for my senior capstone project?

    While students articulate their preferences when they submit capstone project proposals in FG322 Junior Seminar, the decision regarding first and second readers is ultimately decided by the Feminist & Gender Studies faculty with consideration for the faculty’s areas of expertise and labor equity.

    How many courses can I take pass/fail in the major?

    We will be implementing a revised pass/fail policy by Fall 2021. As of now, we do not recommend majors take any core courses pass/fail. Taking other required courses pass/fail should be discussed with the major advisor.

    Who are the current Feminist & Gender Studies majors?

    Click here to see a list of current Feminist & Gender Studies majors.

    Who are the Feminist & Gender Studies major alumni?

    Click here to see a list of Feminist & Gender Studies major and minor alumni.

    What can I do with a Feminist & Gender Studies major after graduating?

    As Vivian M. May points out, our field’s “focus on the intersections of knowledge and power offers a heightened capacity to navigate and negotiate institutional structures, policies, and procedures […] interdisciplinary training translates into an ability to cross boundaries, to move among different groups, forging connections with people who might otherwise remain isolated, asking questions others might not think of, and sometimes accomplishing projects others think are impossible.” On that note, Feminist & Gender Studies graduates become artists, teachers, librarians, non-profit professionals, journalists, lawyers, social workers, and policy makers, just to name a few. Click here for a list of jobs, internships, and graduate programs with which we are familiar and contact the Career Center for more assistance along these lines. 

    You can also click here to read our "Alumni Spotlight" column and here to get an up-close look at what other students have done since graduating.

    The Minor

    How do I declare the minor?

    We recommend students take some courses with Professor Lewis, Professor Guessous, and/or Professor Kumar before deciding to minor. Subsequently, students may contact any of these professors to discuss declaring. Please note, though, students do not choose their minor advisor. Rather, to be considerate of labor equity, we have an advising rotation practice that will be explained to students at the point of declaration. 

    Click here for more information about minor requirements.

    Can I choose my minor advisor?

    No. To be considerate of labor equity, we have an advising rotation practice that will be explained to students at the point of declaration.

    How do I complete the minor?

    Students must complete 6 units for the minor. Click here for more information about minor requirements.

    Is there a limit on how many 100-level courses can count for my minor?

    Yes. In addition to the required 100-level core course (FG110, FG114, or CC106), students may take one additional 100-level elective with the approval of their minor advisor. 

    Click here for more information about minor requirements.

    Is there a limit on how many 200-level courses can count for my minor?

    Yes. In addition to the required 200-level core courses (FG200 and FG211), students may take one 200-level elective with the approval of their minor advisor. 

    Click here for more information about minor requirements.

    Is there a limit on how many 300-level courses can count for my minor?

    Not typically. However, we recommend students take an ample amount of 100 and 200-level courses before taking 300-level courses, which should be discussed with their minor advisor. 

    Click here for more information about minor requirements.

    Can I count cross-listed courses for my minor?

    No. Since the minor only requires students to complete 6 units and since students already have at least one other major, we do not count cross-listed courses for the minor. 

    Click here for more information about minor requirements.

    Can I count courses that are not cross-listed for my minor?

    Not typically. However, special cases may be considered by the minor advisor. Click here for more information about minor requirements.

    Do I have to complete a senior capstone project if I’m a minor?

    No.

    How many courses can I take pass/fail in the minor?

    We will be implementing a revised pass/fail policy by Fall 2021. As of now, we do not recommend minors take any core courses pass/fail. Taking other required courses pass/fail should be discussed with the minor advisor.

    Who are the current Feminist & Gender Studies minors?

    Click here to see a list of current Feminist & Gender Studies minors.

    Who are the Feminist & Gender Studies minor alumni?

    Click here to see a list of Feminist & Gender Studies major and minor alumni.

    What can I do with a Feminist & Gender Studies minor after graduating?

    As Vivian M. May points out, our field’s “focus on the intersections of knowledge and power offers a heightened capacity to navigate and negotiate institutional structures, policies, and procedures […] interdisciplinary training translates into an ability to cross boundaries, to move among different groups, forging connections with people who might otherwise remain isolated, asking questions others might not think of, and sometimes accomplishing projects others think are impossible.” On that note, Feminist & Gender Studies graduates become artists, teachers, librarians, non-profit professionals, journalists, lawyers, social workers, and policy makers, just to name a few. Click here for a list of jobs, internships, and graduate programs with which we are familiar and contact the Career Center for more assistance along these lines. 

    You can also click here to read our "Alumni Spotlight" column and here to get an up-close look at what other students have done since graduating.

    Other

    Can I work in the Interdisciplinary Studies (ID) House?

    Paid student Office Assistant positions are advertised on Handshake during the spring semester. However, please note these employees are hired to serve not just Feminist & Gender Studies but also the Asian Studies and Race, Ethnicity, & Migration Studies programs.

    Can I request funding from the program for events I’m organizing?

    Feminist and Gender Studies has a limited amount of money reserved for funding student activities that advance our mission and vision. On that note, our priorities for funding students are as follows, listed in order of descending importance: requests from declared majors, requests from declared minors, and requests from students who are not declared majors or minors.

    Click here for more information.

    Can I request funding from the program to attend an academic conference?

    Feminist and Gender Studies has a limited amount of money reserved for funding student activities that advance our mission and vision. On that note, our priorities for funding students are as follows, listed in order of descending importance: requests from declared majors, requests from declared minors, and requests from students who are not declared majors or minors.

    Click here for more information.

    Can I request funding from the program for my senior capstone project?

    Yes. Click here for more information.

    Can the program help me connect with LGBTQIA+ networks and organizations?

    Yes. Click here for a list of local and national organizations and networks. Additionally, if you want to make suggestions about the lists, please contact the program Staff Assistant.

    Can the program help me find jobs, internships, and graduate programs?

    Yes. Click here for a list of jobs, internships, and graduate programs with which we are familiar. We also recommend you contact the Career Center for more assistance along these lines. Finally, if you want to make suggestions about this list, please contact the program Staff Assistant