Mission Statement

Our philosophy.

First Women’s Studies Class, September 18, 1985


What Does it Mean to be a Feminist in 2014? See link to statement by the Gender Studies Department here.

The department has recently changed its name to Gender Studies, to reflect current developments in feminist theory and open up new possibilities for scholarship. Our program offers an inclusive, interdisciplinary education that is focused on issues of equity, power and social justice, with a particular emphasis on women’s experiences and contributions.

Mindful of the complexities of a diverse society, we explore how gender intersects with race, class, sexual orientation, age, and ability to create systems of inequities that shape human experiences across cultures and nations, throughout history, and in contemporary society. We are concerned with the impact of gender relations on our social roles and identities, public and private relationships, ideas and institutions.

Gender Studies courses will help you to approach your education critically and to question received knowledge about the world. Topics are thought-provoking, debates are lively. You will learn how to discuss and develop theories, methods and practical strategies aimed at enhancing women's contributions and understanding sex/gender in all areas of human experience. Courses are relevant both globally and at the most profound personal level: transformation is possible! The program benefits from the expertise of core faculty in the department and also draws from a strong, broad-based community of feminist scholars across the university. Our faculty will engage you in a dynamic and rapidly expanding area of study that will shape your views and your life. You will be empowered to contribute to the production of feminist interdisciplinary knowledge and to become an agent of social change.

The graduate program in Gender Studies at Queen's University engages with textual and creative narrative, political economies, social justice, and migratory cultures, with an emphasis on feminist interdisciplinary scholarship.

Faculty will offer courses and supervision on one or more of the following areas:

  • Activism, social justice and political economy

  • Representation, art, and literatures

  • (Post) Colonial, migratory and diasporic communities

  • Feminist theories (including but not limited to critical race/anti-racist theory, queer theory, feminist pedagogies)

Our students will have the opportunity to develop rigorous research skills in areas related to feminist theory, while being encouraged to attend to the sophisticated and complex workings of gendered lives in a global context. Students will also have the opportunity to work with highly motivated faculty with strong scholarly expertise in the fields of gender studies and feminist studies. The uniqueness of our program lies in our combination of theoretical sophistication and an openness to research questions: understanding feminist theory as an organic and changing field, our faculty seek to foster an intellectual climate that encourages creative and diverse approaches to gender struggles and social differences such as-but not limited to-race, class, sexuality, location, (dis)ability and age.