Department of Gender Studies

Department of Gender Studies
Department of Gender Studies

Gender Studies at Queen's University

  • Photo of the outside of Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre.

    Solidarity with Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

    Dear Kandice and Staff, Students and all those associated with Four Directions,

    We are horrified, angered and saddened by the most recent acts of vandalism at 4D. We appreciate your weariness. We respect your ongoing willingness to stand in truth, integrity, and love against racism, homophobia, transphobia, and all forms of hatred.

    Gender Studies is committed to help build a de-colonized campus community where all Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2S+, and BIPOC belong and can flourish — safe, free from all forms of violence and harassment, and supported.

    In solidarity,

    Gender Studies

  • Message to GNDS Plan Students from the Undergraduate Chair

  • Letter to Principal Deane and Provost Green

    Dr. Patrick Deane, Principal
    Dr. Mark Green, Provost & Vice-Principal
    Queen’s University

    16 June 2020

    Dear Principal Deane and Provost Green,

    I am writing on behalf of the Department of Gender Studies to support the petition initiated by Sebastian DeLine to change the name of Sir John A. Macdonald Hall to Patricia Monture Hall. I expect that you are familiar with the details of the petition; I will not repeat them in full here. Certainly, this is not the first time Queen’s memorialization of Sir John A. Macdonald has been challenged.

    Gender Studies faculty members, graduate students and staff are united in supporting the name change to honour an Indigenous woman and Queen’s alumna. Patricia Monture has had a profound impact on the administration of justice in this country, as well as upon the fields of Indigenous Studies, Law and Gender Studies, among others.

    In this historical moment, as media attention seems to pivot heavily between the anti-Black violence of policing in the United States to police violence against Indigenous people in Canada, it is important that we reckon with the historical and ongoing realities of colonization in which anti-Black and anti-Indigenous violence are intimately, and inextricably, connected in both countries. Sir John A. McDonald’s policies, from the creation of Residential Schools and the North West Mounted Police, to the Electoral Franchise and Chinese Exclusion Acts, wove racial violence into the fabric of the emerging settler state that we call Canada.

    Some will object to changing the name of Sir John A. Macdonald Hall citing Queen's long history and traditions. As an institution of higher learning, research and education we have an obligation to examine our history and traditions for racism and injustice, to chart a new course that is more just, and to explain why our new direction is the right thing to do. It may seem a bold and courageous move for Queen’s to rename Sir John A. Macdonald Hall; as a Department we strongly believe that this petition presents an opportunity as well as an obligation for Queen's to show leadership in moving towards a more just future.

    Renaming the building that houses the Faculty of Law would be a symbolically important step for Queen’s as we seek to repair relations with Indigenous, Black and racialized peoples.


    Elaine M. Power, Ph.D.
    On behalf of the Department of Gender Studies


    June 1, 2020

    Dear Gender Studies Community, 

    Events of the past week in the US and Toronto have created more opportunities to reflect on 400 years of colonialism; Black oppression; state violence against Black, Indigenous and radicalized people; and White supremacy in the northern parts of Turtle Island. 

    George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor
    Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D’Andre Campbell, Machuar Madut, Nicholas Gibbs

    These are the name of just a few Black men and women killed recently by police in the US and in Canada. 

    Black people in Toronto are 20 times to be shot dead by police than white people.

    This stark and deeply disturbing fact is the bottom line on numerous other related facts about the experiences of Black Canadians. It underscores the urgent need to unsettle White Canadian’s complacency around—and therefore complicity with—anti-Black racism. 

    Universities have particular and important obligations to address our colonial histories and help dismantle systems of oppression. We have much work to do; we have barely started.

    This morning I wrote to Dean Barbara Crow and copied the Principal, Provost, and others, asking them to fulfil an important recommendation from the PICRDI report: the funding of a research chair in Black Studies. I hope there will be quick, decisive and positive action on this request.

    Sammi King has already posted a notice of the Solidarity Vigil at Skeleton Park tomorrow (2 June) at 4:30. I hope to see many of you there.

    I would also like to bring to your attention a number of useful links posted by the Queen’s Black Academic Society.

    There is so much more that could be said, but words fail me today. And, our actions will speak louder than our words.

    In solidarity for justice,

    Elaine M. Power, Ph.D.
    Head, Department of Gender Studies

  • Congratulations to the Class of 2020

  • Katherine McKittrick, Professor in Gender Studies, has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as an International Honorary Member in Class III, Social Sciences. 

    The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good.  Academy members represent today’s innovative thinkers in every field and profession, including more than two hundred and fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. 

    Dr. McKittrick is one of two individuals from a Canadian institution elected to the Academy in 2020.


  • Congratulations to Karen Lawford on receiving a 2020 Indspire Laureate Award 

    Congratulations to Karen Lawford on receiving a 2020 Indspire Laureate Award

    Representing the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers, the Indspire Awards were created in 1993, in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The Awards recognize Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement. They promote self-esteem and pride for Indigenous communities and provide outstanding role models for Indigenous youth.


  • Hello, this is Mimi McKinley and Gizem Cagatay speaking! Together we are your Co-Presidents for this year’s Gender Studies Department Student Council. We look forward to the array of events that we have planned, our goal is to create a safe and welcoming space for anyone who wishes to attend. As fourth year student’s we are excited to represent the Gender Studies Department and hope accomplish all that we can as a Department Student Council!

    Learn more about the DSC...

  • Margaret Little with GNDS 421 Gender and Poverty class

    Margaret Little with GNDS 421 Gender and Poverty class

  • GNDS Graduate students in their office

    GNDS graduate students in their office

Our Mission

The Department of Gender Studies practices interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, teaching, and programming that advance our commitment to social justice and social change.

We embrace an approach to gender that explores and challenges racism, capitalism, colonialism, (hetero)sexism, ableism, and other manifestations of power.

Our scholarship, activism and community work centre marginalized, alternative, and relational knowledges, span local and global contexts, and engage historical and contemporary perspectives.

Together we foster an accessible, culturally diverse, and transformative learning environment.

Career Direction

A Gender Studies education provides you with the tools to be a leader in a wide range of occupations including: human services, social work, media, non-profit organizations, private businesses, advocacy, and the arts. It also provides a solid foundation for pursuing graduate degrees in law, medicine, education, public policy, public health, in addition to any of the social science and humanities programs.

Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.

Kanien'keha (Mohawk):
Ne Queen’s University e’tho nońwe nikanónhsote tsi nońwe ne Haudenasaunee tánon Anishinaabek tehatihsnónhsahere ne óhontsa.

Gimaakwe Gchi-gkinoomaagegamig atemagad Naadowe miinwaa Anishinaabe aking

Queen's Encyclopedia page about the history of this land, and why it is important to acknowledge this land and its people.