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GCWS overview

Evolving a new generation of feminist scholars and teachers

A community Engaged.

The Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS) at MIT brings together scholars and teachers at nine degree-granting institutions in the Boston area who are devoted to interdisciplinary graduate teaching, research, and scholarship in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

The key points which illustrate our work are presented here.  

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A Unique Model of Graduate Education

The GCWS is designed to train new generations of feminist scholars and teachers. Our seminars nurture cross-disciplinary collaboration and open paths to new lines of inquiry.

Faculty integrate analyses of class, race, culture, ethnicity, and sexualities and consider the practical implications of social justice and feminist theories.

Graduate courses also provide crucial intellectual support for students pursuing gender related work within the framework of the traditional disciplines.

Faculty Development

The life force of the GCWS is our network of faculty.

There are regional faculty workshops for participants to forge intellectual connections across institutions and disciplines. Curriculum development programs provide opportunities for faculty to form interdisciplinary teaching teams to teach our graduate courses. These teaching experiences push disciplinary approaches and understandings, explore interdisciplinary questions, and evaluate and put into practice new forms of pedagogy.

In addition to curriculum development programs, members on the Board of Directors gain valuable experience in program and curriculum design and evaluation, administrative cooperation, and feminist participatory leadership.


Our course offerings, workshops, and sponsored events build community among and beyond our member institutions.

Junior and senior faculty and graduate students interested in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies are often isolated in their home instiutions, where there may be few relevant courses offered regularly, or where few faculty may be conducting research on gender. The Consortium offers these scholars a lifeline - a stimulating and supportive environment that encourages intellectual risk taking.

Through GCWS participation, graduate students may tap interested faculty for dissertation committees or forge ties with scholars at other institutions for conference panels and collaborative research. Our program makes synergistic use of disparate resources to advance women's, gender, and sexuality studies graduate research and education.


Through representative and consensual governance, the GCWS offers a successful model of the sharing of resources and faculty in the creation of a multi-institutional, as well as interdisciplinary, community of scholars. Students and faculty move beyond the struggles for legitimacy and inclusion as scholars and teachers to the work of advancing feminist scholarship. By convening scholars from different disciplines and different institutions, the GCWS offers both graduate students and faculty rich and dynamic opportunities for intellectual collaboration. Consortium participants, faculty and graduate students alike, are able to contribute what they have learned to their own institutions and apply new interdisciplinary understanding to their research and teaching.

Consortium participants contribute what they have learned to their own institutions and can find in the GCWS support for their progress toward promotion and tenure.

Both scholars and graduate students apply new interdisciplinary understandings to their research and teaching, increasing our impact through their pedagogy and publications.