Women's Studies Transforms Worldviews

(May 14, 2009 —Thunder Bay, ON)
Building upon the success of the three-year BA program, the Department of Women’s Studies at Lakehead University is pleased to announce its expansion.  The Department now offers a four- year Honours BA in Women’s Studies, as well as a joint Honours Programs with the Departments of Education, English, History, Gerontology, Indigenous Learning, Outdoor Recreation, Psychology, and Sociology.  In addition to its current course offerings relating to such historical and contemporary gender issues as women’s health, sexuality, social justice, and equity, the new course offerings include Women, Popular Culture and Counter Culture; Gender, Bodies and Sexuality; Women’s Sport and Leisure; Law & Literature: Feminist Perspectives; and Transnational and Global Feminisms, among others.  

Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies, Dr. Helen Smith, says “Since its inception in the 1970s, Women’s Studies as an interdisciplinary field has opened up the examination of gender to recognize that as women learn to play particular social roles in society, so do men, and that the social construction of gender affects everyone, with different consequences.” Of Lakehead’s own Women’s Studies Program, which began in 1989, Dr. Smith explains, “We introduce our students to the ways in which everyday experiences are shaped in relation to social values like gender, sexuality, race, class, age, and ability.  Many of our students - women and men - find their worldview transformed as they take Women’s Studies classes and apply what they have learned to their own lives.”  
The Department is also very proud to announce that students in this year’s first class in the required fourth-year Honours Colloquium have had their conference paper accepted at the 22nd Annual Feminist and Women's Studies Conference held this summer in Liverpool, England.  The conference theme, “Feminist Transitions,” explores the directions of feminism in the 21st Century and the Honours students will present some Canadian issues.  This is part of a broader Honours project working towards a published paper in a peer-reviewed journal.  The students are now in the process of seeking travel funds.  Women’s Studies student Janine Aube has won an Honorable Mention in this year's Canadian Women's Studies Association / L'association Canadienne des Etudes sur les Femmes national essay competition.  Janine's essay "A Look at Racial Ambiguity" was written for Women's Research & Writing class (WOME 2112). Dr. Smith says, “the Department is delighted to see its students performing so well at national and international levels.”  
For further information, visit the Women’s Studies Program in Lakehead’s online course calendar at calendar.lakeheadu.ca, or contact Dr. Helen Smith, Chair of Women’s Studies at 343-8581,or hsmith@lakeheadu.ca, or Mrs. Uta Hickin at 343-8625, or uhickin@lakeheadu.ca


Media:  Dr. Helen Smith is available for media interviews. For more information contact Lisa Pelot, Communications Officer, at 343-8177, or commun@lakeheadu.ca

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,900 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca



Last updated May 14, 2009

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