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Founded in 1972, the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies fosters the interdisciplinary study of women, gender, and sexuality, through a rich multicultural and internationally informed academic environment. Our Program seeks to produce intellectually rigorous, analytical and creative work that embodies the perspective of gender in its local and global dimensions through teaching, research, and outreach activities.


Carmen Giménez Smith
Carmen Giménez Smith

Carmen Giménez Smith
7:00pm Monday, February 9 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Department of English; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and The Commons

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds, four poetry collections— Milk and Filth, Goodbye, Flicker, The City She Was, and Odalisque in Pieces. Milk and Filth was a finalist for the NBCC Award in Poetry. She is the recipient of a 2011 American Book Award, the 2011 Juniper Prize for Poetry, and a 2011-2012 fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Howard Foundation. A CantoMundo Fellow and formerly a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Puerto del Sol and the publisher of Noemi Press.

WGSS Announces the 43rd Annual Anniversary of February Sisters

Sarah Elizabeth Deer
Sarah Elizabeth Deer

Sarah Deer, a former KU Phil and WS student, is a 2014 MacArthur Winner!

WGSS is happy to announce that Sarah Elizabeth Deer will be our honored guest for the 43rd Annual Anniversary of February Sisters on Thursday, February 12th, 3:00-4:30, in Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union. Sarah will present "Sovereignty of the Soul: Native Feminism and Violent Crime."

Read more about Sarah Deer »

The Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative — (ASHTI »)

Dr. Hannah Britton, Professor of Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies is part of a team of KU researchers (faculty and students at the University of Kansas) studying a myriad of issues surrounding human trafficking and developing a prevention model with the goal it could one day apply both nationally and internationally. "We're working on an empirical model for assessing vulnerabilities within populations that can eventually lead to exploitation," said Hannah Britton, director of the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative.

ASHTI, which means peace, is working to find solutions to trafficking and exploitation transnationally. We are developing individual and collaborative research projects to understand the components of human trafficking in the US and in our international field sites. We are interested in the patterns of both contemporary and historical slavery and how they can inform each other. Led by Hannah Britton and housed at the Institute for Policy & Social Research, ASHTI draws on KU's existing faculty strengths and research centers designed to address contemporary issues of migration, immigration, international studies, inequality, gender studies, public health, and public policy.

Degrees Offered

Award Announcement - YOUNGER-WENDLAND


Two awards of $100 each to the two best LGBTQ-related papers or projects produced by an undergraduate KU student for a WGSS course during Sum 14, Fall 14, or Spring 15 semesters

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: There is no minimum or maximum length, nor is there a required type of submission. Traditional academic research papers and essays as well as projects such as films, blogs, photographic essays, art pieces, zines, and performances are eligible.

TO SUBMIT AN ENTRY: For written entries (research papers, essays, memoirs, etc), email a copy in .pdf or .doc format. For non-written entries (videos, displays, photographic essays, art pieces, etc), email photographs, video files, hyperlinks, descriptions, and other relevant evidence of the project. BE SURE TO INCLUDE (a) your entry and supporting documentation; (b) your full name, KUID, email address, and telephone number; and (c) the WGSS course number, name, instructor name, and semester for which the paper/project was produced. If the entry is not clearly LGBTQ-related, please also provide a brief statement of explanation. All entries should be submitted via email to LGBTQPaperPrize@gmail.com; entries are due via email no later than 5pm Friday, April 24th.


Dr. John Younger and Dr. Milton Wendland established the Younger-Wendland LGBTQ Prizes to recognize valuable undergraduate contributions to LGBTQ scholarship in the Department of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. Dr. Younger previously served as Department Chair of WGSS at KU and is currently Professor of Classics and Academic Director of CGIS Jewish Studies at KU. Dr. Wendland earned a Graduate Certificate in WGSS at KU and served as Visiting Assistant Professor of WGSS at KU (2011-2013). He is currently Faculty and Director of Internships in Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of South Florida.


WGSS & History Prof. Marta Vicente and WGSS 549 "History of Feminist Theory" students, Fall 2013.


    Image of Alesha Doan, New Chair of WGSS

    We are excited for the skills, background, and energy Prof. Doan is bringing to the program, and wish John Younger the best in his new position as Director of Jewish Studies.

    A 40th Anniversary: February Sisters and the Birth of Women's Studies

    On February 4, 1972, a group of women took over a building on campus and made some demands, including more women faculty and a women's studies program -- this event changed the face of KU and is the spark that led to our department.

    WGSS celebrated the 40th anniversary of these events with a week-long series of talks, panel discussions, and art exhibits, culminating in a talk by Angela Davis and a banquet.

    Angela Davis in Budig 120, February 7, 2012, 5-6 pm

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, retaliation, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and is the University’s Title IX Coordinator: the Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.