Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department

The Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies program at Winona State offers interdisciplinary courses in which students work together to explore power, privilege, oppression, and social change movements.

From #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, the fight for reproductive and racial justice, LGBTQIA+ social movements, this minor offers students an intersectional analytic framework for community engagement.

The minor in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies engages critical analyses ranging from the personal to the global at the intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, and ability.

Women’s Studies

Foregrounds the lived experience and material conditions of women

Gender Studies

Highlights the social construction of gender and spectrum of gender identities and representations

Sexuality Studies

Focuses on sexual behaviors, expressions, identities, and politics

Women’s studies, gender studies and sexuality studies have distinct disciplinary histories. But because they also overlap, our curriculum teaches them relation to each other. We focus on how these 3 fields approach problems of sex, gender, and sexuality from various critical angles. 

Feminism in Action

The Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Department has been coordinating annual events that celebrate feminism and underrepresented voices for many years.

These events and programming allow all students—not just WGSS minors—to become leaders and advocates for sustainable change right on campus and within the community.

WSU’s WGSS Program has co-sponsored the UW System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium since 2014.

Dozens of WGSS students have presented their original research at this academic conference ranging from topics on:

  • dismantling a rape culture
  • Undocuqueer art
  • feminist activism for Palestinian solidarity
  • queer youth homelessness

Students have earned research grants for this work.

Our department invites speakers to celebrate Women’s History month. Over the years, WGSS has hosted speakers such as:

  • Loretta Ross, a renowned activist who helped establish the country’s first rape crisis center and coined the phrase “reproductive justice”
  • CeCe McDonald, a Black trans abolitionist
  • Colette Ghunim, a world-renowned filmmaker sparking social change through documentaries
  • Rosa Clemente, hip hop activist who ran for Green Party Vice President in 2008

Take Back the Night (TBTN) is a movement aimed to create community, healing, and solidarity for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Students are invited to educate and share their stories with other survivors and supporters as well as march in protest on campus and around downtown Winona.

In the past, this event has been co-sponsored by WSU’s RE Initiative and the Advocacy Center of Winona.

Read more about TBTN events at WSU:

LGBT Books to Prisoners is an organization based in Madison, WI, that’s dedicated to sending free books and educational materials to incarcerated people who identify within the LGBTQ+ community.

WSU students get first-hand experience volunteering for this organization and donating books to LGBTQ+ prisoners across the country, allowing these individuals the privilege to access books—something many of us take for granted.

Read more about LGBT Books to Prisoners: “WSU class, Chapter 2 Bookstore support LGBT Books to Prisoners”.

More Opportunities

WGSS sponsors other activism events and programming available for students throughout the year. 

Read more about these opportunities:

Contact the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department
Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department
Minné 328


Email the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department