This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

As taught in: Fall 2007

Black and white photos of women's rights activists.

Women's rights activists throughout the decades. Top row: Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth. Bottom row: Betty Friedan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. (Images courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction numbers: LC-USZ62-15887, LC-DIG-ggbain-30124, LC-USZ62-16225, LC-USZ62-115884, LC-USZ62-48965, LC-USZ62-106490, respectively.)


Dr. Andrea Walsh

MIT Course Number:

SP.401 / WGS.401



Course Features

Course Description

This course offers an introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, an interdisciplinary academic field that asks critical questions about the meaning of gender in society. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions and debates in Women's and Gender Studies scholarship, both historical and contemporary. Gender scholarship critically analyzes themes of gendered performance and power in a range of social spheres, such as law, culture, work, medicine and the family.