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

Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

 A colorful mural on the side of a building portrays 90 female activists throughout history.

"When Women Pursue Justice" is a mural in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, that portrays 90 American female activists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Women portrayed in the mural include Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Angela Davis, and Gloria Steinem, among others. (Image courtesy of Artmakers, Inc. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number

SP.401 / WGS.401

As Taught In

Fall 2010



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.

Other OCW Versions

Two instructors alternate teaching this subject. Each version focuses on different topics to introduce students to women's and gender studies.

Archived versions: Question_avt logo

Andrea Walsh, and Elizabeth Fox. SP.401 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, Fall 2010. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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