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Women's Studies

Women's Studies

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Published by Jeffery Chen
Bernice The Weaknesses of Women’s Studies Programs Feminist scholars argue whether feminism should be expanded away from women’s studies or needs to have a main focus in order to do its work. After I weighed both sides, I agree with Brown’s argument that feminism should be transformed into a universal subject that can be studied in many fields. First, the curriculum for the women’s studies program is not focused and not well grounded. Second, most women’s studies are interdisciplinary programs,
Bernice The Weaknesses of Women’s Studies Programs Feminist scholars argue whether feminism should be expanded away from women’s studies or needs to have a main focus in order to do its work. After I weighed both sides, I agree with Brown’s argument that feminism should be transformed into a universal subject that can be studied in many fields. First, the curriculum for the women’s studies program is not focused and not well grounded. Second, most women’s studies are interdisciplinary programs,

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Published by: Jeffery Chen on Jan 11, 2011
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BerniceThe Weaknesses of Women’s Studies ProgramsFeminist scholars argue whether feminism should be expanded away fromwomen’s studies or needs to have a main focus in order to do its work. After I weighedboth sides, I agree with Brown’s argument that feminism should be transformed into auniversal subject that can be studied in many fields. First, the curriculum for the women’sstudies program is not focused and not well grounded. Second, most women’s studies areinterdisciplinary programs, and they have weaknesses and problems that other departments do not have. Third, deciding what courses should count for women’s studies.The curriculum for this program is not focused and not well grounded in women’sstudies. The majority of the program’s courses are not from the program itself, but fromother departments. Unlike women’s studies, other departments have their own coursesand their own focuses. For instance, in the English department, there are no cross-listedcourses. An English major only takes courses from the department itself. The problemwith the women’s studies program because it contains a mix of disciplines such aspolitical science, philosophy, literature, history, sociology, cultural anthropology, andmusic. For example, the XXXX College Catalog explains that the Women and Gender Studies Program draws on the commitment and expertise of feminist scholars in morethan 15 academic departments for our wide range of course offerings (215). In XXXXCollege, a student who majors in Women and Gender Studies is only required to take 3women’s studies classes, and the remaining 5 classes may come from differentdepartments. The elective courses are so broad. Therefore, the central focus of theprogram is not within the department itself.
 
In addition, most faculty who teach women’s studies also teach in differentdepartments. Brown says, “Almost all women’s studies programs rely on faculty andcurricular offerings in other departments, both because they are too small to do otherwiseand because of the proud interdisciplinary under girding the intellectual project of women’s studies” (84). For instance, XXXX College catalog shows that there are 4distinguished professors, 32 professors, 18 associate professors, and 4 assistant professors,and they are all affiliated faculty (215). All of these professors teach women’s studies aswell as classes like English, political science, classics, psychology, philosophy, sociology,anthropology, computer science, and economics. Because the women’s studies areinterdisciplinary programs, they have several weaknesses that other departments do nothave. First, women studies programs are not self-governing departments because theyhave courses and faculty from various departments. The departments keep some of thepower to hire, fire, and schedule. Second, Students often have trouble getting coursestaught regularly. If the departments have other priorities, the program will lose facultymember, who may not be replaced. Third, it is extremely difficult to have meetings withfaculty fully participated because faculty are from all different departments and time-conflict must exist among them.Generating a coherent and vigorous women’s studies program is almostimpossible because the courses from other departments do not closely relate to theprogram. Most women’s studies programs constitute about twenty four to thirty credits.Out of the twenty four to thirty credits, only six to nine credits are from other departments. The majority of credits are electives. Therefore, it is very difficult to createa good program because the questions of what to expect students who major in women’sstudies ought to know and what they should be trained are still unanswered. Due to the

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