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Women's Studies

Elmira College has a long history of empowering women. It was founded in 1855 with the mission to educate women equally to men. The Elmira College Women's and Gender Studies Program works today to empower students to be academically successful critical thinkers, feminist activists, and leaders on campus and in the wider world.

More than 25 faculty members are affiliated with our program. Some teach Women's Studies courses, while others serve as speakers, moderators, and panelists for our campus events.

We have two affiliated student groups. Our Gender Issues Group works to bring issues of gender awareness to campus. The PRIDE student group supports gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual students and their allies. Each year, these student groups sponsor events like Take Back the Night, the Vagina Monologues, and a drag show fundraiser. Recently, students spearheaded a Who Needs Feminism campaign, a drive to support the Free the Girls anti-trafficking organization, and an anti-bullying speak-out. The Women's and Gender Studies Program also publishes the student journal Callisophia, which uses art and literature to frame issues of gender, sexuality, and self-empowerment. We host a student-faculty book group and numerous panel discussions, lectures, art exhibits, and fundraisers.

The Women's and Gender Studies Program is the the proud host of the annual Julia Reinstein Symposium, made possible by a donation from Elmira College Alumna Julia Reinstein'28. Her gift enables us to sponsor a yearly symposium focused on issues of gender by bringing speakers, workshops, film screenings, and student research presentations to campus.

Recent lecturers include: Congressional candidate Leslie Danks Burke, national media critic Dr. Susan Douglas, visiting professor of art Chris Longwell, art historian Dr. Shirley Samuels, and educator and feminist activist Jesse Kabwila Kapasula.

Elmira College offers a minor in Women's Studies. Students who complete the minor take a minimum of 21 credits in women's studies coursework, capped off with a senior seminar in Feminist Issues and Activism.

The Iota Iota Iota National Women's Studies honor society has a chapter on campus. Eligible students have a 3.0 grade point average, have completed women's studies classes, and demonstrate an interest in egalitarianism, inclusiveness, the celebration and study of diversity and analyses of structures of power in society.

For more information, contact Dr. Martha Easton, Coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies Program.