Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Cultural Studies
The Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Cultural Studies provides an institutional home for interdisciplinary inquiry at Simmons University. It houses four allied undergraduate programs in Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Migration Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies, as well as a Master's program in Gender and Cultural Studies.
CRGCS programs express Simmons's commitment to understanding the power of culture to shape identities, lived experiences, inequities, and opportunities. They encourage work across disciplines and draw on a range of faculty expertise from across the University.
- Africana Studies (BA)
- Asian Studies (BA, Minor)
- Migration Studies (Minor)
- Women's and Gender Studies (BA)
- Gender and Cultural Studies (MA)
- Public Policy (MPP) & Gender and Cultural Studies (MA, MPP)
- Teaching (MAT) / Gender and Cultural Studies (MA, MAT)
Students of the Africana Studies Program gain:
- Substantial social, cultural and political knowledge of major events, and experiences of people of African descent in the U.S.
- Critical examination and sophisticated understanding of the major historical events that have created and shaped the African diaspora, particularly blacks in the U.S.
- The ability to apply methods of critical inquiry to interpret, analyze, critique and assess contemporary issues faced by peoples of African descent in the U.S.
At the successful completion of the program in Asian Studies, students will:
- Form a deeper understanding of the history, politics, and culture of East and Southeast Asia
- Gain experience in East and Southeast Asia through language training and Study Abroad experiences
- Understand the impact of global politics in the region
The Minor in Migration Studies has three main learning and professional outcomes:
- Thanks to the required “Introduction to Migration Studies” course and to the range of electives, we expect all students to walk away from the Minor with a solid foundation in the growing interdisciplinary field of migration studies. In addition to enhancing their global awareness, this program will cover key disciplinary and methodological approaches to migration and immigration.
- Because students will largely craft their own program of study, drawing from a rich and interdisciplinary array of courses, students will develop deep content knowledge in areas of interest to them. While one student may concentrate heavily on questions related to law, policy, and international relations, another student may graduate with insights about representations of the migratory experience in art and literature, as well as the ways local groups use the arts to elaborate upon their identities and strengthen communities.
- Finally, by formalizing experiential learning in partnership with our local communities, the Migration Minor will help prepare students for a variety of professions. Students will gain essential hands-on experience for future careers in nongovernmental organizations, legal services, ESL programs, healthcare service, cultural centers, community organizations, workers collectives, and more.
Women’s and Gender Studies
Upon graduation students with a B.A in Women’s and Gender Studies will have gained the following skills, knowledge, and abilities:
- Critical-Historical Awareness: Students will be adept at considering gender in diverse national and international contexts as a result of studying the multiple and contested meanings and roles of gender from a historical, a multidisciplinary, and a transnational perspective, and will have developed an understanding of how gender is related to other social categories such as race, ethnicity, social class, sexuality, religion, and nationality.
- Interdisciplinary Content: Students will have acquired theoretical, methodological, and empirical perspectives for studying and critically analyzing the history, status, and experiences of women from diverse backgrounds.
- Disciplinary Skills: Students will be skilled at integrating theory and practice and will be able to communicate effectively in both writing and speaking.
- Practical Skills: Through independent learning or internships, students will be prepared to enter the workplace, graduate programs, and community-based volunteer work with an understanding of social justice issues informed by interdisciplinary scholarship and perspectives.
- Leadership Skills: Students will continue in leadership roles that they have either begun or further developed while at Simmons.
Gender and Cultural Studies (MA, MA/MPP, or MA/MAT)
By the time a student has completed the GCS program, they will have the following competencies.
- Clearly articulate the core concepts, main themes, relevant literatures, and central figures in the fields of intersectional feminist studies and critical race studies
- Evaluate, compare, and critique theories and methodologies of gender, race, sexuality, class, ability, and culture
- Situate current realities of gender, sexuality, race, ability, class, and culture within broader, intersectional, historical and geopolitical contexts
- Do graduate-level research, including articulating the main methodologies in students’ chosen fields and then applying those practices in their own work
- Locate themselves in key debates within the fields of feminist studies and critical race studies, taking a stand on issues and problems and offering solutions
- Effectively communicate and publicize research-based, action-oriented inquiry
- Engage in respectful, informed dialogue in public settings
- Evidence in-depth understandings of a specific topic aligned with their future professional endeavors
- Creatively problem solve, and communicate those solutions to wider publics using various mediums (writing, speaking, podcasts, videos, performances, workshops)
- Produce convincing and directed articulations that illustrate the relationship between their master’s work and desired professional outcomes