Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies

Brings feminist and queer theory in conversation with research in the humanities, social sciences, liberal arts, and natural sciences

About Our Program 

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies (WGSS) brings feminist and queer theory in conversation with research in the humanities, social sciences, liberal arts, and natural sciences through courses offered across the four academic divisions of the College in conjunction with other units across the university. An overall aim of the minor will be to teach critical analysis of how gender as a social construct informs our experiences and identities, the interrelationships between gender, sexualities, race, class, nation, and ability, and to connect such inquiry to issues within the local and global arenas. 

The minor will provide opportunities for all students to broaden their understandings of the changing role of gender and sexualities in the United States and globally. WGSS courses teach students to think critically and rigorously about how assumptions about gender and/or sexualities operate in society, and how they influence social and political structures.  The intersectional understanding and critical thinking developed through the WGSS minor are relevant skills for any career path.  Students who plan careers in medicine, the creative arts, social work, education, counseling, law, therapy, academia, and business (among many others) will be enriched by adding a WGSS minor. 

Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies is one of the fastest growing academic fields in the country, and scholars nationally and globally are increasingly grappling with the theoretical importance of the intersection of gender, race, class, and nation. Howard University is uniquely positioned to offer an innovative curriculum that highlights the intersections of racism and sexism, interrogates dominant constructions of gender, black masculinity, black femininity, and patriarchy. 


Dr. J. Japra Dawuni
Program Co-Director
Associate Professor

Department of Political Science
Email: womenscenter@howard.edu

Dr. Krista Johnson
Program Co-Director
Associate Professor

Department of African Studies
Email: womenscenter@howard.edu

Program Mission

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies (WGSS) builds on the momentum present within the College of Arts and Sciences to introduce interdisciplinary curricular programs and is integral to Howard University’s commitment to intercultural competency, global learning, and academic excellence. 

Learning Objectives

  • Teach students to understand and critique gender constructions, gender identities, and sexualities, how they intersect with race, class and nationality, and their function in social, economic, cultural and/or political environments 

  • Teach students to communicate effectively using critical gender and sexuality frameworks to engage in academic research, creative production and practices of social change. 

  • Teach students the historical development of black feminist and black queer theories and scholarship and to apply such critical perspective to new questions across disciplines. 

Program Components

The academic program consists of three components for a total of 15 credit hours:  

  1. There are two tracks for the minor – Women and Gender Studies Track or Gender and Sexualities Track 

  1. Two required introductory courses - Women, Gender and Sexuality in Comparative, Black Feminist Theory, or Introduction to Black LGBTQ Studies  

  1. Optional capstone experiential learning course in the form of an internship or a research experience 

Course Requirements

Students choose two out of four mandatory courses, depending on the chosen track: 

  1. Black Feminist Theory (Available in the Spring starting 2022) 

  1.  Women, Gender and Sexuality in Comparative (Available in the Spring 2022) 

  1. Introduction to Black LGBTQ Studies (ENGL 286) (Available Fall and Spring)  

  1. Capstone Experiential Learning Course (elective) 

Capstone Practicum Options 

Capstone Practicum Options 

  • Experiential learning through community engagement 
  • Experiential learning through the Howard Center for Women 
  • Project oriented study abroad  
  • National or international internships 
  • Capstone Research 

Additional Information

Elective Courses on Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Howard:

  • Not all courses are offered every semester. Refer to the schedule of courses for each term's specific offerings. 


Students should reach out to individual professors with any questions about the class. 

WGSS 3-Year Course of Study

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WGSS Elective Courses

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