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Women’s and Gender Studies celebrates 25 years

Connie Guberman

Twenty-five years ago, Connie Guberman was a TA in one of the first women’s studies courses on the UTSC campus. Today she is program director of Women’s and Gender Studies which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

“It began as a way of looking at some of the prescriptions and assumptions of what women were capable of,” Guberman says. “Since then we’ve grown in complexity ... the discipline looks at how issues of gender intersect with other critical concerns about equity, including race, class and sexuality.”

The program, under the department of humanities, includes six faculty, most of whom are cross-appointed. This year almost 150 students are enrolled in the program, 64 of them as majors.

Guberman says that from the earliest days, the program was interdisciplinary, drawing from philosophy, social sciences, English literature, life sciences and other disciplines. Guberman thinks that its interdisciplinary nature is a strength.

“I think how wonderful it is to have this multiplicity of ways to do our research,” she says. In fact, the program emphasizes experiential learning and produces students who are skilled in research and analysis.

Parents and students often wonder what kinds of jobs Women’s and Gender Studies graduates will find. In fact, past graduates have found work as lawyers, social workers and teachers, among others. One became an international advocate against violence toward women.

The program has grown in the last several years, Guberman says, thanks to an administrative commitment to strengthen the program.

The program has scheduled an open house for November 2 at 4 pm.

© University of Toronto Scarborough