Mission Statement

The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri is committed to the interdisciplinary, feminist study of the social, cultural, and historical processes that gender human identity. Central to the department's mission is the conviction that the study of cultures, knowledges, and representations cannot be separated from the study of women and gender, and that gender and sexuality are fundamental categories of analysis in all disciplines. In recognizing that the construction of these categories is contingent on time and place, the department stresses scholarship and teaching that are broadly comparative and range across multiple cultures, national and transnational contexts, and historical moments. Its faculty employ a broad range of theoretical approaches and methods that help students to integrate women's, gender, and/or queer studies with analyses of race, ethnicity, religion, spirituality, nationality, and class, and to think critically and synthetically about the multiple axes of power through which sexual and gendered identities are constructed. Courses encourage students to analyze the world in which they live, in order that they might act to transform it.


The first Women Studies course was taught at the University of Missouri in 1971.

In 1980, Women Studies achieved formal program status. In 1981, we appointed our first full-time director, Dorothy Haecker.

In 2002, we changed our name to Women's and Gender Studies.

In 2007, Women's and Gender Studies became a department in the College of Arts & Science.