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University of Minnesota Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Feminist doctoral program . PhD IN FEMINIST STUDIES.

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university of minnesota department of gender women and sexuality studies

University of Minnesota Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Feminist doctoral program

phd in feminist studies

The Ph.D. program in Feminist Studies is designed to help students develop a high level of competence in feminist theories, interdisciplinary methods and methodologies, feminist epistemology and feminist pedagogies.

unique experience
Unique experience
  • Interdisciplinary research training
  • Possibilities for collaboration
  • Feminist pedagogy
  • Public engagement
  • Departmental governance
  • Close mentoring
  • Graduate conference travel funding

i ntellectual concentrations
Intellectual concentrations
  • Women of color feminism
  • Transnational feminism and queer studies
  • Critical sexuality and queer studies
  • Feminist science, environmental, health, and disability studies

  • Our interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes the interaction of social conditions such as class, ethnicity, race, sexualities, and national identity with gender. These interactions and their effects are examined in cultural productions such as media representations or colonialist paradigms in social systems and relations of power; in aspects of science such as genetics and new technologies; in epistemologies and philosophy; and in professional areas such as health care to public policy.
  • We have a twofold commitment to develop scholars who will:Advance interdisciplinary feminist research; and integrate an interdisciplinary feminist perspective into disciplinary research
  • We have a wide variety of courses that includes:
  • Transnational feminism
  • Social movements
  • Critical sexualities
  • Environmental justice
  • Intersections of race, ethnicity, and nationalism

course requirements
Course requirements
  • Required Core Courses (12 credits)
    • GWSS 8107 Feminist Pedagogies (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8108 Genealogies of Feminist Theory (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8109 Feminist Knowledge Production (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8997 Feminist Research and Writing ( 3 cr)
  • Colloquia Credits (4 credits)
    • Feminist Studies Colloquium (1 cr, 4 semesters)
  • GWSS Seminars (6 credits, choose from two)
    • GWSS 8210 Feminist Theory and Praxis (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8220 Science, Technology, and Environmental Justice (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8230 Cultural Criticism and Media Studies (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8240 Transnational, Postcolonial, Diaspora (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8250 Nation, State, Citizenship (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8260 Race, Representation, and Resistance (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8270 Theories of Body (3 cr)
    • GWSS 8280 Critical Sexuality Studies (3 cr)
  • Research Methods and Tools (6 credits)
  • Minor/External Supporting Program (12 credits taken in other departments or as part of a minor in another graduate program)
  • Doctoral Thesis Credits (24 credits taken to support progress towards degree milestones


I pursued the FEST Ph.D. because of the long history of advanced feminist research at the U.

Moreover, I was drawn in by the strong interdisciplinary nature of the program and the faculty’s diverse academic endeavors. GWSS is absolutely the right “home” for my graduate career because of the support I receive for my own interdisciplinary project.

I also cherish the small size of our department because of how it fosters close and personal intellectual relationships with my peers.

While I didn’t think of it when applying, I am now grateful for the amazing opportunities we have in GWSS to teach and develop our own pedagogical practices and philosophies. I am certain I will leave this program as strong and educator as I am and academic.

– Angela Carter, PhD candidate (queer studies and disability studies)

Over eighty affiliate faculty from over 30 different programs, departments, colleges and institutes at the University.

Ananya Dance Theater

AnanyaChatterjea (Dance and GWSS)


The feminist studies doctoral program at the University of Minnesota is distinctive for the diversity of student research interests that faculty, staff, and fellow grad students support with enthusiasm. To me, this demonstrates our program’s refreshing, forward thinking and inclusive stance on the breadth of pursuits considered constitutive of feminist studies.

– Michelle Garvey, PhD candidate (environmental feminist and justice)

  • Colloquium series
  • Journal Club
  • Graduate group on sexuality studies
  • Graduate group on critical race studies
  • Pedagogy Workshops

  • Five years of funding
  • Eligible for departmental, collegiate, and university-wide fellowships
  • Teaching assistantships as graders and/or instructors
  • Research assistantships
  • Summer funding opportunities available

strong record of placement
Strong record of placement

Twenty two students have completed the doctoral program since its inception in 1998

Many have been placed in tenure track positions, postdoctoral fellowships, and visiting professor positions


2013 Dissertation Titles

Charlotte Karem Albrecht: "Peddling Arab American Histories: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Syrian American Communities.'" Adviser: Jigna Desai.

Diane Detournay: "The Encounter Between Feminism and Liberalism: An Itinerary of 'Woman.'" Advisers: Jigna Desai and Richa Nagar.

AniruddhaDutta: "Globalizing through the Vernacular: Gender/sexual Transnationalism and the Making of Sexual Minorities in Eastern India." Advisers: Jigna Desai and Richa Nagar.

XiumeiPu:"Imagining the Decolonial Spirit: Ecowomanist Literature and Criticism in the Chinese Diaspora." Adviser: Edén Torres.

dr charlotte albrecht
Dr. Charlotte Albrecht

Postdoctoral Fellow –

Denison University

dr aniruddha dutta
Dr. Aniruddhadutta

Assistant Professor –

University of Iowa

dr xiumei pu
Dr. Xiumeipu

Visiting Assistant Professor –

University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

dr diane detournay
Dr. Diane Detournay

Postdoctoral Fellow–

University of Western Cape,South Africa


2012 Dissertation Titles

Patricia Connolly:"Staging Cross-Border (Reading) Alliances: Feminist Testimonials at Work." Advisers: Amy Kaminsky and Richa Nagar.

Jessica Giusti: "Burlesque Female Behemoths": Transgressions of Fat, Femme Burlesque. Advisers: AnanyaChatterjea and Jacquelyn Zita.

YeonboJeong: Science, Nation, and Women's Bodies: Economies of Reproductive Tissues and Stem Cell Research in South Korea. Advisers: Susan Craddock and Jacquelyn Zita.


2011 Dissertation Titles

Papori Bora:“The Nation and its Margins: Reading Gender and the Politics of Sovereignty in India’s Northeast” Advisers: Jigna Desai and Richa Nagar


2010 Dissertation Titles

Kandace Creel-Falcón:“This is Our Home!: Chicana Oral Histories:(Story)Telling Life, Love and Identity in the Midwest” Advisers: Edén Torres and Lisa Albrecht

Helen Crump: “Bodied Knowledges (Where Our Blood is Born): Maternal Narratives and Articulations of Black Diaspora Identity” Advisers: Amy Kaminsky and Gwen Pough

Eileen Muller-Myrdahl: “Orientalist Knowledges at the European Periphery: Norwegian Racial Projects, 1970-2005” Adviser: Jigna Desai

AyanaWeekley: “Now That’s a Good Girl: The Politics of Respectability in African American HIV/AIDS Discourses” Advisers: Jigna Desai and Gwen Pough


2009 Dissertation Titles

Rachel Raimist:“Grinding the Walls to Dust” Adviser: Edén Torres


2008 Dissertation Titles

Margalit Chu:“Resistance, Dependency, and Resilience: The Everyday Politics and Geographies of NGO Development in Marginalized Gitano Communities” Adviser: Richa Nagar


2006 Dissertation Titles

Danielle Bouchard:“The Feminist Order of Things: Interdisciplinarity, Globalization, and Postcoloniality in Contemporary Feminist Theory” Adviser: Jigna Desai

Amy Brandzel: “Queering the Subject(s) of U.S. Citizenship: Beyond the Normative Citizen in Law and Culture. Advisers: Jigna Desai, Richa Nagar, and Barbara Welke

Dawn Rae Davis: “De-colonizing Love: Feminist Subjects and the Ability of Not Knowing”. Adviser: Naomi Scheman


2005 Dissertation Titles

Sam Bullington: “From the ‘Rainbow Nation’ to the ‘New Apartheid’: Sexual Orientation and HIV/AIDS in Contemporary South African Nation Building. Adviser: Susan Craddock

Sara Hottinger: “Making Mathematical Knowledge: A Cultural Study of Late-Eighteenth Century British Mathematics”. Advisers: Jacquelyn Zita and Helen Longino

Linda Wayne: “Sexes, Genders, and Sexualities: From Second to Third Wave Feminism”. Adviser: Ellen-Messer Davidow


2003 Dissertation Titles

Amanda Swarr: “Exploring the Boundaries of Gender and Sex: Transgendered Expressions in Contemporary South Africa” Advisers: Amy Kaminsky and Richa Nagar


2002 Dissertation Titles

Sidney Matrix: “Inventing Cyberculture and Cybersubjectivity: A Critical Study of Cyberfictional Media” Advisers: John Mowitt and Naomi Scheman

2013 admits to ph d program
Tia Gardener, PhD candidate

(Black feminist arts and literature)

Carolyn Erler, PhD candidate

(Feminist epistemology and biopoliitcs)

2013 Admits to Ph.D. Program

gwss faculty
GWSS faculty


Jigna Desai

Richa Nagar

Research Interests: Asian American literature and media, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, queer/sexuality studies, South Asian diasporas, critical disability studies, autism, neuronormativity

Research Interests: transnational feminism, politics of development, feminism and praxis, people’s movements


Edén Torres

Naomi Scheman

Research Interests: race, class & gender, Chicana/o cultural studies, Chicana/Chicano history and politics, Chicana feminist theory, Feminist & Critical Pedagogies, Gender, Labor & Politics

Research Interests: politics of epistemology, feminist theory, trustworthiness and community engagement, responsibility in research, queer/sexuality studies, transgender studies


Amy Kaminsky


Research Interests: Spanish and Latin American literature, feminist literary theory and criticism, Latin American film, Exile and national identity in Latin America, Jewish writing and film in Argentina, race, gender, and sexuality

Research Interests: U.S. Black Women’s Politics and Activism, black feminist thought, urban studies, urban ethnography, feminist geography, feminist theory and methods


Susan Craddock

Jacquelyn Zita

Research Interests: Women’s biology, environmental justice, feminist environmental studies, sexuality, corporeal philosophy, lgbt studies, feminist theory and philosophy

Research Interests: AIDS, disease, health, Tuberculosis, public-private networks for neglected disease vaccine and drug production


Annie Hill (Visiting Faculty Member)

Research Interests: Rhetorical theory and criticism; cultural studies/public policy and crime,; gender and sexuality studies; feminist theory; race theory and western science

Research Interests: Media, race and politics; gender and media studies; public sphere studies

Catherine Squires (Director of Graduate Studies)

digital media and innovations
Digital Media and Innovations

Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center

  • The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center (RRFMC) is a a teaching classroom and open lab for Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and GLBT Studies students, faculty and staff, and a multimedia training and production facility. Powerful multimedia tools exist, such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro on all of the computers.
  • This lab provides the physical space and infrastructure to support a variety of instructor and faculty training, curriculum development, and research efforts for the department and the broader community
  • As a whole, our department continues to seek out collaboration opportunities with other interdisciplinary units to expand the use of digital technology and media through the humanities.