Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
"There can be no love without justice...without justice, there can be no love." - bell hooks

Berea College

Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

As a field of inquiry, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) asks students to make the personal political; to interrogate how larger structural inequities engender (inter)personal possibilities. Our classes ask students to think with queer, indigenous, black, and dis/abled life-worlds to imagine alternative ways of being. We believe that knowledge of shared exclusions has the potential to prompt new coalitional relationships between Berea’s women, femme, and gender non-conforming students and its students of color, thus advancing the College’s Fifth and Sixth Great Commitments in new, intersectional ways. WGS students are encouraged to build worlds premised on the abolitionist work of John G. Fee and others whose commitments to equity are definitive of Berea College’s promise to “[make] of one blood all peoples of the earth.” The department offers both a major and minor.

I was born in a small, conservative, and predominantly white town, and I’d never lived anywhere else. This course exposed me to different cultures, customs, and ideas that I may have never been exposed to if I had not taken this course. [The course] environment [was one in which] students were required to think deeply and critically. ...The material...was unlike any course I had taken before. This course was mainly theory-based, and the content was really appealing to me because students were able to take the theory introduced in class and establish their own conclusions on it based upon their own experiences and observations. This course also exposed me to so much African American culture and history and helped me to grasp why the Black Lives Matter movement is so crucial. I especially appreciated that this course taught me so much that I felt comfortable enough to share what I had learned with my friends and family. Overall, it is my honest belief that everyone should have a chance to experience this course. I feel as though this course has not only taught me about...all of the intersectional components that formulate African American culture but has also allowed me to become better at critical thinking and discussion. I genuinely believe that this course has made me a better individual academically and socially.

Victoria E. Sullivan
WGS student
2022 Logo WGS

Opportunities & Internships

WGS students learn to operationalize feminism in personal as well as professional contexts, gaining experience through a monthly Colloquium Series and labor positions available through the department and at the bell hooks center. We also work with the Office of Internships and Career Development to place students in organizations that do social justice work. Students who elect to participate in an internship may use that experience to waive one of their concentration requirements. We likewise work with the Center for International Education to coordinate course substitutions for majors and minors who take classes in the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality abroad.

Careers & Outcomes

Students attend graduate school in a variety of humanities and social science disciplines; social, legal, and/or non-profit work; marketing, communications, and journalism; college and university administration; development; public relations and advertising; lobbying and political campaigning; healthcare; and business, to name a few.

My undergraduate degree from Berea College was an important catalyst to my becoming a healthcare provider. Throughout my many years as [a family nurse practitioner], I have realized that outlined in [WGS are] so important and could be a core component for a future healthcare provider’s practice as they lay wide open the problems created by inherent bias and systemic racism.

Rebekah Easton-Hogg
WGS alumnus and healthcare provider

Contact Us

Berea College | Draper 106 | CPO 1963 | Berea, KY 40404 | 859-985-3217 | Facebook