2018 WGS Essay Contest Winners Have Been Announced

Women, Gender and Sexuality Department 30th Annual Essay Contests

WGS Announces Winners of 2018 Essay Contests

The Women, Gender & Sexuality Department announces the award winners for best undergraduate and graduate essays focused on women, gender and/or sexuality.


Zoe Pettler - Acquitting the U-Haul: Temporality and Intimacy in Lesbian Relationships



Lauren Haumesser - "Domestic Institutions”: Gendered Language and the Debates over Territorial Slavery


Giving to Hoos Day is April 10th!

Arch Mug

Tuesday, April 10th is Giving to Hoos Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event for the University of Virginia. 


We hope that you’ll choose to make a donation to the Women, Gender and Sexuality Department to help us fund more classes and quality programming. As an added bonus you will receive a WGS mug! 

All donations count, no matter how big or small, all donations get a mug!

Here’s what to do:

WGS 3559

This course considers representations of sex, gender and racial identities in Italian films, television, advertisements and other forms of visual culture. With a focus on the contemporary Italian context, students will explore issues of intersectionality from a global perspective. What can Italian critically acclaimed and more mainstream works tell us about diversity and inclusion in the worldwide context?

WGS 4620

This course critically examines key ideas, issues, and debates in contemporary Black feminist thought. With a particular focus on Black feminist understandings of intersectionality and womanism, the course examines how Black feminist thinkers interrogate specific concepts including Black womanhood, sexual mythologies and vulnerabilities, class distinctions, colorism, leadership, crime and punishment, and popular culture.

WGS 2500

Examines human sexuality from psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and historical perspectives. Topics include sexual research and theoretical perspectives, sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual health, intimacy, communication, patterns of sexual response and pleasure and sexual problems and therapies. Course will also include examination of the development of sexuality and the intersections of other identities, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality and the law, sexual assault, and other social issues in sexuality.

30th Annual WGS Essay Contests

It's time for the 30th Annual WGS Essay Contest! Details are below. Please reach out to us with any questions. We look forward to receiving your entry!

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON AWARD for the best undergraduate essay focused on women, gender, and/or sexuality written during the 2017-2018 academic year.

ZORA NEALE HURSTON AWARD for the best graduate essay focused on women, gender, and/or sexuality written during the 2017-2018 academic year.

GETR 3590

Joseph Campbell––and more! Trace the origin of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Game of Thrones: Encounter the stories that inspired Richard Wagner. Follow the hero and heroines of medieval fiction through the steps of the heroic quest: the call to adventure, meeting the mentor, tests and trials, symbolic death and rebirth, the road back, and return with a societal boon. Among the stories read are Parzival and Tristan and Isolde. Grade is based on classroom discussion, oral reports, and a final paper. No final examination. No textbook required.  

ENLT 2547

This course will explore the history of race, crime, and justice in African American literature and culture from Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion to today's Black Lives Matter activism. What is justice? How does the history of racial oppression in America complicate traditional ideas about the relationship between law and justice? How do African American writers both use and defy the genre conventions of traditional American detective fiction and courtroom dramas?

EDHS 3891

The aim of this course is to help YWLP Facilitators acquire the skills and knowledge required for successful facilitation as well as to provide lots of support. Given the diverse members of each group, the mentoring group curriculum, and other factors that affect the group, how can YWLP be the most rewarding experience possible for each group member? How can students grow as facilitators and leaders through their experience as YWLP Facilitators? Prerequisite: EDHS 2891 and EDHS 2892

JPTR 3290

This seminar will take up the world's earliest instance of literature written extensively by, for, and about women, including such famous works as the Pillow Book of Sei Shônagon and Sarashina Diary, among others. The focus will be on reading gender as a fictional enactment of desire and identity that is performed through acts of writing and reading. No prior knowledge of Japanese language or literature is required.