About the Program

“Women’s and Gender Studies…is an interdisciplinary academic field that interrogates the social construction of gender, the lived experiences of women [and people of all genders], and how identity, power, and privilege impact our lives” (A.L. Ernstberger, 2020).

The College of Charleston has offered women's studies courses since 1984 when it first offered a concentration in women's studies under the studia humanitatis program. The minor in Women's Studies began in 1989 under the founding director, Cheshire Calhoun, and was modeled after the Women's Studies program at the University of South Carolina. The aim of the minor and the subsequent program was to correct gender bias in the conduct and content of academic knowledge.

The Women's Studies program began holding events such as Women's History Month sessions and lectures. These events have expanded over time, and the Women's and Gender Studies program is now one of the most active at the College of Charleston offering a flexible major and minor, a diverse internship program, a vigorous Community Advisory Board, an array of guest speakers and events, and a rich sense of community among its students, alumni, and faculty.

The professors who teach in this program — more than 60 in all — represent a variety of academic interests, specialties and disciplines, including English, theatre, biology, philosophy, history, political science, communication, public health, art history, Hispanic studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and more.  Students have tremendous latitude in selecting courses.


Quote Citation: Ernstberger, Adrianna L. (2020). The Enduring Struggle: Findings from the History of Women’s and Gender Studies in the Global South. In J. Shayne & N. Carter (eds.) Persistence is Resistance: Celebrating 50 Years of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. University of Washington Libraries.

WGS Program Newsletter, WGS Connect

The WGS Connect newsletter is a semesterly celebration of all things WGS. Issues include event calendars for the upcoming semester, highlights of current WGS courses, spotlights on WGS faculty and students, and much, much more! Read the current and previous issues digitally using the links below. Or stop by in person at the WGS Office to see if you can snag one of the (limited) print copies!


Past Issues: