Our program has more than 50 faculty members who examine gender issues working on a wide range of topics and with various disciplinary and theoretical approaches.
Women and Gender Studies graduate student Karen Wolf received the 2010 MAIS Outstanding Thesis Award for her work Our Bodies, Our (Virtual) Selves. Karen's thesis, an ethnography of Second Life, asks what happens to gender, body, and identity in a seemingly infinitely mutable world where "all elements are defined by the user." She argues that Second Life allows individuals to explore and perform their gender and sexuality in new ways, while simultaneously reifying dominant notions of gendered bodies.
This was the third year in row that a Women and Gender Studies student has received the MAIS Oustanding Thesis Award. Brianne Russell-Morris received the award in 2009 for her thesis The Logic of Welfare Reform: An Analysis of the Reauthorization of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and Nicole McCoy in 2008 for Voices from the Slums: Brazilian Women on Domestic Service and Favela Life. Dr. Nancy Hanrahan, Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology served as thesis chair for all three awarded students.