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Academic Departments Records, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Finding Aid & Inventory

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) department at Wake Forest University offers interdisciplinary courses that examine and analyze cultural, biological, political, and social constructions of femininity and masculinity. The department first offered an interdisciplinary minor beginning in 1983, as Women's Studies, and began expanding in the 1990s. Collection materials (1984-2000) include course listings, and materials memorandums, symposium agendas, department newsletters, and two volumes of bean, a literary journal supported by the department.

Biographical and Historical Note

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) department at Wake Forest University offers interdisciplinary courses that examine and analyze cultural, biological, political, and social constructions of femininity and masculinity. Students can earn a major or minor in the field. The department supports an annual Student Research Symposium on Gender and Sexuality and sponsors the Elizabeth Phillips Award for the Best Essay in Women's and Gender Studies every spring. The award is a tribute to the late Elizabeth Phillips, Professor Emerita of English, for her scholarly commitment to the advancement of the discipline.

The department began in 1982 as the Women's Studies Committee, a group of 60 faculty, administrators, and librarians from across WFU. The group met monthly and proposed an interdisciplinary minor that was accepted in spring 1983. Mary DeShazer, Professor of English and Women's Studies, was hired as the first Women's Studies Coordinator in 1987. Linda Nielsen, Professor of Education, joined the faculty and established student internships in 1991. Susan Borwick, Professor of Music and one of the founding members of the program, directed the program from 1996 to 2000, and has been followed by a succession of women. In April 2003, the program changed names to Women's and Gender Studies. The department director as of 2017, Wanda Balzano, was hired in 2004 as a visiting professor from University College in Dublin, Ireland. A major was approved in 2011, and in August 2013 the program's name changed again to its current form, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The program officially gained departmental status in 2015.

Source: “Program History.” WFU Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 2017, www.college.wfu.edu/wgs/about-us/program-history/.

Collection Overview

This collection (1984-2000) documents the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at Wake Forest University. Materials include course listings, memorandums, symposium agendas, department newsletters, course materials, and two volumes of bean, a literary journal supported by the department.

Collection Inventory

  • Department materials
    • Academic requirements (circa 2013) Box 1 Folder 2
    • Actresses speaking event clipping, Winston Salem Journal  (1984 October 12) Box 1 Folder 2
    • Annual report (1998-1999) Box 1 Folder 3
    • bean literary journal, 2 volumes (1998-2000) Box 1 Folder 5
    • Calendars, newsletters, and clippings, color photocopies (1975-1989) Box 2 Folder 16
    • Collection development guide and resources list (circa 1990s) Box 1 Folder 5
    • Committee meeting memo (1988 March 17) Box 1 Folder 6
    • Course description (1983-1984) Box 1 Folder 7
    • Course offerings (2000) Box 1 Folder 8
    • Department flyer (undated) Box 1 Folder 9
    • Department meeting memorandum (1988 September 15) Box 1 Folder 10
    • Elizabeth Phillips memorial (2007) Box 1 Folder 11
    • "Feminist Intersectionalities: Systemic Injustice and Social Inequality" symposium materials (2016 March) Box 1 Folder 12
    • Germaine Brée symposium agenda (1993) Box 1 Folder 13
    • Internship program article, Wake Forest Magazine  (2003) Box 2 Folder 14
    • Minor course offerings (1984-1985) Box 2 Folder 15
    • Minor requirements and course descriptions (1985-1986) Box 1 Folder 14
    • "News and Notes" newsletters (2002-2014) Box 2 Folder 18
    • Newsletters (1987-1994) Box 1 Folder 15-22
    • Newsletters (1996-1997) Box 1 Folder 23-24
    • Newsletters (2000-2010) Box 1 Folder 25-35
    • Program brochures (undated) Box 2 Folder 1-2
    • Program description (1992) Box 2 Folder 3
    • Program information and course offerings (1999 April) Box 2 Folder 4
    • Program review materials (circa 1994-1998) Box 2 Folder 5
    • Program review materials (1997) Box 2 Folder 6
    • Self study (2006) Box 2 Folder 7
    • Sexual harassment discussion event announcement (1988 March) Box 2 Folder 8
    • Speaking event announcement, Ellen Van Velsor (undated) Box 2 Folder 9
    • Speaking event clipping: Kilbourne, Jean, "The Naked Truth: Advertising's Image of Women" (1985) Box 2 Folder 17
    • Speaking event flyer, Roxanne Newton (2006 August 30) Box 2 Folder 10
    • Speaking event flyer, Dr. Bernice R. Sandler (1994 October 5) Box 2 Folder 11
    • Speaking event flyer, Maria Tula (undated) Box 2 Folder 12
    • Women's Studies Committee memorandum (1984) Box 2 Folder 13

Summary Information

Repository
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Title
Academic Departments. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department Records
ID
RG16.30
Date [inclusive]
1984-2000
Extent
0.84 linear feet  2 document boxes

Administrative Information

Publication Information
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives 2015 December
Revision Description
 Revised by Tara Coady 2017 March
Access Restrictions
Collection is open for researchers. 
Copyright Notice
The nature of the WFU Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of ZSR Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. 
Preferred Citation
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department Records (RG16.30), Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. 

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