UCSC celebrates launch of new Ph.D. program in Feminist Studies

poster announcing new UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies Ph.D. program
Chancellor Blumenthal with Professor Bettina Aptheker

Chancellor Blumenthal with Professor Bettina Aptheker  (Photos by Melanie Wylie)

Professors Gina Dent and Kelly Weisberg
Professors Gina Dent and Kelly Weisberg
Professors Marcia Ochoa, Neda Atanasoski, and Felicity Amaya Schaeffer
Professors Marcia Ochoa, Neda Atanasoski, and Felicity Amaya Schaeffer

The UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies Department officially celebrated the launch of its long-awaited graduate program with a kick-off reception on October 29 at the Chancellor’s house.

Guests included Chancellor Blumenthal, professor Kelly Weisberg, campus provost and executive vice chancellor Alison Galloway, founding department faculty member Bettina Aptheker, and former department chair and professor emerita Angela Davis.

The campus is now accepting applications for the new Ph.D. program in Feminist Studies, which is set to begin in Fall 2013. The deadline to apply for the inaugural program is December 15, 2012.

“The Ph.D. in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz is an interdisciplinary program that investigates how relations of gender are embedded in cultural, political, racial, and social structures,” noted department chair Lisbeth Haas.

“It will provide students with advanced training in critical race and ethnic studies, sexuality studies, and the study of science and social justice,” she added.
The aim of the new program is to train scholars and teachers, and also to serve the needs of professionals for careers in areas such as public policy and human rights research and advocacy.

This approach to graduate training is designed to attract students from different fields of study who will flourish in a dynamic and collaborative intellectual environment.

Conceived as a cross-divisional endeavor, the graduate program will draw upon the strength of UCSC’s wide range of feminist scholars and their departments and programs across the campus.

UCSC’s Feminist Studies Department currently maintains longstanding relationships with the departments of anthropology, art, history, history of art and visual culture, history of consciousness, Latin American and Latino Studies, literature, politics, psychology, and sociology, and is affiliated with the Science and Justice Research Center on campus.

It also is home to one of the largest Feminist Studies undergraduate degree programs in the nation, and it is an internationally recognized center for feminist scholarship.

Courses exploring feminist issues were first introduced into the undergraduate curriculum at U.S. universities in the late 1960s. Nearly a dozen Ph.D. graduate programs in feminist, women’s and gender studies have since developed in the United States since the University of Maryland established their program in l976.

The first women’s studies course at UCSC was offered in 1971. The Feminist Studies Department at UCSC became one of the first UC programs to actively mobilize and institute women’s studies courses and faculty. Due to strong support and demand from students, a Bachelor of Arts degree in women’s studies was approved in 1974.
“The last few decades have witnessed an upsurge in feminist scholarship,” said  UCSC professor and Feminist Studies graduate director Gina Dent.

“Our new graduate program forms part of this upsurge--it builds on the successful undergraduate major in the Department of Feminist Studies and upon the widely recognized community of prominent feminist scholars at UCSC,” Dent noted.
“The UCSC program’s emphasis on training scholars and teachers will allow it to meet a full range of contemporary social needs,” added Haas.

For more information about the new Ph.D. program, and to apply for the program, visit the graduate website.

To read more about the UCSC Feminist Studies faculty, go to the faculty page on the department web site.