Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Since 1984, the Comparative Women's and Gender Studies in Europe (WGSE) program has offered students a unique opportunity to explore feminist and queer theory in practice across Western and East Central Europe. The program examines the trends and dynamics of European social, economic, and political systems as they influence contemporary gender theory, policy and women's identities.
With this goal in mind, the program takes students to several differently situated European nations while underscoring experiences of women and sexual, ethnic, and religious minorities in these respective national communities. Students learn about the struggles of the Roma women in the Czech Republic, the historical and current day experiences of the citizens of Jewish, Afro-German, and Turkish backgrounds in Germany, as well as about the ways in which Islamophobia bears on Muslim populations across Europe. These topics are addressed both through scholarly inquiry and situated empirical experience throughout the semester, framed through our discussions of post-colonial, feminist, and queer theories.
The program begins with an orientation both to the academic aspects of the program and to the cross-cultural experience of studying in Europe. Following the orientation, students will participate in a one-week, intensive Network of Interdisciplinary Women's Studies in Europe Summer School program with students and faculty from the European Thematic Network of Women's Studies. After NOISE, students spend the rest of the semester studying Women's and Gender Studies in Utrecht/Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Krakow.
Students stay in hostels, hotels and homestays throughout Europe. When meals are not provided in the accommodations, students are given a stipend to purchase their meals. Because students often select their own places to eat, the program can accommodate most diets.
Period: Fall Semester.
Program Advisor: Professor Cyn Fitch
Read more about the program here.
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