Gender and Women's Studies Major

Examine the cultural and historical production of sexual difference, the impact of feminist research, and the intersection of gender with race, sexuality, class and colonialism. 

The Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) major and minor are rigorous inquiries into multiple forms of sexual difference as constructed by culture and history, and the ways these forms intersect with social forces like race, sexuality, class and colonialism.

Studying GWS challenges conventional cultural assumptions about women, sexuality and gender roles. It promotes the development of new ideas and research in feminist scholarship within an open, supportive environment.

Majors can either emphasize the theoretical focus of recent feminist interdisciplinary scholarship or pursue a joint major that links feminist research and theory to disciplines like art history, economics, English, French, history, media studies, politics, psychology, religious studies, theatre, or science, technology and society.

In class with Professor Aimee Bahng
In class with Professor Aimee Bahng
In class with Professor April Mayes
In class with Professor April Mayes
In class with Professor Erin Runions
In class with Professor Erin Runions
In class with Professor Erin Runions
In class with Professor Erin Runions

What You’ll Study

    • Four core gender and women’s studies courses
    • Two courses in feminist theory
    • One course cross-listed with an ethnic studies program
    • Senior thesis
The Gender & Women’s Studies faculty members come from 22 different disciplines.

Learning at Pomona

Aida James

Black Motherhood in America

A. Ja'Nea James ’21 is a pre-health student who is studying how Black motherhood is viewed within the Black community and how media outlets and political campaigns have portrayed it to the rest of America.

Calder Holland slideshow picture

Reproductive Justice

Calder Hollond ’21 created a syllabus for a hypothetical course on reproductive justice for her Queer & Feminist Theory class. She conducted extensive research on various topics, including environmental reproductive justice to reproductive technologies to motherhood and incarceration.

Isaac Prestwich

Gender Non-Conformity and Queerness in Childhood

Isaac Prestwich ’20 is developing a thesis on contemporary picture books for early readers that feature gender non-conforming and trans child protagonists. He plans to identify consistent gender narratives across a number of texts.

Isaac Prestwich
Isaac Prestwich ’20

Above all else, the Gender and Women’s Studies program at Pomona has some of the most exciting and dedicated professors across The Claremont Colleges. Namely, Kyla Tompkins, Aimee Bahng, Zayn Kassam and Amanda Apgar represent the heart of this program, offering courses across the disciplines of disability studies, settler colonial studies, Asian-American studies, food studies, feminist new materialist studies, religious studies and the critical study of childhood, to name just a few.

Faculty & Teaching

The Gender and Women’s Studies faculty offers truly interdisciplinary approaches to questions surrounding how gender, sexuality and race intersect with other formations of power, such as class, nationality, ability and religion. Their broad areas of expertise will bring these questions into sharp focus as you examine these issues together.

Professor Esther Hernández-Medina

As a feminist scholar, activist, and public policy expert from the Global South (Dominican Republic), I teach at GWS because our classes help build a world where we can achieve, as the Latin American slogan goes, “all rights for all people” (“todos los derechos para todas las personas”).