Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 5, Issue 1
fall 2014
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

WGSS Graduate Certificate Program

by WGSS DGS, Jafari Allen

Jafari Sinclair Allen is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, African American Studies, and American Studies, and WGSS DGS

Thanks to the work of former Directors of Graduate Studies, Margaret Homans, Laura Wexler, and Jill Campbell, and the graduate students who have made WGSS one of their intellectual homes, the Graduate Certificate Program – formerly known as the “Qualification Program” which began in 2002 continues to move from strength to strength.

In order to be eligible for conferral of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Certificate, our students must demonstrate: (1) mastery of relevant gender and sexuality theory; (2) capacity to pursue independent, interdisciplinary research in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and (3) readiness to teach in the field.   What is new is participation in the WGSS Graduate Certificate Workshop. In this workshop-style course, students engage presentations in the WGSS Workshop and Colloquia series, and  explicitly trace and critique the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Feminist, or Queer studies traditions or streams in their uni-discipline, thematic, geographic, or theoretical site toward developing the most generative and sustainable theoretical, methodological, political and poetic framework(s) for their project(s).

This year, the goal of the Graduate Certificate Workshop is to strengthen and maintain a cohort of WGSS, feminist and/or queer theory graduate scholars, across a number of (uni)disciplines, and thematic, geographic, and theoretical sites, by asking questions about intellectual/political formation. The objectives of the workshop orbit what I think of as the central problématique: What is a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Feminist, or Queer studies question? What are the habits of mind of this interdiscipline? In what ways is this articulated to or in tension with the habits of mind of particular (uni)disciplines? In what ways must out research project(s) push forward in both/multiple directions?

Each member of our fall 2014 workshop has begun to articulate and refine their theoretical, methodological, ethical and aesthetic toolkits, through discussion; writing and sharing short pieces of writing-in-progress; and engaging close readings of WGSS Workshop and Colloquium presentations, and other common works. What will current and future generations require, as WGSS and feminist studies become more common in academe, globally, and as the unique insights of this intellectual and political site are increasingly brought to bear on pressing policy questions and social-cultural debates in various quarters? We look forward to hearing from colleagues and former students as we prepare for the future.
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