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Graduate Study in Women's and Gender History

About the Women's and Gender History Program

Rutgers has housed one of the premier graduate programs in women’s and gender history for the past two decades and is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. A hallmark of the program is its emphasis on comparative perspectives that introduce students to commonalities and differences among women within and across nations, regions, and time periods. The program in Women’s and Gender History at Rutgers helped to pioneer the analysis of gender relations– including the study of men and masculinities as well as women and femininities– and now also includes the study of sexualities. At its inception, the program traditionally focused on Western Europe, England, and the United States. We have expanded the program’s global reach by building strengths in Central and Eastern Europe, South Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. 

The major provides in-depth training in women’s and gender history across national contexts and chronologies, including a range of courses from introductory readings to colloquia in feminist theory and advanced research seminars.  Course requirements for the major include: Problems and Directed Readings in Women’s and Gender history, one topical colloquium, one course on feminist theory (which can either be a History course or an acceptable graduate course from another Rutgers department, such as Women’s and Gender Studies, English, or Political Science), and a two-semester research seminar in Women’s and Gender History. The topical colloquia and PDR are specifically cross-national and/or cross-chronological. Both offer comparative perspectives which encourage students to explore new approaches to women’s and gender history and introduce them to a range of methodologies and theoretical perspectives.  The research seminar provides students with the opportunity to pursue in depth primary research early in their graduate career.

The department also offers a minor field in Women’s and Gender History. It provides a substantial introduction to the field for students completing work in one of our other major areas. The minor field has consistently drawn a sizable pool of high quality graduate students and has expanded in recent years with the growth of the M.A. and Ph.D programs in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department.


Additional Resources for Students Purusing Work in Women's and Gender History

Institute for Women's Leadership

In 1991 an Institute for Women's Leadership was launched at Douglass College. It is a consortium of the following organizations:

Blanche, Edith, and Irving Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women's Studies

A chair endowed at Douglass College, financed by public and private funds, and occupied by a series of distinguished scholars in women's studies. Since the chair was announced in 1983, Jacqueline Pitanguy, Carol Gilligan, and Paula Giddings have filled this position. The chair occupant leads interdisciplinary seminars, presents lectures, and serves as a resource contact for the general community.

Institute for Research on Women

A research institute of over 400 scholars in women's studies that offers a forum for work in progress; provides lectures, conferences, and an annual seminar series; and sponsors visiting scholars from the United States and abroad.

Women's and Gender Studies Department

A graduate certificate in women's studies may be earned through the completion of selected graduate courses.

Center for Women and American Politics (at the Eagleton Institute of Politics)

A research, education, and public-service organization that encourages women's full and effective involvement in all areas of public leadership.

Center for Women and Global Leadership

This center deals with global issues affecting women and prepares women for international leadership.

Center for Women and Work

The Center for Women and Work (CWW) is dedicated to advancing women across the education, income, ethnic, and occupational spectrums, and to challenging the status quo in organizations that educate, train, and employ them.

Institute for Women and Art

The Institute for Women & Art promotes the study of women and art by supporting and sponsoring scholarship, research, exhibitions and programming on topics pertaining to women in art, including attention to past inequities, with the goal of transforming policies, institutions, attitudes and social structures.


The Faculty in Women's and Gender History

Rudy BELL (Ph.D., CUNY)

Quantitative Methods, European Social, Renaissance Italy

Dorothy Sue COBBLE (Ph.D., Stanford)

Twentieth Century U.S., Social Movements and Politics, Global Labor

Barbara COOPER (Ph.D., Boston)

Africa, Gender, Comparative

Belinda DAVIS (Ph.D., Michigan at Ann Arbor)

Modern Europe, Germany

Melissa FEINBERG (Ph.D., Chicago)

Modern Central and Eastern Europe, Human Rights and Citizenship

Mary HARTMAN (Ph.D., Columbia)

Modern Europe

Jennifer JONES (Ph.D., Princeton)

Early Modern Europe, Eighteenth-Century France

Seth KOVEN (Ph.D., Harvard)

Gender and Sexuality, Comparative Urban, Socialand Cultural History of Europe

Jan LEWIS (Ph.D., Michigan)

American History to 1820, Women and Family

Jennifer MITTELSTADT (Ph.D., Michigan)

Modern US Political; Gender and Social Welfare; Militarization

Camilla TOWNSEND (Ph.D., Rutgers)

Native American History, Native American Women

Deborah G. WHITE (Ph.D., Illinois)

African American, Black Atlantic

Affiliated Faculty

Carolyn BROWN (Ph.D., Columbia)

African history; labor history

Janet GOLDEN (Ph.D., Boston)

Public History, History of Medicine

Samantha KELLY (Ph.D., Northwestern)

Medieval Europe

James LIVINGSTON (Ph.D., Northern Illinois)

American Economic and Intellectual

Margaret MARSH (Ph.D., Rutgers)

Twentieth-Century U.S., Social Movements, Reproductive Technology

Stephen REINERT (Ph.D., California at Los Angeles)

Byzantine, Medieval Balkans, Early Ottoman

Beryl SATTER (Ph.D., Yale)

Twentieth-Century U.S., Cultural

Nancy SINKOFF (Ph.D., Columbia)

Early Modern and Modern Jewish, Eastern Europe

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