Date of Award


Document Type

Final Project

Course Title

WSS 690 MA Final Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Barbara Sutton

Second Reader

Kori Graves


The name “Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies,” WGSS, is a name rooted in politics and the academy, evidenced by the evolution of the phrasing even in the field’s relatively short history. In an environment where WGSS is under attack from both neo-fascist policies and neo-liberal budget cuts, we must be certain to put our best, most representative foot forward. This project explores (1) the state of the field’s name today and how it has evolved, (2) why this nomenclature is unstable and contradictory, and (3) what the politics of naming reveal about the changes in the field, the challenges it has faced, and, perhaps, the opportunities that might be available for the field to not only survive but thrive within the academy.