February 14, 2010


My 25th reunion is coming at the end of April. A glance at the alma mater's website revealed this gem (the italics are mine):

Women's and Gender Studies Program

The Women's and Gender Studies program at Washington and Lee University offers students both the opportunity to complete a multi-disciplinary minor in feminist and gender studies and a stimulating co-curricular environment in which to develop as intellectual and community leaders. Founded in 2001, the WGS is a vibrant academic program that links the classroom with the world and offers the theoretical basis for activism and social change.

A demanding introductory course and disciplinary distribution requirements give all students a sound theoretical orientation to defining and articulating concepts and practices in Women's and Gender Studies, while diverse course offerings from professors in disciplines that range from psychology to English, from Romance languages to political science, philosophy to sociology and anthropology, make it easy for students to draw connections between their major fields of studies and the evolving work of gender scholars. Our faculty encourages students to see their studies as relevant to their everyday lives and important for understanding and responding to social justice issues. Students do just that--in a math student's investigation into why so few women study math in college, in a fraternity member's paper analyzing how his fraternity brothers' drinking habits shape male privilege, or in a missionary daughter's attempt to better understand how a feminist might read the Bible.

The flexible Women's and Gender Studies capstone requirement allows students to pursue their particular interests with the kind of intensity that turns classroom competence into an abiding passion.

Do you want to make audiences laugh with women's humor? Or challenge the ways in which media images invade our consciousness and control our bodies? Study women artists or find out how women changed history? Want to learn how we might get more diverse elected officials, and figure out why homophobia is still part of public policy? Or write a poem that moves its readers to action against sexist oppression? Join us. That's what we do

BTW: cost per year for undergraduates: $45,000.

SUPER-SECRET MESSAGE TO MONICA MINK: I distinctly recall the 1983 Founder's Day Convocation and its keynote speaker, the formitable head of the Department of English: Sidney M.B. Coulling (known to the faint of heart of my era as: "Sid Vicious"). His address was entitled simply: "Why Colleges Must Save Liberal Arts" and it was an unapologetic defense of a liberal arts education. He will be one of the featured speakers at the reunion and I would love to ask him what he must think of the latest trends. After being fueled by a sufficient amount of liquid courage, I might just do it.

Posted by LMC at February 14, 2010 05:07 PM | TrackBack

It was roughly 10k when I went there, 85-89. I've noticed, from the emailed PR, that W&L, of all places (!) is succumbing to the silly.

Posted by: Mink Monica at February 14, 2010 10:54 PM

A fine example of a poor idea taken to its logical extreme. I wish certain land-grant universities were immune from such silliness, but they are not.

Posted by: kmr at February 15, 2010 09:22 AM

Where's the Men's Studies program, what with the matriarchal oppression of invented holidays like Valentine's Day, and why women now make up the majority of college students.

Posted by: rbj at February 15, 2010 11:13 AM

"while diverse course offerings from professors in disciplines that range from..."
I noticed the range didn't include math or engineering. Maybe that's because, as the renowned astronaut, computer engineer, and eminent feminist philosopher Barbara Millicent Roberts stated so succinctly: “Math is hard!”

Posted by: Unsupervised at February 15, 2010 11:24 AM

"Good jobs for Philosophers, too!"
-- Firesign Theatre

Posted by: mojo at February 15, 2010 04:08 PM



A somewhat articulate sod
Attempted to write like a broad:
With words theoretical
His verse was hysterical
But now he's an activist god.

If you want more poems, it's gonna cost you $45k.

Posted by: Cameron Wood at February 15, 2010 04:17 PM
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