In honor of a new semester just around the corner, I wanted to take the time to sit down with a senior JMU Women and Gender Studies (WGS) student, Melanie, to get her point of view on the WGS minor and her experience studying the variety of perspectives that exist within gender studies. Here’s how our conversation played out. Take a gander!
How did you find WGS and what drew you to the minor?
Melanie: “I found WGS while I was trying to find a minor to help fill up my schedule my first semester, as a sophomore transfer student, and since I was already interested in feminism and gender studies, I thought it would be neat to take some classes about it.”
What was your favorite WGS class you took and why?
Melanie: “My favorite class was probably Queer Literature, WGS370, just because the environment in the class was so great and the class structure was largely discussion-based. I also really liked the Intro class, WGS2oo. I had Dr. Muhonja and she’s just a super interesting and engaging professor that did an amazing job at giving an overview of a variety of feminist subjects and perspectives.”
What would you say to current or future WGS students, one thing you wish you knew that you know now?
Melanie: “I can’t really think of anything that I wish I knew in terms of which classes to take or in regard to the classes that I did take in the WGS minor. Because you have so much freedom of choice when fulfilling the credits for the minor, you can essentially build your own curriculum. There is so much flexibility, which I love. But, I do have a general reminder that, just like in all classes at JMU, you have to actually read all the material carefully and thoroughly that you’re assigned. Pay attention to all the little details of all the theories and perspectives of the writers. That will really pay off when it comes to exams and assessments.”
Why would you recommend the WGS minor to a student who might be considering it and why?
Melanie: “If you are considering it, you definitely should take WGS classes! If you haven’t been considering it, you definitely should! Through my WGS courses, I learned so much that I didn’t know anything about, especially queer history through taking Queer Lit. Also, I met a lot of really great people through my classes. I think everyone should be encouraged to take WGS classes as electives and GenEd classes, too. That way, we can hopefully broaden some horizons and bring light to view points people might not think about. Exposing yourself to a variety of perspectives is really important.”
From Melanie’s mouth to your eyes, you should all consider enrolling in the Women and Gender Studies minor here at JMU next semester!