As the interim director of women's studies at Goshen College, I am thankful for The Elkhart Truth's coverage of our recent name change of the Women’s Studies Program to Women’s and Gender Studies ("Goshen College's women's studies program will be 'women's and gender studies' next year," March 11). However, I want to correct one misunderstanding. While we certainly want males in our classes and conversations about women and gender studies, this was not the primary reason for the change. The proposal came from a review last year that suggested we bring our program into line with other women’s studies programs around the country and trends in academic research that look at gender in terms of larger structures and relationships of power rather than isolating women as a separate category of analysis.
We will continue to teach classes that we have always taught in this program, continue to advocate for women’s rights, and continue to welcome all students into our classrooms who are ready to challenge through rigorous study their assumptions about the role of gender in our world. The name change provides us with an expanded agenda for considering a range of gender issues.
Students who minor in this program use it along with their major to define an area of expertise. You can learn more about our program at goshen.edu/wost.
PROFESSOR JAN BENDER SHETLER
Chair, Department of History and Political Science
Interim director of women's studies