Women's Studies

Welcome to CSUDH's Women's Studies Program!

Women's Studies BA Coming Soon!

The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.

Adrienne Rich, Claiming an Education

Welcome to the Women's Studies Program, where students are encouraged to claim their education in an active pursuit of knowledge, empathy, and social justice. As the academic arm of the feminist movement, women's studies has been a recognized discipline for nearly fifty years, exploring the experiences and representations of women in cultures around the world. Students taking courses in CSUDH's Women's Studies Program acquire the knowledge and skills to understand the history, structures, and expressions of gender inequality and how to advocate for women's rights and freedoms.

Currently Women's Studies offers a 15-credit minor, and will begin offering a BA in the next year. Courses in the Women's Studies Program use feminist theories and interdisciplinary methods to teach, conduct research, and expand existing bodies of knowledge, preparing students to pursue careers and advanced degrees in multiple fields, sectors, and industries. As a richly diverse urban campus with a strong history of activism and commitment to social justice, CSUDH lends itself to women’s studies and its focus on examining how gender relates to and intersects with ethnicity, race, social class, religion, sexuality, nationality, globalization and other factors that shape women’s and men’s lives. It also aligns with the university vision for a campus where “diversity in all its forms is explored, understood, and transformed into knowledge and practice.”


June 12, 2020

Women’s Studies Program Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter and the Demands of the Africana Studies Department

CSUDH’s Women’s Studies Program supports the demands put forth by the Africana Studies Department, whose letter and action items can be found and signed here. We encourage our peers to investigate the ways in which their departments support what bell hooks refers to as “imperialist, white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy.” We unequivocally affirm that Black Lives Matter, and we will continuously ensure that our intellectual and activist work reflects this insight. Our curriculum has been, and will continue to be, grounded in decolonizing pedagogy; the works and theories of women of color; and queer, non-binary, and gender-expansive voices and worldviews.

As an academic discipline that views teaching, learning, and activism as part of an inseparable whole, we stand in solidarity with our Black students and those risking their lives protesting the routinized state violence, inhumanity, surveillance and murder of Black bodies in the United States. #BlackLivesMatter was founded by three Black women -- Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullers, and Opal Tometi -- though their herstory is often overshadowed and their queerness invisibilized. We say the names of Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Reika Boyd, Mya Hall, and Korryn Gaines and countless other Black women and trans people who are victims of police violence. We especially shine light on the death of Nina Pop and other Black trans women whose murder rates are seven times higher than that of the general population. Locally, we understand the contemporary moment within a long history of radical resistance in Southern California. This history ranges from the Cooper Do-Nut Riots, where police brutality rooted in racism, transphobia, and homophobia was resisted and exposed by Black and brown transwomen; to the Watts Rebellion, which won major gains for South LA, including the establishment of CSUDH; to the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising in response not only to the LAPD’s brutal assault of Rodney King, but also the state-sanctioned murder of fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins. As feminists we honor this history of resistance and are committed to reflect it in our pedagogy.

White supremacy is our nation’s greatest ill, and the feminist movement has not escaped its contagion. As we continue our work to imagine and cultivate a more just world, we recognize that our labor is aligned with, and indebted to, the critical intellectual, emotional, and physical work that countless others, particularly Black women and other women of color, have done before us. Our faculty and curriculum acknowledge this history while working toward a more inclusive movement to end sexism in tandem with intersecting facets of oppression including race, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion.

We know there are no options besides demanding a better future. Today, and always, we send love and strength to our students. Turning thought into action, they pave the way for a more hopeful future for all.

Women’s Studies updates regarding COVID-19

March 19, 2020

Hello! Thank you for visiting the Women’s Studies program webpage. As of March 17, faculty and staff have been asked to work remotely. While our campus and the world are adjusting to the changes brought on by COVID-19, we would like to assure you that the health, safety, and student success of our community remains our priority during these rapidly-changing times.

Given the shift to online instruction and remote working situations, we would like to provide you with the following:

Contact Information:

Generally speaking, e-mail is the best method to contact faculty. If you have a question regarding a specific Women’s Studies course, you should contact the instructor directly:

For more general information about Women’s Studies, its course, and events, please contact Jenn Brandt, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Women’s Studies, at jbrandt@csudh.edu


Registration is now open for Spring Intersession and Summer Session.

Spring Intersession (Thursday, May 21 - Saturday, June 27)
WMS 100-42: Gender, Sex, the Body & Politics: An Introduction - Online (5/21 - 6/27)
Instructor: Jenn Brandt
WMS 250-42: Foundations in Women’s Studies - Online (5/21 - 6/27)
Instructor: Karina Karakus
WMS 310: The Witch in Literature and Culture - Online (5/21 - 6/27)
Instructor: Cristina Rose Smith

Summer Session 1 (Tuesday, May 26 - Thursday, July 2)
WMS 250-41: Foundations in Women’s Studies - Online (5/26 - 7/2)
Instructor: Claudia Mendoza Diaz
WMS 314-41: Feminism and Film - Online (5/26 - 7/2)
Instructor: Jenn Brandt

Summer Session 2 (Saturday, July 6 - Friday, August 14)
WMS 318-41: Race, Class, and Gender - Online (7/6 - 8/14)
Instructor: Cynthia Villanueva

The fall 2020 class schedule will go live on online on March 30; fall registration begins on April 20. Women’s Studies majors and minors should email Jenn Brandt at jbrandt@csudh.edu for advising questions.

We thank you for your patience during this difficult time and look forward to serving you.
-Jenn Brandt

Toro Alerts

For more information about the university's response to COVID, go to the Toro Alerts page or click the links below:

CSUDH Students attend the National Women’s Studies Association’s Annual Conference 2019 in San Francisco

Student,Raquel Serrano with Angelo Davis and CSDUH Graduate, Shannon Minor

Faculty members Cristina Rose Smith and Jenn Brandt presented at the National Women’s Studies Association’s annual conference in San Francisco. Also in attendance were Women’s Studies major, Raquel Serrano (pictured with Angela Davis), and CSUDH graduate Shannon Minor, who presented a research poster from her Independent Study in Women’s Studies.

Las Doctoras Podcast featured on Oprah Magazine online

Women’s Studies professor Dr. Cristina Rose (Smith) and Chianca/Chicano Studies professor Dr. Renee Lemus's podcast Las Doctoras was recently featured online in Oprah Magazine!

Together, Dr. Cristina Rose and Dr. Renee Lemus host a podcast called Las Doctoras in which they discuss issues of reproductive justice, social justice, motherhood, sexuality, race, gender and more. They bridge their scholarly research as academics with our experience as Latinas, mothers, daughters, partners, and women to speak to the nuances and complexities of those intersecting identities.

Congrats to Raquel Serrano and Makonnen Tendaji Nixon for joining MMUF