Women and Culture

Culture entails every aspect of the social, technological, artistic, and linguistic environment in which humanity learns from past generations and creates for its own and future generations. In most, if not all, societies, this environment influences women and men differently. Our task is to explore women's contributions to the development of culture and their critique of culturally transmitted patterns of domination and subordination.

In all times and places, women have participated in the development of culture. They have been gatherers, healers, artists, technicians, and organizers as well as mothers and wives. Until recently, however, women's contributions have been overlooked and undervalued because culture has been almost exclusively defined in terms of what men think, do, and value. The Women and Culture Cluster is designed to correct this gender bias in education by expanding the notion of human culture to include the contributions, experiences, and perspectives of women.

  • Engage in an interdisciplinary study of women, examining how women have been viewed by men, how they view themselves, and how they view the world;
  • Study how the roles and activities of all women have contributed to the cultural heritage of humanity;
  • Consider the importance of including women's experiences and perspectives in the formulation of social theories and public policies;
  • Learn how women's spiritual experiences and practices are expanding our understanding of the divine; and clarify what is meant by feminist theory and how it is transforming all fields of study.

Cluster Coordinator:
Dr. Rebecca Whisnant
Departments of Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies
Alumni Hall, Rm 208

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