The Women, Culture and Society Program increases students’ awareness of women’s issues in culture and society; addresses social justice in consonance with Church teaching; and provides students with community service-oriented learning opportunities. WCS is an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor.
Inspired by Pope John Paul II’s call for collaboration between women and men, the WCS Program focuses on both deepening historical understanding and advancing contemporary discourse on the Roman Catholic tradition’s intellectual and contemplative dimensions. Pope John Paul II established that male domination and exploitation is an effect of original sin that needs to be remedied, in order to restore each woman’s humanity to, “the richness of the femininity which she received on the day of creation.”
The required introductory course, Introduction to Theories and Practice of Women’s Studies, gives primacy to philosophy and theology as integrating concerns in historical context that are interdisciplinary in nature. The course includes guest speakers from representative fields of inquiry and selected readings from classic authors including at least two women Doctors of the Church.
Each year, WCS hosts the Elsa Zambosco-Thomas lecture named in honor of the late director of the program. She was the second Director of the Women, Culture and Society Program in 2006. Zambosco-Thomas made a lasting mark on the University as a woman of faith, culture, talent and leadership and has been a model for a multitude of students and faculty. She passed away on April 1, 2009.
Women, Culture and Society
Kathleen Haney, director