Founded in 1984, the Centre for Women's Studies at York (CWS) is among the most well-established bases for feminist and gender-oriented teaching and research, both in the UK and internationally.
We adopt a women-centred and interdisciplinary approach to the changing nature of both women's experiences and gender relations. By drawing on a range of disciplines - cultural studies, history, literature, philosophy, politics, sociology, social policy - we explore the differing perspectives each has to offer, as well as the creative tensions between them.
Professor Victoria Robinson, CWS Director
CWS is an interdepartmental Centre affiliated to the Departments of Sociology and English and Related Literature. Our core staff formed part of their submissions to REF 2014 in which Sociology was ranked first and English second. CWS is thus the top-ranked of all the gender and women's studies centres in the UK in terms of research excellence.
Working alongside core staff, and other prominent academics at the University of York associated with CWS, in the fields of, for example, gender and sexuality, masculinity, queer studies, activism, digital culture, feminist pedagogy, political violence, terrorism and perpetrator studies, students explore a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Women’s and Gender Studies
Our international reputation is based on:
- Commitment to acknowledge the experiences of women in non-Western societies
- High profile in debates about cultural reproduction
- Focus on sexual diversities
- Emphasis on intersectionality
- Reflection on the wider ethical implications of feminist research, including power relations
- Unique research training programmes
- Innovations in teaching, such as writing and photography workshops
The Centre for Women's Studies has excellent relations with departments throughout the University, especially staff in the humanities and the social sciences.
CWS organises its own regular staff/graduate seminars at which members of staff, graduate students and distinguished visiting scholars present research papers, as well as conferences and other events. The Centre has an average of 55 postgraduate students each year, who are of varying ages and disciplinary backgrounds, with a number coming from overseas.