What is Gender & Social Justice?
Gender & Social Justice had its genesis at Trent in the 1980s as the department of Women's Studies. As a field of study, Women’s Studies sought to counter the marginalization of important groups and perspectives within the educational system. Since the 1960s, the field has broadened and deepened its scope, taking into account a wide spectrum of issues relating to gender identities, sexualities, feminisms, and social justice. Gender & Social Justice scholars explore gender relations and experiences across cultures and nations, throughout history, and in contemporary societies. What unites Gender & Social Justice scholars is the shared understanding that gender relations shape every site of human interaction, from the very local, to the global. Hierarchical gender relations are understood in constant interaction with other important social, economic, and cultural hierarchies, such as class, race, ability, and sexuality.
As an interdisciplinary department, Gender & Social Justice draws on theoretical perspectives and methodologies from a wide range of fields and areas such as Indigenous Studies, History, Political Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, English, Health Studies, Disability Studies, Aging Studies, Trans Studies, Decolonial Studies, and the Natural Sciences. Trent University’s approach to Gender & Social Justice combines theory with empirical research, encourages critical thinking, and aims to develop in students strong analytical, writing and communication skills, while prioritizing community-based research and experiential learning.