Designated Emphasis

About the Designated Emphasis

The Women and Gender Studies Program at UC Davis offers a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. Currently graduate students in the following fourteen affiliated Ph.D. programs are eligible to participate: Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Education, English, French, German, Geography, History, Native American Studies, Performance Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Spanish.

The Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research affords graduate students in affiliated programs the opportunity to augment their Ph.D. in a given discipline with a specialization in Feminist Theory and Research. Typically a doctoral student in good standing may seek admission to the Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research and enroll in Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research courses. Those students in affiliated Ph.D. programs who complete the requirements of the Designated Emphasis will have this noted on their transcripts and their Ph.D. diploma will note the Ph.D. in X with Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research.

Feminist theory and research examines the complex ways in which gender always forged in relation to race, class, sexual, and national identities has organized language, identities, traditions of knowledge, methodologies, social relations, organizations, economic systems, and every facet of culture. In making gender a central category of analysis, feminist scholarship engages such questions as: the relationship between language and institutions, the nature of social power and historical agency, heteronormativity, the relationship between gender and nation, alternative sexualities, and gender and representation.

Feminist scholarship tends by nature to be interdisciplinary. Indeed it is feminist scholars who laid some of the groundwork for such interdisciplinary formations as the new ethnography, new historicism, and cultural studies

Feminist theory and research are among the most exciting and powerful forces in academic research and intellectual life today. Students with the D.E. demonstrate additional training that is attractive to employers inside and outside of the academy.

Benefits of the Program

Students who participate in the Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research benefit in several ways:

  1. Coursework for the Designated Emphasis provides analytical tools that enhance their research.
  2. The D.E. accords graduate students the opportunity to network with students and faculty across the UC Davis campus, thereby providing a larger audience for their research and work and increasing access to information about career opportunities.
  3. D.E. students have a larger pool of professors to draw from when forming their qualifying examination and dissertation committees.
  4. Because of their additional training, D.E. students are competitive for teaching assistant and associate-in positions in the Women and Gender Studies program.
  5. D.E. students are more competitive in the academic job market. Over the past several years, students graduating from UC Davis with the D.E. in Feminist Theory and Research have been told that the D.E. was critical to their being chosen over other candidates for teaching positions.