UNCP to offer a minor in Gender Studies


By Scott Bigelow

Gender studies will be offered as a minor course of study at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke beginning in fall 2004.

The program has an 18-hour requirement, that includes six hours of core courses and 12 hours of electives from disciplines, including sociology, criminal justice, social work, history, English, American Indian studies and nursing. Any student may elect the minor.

Sociologist Dr. Leslie Hossfeld is the coordinator of the program and will teach a core course.

"I am going to launch the core course - Gender and Society - in spring 2005," Dr. Hossfeld said. "When we talk about gender studies, we are not just talking about women. Examining the way masculinity and femininity are constructed is a major component."

As an interdisciplinary program, starting a Gender Studies program required cooperation from across campus, Dr. Hossfeld said.

"I am glad that gender studies has been institutionalized, and I am glad it's interdisciplinary," she said. "It was fairly easy to get everyone on board. My hope is that other departments will begin to offer courses that may be incorporated into the minor."

"Gender studies provides an academic approach to thinking critically about the origin and meaning of gender identity and the impact of gender on our lives," Dr. Hossfeld said. Gender studies will look at family, health, historical, economic, social and cultural issues.

A lecture by feminist scholar Margaret Anderson will be a highlight of the launch of UNCP's gender studies program.

"Dr. Andersen is an internationally recognized feminist scholar, who has written many books on the intersections of race, class and gender," Dr. Hossfeld said.

Dr. Hossfeld wrote a grant for a Feminist Lectureship Award of the Sociologists for Women in Society to host Dr. Andersen. UNCP's Department of Sociology, the Distinguished Speaker Series, the Office of Minority Affairs and the Teaching and Learning Center will co-sponsor the lecture.

Dr. Hossfeld, who spent 10 years teaching in South Africa as Apartheid was breaking up, is a research sociologist whose primary field of study is poverty and inequality. She is currently working on a manufacturing "job loss"' project in Robeson County that included a March 28 Washington, D.C., briefing for the Congressional Rural Caucus, that included 7th District (Robeson) U.S. Representative Mike McIntyre.

More than 50 UNCP students, faculty and staff participated in the Washington briefing.

Dr. Hossfeld did her undergraduate work at UNC Wilmington, earned a master's degree in sociology from the University of Mississippi and a doctorate from NC State University.

For more information on gender studies at UNCP, please email leslie.hossfeld@uncp.edu or call 910.521.6472.