The Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies (CRGS) Department is a welcoming community of students, faculty and staff who collaborate to critique structures of power and to create a more just world. By combining Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies and Multicultural Queer Studies into one department, CRGS offers a unique program of study focusing on the observation that “no form of subordination ever stands alone” (Matsuda), but instead, systems of subordination are intertwined and support each other.
Our new interdisciplinary major option in CRGS focuses on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, nation, class and physical ability. At the heart of our major is an examination of relationships of privilege and oppression, the workings of power and forms of resistance. We study urgent social issues at multiple levels, reading personal identity alongside analysis of communities, social institutions, and national and transnational political economies.
CRGS also offers minors in Ethnic Studies, Multicultural Queer Studies and Women’s Studies, as well as a certificate in Women’s Studies. Our general education classes and weekend workshops offer additional opportunities for students to analyze systems of inequality and strategies for resistance.
Mari Matsuda, Where is Your Body? and Other Essays on Race, Gender and the Law:
The way I try to understand the interconnection of all forms of subordination is through a method I call “ask the other question.” When I see something that looks racist, I ask, “Where is the patriarchy in this?” When I see something that looks sexist, I ask, “Where is the heterosexism in this?” When I see something that looks homophobic, I ask, “Where are the class interests in this?” Working in coalition forces us to look for both the obvious and the nonobvious relationships of domination, and, as we have done this, we have come to see that no form of subordination ever stands alone.
Cherríe Moraga, La Güera:
I am a woman with a foot in both worlds. I refuse the split. I feel the necessity for dialogue. Sometimes I feel it urgently. But one voice is not enough, nor are two, although this is where dialogue begins…. The real power, as you and I well know, is collective. I can’t afford to be afraid of you, nor you of me.