Women's Studies Capstone Courses

All our majors complete their final year of studies with two capstone courses:

Fall Semester: Research Seminar in Women's Studies (AWSS 490Z)

Course Description: What kinds of questions do women's studies scholars, activists, and researchers ask? How do they go about pursuing those questions and creating new knowledge? How have feminist perspectives influenced research in various fields? How is feminist research connected to policy changes and activist goals? What kinds of research methods can be used to create rigorous scholarly work, advance social justice, and contribute to the empowerment of marginalized groups? This course explores key features of women's studies research and engages critical debates on methodology, epistemology, and the relationship between research and social change. We will interrogate dominant assumptions about how knowledge is produced and what counts as valuable knowledge. We will study a variety of ways of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data and consider the ethical dilemmas and political implications embedded in research projects. We will reflect on how the positionality of researchers affects scholarly work as well as on issues of voice and representation. Finally, we will evaluate different possibilities for the dissemination of research findings and analyze the political and social uses of research.

Spring Semester: Internship (AWSS 492)

This course is open to undergraduate students from any department, major or discipline that want to experience and reflect on feminist activism, build community, and work towards social justice. Students work with mentors in local community building and social justice organizations and participate in a weekly discussion and seminar.

Our community partners include, but are not limited to: Albany Political Prisoner Support Committee; BirthNet; Honest Weight Food Co-op; The Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council (CDGLCC); Family Planning Advocates of New York State; Girls, Inc.; Grand Street Community Arts; In Our Own Voices (IOOV); National Organization for Women, NYS; New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault; NYS Division for Human Rights; Our Knowledge, Our Power: Surviving Welfare; The Sanctuary for Independent Media; Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood; and The Women's Building/Holding Our Own.