About Us

What is Women's and Gender Studies?

The Department of Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) is a hub for feminist research, social justice studies, and engaged citizenship at the University of Alberta. Our award-winning teachers and researchers offer a wide variety of exciting classes to students from across the University.

Women's and Gender Studies is a field of study that encourages students to ask big questions about the way that gender impacts how we think, how we live, and how we understand ourselves and others. Though the field historically focused on the lives of women, in the contemporary Women's and Gender Studies classroom, an emphasis is placed on the ways that gender, race, class, age, sexuality, ability, and size work together.

Core faculty conduct research in the areas of:

  • Feminist legal studies
  • Feminist philosophy
  • Gender, migration, and settlement
  • Higher education in Africa
  • Animal and environmental ethics
  • Trauma and cultural memory
  • Gender and medieval history
  • Gender, history, and film
  • Indigenous pedagogy and resilience
  • Gender and cultural informatics
  • Feminist print culture


  • Spain Passes Law Requiring ‘Freely Expressed’ Consent for Sex

    August 26, 2022

    Lise Gotell comments on the law that comes six years after the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman stirred mass protests and a general reckoning over the rights of sexual abuse victims.

  • Source says he told police names of 2 hockey players in 2003 video of alleged sexual assault

    August 25, 2022

    Lise Gotell, a leading expert on sexual assault consent law in Canada comments on this incident from 2003.

  • Conditional consent or fraud?

    August 01, 2022

    The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously declared that refusal to wear a condom during sex, or its removal, can vitiate that consent and be cause for a sexual assault trial. "This is an internationally significant decision," says Lise Gotell, women's and gender studies professor at the University of Alberta. Her paper on Hutchison was cited by both majority and minority decisions. "Apart from England and Wales where the courts have also approached this question in a similar way, you don't have another jurisdiction now where there is such clarity around this in the criminal law."

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