New interdisciplinary minor in women's studies launched

Pitt-Bradford has launched a new interdisciplinary minor in women’s studies. 

The minor, which will explore the work of women in politics, society and culture, combines coursework from the fields of literature, women’s studies, anthropology, nursing (women’s health), philosophy, psychology and sociology.

Each student is required to take Introduction to Women’s Studies, which is being taught by Dr. Jessie Blackburn, assistant professor of English and coordinator for the new minor.

Students in the minor will also complete a three-credit internship in an area that complements their major. For example, a nursing major minoring in women’s studies could take an internship with a women’s health or nutrition program; a criminal justice major could work with a victim’s rights or domestic violence agency.

Blackburn said that many people think that since women have the right to vote in America, there is nothing left to study in the field of feminism. There are still plenty of areas to explore, she said, citing unequal pay, human trafficking, the role of women’s health issues in public policy and even the inequalities in how women and men are treated in sports.

Assisting Blackburn in outlining the curriculum was a panel of faculty from across disciplines on the campus. She has enlisted staff, students and members of the community to join a larger steering committee to keep the offerings in the minor relevant.

The minor should be compatible with all majors, but Blackburn anticipates it will be particularly popular with students studying communications, criminal justice, English, history-political science, human relations, interdisciplinary arts, public relations and sociology.

For more information, contact Blackburn at or (814)362-7522.