Aug 13, 2022  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Specialization)

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The Graduate Specialization in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to enhance master’s and doctoral degrees in any field at the University. Students in the program will gain a more complete understanding of how the social construction of gender has influenced the roles, contributions, and experiences of all individuals in many different cultures, now and in the past. This understanding is coupled with a complex understanding of how gender and sexuality  intersects with race, social class, dis/ability, nationality, ethnicity, and other sites of social inequality.

Graduate work in WGS is offered at The University of Maine through the WGS Program, which also administers an undergraduate major and minor. A WGS advisor who is a member of the graduate faculty will assist each student in designing a program of study appropriate to their goals and will be part of the evaluation process. Students and advisors will be matched according to the student’s areas of interest.


  1. Candidates for any master’s degree and the Certificate of Advanced Study in Education are required to take at least 9 credits including WGS 510 and another WGS course. The additional course(s) can be chosen, with the approval of the student’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies advisor, from WGS courses or departmental WGS electives at the 400-level or above. At least 2 courses must be at the 500-level or above.
  2. Candidates for the Ph.D. or Ed.D. are required to take at least 12 credits, including WGS 510 and WGS 520. WGS 580 is highly recommended. The additional course(s) can be chosen, with the approval of the student’s WGS advisor, from WGS courses or WGS departmental electives at the 400-level or above.

Students who are taking thesis credits in their departments and writing WGS-related theses or dissertations can use up to 3 thesis credits toward their WGS specializations.

For More Information

Questions can be answered by the faculty listed or by contacting the director, Susan K. Gardner, at 207-581-3122 or e-mail  Visit our web page to learn more at


Full Graduate Faculty

Elizabeth J. Allan, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1999), Professor of Higher Education. Gender and education, critical and poststructural feminist theory, equity policy in higher education, sexual violence, feminist research methodologies.

Laura Artesani, D.M.A. (West Virginia, 1997), Associate Professor of Music. Women and music, history of women music educators in North America.

Carla Billitteri, Ph.D. (SUNY at Buffalo, 2001), Associate Professor of English. Literary theory, feminist theory and gender studies, poetry and poetics, European and American Literature (19th- & 20th-century); drama.

Amy Blackstone, Ph.D. (Minnesota, 2003), Professor of Sociology. Sociology of gender, families, and work.

Sandra Butler, Ph.D. (Washington, Seattle, 1991), Professor of Social Work. Social policy, economic security, welfare, health, and well being of women across the life span, especially related to older women and lesbians.

Sandra Caron, Ph.D. (Syracuse, 1986), Professor of Family Relations/ Human Sexuality. Women’s sexuality, cross-cultural perspectives on sexuality, family studies.

Nancy Fishwick, Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve, 1993), Associate Professor of Nursing. Women’s health, domestic violence, rural health, primary healthcare.

Susan Gardner, Ph.D. (Washington State, 2005), Professor of Higher Education and Director of WGS. Issues of social justice in higher education and the experiences of underrepresented populations in higher education institutions.

Mazie Hough, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1997), Associate Professor of History and WGS. U.S. women’s history, Maine history, adoption and reproductive policies, feminist research methods.

Naomi Jacobs, Ph.D. (Missouri, 1982), Professor of English. Women’s literature, British and American fiction, utopian literature, feminist theory.

Jessica Miller, Ph.D. (Connecticut, 1999), Associate Professor of Philosophy. Feminist philosophy, feminist theory, feminist ethics, feminist approaches to biomedical ethics.

Nathan Stormer, Ph.D. (Minnesota, 1997), Associate Professor of Communication. Feminist rhetoric, reproductive rights, culture and discourse theory.

Elizabeth Neiman, Ph.D. (Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2011), Assistant Professor in English, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Feminist theory.

Associate Graduate Faculty

Margaret O. Killinger, Ph.D. (Maine, 2004), Rezendes Preceptor for the Arts, Honors College, U.S. women’s history, biography.

Renate Klein, Ph.D. (Marburg, 1989), Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies. Cross-cultural studies of domestic violence, family studies, feminist research methods.



Nancy Lewis, MS (Columbia, 1984), Head of Reference, Fogler Library. Women and religion.

Jennifer Pickard, MA (Maine, 1992), Part-time faculty. Maine Women’s History, Women, Health and the Environment.

Rhea Côté Robbins, MA (Maine, 1997), Part-time faculty in Women’s Studies and Franco-American Studies. Franco-American Women.

Yvonne Thibodeau, MA (Maine, 1998), Part-time faculty in Peace and Reconciliation Studies. Women activists.



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