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New decade, new name

January 7, 2010

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SFU’s women’s studies department has changed its name to the department of gender, sexuality and women’s studies, making it the first such department in Canada to specify the three fields. The move reflects a growing focus on research and teaching within the department and increasing interest from students. "By differentiating sexuality from gender studies, we broaden our appeal, especially at the graduate level where a number of our doctoral students are already working in the field," says department chair Catherine Murray. She notes American universities such as Yale, Harvard and Cornell have already integrated gender and sexuality as fundamental categories of feminist theory. But, "unlike other departments, we are reluctant to abandon the term ‘women’ s studies’," says Murray. "This is not a time for post-feminism, when equality of representation is still a distant reality on Parliament Hill or in other developing countries."

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