The gender area at the University of Wisconsin- Madison is composed of faculty and graduate students who make the sociology of gender their central focus and those who combine analysis of gender with other main concerns. Collectively, our research spans the full range from micro to macro levels of analyses, qualitative to quantitative research methods, and theoretical to applied orientations. We share a commitment to producing rigorous scholarship aimed at understanding gender as a process and structure.

The training seminar for the gender area is colloquially known here as “Femsem.” Activities at femsem include student and faculty presentations of their current research, workshops on publishing and other aspects of academia, discussions of gender in the academy, and talks by invited speakers from other universities or other departments at UW. Femsem encourages work at the intersections of race, class and gender and frequently speakers and events are co-sponsored with the Race & Ethnicity Brownbag. Femsem also does global work and collaboration with the International Institute has brought topical conferences on carework, EU expansion and gender politics, the UN and transnational feminism, and strategies of addressing violence against women. Upcoming topics are anti-discrimination law and its effects and gender politics in cyberspace. We also maintain an email distribution list, which links members of the area to other gender scholars on campus and beyond.

Social events include dinners, usually held in conjunction with the visit of an invited speaker. Femsem speakers in past years have included Eithne Luibhéid, Jane Jenson, Jeanne Flavin, Anna Korteweg, Dr. Jutta Almendinger, Jesse Daniels, and Joan Scott. With the Race & Ethnicity Brownbag we have jointly brought in Tressie McMillan Cottom, Aliya Saperstein, Joyce Bell, Dorothy Roberts, and Eve Shapiro.