The Sarah Isom Center for Women & Gender Studies

Gender Studies Careers

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Gender studies students use their knowledge in a variety of professions.  Some create magazines, blogs, and other media to cover important issues and changes opinions, like Andi Zeisler (pictured above), the founder of Bitch magazine; some focus on gender and sexuality in legal careers, like Roberta Kaplan, whose case for Edie Windsor vs. overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. That interest enhances virtually any field one wants to explore: business, law, medicine, public administration, social work, teaching, counseling, and government service.

 Dr. John Howard

Dr. John Howard

Many University of Mississippi graduates have made the investigation of gender and sexuality central to their careers.  Historian John Howard studied business at the University of Mississippi; after getting a Ph.D. at Emory University, he wrote a groundbreaking book about queer people in Mississippi—Men Like That: A Queer Southern History—that transformed the field of queer studies. Journalist Sierra Mannie, who was the opinion editor of the Daily Mississippian and presented at the Isom Student Gender Conference, covered the passage of HB 1523 in Mississippi for the Jackson Free Press; her writing was cited in Judge Reeves’ landmark case overturning that law. University of Mississippi professor and former Dean of Women Jan Hawks founded the Sarah Isom Center for Women in 1981, creating a space within the university to advance the status of women at the university.  Survivors’ advocate Jake Thrasher pens political cartoons for the Daily Mississippian, often on vital issues related to women and the LGBTQ community.

 Bethany Conner

Bethany Conner

Even fields that don’t seem connected to gender studies benefit from graduates of the gender studies minor.  Take the case of UM GST minor Bethany Conner. She writes, “I’m a Business Development Analyst for a law firm called Fenwick and West.  We’re headquartered in Silicon Valley and represent mostly tech companies and startups.  I work with the firm’s partners to help maintain and increase their books of business. My GST minor has always served me well, but it serves me especially well in assisting the partners with their diversity and inclusion initiatives.  With my GST background, lI can always speak knowledgeably about issues concerning gender and sexuality.  Finally, because Fenwick is dedicated to promoting the interests of women and members of the LGBTQ community, I always feel that my contributions to gender and sexuality-related discussions at work are welcome and appreciated.”

Interest in gender studies is relevant to a diverse range of fields, but all these representatives of The University of Mississippi have a common goal: to deepen understanding, broaden opportunity, and create a world that lives up to the UM creed, especially respect for the dignity of each person.

Below are nine examples of general studies “tracks” in which gender studies would be a complementary component.

  • Women and leadership: GST, public policy, political science
  • Gender and artistic expression: GST, English, art (or music or theatre arts)
  • Health and gender: GST, biology, exercise science
  • Media and gender: Journalism, media studies, gender
  • Women and sports: Exercise science and recreation management, GST, business
  • Women and business: GST, business/entrepreneurship, economics
  • Gender in society: GST, sociology, social work
  • Gender and culture: GST, History, Sociology/English
  • Gender and Law: GST, Legal Studies, Sociology/English/History