Gauhati University Department Of Women’s Studies, Established in the year 2009, Department of Women’s Studies, GU is the first full-fledged department in the entire Northeast Region of India. The history of the department is rooted in the Women Studies Research Centre, GU, set up in the year 1989 under UGC guideline for Development of Women’s Studies. Since its inception, the Centre was able to create a positive impact in academics and in society through research, extention and advocacy. The centre had continuously been developed from phase I to phase III when it was converted into a full-fledged department as per UGC guidlines. Since then the Department of Women’s Studies has started its academic programmes. The Department has the advantage of being guided by the experience and strength gained by the Women’s Studies Research Centre in the long years of the latter’s existence within the University. The department therefore began on a strong foundation of prior research, making it possible to shape a strong curriculum with stress on innovative pedagogy in the classrooms and field action projects.
In 2009, the Department started its M.Phil programme, followed by Ph.D programme in 2010 and MA in the year 2012. Till date, the Department has produced four successful batches of students of Masters Programme and three batches of M.Phil students. The years 2018 is a historic year for the Department as it has produced its first batch of Ph.D awardees. The Department introduced the CBCS (Choice Based Credit System) in the Masters Programme in 2016.
The alumni of the Department are well placed in various walks of life like research institutions, Government institutions,NGOs of repute etc.
The department of Women’s Studies, Gauhati University was established in the year 2009. The field of Women’s Studies is a growing reflection of the changes that are taking place in the realm of academics worldwide. Women’s Studies as an academic discipline appeared for the first time in the United States in the second half of the 1960s as the educational wing of feminism. Women’s Studies pointed out that women tended to be invisible from academics because emphasis was always laid on important men and men’s ideas and interests.
It also questioned the ways in which conventional androcentric knowledge accepted by society has concealed the lives and experiences of women. Women’s Studies, therefore, aims to develop new ways of thinking about research and constructing knowledge which would be sensitive to women’s circumstances and perspectives. Inter-disciplinarity, reflexivity and non- conformity demarcates Women’s Studies from other traditional disciplines.
The mission of the department is to train students and research scholars in thinking critically about society and gender based discriminations. The attempt would not only be to create socially sensitive and responsible individuals but also to mainstream gender issues at all levels.
In this venture, concepts, theories and research methodologies used by feminist scholars would be familiarized to students. Papers on specific disciplines are offered to demonstrate how disciplines have changed when encountering the challenge of exclusion of women.
Class room teaching in the department would be supplemented with tutorial classes which are intended not only to be doubt clarification sessions but also as a platform for exchange of thoughts and ideas. Term papers, seminars, field study, book reviews and movie screenings are planned to ingrain an environment of academic rigour which prepares a strong foundation for future teachers and researchers.