Harriet - 2005-07-22 21:45:43
One thing to think about while you make your decision is how departments like women's studies work at other types of schools. In my institution, for example, a large private research institution, women's studies/gender studies is made up of professors from lots of disciplines who all share the duty of the curriculum. Courses are cross listed between departments. It was that way for my undergraduate institution as well, which was a small liberal arts college. In an institution like that, an English degree with a focus on women's lit or women's studies projects would get you where you want to go, I think. I actually do that with my work in music, although the bulk of the women's studies curriculum seems to be organized by English and History profs, at my school. If you're thinking about teaching high school, I would think English would be more useful, in that it aligns better with current high school curriculum divisions. Practicality aside, you need to do what you love and what makes you feel the most you. The rest will fall into place. I love music, so that's what I do. But I get fired up about the social issues too. I've found a way to work that into my work and also into my private life. In my undergrad institution, a women's college, there didn't used to be a women's studies department at all (not until after I graduated, actually). The rationale was that in a women's college ALL studies should be women's studies and so women's writings and music and science and everything else was featured prominently in the curriculum, but were not singled out as special. It wasn't until I got to grad school I realized how much the percentages differed. When I teach music, I always spend some time talking about the biases against women composers -- there are only two mentioned in the entire introductory textbook I used to teach this past year, for example. Good luck with your decision!

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