The Rutgers University Women and Gender Studies Department will offer a new five-year track in “Feminist Practices for Social Change” beginning next fall.
According to The Daily Targum, the offering “reflects the strong demand for courses that focus on real ways to become an activist.”
Program Assistant Undergraduate Director Ileana Nachescu, a “scholar of American Studies and transnational feminism,” added that the track “is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume leadership roles in contemporary social justice activism and human rights.”
Graduate Program Director Julie Rajan, whose research deals with “colonial, post-colonial, and modern-day imperialisms, women and militarism, and terrorism and resistance,” noted the program consists of three core courses, five electives, and a capstone project.
Two new courses are included in the core: “Social Justice Movements” and “Advocacy: Tactics and Techniques.”
“Student activism changes with every generation, but old tried and true tactics still survive — Twitter or hashtag activism is a relatively recent phenomenon, but students still go to marches and protests, circulate petitions and raise their consciousness and build communities by speaking from personal experience,” Nachescu said.
Nachescu said that activism is still an important part of civic involvement today.
“There are many issues confronting us today: neoliberalism, climate change, mass incarceration and deportation, violence against women, people of color and transgender and gender-nonconforming people, to name but a few,” Nachescu said.
Both directors are well-versed in their fields and are personally involved in social justice.
Regarding that last point, indeed — Nachescu’s second book makes use of “critical whiteness studies and a transnational feminist analysis” to examine how Eastern Europeans immigrants adjusted to “the global circuits of neoliberal capitalism after the end of state socialism.”
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