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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
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January 28, 2022

Departments of American Ethnic Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies merge to form Social Transformation Studies

Submitted by College of Arts and Sciences

The departments of American Ethnic Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences have merged to form the Department of Social Transformation Studies. Beginning fall 2022, Yolanda Broyles-González will serve as department head and Christie Launius will serve as associate head of the social transformation studies department.

At its Dec. 15, 2021, meeting, the Kansas Board of Regents' Council of Chief Academic Officers approved Kansas State University's request to consolidate the two departments. The merger approval was finalized by the board on Jan. 25. The newly consolidated unit will draw from the rich scholarly and pedagogical traditions of both interdisciplinary fields. Given the robust connections between the fields of American ethnic studies and gender, women, and sexuality studies and their shared focus on social justice, faculty in the new unit are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with their new colleagues.

"Both American ethnic studies and gender, women, and sexuality studies trace their origins to student-led movements of the 1960s that advocated for substantial changes to the content of the university curriculum," said Launius, former department head of gender, women, and sexuality studies and interim head of social transformation studies. "Some 50 years after their founding, bringing the two fields together is a natural fit that will intuitively make sense to students accustomed to thinking about race, gender, and sexuality in relation to one another."

Faculty in the Department of Social Transformation Studies are in the process of creating a merged degree program. They are also creating new courses with the curricular prefix STRAN, but the new unit will continue to offer American ethnic studies and gender, women, and sexuality studies courses. 

"We are very excited about how many opportunities are going to unfold for our students through social transformation studies," said Amit Chakrabarti, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "Students want to make a real difference in our world, and this program will give them the tools to do just that — whether they go into nonprofit work, industry, academia, or anywhere, social transformation studies students will be equipped to change the world."

Visit the social transformation studies department website to learn more.

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