New Grant-Funded Course Explores Feminist Theory And Literature
In recent years, Niagara University, like many institutions of higher education across the country, has experienced an uptick in student interest and activism surrounding social justice causes. Students have founded clubs like the Human Rights Initiative, Black Student Union, and Feminism Today. In turn, they have organized film screenings, panels, speakers, and other events in order to raise awareness about social justice issues.
NU students have also worked closely with faculty and staff to help organize and participate in campus events like Take Back the Night and the Fostering Racial and Social Justice conference. This semester, the university’s feminist club organized a self-defense course, hosted an event on sexualization and cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes, and voluntarily decorated donation boxes for a domestic violence awareness event held at the Castellani Art Museum.
Additionally, NU’s women’s studies minor has grown to include nearly two dozen students.
That congruence of factors inspired Dr. Hope L. Russell to apply for – and receive – a grant from the College Committee on Teaching and Learning that would be used to create a course that examines feminist theory and literature. The goal of WMS 350: Feminist Nonfiction, according to Dr. Russell, was to “increase student self-expression, creativity, and personal growth as well as highlight critical questions about the nature of selfhood and the interconnectedness of the individual and the collective.”