July 07, 2006

SIUC to offer 'Gender in Global Politics' course

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Political science students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will get a chance to examine the role that gender plays in government.

SIUC will offer a new course this fall, "Gender in Global Politics." Celeste Montoya Kirk, assistant professor of political science, will teach the class. Students will look at how international politics address – or do not address – gender. They will study women's movements, the participation of women in government and the policies that impact women differently. In addition, students will explore global differences in women's representation in sexual trafficking, marriage laws, ethnic conflicts and other issues.

"Political science is a very masculinized field, not only because politics is a male-dominated arena, but because the study of politics comes from a dominantly male perspective," Kirk said. "Women are marginalized within the study of politics in a manner reflective or even surpassing their marginalization in politics. In order to teach our students to think more globally and to appreciate diversity, we must incorporate different perspectives."

Kirk developed the course through a fellowship she received from the "Excellence Through Commitment" program which reflects SIUC Chancellor Walter V. Wendler's intention to foster creative, scholarly and teaching excellence.

Promoting excellence in undergraduate academics is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.