Women, Culture & Development

The goal of the Women, Culture and Development minor is to allow students to study aspects of women's subordination and resistance to that subordination in the Third World, and to ensure that cultural aspects of women's lives are taken seriously when analyzing women's position. In other words, Women, Culture and Development is located at the intersection of three cutting edge areas within the academy: feminist studies, cultural studies and Third World studies.

Feminist studies has suggested that both policies and analytic/critical work are impoverished if adequate attention is not paid to women. That is, the invisibility of women in most writings about global and international developments has meant that the labor, cultures and histories of women are rarely taken into account, or, when they have been taken into account, women are most often seen as lacking agency - as merely victims in a society of cruel and unjust inequalities. Thus, much work which focuses on the Third World either operates with a conception of women as beings without agency, or does not analyze the roles played by women in both the public and private domains. In addition, such work also rarely comments upon how women's role in the private domain impacts upon the public domain.

Cultural studies has directed attention to the importance of analyzing cultures within their context - both locally and globally. It has also suggested that cultures may be conceptualized not simply as habits, customs and mores of a particular society - but, rather, that culture refers to "structures of feeling" - that is, that culture may best be analyzed when it is understood as the lived experience of people in a society. However, the approaches particular to cultural studies, while drawn upon by feminist scholars in the West, are rarely utilized to provide insights into specific aspects of societies in the Third World.

Third World/Development studies is an area of inquiry that resists being incorporated in a singular way into the projects of globalization. Third World studies implies that global and international processes need to be seen in situ, in particular for countries of the Southern Hemisphere. Thus, if it attends to gender, Third World studies suggests that gendered divisions, alongside their political, economic and social aspects are important in order to analyze what actually occurs in these countries. However, it is rare for Third World/Development Studies to integrate the examination of culture with gender - or to view such integration as either a source of information or as a vehicle for change.

There are two required seminars in Women, Culture and Development - GLBL 180A and 180B (cross-listed as Soc 156A and 156B)


Students who are interested in pursuing this minor should contact Professor  Kum-Kum Bhavnani.

Kum-Kum Bhavnani
Chair, Advisor
Women, Culture and Development
Tel: (805) 893-3240
Email: bhavnani@soc.ucsb.edu





At present, there is no formal process to "declare" a minor, but the department will have the requirements for the minor and will start the process.

Is there a deadline?

To receive recognition for completing a minor, you MUST notify the sponsoring department of your intentions no later than the second week of the term in which you declare candidacy for the bachelor's degree. The department will prepare a clearance form for you and send the form to the Registrar. (You must inform the department by the second week of the quarter even if you are still completing courses toward the minor.)

You should bring an unofficial copy of your UCSB transcript (obtained through RBT night menu) and documentation of any accepted transfer work you intend to use for the minor. Please see additional "conditions" on the requirements page for the desired major or minor.

If you fail to notify the department early in the term of your candidacy, or if you do not provide needed records, you will not receive recognition for completing the minor.

Minor Requirement Exceptions

There is no petition for seeking exceptions for the minor. Instead, you discuss you request with the faculty advisor and/or department. If the request is approved, it will be noted on the official clearance form prepared by the sponsoring department.

Once you have provided the sponsoring department with your transcript and stated your intention to complete the minor, the department will forward a clearance form with the appropriate faculty signature to the Registrar. The minor will appear on your diploma and transcript.