From the Past Into The Future: Women’s and Gender Studies 50th Anniversary Conference

The Department of Women and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina will host a two-day conference in honor of their 50th anniversary on Friday, September 8 – Saturday, September 9, 2023. The goal of the conference is to reflect on the history of the program while looking toward future goals and initiatives. SC Humanities supported the conference with a Major Grant.

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina was founded in 1973. The original Women’s Studies committee consisted of professional track faculty and staff with few resources and even less recognition. The first courses offered were “Women and the Law” and a special topics English course. Since its beginnings, the program has been at the forefront of advancing gender equity by fostering inclusivity, empowerment and critical thinking at USC and in the community. The conference is an opportunity for faculty, students, and the community to celebrate 50 years of social change and education.

The “From the Past Into The Future” conference will start on Friday, September 8th at 1:00 p.m. with a segment recognizing the founding of the department. The Friday activities will conclude at 4:00 p.m., followed by a reception. The Saturday, September 9th schedule runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and includes a “state of the department” presentation, a keynote with Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead, and a community leaders roundtable.

Registration for the conference is available here:

Dr. Kaye Wise Whitehead will present the keynote presentation on Saturday. She is an associate professor at Loyola University Maryland in the Communication Department. Her teaching and research focuses on the intersections of race, class, and gender.

More information about the 50th anniversary celebration of the Department of Women and Gender Studies is available here:

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c)3 organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos, and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.