Two UM students talking in a classroom.

What's new

  • What Our Bodies Know: Essays at the Intersection of Feminism & Disability

    On January 19, 2024, students, faculty, family and friends gathered to celebrate the launch of What Our Bodies Know: Essays at the Intersection of Feminism & Disability. The book is an anthology of 28 creative nonfiction pieces written by students from the course WOMN 2540: Feminisms and Disability in Contemporary Literature from the women’s and gender studies program. Professor Christine Stewart collected the essays from students who had taken the class over three terms - winter 2022, spring 2022 and fall 2022.

    At the launch party, eleven students read from the collection and then the authors circulated through the crowd signing copies for their families and for themselves similar to a class yearbook gathering. The students were clearly proud to showcase their work that covered a broad range of topics such as hearing loss, surviving domestic violence, bipolar disorder, ADHD, emotionality and learning disability.

    The first printing of What Our Bodies Know is sold out! To add your name to a list to obtain a copy from the second printing, email

    Read more about and see photos from the launch on UM Today

    Project funded by the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund. 

  • Book cover featuring the outline of three female bodies.

    Cover art by student Opal Premack. Promotional artwork inspired by the work of Opal Premack.


Navigating Artistry

On November 24, 2023, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program unveiled a NEW commissioned mural from artist Carly Morrisseau - Wāpikwanīya (Flowers). You can see the floor to ceiling mural in room 218 Isbister and can check out more of Carly’s digital work by following them on Instagram @pawahta.

From Carly Morrisseau:
“"Wāpikwanīya (Flowers)" is a digital illustration that features an arrangement of wāpikwanīya or flowers positioned at the base of the composition, set against a backdrop of tall prairie grass and sky. Through this piece, I pay homage to the floral designs present in traditional Métis beadwork, an art form that holds significant cultural importance in my community as a Métis and Cree artist. I aim to celebrate the beauty and richness of nature and to draw attention to the intricate patterns and details that can be found within it. My hope is that this artwork resonates with viewers and inspires them to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the cultural traditions that enrich our lives.”

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History of the program

The women’s movement in the 1960s and 70s in North America led to the establishment of many different organizations and institutions in which issues directly relevant to women’s lives were put at the core of the agenda. At the University of Manitoba, Women’s Studies was established as an academic program in the early 70s by committed feminist academics who felt that women needed a program which specifically addressed women’s issues. We owe a great deal to the vision of the women who set up our program at a time when there were still very few women employed on the UM campus, and to discuss women's issues in separate classrooms was a bold departure.

UM has offered a major in Women's Studies since 1987. The program expanded in 1998 to offer an honours degree and an advanced major degree. While we do not have a graduate program we do offer directed reading courses at the graduate level. In 2007 we changed our name to "Women's and Gender studies" in order to reflect national and international trends in feminist scholarship and our changing curriculum.

The Women’s and Gender studies program has grown from offering one or two courses a year to its present status as an independent program in the Faculty of Arts. Our current faculty are able to offer students many different research perspectives and fields of expertise on feminist issues.

Programs of study

Student resources and opportunities

Explore your career options in Women's and Gender studies

Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking.

View the Women's and Gender studies Career Compass

Research assistantships

Faculty members occasionally hire capable Women’s and Gender studies students to assist in their research. Types of work vary by position and may include data entry, coding, transcription, abstracting, creating annotated bibliographies or other forms of databases, translation, library and/or archival research, interviewing research participants, etc.

Hours and rates of pay vary by position.

Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund (MLEF) student internships

Each year, paid internships in various local feminist organizations are available for WGS students. In early September, information about and application forms for the internships available that year are circulated to all WGS students. Applications are due shortly thereafter, and all interested WGS students are encouraged to apply.

Internship positions are assigned in late September so that internships may begin in October.

Hourly wages are consistent across the internships, but hours vary between positions.

Undergraduate research awards (URA)

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work with our leading faculty researchers and gain valuable experience.

Learn more and apply for a UM URA

Financial aid and awards

Students can apply for awards such as the following:

Grace Parasiuk bursary

A bursary fund of about $10,000 has been established in honour of Grace Parasiuk by Wilson Parasiuk of Burnaby, B.C. and the Parasiuk family, and by Sylvia Chesterman of Mount Royal, Quebec and the Chesterman family. Grace Parasiuk was a member of the education community in Manitoba for many years.

Interest income from this fund is to provide bursaries of varying amounts to students in the Women's Studies Program who have good academic standing (minimum 3.00 GPA) and who have demonstrated financial need on the standard UM bursary application form.

The selection committee shall be named by the Coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies Program.

For more information visit the Grace Parasiuk Bursary in the UM Awards Database.

Lambda Foundation for Excellence - Les McAfee Memorial Award

This annual $1800 award is available to a full‐time undergraduate or graduate student conducting or proposing to conduct research relating to gay and lesbian people, their community, values, achievements, sports, etc.; or, on policy and human rights issues that affect gay and lesbian people.

Students who are eligible for this award must have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (or equivalent) on all courses completed to date.

For more information, including the deadline for applications, visit the Lambda Award in the UM Awards Database, or contact the UM Financial Aid and Awards Office.

  • Faculty of Arts and UM-wide awards

    Women's and Gender studies students can also apply for awards offered by the Faculty of Arts and for those open to all UM students.



Areas of research

Shawna Ferris

Shawna Ferris focuses on the areas of sex work and prostitution studies, critical race studies, decolonization and violence against women, with an emphasis on representation and resistance. Her current research examines anti-violence, anti-racism and decolonization-oriented commemorative activism stemming from the growing number of missing and murdered women in urban centres across Canada.

Mylène Gamache

Of mixed French and Métis ancestry, Dr. Mylène Gamache's work is committed to the decolonizing potential of dream-work and contemporary feminine storytelling. Her doctoral work attempts to read 'non-canonical' texts in ways which deliberately fail to settle on a fixed meaning or secure immediate understanding. Future research work involves assessing how a range of feminine texts write over or beyond settler-sanctioned forms of recognition and reconciliation.

Nancy Kang

Dr. Nancy Kang specializes in transnational, multi-ethnic and diaspora women’s literature. Dr. Kang is the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Gold Medal for Academics and the Governor General of Canada’s Academic Medal. Her current research project examines narratives of alternative mothering, interracialism and manifestations of violence against women of colour in North America and beyond.

Liz Millward

Dr. Liz Millward holds a BA(Hons) from Nottingham University, and an MA and PhD in Women’s Studies from York University. Her research interests are in the history and geography of women’s spaces, with a particular focus on the role of transportation and mobility in the development and spread of culture and community.

Adele Perry

Dr. Adele Perry is the Director for the UM Centre for Human Rights Research. Her research focuses on Canadian colonialism, transnationalism and migration in relation to gender and sexuality.

Jocelyn Thorpe

A passionate assistant professor, Dr. Jocelyn Thorpe’s research research examines the history and legacies of colonialism in the Canadian context, seeking to understand how past discourses and relationships of power lead to and naturalize present-day social and environmental inequities. Drawing from critical race, feminist and environmental studies scholarship, her work aims to open up possibilities for just relationships to emerge among humans and between humans and the non-human world.


Contact us

Women's and Gender Studies
Room 218 Isbister Building
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada