Saving Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies scholarship at Johns Hopkins

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Karter Burnett
Karter Burnett signed this petition

The Director of Johns Hopkins' Program for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality has recently announced that the Deans are cancelling the longstanding WGS Teaching Fellowships. These fellowships have historically allowed graduate students to develop pedagogical skills by teaching original upper-level undergraduate seminars, while addressing Johns Hopkins' frequent lack of courses on feminist and queer histories and methodologies. We see this cancellation as an assault on feminist scholarship at Johns Hopkins, and an exacerbation of the university's inability to provide a safe and equal learning environment for its women, queer, and trans scholars. We stand in solidarity with a recently published letter by former WGS Teaching Fellows:

https://wgsjhu.home.blog/2019/11/07/women-gender-and-sexuality-studies-teaching-fellowships-an-open-letter-to-the-deans-of-johns-hopkins-university/

We urge the Johns Hopkins Deans and administration to address all four demands of the Fellows' letter:

1. Immediate reinstatement of the WGS Graduate Teaching Fellowships, so that applications can be received for the 2020/2021 Academic Year;

2. A commitment to expanding the University’s support for WGS scholarship, such that it is competitive with peer institutions and commensurate to its importance as an academic discipline. This should be done by hiring dedicated WGS faculty, inaugurating multi-year WGS postdoctoral fellowships to support junior scholars while promoting innovative scholarship, and offering graduate students the opportunity to pursue a certificate in WGS studies;

3. An explanation for how the original decision to rescind funding was made, and why it was not communicated in a transparent, accountable manner. In addition, we demand a plan for how such decisions will be made and communicated in the future;

4. An assessment on expanding Teaching Fellowship opportunities to other academic programs, such as ‘Race, Immigration, and Citizenship,’ ‘Africana Studies,’ ‘Islamic Studies,’ ‘Latin American Studies,’ and ‘International Studies,’ so as to continue the University’s mission to support diverse, original research, as well as its commitment to student development.

Sincerely,