Women's Studies Research Guide
Depending on your interests, you may also want to take a look at the library's research guides for psychology, sociology, or history. The guide to transgender narratives also includes many resources you may find relevant.
There are many ways to search CUNY+, but it's often easiest to find books when you know the subject headings that describe them.
Here are some examples of subject headings in the catalog. This list is in no way intended to be comprehensive; rather, it should provide you with a few terms and some clues for coming up with more. For instance, where a specific country, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. is mentioned, you can usually substitute another one.
Where you see a dash or the word “in” or “and,” there are most likely other possibilities (for instance, “feminism and education” is only one in a list of “feminism and …” subject headings).
- African American women
- Feminism and education
- Feminist theory
- Gay and lesbian studies
- Gender identity
- Sex customs — History
- Sex differences (Psychology)
- Sex discrimination
- Sex role
- Sexism in language
- Sexual division of labor
- Social change
- Social institutions
- Women — Political activity
- Women — Social conditions
- Women — Social conditions — United States
- Women — Violence against
Sometimes, these may not be the terms that you may prefer or would use in class. However, when searching for information, you need to use the terms that are used in your sources or the system that is used to describe them — in this case, the Library of Congress's system.
The lack of intersectionality here is not an oversight on my part, but reflects the subject headings that are available. However, you can make your own intersectionality by combining searches. For instance, you could go to Advanced Search and use one box to do a Subject search for the term "Race" and another to do a Subject search for the term “Sex role.”
Since these are very general terms, you may want to use them in an Advanced Search and put in another keyword to narrow your results.
There are some more types of words that you can usually count on finding as subject headings:
- An author's or historical figure's last name
- Philosophies or theories such as existentialism or disability studies
- Countries or areas of the world
Instead of, or in addition to, searching the catalog, you could also go up to the stacks on levels 4 and 5 and take a look at the books for yourself. Since the books are arranged by subject, there are likely to be more near any good book you find.
Most books specifically on feminism, gender or women's studies are in the HQ range (which you can find on level 4), but many other parts of the library's collection cover the relation of women or gender to specific topics. For example, here are some call numbers you may find useful:
- BF 692—692.5 Psychology, sex and gender
- HD 6053—6223 Women and work
- HQ 12—449 Sexual life
- HQ 503—1064 Marriage and the family
- HQ 1075—1075.5 Sex role
- HQ 1101—2030.7 Women and feminism
- HV 6626 Domestic abuse
- KF 4758 Legislation and women's rights
There are, of course, many books within various topics that cover the contributions or social conditions of women or the role of gender, but they're shelved with books on those subjects. For instance, there are many books on women writers, but they tend be stored with the books on literature, which are organized based on time period. Because of this, you are likely to find books about gender throughout the library.
Here are some books you may find useful. They're all encyclopedias or handbooks, which can help you to get a good overview of topics, and also provide good bibliographies, which you can use to find further resources.
- Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy Stacks Level 4 HQ1190 .B575 2007
- Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender
- Encyclopedia of Women and Gender Reference Level 3 HQ1115 .E43 2001
- International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family Reference Level 3 HQ9 .E52 2003
- LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia Reference Level 3 HQ73.3 .U6 L43 2009
- Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History Reference Level 3 HQ1121 .O93 2008
For articles, you'll usually want to search databases. You can find them at our databases page, but below, I suggest some that you may find of interest.
General or Gender Studies Databases
- Academic Search Complete
- A very general databas with a little bit of information on almost every subject. Includes both popular and scholarly sources.
- Gender Studies Collection
- This is really just the part of Academic OneFile that splits out several journals concerned with gender studies issues. For broader coverage, you may want to try searching Academic OneFile.
- Provides the full text of core journals across all disciplines. JSTOR is particularly strong in the humanities and in history. You may also want to see Project MUSE.
Subject Specific Databases
- Historical Abstracts
- A database covering world history. For the history of the United States, please use America: History and Life instead. Note that in both these databases, you can limit your search to the historical dates of interest.
- MLA International Bibliography
- This is a very specialized language and literature database, but if you are taking Women Writers or another literature class, it is invaluable.
- For psychology.
- Social Sciences Full Text
- Covers the social sciences generally, including anthropology, political science, psychology and sociology.
- Sociological Abstracts
- For sociology.
- Women and Social Movements in the United States
- This is a collection of primary source materials covering women's history in the United States. It covers the years 1600–2000.
There is a huge amount of potentially relevant material having to do with feminism, gender and women's studies on the web. These are only a few sites you may find interesting.
- Discovering American Women's History Online
- A digital collection of primary sources documenting the history of women in the United States.
- Includes resources for activism and interviews with notable feminists.
- Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog
- This is both an introduction/refresher to basic feminist concepts and a portal to some of the best feminist blogging on introductory topics on the web.
- International Center for Research on Women
- A global research institute focusing on women and development.
- The International Museum of Women
- This is an online museum featuring digital exhibits about global women's issues.
- National Women's History Museum: Online Exhibits
- The NWHM focuses on the contributions of women in American history. Their online exhibits cover a wide array of topics, including Chinese American women, presidential campaigns by women, and women in industry in the Progressive Era.
- National Women's Studies Association
- A professional association for the academic field of women's studies and gender studies. Includes information about their annual conference, employment listings, and more.
- On Our Terms: A Feminist Lexicon
- Definitions of some useful feminist terms.
- WomenStats Project
- The WomenStats Project compiles statistics on the conditions of women around the world.
- Women's Studies: A Guide to the Collections of the NYPL
- NYPL has some fantastic women's studies resources. Learn more about them here. This guide also offers solid advice on doing research.
- WSS Links
- A collection of links maintained by the Women and Gender Studies Section of the Association for College and Research Libraries. It covers women's and gender studies links relating to culture, history, health, philosophy, science and technology, and much more.