Renaming the Department of Women’s studies is one of several steps that the University of Maryland says they’re taking to be more inclusive on campus.
The new name?
The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
“The original name Women’s Studies did not capture the breadth of the field today and so this name really helps incorporate all of the many programs, activities and commitments of the department,” said Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland.
She hopes it helps to bring awareness to Tubman’s contribution locally and nationally.
It is my honor to announce a major milestone in our university’s history: the first honorific naming of an academic department at UMD, the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. https://t.co/6SgC4nmfsS pic.twitter.com/ldHhSiYSWF
— Dr. Darryll J. Pines (@President_Pines) September 4, 2020
“She was born in Maryland and shaped much of the state’s history and as a flagship institution taking her name represents a kind of acknowledgement to how she contributed to changing the society,” Dill said.
The university had been working on the name change and its meaning for the past two years, Dill said, adding that it’s more than just a new name in a catalog.
“We really see the incorporation of her life and work into the curriculum, programming and services impact that will impact not just this department but the campus as a whole,” Dill said.
Additionally, the university announced a new program coordinator for immigrant and undocumented student life, a task force on community policing, and the addition of the common application for prospective students.
“We really see it as more than just a name change,” Dill said. “We really see the incorporation of her life and work into the curriculum, programming and services impact that will impact not just this department but the campus as a whole.”