Photo of the Fine Arts building surrounded by trees during autumn

Friday, July 10, 2020

Northeastern Illinois University’s College of Arts and Sciences has changed the name of its Art department to Art + Design and the department, major and minor of Women’s and Gender Studies to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies beginning in the Fall 2020 semester.

The name changes are reflective of programming within the college becoming more inclusive. 

“This year, the Art Department updated its name to Art + Design to better reflect the programs and offerings in the department,” Art + Design Chair Kim Ambriz said. “Not only was this a result of the Graphic Design major, but the new name also reflects our minor in Interaction Design as well as encompasses our Art + Technology area.”

Olivia Perlow, Chair of the Department of Sociology, African and African American Studies, Latino/a and Latin American Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, said the change in the Women’s and Gender Studies program is also reflective of the department’s understanding that Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field that centers on intersectional feminisms to explore ways that sexism, heterosexism, racism, classism and other forms of oppression shape identities and impact lived experiences. 

“The decision to change the name of the Women’s and Gender Studies program was sparked by the national trend in former Women’s Studies departments to incorporate sexuality in order to demonstrate a commitment to intersectionality,” Perlow said. 

The fundamental objective of the programs in the Art + Design Department is to provide and promote a knowledge and understanding of the visual arts to prepare students to pursue graduate school, careers in the fine and applied arts, teaching, and lifelong learning.

The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program emphasizes the value of diversity, relationships and coalition building. It teaches students to listen, communicate across differences in background and viewpoint and respond openly to change.

Program updates for the College of Business and Management have been announced. Updates for the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education will be announced soon.