Women's Studies Research Center

About the WSRC

WSRC Entrance

The Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) at Brandeis University is a hub of interdisciplinary exchange between scholars, artists, faculty and students, all of whom conduct innovative research and create art with a focus on gender issues and women’s lives.

Unique in its breadth of projects, the WSRC is part of a newly established national network of university-affiliated gender research institutes. As a convening space on campus, the center supports interdisciplinary dialogue, research and art, and shares insights and discoveries with the university and the larger public.


In 1992, the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Brandeis University opened its doors to academic scholars who were on leave from other universities, in retirement or working independently, conducting their own research and writing.

Subsequently, under the leadership of Dr. Shulamit Reinharz, funds were raised to rehabilitate a run-down building on the edge of campus and designate a portion of it for a women's studies research center with an innovative scholars program that opened in January 2001. Professor of Sociology, Karen V. Hansen subsequently took over leadership of the WSRC from 2017-21.

The WSRC is currently headed by Director Harleen Singh, who, beside leading the Women's Studies Research Center, is the Senior Associate Provost for Faculty & Global Affairs, and Associate Professor of Literature, South Asian Studies, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.


The WSRC advances knowledge, public dialogue and social justice through interdisciplinary inquiry and the creative arts, focused on women, gender and sexuality.  It is comprised of:

  • The Scholars Program, a program housing Scholars studying gender and sexuality issues in an interdisciplinary environment;
  • The Student-Scholar Partnership Program, which pairs Brandeis University students with WSRC Scholars for semester-long research assistantships; and,
  • The Arts Program, which oversees the Kniznick Gallery, devoted to the artwork by or about women, and the permanent art collection as well as scholarly art projects at the WSRC.

Throughout the year, members of the Brandeis WSRC Scholars Program present their work through events such as receptions, book launches, film screenings, lectures, panels, performances and concerts that are open to the public.

“I am delighted to be an affiliate of the Brandeis WSRC. Support for this thriving center for interdisciplinary thinking and scholarship makes possible intellectual breakthroughs that inform and inspire.”

Anita Hill

University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies