Women's Studies

The Department of Women's Studies, Gauhati University was established in the year 2010. The field of Women's Studies is a growing reflection of the changes that are taking place in the realm of academics worldwide. Women's Studies as an academic discipline appeared for the first time in the United States in the second half of the 1960s as the educational wing of feminism. Women's Studies pointed out that women tended to be invisible from academics because emphasis was always laid on important men and men's ideas and interests. It also questioned the ways in which conventional androcentric knowledge accepted by society had concealed the lives and experiences of women. What Women's Studies does is that while on the one hand it challenges/questions conventional systems of knowledge, it also creates alternative knowledge systems. Women's Studies, therefore, aims to develop new ways of thinking about research and constructing knowledge which would be sensitive to women's circumstances and perspectives. Inter-disciplinarily, reflexivity and non- conformity demarcates Women's Studies from other traditional disciplines.


The Department of Women's studies emerged as a full-fledged department in the year 2010 when a proposal was sent to the University authorities by the Women's Studies Research Centre as per the UGC XIth plan Guidelines for the Development of Women's Studies. Starting a department of Women's Studies was prioritized and made possible because of this Endeavour. The Department started functioning with all teaching activities being placed under the direct control of it with the Centre continuing to function with its training, documentation and advocacy activities. Research is conducted at both the levels while researchers gain their formal research degrees from the Department.

The Department has completed five successful years. Although still comparatively at a nascent stage the department has the advantage of being guided by the experience and strength gained by the Women's studies research centre in the long 20 years of the latter-s existence within the University, the two being in a syncretic relationship. The department therefore began on a strong foundation of prior research, making it possible to shape a strong curriculum with stress on innovative pedagogy in the classrooms and field action projects.

The mission of the department therefore is to train students and research scholars in thinking critically about society and gender based discrimination. The attempt is not only to create socially sensitive and responsible individuals but also to mainstream gender issues at all levels. The department aims to uphold the interdisciplinary thrust by acting as a catalyst in creating meaningful dialogues between various disciplines on issues related to gender. Research and extension work being an indispensable part of the discipline of women's Studies the Department aims to enhance the visibility of women and gender issues within the academic community of the University and the society at large

The department envisions to be recognized and formally upgraded as a centre for advanced learning and together with the Women's studies Research Centre it hopes to act as a inter-University resource centre.

In keeping with the mission for furthering interdisciplinary research and teaching the Department hopes to be able to act as a key player in laying the foundation for a Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies in Gauhati University

Courses Offered

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Department of Women's Studies
Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam
Phone : +91-94351-44275
Email : womenstudies@gauhati.ac.in
Web   : gauhati.ac.in/arts/womens-studies


Alpana Borgohain Head of the Department
MA (Dibrugarh) PhD (Dibrugarh) MPhil (Dibrugarh)
Women's Studies

Associate Professor

Polly Vauquline
MA (Gauhati) PhD (NEHU)
Gender Geography, Women's Studies

Assistant Professor

Poonam Kakoty Borah
MA (JNU) MPhil (JNU)
Feminist Theory, Queer Theory, Political

Assistant Professor

Syeda Sakira Sahin
MA (JNU) PhD (Gauhati)
Women's Movement, Women's Rights and Citizenship, Women's Health