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About the Center

The Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen) is an interdisciplinary center in International Studies and Programs focused on gender, sexuality, feminist theory, and women's studies. Its affiliated faculty and students study how people from diverse racial, ethnic, national, and sexual backgrounds live in and engage with the world and how processes of global change affect gender relations locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Girl wearing red on a hillWorking together with the academic colleges, the Center promotes outstanding undergraduate and graduate education, facilitates research and scholarship of the highest caliber, and undertakes innovative outreach and active learning initiatives.

In teaching and active learning, the Center also works with colleges and departments to provide students with academic and active learning opportunities focused on gender and global change through gender-related degrees, minors, and graduate specializations. In addition, new co-curricular activities will help students develop cultural competencies and global consciousness, including gender-focused internships, research mentoring, and study abroad programs. These and other active learning experiences will deepen students' understandings of gender relations, the cultural and material politics of place, and the relationships between global and local transformations in real-world contexts. Students will be prepared to be socially responsible citizens, professionals, and leaders of the 21st century.

The Center concentrates on gender and women's studies through interdisciplinary, comparative, transnational, and transcultural approaches. It connects faculty and students in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, residential colleges, agriculture and natural resources, and professional fields and has support from all associated academic deans. Those affiliated with the Center will consider how global flows of ideas, people, trade, and new communication networks are transforming people's lives and gender relations, and they will examine how gendered power structures affect processes of globalization.

Through our Community Board and partnering with local events and organizations, we strive to reach out to Michigan communities, families, and schools. This outreach will increase knowledge about how local lives are affected by global processes and heighten appreciation for gender, racial, ethnic, sexual identity, class, and other forms of diversity. The intersections of gender identities with racial, ethnic, sexual, socioeconomic, and other differences will be highlighted in the context of global change. 

GenCen Co-Directors

GenCen co-directors

Stephanie Nawyn

Co-Director for Academic Programs, Outreach, and Engagement

Wenda Bauchspies
Co-Director for International Research and Engagement


Stephanie Nawyn is responsible for developing and managing related academic programs, including the major and minor in women's and gender studies, the graduate specialization in gender studies, and the new LGBTQ minor. In addition, Nawyn leads the Center's outreach and engagement across campus and with community and women's organizations.

Nawyn joined Michigan State University in 2006 and is an associate professor of sociology with research and teaching areas of expertise in gender and migration, with a focus on forced migration and the ways that structural inequalities inhibit incorporation.

Wenda Bauchspies is responsible for providing intellectual and programmatic leadership in the area of research and engagement related to international gender studies while working collaboratively with faculty and other key university stakeholders.

Bauchspies joined Michigan State University in 2018 and is an associate professor of community sustainability with research and teaching expertise in gender, culture, science and technology, with a focus on the quotidian in Francophone West Africa and the ways knowledge and difference structure inequalities, ethics and social justice.

Meet the GenCen Staff!

Gender, Development, and Globalization Program

GenCen's Gender, Development, and Globalization Program (formerly known as WID: Women and International Development) specifically promotes teaching, research, and action on international development and global transformation as they affect women and gender relations.

Women in colorful hijab looking up

While GDG's primary focus is the Southern Hemisphere, the program recognizes that the "South" is a set of relationships rather than a place. Moreover, development and global change bring costs as well as benefits, which are often not shared equally by men and women of different nations, races, classes, and ethnicities.

Established in 1978, GDG (formerly WID) is the longest-standing program of its kind in the nation. The program acts as a catalyst for the scholarly discussion of gender, development, and global change.

The GDG Program produces a series of free publications, the Gendered Perspectives on International Development (GPID) Working Papers.

Stay Connected with GenCen

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Center for Gender in Global Context
International Center
427 N. Shaw Lane, Room 206
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517-353-5040
Fax: 517-432-4845
Email: gencen(at)

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