About Us

Course Description

Welcome! Knowledge & Power is the mission course of Douglass Residential College (DRC) that all students take, typically in their first year at Rutgers. This exciting and unique opportunity offers students a common core of ideas, readings, critiques and questions that you will explore inside and outside the classroom as you ‘claim an education’ through participation in all that DRC and Rutgers has to offer. You will see, as generations before have documented, that the mission course of DRC can be a transformative experience. You are introduced to important questions about what it means to be a global citizen in the 21st century and we offer you the tools and resources needed to become active, engaged leaders. This course also lays the foundation for your understanding of DRC and the many learning opportunities we offer, such as the Global Village, the BOLD Center, DRC student groups, the extern program, international travel and learning, and new ways of seeing and taking on leadership. We hope that this course presents you with an experience that changes the way you think about yourself, your education, and your world.

This course is unique in its pedagogy (teaching techniques) and mission. In addition to your regularly scheduled class sessions, everyone in the course attends five plenary sessions on Wednesdays. On these days, we invite guest speakers, show multi-media presentations, or bring you amazing role models and university leaders to connect with. Through the course, you will be connected with a DRC Staff Mentor and a Barbara Voorhees peer mentor. These mentors will work inside and outside the classroom to support you as you move through the course and your undergraduate education. These mentors serve as role models by supporting students and embodying feminist leadership.

Knowledge & Power is run through the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies (WGS), one of the strongest (and oldest) interdisciplinary gender programs in the United States. Currently, the department offers a major and multiple minors and we strongly encourage DRC students to take additional courses through the department.

Summary of Knowledge & Power Course Objectives:

  • Introduce students to the mission, history, and purpose of Douglass Residential College and inform them of the support, resources, and programming that DRC provides.
  • Familiarize students with key foundational concepts in women’s and gender studies as an interdisciplinary field.
  • Enable students to describe how their personal background shapes their beliefs and standpoint in relation to the world.
  • Encourage students to reflect on the types of tools and resources necessary to become successful leaders and global citizens, while providing models for successful leadership and social change.
  • Develop key academic and professional skills including critical thinking, public speaking, writing, informational interviewing, networking and collaboration.

Department of Women’s & Gender Studies Learning Goals:

  • Understand and critique the formation of categories of gender and sexuality as they function in social, economic, cultural and/or political contexts and as they intersect with other categories of difference such as race and ethnicity.
  • Communicate effectively using gender analytics as a tool for academic research, for creative production, for collaborative work, and/or for practices of social change.
  • Know the complexity and variety of differently gendered lives and livelihoods around the globe.
  • Recognize stereotypes and the naturalization of hierarchies of difference through analyzing power dynamics from the micro to the macro level.
  • Identify the politics of issue framing and knowledge production.

SAS Core Curriculum Learning Goals

Knowledge & Power addresses fulfills the following 21st-Century Challenges requirements

  • 21 a. Analyze the degree to which forms of human difference shape a person’s experiences of and perspectives on the world.
  • 21 c. Analyze the relationship that science and technology have to a contemporary social issue.