Julie Shayne publishes open-access book celebrating fifty years of gender, women, and sexuality studies


IAS faculty member Julie Shayne spent her sabbatical editing an open-access book titled Persistence is Resistance: Celebrating 50 Years of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. Shayne, who is currently the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) faculty coordinator at UW Bothell, brought together authors from twenty-two institutions, including the University of Ghana and Universidad Icesi in Cali, Colombia. Authors represent GWSS programs at all types of schools, from HBCUs, to women’s colleges, to community colleges, to public universities, and contributors are as early career as undergraduate students, alongside emeritus faculty.

The book is divided into three sections: The History of GWSS, the praxis of GWSS, and doing GWSS. In addition to essays about everything from what to do with a GWSS degree, to Indigenous feminisms and GWSS, to the continued struggles of women of color in the academy, to the history of the first and only Africana Women’s Studies program, the book is punctuated by art and answers to “why GWSS?” by GWSS students and alumni from around the country, including several UW Bothell students: Elisabeth SchnebeleGabrielle Fox, and Madeleine Jenness

Two UW Bothell GWSS alumni figure prominently in the book, Nicole Carter and Estephanie Guzman. Nicole designed the cover, worked as the art editor, illustrator, and co-authored the conclusion “Damn Straight We Persisted” with Shayne. (Nicole also thought of the title “Persistence is Resistance.”) Estephanie Guzman co-authored an essay with Shayne titled “An Annotated Bibliography on the History of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies in the Americas” and also submitted a sketch titled “Marginalized Cage.” 

Persistence is Resistance has already received positive feedback from leading scholars in the field: 

“This remarkable collection is essential reading for all of us who work, study and find meaning and community in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs and departments. The essays are brief, engaging, and cover a wide range of topics, identities, debates and geographic locations. Artwork, photography, poetry and brief testimonials from current and former WGSS students add vibrancy and richness to the volume. I recommend it for WGSS courses at all levels.” Dr. Doreen Mattingly, Professor and Chair, Department of Women's Studies, San Diego State University 

“This collection is the comprehensive and creative reflection that the academic discipline of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) deserves on our 50th Anniversary. This book reflects the founding tenants of creativity, activism, collaboration, and innovative praxis in a way that both affirms and restructures formal scholarly study. There has never been one approach to women’s studies. The contributors chosen for this volume reflect philosophical, methodological, racial, gender, linguistic, generational, and geographic diversity. The project known as women’s studies has necessarily evolved. With Persistence is Resistance, Julie Shayne has gifted us a comprehensive piece, but the work of WGSS is not complete. The work is not yet done, as evidenced by this moment in time when we face Covid, important Black Lives Matter activism, and voting/political repression during an election year that will determine the fate of this nation. Shayne offers a moment of important contemplation as we continue the work to define, practice, reshape, and institutionalize WGSS.” Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans, Professor and Director, Institute for Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Georgia State University 

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