The Five College Women’s Studies Research Center was founded in 1991 as a site for international scholarly activity on issues relating to women and gender. Located at 79 and 83 College Street on the Mount Holyoke College campus in South Hadley, Massachusetts, it is supported by the Five College consortium of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The five institutions have a thirty-five year history of cooperation and innovation in higher education and boast one of the largest concentrations of women’s and gender studies scholars anywhere in the world.
Located in an area with the largest concentration of scholars dedicated to feminist scholarship and teaching in the world, the Center encourages engaged, critical feminist scholarship from diverse perspectives. To this end, it hosts up to thirteen scholars and activists each year for three to eight months. Research Associates have come from over thirty countries. The Center also provides a forum in which women's and gender studies faculty from the five institutions can present and discuss their work and interact with Associates through faculty seminars, workshops and conferences.
While at the Center, Research Associates have access to Five College archival and other library resources and have various opportunities to present their work to a broad activist and scholarly community. The Center is committed to ensuring that visiting scholars include some who have international interests and backgrounds and some who will study and engage in community activism. Dedicated to supporting research on all aspects of women’s and gender studies, the Center welcomes inquiries from local, US-based and international scholars, teachers, writers, artists, community organizers and political activists.
The Center is located in two gracious buildings, adjacent to one another on the Mount Holyoke campus in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Facilities include a large seminar room, kitchen, dining room, outdoor deck, gardens, and thirteen offices. Area resources include a wide range of cultural venues, faculty seminars on diverse topics, five academic libraries, a number of teaching museums, the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst, the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, the papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at the University of Massachusetts, and archives at Mount Holyoke College on the history of women’s education.
Projects & Campaigns
As part of the Five College Digital Humanities Project and our annual Research Associate focus "New Media and Feminist Scholarship, Teaching and Activisim" the FCWSRC is pleased to announce our five learning communities and their course development projects, 2012-2013.
Project title: "Race, Gender, and New Media"
A research practicum and new course focused on the study of race and gender dynamics in new media production. The practicum and course will culminate in several projects and archives for supporting further research in these areas.
Project title: "Cyberpunk Grrrls: Women and Technology" 
Research that aims to explore how technology and cyberspace has been represented in art, specifically in relationship to women or to the feminine more theoretically.
Project title: "Gender and Bread: Embodied Gender Online" 
This course brings together the study of gender, culture, identity, and new social movements with the material practices of organizing, cooking and sharing bread with others in the community.
Mari Castañeda, Ph.D, Martha Fuentes-Bautista, Ph.D, Bernadine Mellis, MFA, and Demetria Rougeaux Shabazz, Ph.D.
Project title: Five College Feminist Media Justice Colloquium 
We will develop a network of critical media scholars, digital media-makers, educators, activists, and students engaged in feminist media justice work in the Five Colleges and surrounding area, at the hub of which will be a team-taught Feminist Media Justice Colloquium drawing on local media activism resources.
Project title: "Digital Feminisms"
This project is aimed at enhancing the gender and technology components of courses across the curriculum in the Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, while also strengthening the department's online presence. Three courses: Feminist Engagements with Biomedicine: Health, Ethics, and the Nature of Difference, Biology of Difference, and Gender & Technology--will be newly developed or extensively revised, developing in each online components; the last is being developed as a blended course.