Issues of Sexuality as a Central Lens
The discipline of Queer Studies encompasses theories and thinkers from numerous fields: cultural studies, gay and lesbian studies, race studies, women's studies, media, postmodernism, post-colonialism, psychoanalysis and more. While engaging with this diverse range of fields, the work of queer studies distinguishes itself by focusing on issues of sexuality as a central lens through which questions raised in these other arenas might be inflected. To that end, queer studies examines the cultural, social and political implications of sexuality and gender from the perspective of those marginalized by the dominant sexual ethos. It explores the ways that culture defines and regulates sexuality as well as the ways that sexuality structures and shapes social institutions.
The Queer Studies Program seeks to legitimate academic inquiry into sexuality, sex, and gender, to pose questions of normativity and power, and to foster community with and for historically marginalized groups. In queer studies courses, students will consider the lived experience and intersecting histories and identities of diverse populations of queer people. Students will examine critically the social, cultural, and scientific constructs of sexuality and gender. Students will acquire a working knowledge of the history, issues, and theories of queer studies. Students will make connections between queer studies as an interdisciplinary program and the broader liberal arts curriculum. Queer Studies aims to empower and equip students to engage with communities—both local and global—as agents of social change.