Information presented from the 2023 - 2024 Academic Catalog.

Program Guidelines & Mission

An evolving and expanding discipline, Queer Studies encompasses theories and thinkers from many fields: cultural studies, gay and lesbian studies, transgender studies, race studies, women's and gender studies, literature, history, film, media, postmodernism, post-colonialism, and more. By engaging with this diverse range of fields, the work of Queer Studies distinguishes itself in that it focuses on issues surrounding sexuality and gender (and other axes of marginalized identity) and the way(s) that the questions raised in these other arenas might be modulated through that central lens.

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 as well as 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. 

Queer Studies Concentration

The Queer Studies concentration requires a total of six courses. Three of these are core requirements, and three are electives that typically are offered by other programs or departments and are cross-listed with Queer Studies.  

Core Requirements

The required core courses are:

  • QS 101 - Introduction to Queer Studies
  • QS 227 - Queer Theory
  • QS 400 - Senior Seminar


The Queer Studies concentration requires students to complete three elective courses from among those approved by the Queer Studies Committee based on the following criteria, or through petition to the Committee:

At least two-thirds of the course should focus on: some aspect of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender experience, culture, and history; and/or relevant issues or themes (privilege, oppression, sexual behavior, identity, performance, social movements, etc.); and/or conceptual categories (gender, sexuality, etc.) central to the field of Queer Studies.

Any course in the concentration should address the relationship between the normative and the transgressive. Through these courses students should gain an understanding of, and respect for, differences in human identity such as age, ability, class, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, and religion. Courses that already meet the criteria for Queer Studies electives, or that can be readily adapted to meet the above criteria through negotiations between instructor and student, include (but are not limited to) the following:

ARTS 213Queer Graphix
ARTS 217Photo as Gesture into Time; Past, Present, Future
BLST 235Introduction to Black Studies
BLST 340
COMM 229Mediating Gender and Sexuality
COMM 329Gender and Communication
COMM 349The Trouble with Normal: Normalization, Discourse and Power
COMM 402Language, Identity and Politics: Discourse and the Public Sphere
COMM 406Rhetoric and Social Movements
EDUC 330Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education
ENGL 245Human Diversity Through Literature
ENGL 340Contemporary Drama
MUS 332Music and Sexuality
PHIL 275Philosophy of Feminism
PSYC 301Seminar: Psychology of Women
REL 101Introduction to Theology
WGST 101Issues in Feminism
WGST 311Feminist Theory
WGST 323Transgender Studies/Transgender Issues