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Newsletter and Department Title

Issue 2 | Summer 2015

From the Director

Todd Reeser

Todd Reeser

Director, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, and Professor of French


As the academic year comes to a close and I have a chance to breathe, I find myself reflecting on all the exciting work around gender and sexuality that took place over the course of the past nine months at Pitt.


GSWS’s enrollments continue to grow at all levels, from the undergraduate introductory course to graduate seminars. We have had to hire more instructors to satisfy student demand. Given the current cultural situation, it should come as no surprise that students want to make intellectual sense of the gendered world around them. Read More >


We've Come a Long Way: Undergraduate Major Approved for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies


Frayda Cohen

Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Advisor, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program


The GSWS Program is thrilled to announce that, beginning in Fall 2015, Pitt students may major in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Building on our robust certificate program, GSWS will now offer a Bachelor of Arts degree with the completion of 30 credits. Read More >

GSWS hosts first Undergraduate Sexuality Studies Symposium


Julie Beaulieu

Visiting Lecturer, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program


In the spring of 2015, the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program held our first Undergraduate Sexuality Studies Symposium.  The symposium showcased student research in sexuality studies across the disciplines.  Participants presented original research on a wide range of topics, including intersectional approaches to sexual education, queer theories of identity, and historical inquiries into what we now call sexual orientation. Read More >

Conference Fosters Dialogue on Reproductive Justice


Rachel Kutz-Flamenbaum

GSWS Affiliated Faculty and Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology


Abortion access, reproductive rights, health and justice are topics that generate strong contradictory reactions.  There is a national ambivalence evidenced in the fact that while two-thirds of the U.S. population supports legal abortion, dozens of anti-abortion laws have been passed in state and federal legislatures each year. Read More >

Guest Lecturer Sandra Steingraber on Fracking as a Feminist Issue


Marianne Novy

GSWS Affiliated Faculty and Professor, Department of English


On April 6, as one of the GSWS Program’s contributions to the Chancellor’s Year of Sustainability, biologist Sandra Steingraber explained to an audience of more than 100 people the dangers of fracking (the forcible injection of water and chemicals into shale to extract natural gas), and several reasons why she considers it a feminist issue.  She said that 95% of fracking-related jobs go to men, while women’s main opportunities are as hotel maid and prostitute, and women’s homelessness and economic responsibilities for children go up. Read More >

Graduate Research Awardee Documents History of the First Center for LGBT People of Color


Dominique D. Johnson

K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and MMUF Graduate Fellow

GSWS Certificate Student, Department of Communication


Last summer, with the help of the GSWS Summer Research Award, I was able to visit two major LGBT archives in London – one, a collection of radical and independent art and ‘zines housed in the MAKE Archives (also known as the Women’s Art Library) at Goldsmiths, University of London; the other, one of the largest and most well-funded LGBT Archives in the UK, was the Hall-Carpenter Archives at the London School of Economics.  The latter is where I found a key collection that I am currently developing as a part of my dissertation, which theorizes black queer epistemology as a philosophy of knowledge. Read More >

Shakespeare's Treatment of Gender and Emotion


Jennifer Waldron

Associate Professor of English and GSWS Faculty Fellow

Director, Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies


Many of my students at the undergraduate and graduate levels are interested in the question of whether Shakespeare was “sexist.”  Often students are quick to defend Shakespeare by suggesting that perhaps his plays just mirror the sexism of his time.  But my current research makes a stronger case, which is that Shakespeare’s plays intervene in the categories that have influenced what counts as “human.” Read More >

Teaching and Researching the Politics of Black Masculinity


Gabby M. H. Yearwood

GSWS Affiliated Faculty and Visiting Lecturer, Department of Anthropology


I joined GSWS as an affiliated faculty member in the spring of 2014 after joining the Department of Anthropology as a visiting lecturer.  I earned my Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a focus on the Black Diaspora, sport and masculinity. My research was an ethnographic study of the experiences of Black male college athletes and their negotiations of race, gender and sexuality as both students and athletes on a college campus. My intellectual interests are framed around Black masculinity and how the interrelatedness of race, gender and sexuality impact the social lives of males in the Black Diaspora.

Read More >

GSWS Program's New Home in the Cathedral of Learning


K. Briar Somerville
Communications Assistant, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program


In August of 2014, the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program relocated from the second floor of Posvar Hall to the fourth floor of the Cathedral of Learning.  The program's new suite in the Cathedral (which it shares with Cultural Studies) was designed in 2002 with a unique hallway of slate blue arches to house the McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success, which moved to the first floor of Posvar last summer. Read More >

Support GSWS


Why Support Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies? Gifts to our program have a direct impact on the daily lives of students and are applied in a variety of ways. Read More >

7 / 1 / 2015 Copyright 2015 Communications Services

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