Notable LGBT Studies Programs

From the Ivy League to community colleges, universities are expanding their LGBT studies programs. Often composing an entire department, these programs have a variety of names but ensure that studies in the humanities include all people.

Here are some of America’s most notable LGBT studies programs:

  • Wake Forest University. Wake Forest University’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department focuses on community engagement and the real-world implications of feminism. A tightly-knit community, the department has only two tenured core professors, Dr. Wanda Balzano and Dr. Shannon Gilreath. The department recently welcomed Associate Professor Kristina Gupta. The rest of the department’s faculty is a rotating assortment from across the university. The department on this picturesque Southern campus is not just ‘gender studies’ in a silo. For example, students in Professor Gilreath’s courses learn about the realities of gendered hierarchy, in its quotidian aspects, from sexual assault, to family law, to the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights.
  • Stanford University. Stanford’s Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program offers an undergraduate major, secondary major, and an interdisciplinary undergraduate honors program. The program also offers a PhD minor. Notably, Stanford’s program enables each student to build an individual program of study. The four most common subplans are: LGBT/Queer Studies, Arts & Culture, Global Studies, and Health.
  • Harvard University. Harvard’s Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality program is interdisciplinary and focuses on how social norms have changed over time and how they vary across cultures. The program has extensive course offerings including “Psychology of the Gendered Body” and “Transforming Scientific Knowledge: Science and Feminism.” Harvard’s program often coordinates with the university’s Office of BGLTQ Student Life.
  • The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. The famous Kinsey Institute was founded in 1947 by Dr. Alfred Kinsey to research on human sexual behavior and to administer research resources including a library and case histories. While many have heard of the Kinsey Scale, the institute also explores “the what, how, and why of sexuality, gender, relationships, and reproduction...”. Students have access to the Masters and Johnson Collection as well as to a variety of courses, many of which explore LGBT topics.
  • University of California Berkeley. U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Gender & Women’s Studies has an excellent minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. The department, which is over twenty-five years old, offers “interdisciplinary perspectives on the formation of gender and its intersections with other relations of power, such as sexuality, race, class, nationality, religion, and age.” Students also enjoy the atmosphere on campus; Newsweek ranked the college one of the nation’s “Best Gay-Friendly Schools.

These substantial college programs, and so many more across the nation, add to the body of knowledge and help minimize ignorance.

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