Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies

Scope and Objectives

Although the initial focus in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies is usually on minority sexualities and transgenderism, it is impossible to study them in any meaningful way without raising questions about gender, race, ethnicity, economics/class, globalism, and the construction of scientific knowledge. Thus lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies, which may at first seem to concern the private practices of a small number of people, inevitably leads to the much larger study of sexuality and culture. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies program represents an important vantage point from which to investigate the social construction of sexual identity, social control of behavior, changing definitions of the family, and the place of sexual and gender expression in the public and private spheres. Because of the kinds of questions asked, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies is the site of some of the most exciting work being done today on the relationship between sexuality and culture.

The minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies offers students the opportunity to study sexuality from a variety of cultural and disciplinary perspectives meant to engage students in some of the most cutting-edge research in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies. In addition, seniors in the minor are expected to do a capstone internship in an international, national, or community organization, thereby acquiring invaluable firsthand knowledge, experience, and data. After completing the minor, students should be familiar with the theoretical tools that different disciplines employ to study sexuality. They should be acquainted with some of the many different ways sexuality has been organized in the past and is organized in different cultures in the present and should have an enhanced understanding and appreciation both of the sexual diversity of the world in which they live and of the complex ways in which sexuality intersects with other categories of identity and practice.