Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 6, Issue 1
fall 2015
Please come to our Holiday Party on December 16, 4:30 - 6:30 in WLH 309
Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors,
Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design,
Nick Appleby

Letters from the Chairs of WGSS & LGBTS


from Margaret Homans

As I write this column in late November, Yale is a place I hardly recognize – and for the best of reasons. 

Less than a month ago, students organized to call on Yale to combat pervasive, intersectional racism on campus, and today I am “cautiously optimistic” (to quote a phrase I have been hearing) that President Peter Salovey’s November 17 response to their demands - including major commitments of resources for new faculty, for a research center, for the student cultural centers, and for student aid and other services - will bring positive and enduring change to campus ...
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WGSS Faculty News

Fall 2015 has been a semester of departures and arrivals.

Karen Nakamura, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of LGBTS for two years, a vital, indeed indispensable member of the WGSS community, leaves Yale at the end of this term.  A pioneer in developing queer ethnography and the uses of visual media in ethnography, she has introduced anthropological approaches to sexuality and gender to new generations of Yale students.  Her current initiative, in queer disability studies, takes her to the University of California at Berkeley, where she will become the inaugural Robert and Colleen Haas Distinguished Chair in Disability Studies as well as Professor of Anthropology.  She has served the Yale WGSS/LGBTS community as an extraordinary, inspirational leader ...
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from Karen Nakamura

This year, 2015, was a stellar year for LGBT Studies at Yale. Our headline event was the James R. Brudner Class of 1983 Memorial Prize, which we awarded to Professor Susan Stryker for her groundbreaking work in transgender studies. Every seat in both New York and in New Haven venues were filled to capacity as she talked about her personal and intellectual history with trans studies and trans activism.  This was a particularly important moment for the many trans-identified students and faculty at Yale, as Professor Stryker is the first trans scholar to be recognized as such by the Brudner Prize, which is the most prominent national award for scholarship in LGBT studies ...
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Faculty Perspective

by Carolyn Dean

Carolyn Dean
Charles J. Stille Professor of History and French, DGS History

I joined the Yale faculty in fall 2013 after nearly two decades on the faculty at Brown University. I am now the Charles J. Stille Professor of History and French as well as involved in both WGSS and the Sexuality Research Initiative, and am delighted to be part of both programs, which make Yale an extremely exciting place to conduct research in gender and sexuality studies. I’ve now taught a graduate seminar on the history of sexuality in modern Europe that emphasizes methods, and have had a wonderful reception from WGSS students interested in the subject from all over campus ...
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Student Perspective

History of Sexuality in Modern Europe (WGSS 667)

by Matt Calhoun Shafer

Carolyn Dean's excellent research seminar in the Western intellectual history of the study of sexuality was my introduction to graduate studies in WGSS — and I couldn't have asked for a better one. Professor Dean builds a picture of a coherent field of intellectual inquiry that moves across texts in areas as diverse as post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, nineteenth-century sexology, science studies, and contemporary feminism. Despite the many ways — both methodological and substantive — in which these texts seemed to present divergent traditions of thought, Professor Dean wove their ideas together to give us a sense of the many options for how we as emerging scholars can more fully incorporate questions of gender and sexuality into our own programs of research ...
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Alum Spotlight: Chamonix Adams Porter '15


In middle and high school in rural Colorado, I read second-hand gay history books and hoped that one day I might meet someone who would discuss them with me. When I came to Yale, I was astounded by the number of people in George Chauncey’s US Lesbian and Gay History class, enthralled by the lively debates in Joe Fischel’s courses, and drawn to the quiet conversations in the narrow corridor on the third floor of WLH. The WGSS major gave me something I had hardly thought possible: an engaged feminist community dedicated to using books and papers and discussions to create a more just world...
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James Robert Brudner '83 Memorial Prize and Lecture:
Susan D. Stryker

by Abigail Moore '16


My first exposure to Susan Stryker’s amazing work was in Margaret Homan’s Sexuality and Fiction class where we read “My Words to Victor Frankenstein About the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage.”  Our entire class was mesmerized by Stryker’s incredible ability to weave fiction, theory, and personal experience into an essay that is as poignant and filled with fresh insights the third time one reads it as it was the first.  The work is still relevant and resonating, so of course, Stryker’s visit to Yale as this year’s distinguished recipient of the 2015 James Robert Brudner ’83 Memorial Prize was anticipated by many of the students who had so passionately studied her previous writings ...
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Yale LGBTS Research Fellowship

by Anne Balay

2015/16 Yale LGBTS Research Fellow Anne Balay

Now that I have completed about half of the LGBT Research fellowship, I would like to thank Yale Librarians.  This photo is of me standing in front of SML with my father, who was the first Yale librarian to rock my world.  During the fellowship, Gwyneth Crowley and Tim Young both worked with me to find the unfindable.

I am at Yale to research blue-collar queers.  What we know about archives is that the people who typically wind up in them are people who see their lives, and themselves, as important.  They ask themselves questions about where their work will be housed, and they take steps to ensure that documents are saved, organized, and searchable. Yale has hired and funded archivists who seek out materials that fill the gaps this process generates ...
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WGSS Colloquium and Working Group

by Ashley James and Dina Omar

We began this year’s WGSS Working Group series eagerly with an overflowing room of students, all in attendance to converse with Professor Elizabeth Alexander on the topic of “crafting a feminist and artistic life in and out of academy” through an engagement with work spanning decades of Professor Alexander’s career. The second event in this series was equally impactful: students read a chapter from Professor Inderpal Grewal’s forthcoming book Exceptional Citizens? Saving and Surveilling in Contemporary USA (forthcoming 2016, Duke University Press), and engaged in a lively discussion on surveillance and security in the U.S. and the cultures and counter-cultures that have emerged from an increasing awareness of the ideologies, infrastructure, and technology that supports surveillance ...
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WGSS Speaker Series

The Spring 2016 WGSS Speaker Series will explore Gender and Political Economy in Africa

October 28 – Gretchen Bauer, University of Delaware, 'A Lot of Head Wraps': Recent Developments in Women's Political Leadership in Sub Saharan Africa

December 9 – Shireen Hassim, University of Witwatersrand, In South Africa, for Instance: Thinking About Equality and Institutions from the South

April 6 – Anne Pitcher, University of Michigan and Abosede George, Barnard College
Panel discussion: Women in Urban Africa: Perspectives from 20th Century Lagos and 21st Century Luanda

April 20 – Mary Kay Gugerty, University of Washington, Self-help Groups and Women’s Participation in Agricultural Markets in Tanzania

LGBTS & WGSS Prizes 2014-2015

LGBT Studies Prizes Awarded in the 2014-2015 Academic Year

James Robert Brudner '83 Memorial Prize
Susan Stryker 2015/16
Richard Dyer 2014/15

Bruce L. Cohen Research Awards

Alex Borsa
Alexandra Pollak

Fund for Lesbian & Gay Studies (FLAGS) Research Awards
Vanessa Agard-Jones
Lindsay Branson
Kathryn Dudley
Joseph Fischel
Marie-Amelie George (2)
Shaun Halper
John Pachankis
Joseph Plaster
Linn Tonstad
Jaclyn White

Solomon Research Fellowship in LGBTS
Alex Borsa
Nikita Khaitan

GALA Senior Essay Prize
Jason Massella
Christopher Mulvey

WGSS Prizes Awarded in the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Elga Wasserman Award for Commitment to the Advancement of Social Justice & Gender Equality at Yale College
Chamonix Adams Porter

Lily Rosen Prize in Women’s Health

Olivia Rosenthal

Shana Alexander Research Fellowship
Kathy Amiliategui
Rebecca Bakal
Emily Hays
Dianne Lake

Steere Prize in Women’s Studies
Taylor Nicolas


Lesbian Filmmaker Series

This unprecedented year-long series brings six leading lesbian filmmakers to Yale to screen their films and discuss the history and current prospects of lesbian filmmaking and queer representation. Traversing multiple genres and themes, the series surveys forty years of filmmaking from Barbara Hammer’s experimental Dyketactics (1974) and Donna Deitch’s breakthrough Hollywood romance Desert Hearts (1985) to the new queer cinema and independent films of the 1990s ...
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Fading Scars:
My Queer Disability History

by Caroline Lieffers

“My world is multicultural,” writes Corbett OToole in her new book, Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History (Autonomous Press, 2015). “In the mainstream world, I am a fat cripple. In the disability activist world, I am a queer. In the queer world, I am a dissatisfied disability activist. I am all of these and often none of these” ...
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In Memorium - Harold (Hal) Scheffler

by Bill Kelly

Professor Harold Scheffler (1932-2015)

Harold W. Scheffler, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, 1963-2008, died peacefully at his home in New Haven, CT, on July 24. He was 83. He was one of modern anthropology’s most important scholars of kinship and sexuality, and his 45 years as professor of anthropology on the Yale faculty (1963-2008) are the longest faculty service in the department’s history. He was particularly proud to have been an early and steadfast advocate for the growth of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale and served on its council for many years. His much loved courses on kinship, on human rationality and modes of thought, and on sexual meanings reached generations of Yale undergraduates ...
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Milestones and Recent Publications

Recent Publications
WGSS and LGBTS congratulate our faculty and affiliates on the publication of their recent scholarship.

Almeling, Rene. 2015. “Reproduction.” Annual Review of Sociology. 41:423–42

Fischel, Joseph. 2015. “In Defense of Plural Marriage” Book review. Journal of Politics, vol. 78, no. 1 (2016), pp. e5-e7

George, Marie-Amelie. 2015. “The Harmless Psychopath: Legal Debates Promoting the Decriminalization of Sodomy in the United States.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, Volume 24, Number 2, May 2015, pp. 225-261

Inhorn, Marcia. 2015. Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai. Duke University Press

LaFrance, Marianne. 2015. “Categorising intersectional targets: An “either/and” approach to race- and gender-emotion congruity

Resnik, Judith. 2015. “Diffusing Disputes: The Public in the Private of Arbitration, the Private in Courts, and the Erasure of Rights.” Yale Law Journal.

Resnik, Judith. 2015. Introduction, Global Constitutionalism: The Reach of Rights.

Resnik, Judith. 2015. “Time-In-Cell: The ASCA-Liman 2014 National Survey of Administrative Segregation in Prison.”  The Liman Program, Yale Law School Association of State Correctional Administrators.

Spillane, Margaret. 2015. “How the Irish Became the World’s Leading Gay Activists.” The Nation, June 2015.

Valis, Noel. 2015. (Translation) Two Confessions. Essays by María Zambrano and Rosa Chacel. Translated by Noël Valis and Carol Maier. With Introduction, Afterword and Annotations. Albany: SUNY Press, 2015. 240 pp.

Recent news by or about the Yale WGSS and LGBTS community

Vanessa Agard-Jones awarded Yale Center for Teaching and Learning Rosenkranz Award for Pedagogical Innovation and a Taylor Fund research grant from the Department of African American Studies.

Jill Campbell and Katie Lofton elected to inaugural Faculty Senate

Kang-i Sun Chang, the Malcolm G. Chace ‘56 Professor of East Asian Languages and Literature, among Yale Faculty elected as fellow of the AAAS (American Academy of Arts and Sciences)

 Joe Fischel wins Poorvu Prize

Marcia Inhorn receives the 2015 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology


YaleWomen is the global network of Yale women alums, dedicated to advancing women's voices and perspectives while enriching and inspiring Yale women, Yale and our communities. 
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The Yale Women Faculty Forum (WFF) was established in 2001 during Yale’s Tercentennial year to highlight the presence of women at the University and the accomplishments of Yale alumnae. 
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WGSS Slideshow


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