Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 6, Issue 2
spring 2016
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

Letter from the Chair of WGSS


from Margaret Homans

New energy and excitement fill the Yale campus this spring, as students and faculty work together to respond in creative and enduring ways to the call for more intersectional courses and a more diverse faculty.  These efforts move Yale closer to its potential as an inclusive global university.  President Salovey’s announcement of new resources to diversify the faculty and the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration create new opportunities for WGSS to provide leadership in the intersectional study of gender and sexuality.  WGSS faculty and graduate students collaborated with other programs to create the Martin Luther King Day teach-in on “Keywords in Critical Ethnic Studies” that opened the semester and oriented students towards intersectional ways of studying race and ethnicity.  New courses this spring and in 2016-17 on such topics as “Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Global South” and “Indigenous Feminisms” – taught by PhD students Andrew Dowe and Tyler Rogers, who are in the WGSS certificate program – extend the reach of WGSS methods and subject matter in the curriculum.  And new courses on “Transgender Cultural Production” and “Performativity and Social Change” have been added this spring as well, thanks to Visiting Lecturer T. L. Cowan.  Plans are underway for a more long-term expansion of WGSS’s intersectional and transnational curriculum ...
Read More

Faculty Profile:
Hazel Carby


I joined Yale as the only black female full professor on its faculty in 1989, having taught for seven years at Wesleyan University where I was chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.  After completing my undergraduate degree I obtained a post-graduate certificate in education from London University and went to teach in a high school in East London in the decade of the seventies.  I lived and worked in a working class area that had become statistically defined by its poverty and immigration but the wealth of its cultural diversity and the extraordinary resilience of its residents exceed such measurements ...
Read More

Student Perspectives: The Politics of Representation: Visual and Literary Culture and the Black Female Body (WGSS 356 / AFAM 356)

by Carly Lovejoy '16

In Professor Hazel Carby’s seminar, “The Politics of Representation: Visual and Literary Culture and the Black Female Body”, I grapple with my responsibility as a human, as a student, as a museum worker, and as an artist to constantly question my understanding of cultural production. With the backdrop of the emotional and political struggles on our own campus, this class looks closely at how female artists of color describe social reality. Students can be vulnerable in our classroom conversations, because Professor Carby welcomes personal insights as well as critical analysis ...
Read More


by Joel De Leon '18

Ever since the first session of ‘Representing Black Women’, I have left Professor Carby’s seminar feeling fed intellectually and spiritually. As we move through her artfully crafted syllabus, the richness of an eclectic realm of Black art, which was previously unknown to me, is unfolded by Carby’s experienced eye and unique ability to give word to art. Not only is she knowledgeable and engaging, Hazel Carby is the most generous professor from whom I have had the pleasure to learn. Through her  liaison I have had the chance to meet prominent black artists ...
Read More

Alum Spotlight: Andrew Dowe


My desire to better understand ongoing debates over LGBTQ rights at the time drew me to my first WGSS course, Prof. Megan Sinnott’s ‘Nationalism, Politics and Sexuality’ in Spring 2005. I left Prof. Sinnott’s class with a new interdisciplinary toolkit, a new sense of the possibilities of scholarship and a new major: WGSS. As it often does for majors, WGSS quickly became my home on campus—I began working for the Larry Kramer Initiative (LKI, now LGBTS) that same semester, and classmates from WGSS courses became close friends and partners in various social and political endeavors. We soon realized, however, that the home we found on the third floor of WLH was not nearly as sure as we assumed...
Read More

Spring Events

Politics, Gender and Sexuality in Africa

by Dianne Lake

Lesbian Filmmaker Series

by George Chauncey


Read More


Read More


Toxic: A Symposium on Exposure, Entanglement and Endurance


Photo Photo


Isaac Julien Awarded 2016 James Robert Brudner '83 Memorial Prize

Mr. Julien will deliver the Brudner Lecture at Yale on September 28, 2016.

Photo by Jonathan Root

LGBT Studies is pleased to announce that Isaac Julien has been awarded the 2016-17 James Brudner Memorial Prize in LGBT Studies.  Mr. Julien will discuss his work at Yale on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and in New York on Thursday, Sept. 29. 

Isaac Julien is one of the preeminent installation artists and filmmakers of our time ...
Read More

WGSS Colloquium and Working Group

by Dina Omar and Ashley James

In February, we began another invigorating semester by welcoming Professor Jill Richards to the WGSS Working Group. Professor Richards graciously shared her current work-in-progress entitled “Feminist Method and the Archive," which ponders the ethics and methodologies appropriate to the writing of counter-histories as she works toward a book chapter on the political practices of black women on the margins of Négritude. Though writing most immediately from an English literature context, we found the questions Professor Richards posed in her paper urgently applicable across disciplines, effectively facilitating a generative interdepartmental discussion surrounding the politics, ethics, and efficacies of counter-historical archival work ...
Read More

Visiting Scholar, T. L. Cowan, Explores Performance, Performativity, and Political Activism

I came to Yale this year as the Canadian Bicentennial Visiting Lecturer and Digital Humanities Fellow and was very happy to have WGSS as my “teaching” home. In the Spring Term, I taught two courses, “Performativity & Social Change” and “Transgender Cultural Production,” and organized four public events, presented in conjunction with these WGSS courses and in collaboration with several sponsoring units, including the Digital Humanities (DH) Lab and the Native American Cultural Center (NACC), and the Mellon Graduate Concentration in the Digital Humanities, “(En)Visualizing Knowledge: Text Mining, Mapping, Network Analysis, Archiving and Big Data,” taught by Inderpal Grewal and Laura Wexler ...
Read More

Milestones and Publications from our Affiliated Faculty


WGSS LGBTS champion and former chair, Katie Lofton, named inaugural Faculty of Arts and Sciences deputy dean for diversity and faculty development.

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

Balay, Anne. (2015/16 Yale LGBT Studies Fellowship recipient). “Long Haul Sweatshops
New York Times, March 9, 2016

Cook, Jenna (WGSS ’14). “Her Search for Her Mother Touches an Entire Chinese Village” NPR, April 12, 2016.

Fischel, Joseph and O’Connell, Hilary. 2016. “Disabling Consent, or Reconstructing Sexual Autonomy” Columbia Law Review, vol. 30, no. 2

Fischel, Joseph. May 2016. Sex and Harm in the Age of Consent. University of Minnesota Press.

Fischel, Joseph. June 2016. After Marriage Equality: The Future of LGBT Rights: “A More Promiscuous Politics: LGBT Rights without the LGBT Rights” NYU Press, p. 181.

George, Marie-Amelie. 2016. “The Custody Crucible: The Development of Scientific Authority About Gay and Lesbian Parents Law and History Review

Tonstad, Linn. 2016. God and Difference: The Trinity, Sexuality, and the Transformation of Finitude. Routledge

Congratulations to our Graduating Seniors - WGSS Class of 2016


Rebecca (Becca) Bakal, Branford
Alexander Borsa, Silliman
Helen Caldwell, Morse
Sarah Giovanniello, Morse
Dianne Lake, Stiles
Corey Malone-Smolla, Dwight
Annemarie McDaniel, Trumbull
Abigail Moore, Stiles

WGSS Slideshow


Click here to view the full slideshow

Find us on