Recently in GWSS News Category

Within the past decade, South Africa has gained worldwide attention for violent masculinities, manifested remarkably through high rates of sexual assault with public sanction, "corrective" rapes of lesbians, intentional HIV infections, sexual violence targeting infants, and debates over intersexuality. Challenges to the composition of male masculinities have been the subject of sensationalist journalism and public discussion and led to stigma, medical maltreatment, and aggressive policing. This presentation will highlight particular moments in the past decade of such controversies, centering on how and why debates about gender codify its meaning.

Congratulations to Idalia P. Robles De León and to Jerod Greenisen on becoming the recipients of the Helen Hawthorne Hartung Award Competition for best feminist writing! We were impressed by the quality of the work we received from our GWSS undergraduate students. Our most sincere thanks to all the students who applied!

Robles De León's essay: HHHRoblesDeLeon.pdf
Greenisen's essay: HHHGreenisen.pdf

GWSS is excited to sponsor the upcoming conference, "Contingent Belongings: Queer Reflections on Race, Space, and the State," September 16-17, 2011. Keynote speakers: Christina Hanhardt and Nayan Shah. For more information and Call for Papers (due June 20, 2011), see:

The field of queer studies has made important contributions to interrogating the notion of belonging as a technology of cultural, social, and political membership. Yet scholarship in sexuality studies has not always attended to the multiple contingencies that structure belonging, particularly in relation to the unevenness of spatial and racial formations that shape access to cultural and national citizenship. Recent discussions of homonormativity and homonationalism have demonstrated the importance of understanding how social and political belonging are contingent upon the exclusion of certain bodies and practices. The recent repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the criminalization of immigration with the passage of SB1070 illustrate the contradictory logics of national, sexual, and racial belonging.

This conference examines the contingencies of belonging in relation to racial and sexual imaginaries and practices. How can we understand the desire to belong? What are the costs of belonging, and who can refuse to belong? Who gets to determine the framework for belonging? What does resistance look like under these conditions?

We hope to create a vibrant space for intellectual exchange with an emphasis on interdisciplinary scholarship. We welcome submissions from faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars from a wide range of fields, including gender and sexuality studies, ethnic studies, American studies, geography, history, education, media and communication, and cultural studies, among others.

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

- immigration, citizenship, and law

- space, movement, and diaspora

- intimacy, kinship, and family

- affect and desire

- U.S. empire and settler colonialism

- labor, neoliberalism, and biopolitics

- culture as a site of critique/resistance/knowledge production

- activism and coalition

- queer world-making and alternative practices

- aesthetics and decolonization

- race, place, and identity

Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words and a brief bio of no more than 100 words to by JUNE 20, 2011. Conference applicants will be notified no later than July 15th.

Sponsored by the Graduate Interdisciplinary Group in Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota, with support from the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies.

Welcome Back Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a great fall so far. Thought I would share the blogs for the two classes that I am teaching this semester. Anyone else using blogs? I would love to add your blogs as links to this site.

GWSS 4790: Queering Desire
GWSS 5103: Feminist Pedagogies

Check out the blogs and let me know what you think.

New Course for Spring 2009


My seminar on Troublemaking

I wanted to let you all know about the graduate seminar I will be teaching in the spring. I am really looking forward to it!

Here is the information:

GWSS 8190: Feminist and Queer Explorations in Troublemaking, Wednesdays 2-4:30
What are the political and ethical possibilities for making trouble? How have selves or communities made trouble in effective ways? What would it mean to think about troublemaking as a virtue? What are the limits of troublemaking? What are the links between troublemaking and feminist theoretical activism? Radical democracy? Queer theory and practice? Humor? Critical thinking and philosophy?

In this graduate seminar, we will explore all of these questions (and more) as we closely examine the nature and practice of troublemaking. We will begin by examining the specific ways that troublemaking as a practice and a troublemaker as a label have been used to dismiss and deem improper or deviant the theories, experiences, and activities of individuals and communities who challenge the status quo and/or work for social justice. We will closely examine how troublemaking and the troublemaker are represented and performed within specific social contexts and how race, class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity shape our understandings (and evaluations) of them. Then, we will critically explore the ethical and political potential of troublemaking, both as a practice and as an attitude/quality of character. In particular, we will look at how making trouble functions in a wide range of feminist and queer theoretical, political and ethical projects of transgression and transformation. While this course will draw upon a wide range of disciplines and methodologies, we will give particular attention to troublemaking in philosophical and ethical contexts. Some of the authors we will be reading include: Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Kate Bornstein, bell hooks, Cornel West, Chantal Mouffe, Luce Irigaray, Dorothy Allison, María Lugones, Chelá Sandoval, Audre Lorde, Cynthia Willett and Lisa Tessman.

Women's Student Activist Collection

WSAC friends and allies: Welcome back to another year with WSAC!

We are having many exciting plans for this spring including… a performance piece called Monday Night In Westerbork by S.Bergman (Feb 25), film series focusing on Consumerism, a five step series Feminist Self-Defense training with FEMA (Mar 26- Apr 23), International Women’s Day celebration (Mar 15), an event with speakers interrelating Feminism and Disability, our annual Revolutionary Art Thing with workshops and performances with the Poetic Assassins and MORE!!!

Thinking of joining WSAC? You should! Come to our first meeting on Wednesday Jan 30th at 12.30 pm. We will also have some open houses in a near future that you also can attend to learn more about us.

Thanks for your support!

Welcome to the GWSS Community Blog!

This a new project of the UMN GWSS Feminist Media Center (the FMC). It is a blog for members of the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department to post calls for proposals, events, funding opportunities, and news items of interest to GWSS.

If you have any questions on how to post, what to post, or ideas you have for this blog, please email GWSS grad student, Rachel at

Happy posting!


  • GWSS Course Blogs: 2009-2010

  • Helen Hawthorne Hartung Award Competition Idalia Robles De Leon

  • Helen Hawthorne Hartung Award Competition Jerod Greenisen

  • Links

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