I just got an email that brought this new interdisciplinary group to my attention. I thought some of us may be interested, so here it is!
Title: Graduate Interdisciplinary Group in Sexuality Studies Open Forum
> Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
> Time: 10:00 am to 11:30 am
> Location: Appleby Hall 41
> We would like to invite all interested faculty, graduate students,
> and scholars to join us for an organizational meeting to discuss
> ideas for promoting interdisciplinary teaching and research on
> Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. A more extensive
> description of the group is attached.
> We have been given some financial support to fulfill this mission
> and we ask you to join us at this meeting - either in person or
> electronically - with ideas on using the allocated funds. Perhaps we
> could bring in speakers, artists, have discussion groups, retreats,
> workshops, etc. Please forward this invitation to other graduate
> students and faculty members.
> Please RSVP to Beng Chang, either by email email@example.com or call
> (612) 626-2562. Also feel free to contact me if you have any
> questions, comments, or suggestions.
NAME OF GROUP: Graduate Interdisciplinary Group in Sexuality Studies
Primary Contact Person: Edén E. Torres firstname.lastname@example.org
Dept. of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
425 Ford Hall
This interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students brings together their collective experiences, epistemologies, cultures and diverse perspectives from across the disciplines and colleges in an effort to better understand the social, historical, psychological, literary, legal, and political contexts in which human sexualities have been and are currently being expressed and theorized. This is an advanced discussion group focusing on the relation of gender and sexuality to structures of power and inequality. Our mission is to advance interdisciplinary teaching, research and advocacy in Sexuality Studies, as well as to promote sexual literacy, sexual well-being and social justice. Our goals include but are not limited to: promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative discussions and research; to provide a rich environment for graduate students from across the university to think through their projects in dialogue with experienced researchers; to supplement the educational experiences and training of graduate students interested in sexuality studies; to foster an atmosphere that is increasingly open to and excited about research addressing sexuality, gender, and GLBTQ sociopolitical issues; to enhance and complement the educational missions of various departments and colleges; to investigate the ways that sexuality is shaped by social roles and intersecting or overlapping identities based on race, gender, dis(ability), nationality and socioeconomic class; and to enhance and enrich the students' regular curriculum opportunities by exposing them to expertise in a truly interdisciplinary forum that will position them to compete on the academic job market or in professional fields where such training is vital.
The proposed activities would provide a forum for graduate students from across the disciplines to interact with an interdisciplinary group of faculty members-many of whom they might not otherwise have a chance to meet, especially if they are working in non-interdisciplinary programs. As sexuality studies transcends the boundaries of single disciplines and colleges, we expect to draw in students from across the university. Because these issues and scholarly inquiries have global implications, it is important for students to have a strong interdisciplinary background from which to address questions around citizenship and the role of sexuality in determining varying relationships to power that influence not just our personal but also our social, economic and political lives. Because expressions of sexuality differ across cultures, time and space it is imperative that students learn to carefully analyze the nature and effects of sexualities and socializations in order to produce new research instruments, theories, and practices. Clearly, the impact of such scholarship is or will be important in almost every academic discipline in universities around the globe.