Welcome to the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department!
The Gender and Sexuality Studies Department recognizes the University of California as a settler land-grant institution that exists on the occupied, unceded, and ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples. Our campus, UC Riverside, was built--and is currently expanding--upon land belonging to the Cahuilla [ka-weeahh], Tongva [tong-va], Luiseño [loo-say-ngo], and Serrano [se-ran-oh] peoples and all of their relatives and relations--past, present, and future. We gratefully recognize our responsibility to learn from and stand in solidarity with, the original and current caretakers of this land, water, and air, who also model a tradition of Indigenous resistance, community survivance, and sovereignty in the face of settler colonialism. We acknowledge Indigenous lands, rights, and peoples as a starting point for telling the truth about the histories of violence from which the university, and its employees, have benefitted. We are committed to moving beyond the symbolism of this statement by centering Indigenous feminist knowledge and practice in our teaching, hiring, and in the broader context of our engagement with the university and local communities.
OUR MISSION AND VISION
The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies is the interdisciplinary nerve center of feminist, critical race, decolonial, transnational, and queer and trans research and teaching at UC Riverside. Our faculty engage in innovative, field-defining research addressing the greatest crises of our time—global political uprisings, food security, policing and state violence, homelessness, climate change, reproductive injustice, immigration and borders, institutional racism in healthcare, human domination of animals, and war, trauma, and violence—all with sustained attention to the underexamined role of gender and sexuality in the formation of these problems, and in the new ideas and practices that will lead to their solutions.
Our research is anchored in a broad range of intellectual disciplines (Critical Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Comparative Literature, Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Environmental Studies) while also shaped by, and accountable to, feminist, racial justice, critical queer and trans politics, and indigenous movements both in North America and around the globe.
We believe that interdisciplinarity and innovation are essential to understanding our world and its crises and possibilities, and therefore we value a diverse and evolving set of methodologies, with a particular commitment to the bold theories and methodologies that often resist easy marketability and/or that challenge the conventions of the neoliberal university. Our department nurtures the experimental and often unorthodox thinking of our students, many of whom challenge the very construction of the ideal student, scholar, and citizen. Our faculty are proud that our cutting-edge research and innovative teaching reflect our department’s commitment to accessible public education, cross-disciplinarity, intersectionality, and justice-centered epistemologies. Given that our department is embedded in the larger neoliberal university, we also recognize that we are not immune to racism, sexism, classism, heteropatriarchy, and many other systems of domination. We are committed to seeking out ways to address conflict and hierarchy that center accountability and healing, and that guide us toward generosity and non-disposability in both words and practice.
Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, Feminist Studies, and Sexuality Studies are political projects that developed in response to the exclusion of women, LGBT, and gender non-conforming people—as well as feminist, queer, and trans ideas—from the academy. These interdisciplines also foreground the ways that white supremacy, racism, socioeconomics, and ableism interlock with gender and sexuality to produce power asymmetries that shape everyday lives in profound ways. These departments also emerged in response to student activism, and ours takes this history seriously, recognizing our responsibility to address gender injustice on campus. In solidarity with other gender studies departments across the country, we are also keenly aware that feminist scholars operate under unique conditions of institutional constraint and administrative resistance, and that these obstacles have implications for the distribution of resources. This means, for instance, that many gender studies departments—including our own—are denied the resources to hire faculty in our commitment areas, and hence our faculty will not always reflect the full breadth of our intellectual and political commitments. We stand alongside feminist, queer, and trans scholars around the globe as we continue to spotlight the urgency of gender and sexuality studies as basic requirements for a broad, interdisciplinary education.
The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies is home to more than 170 students, faculty, and staff dedicated to analyzing feminist theory, global cultures, and politics through a combination of academics and action. We offer courses on gender and sexuality in relationship to race, ethnicity, class, history, research, the environment, pop culture, and more. Our degree programs and internships prepare students to go forth and transform their world.
Learn more about our programs: