Sexuality, Women’s & Gender Studies

Your First Course

We recommend that students interested in the study of sexuality, women's and gender studies begin with an intro course taught by one of our core faculty members. In 2023-24, these courses are

HIST-158 / SWAG-158 Asian American History: 1800 - Present (Fall 2023)

Wednesday / Friday 12:30 - 1:50pm

Using an intersectional approach, the course traces how issues related to gender and sexuality impact Asian American racial formation in the U.S. For example, we look at how particular immigration pathways impact the lives of Asian immigrant communities differently depending on individuals’ gender and sexual identities. We also explore the ways the fetishization of Asian American women and men has influenced shifts in American foreign and domestic policy. Major themes include labor migration, community formation, U.S. imperialism, legal exclusion, racial segregation, cultural representations, and social movements.

HIST-162 / SWAG-162 History of Sexuality in the U.S. (Fall 2023)

Tuesday / Thursday 2:30 - 3:50pm

This course will survey sex throughout United States history in relation to the various discourses of power and difference that have given it meaning, such as class, ethnicity, gender, race, and religion. Topics covered include the legal and social history of marriage, sex education, sexuality and the family during and after slavery, masculinity and the Western frontier, sexology and the invention of homosexuality, the making of urban gay subcultures, feminism and sexual liberation, the politics of abortion, HIV/AIDS, the LGBT rights movement, and the transgender revolution

SWAG-101 Intro to Queer/Trans Studies (Spring 2024)

Tuesday / Thursday 1:00 - 2:20pm

We will explore the analytical power and limits of “queering” a range of topics from politics to the family to disability to the state. We will consider how trans studies has created new areas of scholarly inquiry, from an explosion of interest in trans history to a reconsideration of the relationship between women’s rights and gender liberation. Finally, we will explore the creative work, knowledge production, community building, and political advocacy efforts of queer/trans people in modern life with an emphasis on Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and Pacific Islander artists, writers, and activists who have historically been marginalized in the field of queer studies.

BLST-117 / SWAG-117 Race, Difference, and the American Imagination (Spring 2024)

Monday / Wednesday 12:30 - 1:50pm

What role has “race” played in shaping the American imagination? How has its use as a metaphor in U.S. national life influenced our understandings of power, privilege, and justice? In what ways has popular culture influenced our understanding of race, and how do “creatives” today resist, reject, and reimagine racial and ethnic difference on social media? How do gender, sexuality, and other categories of difference intersect with race and ethnicity, and can these intersections give us a better understanding of American culture?

How to Declare a SWAGS Major

As of summer 2022 the process for declaring or adding a major has been moved entirely into Workday. Follow this useful "How to" guide which shows you step-by-step how to declare or add a major (or in Workday lingo "Add a program of study"). If there is a SWAGS professor you would prefer to have as your advisor, please let the ADC know prior to declaring in Workday. Once your major declaration has been submitted in Workday, your request will be routed to the ADC of SWAGS for approval, and you will be assigned an academic advisor in SWAGS.

Shortly after becoming a SWAGS major you will receive a welcome email from the ADC of SWAGS. As of April 2023, the tracking of SWAGS major requirements has been moved to Workday. View your "Academic Progress" in Workday to see which SWAGS requirements you have completed and which remain. Your academic advisors can also view this information. Please reach out to Stephanie Orion, the ADC of SWAGS, if you have questions about your major requirement tracking in Workday.


A student who does not have a SWAGS advisor should contact the chair of the SWAGS department with their questions.