WGS 3559

“Ethnography” is a powerful tool for analyzing people and culture. It is both a method of research and a genre of writing. This course examines the theories, methods, and ethics involved in ethnographic research on gender and sexuality. It addresses questions such as: is research gendered? What can ethnography teach us about gender or sexuality? What is feminist ethnography? Students will conduct ethnographic research in the UVa/local community.

WGS 3559

This course will examine LGBTQ persons, issues, and events in Europe since 1789. Topics to be covered will include the history of anti-sodomy and marriage laws; the evolution of cultural and scientific understandings of sex, sexuality, and gender, including ideas of trans-ness; and the history of LGBTQ activism, both legal and cultural, going up to the present day.

Let’s talk about sex

Let’s talk about sex

Geeta Patel, Director of the UVA in India Program sent us this article about an event she recently participated in. Click through and have a read.

29th Annual Essay Contest


The deadline for submissions is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2017. 

Awards carry a modest cash prize.

Students may submit their own work or a faculty member may submit outstanding student papers. A student need not be a Women, Gender & Sexuality major or minor to be eligible.

Meet the Scholars Building a Network Around Black Girlhood

Meet the Scholars Building a Network Around Black Girlhood

WGS 7500 (Approaches)

An introduction to contemporary feminist and queer theories, intended for graduate students. Offers a survey of contemporary feminist and queer epistemology, subject formation, ethics, and politics, as well as a grounding in the methods of feminist and queer theory.  What is a woman? What is sex? What is gender? What is sexuality?   These and related questions are discussed from multidisciplinary perspectives.

WGS 4559 (Black Feminist Theory)

This course critically examines key ideas, issues, and debates in contemporary Black feminist thought. With a particular focus on Black feminist understandings of intersectionality and womanism, the course examines how Black feminist thinkers interrogate specific concepts including Black womanhood, sexual mythologies and vulnerabilities, class distinctions, colorism, leadership, crime and punishment, and popular culture. 

WGS 4559 (Gender & Sexuality in Islamic Cultures)


This course examines the politics of gender and sexuality in various Muslim societies since the 19th century. It covers a range of topics and themes, including: historical, theological, political, and anthropological accounts of gender discourse; various feminist movements; and sexuality, marriage,family, masculinity, and LGBTQ issues. Of particular interest is how social and state actors have attempted to mobilize gender for political gain.

WGS 3559 (Women's Rights in Modern Italy)


This course explores how modern Italian literature, cinema, and the arts have represented the quest for women’s rights from bodily autonomy to equal pay as well as emergencies related to women’s socio-cultural perception such as the high rate of feminicide, rape and other forms of gender-based violence. What can Italian literature, cinema and arts from the recent past teach us about the global backlash of patriarchy against women in the 2010s?

WGS 3240

This course seeks to explore the intersection of gender and race in sport, specifically examining the African-American experience in sport. This course will ask students to consider whether sport was (and continues to be) the great equalizer for both African-American sportsmen and sportswomen, and to evaluate their portrayals (or lack thereof) in both the white and black media. We’ll consider athletic greats Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson, as well as lesser known athletes Jack Johnson and Ora Mae Washington—why are some athletes destined to be celebrated while others are forgotten?