2000 grads

The first graduating class of Gender Studies majors in 2000

Leila Ahmed

Lelia Ahmed gives a lecture in May 2012

Alison Bechdel and student

Alison Bechdel speaks with a student at an exhibition of her work

Lauren Berlant and Mel Chen

Professor Lauren Berlant introducing guest speaker Mel Chen

Lauren Berlant and Kristen Schilt

Professors Lauren Berlant and Kristen Schilt participate in a zine making workshop

Hillary Chute and Alison Bechdel

Professor Hillary Chute and Alison Bechdel


Students participate in a classroom discussion at CSGS

Community room

The Community Room at 5733 S University

center door

Center entrance

2011 fellows

CSGS Fellows in 2011

5733 exterior

The exterior of 5733 S University

Student question

A student asks a question after a talk by Kimberly Peirce in October 2011


In 1996 a group of faculty and students founded a center to consolidate teaching and research on women, gender, and sexuality at the University of Chicago. The Center for Gender Studies, as it was originally named, has from that time concentrated on applying critical thought to the conceptual categories of women, gender, and sexuality. Because these categories cross so many existing academic disciplines, the founders creatively adapted their wide array of disciplinary methods to analyze the world, to examine a priori assumptions, and to discover new knowledge. This interdisciplinary approach led to innovative teaching and research and quickly established the Center, renamed the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS), as an important resource for faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students.

Center directors have come from a variety of disciplines: Leora Auslander, History, 1996-1999; Lauren Berlant, English, 1999-2002; Rebecca West, Romance Languages, 2002-2005; George Chauncey, History, 2005-2006; Deborah Nelson, English, 2006-2009; Jane Dailey, History, 2009-2010; Linda Zerilli, Political Science, 2010-2016; and Lucy Pick, Divinity, 2016-2017.

In 2016, the Center celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a series of special events, lectures, and a symposium.