About the Center

5733 S. University Ave.

The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago was established in 1996, after a decade of faculty and student self-organization. It now consolidates work on gender and sexuality, and in feminist, gay and lesbian, and queer studies.

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Our building is wheelchair accessible via a ramp in front of the building on University Avenue. There are automatic doors with push pads at the front entrances of the building. The building is equipped with three gender-neutral restrooms; the first floor restroom is ADA accessible and equipped with an automatic door and push pad.

For any other questions about access accommodations, please email csgs@lists.uchicago.edu.


Remembering James C. Hormel

We at the CSGS are saddened by the loss of the Hon. James Hormel (JD ’58). The first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, James Hormel was a dedicated and generous supporter of the Center – funding our first graduate student fellowships for work in LGBTQ Studies at a time (in the late 1990’s) when such programs were rare. Through this fund, we were able to support student research that became books such as Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight against AIDS by Deborah B. Gould (The University of Chicago Press, 2009); Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics by Timothy Stewart-Winter (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); and Screw Consent: A Better Politics of Sexual Justice by Joseph J. Fischel (University of California Press, 2019). Our love and support go out to his family and friends.

In Memory of Lauren Berlant

We at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality are mourning the loss of our colleague and dear friend, Lauren Berlant. Lauren helped found the CSGS in 1996 and served as the faculty director from 1999-2002. Since the formation of the GNSE major, Lauren was a central teacher, starting with “Problems in the Study of Sexuality,” and more recently with our signature courses, “Theories of Gender and Sexuality” and “Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality.”  They organized conferences, writing workshops, and teach-ins, all of which pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality scholarship forward in new ways. While authoring six monographs, numerous edited volumes, and countless articles, Lauren served on more than 100 dissertation committees, M.A. theses, and B.A. theses since 1984. They cared deeply about finding new ways to build a world with faculty, students, and staff, and in supporting radical ideas and new ways of thinking that do not always find nourishment in institutions of higher learning. We will miss Lauren’s energy and wit and generosity at the Center and remain deeply committed to continuing their mentorship and world-building with new generations. We will be announcing plans for a public celebration of Lauren’s legacy in the 2021-2022 academic year, as well as plans for an endowed fund for graduate student research – what Lauren imagined as “the Unfundable Fund” that would support a new generation of scholars producing theory that doesn’t fit the current norm.

Read a letter about the impact of Lauren’s research and teaching co-authored by Professors Debbie Nelson and Kristen Schilt.

Congratulations GNSE Class of 2021!

The CSGS is proud to present the Class of 2021! Graduating this Spring and Summer are Gender and Sexuality Studies majors Emilio Balderas, Tai Davidson Bajandas, Max Grayzel-Ward, Janelle Hartley, Brian Johnson, Alice May, José Morin, Catherine O’Carroll, Chiara Theophile, and Imaan Yousuf. We invite everyone to see all of the work that our students have put into their BA theses by visiting our virtual GNSE Class of 2021 Showcase

We would also like to congratulate our graduating minors, Angel Chesney (Philosophy/Visual Arts), Celia Hoffman (Political Science) and Sebastian Oberkfell (Economics).

Congratulations to all of our wonderful majors and minors, and good luck in your next endeavors!

2021 Ruth Murray Essay Prize

We are pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2021 Ruth Murray Essay Prize are Janelle Hartley and Jake La Fronz. Gender and Sexuality Studies major Janelle Hartley won for their BA thesis, “Houses, Individuals, and Generations: A Transfeminist Theory of Chosen Family.” The selection committee summarizes their work as looking “to the rhetoric of grassroots organizations, visual art, and histories of trans kinship to give the term ‘chosen family’ heft.” The committee praised the “attention to reproduction as a tactic of survival for Black and brown trans women,” noting that “Janelle powerfully contributes to trans studies, feminist studies, and queer studies as well as Black studies and ethnic studies.” History major Jake La Fronz is sharing the prize for his thesis, "Chicago Police Raid Gay Bars, 1969-1989," which examines the relationship between the gay community and the Chicago Police Department over the course of three decades. The committee stated that his thesis “triangulates primary and secondary data to present a compelling narrative of change” and “can help us understand negotiations of power and privilege for many minority groups." Congratulations Janelle and Jake!

Faculty Affiliates and Graduate Student Teacher Win Teaching Awards, Named Convocation Speaker

Patrick Jagoda (English, Cinema and Media Studies), Jonathan Lyon (History), and Ada Palmer (History) were awarded the Quantrell Award for undergraduate teaching. The Quantrell Award is believed to be the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching. Based on letters of nomination from students, the award is among the most treasured by faculty. Watch 2021 Quantrell Award winners Jagoda, Lyon, and Palmer discuss their experiences teaching undergraduate students at the University of Chicago on YouTube.

Rachel DeWoskin (English) and Jessica Kirzane (Germanic Studies) have been awarded the Glenn and Claire Swogger Award for Exemplary Classroom Teaching. Based upon nominations from University of Chicago undergraduates, the award recognizes outstanding teachers with College appointments who introduce students to habits of scholarly thinking, inquiry and engagement in the Core Curriculum, the College’s general education program.

Additional congratulations to Gregory Valdespino (History) on being named one of the five winners of the 2021 Wayne C. Booth Prize for Excellence in Teaching! The Booth Prize is awarded annually to University of Chicago graduate students for outstanding instruction of undergraduates, and recipients were selected on the basis of nominations from students in the College. This winter, Valdespino taught a Gender and Sexuality Studies Concepts course—“Home and Empire: From Little House on the Prairie to Refugee Camps”—on the global history of imperialism and domestic life since the 18th century. 

Finally, former director of the CSGS, Deborah Nelson (English), has been named the speaker for Convocation on June 9. Congratulations to all!

2021 Faculty Book Celebration

This year, we celebrated a fantastic array of recently published books by our faculty affiliates. Our books this year cover a wide selection of fields, including contemporary translations, Latin American and U.S. history, comics, art history, East Asian studies, media studies, literary criticism, and law. To showcase this immense and diverse talent, we launched a website that features all of the books alongside links to “extras,” such as op-eds, interviews, and podcasts with the authors. We encourage you to browse this well-stocked “bookshelf” and to engage with the authors about their work on social media until we can all meet again in person.

You can find the website at www.csgsfacultybooks.com

Please join us in congratulating our faculty affiliates for their accomplishments this year!


Did you know?

All UChicago college students have the opportunity to learn about the fundamental importance of gender and sexuality as analytic categories as part of their general education requirement teaching the introduction to the tools of inquiry used in every discipline. The CSGS offers several sections of a two-quarter civilization sequence taught by our faculty based in a variety of disciplines. Read more about Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations.

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