Exterior at night

The Center at night

Side Entrance

The entrance of the CSGS

Heather Love audience

The audience listens as Lauren Berlant introduces Heather Love in 2014

Class discussion

Students participate in a classroom discussion at the Center

Héctor Carrillo

Héctor Carrillo talks with students after his book talk in 2018

Joan Scott

Joan Scott speaking at the Center in 2017


Students listen to panelists present in 2017

Community room

The Community Room at 5733 S University

center door

Center entrance

5733 exterior

The exterior of 5733 S University

Bhanu Kapil

Poet Bhanu Kapil at the Center in 2016

Annual Lectures

The OUTstanding Speaker Series

The OUTstanding Speakers Series is an annual distinguished lecture series and student recognition ceremony, established and endowed by UChicago Pride Alumni (formerly the UChicago LGBT Alumni Network) in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS). The series brings to campus scholars, professionals, and public figures who have made significant contributions to the LGBTQ community. Each year, the distinguished guest will deliver a public lecture and a seminar with UChicago students. Additionally, a student will be selected each year to receive the UChicago LGBTQ+ Community Engagement Award, to honor exceptional contributions that advance and support the interests of the LGBTQ+ community. At the public lecture, the awardee will speak about the significance of their work and introduce the invited distinguished speaker. The inaugural event was held in Fall 2022.

Past lectures:

Iris Marion Young Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Each year, CSGS hosts the Iris Marion Young Distinguished Faculty Lecture featuring University of Chicago faculty doing innovative interdisciplinary work. On Thursday, January 25 at 5:00pm, Kimberly Kay Hoang, Professor of Sociology and the College and the Director of Global Studies at the University of Chicago, delivered the 2024 lecture, “Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets”: 

In 2015, the anonymous leak of the Panama Papers brought to light millions of financial and legal documents exposing how the superrich hide their money using complex webs of offshore vehicles. Spiderweb Capitalism takes you inside this shadow economy, uncovering the mechanics behind the invisible, mundane networks of lawyers, accountants, company secretaries, and fixers who facilitate the illicit movement of wealth across borders and around the globe. Drawing on ethnography and hundreds of in-depth interviews with private wealth managers, fund managers, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, bankers, auditors, and other financial professionals this lecture traces the flow of capital from offshore funds in places like the Cayman Islands, Samoa, and Panama to special-purpose vehicles and holding companies in Singapore and Hong Kong, and how it finds its way into risky markets onshore in Vietnam and Myanmar. Based on the book published in 2022, this lecture reveals the strategies behind spiderweb capitalism and examines the moral dilemmas of making money in legal, financial, and political gray zones. Spiderweb Capitalism sheds critical light on how global elites capitalize on risky frontier markets and deepens our understanding of the paradoxical ways in which global economic growth is sustained through states where the line separating the legal from the corrupt is not always clear.

As part of its tenth anniversary celebration in 2006, the Center renamed this annual lecture to honor Iris Marion Young. Young was a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and was affiliated with the Center and the Human Rights program. She was a widely known and well-respected contemporary political and feminist social theorist, concerned with normative analysis of public policy. Learn more about Iris Marion Young.

Past speakers include: Waldo E. Johnson, Jr. (Professor, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice), Rochona Majumdar (South Asian Languages and Civilizations and Cinema and Media Studies), Martha Feldman (Music), Jennifer Wild (Cinema and Media Studies and Romance Languages and Literatures), Linda Zerilli (Political Science), Daisy Delogu (Romance Languages & Literatures), Martha Nussbaum (Law/Philosophy), Jennifer Cole (Comparative Human Development), Deborah Nelson (English), Susan Gal (Anthropology), Leora Auslander (History), Cathy J. Cohen (Political Science), Mary Anne Case (Law), Lauren Berlant (English), Christine Stansell (History), Martha McClintock (Psychology/Comparative Human Development), Jean Comaroff (Anthropology), Amy Hollywood (Divinity), George Chauncey (History), Wendy Doniger (Divinity), Jacqueline Bhabha (Human Rights), and Saba Mahmood (Anthropology).

Lauren Berlant Memorial Lecture

To honor Prof. Lauren Berlant’s intellectual legacy, the Department of English and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality propose a joint annual lecture series to start in Spring 2023. This annual lecture takes its form and inspiration from the Worlding, Writing project that Lauren ran for several years through 3CT and CSGS. The purpose of this project was, in Lauren’s words, “to explore new modes of writing and reading - not in an effort to affirm expertise but to imagine productive idioms for critical engagement and to assemble novel ways of attending to socio-political phenomena.” The invited speaker will be someone whose work draws on Lauren’s intellectual legacy, and/or who is pushing the boundaries of writing and reading in ways that resonate with the Worlding, Writing project. The speaker can be an academic, an artist, or an activist.

Kathleen (Katie) Stewart (Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin) will deliver the 2024 Lauren Berlant Memorial Lecture. Originally scheduled for On Thursday, April 18, this talk has been postponed until Fall 2024. A title and calendar listing will be available soon.

Past lectures:

Distinguished Alumnae/i Lectures

Each Spring, the CSGS welcomes a UChicago alumnae/i working in the field of gender and sexuality back to present their work.

On Wednesday, May 1 at 4:30pm, TreaAndrea M. Russworm (PhD, English, 2008; Professor of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California) will deliver the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Lecture, “Utopian Funk: What Video Games Can Teach Us About Failed Utopias and Black Arts:”

Where is utopia in games? While games are now considered to be works of art, video games have also long been considered escapist fantasies—convenient distractions, even. If such accusations could possibly be true, where do we go when we escape in the art worlds of contemporary games? When we retreat to slay dragons and zombies, conquer as soldiers of war, best our friends in games of skill and strategy, do we ever find ourselves in the classically theorized worlds that comprise the “good no places” of utopia? This lecture embarks on an earnest—and urgent—search to locate utopia in games while taking a high concept detour through the Black arts traditions of funk music, Blaxploitation film, and speculative fiction. Put another way, what can Black arts teach us about games, play, and our ever-elusive visions of utopia? Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage as we explore digital dreams, sights, and soundscapes together.

Past lectures: