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From the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Vanderbilt University! We are proud to be a connecting point for faculty, students, and the broader community on vital matters pertaining to gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, and ability. Our faculty includes leading scholars who teach and research these vital areas that have an impact on every person and every society around the globe. Our course offerings, degree opportunities, and community investments make GSS an exciting and dynamic department that is both intellectually rigorous and connected to the urgent issues of contemporary culture.

We believe that the study of the intersecting, overlapping, and intertwined issues associated with gender and sexuality broadly understood enable students to approach problems and concerns (whether personal, communal, global or all three) with knowledge and critical skills to bring about positive change. Our undergraduate curriculum provides training in multiple ways to analyze complex issues such as systemic gender bias, chronic sexism, and entrenched racism. To that end, our courses enable students to understand the past that informs the present, to generate critical vocabularies to speak to that present, and to prepare for the future. Our graduate courses and certificate program enable students across the university to gain crucial theoretical tools in conversations across disciplines. Our lecture series and open programming bring students and faculty into conversation with a variety of communities and enable connections that continue beyond the classroom.

GSS draws on faculty resources that enable students to pursue vital questions around gender and sexuality in just about every area of inquiry at the university, and we are closely connected the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, the K.C. Potter Center, and the LGBT Policy Lab. GSS enables students to become critical thinkers and engaged citizens in exciting and supportive learning environments.

Questions? Please do not hesitate contact me if you want to know more. I am more than happy to talk about our course offerings, faculty, community activities, and the many opportunities GSS provides at Vanderbilt and beyond.  If you visit Vanderbilt, please stop by—you are always welcome.


Katherine Crawford

Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies and History
Chair, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Vanderbilt University, Box 351802B
Nashville, TN  37235
(615) 322-5080