Queer, Trans, and Sexuality Studies

The Five College Queer, Trans, and Sexuality Studies certificate provides undergraduate students an opportunity to pursue a course of study that critically examines the relationship between sexual and gender identities, experiences, cultures and communities in a wide range of historical and political contexts.

Working across disciplines, students take courses in a variety of fields. The certificate also leads students to investigate how non-normative and normative genders and sexualities intersect with other social categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, class and nationality.

The certificate is available to undergraduate students enrolled at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

On This Page

Faculty

Frederick Griffiths, Professor, Classics: ftgriffiths@amherst.edu

Jen Manion, Professor, History and Sexuality, Women's, and Gender Studies: jmanion@amherst.edu

I am a social and cultural U.S. historian who works on questions of difference and power, particularly in regards to race, gender, and sexuality. I believe in the power of understanding the past for social movements in the present. I am dedicated to making LGBTQ histories more widely taught and accessible. Prior to joining Amherst College, I taught history and ran the LGBTQ Center at Connecticut College for ten years.

Khary Polk, Associate Professor, Black Studies and Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies: kpolk@amherst.edu

I am a cultural historian of the African American diaspora, a specialist in twentieth century LGBTQ studies, and a scholar of race, gender, and sexuality in the U.S. military. Intersectional approaches to the study of difference have been central to my scholarly practice, and my work is influenced by and contributes to a number of interrelated fields, including critical race theory, performance studies, queer theory, queer of color critique, and black feminist thought. Understanding sexuality as not only a mode of expression but also a mode of regulation has been a key concern in my own work, both in my contributions of queer of color anthologies, my article on sexuality and black masculinity in Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X, as well as my forthcoming book on the history of America’s military conscription of gender, race, and sexual difference in the twentieth century. 

Steve Dillon, Associate Professor, Queer Studies: sdillon@hampshire.edu

Justin Crumbaugh, Associate Professor, Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies: jcrumbau@mtholyoke.edu

I am the author of Destination Dictatorship: The Spectacle of Spain’s Tourist Boom and the Reinvention of Difference (SUNY Press, 2009) and co-author of Spanish Fascist Writing (U of Toronto Press, forthcoming). My publications also include articles on the cultural formations of the Franco dictatorship in Spain, tourism, terrorism, and political victimhood. The courses I have taught at Mount Holyoke College have addressed subjects such as the politics of filmmaking in Latin America, the idea of "underdevelopment" as it has been questioned in the Global South, fascism, the films of Pedro Almodóvar, and the work of Michel Foucault. 

Corey Flanders, Assistant Professor, Psychology and Education: cflander@mtholyoke.edu

I am an applied social psychologist, and my research interests focus on issues of identity and health equity, particularly as they relate to the experiences of queer and trans people. I use qualitative and quantitative approaches together with community-based research principles to understand how structural, community and individual factors like stigma and social support may impact people’s health and other lived experiences.

Christian Gundermann, Associate Professor, Gender Studies: cgunderm@mtholyoke.edu

Ren-Yo Hwang, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies and Critical Social Thought: rhwang@mtholyoke.edu

I work and teach on transformative justice, community and state accountability, feminist-of-color anti-violence activism, carceral studies, and queer/trans* of color critique and praxis. I am largely interested in how we might trace and account for abolitionist and insurgent knowledge-making practices, processes and alternative "our"chives with tools such as participatory action research and collaborative ethnography. My latest research studies state technologies of control, carcerality, datafication and reform-based state partnerships of the late 20th century, and how this has shaped legal, cultural and social movement discourses and strategies concerning minority violence to hate crimes. 

Jacquelyne Luce, Senior Lecturer, Gender Studies: jluce@mtholyoke.edu

Jacquelyne Luce is a Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College. Her teaching and research explore the interconnected worlds of activism, research, and care that contribute to the development, use and governance of emerging medical technologies, especially within the fields of assisted reproduction and genetics/genomics. She is currently engaged in two core research projects. One project focuses on narratives of rare disease diagnoses, patient-initiated research, participatory governance of scientific and biomedical research and perceptions of experimental risk, with a focus on mitochondrial diseases. The other project is mapping the queer traces of diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen, through narrative interviews, archival research and public sphere representations chemically induced gender transgression. She is the author of Beyond Expectation: Lesbian/Bi/Queer Women and Assisted Conception (University of Toronto Press, 2010).

Jennifer Declue, Assistant Professor, Study of Women and Gender: jdeclue@smith.edu

Jina Kim, Assistant Professor, English Language & Literature and the Study of Women and Gender: jbkim@smith.edu

I am a literary scholar of feminist disability and feminist-of-color studies with a particular focus on contemporary writing by women and queers of color. My research and teaching interests emerge from the intersection of critical disability studies, feminist-of-color/ queer-of-color critique, and contemporary ethnic U.S. literatures. At Smith, I teach courses on gender and sexuality as they intersect with race and disability. 

Cameron Awkward-Rich, Assistant Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies: cawkwardrich@umass.edu

I am an interdisciplinary scholar who holds a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature; I work primarily in transgender studies, especially in its overlaps with disability studies and queer/feminist of color thought. At UMass, I teach courses in transgender history, theory, and literature; academic and creative writing; and affect studies.

Lee Badgett, Professor, Economics: lbadgett@econs.umass.edu

My current research focuses on poverty in the LGBT community, employment discrimination against LGBT people in the U.S. and China, and the cost of homophobia and transphobia in global economies. I have written several books and conducted groundbreaking work that debunked the myth of gay affluence and showed that same-sex marriage is good for the economy. My newest book, The Economic Case for LGBT Equality: Why Fair and Equal Treatment Benefits Us All, will be published in 2020 by Beacon Press. My work includes testifying as an expert witness before the U.S. Congress and in litigation, consulting with development agencies (World Bank and UNDP) and businesses, writing op-ed pieces, and speaking with journalists. I received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley and a BA in economics from the University of Chicago. 

John Bickford, Senior Lecturer II, Psychological and Brain Sciences: jbickfor@psych.umass.edu

I am a social psychologist who regularly teaches Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Personality Theory, and Psychology of the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experience. My past research involved the development of a multidimensional model and a corresponding self-report measure of sexual orientation as distinct from sexual identity. My other interests include social cognition, self-concept and identity, and social stigma. My teaching style is heavily influenced by my passions for social justice, self-acceptance, and empowerment of the marginalized.

Richard Chu, Five College Professor, History: rtchu@history.umass.edu

I have published various articles focusing on the history of the Chinese and Chinese mestizos in the Philippines and centering on issues of ethnicity, gender, and nationalism.  I am the author of Chinese and Chinese Mestizos of Manila: Family, Identity, and Culture 1860s–1930s (E.J. Brill, 2010; Anvil 2012). Currently, I am working on my next book project entitled “The “Chinaman” Question in the Philippines: War, Empire, and Race,” and am co-editing an anthology on LGBT Studies in the Philippines entitled “More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit: Insights into Sexual and Gender Diversity in Philippine Culture, History, and Politics.”

Stephen Miller, Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures: smiller@asianlan.umass.edu

I received my Ph.D. in Japanese Language and Literature from UCLA with a concentration on premodern Japanese poetry. I have lived in Japan for a total of 9 years. A few years after I started teaching course in premodern Japanese literature at the university, I realized that I wanted to add Japanese queer culture to my teaching repertoire for personal reasons, so I slowly started teaching various iterations of such a course at the University of Colorado, Brown University, Smith College, and finally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It is important that anyone taking a course on Japanese queer culture with me realize that I have not been trained in queer/sexuality studies—that I am basically self-taught. The course that I teach approaches the themes and trends of Japanese queer life from a literary and cultural (cinema, mostly) point of view.  

Svati Shah, Associate Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies: svatipshah@umass.edu

I am a cultural anthropologist who works on questions of sexuality, migration and historiography in South Asia. All of my research has used ethnography as a primary methodology. I have written on sex work and political economy, urbanization, and queer politics in India, and I am about to start on ecological politics in the north west of India. I teach courses on feminist theory, queer and trans politics in the Global South, and on race and caste. 

Angie Willey, Five College Associate Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies: awilley@wost.umass.edu

I am an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersections of queer feminist theory, critical relationality, and science studies. My teaching and research are shaped by my commitment to interrogating stories about what we are that naturalize capitalism and the forms of belonging on which it relies for the distribution of rights and resources. I teach classes on the history of sexuality and race; queer and postcolonial feminist science studies; queer feminist knowledge making about bodies and natures; and relationships and belonging.

Certificate Requirements

To obtain a Five College certificate in Queer, Trans, and Sexuality Studies, students must successfully complete a total of seven courses, with at least 21 credits. These courses should include: 

  • One intro/survey/topics/foundational course in queer/trans/sexuality studies
  • One intro/survey/topics/foundational course in critical race/transnational studies
  • Five courses that demonstrate study in more than one of the following areas: the Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering
  • At least one of these five courses is at the 300-level or above 

For courses to count toward the certificate, they must have:

  • Significant queer/trans/sexuality studies content through reading and/or writing (i.e., a student can do a term paper focused in queer/trans/sexuality studies to enable a course to count that otherwise would not have significant enough content)
  • Sexuality studies courses are expected to challenge the assumption that heterosexuality is natural and normal and should not be using “gender” as shorthand for “women” or for “women and men” (i.e., not treating gender as a binary)

Courses

Spring 2023 Queer, Trans, and Sexuality Studies Courses

Subject Course # Sect # Course Title Instructor(s) Institution Meeting Times
BLST 347 01 Race, Sex & US Military Khary Polk Amherst College TU/TH | 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM
AFCNA 341SE 01 Black Sexual Economies Sarah Stefana Smith Mount Holyoke College T 01:30PM-04:20PM
CST 349SE 01 Black Sexual Economies Sarah Stefana Smith Mount Holyoke College T 01:30PM-04:20PM
GNDST 204FT 01 Feminist/Queer/Trans Disabil. Niamh Timmons Mount Holyoke College MW 11:30AM-12:45PM
GNDST 204RV 01 Revolutionary Parenting Niamh Timmons Mount Holyoke College MW 03:15PM-04:30PM
GNDST 333SE 01 Black Sexual Economies Sarah Stefana Smith Mount Holyoke College T 01:30PM-04:20PM
WGSS 240 01 Intro/Transgender Studies Cameron Awkward-Rich UMass Amherst TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

Contact Us

Program Co-Chairs:

Ren-Yo Hwang, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Critical Social Thought, Mount Holyoke College

Jina Kim, Assistant Professor of Study of Women and Gender, Smith College

Khary PolkAssistant Professor of Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, Amherst College

Five College Staff Liaison:

April Shandor, Academic Programs Coordinator