Five Colleges initiates Certificate Program in Queer and Sexuality Studies

Beginning in fall, 2012, Five College students will be able to enroll in the consortium’s Queer and Sexuality Studies Program. The new program examines connections between sexual and gender identities and the community in a variety of historical and political contexts by providing a formal course of study in critical race and transnational studies, the arts and humanities and the social and natural sciences.

The Five College consortium, made up of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, offers 15 certificate programs, which are similar to academic minors in areas of study that may not be available on any single campus. Lynn Morgan, professor of anthropology and an organizer of the Queer Studies program, describes these certificate programs as a “fabulous opportunity for students to take advantage of the myriad resources available in the Five Colleges.”

Morgan notes that there is a tremendous amount of student interest in the Queer Studies program and expects it to be popular. Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center at UMass, points out that although courses offered in the program’s topics have been well-received among students, the campuses until now had not offered a structured program in this area.

“We are fortunate to have assembled here in the Pioneer Valley a large concentration of people interested in queer and sexuality studies,” says Morgan. “The certificate program will build alliances among people and institutions, between academic disciplines and with friends and allies in the Pioneer Valley and beyond.”

The new certificate program is currently open to students at Smith, Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire colleges and is under consideration at UMass. Interested students can find information on the certificate requirements, course offerings, and faculty contacts on the Five College website under “Academic Programs.”

Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Five Colleges, Inc., is a nonprofit educational consortium created in 1965 to advance the extensive educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

For more information contact:
Kevin Kennedy