Five College Certificate in Queer and Sexuality Studies

Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wendy Laura Blecher: Same-Sex Intimacies in an Early Modern African Text about an Ethiopian Female Saint, Gädlä Wälättä P̣eṭros (1672)

FEBRUARY 19, 2015 7:30PM

The seventeenth-century Ethiopian book The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros (Gadla Walatta Petros) features a life-long partnership between two women and the depiction of same-sex sexuality among nuns. The earliest known book-length biography about the life of an African woman, written in 1672 in the Gaez language, Gadla Walatta petros is an extraordinary accound of earlly modern Afrina women's lives - full of vivid dialogue, heartbreak, and triumph.

WENDY LAURA BELCHER (Mount Holyoke College class of  1984) is associate professor of African literature in Princeton University’s Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies. She has been studying African literature for over two decades and is now working to bring attention to early African literature through her research and translation. She also studies how African thought has informed a global traffic of invention, recently publishing Abyssinia’s Samuel Johnson: Ethiopian Thought in the Making of an English Author (Oxford, 2012) and is finalizing the translation of The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Translation of a Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an African Woman with Michael Kleiner, which has the earliest known depictions in African literature of women’s life-long partnerships and female same-sex desire.

February 26 & 27

The Politics of Migration: Gender, Sexuality, and Citizenship

Hadley Room (10th Floor) & Marriott Room (11th Floor)
UMass Amherst Campus Center

Please join the Umass Amherst Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department for its Spring 2015 conference. The keynote speakers will be Chandan Reddy, University of Washington Seattle, and Eithne Luibheid, University of Arizona. This event is free and open to the public.  Please register online by February 18th.  For questions or further details, please e-mail

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Five College LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Reception
Amherst College Alumni House, 5:30-7:30PM

Past Events

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Panel on Trans*identity at All Women's Colleges

Gamble auditorium, Mount holyoke college

What does it mean to have an all women's college as the gender binary becomes
less viable for more and more people? How can we mobilize the agency of trans
students and faculty as well as strive to create safe, trans-inclusive academic and
community settings? Join us for a panel coordinated by the Coalition for Gender
Awareness that will include trans-identified faculty, students and alumni as well as
Mount Holyoke College President Lynn Pasquerella. The goal of the panel is to offer
a platform for conversation about gender diversity and inclusion at all women's
institutions. We hope to further the education of faculty and staff members and students as well as offer an opportunity for trans* community members to speak about their experiences within women's institutions. Please come and join in this important and timely dialogue!

Panelists include: Lynn Pasquerella, President of Mount Holyoke College; Genny
Beemyn, Director of the Stonewall Center at UMass; Mitch Boucher,
UMass Professor; Isaiah Bartlett, Mount Holyoke alumnus; and two Five College

Organized by the Coalition for Gender Awareness. Sponsored by the Office of
Diversity & Inclusion.

Thursday, April 18th, 2013 - 4:00pm

Queers and Class: Toward a Cultural Politics of Love and Solidarity

franklin patterson hall - main lecture hall, hampshire college

We are pleased to announce our Sixth Annual Eric N. Schocket Memorial Lecture on Class and Culture:

Professor Lisa Henderson
Department of Communication
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Lisa Henderson is Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her degree in Communication and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, and taught at Penn State before coming to Massachusetts. From 2005-2009, she was director of CISA, the Five College Center for Crossroads in the Study of the Americas, and from 2009-13 she chaired UMass’ Department of Communication. She is a radio producer by early training, a founding member of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Interest Group of the International Communication Association, and the 2011 recipient of the Roy F. Aarons Award for outstanding contribution to GLBT education and research from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Henderson’s research interests include cultural production, sexual representation, feminist media studies, and cultural studies of social class, with essays in a number of collections and such journals as Signs, Journal of Communication, GLQ, Feminist Media Studies, and Screen. Her new book, Love and Money: Queers, Class and Cultural Production (2013) is also available from NYU Press.

Eric Schocket taught American literature at Hampshire College from 1996 until his death in 2006. A much-admired teacher and colleague, his courses inspired a decade of students. Nationally, he was a leading figure in working-class studies. His writings on figures like Herman Melville, Rebecca Harding Davis, William Dean Howells, and Langston Hughes engaged the important relationship between class and culture. His book, Vanishing Moments: Class and American Literature, was published in 2006.

For more information, please contact Linda McDaniel (, Assistant to the Dean in the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.