Looking to the Future: 2018 onward….

We are in the midst of a renewed expansion of the Program and its faculty.  Talented, active, and (dare we say) visionary scholars and teachers have always been at the heart of our successes.  To meet our current goals we continue to attract and retain distinguished senior and junior colleagues, some of whose primary appointments would be within our Program.

From the beginning, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies has set high standards in research, teaching, and advocacy, building on new directions taken in our academic fields of study and pursuing research committed to seeking answers to social, cultural and political questions in national, international, and transnational frameworks.  With over 40 affiliated faculty members, prominent in many fields of study, we are attracting growing numbers of active, talented majors and graduate qualification students. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies enjoys interdisciplinary and intra-institutional collaborations with multiple research units and programs.

Our interdisciplinary constellation deploys gender, sexuality, transnational and intersectional analysis to examine identities and institutions, nations and economies, cultures and political systems—to explain crucial aspects of our everyday lives on both intimate and global scales.  Increasingly, experts in many fields and from many institutional locations acknowledge the power of research in gender and sexuality to address concerns ranging from global poverty, economic inequality, war and imperialism to the problems of racial and sexual violence in the US.  Our program scope is thus practical as well as historical and theoretical.  Seeking to combine the three, we offer students invaluable perspectives on societies and cultures and in world. At the faculty, graduate, and undergraduate levels, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies fosters research that contributes solutions to the pressing challenges of the day.  We are invested in the project of building liberal arts for the new century, collaborating with Yale to advance its commitments to diversity and to internationalization.

Once an expanded faculty attains critical mass, we expect to investigate the possibility of departmental status and the formation of a PhD program.  Judging by the number of inquiries that come to us from all over the world, a rigorous PhD program in this field at Yale will attract outstanding students and serve an important role by shaping current research.  Closer affiliation with Yale’s professional schools is another interesting direction opening up for us and one in which graduate students in the professional schools are deeply invested. Content related directly to the intellectual mission of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies has now become an important part of training professionals in fields as diverse as law, divinity, business, medicine and public health, government and international policy.

Finally, we hope to build on the generosity of many contributors to our Program(s) in years past—and especially to build endowment. Our LGBT endowments support teaching and research within Yale and for visitors who come to the Beinecke Library to use our stellar collections on LGBTQ issues. These funds allow us to support, by competitive application, especially the kinds of innovative undergraduate, graduate and faculty research on gender and sexuality – especially interdisciplinary approaches – for which resources are otherwise scarce.

We have ambitious goals—-but we look back on an ambitious past and are inspired anew.  The University has offered unprecedented support in recent years: reiterating its commitment to an outstanding program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, this administration has made resources for growth available to us.  Generous supporters have stepped forward, though we need more support for our growing community of teachers and researchers.  We are united in working toward a long-term plan of teaching and research that enhances and supports diversity and global scholarship, initiatives that Yale has envisioned for its future growth.