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Stydy of Women and Gender

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Queer Studies

Queer studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field which goal is to analyze antinormative sexual identities, performances, discourses and representations in order ultimately to destabilize the notion of normative sexuality and gender. Queer studies comes out of a critique of identity politics. It rejects essentialized conceptualizations of sexuality, gender and sexual identity as innate or fixed. It represents a deconstruction of hegemonic conceptions of sexual and gender categories within straight, gay and lesbian communities.

In queer studies, the interpretation, enactment and destabilizing of sexual identities is linked to that of gender categories. The Study of Women and Gender makes explicit these links between theories of gender and sexuality.

In the queer studies concentration students are encouraged to consider the historical and theoretical foundations of queer studies as well as the potential consequences (epistemological and political) of a queer studies critique. This might include attention to the connections between gay and lesbian studies and queer studies, feminist studies and queer studies, and the implications of a queer studies critique for other disciplines.

Possible areas of focus include: the history of sexuality, social movements, politics, anthropology, literature, theater, art, film, science and sexology, public policy, law, ethnic studies, music, demography, geography, media analysis and philosophy.


The following is a list of courses that may count toward the concentration. The Smith College Course Catalog is always the definitive source for determining if course is offered this academic year.

Study of Women and Gender/Women's Studies

Afro-American Studies

Art History





Spanish & Portuguese