Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 9, Issue 1
fall 2018
WInter Reception
December 12, 2018
4:30-6:00pm, WLH Rm. 309
Compiled by Moe Gardner
& Ashley Lee-Desravines
Layout, Nick Appleby

Letter from the Chair of WGSS


from Margaret Homans

The WGSS Program at Yale is thriving in fall semester 2018, with new faculty, new courses, undergraduate majors hard at work taking classes and writing their senior essays, and a growing number of graduate students enrolling in the WGSS Graduate Certificate.

We are so grateful to the donors who have made possible many of our students’ summer research through the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies, the Bruce L. Cohen Fund Research Awards, and the Shana Alexander Research Fellowship in WGSS. And the support provided by FLAGS (the Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies) has enabled so much of the exciting research being conducted by faculty and graduate students...
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Constructing Coeducation in the American Academy

by Laura Wexler


In 1969, the first structurally co-ed classes arrived at Yale College.  In advance of the 2019-2020 university-wide celebration of 50 years of co-education, and 150 years at the Yale Graduate School of Art, I am teaching a seminar that examines the history and philosophy of coeducation in American colleges and universities, with a special focus on Yale.  How far have we really come in the co-education project?

In this course, we are exploring the many ways in which the meaning of the arrival of female undergraduates at Yale should be understood vis-à-vis other intersecting categories such as race, class, region, sexuality, occupation, and nation...
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Faculty Profile: Professor Ana Ramos-Zayas


A Homecoming of Sorts…
Never in a million years did I think I would be returning to Yale as faculty!  Now in my third semester of teaching, I still have flashbacks of my own undergraduate years as an Economics and Latin American Studies major; hanging out at La Casa Cultural until late in the evening; and participating in many mentoring activities at Wilbur Cross High School.  After graduating from Yale, I went on to work at the Department of the Treasury in Puerto Rico, doing econometric analyses and sensing my soul slip away in the process.  Almost on a whim, I applied to PhD programs in different disciplines (except for Economics).  My attraction to NYC let me to pursue Anthropology at Columbia, where I wrote my dissertation on anti-colonial nationalism, neighborhood activism, and educational initiatives in Puerto Rican Chicago...
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Course Review: Race, Religion, and Sex in the Inquisition

by Madeline Sachs


Professor De Souza’s, “Race, Religion, and Sex in the Inquisition,” is not simply a course about Medieval Spain. Its content stretches across Europe and into the colonial Americas, from the 15th century to the present. In addition to in-depth historical background built on firsthand trial transcripts, the course covers broad questions that apply to multiple disciplines. For example, given what we know about religious and cultural attitudes at the time, was the Inquisition just? Are religion and sexuality essential to human identity, or social constructs? Should countries with repressive histories offer reparations to the descendants of persecuted groups? ...
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Course Review: Neoliberalism and Sexuality

by Isaac Spanjer


To teach a first-year seminar covering neoliberalism and sexuality in tandem is ambitious. Professor Savci, Evren to her students, not only guides first years on an engaging exploration of critical thought, she does so in a way that sets a remarkably high standard for the quality of teaching students can expect as undergraduates at Yale.

The curriculum of WGSS 030 comprises three segments. First, students are introduced to concepts that reappear throughout the course: neoliberalism, sexuality as a field of power, and modernity’s production of subjects...
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Roxane Gay Named as a Presidential Visiting Fellow in Spring 2019


Prominent writer Roxane Gay has been selected as a Presidential Visiting Fellow for the spring term and will join Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She is a distinguished journalist and author on feminism, race, gender, and their intersections, having authored the books: AyitiAn Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She will teach a spring semester undergraduate course on Writing Trauma and appear at two events open to the community on Feb 5 and Mar 5.


Portrait of Otelia Cromwell

WGSS is proud to host a newly commissioned portrait of Otelia Cromwell in room 309 of W.L. Harkness.


Otelia Cromwell (1874-1972) was born and raised in Washington, D.C. After graduating from high school, Otelia taught in the D.C. public schools while taking college courses at Howard University. In 1897 she transferred to Smith College. She graduated with a B.A. in 1900, becoming the College’s first African American graduate. In 1910, she earned her M.A. in English from Columbia University. In 1926, Otelia Cromwell became the first African American woman to earn a Yale Ph.D., and the fourth African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in this country. Her dissertation, Thomas Heywood, Dramatist: A Study in Elizabethan Drama of Everyday Life, was published by the Yale University Press in 1928...
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James R. Brudner '83 Memorial Prize and Lecture


LGBT Studies is pleased to announce that Bill T. Jones has been awarded the 2018-19 James Brudner Memorial Prize in LGBT Studies. Jones, a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, will deliver the Brudner Prize lecture at Yale on Tuesday, February 19th at 4:30 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center. Bill T. Jones has received major honors ranging from the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Visibility Award, 2013 National Medal of Arts to a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award and Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. Mr. Jones was honored with the 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, recognized as Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2010, inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, the musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Jones. He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award. 


Kinship in Times of Suspicious Citizenship

WGSS Lecture Series, 2018–2019


This lecture series explores the relationship between political life and kinship. The series attends to processes and practices of kinning in relation to politics and governance, bureaucracy and neoliberalism, borders, borderlands, and the production of internal and external “enemies,” as well as for thinking through genders and sexualities. Presenters engage recurring questions about meanings and representations of belonging, essentially, what kinship means to people, while also bringing these very questions into meaningful conversation with the practices through which political, juridical, and economic formations—from the nation-state to corporate and media networks—have become invested in categorizing and regulating relations of kinship and reproduction.  In considering how intimacy is negotiated with and against institutional investments, the lectures probe how more and more practices and idioms of citizenship are being rendered suspect.


WGSS Colloquium, Fall 2018

by Faye Wang

Click to view detail

We began the WGSS working group series this semester with Professor Inderpal Grewal, who shared her work on lynching, communal violence, and the image in contemporary India. Students discussed the paper’s novel engagement with the status of violence as well as its new knowledge and image circuits contemporary technologies make possible. Our second working group session convened with Professor Sunny Xiang’s paper discussing “Genres of Global China. Professor Xiang’s paper notes that Chinese racialization occurs as genre rather than genealogy, a shift that is made through the 20th and 21st centuries. We look forward to our last working group event, still to come, with new WGSS faculty member Evren Savci. These sessions are valuable spaces where students and faculties can share ideas and encounter works in process...
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Call for Proposals
Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in LGBT Studies - Queer Studies and Religion

2019 Doctoral Dissertation Workshop with Kathryn Lofton and Linn Tonstad
May 13-17, 2019 at Yale University


Yale LGBT Studies is pleased to announce that the Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in Lesbian Studies at Yale University is welcoming applications for a biennial dissertation-writing workshop for a cohort of doctoral fellows. The 2019 Yale Pettit Doctoral Fellowship Workshop will take place May 13-17, 2019 in New Haven, CT and will focus on scholarship at the intersection of queer studies, LGBT studies, and religious studies.

Fellows will convene for a three-day intensive workshop at Yale University where they will present and engage with each other’s work. They will meet with and receive feedback from the workshop’s two faculty mentors, Professors Kathryn Lofton and Linn Tonstad...
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