What does “queer” mean? Why should you ask about people’s pronouns? How might masculinity studies help explain school shootings? How can we bring gender, feminist, and queer studies into our everyday lives, including activism and movements for social change?
Puget Sound’s Gender and Queer Studies (GQS) Program explores interdisciplinary ideas and theories that apply across the university, from biology, psychology, and education to sociology, anthropology, and English. We study topics like masculinity, the history of feminisms, the pay gap, sexual violence, body image, asexuality, activism, and intersex and transgender issues. GQS classes build strong analytical, writing, and communication skills—all highly relevant to careers and engaged citizenship.
The student-run and student-edited publication Wetlands publishes student creative and non-fiction work about gender and sexuality. Students also organize their own “Quoffee and Quonversation” discussion group on queer and gender theory.
Graduates pursue careers in medicine, law, psychology, social work, marketing, civic engagement, and other fields. One alum, who manages a grassroots advocacy organization’s curriculum, writes, “GQS provided me with the concise language to articulate systemic oppression, which has been invaluable in my career, and strengthened my ability to research and apply various analytical frameworks to core responsibilities of my organization.”
This class brings students out of the classroom and into the local women’s prison education program. It combines academically rigorous content along with weekly participation in a college program at the local prison. Students describe the class as “life-changing” and “transformative.”
During Spring 2018, students in GQS 201 (An Introduction to Gender, Queer, and Feminist Studies) created interactive historical timelines of the movement and our campus program.