Professor Henking and Student

Students in LGBT Studies explore the cultural and historical construction of sex, sexuality and gender in cross-cultural contexts. The program examines the lives of sexual and gender minorities throughout history, as well as the relation of gender and sexuality to the social body more generally. Among its primary concerns are the study of the embodiment, cultures, political formations, and creative expressions of queer and transgender people. It also fosters critical analysis of the formation of sexual and gender identities, and the role of sexuality and gender across human time and space. LGBT Studies is therefore not only for, by, or about LGBT people, but seeks to provide an analysis of sex and gender as they function in relation to human history and its cultural diversity.

LGBT Studies draws on methodologies from a range of fields in the humanities and social sciences, including history, anthropology, sociology, public policy, rhetoric, literary studies, religious studies, cultural studies and art history. Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses that theorize practices and concepts of sex, sexuality and gender within an intersectional framework.

A major or minor in LGBT Studies helps prepare students for careers in:

Psychology and Counseling
Social Work
Health and Helping Professions
Media and Fine Arts
Activism and Organizing


If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in LGBT Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Click for the Course Catalogue


Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

disciplinary, 10 courses

Two core courses; two perspective courses; five additional courses selected either from the core group or the electives; and a capstone course, which can only be undertaken after completing at least eight courses toward the major. The capstone course should involve close work with a faculty adviser to create an internship, independent study, or Honors project that serves to integrate material from throughout the major. The courses in a major program must include at least one course from each division and at least three courses in one division.

Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

interdisciplinary, 10 courses

All of the requirements for the disciplinary major, but, included within the 10 courses, there must be work from at least two departments and at least three courses in each of two or more divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and fine and performing arts).

Requirements for the Minor

disciplinary, 5 courses

Two core courses; one perspective course; and two additional courses selected from either the core group or the electives.

Requirements for the Minor

interdisciplinary, 5 courses

All of the requirements for the disciplinary minor, but the five courses of the minor must include courses in at least two departments and at least two courses in each of two divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and fine and performing arts).


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with an understanding of LGBT Studies.

Below, you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making LGBT Studies a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

ENG 281 Literature of Sexual Minorities


Hear the voices of those who have been silenced as you read the literature of sexual minorities seeking to articulate an identity in a society that discriminates against the gay and lesbian communities. You'll read the novels that played a pivotal role in the establishment of the movements of sexual minorities today, while considering what lies in the future. Next, delve into the world of theatre in LTAM 322 Theatre and Social Change in Latin America, and see how sexual minorities use theatre to bring about social change in Latin America.

LGBT 201 Transgender identities and Politics


This course challenges dominant assumptions about gender and sexual identities internal to both U.S. culture as well as feminist and LGB discourses. Explore transgender lives through the framework of feminist, queer, anti-racist, and social justice perspectives, and learn how transgender experiences intersect with ideas about sexuality, race, class, law, and kinship. You’ll learn about transgender history and identity, as well as how to be an effective ally on transgender issues.

AMST 310 Sexual Minorities in America


Experience the fervor of the political activism generated by the AIDS crisis and learn about the organizations that are currently working to establish the rights of lesbian and gay Americans. You'll also discuss the ever-changing concepts and definitions of lesbian and gay identity - and what that means today. Explore gender identity further by taking BIDS 245 Men and Masculinity, and learn why masculinity is problematic - for both men and women.




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Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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