Gender and Sexuality Studies: New program name reflects ‘deepening commitments to our students’
A longtime academic program at Saint Michael’s College has a new name to better reflect current teaching in the program.
The Gender Studies Program will now be known as the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. The program will be overseen by long-time Saint Michael’s Professor of Political Science and International Relations, M.J. Bosia. Bosia introduced the first course at Saint Michael’s to have LGBTQIA+ in the title, and they have become a recognized scholar in the field of LGBTQIA+ politics through their research in Uganda, Egypt and France.
The program’s name change was approved in September 2023 by the Dean of the Faculty, the Vice Presidents for Enrollment and Marketing and of Academic Affairs, and the Faculty Committee on Education and Curricular Policy.
“Renaming our program to Gender and Sexuality Studies reflects our deepening commitments to our students, and their desire to study the complexities of gender and sexuality as critical organizing tools in our collective social worlds,” said Sociology Professor Inaash Islam, a member of the program’s Advisory Committee.
English Professor Maura D’Amore, the previous director of the Gender Studies Program, said the name change was an important step in doing “everything we can to name and claim our program identity.” D’Amore also serves on the Advisory Committee.
“The wonderful reality is that our college is home to many LGBTQIA+ students, and many more who are deeply interested in issues related to gender and sexuality,” D’Amore said. She added, “It is (and has been, historically) a strength of our institution, and in our current climate, it is arguably more important than ever.”
The program is home to students interested in gender, women, feminist theory, as well as LGBTQIA+ and queer experiences and studies. Students can take courses that focus on gender and sexuality, including some newer courses that explore topics of queer literature and cinema and LGBTQIA+ politics. Bosia – who serves as the faculty advisor to the College’s LGBTQIA+ organization Common Ground – also plans to introduce a new course called “Queer Theories” in the spring semester. Additionally, the program works with student organizations including Common Ground and the Feminist Club.
“I see Saint Michael’s College as an institution that strives to value, support, and celebrate ALL of our students,” said Psychology Professor Sarah Nosek, another Advisory Committee member. “My goal is that the Gender and Sexuality Studies program serves to demonstrate our commitment as a community to being, and doing, better for them.”
Bosia will work with the Advisory Committee of faculty members to develop plans to build on program success, including:
- Recommending course sequences that guide student learning and career preparation.
- Developing new courses.
- Reaching out to students in other academic disciplines, such as STEM and Business.
- Working with alumni, faculty and staff to recount and honor the history of the program and of women and the LGBTQIA+ community on campus.
In addition to Islam, D’Amore and Nosek, the Advisory Committee includes Professor Crystal L’Hote, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Ethics; Sociology Professor Candas Pinar; and Political Science and International Relations Professor Shefali Misra.
More information about the Gender and Sexuality Studies program can be found here.>>