About the Department
A dynamic interdisciplinary program, Gender and Sexuality Studies at USC offers its majors, minors and graduate certificate students a heady intellectual environment, a sense of community, and unparalleled personalized attention. Our curriculum explores the myriad ways gender and sexuality impact politics, intimate life, culture, the workplace, athletics, technology, health, science, and in the very production of knowledge itself. Our courses emphasize that gender is not a freestanding category, but rather one that takes shape through its intersection with other relations of power, including sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, and religion.
GSS encourages and fosters “real world” experience beyond the classroom through our internship program, open only to majors. Through our community internship programs, students gain course credit for valuable gender-related work experience at a range of organizations, including women’s health clinics, the world’s largest international LGBT archive, Hollywood studios and other sectors in the creative industry, as well as in non-profit and social justice organizations.
Drawn from across the university, our faculty consists of leaders in their fields of specialization, including popular and public culture, LGBTQ studies, sports and gender, reproductive rights, class and social movements, politics and government, and new medical technologies.
Located in the heart of Los Angeles, our university and department occupy a predominantly Black and brown neighborhood. Our department remains committed to both maintaining and forging deep connections and collaborations with our surrounding community, through mutual care and mutual aid.
By necessity, gender and sexuality studies departments, so hard-won as our own and others have been across the world, were built not only to provide an institutional home for research centering women, people of color and sexual minorities, but also to build worlds: to provide spaces that would give our students and communities respite and refuge from gendered, racialized and sexualized oppression. This is something our department has provided for our students and surrounding community at USC.
We are tremendously proud of our alumni who continue the work of building worlds in a range of fields including communications and media, the arts and education, business and non-profit organizations, politics, social justice and government, as well as in the law, health, and athletics. And we welcome any and all to our community as we work together to imagine a more just and equitable world.
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Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary program offering a major and a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies and additional minors in LGBTQ Studies and Gender and Social Justice.
For more than twenty years, graduate students from across the disciplines at USC have enriched their studies and broadened their expertise by training in Gender and Sexuality Studies. A survey of our certificate alumnae/i shows that a Gender and Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate can help you find a job in or out of academe.
Affiliates & Resources
The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies is closely affiliated with the Center for Feminist Research and the Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture, both of which offer programming and opportunities for students and faculty at USC working in the areas of gender and sexuality.
GSS also offers the Tedesco Scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students in our programs and multiple fellowship opportunities open to students across the University.
Our Core Faculty comes from over 10 different departments and schools across the University. Get to know our faculty today!
Alice Echols is Barbra Streisand Professor of Contemporary Gender Studies and Professor of History and Gender and Sexuality Studies here at USC. Not only a professor, while getting her MA and PhD from the University of Michigan history department, she also began her career as a disco DJ. During a victory party at a local gay bar, celebrating the survival of the women’s studies program, her peers convinced her to try DJing, when the DJ at the bar was a letdown. Her research both extends these interests, as her books include Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture and Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin. Her research additionally takes up radical feminism in its different forms, from the social movements of the American 60s to the alarming rise of trans exclusionary feminism in the UK.
Jane Junn is the University of Southern California Associates Chair in Social Sciences, and a professor of political science and gender studies here at USC. Prof. Junn has edited and authored five books, including her first book, Education and Democratic Citizenship in America, coauthored with Norman H. Nie and Kenneth Stehlik-Barry. Some of her other books include Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities and The Politics of Belonging: Race, Public Opinion, and Immigration. Before her time at USC, she was a member of the political science faculty at Rutgers University, having previously earned her PhD and MA from the University of Chicago in political science and her BA from the University of Michican. Prof. Junn has held leadership postions at many academic publications and her work has been cited in news outlets like The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Globe and Mail.