News & Events


Tips for reading small font on a non-touchscreen: 1) right-click the image, 2) select open in browser or similar option OR download to your desktop and open, 3) zoom in to read.


 Current Departmental COVID-19 information can be found here.





Center for Feminist Research, Spring 2023 Speaker Series:


Thursday, February 9th
2:30 pm- 4:30 pm, TCC 227


Dr. Beans Velocci
“Impossible to Distinguish”: A Trans History of Zoology, Race, and Sexual Dimorphism


Abstract: In the late nineteenth century, scientists turned to the animal world to find the truth about sex. What they found was an unruly diversity, and countless variations that didn’t map on to a male and female binary. Their efforts to turn this multitude of bodily forms into justification for the naturalness of both racial and gendered hierarchies ultimately created more conflict than consensus, and produced two models of sex whose contradictions would continue to trouble the field of sex research for over a century: one in which scientists could shore up their cultural authority by identifying the “true” male or female sex of animal specimens, and one that framed hermaphroditism in “lower” organisms as more common than separate sexes. The former articulated stark differences between white women and men, while the latter supported theories of racial hierarchy based on degrees of sexual dimorphism. These parallel understandings of sex—one in which sex was limitlessly knowable in the context of a strict binary that allowed nothing outside of it, and one in which exceptions to that binary were constant and threatening—remained in tension throughout the period under study. This talk reexamines the role of the animal in development of a scientific understanding of sex itself, and questions the success of efforts to construct a binary of male and female, and of human and animal, even as sex persisted as a privileged site of sorting bodies.


Thursday, March 30th
2:00 pm- 4:00 pm, DML 240


Dr. Emily Owens
"How She Begot the Violence": Making Violence Ordinary in the Antebellum Atlantic


Abstract: This talk takes stock of the legal and ideological underpinnings of violence against enslaved women. Here, I unpack the legal doctrine of rape law to elaborate what Harrriet Jacobs knew almost two hundred years ago, that is, that “no shadow of law” existed to protect black women from “from insult, from violence, or even from death…inflicted by fiends who bear the shape of men.” In addition to analyzing the legal structure that invited sexual contact with black women under any circumstance, I return to Jacobs to think through the cultural value of consent. I show that the legal impossibility of rape and the slaveholders’ insistence on black women’s utterance of consent together unlock the puzzle of (slaveholding) sexual violence: when sex is articulated as a transaction, women become imagined as culpable for the harm done to them.


Thursday, April 6th
2:00 pm- 4:00 pm, TCC 351/352


Dr. Ren-yo Hwang
Trans of Color Entrapments & Carceral Coalitions


Abstract: An introduction to my book project, this talk will discuss how coalitional, minoritarian-led, feminist and civil rights-based strategies of the 1980s-1990s, and under the banner of antiviolence, became so dutifully tracked into a vision of winnable goals by way of law and order, and thus the endless multiplications of anti-Black criminalization and punishment that has followed-- what I describe largely as carceral coalitions. This concept narrates how racial liberalism or liberal law-and-order strategies of coalitional organizing have only stealthily strong-armed select representatives (a rainbow coalition of model minoritized subjects) from their respective communities to both form and reform minoritized political identities within the spaces and logics of carcerality. Focusing on the question of how mainstream trans politics have become influenced by pro-carceral practices, the talk will consider what kinds of death-wielding traps are promised by way of a one-dimensional trans politics where “trans'' has become reduced to all things considered gender-responsive/affirming/inclusive--- that is, affirmational and inclusive into pre-existing carceral logics and institutions. In order to demonstrate how trans-of-color antiviolence politics continues to be trapped within the haunting legacies of the past, this talk will turn to Los Angeles' Men's Central Jail gay and transgender jailing unit K6G (est. 1985) as one distinctive example in which the reformation of carceral practices and infrastructure remains reliant on the exacerbation of anti-trans and anti-queer violence



"Losing Ground @ 40" is a two-day, multi-site program that brings together luminary Black women filmmakers, scholars, and curators to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Kathleen Collins' path breaking film, introduce new audiences to Collins' innovative practice, and convene those long inspired by it.

Speakers include Julie Dash, Alex Hack, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Zeinabu irene Davis, Philana Payton, Samantha Sheppard, L.H. Stallings, Jacqueline Stewart, and AE Stevenson.

This event weekend takes place at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and California African American Museum on January 27th and 28th, 2023 respectively.

For more information, check out



"Headcovers have always been political in Iran – for women on all sides."


Read Professor Eliz Sanasarian's (USC Political Science and Gender & Sexuality Studies) article in The Conversation, "Headcovers have always been political in Iran – for women on all sides," here.



2022 Streisand Lecture

with Aishah Shahidah Simmons

Monday, October 17, 4pm - 6pm, TCC 450

RSVP here



The Politics of Hormones

A CFR symposium

Thursday, September 29, 9:30am - 5:30pm

Details and registration here.




Jules Gill-Peterson

September 19, 20, & 23

Details and RSVP here.



GSS Welcome Back and Summer Book Club Event

with Chris Belcher and Melissa Chadburn

Thursday, September 8, 4pm, TCC 224

RSVP here.



GSS Summer Book Club Event

Pretty Baby: A Memoir

A conversation with Chris Belcher 

Thursday, August 4, 7pm

Join Zoom here.



GSS Summer Book Club Event

A Tiny Upward Shove

A conversation with Melissa Chadburn 

Thursday, June 30, 7pm

Join Zoom here.



Spring 2022 CFR Events

"Thinking with Andaiye’s The Point is to Change the World: Feminism as Praxis"

with Bedour Alagraa, Shanté Paradigm Smalls, Kwame Edwin Otu, K’eguro Macharia, Carole Boyce Davies, and Alissa Trotz

Thursday, Apr. 14, 11am - 1pm PT

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latinx & Latin American Studies

Zoom registration here.

Andaiye is a name synonymous with the fight for transformative change in Guyana. She was a champion for women, the working class, the chronically ill, and sexual and gender dissidents. While a lecturer at Queens College in New York City, between 1972- 1977, she became active in what would be known as civil rights, black power, anti-apartheid, and Latin American anti-dictatorial movements. These experiences strengthened and diversified her feminist and anti-imperialist commitments, further inspired by revolutions in Nicaragua, Iran, and centrally Grenada. During the 1980’s, she was a guiding force in the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research (CAFRA) and co-founded Red Thread Women’s organization in Guyana, emerging as a key thinker of the international Wages for Housework perspective which evolved into the Global Women’s Strike. The incredible range of her critical thought can be gleaned from her posthumously published collection of writing, The Point is to Change the World, edited by Alissa Trotz. The title comes from Karl Marx’s eleventh and final thesis on Feuerbach (1845): “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” This tremendous collection further cements her place alongside pivotal Caribbean thinkers, such as Elsa Goveia, Aimé Césaire, Édouard Glissant, C.L.R. James, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, Suzanne Césaire, George Lamming, Stuart Hall, and Walter Rodney, her comrade in the Working People’s Alliance. Please join Kwame Edwin Otu (University of Virginia), K’eguro Macharia (Independent Scholar), Bedour Alagraa (University of Texas), Carole Boyce Davies (Cornell University), Alissa Trotz (University of Toronto), and Shanté Paradigm Smalls (St. John’s University) for a discussion of The Point is to Change the World



Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Public Culture event: "Listening in Place: A Conversation with Alexandra T. Vazquez


Details here; stay tuned for updates!

Alexandra T. Vazquez, associate professor of performance studies at NYU and author of Listening in Detail, joins Consortium director Karen Tongson for a wide-ranging discussion about Vazquez's new book The Florida Room (Duke University Press). In this offering, Vazquez listens to the music and history of Miami to provide a lush story of place and people, movement and memory, dispossession and survival. She transforms the “Florida room”—an actual architectural phenomenon—into a vibrant spatial imaginary for Miami’s musical cultures and everyday life.

Alexandra T. Vazquez is Associate Professor in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. She is the author of The Florida Room (Duke 2022) and Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Duke 2013, winner of the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero First Book Prize). Vazquez’s work has been featured in NPR's "Turning the Tables" series, American Quarterly, small axe, Social Text, women and performance, the JPMS, and in the edited volumes Keywords in Latina/o Studies, The Tide Was Always High, Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, Reggaeton, and Pop When the World Falls Apart. Prior to coming to NYU, Vazquez was an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Center for African American Studies at Princeton University (2008-2015) and a Postdoctoral Associate in the Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University (2006-2008). She is a proud graduate of the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida.

Sponsored by the Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture, the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Center for Latinx and Latin American Studies, and the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.



The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies invites applications for the following TAships during the 2022-2023 academic year.

FALL 2022

  • Three 50% TAships are available for the course, SWMS 210, Social Analysis of Gender, which will be taught by Prof. Christina Belcher.

  • Three 50% TAships are available for the course, SWMS 219, Introduction to Feminist Theory, which will be taught by Prof. Diana Blaine.


  • Three 50% TAships are available for the course, SWMS 212, Introduction to Gender and Sexuality: American Perspectives, which will be taught by Prof. Ariel Stevenson.

  • Three 50% TAships are available for the course, SWMS 219, Introduction to Feminist Theory, which will be taught by Prof. Diana Blaine.

  • One 50% TAship is available for the course, SWMS 221, Introduction to Queer Theory, which will be taught by Prof. Atia Sattar.

Ideally, six students would be hired for full-year appointments and one student would be hired just for spring 2023.

Interested graduate students (PhD candidates only) should email the following materials in PDF format directly to Rebecca Zobeck in Gender and Sexuality Studies (

  • Cover letter

  • CV

  • Two letters of recommendation (emailed directly to Rebecca Zobeck)

Deadline for submission of materials is 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Questions? Please contact Rebecca Zobeck in the USC Dornsife Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies:



Taco Tuesday!

Please join us to enjoy a delicious meal! Event is open to GSS affiliated faculty, staff, and students only.

RSVP is required for those wishing to eat, but you can also just drop by if you’re not eating. Please RSVP here using the link or the QR code below:

Date: March 29, 2022
Location: Canopy 14,
Booth Hall Lawn - Near Taper
Time: 12pm-1pm 




The USC Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture is pleased to announce three graduate fellowships of $5000 each available for summer 2022.

During the summer of 2022, the Consortium will partner with three regional non-profit/media organizations to offer fellowships to graduates: LA Taco, the Feminist Center for Creative Work, and TableCakes.

Each graduate fellow will be paired with one of these organizations to contribute to their production and publication processes. In turn, fellows will develop new skillsets in research, production and arts management that may help to multiply their post-graduate career options in the public sphere as well as in academia.

Full details and application link here.



GSS co-sponsored event:"The Wound Makes the Man," with Francisco J. Galarte

Friday, Feb. 11, 1pm - 2:30pm, on Zoom

Details and registration here.




GSS co-sponsored event: "From Chongno to It’aewŏn (via Ŭljiro): Homo-Spatiality and Gender Non-Conforming Wo/men in Authoritarian-Era Seoul," with Todd A. Henry

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 3:30pm - 5pm, THH 309 J/K

Full details here.




Special Announcement

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has granted $500,000 to support intersectional studies at USC Dornsife's Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture, directed by Karen Tongson. The grant will extend across 42 months to support several initiatives to bolster intersectional work, including:

  • Upscaling our multi-platform network for podcasting, public events, community engagement and alternate publication styles and formats
  • Establishing graduate student assistance positions, fellowships, and faculty-in-residence positions involving collaborations with podcast networks, regional organizations, and media/publications defined by intersectional commitments.
  • Building a mutual aid-based mentorship model across faculty ranks, roles, and organizations

The consortium, which coalesced as a faculty-led initiative just before the pandemic struck in 2020, is housed in Dornsife’s Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, and includes faculty from the College and other USC schools who have actively brought scholarly research on popular culture to the broader public, as well as forms of creative practice and social justice work to the university.

Our goal is to provide scholars and practitioners with tools to address structural change and transformation in their fields and at their respective institutions and organizations. Toward that end, we plan to foster skill-sharing and material resource-sharing, while trading forms of expertise, from liberatory pedagogies, to digital and audio publication and production, to advice on navigating institutions, and forging community-based systems of support. We will also continue to center audio production and podcasts in our research and pedagogy plans.

More information about these plans can be found on the Consortium's website.



Spring 2022 CFR Events

"What Does Justice Look Like? Connecting Abolition to Indigenous Feminisms," with Melanie Yazzie

Thursday, Jan. 27, 5pm - 6:30pm

Zoom registration here.

Over the past two years, we have seen an uptick in Black-led mobilizations for police and prison abolition unfold in tandem with an increase in Indigenous frontline movements to protect land, water, and human relatives. In this talk, Professor Yazzie examines the historical and political reasons for the emergence of these seemingly separate political projects and explores the connections between Black-led struggles for abolition and Indigenous-led struggles for decolonization. Yazzie specifically asks, What happens when we put radical traditions of abolition in conversation with Indigenous feminisms? What kind of political and historical possibilities arise through their connections?




Trauma-Informed Pedagogy (virtual) Teach-In on Wednesday, December 8 from 10am-Noon PST.

Registration here.


The faculty, staff, and doctoral scholars of the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies continue to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence, and with the student activists working to dismantle rape culture at USC. As a continuation of a series of public conversations and forums hosted by GSS, this Trauma-Informed Pedagogy Virtual Teach-In is coordinated in partnership with the PhD student-led research group Multidisciplinary Intersectional Approaches to the Study of Violence and Trauma.

Open to all disciplines and departments at USC, we invite educators, faculty, teaching assistants, and staff members to join us on December 8, 2021 from 10:00am-Noon PST for a workshop focused on trauma-informed pedagogy led by Director of Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) Dr. Brenda Ingram. Following Q&A with Dr. Ingram, the latter part of this session will be participatory and discussion-based, allowing space for participants to openly express some of their own concerns, and propose solutions in the context of this current moment. Overall, this session will focus on how educators and staff are navigating showing up for our students, ourselves, and one another, in ways that remain trauma-informed. We look forward to being in community with you.

What Do We Mean By Trauma-Informed Pedagogy?

In light of the prevalence of trauma that college students faced in childhood and while on campus, trauma-informed pedagogy has been an intervention that supports both faculty and students in the classroom and beyond. This presentation will give a brief overview of trauma-informed pedagogy and how to implement some of the practices to support academic achievement and personal development of students while supporting faculty to reduce their stress and burnout. 

Dr. Ingram is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry who directs the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) Program of USC Student Health. She chairs the trauma-informed work group of USC Student Health. She has an extensive background in gender-based violence and leading organizations in becoming trauma-informed.




The faculty and staff of the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at USC stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault, and with the student activists who are protesting the systemic issue of sexual assault within our campus community.

We invite students to join GSS faculty for a forum on sexual violence and the ongoing efforts to confront the structures that have impeded our collective ability to address these issues at USC on Friday, October 29 at Noon in the Cactus Garden at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries (909 W. Adams Blvd).

Please complete Trojan Check before attending, and RSVP to

This gathering will launch a series of public conversations and forums hosted by GSS featuring scholars and activists working on sexual violence and sexual harassment as part of our department's ongoing commitment to eradicating the culture of sexual violence and harassment in our communities.



Click here for details and registration for the Sasha Geffen book talk.



Click here for details and registration for the Yesika Salgado event.



Click here for details and registration for the event with Aaron Rose.



Click here for details and registration for the Durba Mitra book talk.




RSVP to for Zoom links to Fall 2021 Book Talk Series events.




Click here for details and registration for Jillian Hernandez talk.



Michelle Zauner event details and registration here.



RSVP to for shuster event Zoom registration link.




GSS is pleased to announce that as of August 1, 2021, Professor Zakiyyah Iman Jackson (English, with a forthcoming joint appointment in Gender and Sexuality Studies), has assumed the role of Director of the Center for Feminist Research.

Read the full announcement here: 2021_CFR_Announcement.pdf




Read Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart, then attend a Zoom event with the author and Prof. Karen Tongson

GSS majors and minors, pick up a free copy of Michelle’s book in THH 422. Limited quantities available: first come, first served. 

Must bring USC ID.

For details, contact



Register for Genevieve Yue event here.



Register for Chanel Miller event here.



Register for #WeToo event here.



RSVP to Gillian Harkins book talk here.



RSVP to Rachel Bloom book talk here.






































Statement of solidarity from the USC Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies.


The USC Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies stands in solidarity with the USC Black student body, the Black Lives Matter movement and all who have risen up against the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others at the hands of police violence, white supremacy, and transphobia. Additionally, our department leadership endorses the USC faculty letter calling for DPS oversight on campus that, among other actions, requests “full transparency about the current relationships between DPS and the LAPD, as well as divestment from the use of LAPD officers at USC events.” 


The GSS department has and will continue not only to amplify Black organizations and voices, but also to provide outlets for, and education about gender, race and social justice, as we continue our own structural efforts to transform academia, which must reckon with its own institutional histories of racial, gender and sexual inequality. 


USC is located in the heart of Los Angeles, occupying a neighborhood that is predominantly Black, brown, and low-income. We as a department pledge to be in deeper connection with our community, as we continue to support fully our BIQTPOC students, faculty, and staff.















Dear GSS community,

You are cordially invited to attend an upcoming conference organized by Ange-Marie Hancock-Alfaro, Dean's Professor of Gender Studies and Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies; and Jane Junn, USC Associates Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies:

"International Women's Activism:
A Symposium on Social Movements and Political Leadership in the Era of #MeToo"


Monday, December 9, 2019
10 am – 4 pm
The Scriptorium, 
Amy King Dundon-Berchtold University Club of USC

Please RSVP by November 25

This symposium celebrates women’s political activism in pursuit of equality and human rights across the world. Scholars and activists within social movements and who specialize in women’s political leadership will present scholarship on women’s activism in the era of #MeToo. Panels will focus on two primary types of women’s political leadership, including social movements and elected government officials.

Morning Session: Women Activists in Global Social Movements

Sylvanna Falcon, University of California, Santa Cruz: “The Urgency of Feminist Activism in These Times”

Linda Alvarez, California State University, Northridge: “Layered Violence: Central American Women and Migration”

Lunchtime Keynote

Natasha Behl, Arizona State University: "Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India"

Afternoon Session: Women Elected Officials

Mari Miura, Sophia University: “Candidates Who Break the Silence: #MeToo and Political Engagement in Japan”

Diana O’Brien, Rice University: “Women in Legislatures: Barriers and Opportunities"

This conference is sponsored by the USC Center for International Studies; the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies; and the Department of Political Science and International Relations. 










Seniors, tell us what you are doing after graduation! Complete the quick Post-Graduation Destination Survey. 

The first 1,500 Seniors to complete the survey will receive a $5 Amazon gift-card.  


Survey link:


Facebook Video

Here is a link to a Facebook promo by USC Dornsife 2019 graduate, Brooke Aprea:






RSVP here

For conference schedule click here.






Please note: the venue for the Anita Hill event has changed to Bovard Auditorium! 







Join Amber Rose and USC Professor Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro as they moderate a panel discussion around issues of sexual assault. Panel guests: Genie Harrison, lawyer specializing in sexual assault; Nicole a’Beckett, activist with SameSide; USC Professor Shafiqa Ahmadi, Title IX expert; Liz Havstad, activist with Hip Hop Caucus. The chat will be followed by the presentation of Amber Rose Foundation Scholarships. 

More at

RSVP here.



Click image to apply!














May 2, 2017


Gender Studies Lecturer and Graduate Certificate recipient Jeff Solomon has accepted a tenure track position at Wake Forest University.


Gender Studies Major Marilyn Crowley has been awarded SHURF funding to work with Professor Diana Blaine this summer on a research project involving death and gender in media.












USC Sociology & Gender Studies Prof. Michael Messner and PhD. students Tal Peretz and Max Greenberg have written a book on men working to end violence against women. The book will be out on March 2, through Oxford University Press.






 Click image for more info!

Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Public Culture Podcast Network

The Consortium hosts a podcast network within GSS, covering a broad range of topics. Podcasts are available now on iTunes and wherever you get your podcasts.

Consortium Episodes

Sept. 9, 2022: The Arts of Racial Reckoning: Dr. Elizabeth Alexander

Sept. 9, 2022: The Arts of Racial Reckoning: Oskar Eustis & Héctor Tobar

Apr. 25, 2022: The Arts of Racial Reckoning: Anna Deavere Smith

Feb. 15, 2022: Muslims As Seen on TV Ep. 3: Muslim Women Firsts with Belquis Elhadi

Feb. 4, 2022: Muslims As Seen on TV Ep. 2: Black Muslim Representations with Kam Copeland


The Gaymazing Race Episodes

Dec. 12, 2022: Ep. 26: “Shortest, Oldest, Most Femalest,” vs. The Most Bisexualest Winner of The Amazing Race 

Dec. 5, 2022: Ep. 25 - David with the Good Hair and Lesbian Carabiners in Iceland

Dec. 1, 2022: Ep. 24: Bend Over for Castanets

Nov. 21, 2022: Ep. 23: Bisexual Veganism in Malaga

Nov. 14, 2022: Ep. 22: The Lorde Gayeth, and the Lorde Taketh Away


ONE Archives Foundation has a podcast!

Check out Periodically Queer here.


Check out Season 3, Episode 4 of the Western Edition podcast!

ONE Archives as Memorial

Audio and transcript here.



GSS Videos

Karen Tongson: The Why We Love - Pride Edition Extended Interview

AV Club, Summer 2020

A Hundred Years After the 19th Amendment: The Power of Black Women in Politics Today

A Center for Feminist Research event, with support from GSS and the Streisand Foundation. October 2020

GSS Inaugural Summer Book Club event

August 2020

Welcome message from GSS Chair Karen Tongson

August 2020

 Anita Hill at USC

Hightlights. November, 2018

  • Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • University of Southern California
  • Mark Taper Hall of Humanities, 422
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, California
  • 90089-4352 USA