Gender and Sexuality

In the last five decades, scholars in the humanities and social sciences have investigated and redefined categories that were once thought to be fixed, permanent, and “natural.”  If our understanding of “race” has changed fundamentally, from something fixed, permanent, and “natural,” to something much more fluid, relational, and social, then so have our understandings of gender and sexuality.  Scholars in our Department have published important works that have not only illustrated the gendered dimensions of past social and legal practices, but also underscore the dynamic, performative nature of “masculine” and “feminine,” of “male” and “female,” and of what it means to be “heteronormative” and to be “queer.” 

Professor erin Ninh uses feminist analyses to examine the subtleties of power, harm and subject formation in Asian American literature, families and migration, and mental health.   Professor Lisa Park teaches classes that study social policy’s impact on women of color.  Professor Lalaie Ameeriar studies and teaches topics about racialized gender, labor, and the state.  Incoming Professor Alexander Cho’s classes are about how Asian Americans are challenging conventional norms of gender and sexuality.  Professors Xiaojian Zhao and Diane Fujino offer courses that explore the gendered dimensions of Asian American history.  By taking many of these classes, students will be well-prepared for advanced studies in racialized gender and sexuality.