Department of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

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Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies engages students in the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality as interwoven with race, ethnicity, colonization, class, nation, and ability. We employ intersectional feminist and LGBTSTGNC frameworks to explore hidden histories, understand complex social structures, confront injustice and oppression, and imagine more liberatory futures.

Interdisciplinary: WGSS courses and faculty expertise integrate the humanities and social sciences, centering feminist, queer, and trans frameworks in critical ethnic studies, literary and performance studies, social movement histories, migration studies, popular culture studies, feminist science studies, working-class and labor studies, critical pedagogy, among others.  

Community-Engaged and Social Justice-Focused: The Department of WGSS centers the voices and agendas of marginalized communities in all that we do. Students and faculty collaborate with community partners on research action projects that advance social justice. WGSS majors have contributed as interns with community-based and non-profit organizations, working on issues as diverse as reproductive justice, trans rights, immigrant rights, anti-violence work, LGBTQ+ historical archival and curatorial work, critical media literacy for girls of color, and equity and inclusion for women in film.

Collaborative and Experiential Learning: Our classes invite passionate dialogue and hands-on learning, where students build exceptional skills in verbal, written, and visual communication, critical thinking, rigorous research, and team-based problem-solving.

Public Humanities: WGSS is grounded in humanities approaches that emphasize the importance of language, storytelling, cultural representation, history, and creative arts in understanding and transforming the world. Projects undertaken by WGSS students connect their research and classroom learning to diverse publics through the creation of social media, podcasts, zines, public art, and performance, curriculum for K-12 education, and public archives. WGSS faculty create and contribute to documentary film and television, podcasts, public archives, community arts, journalism, and other public media. Through public storytelling that centers the voices and knowledge of women of color and LGBTSTGNC people of color, we seek to imagine and advance alternative liberatory futures for the communities that Cal State LA serves and beyond.

This is an 18 x24” post with a background in a colorful abstract design, and in the center, a text box that is shaped like a house. The text inside the house shape reads as follows: The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cal State LA presents Open House Week, March 13-20, 2023 March, 13 – Monday 10:30 - 11 am: Kick off Open House Week with free coffee and pan dulce! Drop by and socialize with WGSS students, faculty and staff in the Music Building Courtyard. 11am - 12:30 pm: “If Black women were free…”: The State of Black Feminism 2023  This panel features Barbara Smith, co-founder of the Combahee River Collective and Kitchen Table Press, in conversation with Barbara Ransby and other Black feminist scholar-activists. Gather in Music A129 to collectively watch and discuss the live streamed event. Co-sponsored with the Wolfe Institute for Humanities at Brooklyn College of CUNY. March, 14 – Tuesday 3 pm: Ann Garry and Sharon Bishop Endowed Lecture in Feminist Philosophy: Andrea Pitts, "Latina/x Abolitionist Feminisms: Incarceration, Agency, and Coalitional Politics" This talk by Dr. Andrea Pitts (Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte) foregrounds historical and contemporary work of U.S. Latina/x writers and activists to examine how each offers philosophical contributions to abolitionist feminist frameworks. Co-sponsored by the departments of Philosophy, Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies, and the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities March, 15 – Wednesday 4:30 - 6 pm: Button-Making and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Come meet faculty, staff, and students of WGSS in the Music Building Courtyard for button-making and a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome in our Department. March, 16 – Thursday 3 - 4:30 pm: Tierra Madre: Indigenous Women and Ecofeminism with Dr. Jessica Hernandez, Ph. D. (Binnizá & Maya Ch’orti’) Through intersectional decolonial and Indigenizing storytelling, Dr. Jessica Hernandez, Ph.D. (Binnizá & Maya Ch’orti’) author of book Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes through Indigenous Science, will share more about her journey to and through academia as an intersectional displaced Indigenous woman scientist and the ways she learns from the wisdom Indigenous women, lands, and waters. Through this webinar, participants are invited to reflect about the ways we can support decolonization and Indigenizing movements that center Indigenous women. March, 20 – Monday 3 to 4:15 pm: Putting Class Back Into Intersectionality (Online) Join WGSS for an online dialogue between Black queer feminist scholar-activist Barbara Smith and Black historian and activist Robin DG. Kelley that explores the proposition that the Combahee River Collective’s radical vision of intersectional politics has been undermined by the de-centering of its anti-capitalist analysis and politics. Co-sponsored with the Wolfe Institute for Humanities at Brooklyn College of CUNY. Visit our website for more details on Open House Week. Follow us @wgsslaClick on the image above for more information about Open House Week 2023.

Visit or Call Us

Department Office: E&T A405

Department phone: (323) 343-4100

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