Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

The Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality works to catalyze intellectual discussions—at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, and beyond—in which gender and sexuality concerns play important roles.

We are a forum that brings together undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from different departments who share an interest and a need to address and interrogate their research fields from a queer, feminist, or otherwise gender- and sexuality-inflected perspective.

The activities of the program integrate teaching and research on all levels. Most importantly, the program encourages and supports initiatives for research projects, events, and curriculum developments emerging from all parts of the JHU campus—undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty alike.

WGS brings new scholarship into conversation on campus in three main ways. First, the program sponsors a seminar series that brings speakers from academia and the broader community to Johns Hopkins University. Second, we organize workshops each semester around multiyear themes, such as “Affect and Emotion” and “Medical Humanities.” Finally, we bring renowned scholars and public figures to the Homewood campus through our annual Visiting Distinguished Professorship. Recent visiting professors have included Karen Barad (University of California-Santa Cruz), Joan Wallach Scott (Institute for Advanced Studies), Trinh-Minh Ha (University of California-Berkeley), and Michael Warner (Yale University).

WGS offers an undergraduate minor that enables students to devote a portion of their education to the study of women, gender, sexuality, and related issues. WGS also offers research fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students also have the opportunity to design and teach a course.

Through both interdisciplinary and specialized courses, students are encouraged to develop critical and comparative approaches to the study of gender and sexuality—often in interaction with related issues such as race, class, global health, and violence. Courses in the program are taught by prominent faculty members from across the disciplines and are cross-listed through a variety of departments. New courses are added frequently.

WGS also offers an undergraduate Seminar/Practicum, where students combine volunteer work in a local social service agency with a seminar that explores the connections between social justice and academic inquiry.

Minor Requirements

Students can receive a minor in women, gender, and sexuality by completing six one-semester courses. The following courses constitute the WGS core curriculum (363 prefix); they are offered every year:

  • Introduction to the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Feminist and Queer Theory
  • Gender and Sexuality Beyond the Global West
  • Poetics and Politics of Sex
  • Health, Medicine, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Internship/Practicum (offered in collaboration with the JHU Center for Social Concern, the internship-practicum combines academic work with volunteer experience)

Students are asked to complete at least two courses from the core WGS curriculum and may choose among the courses cross-listed with other departments for the remaining four. No more than two courses can be lower level (100 or 200). Students must earn a C- or better in all minor requirements and courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Please direct inquiries about the undergraduate minor to Katrin Pahl.

Minor Requirements *
Two core courses (selected from the following):6
Introduction to the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Life, Vitality, Affect: History of Science and Sexuality
Introduction to Feminism and Queer Theory
Religion and Sexuality
Gender, Citizenship, and Politics
Thirty Years of AIDS: Fatigue, Failure and Fantasies
Feminist and Queer Theory: Politics and Performance
Black Women, Feminism and Activism
The Poetics and Politics of Sex
Gender, Sexuality, and Religion: Muslim (In)Visibilities
Worshiped Goddesses, Worshiping Women: Femininity, Religion, and Mythology in Ancient Greece
Internship/Practicum: Critical Theory and the Possibility of Social Justice
Any course with the number 363.XXX
Four additional Women, Gender and Sexuality courses12
Total Credits18

At least four 300- or 400-level courses are required for the minor. 

While core courses offered in recent years are listed as options, not all courses listed as core courses will be offered on a regular basis and some may have been offered only once. They are listed to provide examples of the types of courses that may be offered. 

Course registration information can be found at

Please consult the online course catalog for cross-listed courses and full course information.

For current faculty and contact information go to



Todd Shepard

Katrin Pahl

School of Arts & Sciences

Sam Chambers
Associate Professor, Political Science

Jennifer Culbert
Associate Professor, Political Science

Clara Han
Associate Professor, Anthropology

Anne Eakin Moss
Assistant Professor, Humanities Center

Christopher Nealon
Professor, English

Johns Hopkins of School of Medicine

Jeremy Greene
Associate Professor, History of Medicine

Assistant Professor

Clara Han
M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Anthropology).


Christopher Nealon
Ph.D., Professor (English).