Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Minor

The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies offers an innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate minor program in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Studies. LGBT Studies works to establish sexuality as a crucial category of analysis in the humanities and social sciences. It draws on disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, literature, and cultural studies in order to document the extent to which sexuality itself is a complex cultural and historical phenomenon that bears careful examination. Just as Women's Studies, for instance, is not only by, about, and for women, LGBT Studies is not only by, about, or for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people — it includes all humanity in its purview.

A large portion of the energy spent developing this field has been devoted to discovering (and recovering) the history, dynamics, and complexities of same-sex relationships. Both those relationships and their study have had to combat a variety of delegitimizing forces originating from numerous social locations. The study of same-sex relationships within LGBT Studies has intended to provide legitimacy to those kinds of relationships, to the communities of people organized around and involved in those relationships, and to the history of those people and those communities. In working toward this end, the field of LGBT Studies has necessarily worked to theorize the concept, practice, and history of sexuality itself. It has learned to examine the various ways intimacies and sexual experiences are constructed and perceived in different periods, cultures, and social classes. The field of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies both addresses the particularities of the modern forms of sexuality we call lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (forms of sexuality that have only recently been able to claim for themselves the right to serious academic study) and further addresses the phenomenon of sexuality itself in all its historical and cross-cultural diversity.

There is currently no major program in LGBT Studies. Students interested in pursuing studies in this field at the major level should consider the major in Gender and Women's Studies.

Declaring the Minor

To declare the minor, students must fill out the LGBT Minor Worksheet once they have decided to minor in the program. After fulfilling all course requirements, students must complete a Completion of L & S Minor form and submit it to the GWS undergraduate adviser at 608 Barrows Hall. 

Visit Department Website

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Requirements

Lower Division
LGBT 20ACAlternative Sexual Identities and Communities in Contemporary American Society 14
Upper Division
LGBT 145Interpreting the Queer Past: Methods and Problems in the History of Sexuality4
Select one of the following:4
Cultural Representations of Sexuality
Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Literary Culture
Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture
Select one of the following:4
Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism
Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism
Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality
Electives:8
Select two courses from the LGBT/GWS semester course listings or from the following:
Gender, Sexuality, and Culture in the Ancient World
The Biblical Tradition in Western Literature
Literature and Sexual Identity
Government and the Family
Sex, Reproduction and the Law
Archaeology of Sex and Gender
Language and Gender
Special Topics in Psychology
Sexual Cultures
1

SOCIOL 135 can be substituted, but only when LGBT 20AC is not offered.

Advising

The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advising office provides students with the following assistance to help guide them through the academic bureaucracy and hopefully ensure that they have a successful undergraduate experience at Berkeley:

  • Counseling regarding their education and GWS courses.
  • Declaring the major.
  • Assessing their progress in the major.
  • Administrative concerns (i.e., course enrollment, Add/Drops, L&S policy).
  • Graduation.
  • Major information, courses, independent studies, honors program, GWS student group.
  • Graduate programs and career information and referrals.

The department strives to and is committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment for all students. Students are welcome, feel supported, respected and valued, and receive the ultimate advising experience to ensure academic advancement through the program.

The undergraduate adviser (UA), Althea Grannum Cummings, is located in 608 Barrows Hall and her email address is cummings@berkeley.edu. Her regular office hours are Monday through Friday 9 to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Students should not hesitate to contact her if they need some assistance.

Courses

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

LGBT 20AC Alternative Sexual Identities and Communities in Contemporary American Society 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
An introduction to varied dimensions of alternative sexual identities in the contemporary United States, with a focus ranging from individuals to communities. This course will use historical, sociological, ethnographic, political-scientific, psychological, psychoanalytical, legal, medical, literary, and filmic materials to chart trends and movements from the turn of the century to the present.

Alternative Sexual Identities and Communities in Contemporary American Society: Read More [+]

LGBT 98 Directed Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates 1 - 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
Seminars for group study of selected topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses. Topics will vary from year to year.

Directed Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates: Read More [+]

LGBT 100 Special Topics 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015
This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to work closely with LGBT faculty, investigating a topic of mutual interest in great depth. Emphasis in on student discussion and collaboration. Topics will vary from semester to semester. Number of units will vary depending on specific course, format, and requirements.

Special Topics: Read More [+]

LGBT 145 Interpreting the Queer Past: Methods and Problems in the History of Sexuality 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2014
This course examines interpretive issues in studying the history of sexuality and the formation of sexual identities and communities. Considering primary documents, secondary literature, and theoretical essays, we investigate specific historiographical concerns and raise questions about historical methodology and practice.

Interpreting the Queer Past: Methods and Problems in the History of Sexuality: Read More [+]

LGBT 146 Cultural Representations of Sexuality 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2013
This course will draw upon a wide range of critical theory, film, music, literature, popular culture, ethnography, theater, and visual art to explore the relationship between cultural forms of representation and individual and collective forms of expression. Central questions for mutual consideration will include: Who/what constitutes the subject of queer cultural production? How are queer theories
relevant (or irrelevant) to queer cultural and political practices?
Cultural Representations of Sexuality: Read More [+]

LGBT C146A Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Literary Culture 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course examines modern literary cultures that construct ways of seeing diverse sexualities. Considering Western conventions of representation during the modern period, we will investigate the social forces and institutions that would be necessary to sustain a newly imagined or re-imagined sexual identity across time.

Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Literary Culture: Read More [+]

LGBT C146B Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2014
This course examines modern visual cultures that construct ways of seeing diverse sexualities. Considering Western conventions of representation during the modern period, we will investigate film, television, and video. How and when do "normative" and "queer" sexualities become visually defined?

Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture: Read More [+]

LGBT C147B Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2015, Fall 2013, Spring 2013
An introduction to social theory and ethnographic methodology in the cross-cultural study of sexuality, particularly sexual orientation and gender identity. The course will stress the relationships between culture, international and local political economy, and the representation and experience of what we will provisionally call homosexual and transgendered desires or identities.

Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism: Read More [+]

LGBT C148 Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2011
Course focuses on the production of sexualities, sexual identification, and gender differentiation across multiple discourses and locations.

Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality: Read More [+]

LGBT 198 Directed Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates 1 - 4 Units

Offered through: Gender and Women's Studies
Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
Seminars for group study of selected topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses. Topics will vary from year to year.

Directed Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Paola Bacchetta, Associate Professor. Ethnicity, postcolonial theory, transnational feminist and queer of color theories, theories of the inseparability of gender, theories of the inseparability of sexuality, theories of the inseparability of, theories of the inseparability of class, theories of the inseparability of nation, theories of the inseparability of religion, global political and religious conflict (especially Hindu nationalism and racializations of Muslims and Islam), theories of resistance and transgression, right-wing movements, geographic areas of specialization outside the U.S- India and France.
Research Profile

Mel Y. Chen, Associate Professor. Queer and feminist theory, Disability theory, Critical animal studies, Materiality studies, Cultural politics of race, sexuality, ability, and immigration, Critical linguistics, Paradigms of inter- and transdisciplinarity.

Minoo Moallem, Professor. Transnational and Postcolonial Feminist Studies, cultural studies, Visual and Material Cultures of Religion, Immigration and Diaspora Studies, Middle East Studies, and Iranian Studies.
Research Profile

Laura C. Nelson, Associate Professor. Gender, medicine, and politics, Cultural, political, and experiential aspects of breast cancer in South Korea, How, why, and to what effect constructions of gender, class, and race are mobilized and manipulated in South Korea, Structures of cultural temporality (future, present, or past orientation) and anti-poverty policies (US and South Korea).

Juana Maria Rodriguez, Professor. Sexual politics, LGBTQ communities, Latino issues, women of color feminisms, ethnic studies, queer activism, transgender studies, queer kinship.
Research Profile

Leslie Salzinger, Associate Professor. Political economy, feminist theory, finance, sociology of gender, Gender and Work, gendering of transnational processes.
Research Profile

Charis M. Thompson, Professor. Science & technology studies, environmental ethics, feminist theory, reproductive technology, genetics, stem cell & cloning technology, personalized medicine, biodiversity conservation, transnational studies of reproduction & population, ethnography.
Research Profile

Minh-Ha Trinh, Professor. Gender and sexuality, women's studies, rhetoric, feminist postcolonial theory, film theory and production, music composition, ethnomusicology, contemporary critical theory and the arts.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Ayse Agis, Lecturer.

Barbara A. Barnes, Lecturer.

Laura Fantone, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Professor Emeritus. Labor, citizenship, undocumented students, caring work, settler colonialism, skin color bias.
Research Profile

Barrie Thorne, Professor Emeritus. Feminist theory, gender theory, ethnography, qualitative methods, sociology, women, sociology of gender, sociology of age relations.
Research Profile

Irene Tinker, Professor Emeritus. International development and women, Electoral quotas in legislatures for women.

Contact Information

Department of Gender and Women's Studies

680 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-2767

Fax: 510-642-0246

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Charis Thompson, PhD

620 Barrows Hall

charis@berkeley.edu

Vice Chair for Pedagogy

Paola Bacchetta, PhD

626 Barrows Hall

pbacchetta@berkeley.edu

Vice Chair for Research

Mel Y. Chen, PhD

624 Barrows Hall

melychen@berkeley.edu

Student Services Adviser

Althea Grannum-Cummings

608 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-8513

Fax: 510-642-0246

cummings@berkeley.edu

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