body at the center

Discover the central role the body plays in society through the Bodies, Disability, and Justice program. This interdisciplinary major or minor draws on theatre, education, writing and rhetoric, dance and movement studies and environmental studies programs, providing you with a variety of perspectives on the body and helping you develop skills in critical thinking and analysis. You'll graduate ready for a variety of career opportunities including law, healthcare, social work, advocacy and education. 

Bodies, Disability, and Justice lives under the Gender, Sexuality and Intersectional Justice department at HWS. The department links the Colleges’ programs on race, sexuality, gender, disability and more, providing holistic, interdisciplinary views on topics including sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Experiential EducationLearning in Action

Engage with disability justice scholars and activists at the Fisher Center or participate in service learning related to embodied justice the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.



No Borders:Global Education

Study healthcare in South Africa or inclusive education in New Zealand

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

south africa

Belonging, Diversity and Equity

Diversity, equity and inclusion are the core of Bodies, Disability and Justice and the Gender, Sexuality and Intersectional Justice department. The program promotes understanding on how structural inequities produce uneven experiences of body and health and focuses on the importance of racial and transnational perspectives on embodied justice. 


Explore the central role of the body through intersections with ability, disability, mental health, physical health and wellness. 

Courses include:

gsij 100 introduction to gender, sexuality, and intersectional justice 

Analyze the notion that sex, gender, sexuality, ability, race, and other categories of identity shape the social world in a myriad of ways, from how we organize our families and communities and how we spend time, to how we conceptualize the self and make meaning, to how we interact with our environment and create and re-create the body.

gsij 213 Transnational Feminisms

Investigate how gendered bodies travel, perform, and are understood in a wide variety of national, diasporic, and global media contexts, from theater and film, to politics and popular culture. 

gsij 247 History, Psychology, and Feminism 

Examine the intersecting stories of psychology and feminisim, from early case studies of hysteria and spiritualism through to mid-century depictions of the "mommy pill," "how the clinic made gender" and to late twentieth and early twenty-first century concerns around gender, race and bodies. 

gsij 250 chicana feminism and visual culture  

Discover Chicana feminism, from the emergence of Chicana as an identity category and its challenges to Chicano and feminist activism and the radical ways Chicanas have employed visual, performance, and graphic arts as a means of educating and catalyzing social change. 

gsij 300 Who's Afraid of Gender? questions of freedom & intersectional feminisms

Engage in matters of and movements for freedom, equality, justice and liberation through intersectional feminisms’ long history of thinkers and theory. 

gsij 305 food, feminism, and health  

Explore a variety of topics arising at the intersection of food, health, and the body, including agricultural sustainability, genetically modified foods, local food activism and nutrition and health policy. 


Amplify your Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectional Justice degree with the skills, knowledge and ethical foundation needed to be a leader in the 21st century. In partnership with the Centennial Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, our department offers the opportunity to engage in leadership development that culminates in a degree with leadership distinction and provides a competitive edge when applying to internships, jobs and graduate or professional school.

To graduate with leadership distinction, you will complete a series of foundational, action-oriented and reflective milestones within the Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectional Justice and Leadership curriculum. We encourage you to begin your leadership journey as early as your second semester on campus.