LGBT Studies


Professor Bayer and Student

Students in LGBT Studies explore the cultural and historical construction of sex, sexuality and gender in cross-cultural contexts. The program examines the lives of sexual and gender minorities throughout history, as well as the relation of gender and sexuality to the social body more generally. Among its primary concerns are the study of the embodiment, cultures, political formations, and creative expressions of queer and transgender people. It also fosters critical analysis of the formation of sexual and gender identities, and the role of sexuality and gender across human time and space. LGBT Studies is therefore not only for, by, or about LGBT people, but seeks to provide an analysis of sex and gender as they function in relation to human history and its cultural diversity.

LGBT Studies draws on methodologies from a range of fields in the humanities and social sciences, including history, anthropology, sociology, public policy, rhetoric, literary studies, religious studies, cultural studies and art history. Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses that theorize practices and concepts of sex, sexuality and gender within an intersectional framework.

A major or minor in LGBT Studies helps prepare students for careers in:

Psychology and Counseling
Social Work
Health and Helping Professions
Media and Fine Arts
Activism and Organizing


If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in LGBT Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Click for the Course Catalogue


Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

disciplinary, 10 courses

Two core courses; two perspective courses; five additional courses selected either from the core group or the electives; and a capstone course, which can only be undertaken after completing at least eight courses toward the major. The capstone course should involve close work with a faculty adviser to create an internship, independent study, or Honors project that serves to integrate material from throughout the major. The courses in a major program must include at least one course from each division and at least three courses in one division.

Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

interdisciplinary, 10 courses

All of the requirements for the disciplinary major, but, included within the 10 courses, there must be work from at least two departments and at least three courses in each of two or more divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and fine and performing arts).

Requirements for the Minor

disciplinary, 5 courses

Two core courses; one perspective course; and two additional courses selected from either the core group or the electives.

Requirements for the Minor

interdisciplinary, 5 courses

All of the requirements for the disciplinary minor, but the five courses of the minor must include courses in at least two departments and at least two courses in each of two divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and fine and performing arts).


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with an understanding of LGBT Studies.

Below, you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making LGBT Studies a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

LGBT 206/306 Sexuality and Space


How do the spaces we live in—our houses, neighborhoods, cities, environments, and national territories—impact the way we think about our sexual identities, orientations, and subcultures? Explore these questions, and many more, then try WMST 212 Gender and Geography for discussions on gender, place and culture, and the diverse ways in which geographers have conceived of, analyzed and redefined gender as a contested spatial practice.

LGBT 302 Trans*Studies


Through a focus on the tensions between feminist, queer, and trans theory and activism, this course explores the burgeoning academic field of Trans Studies. Next, hear the voices of those who have been silenced by taking ENG 281 Literature of Sexual Minorities, and read the literature of sexual minorities seeking to articulate an identity in a society that discriminates against them.

PPOL 219 Sexual Minority Movements and Public Policy


Explore the rise of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered movements from both contemporary and historical perspectives, and ddresses the sources of these movements, the barriers that they have faced, and how they have mobilized to overcome these barriers. Delve deeper into gender identity by taking BIDS 245 Men and Masculinity, and learn why masculinity is problematic - for both men and women.



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.