The Women's Studies department and faculty at the University of Maryland enjoy an international reputation for theoretical and methodological innovations and for their attention to curriculum transformation and transnational women's and gender studies institution building.

We encourage you to explore our website to learn about the resources available for Women's Studies research, scholarship, and community at Maryland.

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Funk the Erotic

NEW BOOK - Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures by Dr. LaMonda Horton-Stallings, Associate Professor of Women's Studies

From the University of Illinois Press:

Funk. It is multisensory and multidimensional philosophy used in conjunction with the erotic, eroticism, and black erotica. It is the affect that shapes film, performance, sound, food, technology, drugs, energy, time, and the seeds of revolutionary ideas for black movements. But funk is also an experience to feel, to hear, to touch and taste, and in Funk the Erotic, L. H. Stallings uses funk in all its iterations as an innovation in black studies.

Stallings uses funk to highlight the importance of the erotic and eroticism in Black cultural and political movements, debunking "the truth of sex" and its histories. Brandishing funk as a theoretical tool, Stallings argues that Western theories of the erotic fail as universally applicable terms or philosophies, and thus lack utility in discussions of black bodies, subjects, and culture. In considering the Victorian concept of freak in black funk, Stallings proposes that black artists across all media have fashioned a tradition that embraces the superfreak, sexual guerrilla, sexual magic, mama's porn, black trans narratives, and sex work in a post-human subject position. Their goal: to ensure survival and evolution in a world that exploits black bodies in capitalist endeavors, imperialism, and colonization.

Revitalizing and wide-ranging, Funk the Erotic offers a needed examination of black sexual cultures, a discursive evolution of black ideas about eroticism, a critique of work society, a reexamination of love, and an articulation of the body in black movements.


2015 ARHU Senior Scholars Two Women's Studies majors, Morgan Powell and Thomas Voracek, were presented with the 2015 ARHU Dean's Senior Scholar Award. Each year, Arts and Humanities departments nominate outstanding students for the award. This year seven seniors were selected for the honor.

Morgan Powell is a double-major with English and Thomas Voracek a triple-major with History and Central European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. Morgan and Thomas were recognized for their outstanding scholarship and their records of service.

Thomas, who is a 2015-16 Phillip Merrill Presidential Scholar, has served as Community Advocate for the University Student Judiciary, and as an Honors and an ARHU Ambassador to prospective students interested in UMD.  For two semesters, he worked with Professor Catherine Schuler in Women's Studies as Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the "From Lenin to Pussy Riot: Gendering Post (Soviet) Russia" course.  In talking about choosing this major and about the Senior Scholar award, he said, "Women's Studies has opened my mind and given me the tools to critically analyze and interrogate my world. Without my time in Women's Studies, I am not sure I would have been infected with this mad hope that the world can change for the better. And for that, I cannot thank ARHU and the Women's Studies department enough."

Morgan, who is in her last semester at UMD, has been a Writing Center tutor, a CARE to Stop Violence peer educator, and served as a vice-president of the UMD Feminists Club.  She is an active member of Community Roots. Throughout her three-and-a-half years at UMD, Morgan has interned 12-15 hours a week at Street Law, creating and editing classroom and community curricula on legal life skills for underserved populations of youth around the world. Morgan is also a member of TRIOTA honor society and co-editor of this WMST/LGBT Undergraduate e-Newsletter. On being nominated by Women's Studies and receiving the award, Morgan said, "I am honored to receive the Dean's Senior Scholar Award and want to send a big thank you to Women's Studies for continuing to show me the revolutionary possibilities of the imagination and cementing my dedication to social justice."


The Department of Women's Studies invites undergraduate students-individually, as a group, or as a class-to join us on December 9 and tell us about your work.  Posters, Oral Presentations, Films, Art Projects, Displays, and Performances of undergraduate student scholarly work are all welcome.  Presentations on internships and study abroad experiences are also welcome.

Students should submit their:
-Short project statement
-Presentation format
-Equipment needs
-Availabilities on Wednesday, December 9th

Also, please indicate:
-The class for which you completed the work (if it is a class project)
-Your full name
-Email address
-Telephone number

Submit to: Professor Elsa Barkley Brown - - by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 2nd. If you have any questions, please contact Professor Barkley Brown.

Even if you will not be submitting work for presentation, please mark your calendar and plan to attend during some part of the day on December 9!  We will post a schedule ahead of time once we have reviewed all the submissions and grouped them appropriately.


CFP: Queer Beyond Repair - Proposals due January 15

We invite proposals for presentations at QUEER BEYOND REPAIR, the 9th Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium at the University of Maryland. The symposium will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016 and will be a daylong series of conversations that will culminate with a keynote address by Kathryn Bond Stockton, Distinguished Professor of English and Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity at the University of Utah. Her most recent books, Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where “Black” Meets “Queer” (2006) and The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century (2009) were both finalists for the Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies.

News from the Graduate Director

For news, updates, and other information about graduate program, read the Fall 2015 Graduate Director's Newsletter. Or, visit the archive of Graduate Director's Newsletters.

TRIOTA (Women's Studies) Honor Society
Fall 2015 Induction

Congratulations to TRIOTA's newest members: Daniel McLaughlin, Carly Wilbur, Charlotte Sheffield, Saskia Mattews, Brittany Hamson, Areesha Khan, Aubrey Sneesby, and Ciera Richardson! (View photos from the induction ceremony.)

Undergraduate E-News Bulletin

The Department of Women's Studies introduces a regular e-newsletter for undergraduate students with information of relevance to those in the WMST major and certificate program, the LGBT Studies certificate and minor program, and the Black Women’s Studies minor. This newsletter will serve as a clearinghouse for announcements about upcoming events and deadlines as well as internship, research, and job opportunities. Find the E-News Bulletin here.

Undergraduate Academic Advising

The Department of Women's Studies offers five options for undergraduate students: Major in Women's Studies; Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies; Certificate in Women's Studies; Minor in LGBT Studies; and a Minor in Black Women's Studies. Want to find out more? Make an advising appointment with the undergraduate advisor, Dr. JV Sapinoso, by visiting and selecting an available slot. Looking for classes? Review the lists of current course offerings.

Give to the Laura Nichols Women's Studies Undergraduate Award

From her arrival at the University of Maryland in 1987 to her retirement from the Department of Women's Studies in 2014, Laura Nichols served as Academic Advisor to all Women’s Studies majors and certificate students and also advised Black Women’s Studies minors. Her dedication to students’ success was unwavering and part of the legacy we hope to preserve through this award. Support this fund with a tax-deductible donation. Find out more about this and other Women's Studies giving opportunities.

Get more information at our Events, News, and Resources pages!

Women's Studies is the home of the LGBT Studies Program

Read more about the move, and about the history of LGBT Studies at UMD.