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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Welcome Dr. Robyn Muncy, Interim Chair of Women's Studies

Robyn Muncy is Professor of History and has been an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Women's Studies for the past quarter century. She is a nationally renowned scholar on United States political and women's history. Muncy has published extensively on late nineteenth-century and twentieth-century reform movements and reformers. Her latest work, out with the Princeton University Press Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America series, is a political biography of New Dealer and labor advocate Josephine Roche (1886-1976). The research for this fine work was partially funded by a Public Policy Scholarship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Her current research explores the Great Society in the long arc of American progressivism.

Dr. Muncy writes:

Robyn Muncy I am delighted to join the University of Maryland’s Department of Women’s Studies as Interim Chair. This department is one that pioneered the field of women’s studies in the 1970s and has never ceased to push toward new and more inclusive ways of understanding—and reimagining—our world. It is an honor to lend my effort to the mission of social transformation that drives this gifted and innovative group of faculty, staff, and students. We welcome all who share that mission!


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."



We Invite Applications for an Appointment as Professor and Chair

The University of Maryland, College Park invites applications for a tenured faculty member committed to interdisciplinary work in women, gender, and sexuality studies to serve as Chair of the Department of Women's Studies. All disciplinary locations and fields of inquiry are invited and welcomed. Review the full job posting and apply online at For best consideration, apply by February 5, 2016.

"How a Girl Becomes a Ship"
Wed. Feb. 24, 4:30pm, MMH 1400

Please join us as we welcome Christina Sharpe to campus and kick-off the first event of Queer Beyond Repair, 14th Annual Lecture Series in LGBT Studies.

New Courses for Spring 2016

Among the new WMST courses being offered spring 2016 are Dr. Horton-Stallings' WMST 468B "Sonic Representations of Gender and Sexuality in the African Diaspora" and Dr. Schuler's WMST 468C "Feminist and Queer Theatre and Performance Art in Theory and Practice." Seats are still available - register today!

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.

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.

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.