The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Oregon State University was founded in 1972, originally as “Women Studies.” In recent years, our program joined Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, and World Languages and Cultures to create the School of Language, Culture, and Society. We are part of a vibrant and flourishing intellectual community.

In 2012-2013, we renamed the program “Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies” to reflect our deepening commitment to queer studies and work on sexuality more broadly, as well as scholarship regarding gender constructions and processes, and critical men and masculinity studies. We offer a Ph.D., an M.A., and a B.A. as well as minors in WGSS and Queer Studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Our Mission and Values

Our program relies on multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of gender and sexuality, particularly as they intersect with race, ethnicity, class, culture, religion, nation, and ability. Our program emphasizes academic excellence, the use of feminist and anti-racist pedagogies, and scholarship that contributes to social change and justice. We are committed to challenging all forms of oppression, and we center queer, transnational, and women of color feminisms in our curriculum. We encourage creative, innovative, and collaborative frameworks of study, and we work to meet the needs of a wide range of students, developing curriculum that is meaningful for students who wish to pursue careers in academia, as well as those who may be interested in community organizing, feminist nonprofit work, and/or other professional areas.

Core Faculty

  • Associate Professor Dr. Bradley Boovy teaches in both Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the World Languages and Cultures Program. Dr. Boovy's courses focus on men and masculinities and queer film. 
  • Graduate Studies Director and Associate Professor Dr. Qwo-Li Driskill is the Director of Graduate Studies and the coordinator of our Queer Studies program. They are a writer, scholar, educator, activist, and performer who specializes in queer and Two-Spirit Indigenous studies. They teach "Introduction to Queer Studies," "Queer Theories," "Queer Indigenous Studies," and "Queer/Trans People of Color Art/Activism," as well as the graduate seminar "Systems of Oppression in Women's Lives."
  • Associate Professor Dr. Patti Duncan is an Associate Professor, specializing in transnational feminist theories and movements, women of color feminisms, feminist media studies, and motherhood studies. Her courses include "Disney: Gender, Race, Empire," "Politics of Motherhood in Global Contexts," "Women in World Cinema," and graduate seminars "Transnational Feminisms," "Women of Color Feminisms," and "Foundations in Multiracial/Transnational/Queer Feminisms."
  • Instructor M. Floyd teaches courses including "Introduction to Queer Studies," "Fat Studies," "Queer Pop Culture," "Queer Theories," and  "Disney: Race, Gender, Empire." Their research interests are Fat Studies, Queer studies, Popular Culture, Disability Studies. 
  • Senior Instructor Kryn Freehling-Burton teaches introductory courses including "Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies" and "Women: Personal and Social Change," as well as other courses including "Women in the Movies" and "Gender and Science." She coordinates our online major/minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and is also active in theater projects as an actor and playwright.
  • Professor Dr. Ron Mize is a Professor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Ethnic Studies. His scholarly research focuses on the historical origins of racial, class, and gender oppression in the lives of Mexicano/as residing in the United States. Dr. Mize teaches  Critical Race Feminisms and Outsider Jurisprudence"
  • Professor Dr. Nana Osei-Kofi is the Director of the Difference, Power, & Discrimination (DPD) Program. Her work focuses on critical and feminist social theories and pedagogies, the politics of American higher education, and visual cultural studies/arts-based inquiry. Dr. Osei-Kofi teaches "Feminist Leadership" and "The Inclusive Classroom."
  • Assistant Professor Dr. H. Rakes' research areas include queer theory, queer of color critique, disability studies, trans studies, and women of color feminisms—especially the convergences of these fields.
  • Professor Dr. Susan Shaw is a Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research interests include women and rock 'n' roll as well as women and religion. She teaches "Feminist Theology and Spirituality," and "Feminist Teaching and Learning."
  • Undergraduate Director and Associate Professor Dr. Mehra Shirazi's work focuses on health disparities through the lens of social justice with regard to class, race, geography, environment, immigrant status, and gender. She teaches "Global Perspectives on Women's Health," "Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Health," and "Feminist Research," a graduate seminar focusing on community-based participatory research methods.
  • Assistant Professor Dr. Luhui Whitebear is an Assistant Professor in WGSS, Queer Studies and Ethnic Studies and the Center Director at the Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws. She is an enrolled member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation. She is a mother, poet, and Indigenous activist.

Our faculty members have won numerous teaching, research, service, and development awards and are actively involved in the life of the University.