Gender and Sexuality Studies


Studies of gender and sexuality constitute a focal area of strength in the English Department: nine scholars in the department work largely or primarily in Women’s and Gender Studies, Queer Studies, or Gay and Lesbian Studies. Their areas of expertise include:

  • Women’s Writing from the Early Modern Period to the Nineteenth Century

  • Caribbean Women’s Writing

  • Twentieth-Century American Literature

  • African American Literature and Film

  • Sexuality in Early Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture

Complementary courses in Transnational and Postcolonial Studies add to the strength of the department’s offerings in this field, and contribute to the innovative, theoretically informed study of sexuality and gender at the University of Miami. Faculty whose expertise includes strength in these fields:

Anthony Barthelemy (PhD, Yale University) is working on homosociality, sexuality, and race in Shakespeare, African American literature, and interracial movies and television programs.

Kathryn Freeman (PhD, Yale University) is currently investigating gender and orientalism in translations and literature by British men and women from 1780 to 1835.

Tassie Gwilliam (PhD, Cornell University) is at work investigating performance, gender, and sexuality in eighteenth-century plays and writings about the theater.

Pam Hammons (PhD, Cornell University) has recently completed a book on the intersections of gender, sexuality, and property in early modern women’s and men’s poetry in manuscript and in print.

Brenna Munro (PhD, University of Virginia) is working on the relation of queer identity and national identity in South African novels since the end of apartheid.

Patricia Saunders (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is at work on representations of women and attitudes toward sexuality and the nation in Jamaican dancehall music.

Mihoko Suzuki (PhD, Yale University) is working on women’s political writing as it emerges from the seventeenth-century Civil Wars in England and France (the Fronde).


Scholars in several departments besides English are engaged in the study of gender and sexuality including History (Mary Lindemann, Sybil Lipschultz, Martin Nesvig, Guido Ruggiero), Modern Languages and Literatures (Steven Butterman, Anne Cruz, Laura Giannetti, Elena Grau-Llevería, Ralph Heyndels, Gema Pérez-Sánchez, Maria Stampino), Anthropology (Tracy Ardren, Ann Britain, Pamela Geller), Psychology (Patricia Saab), and Religion (Michelle Maldonado, Eileen Oh, Karen Ruffle).

Recent Graduate Courses

The English Department has offered a wide range of courses in gender and sexuality, including the following examples in recent years:

  • His and Hers: Gender, Sexuality, and Property in Early Modern England (Hammons)

  • Gender and Authorship in 17th-Century Poetry and Prose (Suzuki)

  • Queer Shakespeare (Barthelemy)

  • Queering Early English Literary History (Hammons)

  • Performance, Theatricality, and Acting in Drama and Fiction of the Restoration and Eighteenth-Century (Gwilliam)

  • African American Literature: The Dilemma of Masculinity (Barthelemy)

  • Queer Postcoloniality: The African Novel (Munro)

  • Caribbean Women Writers (Paquet)

  • Theories of Gender and Sexuality (Munro)

  • Feminism and Film Theory (Tucker)

Related and complementary courses in other departments include:

  • Homotextualities from the Dawn of Classicism to the Twilight of the Enlightenment (Heyndels, Modern Languages )

  • Sex and Gender in the Western Tradition (Ruggiero, History)

  • Gender and Sexuality in Colonial Latin America (Nesvig, History)

  • Women’s Legal History (Lipschultz, History)

Recent Ph.D. dissertations and dissertations-in-progress by graduate students in the University of Miami Department of English include:

Alfonso-Forero, Ann Marie Theorizing the Postcolonial Female Immigrant: Diaspora and Ethnic Identities in the Fiction of Bharati Mukherjee, Cristina Garcia, Edwidge Danticat, and Jhumpa Lahiri

Caputo, Terra Love and Excess? Women’s Scandalous Fiction and the Feminine Ideal of Moderation, 1680-1730

Damian, Jessica The Lucid Silver and the Glowing Ore: British Women Writers Mine South America, 1770-1860

Fantina, Richard Charles Reade’s Sensational Realism

Harrison, Sheri-Marie Nationalism and Self-Representation: Negotiating Sovereignty in Jamaican Cultural Landscapes

Jacobi, Kara Articulating Trauma, Creating Survival: Trauma and Narration in 20th-Century Ethnic American Women’s Writing

Johnson, Allison “Virtues Friends”: Gender, Class, and Friendship in Early Modern English Women’s Writing

Johnson, Nadia Modernizing Nationalism: Masculinity and the Performance of Anglophone Caribbean Identities

Pilhuj, Katherine A Mirror for the World: Gender, Geography, and Identity in Early Modern English Drama

Recent Events and Speakers

In spring, 2008, the Department of English and the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies sponsored a symposium on Sexuality, Nation, and Diaspora, a series of talks and a roundtable featuring Gayatri Gopinath(New York University), Rinaldo Walcott (University of Toronto), and Juana Maria Rodriguez (University of California, Berkeley).

In the last two years, we have sponsored visits and lectures by some of the most prominent scholars in the fields of Gender and Sexuality Studies:

Natalie Zemon-Davis, former President of the American Historical Association, visited the UM campus for a week as the Henry King Stanford Fellow in the Humanities, delivering three public lectures and conducting seminars for graduate students.

Drew Gilpin-Faust, President of Harvard University, lectured on women, death, and the American Civil War.

Judith Halberstam spoke on “Animating Queer Revolt” in recent animated films.

Other recent distinguished speakers in these fields have included: Londa Schiebinger, Linda Kerber, George Chauncey, Hilda Smith, and Valerie Traub.

The Program in Women’s and Gender Studies is holding a film series this year on gender and sexuality, with each film prefaced by a brief presentation by a faculty member and followed by general discussion.

For further information regarding graduate study in gender and sexuality, at the University of Miami, please feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Frank Palmeri (