Welcome from the Director
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Web site of the program in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at the University of Maryland. Whether you are a current or a prospective student, a faculty member at Maryland or elsewhere, a parent or an alum, we hope you will find the information you need about a program of study that cuts across disciplinary boundaries and asks vital, vexing questions about what it means to be human: What are the social, psychic, and cultural consequences of the division of human beings into "male" and "female," "straight" and "gay" (or "bi" or queer)? What is the history of such a system of classification? What might the alternatives to that system look like?
Maryland’s program in LGBT Studies is nationally distinctive in being one of the few such programs in a public research university that stands on its own rather than being housed within a larger department. That autonomy is a measure of the University’s historic commitment to interdisciplinary fields of study that focus on under-represented groups and emerging areas of inquiry. LGBT Studies enjoys strong ties to other sites of interdisciplinary work on campus, including the departments of American Studies, English, and Women’s Studies, where courses that fulfill requirements for the certificate and the minor in LGBT Studies are regularly taught. Faculty in all of those departments plus the departments of African American Studies, History, Sociology, and the College of Education’s department of Curriculum and Instruction are affiliated with the program and advance its work through teaching, research, and program oversight.
The program currently offers two options for undergraduate students seeking a credential in the field of LGBT Studies: a 21- credit certificate and a 15-credit minor. Since LGBT Studies was established in 2002, graduates of the program have gone on to careers in college student affairs, health education, and the non-profit sector and to advanced study in fields as varied as cinema, counseling psychology, divinity, law, and public health. Maryland’s proximity to Washington, D.C., creates exciting internship opportunities for students interested in policy, organizing, and advocacy. Students have gained valuable professional experience with national LGBT advocacy and policy organizations, including the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and the Mautner Project/National Lesbian Health Organization.
In addition to courses and programs of study, the LGBT Studies Program is a lively site of intellectual exchange on campus, sponsoring lectures, symposia, and performances that highlight sex and gender variation as aspects of culture and identity. The program’s annual lecture series is a showcase of leading figures in LGBT, queer, and sexuality studies speaking on subjects as diverse and provocative as same-sex love in India, transgender history, LGBT law and politics, the queer resonances of popular culture, and the complex interrelationships of religion, race, and sexuality.
We hope you enjoy your virtual tour of LGBT Studies at Maryland. We invite you to see what we mean when we say, Queer the Turtle!
Associate Professor, English, and Director, LGBT Studies