Gender and Sexualities

An interdisciplinary research cluster under the auspices of the history department

About the Cluster

The study of gender, bodies and sexualities is central to a full appreciation of the past, whether one is studying political culture, work and leisure, religious ideologies, scientific practices, state formation, or war.  Our department has long been a recognized leader of gender history in a variety of temporal and geographic fields: medieval and modern Europe, colonial America and modern US, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, and South Asia.  Many of us work on topics that transcend national boundaries by integrating gender into studies of imperialism, decolonization, borderlands, and international trade.  Our research methods are as diverse as the topics we study.  We approach gender and sexuality as historians of the emotions and the senses, as historians of political economy and business, as historians of material culture, consumption, and food practices, as historians of cities and the built environment, and as historians of childhood and the family.  We study the history of work in its widest sense, including slavery, industrial, agricultural work, and household and intimate labors.

Some of our activities include:

  • We host a Gender and Sexualities History Brown Bag series in which faculty, graduate students and guests workshop articles and chapters, and discuss current issues in feminist pedagogy and politics.
  • We sponsor guest speakers
  • We host conferences and symposia
  • We partner with the Department of Feminist Studies and other affiliated scholars
  • We host an annual graduate student retreat where students can discuss their work with faculty and peers not on their doctoral committees

Goals and Future Directions

  • Reconsider the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in light of the changing nature of the field
  • Develop new areas of departmental expertise
  • Develop greater public engagement through social media and through hosting an annual public event

People in the Cluster

Faculty and Lecturers:


Affiliated Faculty:

Current Graduate Students:


  • Justin Bengry (Honorary Research Fellow, Birkbeck College, University of London, Founder and Managing Editor of Notches: (Re)marks on the History of Sexuality)
  • Megan Bowman (Lecturer, Georgia State University)
  • Joshua Birk (Assistant Professor, Smith College)
  • Sarah Case (Managing Editor, The Public Historian, Lecturer University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Sandra T. Dawson (Lecturer, Northern Illinois University)
  • April Haynes (Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin)
  • Carolyn Herbst Lewis (Assistant Professor, Grinnell College)
  • Betsy Homsher (Vice President, Student Affairs, Kettering University)
  • Nancy McLaughlin (Associate Professor, UC Irvine)
  • Elizabeth Pryor (Assistant Professor, Smith College)
  • Nancy Stockdale (Associate Professor, University of North Texas)
  • Danielle Swiontek (Department Chair, Santa Barbara City College)
  • Bianca Murillo (Assistant Professor, Willamette University)
  • Laura Nenzi (Associate Professor, University of Tenn. at Knoxville)
  • Nicole Pacino  (Assistant Professor, University of Alabama, Huntsville)
  • Anne Rapp (Associate Professor, Lewis University, Chicago)
  • Katrin Sjursen (Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville)
  • Tanya Stabler (Assistant Professor, Loyola University, Chicago)
  • Matthew Sutton (Professor, Washington State University)
  • Sarah Watkins (Visiting Assistant Professor, Colby College)
  • Corinne Wieben (Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado)
  • Angela Woollacott (Manning Clark Professor of History, Australian National University)
  • Leandra Zarnow (Assistant Professor, University of Houston)

News & Events

Research Cluster News

2020 Events:



Details coming soon! 



Friday, June 21, 2019 – 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Graduate Student Colloquium

HSSB 4080

8:00 – 8:30 AM – Breakfast on Campus


8:30 – 10:00 AM – Session A


Devotional bequests of textile in fourteenth-century Dalmatia (Croatia)

Giulia Giamboni, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara


“A Silk Producing Country”: Labor and Capital in Utah’s Silk Industry, 1852-1875

Sasha Coles, Department of History,

The University of California, Santa Barbara


10:00 – 10:15 AM – Nutrition Break


 10:15 – 11:00 AM – Session B


A Bookstore of One’s Own:

A History of Gay and Lesbian Bookstores in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada

Sarah Dunne, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara


11:00 – 12:30 – Session C


 Family Matters: Marriage, Paternity, and Sources of Support for Black Valencians, 1500-1550

Thomas Franke, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara


Women Negotiating Shari’a in Marriage, Divorce, and Inheritance in the 19th Century Caucasus

Sergey Salushchev, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara


12:30 – 1:15 PM – LUNCH


1:15 – 2:45 PM – Session D


Transnational Causes, Transgressive Kinships:

The Post-Colonial Activism of Esther Fahmi Wissa in Interwar Egypt

Amy Fallas, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara


Denaturalization and Race-Making after US vs Bhagat Singh Thind (CP)

Janna Haider, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara


2: 45 – 3:00 – Nutrition Break


3:00 – 4:30 – Session E


For the Ideal Home:

Pressure Cookers and Transnational Home Economics in Postwar India and the United States

Harini Alladi, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara


Commodifying Contraception: A Political Economy of Sex in Interwar Britain

Julie Johnson, Department of History

The University of California, Santa Barbara




Papers will be circulated in advance. For copies of the papers, please email Jarett Henderson:



Page last modified: March 10, 2020