The New School News

The New School’s Gender and Sexualities Studies Institute Arrives at a Critical Time for Feminists, Gender Minorities, and Queer Communities Throughout the World

The New School has been a historical pioneer in the field of gender studies and its new Gender and Sexualities Studies Institute, (GSSI) will serve as a central home for the scholarship, activism, and creative practice of all students and faculty working on gender across the university. It will also serve as  a collective space within The New School for building feminist and queer community.

The Institute is co-founded by Chiara Bottici, associate professor of philosophy, and Lisa Rubin, associate professor of psychology  and builds on the ongoing initiatives in Gender Studies over the past decade, including the establishment of the undergraduate Gender Studies program, and the graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies.

From the Women’s March of January 2017, the largest single day of protest in US history, to the centering of trans experience within the Black Life Matters of recent months, the world is witnessing a surge of intersectional feminist and queer organizing and activism in response to the ongoing threats to safety, dignity, community, and autonomy for women, and gender and sexual minorities.

These issues are at the forefront of the most significant social movements of our time, whether they are related to matters of class, race, ecology, or the intersections among them and the GSSI will provide a space where these issues can be discussed and debated in the pursuit of justice and equality. 

At a time when gender and sexual minorities are the target of ensuing violence that has only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, the creation of such an institute is an essential task in the pursuit of social justice. As the lockdown has continued globally, there has been an increase in gender violence showing that not even their homes are safe for gender and sexual minorities.  The rise of neofascism and nationalism at home and abroad has also significantly increased the risks for these groups.  

The GSSI will honor the history of Gender Studiies and the long legacy of women’s leadership within the university, at The New School while supporting exciting new initiatives. Plans for the GSSI’s inaugural 2020-2021 year include hosting talks and other open events; launching a Gender Matters symposium for New School faculty and students working on relevant topics; and connecting students with scholarships, job opportunities, and research mentorship. 

Here is a list of the upcoming events, dates, and times: 

October 7th, 6:00pm-8:00pm EST. A Century of Women’s Suffrage: Gender, Race, Citizenship, and Democracy, a panel discussion sponsored by The New School’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute. Register at:

October, 13th, 12:00pm-1:30pm EST. ONLINE | Smitha Radhakrishnan “Making Women Pay: Microfinance in Urban India  Register at:

October 22nd, 4:00pm-6:00pm EST. Troubling Terms and the Sex TradeRegister at:

November 12th 12 pm2:30 pm EST. Judith Butler, Repression and Resistance: Inside and Outside the Academy (co-sponsored with the NewUniversity in Exile Consortium)

“GSSI  will coordinate between our undergraduate Gender Minor and our Gender and Sexualities Studies Graduate Certificate, gather and disseminate information about fellowships and job opportunities, as well as provide a space where new university-wide initiatives, such as conferences, grant applications and fundraising can be pursued, says co-directors Bottici and Rubin. “By organizing a yearly symposium on “Gender Matters,” we will showcase ongoing works within our school as well as connect with other initiatives in the city and outside of it.”

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