WGS 392: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Queer (LGBTQ) Studies & Theory is a course that explores how queer theory relates to a variety of academic disciplines and areas of life. This course requires that students study various identities and experiences within the LGBTQ community.

WGS 392 aims to educate students about the intersection of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and sexuality. It also explores how normality is defined and imposed in several cultural contexts. In this seminar, students take the active role in leading class discussions. With a solid understanding of queer theory, students can better understand the alternatives that queer practitioners offer for socially constructed views of such alleged ‘normality.’

This course is taught by Professor Tom Gerschick, a women’s and gender studies (WGS) program faculty member from the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Gerschick’s teaching experiences at Illinois State include diversity-related courses, sociology of the body, and sociological inquiry. Gerschick is well-known for being an exceptional educator for students, and last school year he was one of three recipients of the Outstanding College Teaching Awards in the College of Arts and Sciences.

WGS 392 is  part two of WGS 292: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies, a course that was launched at Illinois State in the fall 2014 semester. WGS 392 and 292 are also part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ desire to grow LGBTQ studies at the University. There are hopes to begin offering a minor or certificate in LGBTQ studies in the upcoming years.