Welcome to the website for the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN), a multi-pronged, critical, and interdisciplinary initiative to promote research and education on sexuality, sexual orientation, and health in social context.

SPAN funds research by Northwestern faculty members; selects postdoctoral fellows in an international competition; and awards dissertation fellowships, summer research grants, and conference travel support to Northwestern graduate students. SPAN also organizes workshops, brings speakers to campus, and promotes a range of educational activities relating to sexuality studies. Our goal is to support Northwestern's contributions to the emerging research agenda on sexual orientation and sexuality, particularly within the social sciences (broadly construed).

SPAN has provided funding to faculty and students in more than 15 departments and programs on campus, and its workshops and events have been attended by a wide cross-section of the Northwestern community.





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news and updates

Double Congratulations to Alex Lindgren-Gibson!


SPAN 2012-13 Dissertation Fellow Alex Lindgren-Gibson has been awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship for 2014-15. This prestigious national fellowship is one of the most competitive in the country, and it supports work with the potential to make “a significant contribution to the study of ethical or religious values.” In addition, Alex has been awarded a Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year. Alex’s dissertation is on “British Working-Class Culture and Family Life in Victorian India: Class, Sexuality & Race.”

Congratulations to Kareem Khubchandani!


SPAN 2012-13 Dissertation Fellow Kareem Khubchandani has been awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Embry Foundation Center for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Kareem’s dissertation is entitled "_Ishtyle_: Queer Nightlife Performance in India and the South Asian Diaspora."

Congratulations to Elizabeth Rodriguez!

We are delighted to announce that Elizabeth Rodriguez, Ph.D. candidate in English and SPAN dissertation fellow in 2013-14, has been awarded a Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship for 2014. Elizabeth is one of only 10 recipients of this prestigious national fellowship, which “supports the final year of dissertation writing for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose work addresses topics of women and gender in interdisciplinary and original ways.” Elizabeth’s dissertation is on “Consensual Relations: Sexual and Political Subjectivity in England, 1550-1700.”


Elizabeth has additionally been awarded a 2014 Presidential Fellowship, the most prestigious fellowship awarded to graduate students at Northwestern. Her dissertation research, funded by SPAN in 2012-13, is entitled “Consensual Relations: Sexual and Political Subjectivity in England, 1550-1700.”

Congratulations to former Postdoctoral Fellow Kirsten Leng!


We are delighted to announce that SPAN’s former postdoctoral fellow, Kirsten Leng, has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, to begin September 1, 2014. As of September 2014, she will be an Assistant Professor in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Congratulations, Kirsten!

SPAN events and calls for proposals    

SPAN Annual Workshop, April 24-25, 2014


Desiring Categories: Predicaments of Binaries, Boundaries, and Classifications in Sexuality Studies


April 24-25, 2014 at Northwestern University, Evanston


For further information, please see Workshop Information.

Anne Fausto-Sterling Keynote Address for SPAN Annual Workshop


"I Was Born a Baby: The Dynamic Development of Gender Variability"


Thursday, April 24, 2014

John Evans Alumni Center, Northwestern University at 5:00 pm


For further information, please see Workshop Information.

Queertopia! 7.0: Queering Pride, May 2-4, 2014


Northwestern University’s Queer Pride Graduate Student Association is proud to present its seventh annual graduate student academic festival, Queertopia! which includes our evening showcase, Queergasm! A Cabaret.


NU Graduate Student Commons, Seabury Hall
2122 Sheridan Rd, Room 250
Evanston, IL


For further information, please see the conference website and schedule.


Register for the conference here.