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.


To sign up for the SPAN mailing list, please click here.



Aaron Norton giving a talk entitled "'You mean you're not circumcized!' Male circumcision campaigns for HIV-prevention and the making of bio-sexual subjects"   




news and updates

Welcome from the Co-Directors of SPAN


Greetings and welcome to the 2014-15 academic year! As SPAN enters its fifth year of operation, we want to take this opportunity to introduce some new arrivals to our campus, remind everyone of opportunities that the project offers, and provide a heads-up concerning events planned for the coming months.


One of the most significant aspects of SPAN’s efforts is our postdoctoral fellowship competition. We are delighted to welcome two new postdocs to Northwestern this year, both of whom will begin two-year appointments:


· Kai M. Green recently completed his dissertation on black queer Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. At Northwestern, he is jointly appointed in African American Studies and the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, and he will be teaching classes on “Queer in the City” and “Gender, Sexuality, and Race: Black Queer Looks.”


· Aaron Norton’s dissertation, recently completed at the University of California at Davis, traced the science, ethics and politics of male circumcision’s emergence as an HIV-risk category and prevention strategy. Aaron is jointly appointed in Sociology and the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, and he will be teaching classes on “Sexuality, the Social Sciences, and LGBT Rights” and “Sexuality and HIV/AIDS.”


Kai and Aaron were among 93 applicants for these positions, and we anticipate that they will make substantial contributions to our intellectual community here at Northwestern. For more information about them, please see here.


This year SPAN will continue to provide a range of funding opportunities for faculty and graduate students. We encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with these opportunities at our website, which, through the efforts of our program assistant, Jeremy Cornelius, has become a complete and useful guide to what SPAN has to offer. As in previous years, we will also sponsor a number of events and activities, including a reading group in the winter quarter and a workshop in April. More immediately, we will be hosting several talks this fall, including ones by Kai and Aaron. Please stay posted for details!


We look forward to seeing you all at events this year, and we always appreciate your feedback and suggestions.


Héctor Carrillo and Steve Epstein

Co-Directors, the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN)


SPAN News & Updates Archive


For SPAN News & Updates Archive from the 2013-2014 academic year, please see here.

SPAN events and calls for proposals    

SPAN Conference Travel Funding


Upcoming deadline: January 23, 2015

The Sexualities Project at Northwestern helps graduate students to publicize their work and findings. Students are invited to apply for up to $400 in funding to offset expenses to attend conferences where they present work related to sexuality or sexual orientation. Work related to the theme of “sexual orientation and health in social context” will receive higher priority. At the time of application, presentations need not yet be accepted, but must have been submitted.


For more information on how to apply, please see the Conference Presentation Funding page.