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.




news and updates

Triple 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.” Additionally, Alex has been funded by the IASSCS (International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society) Emerging Scholars International Research Fellowship Program to undertake archival research in India.

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    

Please check back this fall for updates on SPAN events and calls for proposals!















2013-2014 event photos


Martin Manalansan, C Riley Snorton, and Jay Grossman at the reception for the 2014 "Desiring Categories" Workshop


Anne Fausto-Sterling giving the keynote address for the 2014 "Desiring Categories" Workshop



Mary Dietz in the 2014 SPAN Reading Group, "Sex, Sexuality, and Technoscience"


Helen Thompson and Amy Partridge in the 2014 SPAN Reading Group