Reading Group 2016: Alida Bouris, Ryan Mack, Aaron Norton, Sarah Bassett, Jane Hereth, Steven Epstein, Gregory Ward, and Francesca Gaiba Gayle Rubin giving the keynote address at 2016 Workshop "Whereabouts" SPAN Postdoc Kai M. Green presenting "Saying 'Yes' to the Bulldagger Within: A Black Lesbian Trans* Inheritance"


The Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN) is 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.




current SPAN calls for proposals



No more CFPs until Fall 2016.



news and updates



Aymar Jean Christian

Communication Studies


“Open TV beta: Developing and Analyzing Queer TV Reception Online.”




Announcing the 2016-18 SPAN Postdoctoral Fellows




Abram J. Lewis
Mitali Thakor
American Studies
University of Minnesota

History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology & Society (HASTS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology




The Black Feminist Futures Symposium will take place Friday, May 20th-Saturday, May 21st, 2016 at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art (Northwestern University, Evanston Campus). The symposium will be invested in generating a radically interdisciplinary conversation that engages questions around black feminist futurity. Generally, participants will survey interdisciplinary discourses within and beyond the field of black feminist theory to investigate the conditions of possibility for black feminist futurity within the academy.

Invited speakers include: Kara Keeling, Omise’eke Tinsley, Kai M. Green, Vanessa Agard-Jones, Jayna Brown, Nicole Fleetwood, C. Riley Snorton, Zakiyyah Jackson, Tina Campt, Jafari Allen, Matt Richardson, Cathy Cohen, Treva Lindsey, Roderick Ferguson, Monica Miller, Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman.



Reading Group 2016 RECAP: “Pleasure/Danger: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Sexual Pleasure and Sexual Risk”

During the Winter quarter 2016, SPAN and the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research co-organized a successful reading group on the topic of “Pleasure/Danger: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Sexual Pleasure and Sexual Risk.” Twenty-two participants from Northwestern’s Evanston and Chicago campuses and the University of Chicago met over five separate sessions to discuss recent scholarship on sexual risk and pleasure in relation to issues such as HIV prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), male and female circumcision, and sexual health more generally.




Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's workshop! A special thank you goes out to our speakers (Gayle Rubin, Marlon Bailey, Amin Ghaziani, Christina Hanhardt, and LaMonda Horton-Stallings), our session chairs (Jeffrey Masten, Mary Weismantel, Francesca Gaiba, and E. Patrick Johnson), and our graduate student commentators (V Chaudry, Eddie Gamboa, Clare Forstie, Stefan Vogler, Liz Laurie, Leigh Goldstein, Tay Glover, and Brittnay Proctor). Photos from the events are forthcoming.