For us to be true to who we are, we must embrace all members of the University community without exception. With this in mind, the University affirms its continued support for the LGBTQ+ community.
By Rev. Bernard M. Tracey, C.M.Executive Vice President for Mission
For Christians throughout the world Holy Week is about to begin. It is a time to reflect on Jesus’ life of rejection and acceptance; suffering and blessing; death and rising. He gave his life for us to experience and wholeheartedly share God’s love and mercy. For us to be true to who we are, we must embrace all members of the University community without exception. With this in mind, the University affirms its continued support for the LGBTQ+ community.
One of the ways we wish to publicly show our support is through the signing of a statement made by a group of Catholic Bishops affirming the LGBTQ+ community. The statement declares that “All people of goodwill should help, support, and defend LGBTQ+ youth; who attempt suicide at much higher rates than their straight counterparts; who are often homeless because of families who reject them; who are rejected, bullied, and harassed; and who are the target of violent acts at alarming rates.” It tells LGBTQ+ community members “we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you. Know that God created you, God loves you, and God is on your side.” St. John’s University will add its name to the list of the statement signers.
God’s gift to us is love, a love of acceptance, blessing and rising to new life. It is a love that readily supports the LGBTQ+ community and leads to human fulfillment. In his encyclical, Fratelli Tuti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on love and reminds us that “all of us, as believers, need to recognize that love takes first place: love must never be put at risk, and the greatest danger lies in failing to love.” Our Vincentian tradition also calls us to love and raise up the God-given dignity of all. We will continue to follow the spirit of our tradition in all that we do.
For LGBTQ+ community members at St. John’s and beyond, we respect you, we love you, and we are with you.
Please note: these courses were all submitted by faculty who want to identify their courses as (a) centrally focused on LGBTQ+ matters; (b) partially focused on them; or (c) hospitable to LGBTQ+ students. Some faculty sent whole course descriptions, some a briefer statement on the course’s LGBTQ+ content. The explicit focus on sexuality studies, as you’ll see, varies. At the end of this list appear some informal notes toward courses faculty are imagining in future semesters.
FYW 1000C 12432 T/F 1:50-3:15
FYW 1000C 12451 T/F 5:00-6:25
Prof. Harry Ewan
These sections include a course phase in which students read texts about, discuss, research and write about gender and sexuality issues, including LGBTQ+ subject matter.
Dr. Sean Murray
HON 1030 12273 M/R 10:40-12:05 Hybrid Online FYW 1000C 12431 M/R 12:15-1:40 Hybrid Online FYW 1000C 12477 Online
From Dr. Murray: I teach First Year Writing courses around the theme of social justice. Students are more than welcome to write about LGBTQ topics.
Dr. Sophie BellMR 10:40-12:15 CRN [consult UIS] MR 12:15-1:40 CRN 12428
MR 3:25-4:50 CRN 12440
Writing Across Difference: Language, Race, and Digital Composition
In this course, students will form a community of inquiry to deepen our understandings of the role race and language play in our identities and experiences. Through writing, students will examine race and language in their own lives as well as institutional forms of racism and language discrimination in areas such as education, housing, criminal justice, health care, employment, immigration, citizenship, and the beauty industry. The semester will culminate in presentations of student research on questions of systemic racism.
Students will compose and revise narratives, dialogues, reflections, Spoken Word, rhetorical analyses, instructional texts, digital annotated bibliographies, and pubic letters. We will discuss code-switching, vernacular language, racial micro- and macroaggressions, colorblindness, and institutional racism as they apply to the experiences of students in the class.
We will create Spoken Word performances with poet mentors from Urban Word NYC; conduct interviews; attend events and workshops through the Racial Justice Learning Community; and use the university's library databases to join academic, as well as community, conversations on the topics students choose to explore.
Student are assessed through their engagement in 3 areas of literacy: rhetorical, racial, and digital. This course assumes that writing and race are both difficult and important topics, and that by facing them together we will have a valuable learning experience, generating original, transformative ideas and writing.
ENG. 1100C – 10569, M/R, 9:05 – 10:30 AM
Prof. Lisa Robinson
Centered on LGBTQ narratives/texts.
ENG 3600 / CLS 3600, Classical Epic in Translation (15054/15156) TF 9:05 – 10:30 AM
Dr. Robert Forman
We will read Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, Apollonius of Rhodes’ Argonautica (the tale of Jason, Medea, and the Golden Fleece) complete and selections from Statius’ Thebaid (the story of Theseus, slayer of the Minotaur).
The Homeric poems and Vergil’s Aeneid have continued to influence every period of Western literature from medieval to contemporary. Statius’ poem was particularly influential for Chaucer. He used portions of it in his Canterbury Tales as well as in Troilus and Criseyde. For this reason, we will parallel our study of the classical epics as often as possible selections from modern and contemporary works. (The instructor will supply this parallel material or will indicate the appropriate e-text websites.)
ENG. 3140: Jacobean Shakespeare: Shakespeare and the Modern Novel (15046) TF 9:05 – 10:30 AM
Dr. Steven Mentz
Shakespeare didn’t write novels, but in the early years of the twenty-first century his works have inspired a flood of literary narratives that respond, critique, and explore his plays. This course juxtaposes four of Shakespeare’s canonical masterpieces – Hamlet, King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest – with four (or possibly five) novels written in dialogue with them: John Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius (2000); Preti Taneja’s We That Are Young (2018); Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time (2015); and Margaret Atwood’s Hagseed (2017). (If time allows, we may also read Ian McEwan’s Nutshell .) Reading contemporary novels in dialogue with Shakespeare, as well as seeing a live production of “Hamlet” at the Queens Theater, will help us put this 400-year old writer in modern contexts.
Dr. Mentz adds, for Spectrum: My Shakespeare class this spring will be looking at modern (21c) novels written in response to Shakespeare, which means it won't be explicitly q ueer theory-focused -- but there's so much queer discourse in and around Shakespeare studies that I think the Shakespeare course is always LGBTQ+-adjacent, at least. I try to highlight such issues in the plays and especially the Sonnets.
ENG. 3590: Literature & The Other Arts (15061) Race, Gender, and Science Fiction
W. 10:40AM – 1:30 PM
Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls
This course takes seriously the work that science fiction and speculative fiction works do in relation to constructions of gender and sexuality, race, and imaginary worlds and temporalities. This course considers how dystopian science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative categories render race and gender in the afterlife of structured society. Are race and gender metrics that register after civilization has been destroyed or radically altered? We consider such questions as: Who gets to lead in dystopian society? Who gets to have family and kinship and how are those portrayed? How is gender racialized and race gendered in post-apocalyptic worlds? And finally, can dystopic future renderings aid in undoing long-standing structural oppressions?
The class will focus on a series of objects and performances across genre, including: Octavia Butler’s Kindred in novel and its graphic novel adaptation; the film Snowpiercer; the film The Train to Busan; novels by Tomi Adeyemi and NK Jeminsin; and Marjorie Liu’s graphic novel Monstress series. Through contemporary visions of the dystopic future, present, and past, this course seeks to explore how racial hierarchies—as well as patriarchy, heteronormative logic, cissexism, and corporate nation-states—are maintained or undone in fictional realities.
There are no prerequisites for this course but students will benefit from having taken a theoretical course in the humanities or social sciences. This course should appeal to students interested in literary studies, cultural history, performance studies, media studies, communication, visual culture, gender and sexuality studies, art and aesthetics, queer studies, genre fiction, and critical race studies.
ENG 3260 Women Writers of the Nineteenth-Century (15047) Dr. Amy M. King
Mon/Th 12:15 - 1:40
The nineteenth-century is a particularly rich moment to study literature written by women; in England, the period saw the proliferation of women's writing, including novels, poetry, social criticism, drama, and other forms of non-fiction prose. The late nineteenth century also saw the appearance of the “New Woman”— a shorthand phrase for various controversies about gender and women's roles concentrated in the 1890s— and the commencement of the civil right struggle for women's suffrage that culminated in the extension of limited (1894, 1918) and then full franchise (1928) in England. In this course we will study the aesthetic and cultural contributions of various women writers from England in the nineteenth-century. The course will be divided into three units: “The Angel in the House,” “Narrating Women's Lives,” and “The 1890s, Suffrage, and the New Woman.” Our primary focus in this course will be to read and analyze the work of a set of exceptional women writers—including novelists, explorers, political activists, poets, missionaries, and housewifery consultants— and to understand them in their historical context as well as appreciate their aesthetic and political achievements. We will study the cultural phenomenon of the woman writer and the way in which various writers gave imaginative life to the situation of the modern woman, including . We also will be concerned with theorizing this body of work as a separate and gendered tradition of nineteenth-century British literature. Authors may include: Jane Austen, Anonymous, Mary Shelley, Mrs. Beeton, Anne Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Michael Field, Elizabeth Gaskell, Sarah Grand, Mary Kingsley, Harriet Martineau, Mary Prince, and Christina Rossetti.
ENG 3290  Special Topics 18th & 19th C. Literature: Female Virtue and the Novelistic Tradition
Dr. Amy M. King Mon/Th 9:05 -10:30
One of the reoccurring preoccupations of the novel of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the question of female innocence. The courtship novel, the fallen woman novel, and the French adultery novel are three genres that take up the trope of the “girl” and the broader cultural subject of female innocence. And yet the novel hardly invented the category of innocence, the subjectivity of the young unmarried female character, or anxiety about female “virtue.” Since Eve took the determining bite, the relationship between knowledge and female chastity has been an overriding cultural preoccupation in the west. The novel tradition reflects that long-standing cultural anxiety around chastity (is she “pure” or fallen”?), spinning repeated novelistic plots that revolve around particularly modern concerns about the relationship between female identity and “dangers” to it, including flirtation, forwardness, “fallenness” (whether by seduction, sexual violence or choice). Ideas about the way in which culture depends upon an (always imperiled) white female virtue will be one (but not the sole) entranceway into a number of novels and excerpts from novels that revolve around what Henry James called the “formula” of that “charming creature”— “the girl.” We will likely read excerpts from Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, and Fanny Burney’s Evelina, as well as a selection of the following possible novels: (Anonymous) The Woman of Color, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, George Eliot’s Adam Bede, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Henry James’s Daisy Miller, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.
ENG. 3270: Eighteenth-Century British Poetry (15055)
MR 10:40 – 12:05 PM
Dr. Kathleen Lubey
In eighteenth-century Britain, the enterprise of writing poetry often was undertaken with gravity and precision. Considered the great literary form that was handed down to a “modern,” enlightened age from antiquity, poetry required that numerous and crucial decisions be weighed by writers. To what degree should modern poets imitate their ancient predecessors? Should poetry be written for publication, or only for discreet circulation among a private audience? What are the consequences of deviating from convention? What did it mean for a woman to compose i n this genre, long characterized as the province of educated men? How did authors use public forms of poetry to explore private matters, like desire, sex, and gender identity? Such questions shape the composition of poetry in this period; we will learn its major formal and thematic conventions in this period and seek an understanding of its varied social, cultural, political, and aesthetic implications, covering topics from lady’s dressing rooms and genitalia to landscape aesthetics and abolitionism. We will read the major, and some minor, poets from 1660 to 1789, including Dryden, Rochester, Behn, Finch, Montagu, Pope, Swift, Thompson, Johnson, More, Gray, Barbauld, and Wheatley. Evaluation will be based on essays totaling 12-15 written pages, a final, attendance, and participation. The course will be essay-writing intensive, with emphasis on drafting, revising, and literary analysis. While the course is based in a historical period that privileges Englishness, whiteness, masculinity, and rank, I aim for it to be inclusive for thinkers i nterested in matters of social, sexual, and racial justice as well as for creative writers.
ENG. 3475: African American Women’s Rhetorics (15057) TF 10:40 – 12:05 PM
Dr. LaToya Sawyer
Over 150 Years after Sojourner Truth asked, “Ain’t I a Woman?” political movements like #metoo demonstrate that Black women are at the forefront of insisting that all women, their voices, and their bodies to be recognized in public spheres and conversations concerning and advocating for women. This course traces the stream (Royster 2000) of Black women’s rhetoric from historical figures such as Sojourner Truth, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Ida B. Wells, and Audre Lorde to more contemporary rhetors including Tarana Burke, Representative Maxine Waters, and your favorite YouTuber or IG celebrity in order to better understand Black women’s rhetorical traditions and resources and their value today.
This course goes beyond ethos, logos, pathos and other common understandings of rhetorical theory derived from Greco-Roman rhetorical traditions in order to explore how African American women take up the productive arts of persuasion. The course will consider the intersections of race, gender, and other social categories in order to understand the specificity of rhetorical production of women of African descent in the U.S. We will examine how Black women use discourses, language, and literacies such as the use of ratchet language, hair styling and hand-clap games, and digital literacy practices in order to be, advance, protect, and celebrate themselves and the people and concerns they care about. Students will consider the social, political, economic, and educational implications of African American women’s rhetorics and have the opportunity to showcase their findings. Readings will include: Talking Back: Thinking Black, Thinking Feminist by bell hooks, Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere by Gwendolyn Pough, The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop by Kyra Gaunt, and other selected texts and media.
SOC 1570: GENDER, VIOLENCE, AND THE MOVIES
Explores the relationship between violence and gender in films. Global sociological perspective on how gender/sexualities intersect with race/ethnicity/class, how they are represented, reproduced and/or challenged in film. Studying links between gender/sexualities and violence through the cinema furthers our understanding of systems of social oppression, practices and ideologies sustaining gender violence, as well as the individual and collective means to challenge such inequities. (January 2-11 2019, MTWRF 9-2:45)
SOC1170: INEQUALITY, RACE, CLASS AND GENDER
Analysis of the social factors determining class, power and prestige in American society. (TF 09:05-10:30)
SOC2440: GENDER IDENTITY IN POPULAR CULTURE
Exploration of the social construction of gender in popular culture and the interaction between the individual and these images in the formation of the self. Special attention is given to the construction of gender identity in films, television and music. (MR 12:15-1:40)
SOC1150: SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY
This course examines the institution of marriage and the family from a critical sociological perspective.
Intro to Catholic Moral Theology CRN 15013 W 10:40-1:30
Dr. Jeremy Cruz
Dr. Cruz is currently designing THE 2300 (Introduction to Catholic Moral Theology) to give more space to gender/sexual ethics and to independent student research. The course has many of other focus areas (environment, wealth/debt, labor, violence) but the content is about 1/5 gender and sexuality, plus opportunities for student-chosen research/presentations. Dr. Cruz teaches it once or twice a year.
Art 3725 Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Pre-Christian Art
Dr. Amy Gansell
This course situates ancient art and ideas in a pre-Christian context and demonstrates similarities and differences in perspectives on and images of gender, sexuality, and the body observed with the emergence of Christianity.
HIS 3561: Witches Wives and Queens: Early-Modern European Women
Dr. Erika Vause
Women and gender in Europe (1500 to 1800); rulership, religion, economic roles, family life, gender norms, witchcraft and early feminism.
Eng 3130, Shakespeare’s Elizabethan Plays, Dr. Mentz; Fall 2019
Eng 3280, Early English Feminisms, Dr. Lubey; probably Fall 2019
FRE 3830 / FRE 3902: French and Francophone Women WritersDr. Stève Puig
In the class, which is bilingual, we discuss gender identity and sexuality in Simone de Beauvoir’s « Le Deuxieme Sexe » ("The Second Sex") and in Nina Bouraoui’s « Garcon Manque » ("Tomboy") among others.
St. John’s University recognizes that some students may prefer to identify themselves by a First Name and/or Middle Name other than their Legal Name. For this reason, the University will enable students to use a Preferred Name where possible in the course of University business and education.
For more information and the Preferred Name Change Request form, please visit Office of the Registrar and scroll down to the "Preferred Name Policy" section.
The Office of Residence Life offers students the opportunity to live in gender-affirming housing on campus. Residence Life also provides spaces with private bathrooms for students who indicate a need or preference for more privacy, including transgender and/or non-binary students. However, we acknowledge that there are a limited number of these spaces since the vast majority of our housing is suite-style, with shared bathrooms. A few notes:
For more information, please contact the Office of Residence Life. If you have specific concerns or want to talk through housing options that you may not see online or in the housing application, please contact Dr. Jason Bartlett, Associate Director of Residence Life.
What is a personal gender pronoun (PGP)?
Personal gender pronouns refer specifically to people that are being talked about (he/him/his; she/her/hers; they/them/their; xir/xie; etc.). We have moved away from the language of “preferred pronouns” because gender identity is not a preference but a reality. Using “preferred” can imply that using the correct pronouns for someone is optional.
What kind of pronouns can be used?
There are an infinite number of pronouns as new ones emerge in our language, so it’s best to ask people what pronouns they use. Some people prefer to not use pronouns, and would like their names to be used instead.
Why is it important to respect pronouns as faculty?
We can’t always tell someone’s gender identity or their pronouns by outward appearances. By respecting students’ and colleagues’ pronouns, we set an example in our university community. When someone is referred to by the wrong pronoun, it can make the person feel disrespected and alienated. Honoring people’s pronouns is a simple way to show that we want to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.
How should I ask what someone’s pronoun is?
It’s best not to put students, colleagues, or staff on the spot, but rather to give an opportunity for everyone to provide pronouns if they would like. Two ways to do this are to have students fill out index cards with their names, contact information, and pronouns; or to include pronouns as an optional part of group introductions (e.g. “tell us your name, where you’re from, and, if you would like, what pronouns you use”). You can also let students know that they can tell you individually, which some students may feel more comfortable doing. Outside of the classroom context, for staff, other faculty, or students, we could ask, “what pronouns do you use?” or “what should I call you?” or introduce yourself first and use your name and pronouns.
What if I make a mistake?
That’s okay! If you use the wrong pronoun, thank the person for reminding you, correct it, and then move on. Avoid continually talking about how bad you feel for making the mistake, which can put the person on the spot. If you forget someone’s pronoun, follow the same protocol: correct it and move on. If other students or faculty are using the wrong pronoun for a person, try to correct it by saying something like “Actually, Alex uses ‘she.’” If students or faculty continue to use the wrong pronoun, do not ignore it. It might help to ask the person who has been misidentified if they would like you to take the other person aside and remind them of the proper pronoun. Steps like this let the person know you are an ally.
How else can I be proactive around this topic?
You can include your pronouns in your email signature or add them to your class syllabus, and substitute inclusive language such as “everybody,” “folks,” or “this person” for gender binary language like “ladies and gentleman,” “boys and girls,” “he or she,” etc.
Adapted from diversity.caltech.edu/documents/2972/preferred_gender_pronoun_guide_4twaPpX.pdf
For information on all gender and ADA restrooms throughout campus, please visit the All Gender and ADA Restroom Map. Note that you can find specific information on each restroom’s location by clicking on the map’s person icons.
Please note that it is a work in progress. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Jackie Lochrie at [email protected] or Matthew Pucciarelli at [email protected], Spectrum’s Advisors.