What is SBAI?

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (SBAI) is home to the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies program at the University of Rochester and is named to honor Susan B. Anthony, the nineteenth-century suffragist who led a successful campaign to have women admitted to the University of Rochester in 1900.  SBAI is dedicated to addressing scholarly issues important for understanding gender, sexuality, and women throughout history and in contemporary society, and is committed to promoting a campus environment that is safe, equitable, and inclusive.

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SBAI engages an interdisciplinary community of scholars, students, and advocates who research and discuss topics related to gender, sexuality, and women and how they intersect with other marginalized groups and identities. Our program draws on the humanities, the arts, and the social and natural sciences to explore a broad range of intellectual questions concerning the ways in which gender and sexuality are embedded in and structure our everyday lives, and includes faculty who are appointed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Eastman School of Music, the School of Nursing, the Simon School of Business, and the Warner School of Education.

SBAI promotes equality through research, engaging programming, and academic offerings. SBAI also provides physical space for gatherings, study groups, and to learn about more available resources for students interested in being involved outside of the classroom for all members of the University community.

Our program includes over one hundred faculty associates who represent a broad ranges of disciplines in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, who are appointed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Eastman School of Music, the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, the Simon School of Business, the School of Nursing, and the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Areas of faculty interest include history of sexuality, women in history, society, literature, art, and politics; disability, gender, and sexuality; queer theory; race and ethnicity; sexuality and psychology; feminism in science, technology, and philosophy; gender in literature, art, and media; and LGBTQIA+ studies.

Some SBAI History

In 1980 the University launched a concentration in women’s studies to address scholarly and curricular issues important for understanding the role of women. The program was officially opened in 1982, and in 1986 the University established the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Studies to support the program, faculty research, and attention to women’s issues. In 1991 the Institute was awarded a three-year Rockefeller Foundation Grant. The Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships allowed us to have in residence visiting scholars whose work focused on the intersection of race, gender, and visual culture. The Institute name was amended between 1996 and 1997 to the more inclusive “Gender & Women’s Studies,” and in 2016 the Institute name was again updated to become “Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.”

The Institute sponsors faculty research seminars, conferences, mentorship seminars, and annual public lecture series. We offer an undergraduate majors, minors, and clusters in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies in both the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Susan B. Anthony Institute research grants, graduate teaching fellowships, and graduate dissertation fellowships support the ongoing research and curricular development of our faculty and students. Each year the Institute, awards the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for excellence in fiction by an American woman. Past recipients include Gail Godwin, Mary Gordon, Ursula LeGuin, Toni Morrison, Marianne Wiggins, and Karen Tei Yamashita.

Read more about us and what we do on our website, here.