The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies focuses on the changing cultural, economic, political, and psychological relations among people of all genders and sexualities. Because our discipline asks questions about gender and sexuality that no single academic department is able to answer, the program encourages an interdisciplinary approach to research and learning.

Our program includes faculty from the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences who are appointed in the School of Arts and Sciences, Eastman School of Music, Warner School of Education, Simon Business School, School of Nursing, and 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
  • LGBTQIA+ studies

The institute sponsors faculty research seminars, conferences, mentorship seminars, and annual public lecture series. We offer 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.


The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies is named to honor Susan B. Anthony, the 19th-century suffragist who led a successful campaign to have women admitted to the University of Rochester in 1900. The institute draws from and expands upon Anthony's goals and ideals and preserves her rich historical connection with the city of Rochester.

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 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. This 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 and Women's Studies," and in 2016 its name was again updated to become "Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies."