The Center for the Study of Sexual Culture was founded in 2001 to support research and critical conversations concerning sexuality, sexual culture, and their mutually determining relationship to institutions, social practices and norms, and modes of representation. We understand sexuality to essentially inform diverse fields of social life, such as the state, the economy, civil society, family forms, social identity, and the cultural modes of representation. We draw from a broad field of scholarship in which sexuality is found to participate in discussions as far-reaching as: reproductive control and rights, heredity, marriage, nationalism, welfare systems, property, adoption, animal ethnographies, colonial imaginaries and administrations, performance, language norms, gendered ways and styles, disability politics and culture, visual cultures, materialities, and more.
The CSSC organizes and provides support for a range of programs that expand discussion surrounding issues of sexuality and sexual culture across diverse disciplines, critical methodologies and communities.
The CSSC hosts and co-sponsors a number of campus events relevant to the Center’s focus, including lectures by invited scholars, symposia and conferences, performances and film screeings.
The CSSC sponsors working groups organized around topics relevant to the Center’s focus.The CSSC sponsors working groups organized around topics relevant to the Center’s focus. These groups are open to the public and may meet to discuss selected readings or workshop members’ work, and are eligible for additional CSSC support to invite guest speakers and host events.
Every other year, the CSSC sponsors, in conjunction with the Center for Race and Gender, a two-day dissertation workshop retreat, on the Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, that brings together 3-4 faculty advisors and 8-12 doctoral candidates whose dissertation research focuses on interactions of sexuality, race, and gender.