Gender and Sexuality

Historically, the department has had particular strength in gender and sexuality studies.  Black women's history, black women's writing, transnational feminisms, black queer studies, black masculinity studies and what we might call the intersectional identity politics have all helped to establish Duke's distinctive reputation in black Atlantic and diaspora studies nationally.

Presently, work in those familiar categories continues but not without a coeval awareness of the epistemological imbrications of gender and sexuality with the production of the racial subjects whom we study and their material reality. The social construction of gender is axiomatic in our work today and its deconstruction as performance, affect stylization has not only animated new critical approaches to African and African American Studies Globalization in recent years, but recognition of the ways in which gender and sexuality impinge upon, resist or reproduce fictions of heteronormativity reveals the vague calculus determining the material conditions that commonly characterize our subjects' history in the West.