Message from the Chair

Sherene Razack

Welcome to the UCLA Department of Gender Studies.  Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the complex interaction of gender, race, class and sexuality in social relations, institutions, and systems. The Department is deeply committed to social justice and offers a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate program that fosters critical scholarship from diverse intellectual fields in the humanities and social sciences.

Our department has grown significantly since 1975, when Women’s Studies first gained formal status as an academic program at UCLA. Today, the Department of Gender Studies has 18 core and 20 joint faculty and is home to approximately 250 undergraduate majors, 50 minors, and 30 Ph.D. students. Each year we welcome many transfer students, as well as international and returning students to the Gender Studies major and minor.

Our distinguished interdisciplinary faculty offer classes that range from large lecture courses, like our introductory Gender Studies 10, to small, student research-based senior seminars, like GS187. Popular undergrad courses focus on racial violence, mass incarceration, disability rights, Black, Indigenous and woman of color feminisms. Our grad program also emphasizes intersectionality with particular strengths in transnational feminist studies, Black feminism, Queer and Trans studies, racial violence, issues of Indigenous sovereignty, migration, critical disability studies and critical digital studies and media. The Department is home to the Racial Violence Hub, a virtual community of scholars and resources ( The Hub is directed by the Penny Kanner Endowed Chair, a position I occupy.

For the Gender Studies faculty and students, the last year and a half has been challenging, but also hopeful. In March 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic forced us to move to remote work and learning. Two months later the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many more, sparked a mass movement against police brutality and for racial justice, which inspired hope and optimism. As Angela Davis stated in a June 2020 interview “This moment holds possibilities for change we have never before experienced.”

As we approach the 2021-22 academic year, we will continue to prepare students to become anti-colonial, anti-racist critical feminist thinkers ready and able to confront the challenges of our times.

If you would like to learn more about Gender Studies at UCLA, please explore this website or email us at for more information.

Sherene H. Razack


Distinguished Professor and Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies.