Department of

Critical Identity Studies


Investigating how gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, sexuality, dis/ ability, nation, non/religiosity, and region shape identities.

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Critical Identity Studies

Understanding Identities

Combining a variety of academic disciplines (gender and women’s studies, ethnic studies, queer studies, disability studies, postcolonial studies), critical identity studies investigates the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, sexuality, dis/ ability, nation, non/religiosity, and region shape identities within structures of inequality and through systems and practices of power and resistance.

Interconnected by design

Both the major and the minor use core and cross-listed courses to engage students in an investigation of theoretical approaches to, and experiential-based learning about, the historical, political, social, and cultural processes of identity formation. Ultimately, critical identity studies fosters in students an awareness of the ways in which identities are multiple, embedded in relations of power, and foundational to modes of operating in the world.

From the introductory course, “Sex and Power,” to the advanced theoretical courses which include “Embodied Enlightenment,” “Masculinities,” “Curative Communities,” “Race and Culture,” “Making Knowledge,” “‘Movements within the African Diaspora,” and “Thinking Queerly,” CRIS faculty lead courses that are always interdisciplinary, intersectional, and oriented toward social justice.

As such, Critical Identity Studies emphasizes the importance of communicating across differences as a means to fulfill the College’s mission of empowering students “to lead fulfilling lives marked by high achievement, personal responsibility, and public contribution in a diverse society.”

Jada Daniel’23 wants her scholarship to support and give visibility to communities of color.

Using scholarship as activism

Throughout her four years at Beloit, senior Jada Daniel has conducted research and been a leader across campus as a means to uplift others. As she prepares for …

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Sonya Maria Johnson

Faculty honored with named professorships, chairs

In fall, four faculty members were named to endowed chairs and professorships, recognizing their contributions to advancing Beloit through their teaching, leadership, and scholarship. Provost Eric Boynton announced…

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