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Professor Volker Sommer: University of London
Evolutionary anthropologist Professor Volker Sommer explores the complex relationship between homosexuality, morality and nature.
The College has numerous courses that reflect LGBTQ themes many of which are cross-referenced within the Gender Studies Program.
Here are some courses:

Gender Studies 101 – Introduction to Gender Studies

Gender Studies 205 – Gender and Justice

Gender Studies/Biology 255 – The Biology of Gender and Sexuality

Gender Studies/Literature 316 –  Gender and Identity in Literary Traditions

Gender Studies/History 364 – The History of Gender and Sexuality

Gender Studies/Philosophy 333 – Theories of Gender and Sexuality

Gender Studies/History 356 – Sexuality, Gender and Culture in Muslim Societies

Political Science 318 – The Law and Politics of Sexual Orientation (Spring Only)

Counseling 360 – Gender and Work Life

Proposed Course

Real to Reel – This course introduces students to the historical Hollywood portrayal of members of the LGBT community in feature films, contrasting that portrayal with films made by members of that same community. Films are analyzed and discussed in the both the context of film as entertainment and in the broader context of various influences such as the restrictive Hollywood Production Code, the psychological classification of LGBT people as abnormal and subsequent removal of that classification, the Gay Liberation movement, the impact of AIDS and the advent of The New Queer Cinema Movement. Students will be asked to discuss in class their responses to the films and lecture material and to write critiques based on their growing understanding of how real life and reel life impact each other. Students will also asked to prepare a mini-treatment to be used as a basis to direct their own films or to “pitch” to a film director or production company.      

Contact Prof. Tim Cavale (tcavale@jjay.cuny.edu) in Speech Communications and Theatre if interested.


The following John Jay faculty members are actively involved in research related to LGBTQ issues and welcome students to contact them for more information about their projects and how they can become part of their research teams.

Mark McBethMark McBeth,
Associate Professor of English

Professor McBeth’s primary research interests address the relationships between language, literacy, and learning and their relationship to the non-normative processes (read queer processes) that people use to deal with their communicative abilities. He has studied the dialects of gay men in Manhattan, looked at student-teacher relationships in Victorian England, and investigated how college websites greet or dismiss GLBTQ students through their online rhetoric. After analyzing how university websites represent the tenor of GLBTQ life on campus, Professor McBeth is currently exploring how GLBTQ students actually experience their college experience. He would welcome any student's research help who would like to share in this investigation.

Antonio Pastrana, Jr.Antonio (Jay) Pastrana, Jr.

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology, 520.17-T

Professor Pastrana’s research interests are in the intersections of race, sexuality, human rights, and social movement activism. He is a Co-Investigator of a multi-year, national research endeavor titled Social Justice Sexuality Project, which seeks to understand and build knowledge about the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of color in the U.S. Throughout, Professor Pastrana has connected with a vast number of leaders, organizations, and groups, and welcomes collaboration with John Jay students as research assistants. For more information about the project, visit: www.socialjusticesexuality.com and contact Professor Pastrana directly via email.

Kevin NadalKevin Nadal
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Forensic Mental Health Counseling


Dr. Nadal's research interests include a wide range of aspects of multiculturalism and mental health in the field of psychology.  Specific to LGBTQ issues, he is considered one of the leading experts on microaggressions, or subtle forms of discrimination, toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.  In forensic psychology, he has also studied experiences of transgender sex workers, as well as the experiences of LGBTQ people in the criminal justice systems. Finally, he has research interests in intersectional identities, particularly in understanding the impacts of being LGBTQ and a racial/ethnic minority, and the impact of such dual identities on mental health. His research laboratory consists of PhD, MA, and BA students. For more information, please contact him via email.

Read an article by Professor Kevin Nadal on Anti-Bullying and Societal Change.

Antonio Pastrana, Jr.Amy Adamczyk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology, 520.02-T

Professor Adamczyk’s research focuses on religion, health, and deviance.  She is currently working on a project that examines the influences of religion and economic development for shaping tolerance for LGBTQ people. The project extends findings from her 2009 Social Science Research publication that used cross-national quantitative data from 31 countries to assess the extent to which personal religious beliefs and residence in nations characterized by survival orientations shape tolerance for LGBTQ people.  With her students she is now coding newspaper articles from Uganda, South Africa, and the United States to assess how the public press portrays LGBTQ people and examine the extent to which religion is used to justify anti-LGBTQ sentiment.


The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies

365 Fifth Avenue, Room 7115, New York NY 10016 | Phone: 212.817.1955| Fax: 212.817.1567|

CLAGS, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, was founded at the CUNY Graduate Center in 1991 as the first university-based research center in the United States dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues of vital concern to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and communities.  CLAG’s mission is to nurture LGBT scholarship and it does so by sponsoring public programs and conferences, offering fellowships to scholars, and functioning as an indispensable conduit of information including courses offered throughout the CUNY system related to its mission.  CLAGS serves as a national center for the promotion of scholarship that fosters social change and welcomes students, scholars, activists and volunteers to explore its offerings.