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Background photo used in collage is based on a street mural by Chite Yarumo and is of public domain. 

Click here to directly access the 19th Annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium Website with Zoom Video of 04/10/2024 Event


Knowledge for the 21st Century

G&SS: The Future Is Now


Gender & Sexuality Studies (G&SS) is a combined field of study that encompasses women's, gender, LGBTQ+, and feminist studies. It is a discipline dedicated to reshaping society through interdisciplinary approaches, knowledge production, creative expression, and community-engagement. Our curriculum is committed to shaping the future, learning from the past, and building in the present. G&SS at NMSU offers indispensable learning that sharpens your critical thinking skills, preparing you for today's world and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

On this website, you will find information about our degree and course offerings, our concentration and methodology in Media Arts & Cultural Studies (MACS), our faculty members, upcoming events, and initiatives in public scholarship and outreach, such as Feminist Border Arts.

We invite you to read the note from our Academic Director, Dr. L. Anh Williams, where you’ll be welcomed to Gender & Sexuality Studies at NMSU - a place where we are not just thinking about the future, but actively building it today. Click the links in the menu on the right to discover more about our mission, our commitment to Student Retention & Empowerment, our alignment with NMSU LEADS 2025, and more.


"I believe in the transformational power of the Gender & Sexuality Studies curriculum. I believe supporting the G&SS program and its curriculum is an act of resistance and hope and an investment in our future."

Heather Lang, PhD (she/her/they/them)

NMSU Gender & Sexuality Studies Alum (BA, 2010)

Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, Writing Coordinator

Susquehanna University


Transformative Learning: G&SS Academics

Gender & Sexuality Studies at NMSU is a specialized, interdisciplinary academic unit, including a major, minor, dual degree options, and a NMSU Global Campus BA, alongside a graduate minor. Our curriculum stands at the forefront of academic inquiry, offering some of the most sought-after courses by learners across the university. Beyond the classroom and traditional research, we're deeply committed to public scholarship and outreach.

Your choice to pursue study in G&SS is an affirmation of your commitment to critical and creative worldmaking. Here, you will gain a deep understanding of gender and sexuality studies, developing skills and expertise that are highly sought after across different fields. These include academia and education, creative industries, arts and cultural administration, technology and digital spaces, nonprofit and advocacy work, policy development, healthcare and social services, journalism and media, the legal profession, business, and community mobilization, among others. 

In addition to our core curriculum, the Gender & Sexuality Studies program at NMSU offers the Media Arts and Cultural Studies (MACS) course concentration and methodology, an intersection of creativity, film and media arts, media making, and critical analysis of popular culture. MACS is essential for understanding the role of these in shaping identities, societies, and change. This focus equips learners with critical media literacies, practice-based methods, and a deep grounding in G&SS approaches, furnishing them with the skills necessary to thrive in contemporary creative and technological media environments and beyond.

Upon fulfilling requirements, learners completing a major, minor, dual degree, NMSU Global Campus BA, or graduate minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies will demonstrate:

  • Interdisciplinary Expertise in Gender and Sexuality Studies: Our program stands at the crossroads of traditional disciplines, offering learners critical pedagogies, engaged learning, and the co-creation of knowledge. This expertise includes mastering theoretical frameworks and methodologies across women's studies, gender studies, LGBTQ+ studies, including queer and trans studies, and intersectionality, enabling them to critically engage with and contribute to discussions and practices that shape identities, communities, societies, and transformative change.
  • Worldmaking Critical Thinking Practices: Demonstrate the ability to apply a wide range of critical and creative methodologies, including feminist, queer, and transgender theories, to analyze complex problems related to gender, sexuality, race, society, difference, and social change. Whether you're dissecting historical documents or analyzing current events, you'll be equipped to contribute to groundbreaking research.
  • Integrated Inquiry, Research, and Creative Methodologies in Gender and Sexuality Studies: Here, research isn't just about writing papers; it's about sparking change. Engage in a variety of transformative approaches—from ethnography and critical analysis to textual analysis and research-creation projects like digital storytelling and comics inquiry. Plus, you'll have opportunities to participate in special initiatives like the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival, Transnational Solidarity Day, and pursue courses in the MACS concentration in G&SS.
  • Communication for Social Impact: Gain skills to engage, challenge, and forge new and different pathways. You'll learn how to articulate complex feminist, queer, and transgender theories in a way that resonates, whether you're presenting at an academic conference, leading a community workshop, or advocating for change in diverse social settings, including the workplace.
  • Effective Writing Across Media and Formats: Write powerful essays, create digital content and media-based projects that explore the complexities of social identity, power, difference, and social change.
  • Media Literacies and Theory: Critically analyze and engage with different kinds of texts, approaches, and media, understanding their impact on societal constructs and lived experience.
  • Advocacy and Civic Engagement: Utilize skills in advocacy and community organizing to effect change in policy and social structures at both local and global levels.
  • US, Borderlands, Transborder, Transnational, and Global Perspectives: Through US, transnational, and transborder perspectives, explore how gender and sexuality intersect with issues like migration, foodways, and environmental justice. Engage in hands-on projects that prepare you to be a changemaker, from documenting oral histories to participating in community art installations. You'll emerge with a nuanced understanding that empowers you to contribute with informed action on transnational issues, borders, and the Borderlands region.
  • Transformative Leadership and Professional DevelopmentWe offer an education that exceeds traditional academic boundaries, modeling multiple pathways for research, teaching, and community engagement, including digital initiatives. You'll acquire knowledge, approaches, and skills that empower you to be an agent for positive social change, grounded in research-based practices and critical thinking, generated from decades of feminist, queer, and other socially transformative knowledge projects and movements.

"In Gender and Sexuality Studies, student success is not just a goal, but a commitment. The faculty genuinely cares, seeking our voices, championing our triumphs, and investing in our futures. Every professor I've encountered relentlessly asked, 'how can I make sure you succeed?' - and then they did more than just listen, they took action. They see us not just as students, but as a community, guiding our educational paths with relentless commitment and equipping us with invaluable tools and unwavering support."

-Casey L Combs

NMSU G&SS Alum (Minor, 2023)

MACS: Media Arts & Cultural Studies Concentration in G&SS

Everyday Media as Production Tools: Welcome to MACS
Everyday Media - Our Production Tools


The Media Arts and Cultural Studies (MACS) concentration in G&SS blends contemporary creative practices in media and film with critical insights from women's, gender, and sexuality studies, embracing feminist, queer, transgender, and transnational frameworks. Open to all students, whether they are majoring, minoring, or simply drawn to the subject, MACS invites a deep dive into how media, arts, and culture intersect with gender, sexuality, and social transformation.

In MACS, students investigate how gender, sexuality, and intersectionality are portrayed and contested in contemporary media arts—films, video, TV, digital media, graphic narratives, and popular culture. The coursework encourages a critical examination of cultural products to understand their role in reflecting and shaping social norms and identities. This analysis is paired with an emphasis on using media arts as tools for advocacy, change, and cultural commentary.

Students in MACS engage with hands-on, project-based learning and adopt research-creation methodologies that merge scholarship with creativity. MACS emphasizes the integration of D.I.Y. Media Studies and Methods, offering a platform for students to explore and contribute to Gender and Sexuality Studies through a blend of analysis, advocacy, and innovative media creation. Emphasizing public scholarship, art activism, digital humanities, and DIY approaches, MACS empowers students to produce impactful work, like zines, public curation, and digital projects that challenge conventional narratives and advocate for social justice. 

Courses are accessible on-campus, online, and via NMSU Global, making this transformative learning experience available to a broad audience. Enroll and join a community dedicated to shaping the future of media arts and social change.

"NMSU needs G&SS, plain and simple. Not only am I speaking from previous experience as a former student, where G&SS courses fundamentally shaped me as a scholar, but also as an instructor with more than 5 years of teaching experience. My students often express the need for space and intellectual understanding concerning their lived experiences and diverse identities. In an institution where diverse student experiences might be overlooked or undervalued, G&SS plays a crucial role in providing the necessary support and recognition."

Juan “Ricky” Araiza

NMSU G&SS Alum (graduate minor, 2020)


Critical Pedagogies: Meet the Faculty

Core G&SS Faculty


“The work I did in Gender & Sexuality Studies directly led to my decision to enter a PhD program. Gender and sexuality continue to be key components of my research.”

– Dr. EJ Nielsen, NMSU G&SS Alum, University of Massachusetts Amherst PhD


Our academic unit's core faculty are leaders in Gender & Sexuality Studies, driving discourse and expression. Dr. Cynthia Bejarano, a Regents Professor and the College of Arts and Sciences Stan Fulton Endowed Chair, combats gender-based violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and champions farmworker and migrant rights. Dr. Bejarano is the Principal Investigator of CAMP, the College Assistance Migrant Program at New Mexico State University. A new faculty member, Dr. Dylan McCarthy Blackston, a general editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, explores trans studies and ecological connections, as well as visual culture and intersections between transnational political economies and LGBTQ+ communities. Dr. M. C. Jonet, founding Co-Director/Executive of Feminist Border Arts and Associate Professor, brings critical theoretical perspectives to film, media arts, and culture. As a media-based filmmaker and designer, their work redefines how knowledge is produced and shared. Dr. L. Anh Williams, Academic Director of Gender & Sexuality Studies and founding Co-Director of Feminist Border Arts, is an Associate Professor known for her expertise in Vietnamese and Asian American cultural production. As an illustrator, graphic novelist, and media maker, Dr. Williams brings together scholarship and creative expression. They also utilize participatory media projects like zines to further engage and amplify marginalized perspectives.

Alongside our core faculty, we collaborate with professors from different departments on campus who cross-list courses with us and adjunct faculty members, who bring diverse perspectives and professional experience to our academic community. Additionally, there are numerous scholars across campus who contribute to the field through their respective disciplines and other advocacy workMany of these colleagues join us in our extended projects and research, lending their expertise and insights to further enrich initiatives and outreach events.


FBA Film & Zine Festival: June 28 & 29

FBA 2024: Transform Pride Day Weekend a ufo with a beam and an entity transforming
Get Your Pride Here: FBA 2024 Fest


Celebrate International PRIDE Weekend with Independent Film & Media in Las Cruces, NM

Anticipate two days of film, video, zines, workshops, and panels. Join us for the 2024 Feminist Border Arts Film Festival, kicking off on Pride Day, June 28 in 2024.

The festival will also feature a concurrent zine fest, showcasing a variety of creative publications alongside our film screenings.

Day 1 - June 28: Immerse yourself in the world of film, from the US and around the globe. They educate, challenge norms, rebel against conventions, delight the senses, and demand change.

Day 2 - June 29: It's a zine revolution. Explore zines and zinema (video zines) that defy authority, journeys that break boundaries, comics that will change your life, and tales that celebrate community, social change, and creative expression.


Event Information

Las Cruces is situated in the Mesilla Valley, flanked by the Organ Mountains to the east and the Rio Grande to the west in the southern part of New Mexico. Visitors to Las Cruces often choose to fly into El Paso International Airport, located just 50 miles south, or Albuquerque International Sunport, which is about 225 miles to the north. Both locations offer convenient car rental options. Las Cruces Shuttle offers reliable transportation to & from El Paso Airport & Las Cruces.

The event takes place in the University Art Museum, located in Devasthali Hall, near the intersection of University and Solano Avenues in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA, on the campus of New Mexico State University. It is free and open to the public.

The building is equipped with disability-accessible features, including automatic doors, curb cutaways, elevators, and designated parking spaces for individuals with disabilities displaying a valid disabled placard or plate.

UAM Phone: 575-646-2545 

Free Parking Information: Free 1-Day & 1-Week E-Permits Get yours nowYou can print out a new permit up to 5 times per year. 

Attendees can also enjoy free parking on campus, including the spacious Lot #30 located east of the Pan American Center. These complimentary parking areas are designated in brown on the campus parking map.

Remember, parking is free accross campus after 4:30 pm. For or any additional questions, email

Gender Neutral Restroom Available: For your convenience, a gender-neutral restroom is located in Devasthali Hall on the main floor.

Nursing Privacy Pod: A nursing parent's privacy pod (Mamava pod) is located on the main floor, to the left of the main entrance.

Accommodations Near NMSU: For those traveling from out of town, here are some nearby hotel options:

Comfort Suites
2101 S. Triviz Drive

Courtyard by Marriott Las Cruces at NMSU
456 E. University Avenue

Hilton Garden Inn
2550 Don Roser Drive

Holiday Inn Express & Suites
2635 S. Valley Drive

Ramada Las Cruces Hotel and Conference Center
201 E. University Avenue

WoodSpring Suites Las Cruces
2080 S. Triviz Drive


Las Cruces is conveniently located about 52 miles west of White Sands National Park. The drive typically takes just under an hour, making it easy for visitors to spend time exploring the gypsum dune fields of White Sands and the 2024 Feminist Border Arts Film and Zine Festival. 

New Mexico has become a pivotal hub for filmmakers, celebrated for its landscapes and supportive local communities, as well as significant tax incentives that benefit film productions. We invite filmmakers and producers to check out Las Cruces and southern New Mexico for their next production, while they enjoy the festival. 


2024 Sponsors

Sponsored by NMSU Gender & Sexuality Studies, University Art Museum, College of Arts & Sciences, Office for Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity, NMSU Global Campus, Research, Creativity, and Strategic Initiatives, Department of English, and Doña Ana Community College


19th Annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium

Join Us April 10th


On April 10th 2024, G&SS will be hosting the 19th annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium. The symposium, commemorating 35 years of G&SS at NMSU, will be a day-long event highlighting the importance of inclusive leadership and the impact of collective voices in the fight for social change. Join us at the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium, where admission is free, and the exchange of ideas is boundless. 

The NMSU Department of Government will also be giving out the Social Justice Award during the event. 

Click this link to learn more about this year's 19th annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium


Downloadable G&SS Digital Media


Download the 2023 DMK


Uncover a curated collection of resources designed to empower you to express, engage, and transform through digital media. 


GenXProf Social Media

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Feminist Border Arts is a research-creation and curation initiative in D.I.Y. Media Studies and Methods by Jonet & Williams, located in G&SS. GenXProf social media (GensXProf on X - Twitter) supports FBA projects and G&SS.