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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Women’s Studies offers GLBT minor

Starting Spring 2009, students will be able to receive a minor in the newly offered Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies minor under the University of Houston’s Women’s Studies Program. The minor was announced Thursday, but the introductory course will not be offered until spring of next year.

Guillermo de los Reyes, an assistant professor in Hispanic Studies, said students played a key role in the creation of the minor and that it will help to promote the diversity of the University of Houston.

"We were inspired by several of our students who were interested in having it as a minor and because of that we sent a proposal to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. They approved it, and then we sent it to the Undergraduate Council where it was approved in April of 2008," Reyes said. "We are one of the most diverse universities, and that goes beyond just race and ethnicity to sexual orientation."

Melanie Pang, a communications junior, has already declared GLBT Studies as her minor and said she saw this as something more meaningful to her than her previous minor.

"My minor before was English, but my advisor said I should let my minor be something I really liked. I found this to be something dear to my heart. I’ve always found it interesting to study the other ways people live." Pang said.

The minor is interdisciplinary, meaning in order for students to fulfill the required 15 hours, they must take courses within multiple colleges. Reyes will not only be directing the minor, but also teaching the introductory course of GLBT Studies.

Reyes will teach the introductory course and other professors will teach the additional courses encompassing the minor.

"There’s Queer Theory, History of Private Life, Gay and Lesbian Literature, just to name a few," Prof. Reyes said. "The minor as a whole is interdisciplinary, meaning that students are not confined to any single department. They can take courses in the sciences, humanities, psychology, history and English."

Other classes in the minor include Sexuality and Society and Epic Masculinity: Ideologies of Manhood in Ancient Epic and Modern Film.

Pang is enrolled in one of the courses being offered under the minor, Gay and Lesbian Images in Media, and sees these courses as a great opportunity to learn more than offered by traditional courses.

"I think it’s a great opportunity to break out and take courses to study other lifestyles. There’s nothing that would really touch on that subject," Pang said. "The curriculum is pretty limited though. I’m in a seminar-like class, and the workload is very independent."

Although courses such as those in the GLBT Studies program are offered at other universities within Texas, The University of Houston is a pioneer in Texas for offering GLBT Studies as a minor.

To help promote the minor, the department will host an open house in the Women’s Studies Program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 10. Those interested in pursuing a minor in GLBT studies should call (713) 743-3214.

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