LGBTQ Research Consortium Offers Rich Path-Breaking Programming

The LGBTQ Research Consortium (LGBTQ-RC) is the cornerstone of cutting-edge interdisciplinary scholarship in queer studies and sexuality studies at SDSU.

Yetta HowardBy Yetta Howard, Ph.D., co-director LGBTQ-RC

Established in fall 2013 by Edith Benkov, Ph.D., French and European Studies professor, and Michael Borgstrom, Ph.D., Department of English and Comparative Literature associate professor, the LGBTQ-RC initially aimed to highlight LGBTQ research done by faculty across campus and to bring researchers and creative practitioners to campus to share work with SDSU and the larger San Diego intellectual communities. It transformed as the years progressed.

To date, LGBTQ-RC has sponsored or co-sponsored over 40 lectures and panels and has affiliated faculty from five colleges at SDSU. 

Consortium Programming History

In 2015 and 2016, the LGBTQ-RC organized a conference and symposium with keynote events including those featuring Karen Tongson, Ph.D. (University of Southern California), Juana María Rodríguez (University of California, Berkeley), and filmmaker Dino Dinco’s screening and discussion of his documentary Homeboy, on gay Latino former gang members.

In spring 2018, Yetta Howard, Ph.D., Department of English and Comparative Literature associate professor, joined the LGBTQ-RC as co-director with Benkov and transformed it into a lecture and event series that brings to SDSU the latest and most path-breaking scholars and contexts in queer theory and queer cultural production.

Spring 2018’s events included the co-sponsored event with the Department of English and Comparative Literature, “Sad Porn” a lecture by Hoang Tan Nguyen, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego), “Sex Museums,” a lecture based on the book by the same name by Jennifer Tyburczy, Ph.D. (University of California, Santa Barbara); and “Keeping it Unreal: Notes on Black Queer Fantasy” by Darieck Scott, Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley).

LGBTQ RC LGBTQ Research ConsortiumLGBTQ-RC continued its dazzling programming in fall 2018 with talks on Grace Jones, disco, and black feminist aesthetics by Uri McMillan, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles) and on Armistead Maupin’s serialized fiction by Ramzi Fawaz, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin, Madison), and also co-sponsored a lecture by Ann Cvetkovich, Ph.D. on lesbian archives with SDSU’s Department of Women’s Studies.

In 2019, the LGBTQ-RC debuted a themed speaker series. Spring 2019 was focused on trans studies with lectures by renowned trans historian and theorist, Susan Stryker, Ph.D. (University of Arizona) and by Talia Mae Bettcher, Ph.D. (California State University, Los Angeles), and a panel on queer film and trans representation featuring trans filmmakers Lyle Kash and Tristan Scott-Behrends, producer Luka Fisher, and performance artist Daniel Crook.

Fall 2019 was focused on pornography and explicit sexuality studies – key areas of research in sexual minority discourse. Programming included adult film entertainer, feminist porn pioneer, sex educator Nina Hartley’s talk, “Reel Sex vs. Real Sex”; queer of color filmmaker and founding director/producer of Pink and White Productions queer pornography company, Shine Louise Houston; and Tim Dean, Ph.D., author of Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking and co-editor of Porn Archives, whose lecture was on “The Pornographic Unconscious.”

The spring 2020 LGBTQ-RC’s programming consisted of a timely panel, “AIDS and the Distribution of Crises,” based on the then-forthcoming collection of the same name. Co-sponsored with SDSU’s Digital Humanities, this panel featured the collection’s co-editors Alexandra Juhasz, Ph.D. (Brooklyn College, CUNY) and Jih-Fei Cheng, Ph.D. (Scripps College), and photographer and AIDS activist, Judy Ornelas Sisneros.


More information on LGBTQ-RC’s events and affiliated faculty can be found at