Gender studies at UNSW is a vibrant, cross-disciplinary area of study that situates women, feminism, gender, sex and sexualities at the centre of academic analysis. Scholars teach and research across a wide span of areas, including world history, human rights, sex and desire, women’s writing, Asian cultures, and queer and gender theory.

Gender studies scholars are outward-looking, politically engaged and theoretically innovative: we aim to make this an area of study that has the capacity to explain the world and perhaps even change it. We analyse gender as part of a wider web of social relations in which gender intersects with other categories of difference, including race, ethnicity, class and disability. We also tackle a range of geographical areas and offer non-Eurocentric approaches to women and gender.

Gender studies is offered as a postgraduate supervision area within a Doctor of Philosophy or Masters by Research program.

Research focus

Researchers in gender studies can be found throughout UNSW School of Humanities & Languages. Our work is at the cutting edge of research in the social sciences and humanities. Our research examines the implications of gender and sex at all levels, ranging from the international to relationships within the domestic sphere of home and family. While we bring a variety of methodologies and commitments to gender studies research, our approach is broadly informed by feminism that emphasises dialogue and collaboration across disciplines and contexts.

The range of research specialisations also indicates how deeply relevant gender studies is to the contemporary world and to UNSW2025’s commitment to social justice. At a glance, some of our areas of research expertise include:

  • past and present feminisms in national, global and transnational contexts
  • critical, feminist and queer theory
  • childhood, children and the family, and education
  • the construction of gender in the media; gender and public health.

Staff strengths & accomplishments

Scholars in gender studies research across many disciplines in FASS. Within the School of Humanities and Languages, a distinguishing feature of our scholarship is its cross-cultural, non-Eurocentric and historical approach. Its alignment with UNSW’s Grand Challenge Refugees and Migrants is reflected in the work of a number of scholars and in gender studies links with UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture Forced Migration Research Network.

Staff members incorporate women and gender into their work in a variety of ways. Joanne Faulkner is a philosopher with ongoing research focus on the politicisation of the child and childhood. Her other research interests include psychoanalytic theory, feminist theory and critical race theory. Anne O’Brien is a historian of Australia who researches gender and homelessness – including Indigenous forced migration - social policy, philanthropy and religion. Diana Palaversich works in Latin American literary and cultural studies. Mina Roces’ research interests lie in 20th century Philippine history particularly women’s history, women in Asia and Filipina migrants. Zora Simic researches past and present feminisms, female sexuality and migrants and refugees.