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Sarah Nicholus, PhD


CWGS Core Teaching FacultyPhD, University of Texas at Austin

Associate Director
Sarah Nicholus, PhD

Contact

Interests


Queer diaspora; transnational gender, race, and feminist theory; decolonial studies; literary, cultural, and media studies; Latin American and Luso-Brazilian Studies; LGBTQ studies; film and popular culture

Biography


Sarah Nicholus (they & she) is Associate Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Working in gender and sexuality studies across the Americas, Dr. Nicholus uses interdisciplinary methodologies derived from media and cultural studies to better understand queerness and LGBT+ sexuality in rural and socially conservative spaces. At UT-Austin, Dr. Nicholus has taught various courses in Women’s and Gender Studies including the Graduate Writing Seminar, Feminist Theory, and Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies.

A former Fulbright Fellow in Brazil, Dr. Nicholus is interested in transnational feminist coalitions. Their current research draws on transnational feminism, critical race and ethnic studies, queer diaspora, and decolonial queer theory to consider a transgressive body politics emphasizing epistemologies of the Global South. Dr. Nicholus’ work has appeared in the Journal of Lusophone Studies with a Special Dossier on Transnational and Counternational Queer Agencies in Lusophone Culture and in the Journal of Lesbian Studies in a Special Issue on Geographies of Sexualities. Dr. Nicholus’ current book project Queering Tradition: LGBT+ Cultural Production in the Brazilian Northeast investigates queerness within traditional Northeastern Brazilian culture. It is a finalist for the National Women’s Studies Association first book prize with the University of Illinois Press.

Before joining the Center, Dr. Nicholus taught language and culture courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese including, “Queer Brazil: Gender and Sexuality in Brazilian Popular Culture.” As an Embrey Post-Doctoral fellow in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Dr. Nicholus presented their work on LGBT+ culture in Brazil's traditional June Festivals for the CWGS Faculty Development Program and was a Career Development Bootcamp Fellow of the Modern Language Association.

Dr. Nicholus has been working with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies for over three years. They have served on the CWGS Graduate Admissions Committee and the LGBTQ Studies Program Advisory Council. Dr. Nicholus is interested in graduate career and professional development and will be collaborating on the AAU PhD Education Initiative at UT-Austin to help change the culture surrounding doctoral education.

Courses


WGS F305 • Intro To Wmn'S/Gndr Studies

82870 • Summer 2020
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM
Two-way Interactive Video
CD

Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that asks critical questions about the relationships between sex, gender, society, and our own experiences as political acts. In this course, students will come to understand key differences between sex, gender, and sexuality; define feminism both broadly and personally, particularly in relationship to race, class, and other intersectional aspects of identity; learn about queer and trans histories and experiences; explore women’s experiences in international contexts; and investigate the body and its representation as a way to uncover gender norms and expectations. We will also discuss and write about recent social controversies (such as bathroom legislation, bias incidents, the exclusion of groups from the Women’s March on Washington) as moments that reveal and critique the cultural codes of gender. An emphasis will be placed on self-identified women, LGBTQA+ individuals, and people of color.

WGS 393 • Writing Workshop: Wgs

44980 • Fall 2019
Meets T 12:30PM-3:30PM CBA 4.346

Interdisciplinary topics relating to Women's and Gender Studies.  Seats restricted to WGS MA and Portfolio students during early registration.  Check cross-listings for home departments and originating field of study.

WGS 350 • Feminist Theory

45695 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 3.116
Wr

Restricted to women's and gender studies majors and minors, priority to WGS majors.
Feminist theory with selections from women's and gender studies scholars. Recommended feminist theory course for women's and gender studies majors.

WGS F335 • Queer Brazil In Pop Culture

85960 • Summer 2017
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM SZB 286
GC (also listed as LAS F328)

In this course, we will investigate and analyze popular cultural productions related to gender and sexuality in Brazil including literature, music, film, oral poetry, dance performances, and urban space. The course will introduce students to queerness and queer theory in Latin America while asking how race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect with queerness in Brazil.

Queerness is more than just LGBT identities, and we will think about how queerness can challenge existing social norms and power relationships. We will look at the role of popular culture in defining notions of sex and sexuality and think through the question “what is queerness?” The course is organized around four main topics 1.) Queerness in Latin America 2.) Carnaval and the Racial Democracy 3.) Sex, Sexuality, and Mega-Events and 4.) Queerness in Rural/Urban Settings. We will move from Southeastern Brazil to the Northeast exploring popular cultural manifestations such as carnaval, samba, the World Cup, and the Festas Juninas. The course encourages sharing of articles, images, videos, and short comments via social media and our class Facebook group.

 

Classes will be taught in English and are open to any student in any discipline or program. Course materials will be available on Canvas.

 

Requirements and Grading Criteria

  • Class participation (attendance, class discussions, facebook posts etc.) – 20%
  • Five reading responses – 15%
  • Group presentation – small groups leading class discussion – 15%
  • One 3-4 page analytical paper – 20%
  • Final Project (creation of booklet, performance, map, or written analysis of an event/cultural production related to course themes) – 30%

POR 610S • Portuguese For Spanish Spkr I

45055 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 2:00PM-4:00PM BEN 1.102

POR 610S. Portuguese for Spanish Speakers I. 6 Hours.

Designed to provide qualified Spanish-speaking students a rapid introduction to Portuguese language. Development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills; building vocabulary, learning basic rules and terminology of grammar; and gaining a better understanding of Portuguese-speaking cultures, with a focus on Brazil, in order to communicate in an accurate, effective, and informed manner within a variety of socio-cultural situations. Six lecture hours a week for one semester.

POR 610S • Portuguese For Spanish Spkr I

45105 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 2:00PM-4:00PM BEN 1.102

POR 610S. Portuguese for Spanish Speakers I. 6 Hours.

Designed to provide qualified Spanish-speaking students a rapid introduction to Portuguese language. Development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills; building vocabulary, learning basic rules and terminology of grammar; and gaining a better understanding of Portuguese-speaking cultures, with a focus on Brazil, in order to communicate in an accurate, effective, and informed manner within a variety of socio-cultural situations. Six lecture hours a week for one semester.


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    The University of Texas at Austin
    Burdine Hall 536
    2505 University Avenue, A4900
    Austin, Texas 78712
    512-471-5765