Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies
Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field in which women, men, gender, and sexuality are examined by looking at various cultures and historical periods, and by employing diverse methods of inquiry. Students in the major will gain theoretical and methodological tools grounded in feminist and queer scholarship. Majors will study the history and development of feminist and queer thought, as well as the evolution of the field of women’s studies, with a strong emphasis on intersectional analyses (i.e., the ways in which race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability, and nationality interact). Students will become familiar with how theorists and researchers in gender, women’s and sexuality studies critically engage theoretical paradigms, such as liberalism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and post-colonialism. Majors will be introduced to research methods that unearth invisible or silenced knowledge and that revisit and revise previous readings of cultural products and practices. They will study methods of feminist and queer research in the social sciences and humanities, including oral history, case studies, archival research, visual and literary criticism, survey content analysis, and field work. Majors will learn to ask the basic questions underlying the production of new knowledge, including: Who does research? Does it matter who the researcher is? How does the social location (race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality) of the researcher shape the production of knowledge? What is the relationship between feminist and queer research and social and political change?
- Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies 111: Introduction to Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (4 credits)
- Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies 249: Theory and Methodology in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (4 credits)
- Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies 495: Senior Seminar in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (4 credits)
- Three courses from at least three of the following four topic areas:
- Sexuality and Queer Studies
- Anthropology 225: Human Variation
- Anthropology 325: Biological Basis of Human Society Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies 211: Foundations of LGBTQ Studies
- Biology 240: Animal Behavior
- Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies 211: Foundations of LGBTQ Studies
- Humanities/Science/Social Studies 350: The Control of Reproduction
- Sociology 260: Human Sexuality in the United States
- Cross-Cultural and Transnational Approaches
- Anthropology 200: Cultural Politics of Hybridity
- Anthropology 227: Mothers and Infants
- Anthropology 235: Anthropology of American Culture
- Anthropology 253: Anthropology of Ethnicities
- French 342: Orientalism Revisited
- Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies 324: Critical Race Feminisms
- Latin American Studies 221: Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Studies
- Psychology 370: Multicultural Psychology
- Religion 228: Gods of Bollywood
- Sociology 275: Race and Ethnicity in America
- Sociology 390: Global Feminism
- Literary and Artistic Criticism
- Art 210: Women, Art, and History
- English 225: Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures
- English 273: Feminism, Gender, and Literary Theory
- English 332: The Victorians
- English 360: Seminar in Postcolonial Literatures
- Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies 235: Feminism and Popular Culture
- Humanities 211: Film Analysis
- Humanities 290: Film Genres
- Spanish 312: Women and Gender in Spanish Literature
- Theatre 210: Contemporary Dance
- Political/Philosophical/Historical/Social Analyses
- Anthropology 210: Illness, Healing, and Culture
- Economics 218: Gender and the Economy
- Education 215: Reading and Writing Youth Culture
- History 212: Democracy in America: 1789–1848
- History 214: American Civil War & Reconstruction
- History 222: The History of Women in the United States
- History 326: History of 19th Century American Popular Culture
- History 332: Gender and Empire in Victorian Britain
- Philosophy 261: Philosophy of Race and Gender
- Philosophy 265: Psychoanalysis/Constitution of the Self
- Philosophy 268: Cultural Critique
- Sociology 240: Social Movements
- Sociology 248: Self and Society
- Sociology 250: Social Inequality
- Sociology 265: Sociology of Health and Illness
- Sociology 270: Gender and Society
- Sociology 320: The Family
- Sociology 350: NGOs: Organizing to Do Good
- Sociology 390: Women’s Health Issues
- Sexuality and Queer Studies
- At least two courses at the 300-level, chosen from the above four course areas. See the list published during each semester’s preregistration period for the most current course offerings in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.
To be considered for honors in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS), graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must demonstrate by consensus of the GWSS committee: excellent performance in classes; a breadth of courses, indicated by at least one course taken from each of the major’s four rubric categories; and an underlying commitment to the field of GWSS as evidenced by strong interest above and beyond completion of the major. Students who have met the GPA requirement will be invited to submit a brief statement (300–500 words) describing how they have met these criteria; only students who chose to submit such statements will be considered for honors in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.
This course introduces students to key topics, concepts, approaches, and problems in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies as the field has developed over the past 40 years. We investigate the significance and meanings of gender at different periods in United States history and explore the development of United States feminism and feminist theory, adopting comparative and transnational perspectives throughout the semester. The ways in which race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, nationality, and age shape experience, culture, ideology, and politics are central areas of inquiry. We also address the means through which women have resisted inequality and effected social and political change. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach, and students are introduced to scholarship from a wide range of disciplines, including cultural studies, economics, history, philosophy, political theory, psychology, and sociology.
This course provides students with an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) studies. We study the emergence and transformation of LGBTQ identities, cultural practices, and political movements within the broader context of changes in social constructions of sexuality, as well as cultural, social, political, and economic transformations. We pay particular attention to the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, and class have shaped same-sex sexuality in different historical periods.
This course examines various popular cultural forms using feminist criticism/theory as a critical lens. Through an intersectional and intertextual investigation of television, film, advertising, and popular music, students will explore how representation both reflects and produces sociocultural phenomena and ideas about race, gender, class, and sexuality in society.
This courses provides students with a comprehensive and in-depth exploration of the interdisciplinary field of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, including its theories, methods, debates, and relationships to other academic disciplines. We examine the history and development of feminist and queer theory, paying particular attention to the relationship between theory and activism. We explore the forms of privilege and power operating within feminist and queer theory and the intersections of race, sexuality, class, and gender.
This course provides an introduction to critical theoretical debates about gender, race, and class in the United States legal system. Students examine legal concepts, structures, and narratives that produce and/or reinforce patterns of discrimination and inequality, as well as examine alternative models proposed within critical legal scholarship.
An advanced interdisciplinary senior seminar for students who are completing the major in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. The course will provide an in-depth exploration of a topic with both historical and contemporary significance within the field of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.
- College Catalog