Gender Studies courses give you the opportunity to think critically about how gender affects the text/issue under consideration. As a discipline, Gender Studies gives you the theoretical tools and analytical language to examine and explain this.
Gender Studies Signature Courses
Gender Studies Pre-Registration Approval
For all Majors & Minors
No Hours/No Credits
Co-Requisite Course for Pre-Registration Approval
All Gender Studies Majors and Minors are pre-approved for this course once they have finalized meeting procedures with the Gender Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies. Every Gender Studies Major and Minor MUST REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE ONCE A SEMESTER in order to obtain pre-approved permission to register for Gender Studies Courses other than those specifically requesting Department Approval.
Department Approval can be given to Non GS Majors/Minors on the first day of Open Registration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org on that day.
Introduction to Gender Studies
As an academic discipline, Gender Studies traces its origins back through Women’s Studies to sociology and English departments, the disciplines that first started asking questions in a systematic way about how gender impacted society and influenced the creation and valuation of texts. Today, the scope of inquiry into gender is truly interdisciplinary (and we will discover the broad range of its interdisciplinarity), while methodologically, it still depends heavily on the tools borrowed from the social sciences and it aspires to the paradigmatic shift prompted by feminist questionings of canonicity in the humanities. In this course, students will read classic gender texts and study the ways the resulting gender lens of inquiry is applied to other questions. Students will produce: an autoethnography, ethnographic participant observation and/or interviews, a survey questionnaire, and content & textual analysis of a cultural artifact. Guest lecturers from a variety of disciplines will discuss unique features of their disciplines, as well as highlight the strengths and weaknesses of specific methodologies available for use in their field.
This course provides students with an introduction to the field of gender studies as practiced across a range of disciplines and in relation to various kinds of texts, issues, and contexts. Students will explore issues in gender studies related to concepts of femininity, masculinity, heterosexuality, homosexuality, sexuality, identity, and more. Students will consider the ways in which gender identities and roles are produced and performed, and the ways that ideology and representation shape our understanding of gender. The course will show how research on gender is done across disciplines, highlighting differences in methodology and research questions; it thus provides students with the opportunity to learn about the unique character and approach of different disciplines by taking up debates and discourses around gender from sociology, anthropology, film and visual culture, history, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, theology, and other fields which engage gender as a salient research topic. Theories, criticism, films, literature, art, and everyday life will be analyzed through a perspective informed by gender. Gender will be analyzed in contexts that bring out debates and differences related to race, national identity, globalization, and historical and ideological shifts. Thus, rather than assume that masculinity or femininity or queer or straight or transgender are stable or static concepts, we will attempt to unpack and explore their changing meanings.
Fulfills University Req. Social Science
Perspectives on Gender: Theory and Practice
This course encourages you to develop your own perspective on gender and gender issues by reading across a span of thinkers who have engaged issues related to sex and gender including: debates over women’s rights, difference, the body, sexuality, gender performance, gender surgery, gay marriage, masculinity, race, transgender politics, and more. Students will read and analyze texts by diverse writers from the 19th century to the present day, speaking from perspectives informed by suffrage and abolition movements, second wave feminism, third wave feminism, Black liberation and Black pride movements, gay liberation and queer pride movements, and men’s movements; and from disciplines such as political science, anthropology, psychology, literary criticism, film theory, history, biology, sociology, cultural studies, and more. Throughout, students will consider how ideas about gender have changed over time and why, how the ideas and debates relate to their lives and everyday practices, and which ideas can or should be put into practice and how. This is an upper-level course; majors who intend to study abroad should plan to take it in their on-campus semester junior year.
In collaboration with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Gender Studies, students choose a Gender Studies faculty member who will guide them through the year-long composition of a senior thesis. The senior thesis is a professional piece of scholarly writing featuring original research based on the student's interdisciplinary research in their gender studies major, ideally incorporating any additional fields of study they are pursuing. The Gender Studies senior thesis may build upon, but cannot replicate, the work done for a senior thesis or paper in another major or course. This course fulfills the senior capstone project requirement for Gender Studies majors. It is taken in the fall semester of the senior year (3 credits) and finished in the spring semester (3 credits). For the thesis to be accepted by Gender Studies, the minimum page requirement is 30-50 pages (excluding notes and bibliography). In the spring semester of the junior year, interested students should speak to the DUS about planning their thesis topic and research and securing a faculty advisor. In the fall semester of the senior year, students will identify (in consultation with the DUS and their thesis advisor) a second Gender Studies faculty member to serve as a research consultant. By the end of the fall semester, students submit to the DUS a working bibliography and a 1-2 paragraph summary of the project’s direction to date (including total number of pages drafted); this prospectus is approved by both their thesis advisor and the second faculty member and is required for a passing grade on the fall semester. The thesis is due, approved by the thesis advisor, by the second Friday in April. Students are expected to submit their thesis to the Genevieve D. Willis Senior Thesis Prize Competition.
Guidelines for the Gender Studies Senior Thesis
In collaboration with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Gender Studies, students choose a Gender Studies faculty member who will guide them through the semester-long composition of a capstone essay. The capstone essay is an original and professional piece of scholarly writing based on the student's interdisciplinary research in their primary and supplementary majors. The capstone essay may build upon, but cannot replicate, the work done for a senior thesis or paper in another major or course. This course fulfills the senior capstone project requirement for Gender Studies supplementary majors. It can only be taken in the fall semester of the senior year. In the spring semester of the junior year, interested students should speak to the Gender Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies about planning their thesis topic and research and securing a faculty advisor. For the essay to be accepted by Gender Studies, the minimum page requirement is 20 pages.
The Interdisciplinary Seminar is a theory and methods course that provides cross-disciplinary training in Gender Studies across at least two scholarly fields. It is taught as a combined course with both graduate and advanced undergraduate students. In this seminar, students will explore an issue of Gender Studies, reading canonical and current scholarship to reaffirm the interdisciplinary nature of the field. This course has a significant writing component (minimum of 20 pages). The Interdisciplinary Seminar is required for all undergraduate primary majors in Gender Studies who are not pursuing the thesis track; it is one of two options for supplementary majors’ capstone experience. This is the only specific course required for students pursuing a graduate minor in Gender Studies. It is intended as a gateway for both the master’s and doctoral tracks, and graduate students are encouraged but not required to take it prior to further graduate coursework in Gender Studies. The topics for this course vary. The Directors of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies will ensure that a diverse range of interdisciplinary approaches to Gender Studies are represented in this course over any five-year period. Undergraduates enroll in this seminar at the 53xxx-level, which is an advanced undergraduate course with the expectation of advanced undergraduate work. Graduate students consult with the DGS to determine whether they enroll at the 53xxx- or 63xxx-level.