The seventies women’s and queer movements in the U.S., along with the civil rights movement, are now considered to be among the key transformative movements of the twentieth century. The effects of these movements have been far-reaching in society and particularly within the academy. The Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies captures the transformations enacted in society and scholarship
that has been enabled by the 20th century gender justice movements. All of our courses use gender and sexuality as basic categories of analysis. This means that students reexamine existing scholarship from new interdisciplinary perspectives. Thus we learn what U.S. history looks like from a queer perspective; we learn how contemporary globalization processes affect heterosexuals and queers differently; or how women’s experiences in the paid labor force are similar to or different from that of men; or how people of color figure in global media. Our courses highlight that there is no singular gendered experience. Rather, we learn to understand how race, class, sexuality and other identity markers shape our lives.
Our courses are interdisciplinary in nature and students examine the questions raised by the scholarship on gender, sexuality and feminist studies; they learn to critically understand how class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other constructions of difference are influenced and informed by gender. We draw upon scholarship from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences to highlight the possibilities of social transformation and change.
Our courses are vibrant, driven by student participation and challenge some of our core commonsensical understandings. We draw upon a variety of learning experiences. Our students learn how to think critically, and they also learn how to make mash-up vids, zines, and blogs.
Students in our program draw upon the curriculum throughout the College. For example, they might take a history course looking at women’s roles in state policies and programs in the U.S. or in the Middle East. Or they might take a film and media course examining the representations of sexuality, a sociology class about heterosexuality, a course analyzing sexuality in Hinduism, or gender in the context of Japan. Or they may take a course that helps them uncover gay and lesbian experiences in Russia.
Our mission is to support teaching, interdisciplinary learning, and research in the expanding fields of gender, sexuality and feminist studies, core courses at introductory and upper levels and a variety of lecture courses and seminars drawn from different disciplines in the College.