Contacts | Program of Study | Program Requirements | Summary of Requirements | Grading | Honors | Advising | Minor Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality Studies Courses

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Program of Study

Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Chicago encompasses diverse disciplines, modes of inquiry, and objects of knowledge. Gender and Sexuality Studies allows undergraduates the opportunity to shape a disciplinary or interdisciplinary plan of study focused on gender and sexuality. The plan of study, designed with the assistance of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, can take the form of a gender or sexuality track in a traditional academic discipline, interdisciplinary work on a gender- and/or sexuality-related topic, or a combination thereof. Students can thus create a cluster of courses linked by their attention to gender or sexuality as an object of study or by their use of gender/sexuality categories to investigate topics in sexuality, social life, science, politics and culture, literature and the arts, or systems of thought.

Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Information follows the description of the major.

Program Requirements

All Gender and Sexuality Studies majors are advised, but not required, to take GNSE 15002-15003 Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations I-II to fulfill their general education requirement in civilization studies. They may fulfill this general education requirement with another sequence and count GNSE 15002-15003 in the major. In some cases students can petition to waive this requirement.

The major requires eleven courses, a BA Essay Seminar, and a BA research project or essay that can count as a thirteenth course. The Center for Gender Studies recognizes two main paths by which students might develop an undergraduate concentration. Path A is for students whose central interest lies in the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality; it is designed to provide students with a range of conceptual and historical resources to pursue such study with creativity and rigor. Path B is for students whose interest in gender and sexuality is primarily organized around a specific other discipline or field such as History, English, or Political Science; it is designed to provide students with the conceptual and methodological resources to pursue Gender and Sexuality Studies within such a field. Within those goals, each path is meant to provide students with the opportunity to design a course of study tailored to their particular interests. Each path consists of one theory course, GNSE 10310 Theories of Gender and Sexuality or an approved substitute; a group of ten electives chosen in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Student Affairs Administrator; a BA Essay seminar for fourth-year students; and a BA paper written under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member.

Path A: The course GNSE 10310 Theories of Gender and Sexuality or an approved substitute and ten electives, which must meet the following chronological, geographical, and methodological distribution guidelines: at least one course with a main chronological focus that is pre-1900 and at least one course with a main chronological focus that is post-1900; at least one course with a main focus that is North America or Europe and at least one course with a main focus that is Latin America, Africa, or Asia; at least two courses in the Humanities and at least two courses in the Social Sciences. Any given course may fulfill more than one distribution requirement; for instance, a course on gender in Shakespeare would count as fulfilling one course requirement in pre-1900, Europe, and Humanities.

Path B: The course GNSE 10310 Theories of Gender and Sexuality or an approved substitute and ten elective courses, five or six of which should be primary courses and four or five of which should be supporting courses. Courses in the primary field focus on gender and/or sexuality in a single discipline or in closely related disciplines and develop a gender track within that discipline. Supporting field courses provide training in the methodological, technical, or scholarly skills needed to pursue research in the student's primary field.

Research Project or Essay

A substantial essay or project is to be completed in the student's fourth year under the supervision of a Gender Studies Adviser who is a member of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Affiliated Faculty in the student's primary field of interest. Students must submit the essay by May 1 of their fourth year or by fifth week of their quarter of graduation.

This program may accept a BA paper or project used to satisfy the same requirement in another major if certain conditions are met and with the consent of the other program chair. Approval from both program chairs is required. Students should consult with the chairs by the earliest BA proposal deadline (or by the end of their third year, when neither program publishes a deadline). A consent form, to be signed by both chairs, is available from the College adviser. It must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation.

Summary of Requirements

GNSE 10310Theories of Gender and Sexuality *100
Ten courses following the requirements of Path A OR Path B1000
Path A (interdisciplinary): Courses distributed according to the chronological, geographical, and disciplinary categories of Path A, described above
Path B (disciplinary): Five or six courses in a primary field and four or five supporting courses
GNSE 29800B.A. Paper Seminar100
GNSE 29900BA Essay100
Total Units1300


Two of the supporting field courses may be taken for P/F grading. All other courses must be taken for a quality grade.


Students with a 3.0 or higher overall GPA and a 3.5 or higher GPA in the major are eligible for honors. Students must also receive a grade of A on their BA project or essay with a recommendation for honors from their faculty adviser.


Each student chooses a faculty adviser for their BA project from among the Gender and Sexuality Studies Affiliated Faculty listed below. At the beginning of their third year, students are encouraged to design their program of study with the assistance of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Minor Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Chicago encompasses diverse disciplines, modes of inquiry, and objects of knowledge. A minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies allows students in other major fields to shape a disciplinary or interdisciplinary plan of study that will provide a competence in gender and sexuality studies. Such a minor requires a total of six courses:

GNSE 10310Theories of Gender and Sexuality *100
Five additional courses in Gender and Sexuality Studies500
Total Units600

It is recommended, but not required, that students who minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies take GNSE 15002-15003 Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations I-II to fulfill their general education requirement. Students who elect the minor program in Gender and Sexuality Studies must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the minor. Students choose courses in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The chair's approval for the minor program should be submitted to a student's College adviser by the deadline above on a form obtained from the adviser.

Courses in the minor (1) may not be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades, and at least four of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

Nonmajors are encouraged to use the lists of faculty and course offerings as resources for the purpose of designing programs within disciplines, as an aid for the allocation of electives, or for the pursuit of a BA project. For further work in Gender and Sexuality Studies, students are encouraged to investigate other courses taught by resource faculty. For more information about Gender and Sexuality Studies, visit the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality website at or contact the student affairs administrator at 702.2365.

Gender and Sexuality Studies Courses

GNSE 10310. Theories of Gender and Sexuality. 100 Units.

This is a one-quarter, seminar-style introductory course for undergraduates. Its aim is triple: to engage scenes and concepts central to the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality; to provide familiarity with key theoretical anchors for that study; and to provide skills for deriving the theoretical bases of any kind of method. Students will produce descriptive, argumentative, and experimental engagements with theory and its scenes as the quarter progresses. Prior course experience in gender/sexuality studies (by way of the general education civilization studies courses or other course work) is strongly advised.

Instructor(s): L. Berlant, K. Schilt     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20231, ENGL 10310

GNSE 11005. Problems in the Study of Gender and Sexuality: Media Wars. 100 Units.

In our contemporary moment, we have become accustomed to terms such as 'counter-terrorism' that signal an effort to resist internal and external threats, and those suggesting that we live in an age of 'post-truth' dominated by 'corporate-media,' 'fake news,' and 'fact-challenged' journalism. Taking this platform as our starting place, this class explores how these terms and their use have been gendered; have situated both gender and sexuality as either weapons of resistance or objects of destruction. This class will be historically organized insofar as we will begin our discussion with ways that media - broadly conceived to include cinema, print and visual-cultural forms, television, and the internet - have aimed to 'counter' patriarchal, heteronormative, and hegemonic systems of representation of gender and sexuality.

Instructor(s): J. Wild; L. Janson     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 11005, CMST 40400, CMST 20400, GNSE 31105

GNSE 11008. Problems in the Study of Gender and Sexuality: Gender and Religion. 100 Units.

In what ways are notions of ideas about religion and the sacred gendered and what are the consequences of this for how we live our lives? This class will be an introduction to the study of the relationships between religion and gender and the way these relationships play out in specific historical situations. Attention will also be paid to the relationships between religions and sexualities. Examples will be drawn from medieval to modern periods, and our attention will primarily be on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Instructor(s): Kelli Gardner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 27614, MDVL 11008

GNSE 11009. Problems in the Study of Gender and Sexuality: The Big Issues. 100 Units.

This course will address contemporary major issues in feminist and queer theory.

Instructor(s): Linda Zerilli, Amanda Blair     Terms Offered: Winter

GNSE 15002-15003. Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations I-II.

This two-quarter sequence aims to expand students’ exposure to an array of texts—theoretical, historical, religious, literary, visual—that address the fundamental place of gender and sexuality in the social, political, and cultural creations of different civilizations. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.

GNSE 15002. Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations I. 100 Units.

The first quarter offers a theoretical framing unit that introduces concepts in feminist, gender, and queer theory, as well as two thematic clusters, "Kinship" and "Creativity and Cultural Knowledge." The "Kinship" cluster includes readings on such topics as marriage, sex and anti-sex, love and anti-love, and reproduction. The "Creativity and Cultural Knowledge" cluster addresses the themes of authorship and authority, fighting and constructing the canon, and the debates over the influence of "difference" on cultural forms.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.

GNSE 15003. Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations II. 100 Units.

Three thematic clusters make up the second quarter. "Politics" focuses on texts related to activism/movement politics and women's rights as human rights and the question of universalism. "Religion" contextualizes gender and sexuality through examinations of a variety of religious laws and teachings, religious practices, and religious communities. "Economics" looks at slavery, domestic service, prostitution as labor, consumption, and the gendering of labor in contemporary capitalism.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): GNSE 15002
Note(s): This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.

GNSE 17001. Introduction to Women and Gender in the Ancient World. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction to aspects of women's lives in the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean: primarily Greece and Rome, but drawing occasionally on examples also from the Near East and Egypt. We will examine not only what women actually did and did not do in these societies, but also how they were perceived by their male contemporaries and what value to society they were believed to have. The course will focus on how women are reflected in the material and visual cultures, but it will also incorporate historical and literary evidence, as well. Through such a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, we will examine the complexities and ambiguities of women's lives in the ancient Mediterranean and begin to understand the roots of modern conceptions and perceptions of women in the Western world today.

Instructor(s): M. Andrews     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17001, CLCV 26518

GNSE 18500. American Horrors. 100 Units.

This course is a survey of horror in American literature and film, with a special focus on the genre's relation to racial and sexual violence. How does horror reflect, contribute to, or intervene into structures of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and queerphobia? How do fictional texts represent or transform non-fictional horrors, from lynching to rape to police brutality? And what is the status of horror as an emotion that structures relations of power and privilege in the United States? Together, we will gain a historical perspective on the genre, for instance tracking the figure of the zombie from its birth in Haitian folklore as a projection of the horrors of slavery, through 20th century works like George Romero's film Night of the Living Dead, and into present day works including Colson Whitehead's novel Zone One. We will pay special attention to the present moment, interrogating a renaissance of horror tropes in, for instance, feminist fiction (Karen Russell and Carmen Maria Machado), television (American Horror Story and Stranger Things), and cinema (It and Get Out).

Instructor(s): Michael Dango     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 18500, ENGL 18500

GNSE 20036. Making Sex and Race on the Renaissance Stage. 100 Units.

This course examines some of the greatest hits of the non-Shakespearean repertoire to discuss the central role of the raced and sexed body on the Renaissance stage. We will put under special scrutiny the tendency of playwrights to dramatize for display virginity, pregnancy, and venereal disease as they intersect with a wide spectrum racial difference. Social, medical, and ecclesiastical history will be important to our discussions, but the aim of the course is to investigate the theatrical implications of this raced and sexed dramaturgy; in particular, we will consider how the plays of the Tudor-Stuart era that hinge on biological 'facts' call for exhibitions of anatomical proof that they would seem to be entirely incapable of mustering. Students should expect extensive (but lively) weekly reading assignments, preparation for which includes participation in a calendar of class responses; a presentation to the class of a self-selected primary text; and a culminating research essay. (Pre-1650, Drama)

Instructor(s): Ellen MacKay     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 20036, ENGL 20036, CRES 20036

GNSE 20072. Frankenstein at 200: Hideous Progeny. 100 Units.

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, arguably the most famous horror story ever written. Frankenstein is also a mythopoetic tour de force whose searching moral and ethical questions-at what cost should we pursue scientific advances, or seek knowledge more generally? What are the effects of social marginalization? Where is the boundary between the drive to create and the desire for power?-command more attention today than ever. In this seminar we will examine the novel both as it engaged earlier cultural works (Plutarch's Lives, Milton's Paradise Lost, Godwin's Political Justice, Wollstonecraft'sVindication of the Rights of Woman, Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther), and as it morphed over the course of two centuries into a full-blown modern myth. Indeed, its adaptations, scholarly editions, imitations, and parodies are legion, spanning nineteenth-century melodramas, popular songs, numerous blockbuster films (including the prequel to Ridley Scott's Aliens saga), comic books, a new Netflix miniseries, and even, rather amazingly, at least one children's book series. We will have the unique opportunity of attending the world premier of the newest stage interpretation of Shelley's novel at the Court Theatre and discussing the projects of adaptation and remediation with its director and cast. Students will have the option of producing their own creative adaptation as their culminating project for the course.

Instructor(s): Alexis Chema     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 20072

GNSE 20111. History of Death. 100 Units.

From the treatment of mortal remains to the built environment of cemeteries, tombs, and memorials, the dead have always played a role in the lives of the living. This course examines how beliefs and practices surrounding death have been a source of meaning making for individuals, institutions, religious communities, and modern nations. It will ask students to consider how examining death makes it possible to better understand the values and concerns of societies across time and space. This course will consider case studies from Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, and Asia, from the Middle Ages to the Vietnam War. It introduces students to the methods and debates that animate the historical study of death-coming from histories of the body, social history, and the study of slavery-and ends by asking the question: "Is it possible to have a global history of death?"

Instructor(s): K. Hickerson     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 20111, HIST 20111, CRES 20111

GNSE 21001. Cultural Psychology. 100 Units.

There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of "normal" psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of "culture" and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning.

Instructor(s): R. Shweder     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates must be in third or fourth year.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 33000, AMER 33000, CHDV 31000, ANTH 35110, PSYC 23000, CHDV 21000, ANTH 24320, GNSE 31000

GNSE 21112. Nudes, Princesses and Cyborgs : Gender, Violence, and Biblical Fiction. 100 Units.

To many, Bathsheba is simply the nude who seduced David. The connotations of being a Jezebel are strong enough that a popular feminist website re-appropriates the insult. Yet the biblical texts themselves make it difficult to imagine female characters as types, or the violence with which they are often associated as comprehensible. Furthermore, Hebrew Bible figures have often been taken up as sites to explore contemporary questions relating to gender and violence. Did Dinah 'ask for it'? Does Ruth's story celebrate the refugee and mother or justify a colonial politics of assimilation? In this course, students will examine literary works that reuse difficult portions of biblical narrative and challenge readers to reassess biblical violence and its legacies. By engaging with both more popular extended rewritings like The Red Tent and world-literary political works like A Grain of Wheat, this course will reconsider biblical women and the variety of problematic and productive ways they may be appropriated in fiction and in popular culture.

Instructor(s): Chloe Blackshear     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 21112, ENGL 21112

GNSE 21310. Our biopolitics, ourselves: feminist science fiction. 100 Units.

1970s feminist theory made a significant conceptual move in provisionally bracketing off biological sex from the historical/cultural work of gender. Feminist science fiction (in contrast), in its brief flourishing in the 70s and early 80s, finds its utopian moments in the biological, in genetic manipulation, reproductive technology, ecological forms of being and new bodies of a variety of kinds. This class will read science fiction, feminist theory and current critical work that concerns itself with biopolitics in order to ask questions about the divide between nature and culture, what's entailed in imagining the future, what gender and genre might have to do with each other, and just what science fiction is and does anyway. Authors include: Le Guin, Russ, Butler, Piercy, Haraway, Rubin, Firestone.

Instructor(s): Hilary Strang     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 21310, MAPH 41300, ENGL 41310, GNSE 41300

GNSE 21400. Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality. 100 Units.

Zerilli: This course examines contemporary theories of sexuality, culture, and society. We then situate these theories in global and historical perspectives. Topics and issues are explored through theoretical, ethnographic, and popular film and video texts. Simon: Our itinerary in this coursewill be interdisciplinary, ranging from political theory to science studies. Topics for discussion will likely include: the gendering of reason and passion in the history of philosophy; the power, persistence, and flexibility of norms; the relationship between eros and other forms of desire; the division of labor and other economic tributaries to gendered experience; openings for and challenges to the political aspirations of sexual (and other) minorities; and the pressures exerted by technology on erotic life. Students will engage key concepts in the field, and will be encouraged to experiment with new ones.

Instructor(s): L. Zerilli     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Completion of GNSE 10100-10200 and GNSE 28505 or 28605 or permission of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 21401, GNSE 31400, MAPH 36500, PLSC 31410, ENGL 30201, PLSC 21410

GNSE 21416. Reproduction and Motherhood in Multimedia (1800-present) 100 Units.

What do artificial wombs, monstrous creations, and dystopian medical landscapes have in common? Answers to these questions are the subject of this interdisciplinary course in which we explore the many ways in which human reproduction has entered multimedia from the eighteenth century through present. In our course, the concept of "reproduction" will be problematized through film, advertising, texts, literature, and objects. Through these sources, we will critically explore how popular representations of human reproduction have shaped the status of the female body and notions of motherhood over time. We will also see how the liberating potential of new forms of multimedia have often served to reinforce--rather than resist or re-imagine--longstanding motifs and beliefs surrounding the maternal body and womanhood, from the image of the hysterical woman to that of the monstrous mother. Themes covered include the science of reproduction, hysteria, monstrosities, maternal imagination, artificial life, race, contraception, in/fertility, and sex education.

Instructor(s): Margaret Carlyle     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 21416, KNOW 21416, CRES 21416

GNSE 21505. Sex, Gender and War. 100 Units.

This course explores the sexed, gendered, and oftentimes racialized dimensions of war. With the rise of civil wars and the decrease of interstate or world wars, the nature of warfare has changed: wars are no longer being fought in battlefields, but neighborhoods; and combatants and civilians are no longer distinguishable. Additionally, over the last century, women's formal participation in armed groups and militaries has increased, challenging the traditional segregation of men and women into different roles during war. As such, this undergraduate seminar explores various dimensions of contemporary war, in order to understand how war is not only made possible, but is perpetuated and reinforced by sexed, gendered, and racialized inequalities. It draws from literature in armed conflict studies and gender studies, as well as from contemporary representations of gender and war in films and novels. The goals of the course are two-fold: to engage with the five themes of the course in order to understand, analyze, and interrogate the sexed, gendered, and racialized dimensions of war, and to develop critical writing skills for the social sciences.

Instructor(s): Amanda Blair     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 21505

GNSE 21601. Introduction to Political Philosophy. 100 Units.

In this course we will investigate what it is for a society to be just. In what sense are the members of a just society equal? What freedoms does a just society protect? Must a just society be a democracy? What economic arrangements are compatible with justice? In the second portion of the course we will consider one pressing injustice in our society in light of our previous philosophical conclusions. Possible candidates include, but are not limited to, racial inequality, economic inequality, and gender hierarchy. Here our goal will be to combine our philosophical theories with empirical evidence in order to identify, diagnose, and effectively respond to actual injustice. (A)

Instructor(s): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 21600, PLSC 22600, LLSO 22612

GNSE 22110. Excrement and Ecstasy: The Devotional Body in Early Modern Literature. 100 Units.

This class asks why writers in the seventeenth century turn to bodily metaphor and erotic language to describe their interactions with the divine. We will investigate the materiality of the body in early modern poetry-where it is frequently depicted as in orgasmic frenzy, failing, and even producing excrement-and its involvement with religious devotional practice. Authors of focus will likely include William Shakespeare, John Donne, George Herbert, John Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. (Poetry, Pre-1650, 1650-1830)

Instructor(s): Beatrice Bradley     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 22110

GNSE 22204. Philosophies of Environmentalism and Sustainability. 100 Units.

Many of the toughest ethical and political challenges confronting the world today are related to environmental issues: for example, climate change, loss of biodiversity, the unsustainable use of natural resources, pollution, and other threats to the well-being of both present and future generations. Using both classic and contemporary works, this course will highlight some of the fundamental and unavoidable philosophical questions presented by such environmental issues. What do the terms "nature" and "wilderness" even mean, and can "natural" environments as such have ethical and/or legal standing? Does the environmental crisis demand radically new forms of ethical and political philosophizing and practice? Must an environmental ethic reject anthropocentrism? If so, what are the most plausible non-anthropocentric alternatives? What counts as the proper ethical treatment of non-human animals, living organisms, or ecosystems? What fundamental ethical and political perspectives inform such approaches as the "Land Ethic," ecofeminism, and deep ecology? Is there a plausible account of justice for future generations? Are we now in the Anthropocene? Is "adaptation" the best strategy at this historical juncture? How can the wild, the rural, and the urban all contribute to a better future for Planet Earth? (A)

Instructor(s): B. Schultz     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Field trips, guest speakers, and special projects will help us philosophize about the fate of the earth by connecting the local and the global. Please be patient with the flexible course organization! Some rescheduling may be necessary in order to accommodate guest speakers and the weather!
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 22209, PLSC 22202, ENST 22209, HMRT 22201

GNSE 23002. Workshop: Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender. 50 Units.

This workshop exposes students to recent academic work in the regulation of family, sex, gender, and sexuality and in feminist theory. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers and University faculty. The substance and methodological orientation of the papers will both be diverse. Continuing students only.

Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 33002

GNSE 23100. Foucault and The History of Sexuality. 100 Units.

This course centers on a close reading of the first volume of Michel Foucault's "The History of Sexuality", with some attention to his writings on the history of ancient conceptualizations of sex. How should a history of sexuality take into account scientific theories, social relations of power, and different experiences of the self? We discuss the contrasting descriptions and conceptions of sexual behavior before and after the emergence of a science of sexuality. Other writers influenced by and critical of Foucault are also discussed.

Instructor(s): A. Davidson     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): One prior philosophy course is strongly recommended.
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 27002, HIPS 24300, PHIL 24800, FNDL 22001, CMLT 25001

GNSE 23118. Gender and Sexuality in Jewish Society: Early Modernity through the Present. 100 Units.

In this course, we will examine how gender and sexuality shaped Jewish historical experience, identity, ideology, and imagination from the mid-seventeenth century until today. Using the tools of gender analysis, we will explore the historical realities of women and men in Jewish society through critical reading of primary sources (in translation), and discussion of modern research. No prior background in Jewish Studies is necessary. Topics include: the construction of gender in modern Jewish society; historical intersections of sexuality and Jewish practice; gender and power relations in the Jewish family; emancipation and assimilation; gender and Jewish literature; Jews and the rise of feminist movements; masculinity and Zionism; sex, gender, and the Holocaust.

Instructor(s): Band, Anna     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): JWSC 23118, HIST 23415

GNSE 23119. Transnational Queer Politics and Practices. 100 Units.

This course aims to examine gender and sexual practices and identities in a transnational perspective. As people and ideas move across national, cultural, and racial borders, how is sexuality negotiated and redefined? How are concepts such as "global queerness" and the globalization of sexualities leveraged for change? How are queer identities and practices translated, both culturally and linguistically? To explore transnational articulations of queerness we will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, including postcolonial, feminist, queer, and indigenous approaches to the study of sexualities. We will engage with scholarship on the politics of global gay rights discourses, on the sexual politics of migration, and on the effects of colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. By analyzing queer experiences and practices in a transnational context, our goal is to decenter and challenge Western-centric epistemologies and to dive into the complexities of cultural representations of queerness around the globe.

Instructor(s): Caterina Fugazzola     Terms Offered: Spring

GNSE 23120. Topics in Feminism and Psychoanalysis. 100 Units.

Questions of the personal, narrative, and fantastical elements of human life are fundamental to both feminism and psychoanalysis. Each tradition has stressed the importance of embodied experience to understanding, as well as the relation of that experience to large-scale social and political structures. How do structures of domination and oppression affect the way we experience desire, or who we desire in the first place? How do our dreams and fantasies block us from, or propel us toward, the imagination and enactment of feminist futures? How does loss circumscribe gender and racial identity? What's with mothers? And if it hurts me, why do I keep doing it? These and other questions of practical and political import will guide our trajectory in this interdisciplinary advanced undergraduate course. In Part I, we will "work through" the analytic categories developed by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan in their psychoanalytic practice. Particular attention will be paid to specific case studies. In Part II, we will turn to topics in feminist, gender and sexuality studies that have taken inspiration from, or developed as critiques of, psychoanalysis. We will think feminism expansively, drawing from critical race theory, queer theory, political theory, philosophy, literature, and cultural studies to explore psychoanalytic topics.

Instructor(s): Uday Jain, Agatha Slupek     Terms Offered: Spring

GNSE 23121. The Politics of Life Itself. 100 Units.

This is an introductory course on biopolitics. The class will approach this Foucauldian category as both a "style of thought" and as a mode of governmentality. Key questions we will return to throughout the quarter include: What forms of knowledge-power are mobilized to conceive of life statistically and/or at the level of population? How might biopolitics transform our understanding of sexuality, race, and class, as well as their disciplinary systems? And, finally, what does it mean to politicize "life itself"? In order to get a better handle on Michel Foucault's foundational formulation of biopolitics in the final chapter of The History of Sexuality, we will spend the first two weeks tracing the concept's prehistory in the work of Charles Darwin and the life philosophers of the Nineteenth Century before turning to contemporary theorizations of biopolitics by feminist, critical race, disability, and queer scholars. These recent interventions alert us to the different instantiations or modalities of biopolitics in relation to one's geo-political location and/or subject-position. For some, biopolitics has the potential to foster new forms of life and capacities; for others, this politics of life is more likely to be encountered as a necropolitics. We will therefore spend the final few weeks of the quarter thinking about the relation between life and death under biopolitics. How might the biopolitical revision of life alter our understanding of death itself?

Instructor(s): Vinh Cam     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 23121

GNSE 23122. Taboo and Transgression. 100 Units.

This course circulates around five questions: 1) what does it mean to conceive of the foundations of society as forming through structures of prohibition, 2) why is it that these prohibitions primarily take the form of sexual regulation, 3) what are the gendered dynamics of these prohibitions, 4) why are these conceptions always formulated through studies of cultural otherness, 5) what dangers and potentialities reside within the concept of transgression? As is clear from these fundamental questions,this class is not primarily a study of taboo as a theoretical concept, but rather of the ways in which the concept of taboo is used in specific discourses internal to 20th and 21st-century social sciences, cultural theory and psychoanalysis.

Instructor(s): Alexander Wolfson     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students registering under CMLT 23122 should read at least one text in the original (non-English) version.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 23122, CMLT 23122

GNSE 23400. Virginia Woolf. 100 Units.

Along with a number of Woolf's major works, students read theoretical and critical texts that give a sense of the range of contemporary approaches to Woolf. (1830-1940, Fiction)

Instructor(s): Lisa Ruddick     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 23400, FNDL 24011

GNSE 25302. Beauvoir: The Second Sex. 100 Units.

In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir's Le Deuxième Sexe took up the old question of sexual difference; it was never the same question again. Her attention to the situation and "situatedness" of women resulted in new ways of thinking about freedom, destiny, reciprocity, and subjectivity; it brought literature, autobiography, and cultural studies into philosophical reflection; and it contributed significantly to twentieth century transformations of women's social, political, and cultural situations. We will engage a close reading of The Second Sex in English translation and with some reference to the original French.

Instructor(s): K. Culp     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25331

GNSE 25600. Gender and Modernity in Colonial Korea. 100 Units.

What are the salient forms, manifestations, and performances that can be discussed as aspects found at the intersection between gender experience and Korean colonial modernity? This seminar aims at identifying the characteristics of Japanese or colonially mediated modernization that Koreans experienced in the first half of the twentieth century in order to ultimately generate a broadly meaningful discussion on the texture of colonial cultural experience under its abiding colonial legacy. At the core of the class is a concern with gender. While considering the universal questions of modernized gender, gendered consciousness, and personal/private spaces, discussions will respond to the diverse interests and backgrounds of student participants so as to best facilitate comparative and theoretical discussions on colonial modernity and its postcolonial manifestations.

Instructor(s): K. Choi     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 25600, GNSE 35600, EALC 35600

GNSE 27013. Woman/Native. 100 Units.

This course reads works of postcolonial literature and theory in order to consider the entanglements of the figures of "women" and "natives" in colonial as well as postcolonial discourse. We will discuss topics such as the persistent feminization of the profane, degraded, and contagious bodies of colonized natives; representations of women as both the keepers and the victims of "authentic" native culture; the status (symbolic and otherwise) of women in anti-colonial resistance and insurgency; and the psychic pathologies (particularly nervous conditions of anxiety, hysteria, and madness) that appear repeatedly in these works as states to which women and/as natives are especially susceptible. Authors may include Ama Ata Aidoo, Hélène Cixous J.M Coetzee, Maryse Condé, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Mahasweta Devi, Assia Djebar, Frantz Fanon, Sigmund Freud, Silvia Federici, Nuruddin Farah, Bessie Head, V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys, Tayeb Salih, Ousmane Sembène, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. (Fiction, Theory)

Instructor(s): Sonali Thakkar     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 27003, CRES 27013, ENGL 27003

GNSE 27100. Sociology of Human Sexuality. 100 Units.

After briefly reviewing several biological and psychological approaches to human sexuality as points of comparison, this course explores the sociological perspective on sexual conduct and its associated beliefs and consequences for individuals and society. Substantive topics include gender relations; life-course perspectives on sexual conduct in youth, adolescence, and adulthood; social epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (including AIDS); sexual partner choice and turnover; and the incidence/prevalence of selected sexual practices. Network analytic approaches will be introduced.

Instructor(s): E. Laumann     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Introductory social sciences course
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20107, SOCI 30107

GNSE 28110. Queer Jewish Literature. 100 Units.

Spanning medieval Hebrew to contemporary Yiddish, this course will explore the intersections of Jewish literature and queer theory, homophobia and antisemitism. While centered on literary studies, the syllabus will also include film, visual art, and music. Literary authors will include Bashevis Singer, Qalonymus ben Qalonymus, Irena Klepfisz, and others. Theorists will include Eve Sedgwick, Zohar Weiman-Kelman, Sander Gilman, and others. Readings will be in English translation.

Instructor(s): Anna Elena Torres     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): JWSC 28110, GNSE 38110, CMLT 28110, CMLT 38110, CRES 28110

GNSE 28202. United States Latinos: Origins and Histories. 100 Units.

An examination of the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural histories of those who are now commonly identified as Latinos in the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the formative historical experiences of Mexican Americans and mainland Puerto Ricans, although some consideration will also be given to the histories of other Latino groups, i.e., Cubans, Central Americans, and Dominicans. Topics include cultural and geographic origins and ties; imperialism and colonization; the economics of migration and employment; legal status; work, women, and the family; racism and other forms of discrimination; the politics of national identity; language and popular culture; and the place of Latinos in US society. Equivalent Course(s): AMER 28001,CRES 28000,GNSE 28202,HIST 38000,LACS 28000,LACS 38000,CRES 38000,GNSE 38202,AMER 38001

Instructor(s): R. Gutiérrez     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): AMER 28001, AMER 38001, CRES 38000, GNSE 38202, HIST 38000, HIST 28000, LACS 28000, LACS 38000, CRES 28000

GNSE 28401. Gender in the Classroom. 100 Units.

No inherent difference in general intelligence or academic ability have been found between males and females, despite extensive research on the topic. However, gendered patterns of learning and achievement persist. In the US, girls outperform boys on tests of reading and literacy, earn better grades, and are more likely to graduate high school and enroll in college. At the same time, while boys and girls now perform similarly on most tests of math and science achievement, boys are still more likely than girls to take Advanced Placement tests in STEM-related fields during high school, and ultimately to pursue STEM Careers. This course focuses on the ways in which gender shapes student's classroom experiences, and how these gendered interactions may contribute to the persistence of gendered patterns of achievement outcomes, within the context of US K-12 classrooms. We will draw on perspectives from several disciplines, including Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology. Because this course provides a context for students to explore and critically reflect on the ways in which gender shapes student experiences within the context of US K-12 classrooms, the course may hold particular appeal for undergraduates considering pursuing careers as educators, and for those who desire a space to explore and reflect on the role of gender in shaping their own educational experiences thus far.

Instructor(s): E. Lyons     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): N/A
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 28401, PSYC 28401, CHDV 28400

GNSE 28600. Pasolini. 100 Units.

This course examines each aspect of Pasolini's artistic production according to the most recent literary and cultural theories, including Gender Studies. We shall analyze his poetry (in particular "Le Ceneri di Gramsci" and "Poesie informa di rosa"), some of his novels ("Ragazzi di vita," "Una vita violenta," "Teorema," "Petrolio"), and his numerous essays on the relationship between standard Italian and dialects, semiotics and cinema, and the role of intellectuals in contemporary Western culture. We shall also discuss the following films: "Accattone," "La ricotta," "Edipo Re," "Teorema," and "Salo".

Instructor(s): A. Maggi     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 38400, CMST 33500, CMST 23500, ITAL 28400, FNDL 28401

GNSE 29700. Readings in Gender Studies. 100 Units.

This is a general reading and research course for independent study not related to the BA thesis or BA research.

Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and director of undergraduate studies
Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. May be taken for P/F grading with consent of instructor. With prior approval, students who are majoring in Gender Studies may use this course to satisfy program requirements.

GNSE 29800-29900. BA Seminar; BA Essay.

GNSE 29800 and 29900 form a two-quarter sequence for seniors who are writing a BA essay.

GNSE 29800. B.A. Paper Seminar. 100 Units.

GNSE 29800 and 29900 form a two-quarter sequence for seniors who are writing a BA essay. This seminar provides students with the theoretical and methodological grounding in gender and sexuality studies needed to formulate a topic and conduct the independent research and writing of their BA essay. Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and program chairman Note(s): May be taken for P/F grading with consent of instructor.

Instructor(s): Jennifer Wild     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and program chairman
Note(s): May be taken for P/F grading with consent of instructor.

GNSE 29900. BA Essay. 100 Units.

The purpose of this course is to assist students in the preparation of drafts of their BA essay. An approved GNSE course may be substituted.

Terms Offered: Summer,Autumn,Winter,Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and program chairman
Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form signed by the faculty BA essay reader.



Administrative Contacts

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Jennifer Wild
Classics 314B


Student Affairs Administrator
Bonnie Kanter
5733 S. University Ave.