Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary program that uses gender and sexuality as central frameworks for exploration, analysis, and action. GSWS affirms the commitment among its students and faculty to promote social justice and deconstruct assumptions about gender and sexuality that reproduce inequality.
Students interested in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies should consider enrolling in one of the courses listed for our program on the First-Year Student website.
Introduction to Greco-Roman Gender & Sex
Common Area: Literature
In this course, students will analyze and engage with ancient Greco-Roman works of literature and art to reconstruct how the Greeks and Romans conceptualized gender and sexuality. We will use these investigations as a way to analyze our own modern conceptions of gender and sexuality and understand how issues of legality and morality are necessarily renegotiated from culture to culture and time period to time period.
Introduction to GSWS
Common Area: None
Introduces students to the discipline of Women's and Gender Studies by analyzing women's roles and women's contributions to society and culture from the perspective of recent scholarship on women. Special attention focused on the complex interactions between gender and other social divisions such as race, class, and sexual orientation. The following issues are among those considered: the politics of women's work, the representation of women's bodies in the media, violence against women, healthcare and reproductive rights, global feminism, and the history of feminist movements in the U.S. Deliberately includes in its scope broader constructions of gender, such as concepts of masculinity.
Themes: American Social Movements
Common Area: Historical Studies
In this course we will examine the premise that the history of the United States is, in large part, a history of power and protest. Through case studies of three modern American social movements -- modern black civil rights, anti-war, and gender/sexual rights/liberation -- we will explore how individuals and institutions have constructed and fought to maintain power while other individuals and organizations have claimed the power to challenge the ideologies and traditions of the status quo. We will pay special attention to the role that fear (of change, difference and dissent) plays in shaping these social struggles and our own sense of what is possible in a democracy. Injustice and oppression are universal elements to the human story. We all acknowledge this, but what makes a person do something concrete about it? What makes a person act? How do groups organize? How does social/political change happen? How is it resisted? In the process of formulating responses to these questions, we will examine an array of historical documents, as well as biographies/autobiographies of activists, images and literature.
From Blues to Rap
Common Area: Arts
A survey of African-American from the early 20th century to the present day. This course will consider various musical styles, with special emphasis on developments since 1950, including blues, gospel, R&B, rock and roll, doo-wop, soul, funk, disco, hip-hop, and rap-from the rural south to the urban north; from the east coast to the west coast; from the live stage to the recording studio. Though the primary function of the course will be to consider the development of musical style (that is, the music itself), we will also consider broader questions concerning the influences on and influences of African-American music, issues of cultural appropriation and race, issues of gender and sexuality as they relate to the repertories being studied, and the agency of such music in social movements from the civil-rights era to the present day. This course is for anyone interested in music and American history. The ability to read musical notation is not required. One unit.
Common Area: Historical Studies or Studies in Religion
This course provides an introduction to early Christian literature and thought in the context of the early Church. The biblical texts will be investigated as works of literature, historical witnesses to early Christianity, and expressions of theology.