Gender and Sexuality Studies
Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration that examines the construction of gender and sexuality in social, cultural, political, economic, or scientific contexts. Each concentrator focuses on a well-defined topic or question and works closely with a concentration advisor to develop a program that investigates this focus area rigorously and supplements it with foundational courses in the relevant disciplines. Typical areas of focus include the acculturation of gender, sexuality and race in American politics or activism, the construction of sexual and gendered identities in educational institutions or in various forms of visual media, a contrast between different cultural understandings of sexual identity, a particular national literature and history. Such topics will frequently bring questions of gender and sexuality together; however students may also organize their concentrations to emphasize questions specifically related to gender or to sexuality. Introductory and methodology courses in the disciplines appropriate to students' focus will help them understand the principles grounding such practices as historical research, literary interpretation, and sociological analysis.
Students in this concentration will:
- Develop an understanding of gender and sexuality informed by historical, transnational, and interdisciplinary perspectives
- Become fluent in critical theory
- Design a curriculum that applies relevant theories to more than one discipline
- Develop strong critical thinking and writing skills
- Produce and present a significant piece of original research or creative work
Honors and CapstonesView Honors website
In order to qualify for honors, GNSS concentrators should be carrying a B+ average overall. Candidates should apply to the program's director during their sixth semester. They should submit a 3-5 page proposal and a short bibliography and have found an advisor appropriate to the project. During their senior year, honors concentrators must enroll in GNSS1970 as well as the Senior Seminar in the fall, and GNSS1980 in the spring. A second reader for the thesis must be in place by the end of the fall semester, senior year. The completed thesis must be submitted to the advisor and second reader by mid-April, senior year. If the advisor and second reader deem the thesis to be of superior quality, the candidate will be awarded the designation of Honors in Gender and Sexuality Studies. If the readers judge the thesis acceptable but not of honors caliber, the student will receive credit for the full two-semesters of work. Please consult the program website for a complete description of admission procedures and requirements.
This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:
- Expand your reading skills
- Understand differences among cultures
- Embrace diversity
- Engage with your community
- Learn what it means to study the past
- Evaluate human behavior
- Work on your speaking and writing
Alumni have attended graduate programs in law, business, social work, medicine, education, public health, history, literature, and psychology, and they have received distinguished fellowships such as the Fulbright. They are employed in fields as diverse as finance, advocacy, consulting, non-profit administration, publishing, and reproductive health. More information is available on the Gender and Sexuality Studies website.