Gender and Sexuality Studies Courses

Please visit Brown's online course catalog for a complete listing of all classes offered.

Fall Semester 2021

Code Title Schedule Instructor
GNSS0710 Feminist Digital Humanities

H. Sikk
This course focuses on new feminist interventions in the digital humanities emerging from literary, archive, and game studies, as well as history, linguistics, and cultural studies. As an interdisciplinary field, feminist digital humanities bring together a wide range of methods including digital archiving and mapping, information visualization, online exhibitions, and social network mapping. Although the digital humanities are seen as an area of research with many new possibilities, there are many ethical concerns regarding consent, accessibility, privacy, and authorship. We consider how feminist digital humanities address these issues in theory and praxis. To gain an understanding of the many elements of feminist digital humanities, you are asked to participate in seminar discussions, complete small hands-on projects, and complete a final digital humanities project that is relevant to your research interests.
GNSS 1510A Reproductive In/Justice W 3-5:30
S. Williams
In this course, students will learn to use the lens of reproductive justice to interrogate the ways that some of our most pressing contemporary crises are rooted in long-standing histories of white supremacy and capitalism and are intimately related to reproduction and constraints against reproductive freedom. By taking up the reproductive justice movement’s primary three principles, 1) the right not to have a child, 2) the right to have a child, and 3) the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments, this course welcomes junior scholars into a nuanced, interdisciplinary space for thinking through the historical and continued role of the US and Canadian governments in controlling reproduction, and reproduction’s impact and reliance on seemingly disparate aspects of life in North America. Ultimately, this course invites students to collaboratively consider the question: “Is (racial/economic/gender/disability/environmental) justice possible without reproductive justice?”
Speech and Silence, Trust, Rage and Fear: An Inquiry into the Possibility of Intimacy
W 3-5:30 P. Foa
Seminar examines intimate relationships: problems that arise from failures of couples to speak to each other, when instead of silence, they fail to speak openly, honestly, from a position of equality -particularly about their feelings, needs and desires. We examine the moral agency of men and women as it is reflected in what couples do, say and think. We look at whether relationships fail when men or women consciously or unconsciously choose women who fall into oppressive, subordinate postures and examine whether men take advantage of these postures. Class material from literature, films, and readings from philosophical, literary, and legal essays.
GNSS 1961T
Transpacific Femininities M 3-5:30 E. Kanesaka
As theoretical framework, archival method, activist practice, transpacific femininities places gender and sexuality at the center of Asian American literature, culture, and Pacific Rim geopolitics. Since at least the 19th century, femininity has played a critical role in the material and discursive mediation of transpacific relations: from the circulation of feminized Asian commodities and the migration of sex workers, care workers, and other female laborers to the idea of the Orient as the feminine counterpart to the masculinized West. Yet, because Asian and Asian American women have been subject to extensive and aggressive fantasizing in the American imagination, they remain, in many ways, proximal to dominant narratives, occluded by the abstract significations they carry. We will test the parameters of transpacific femininities as an approach for contending with complex networks of relations within and between multiple competing nations and empires.
GNSS 1990  Senior Seminar T 4-6:30 D. Davis
A research seminar focusing on the research and writing of the participants. Required of senior concentrators; open to other advanced students by permission.
 GNSS X-list Courses of Interest to Concentrators in Gender and Sexuality Studies  Varies  Varies
 W 10-12:30 L. Bostrom, E. Lincoln
In this seminar, led by an artist and an art historian, we ask how global histories of race, gender, and class are connected to structures of knowledge and power that are ordered by color. Color, above all the color of skin, locates our place in the world. The racial colorism that distinguishes so minutely between skin shades, and assigns value accordingly, is proof, if any were needed, that color has both a semiotics and a psychology. The category of race is built largely on psychological and cultural responses to color that operate across the spectrum of the visual world. Exactly how do our responses to color affect our biases and perceptions implicitly and explicitly? When and how has color ordered and disordered knowledge, and what has been its role? How is color determined and determining in constructions of race...?
GNSS 0091A
Documenting the Feminized Body: Literature, Photography, Science
TTh 2:30-3:50p

C. Grandy
How are certain bodies made to express femininity, to satisfy the expectations of the gender binary? How can femininity be used to vilify or control people? How do these operations intersect with other complex identity categories, such as race and class? This first-year seminar introduces students to questions central to gender and sexuality studies. Reading twentieth-century American works (poems, novels, comics, and photographs) we consider the creative function of documentation. Highlighting the work of contemporary poets, Anne Carson, Claudia Rankine, and Ocean Vuong, this course introduces students to new ways of reading poetry beyond the lyric tradition. students are encouraged to think critically about how knowledge and subjectivity are contextually produced. This course will provide an introduction to important critical traditions, including feminist theory, trans studies, Black feminism, and photography theory. This course satisfies the WRIT requirement.
GNSS 0120
Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
MWF 1-1:50 D. Davis
Explores the interdisciplinary fields of Gender and Sexuality Studies, considering the relation between formations of gender and those of sexuality across a range of historical and disciplinary contexts. Considers how both sexuality and gender are shaped in relation to race and ethnicity, economic inequality, and the postcolonial legacy.

Summer 2021

GNSS 1070
On Both Sides of the Lens: Latin American Women Filmmakers   J. Lehnen
Working from a selection of both feature films and documentaries, we will discuss how women filmmakers are employing and changing these two film genres. The class will endeavor to highlight the work of women filmmakers, and through the reading of these films, students will gain an understanding of some of the debates in the field of gender and sexuality, and acquire a grounding in some of the key moments of twentieth-century Latin American cinema, social, political and economic history. Additionally, students will acquire key technical knowledge of film form and the analytical apparatus necessary to critically view and debate film.
GNSS 1101
A Gender Perspective on Women and Enterprise

L. Scott
A distinctive pattern of economic inequality marks the female population of every nation, each with the same mechanisms standing behind the disadvantages. Everywhere, the barriers to women’s economic engagement reach beyond work and salary to encompass property ownership, capital, credit, and markets. When considered as a whole, these barriers constitute economic exclusion, not just economic inequality. To date, policy, scholarship, and activism on the economic status of women have tended to focus on inequality in the formal workplace, but the full pattern is much more visible when women-owned businesses are examined.