Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies

Program Goals

GSFS majors are required to take at least one gateway course in the first or second year of study.

No more than two 100-level courses can count toward the major.  For a course to be designated “gateway,” it is not enough, for example, merely to “add” women’s or gay and lesbian voices. Gateway courses must:

  • Expose students to critical theories and analyses of gender, sexuality, and/or feminism as these relate to the particular course subject matter; this should be explicitly stated as one of the objectives of the course.
  • Cultivate in students an awareness of the historical progression and/or diversity of developments in gender, sexuality, and/or feminist studies; this usually requires assigning some range of theoretical readings.
  • Introduce students to how gender, sexuality, and/or feminist studies complicate the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, nationality, or other relevant elements; this usually requires using or referencing secondary source material from the 1990s or later.

The GSFS Institute has lists of suggested readings and hosts workshops to assist faculty members who would like to deepen the gender, sexuality, and/or feminist components of their courses.

Elective courses are intended to build depth and breadth in areas of the GSFS major’s interest while maintaining the visibility of gender, sexuality, and/or feminist issues to a significant degree.  This can be achieved by either:

  • making these issues a recurring and sustained topic in lectures and/or course readings (amounting to approximately one quarter of the total course material); or
  • devoting one unit of inquiry to gender, sexuality, and/or feminist issues such that they are the primary focus of lectures, discussions, and readings (amounting to approximately one quarter of the total course material).

This course is required for all GSFS majors and is optimally fulfilled by each major in the fall term of the third year of study.  This course helps students develop a feasible individual research proposal that

  • is informed by interdisciplinary feminist approaches;
  • is attentive to research ethics;
  • is cognizant of identity, positionality, and subjectivity;
  • recognizes the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, nation, or other relevant identities;
  • demonstrates analytical depth, creative or original thinking, clarity and polish in writing, and correct citation/bibliographic style.