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Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies: Proposal for Cross-Listing

Women’s, gender & sexuality studies courses draw from the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to examine how gendered relations affect individuals and society. Students are encouraged to develop a rich and complex understanding of the range of people’s gendered experiences, underscoring differences based on race and ethnicity, class, culture, national origin, sexual identity and sexual practices, religion, ability and age.

Courses that are cross-listed with WGSS should align with the at least one of the overall learning goals of the WGSS department:

  • To analyze how gender and sexuality norms intersect with evolving racial, ethnic, classed and geopolitical systems of power and marginalization.
  • To recognize gender and sexuality as lenses through which to explore and explain distribution of material resources, power, authority and values.
  • To understand feminism as a vibrant, multifaceted social movement, analytical frame and political identity that challenges contemporary systems of injustice creating hierarchies between and among women and men.
  • To demonstrate awareness of how feminist and women’s activisms are connected to historical and contemporary social justice movements.
  • To be aware of the plasticity of sexualities and genders across the cultural spectrum.
  • To link theoretical abstractions to practical engagements with the campus the community, city, state and larger world.

All of our topical courses are organized around four thematics that encourage breadth of knowledge in our students, as they reflect the central pillars in contemporary WGSS. Each cross-listed course should align with one (or at most, two) of these thematics. Full descriptions of these thematics can be found below: 

        Histories, Theories and Representations

  • Introduces key histories, theoretical debates, and cultural artifacts that inform past, present and future feminist perspectives. May include: historical analysis of diverse gendered experience and social movements; distinct feminist theoretical traditions; artistic, literary or cultural movements; WGSS field perspectives on relevant phenomena such as media representation, war, memory, consumerism, colonialism, environmentalism, urbanization, online culture, technology, disability, science and incarceration

       Transnational and Global Perspectives

  • Examines how gendered, sexualized and racialized differences shape the way transnational forces create power inequalities that drive the asymmetrical flow of people, ideals, capital, discourses and institutions across and within borders. May be transnational, comparative or focused on one nonwestern perspective. Among other emphases, may encompass the interface between intersectional gender studies and: indigeneity; development; colonial pasts and postcolonial presents; international human rights; globalized economic structures; critical approaches to neoliberalism, empire and the nation-state.

       Sexual and Gendered Pluralities

  • Explores how practices, identities, behaviors, and representations of diverse sexualities, erotic practices and gendered expressions shape and are shaped by political, cultural, social, religious, and economic practices of societies across time and space. Develops diverse understandings of sexual and transgender expression as they are embedded in racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographical, historical and political contexts.

       Intersectionalities, Institutions and Power 

  • Examines how interlocking systems of power shape the shifting significance of bodies, differences, opportunity, and marginalizations. Offerings may emphasize the significance of overlapping ethnic, racial, ability-based, classed, citizenship, sexual and gendered categories, as well as variations within and beyond them. Courses may also focus on how institutions such as the family, religion, nation-state, law, government, politics, and economics structure diverse gendered and sexualized power relationships.

In addition, the sexuality studies minor requires one course on queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans approaches to an area of study. The QLGBT Perspectives thematic is used to designate this, and the full description can be found below: 

       QLGBT Perspectives

  • Explores how queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans approaches complicate or rework the area of study at hand. Courses should go beyond Thematic 3 (Sexual and Gendered Pluralities) by explicitly emphasizing queer theory, evolving queer methodologies, or QLGBT perspectives on identity formation, sexualized behaviors, or erotic desires. May include QLGBT perspectives on literature, art, racialized power dynamics, national identity, ability, memoir, social movements, law and policy, history, economics and globalization, among other areas.

To have a course considered for cross-listing, please fill out this form, and email this form to the WGSS department chair.