GWSS Courses this Summer

The Sociology Department always offers a great variety of summer classes, many of which can’t be offered as frequently during the academic year. But, with limited seats and high student interest, many of our classes fill up. When that happens, it’s a great idea to look at other departments whose courses have a significant overlap with sociology.

One of those departments is the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department (“GWSS”)

GWSS takes an interdisciplinary approach to understand how issues related to gender and sexuality relate to patterns of social life and other forms of social difference. The work GWSS scholars do and the courses the Department offers can offer a valuable contribution to SOC majors who have an interest in gender, sexuality, inequality, and intersectionality.

If you’re still looking for courses to take this summer, there are a number of fascinating GWSS courses that still have space in them! Here’s what they’re offering this summer.

GWSS 200: Intro to Women Studies, (5) I&S,DIV Fabian Romero

Feminist analysis of the construction and enforcement of gender differences and gender inequalities in various contexts. Emphasis on the intersection of race, class, sexuality, and nationality in the lives of women. Topics include feminist theory, motherhood, popular culture, sexual autonomy, racism, and activism in the United States, Asia, Latin America. 

SLN 11475, MW 3:30-5:40, Full Term

GWSS 255 Masculinities (5) I&S, DIV Saad Khan

What does it mean to be a man?  What is men’s relationship with power structures such as patriarchy, capitalism and colonialism? This course will attempt to answer these questions by exploring aspects of men and masculinity through the theoretical lenses of intersectionality, queer, transgender, transnational and decolonial studies.  Students will read essays, engage with different genres of writing and study various media texts (movies, music videos and tv shows), and will be encouraged to be critically self-reflexive about aspects of position, power and privilege in the U.S. and beyond. Students will also figure out what non-toxic and non-threatening expressions of masculinity may look like. The course will explore the importance of talking about masculinities, in relation to gender, women and sexuality studies, so that one can productively engage with feminist discussions and actions for positive social changes in the world we live in.

SLN 11749, MW 10:50-1:00, Full Term

GWSS 333/JSIS B 333: Gender and Globalization, (5) I&S, DIV Akansksha Misra

Netflix, Gap Jeans, US Economy, Pride Parades and so much more. Globalization means all of this to us and yet is a term that escapes easy definition. Is it a recent phenomena? What is the role of the internet and social media in connecting the globe? Is it good that my food comes from another country? While all of these are important questions, in this class we will focus more on the effects of globalization in our lives. Our lens will be gender and sexuality and we will focus on specific areas that globalization touches like international human rights, popular culture/media, education, sex trafficking, politics, and social movements. By using gender and sexuality as our lens, we will try to understand how globalization impacts social relations and the ways people see themselves and live their lives. We will try to focus on lived experiences and draw on contemporary media sources, news, and tv/movie/music to make sense of the world and our lives in it and how systems of inequality thrive but are constantly challenged as well. The only requirement is curiosity, interest in understanding cultures, and the desire to imagine a better world for all!

SLN 11752, TTh 3:30-5:40, Full Term

GWSS 374: Transgender Studies (5), I&S, DIV Mediha Sorma,

This course offers a selective introduction to transgender studies as an emerging field of inquiry and ‘transgender’ both as a gender identity category and as an analytic. The main objective of this class is to complicate the definitions of sex and gender by blurring the pre-scripted distinctions between “woman” and “man”. We will engage with movies, videos, ethnographic work, autobiographical writing to expose and challenge binary understanding of gender.  Trans identity will be complicated with sexuality, race, class, ability, history, and location, which entails an intersectional and decolonial lens. Some of the questions we will be elaborating on are: How did ‘trans’ emerge as a historical subject? What is the impact of medicine on the construction of trans identity? Why did transgender studies emerged as a field of inquiry while Queer studies was supposed to address the issues related to LGBTQ community as an umbrella field? In what ways does it make an intervention to feminism and queer theory? What are the limitations and benefits of ‘trans’ as an umbrella category for gender-nonconforming people?

SLN 11756, TTh 10:50-1:00, Full Term

GWSS 390: LGBTQ+ Politics in Global Perspective (5), I&S Cricket Keating, online/hybrid Course!

Worldwide movements for LGBTQ+ rights, justice, and inclusion have had much success over the past twenty years, as well as many challenges. On the one hand, in many high-profile and often violent cases, states have mobilized, consolidated, and/or fomented homophobia to further particular ends, whether it be to consolidate national identity, to quash or to build opposition, and/or to legitimate the centralization of authority. On the other hand, the number of countries in which same-sex acts are illegal is decreasing and an increasing number prohibit employment discrimination, punish hate crimes, and recognize same-sex marriage and adoption. LGBTQ+ activism has also led to path-breaking scientific discoveries for life-saving treatments for people with AIDS.

Globally, LGBTQ+ movement work takes many different forms across multiple institutional and cultural contexts. This course takes up this varied landscape of activism and advocacy. Taking a transnational, intersectional, and interdisciplinary approach, students will analyze various aspects of LGBTQ+ politics including movement histories, geographies, activism, legal struggles, human rights, and intersections with other progressive movements.

SLN 11757, TTh, 10:50-3:20, A-Term

GWSS 464: Queer Desires (5), I&S, DIV Jey Saung

This course sets out to trace a genealogy of the terms “queer” and “to queer” through the fields of feminist and queer studies. We will be examining the ways in which these fields interrogate institutions of power, such as medicine, education, the law and the family, that continue to produce and reinforce stabilized categories of binary gender and sex. Our primary texts will examine “queering” as a framework and an instrument of critique. We will be reading foundational texts in queer theory, such as Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1, and Cathy Cohen’s “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Queens” as well as more recent texts such as José Esteban Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia and Dean Spade’s Normal Life. Through these texts, we will develop a foundational understanding of queer theory as well as its application to critique and future-building.

SLN 11759, MW 3:30-5:40, Full Term

GWSS 490: Black Feminist Thought (5), I&S, Bettina Judd online/hybrid course

In order to understand the growing body of scholarship that is black feminist theory, we will analyze the development of US black women’s feminist consciousness from the mid-19th Century to the present through the essays, speeches, and creative work that has named the complex systems of power which affects the lives of black women on the primary intersections of race, gender, and class.  We will examine closely the important contributions of black feminist thought to the fields of African American and Africana Studies and Women and Gender Studies through concepts by Black Feminist Scholars such as intersectionality. 

SLN 11761, MW 10:50-3:20, B-Term

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