Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies



  • Wallace D. Best

Director of Undergraduate Studies

  • Brian E. Herrera

Director of Graduate Studies

  • Gayle Salamon

Executive Committee

  • Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Wallace D. Best, Religion
  • Catherine Clune-Taylor, Gender & Sexuality Studies Pgm
  • Javier E. Guerrero, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Brian E. Herrera, Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Tera W. Hunter, History
  • Shamus R. Khan, Sociology
  • Christina León, English
  • Anne McClintock, Gender & Sexuality Studies Pgm
  • Gayle Salamon, English
  • Wendy Warren, History
  • Rhaisa Williams, Lewis Center for the Arts

Associated Faculty

  • April Alliston, Comparative Literature
  • Bridget Alsdorf, Art and Archaeology
  • Wendy Laura Belcher, Comparative Literature
  • Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, Effron Center Study of America
  • Ruha Benjamin, African American Studies
  • Michael W. Cadden, Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Margot Canaday, History
  • Zahid R. Chaudhary, English
  • Anne Cheng, English
  • Divya Cherian, History
  • Angela N. Creager, History
  • Maria A. DiBattista, English
  • Brigid Doherty, German
  • Jill S. Dolan, Office of the Dean of College
  • Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Sociology
  • Su Friedrich, Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Diana J. Fuss, English
  • Rubén Gallo, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Reena N. Goldthree, African American Studies
  • Jenny E. Greene, Astrophysical Sciences
  • Judith Hamera, Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Elizabeth Harman, Philosophy
  • Wendy Heller, Music
  • Brooke A. Holmes, Classics
  • Erin Y. Huang, East Asian Studies
  • Alison E. Isenberg, History
  • Amaney A. Jamal, Politics
  • Melissa Lane, Politics
  • Satyel Larson, Near Eastern Studies
  • Russ Leo, English
  • Sarah-Jane Leslie, Philosophy
  • Beth Lew-Williams, History
  • AnneMarie Luijendijk, Religion
  • Stephen J. Macedo, Politics
  • Gaetana Marrone-Puglia, French & Italian
  • Tali Mendelberg, Politics
  • Erika L. Milam, History
  • Sanyu A. Mojola, Sociology
  • Barbara N. Nagel, German
  • Jeff Nunokawa, English
  • Elizabeth L. Paluck, Psychology
  • Sara S. Poor, German
  • Deborah A. Prentice, Provost
  • Jennifer Rexford, Computer Science
  • Carolyn M. Rouse, Anthropology
  • Daniel I. Rubenstein, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Esther H. Schor, English
  • Kristopher Velasco, Sociology
  • Janet A. Vertesi, Sociology
  • Moulie Vidas, Religion
  • Christy N. Wampole, French & Italian
  • Judith Weisenfeld, Religion
  • Stacy E. Wolf, Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Tamsen O. Wolff, English


  • Anne McClintock
  • Gayle Salamon

Assistant Professor

  • Catherine Clune-Taylor


  • Alfred Bendixen

Visiting Professor

  • Rhacel Parreñas
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Program Information

The Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary forum for the study of gender and sexuality, as well as their intersections with race, class, ethnicity, and physical ability across cultures and global geographies both past and present. The program's courses, which are open to all students, examine gender and sexuality from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. The program offers core courses, seminars, and cross-listed courses. A current list of course offerings is available on the program website. The program also encourages summer internships in relevant community-based programs, nonprofits, and nongovernmental organizations with which the program's theoretical and historical inquiries can be applied in a practical setting.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the program is by email, available via program website, and/or via consultation with the program director.

Program of Study

Students who wish to complete the requirements for the undergraduate certificate in gender and sexuality studies must take five courses: the introductory course, GSS 201 (or, with permission, a cross-listed 200-level or above course); at least one course in GSS or cross-listed with GSS from at least three of five thematic clusters (Transnational/Global Perspectives; Gender, Race, and Ethnicity; Bodies, Sexualities; Culture and Representation; Politics and Social Change; Historical Perspectives), and one additional 300- or 400-level GSS course or cross-listed with GSS. Students may take gender- or sexuality-related courses in their major departments for certificate credit. In addition, certificate students are required to incorporate issues related to feminism, women, gender, and/or sexuality into one junior paper and their senior thesis.

Certificate of Proficiency

Certificates of proficiency in the study of gender and sexuality are issued upon graduation to students who have completed the program and have met the requirements of their departments.

A list of gender- and sexuality-related courses across the University may be found on the program website each semester and in Course Offerings on the Office of the Registrar website. These courses may be used to satisfy the program's requirements.



GSS 201 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies Fall SA

What does it mean to be a woman or a man? Or neither? How do gender and sexuality, those seemingly most personal and private of attributes, emerge from networks of power and social relations? This course introduces major concepts in the interdisciplinary field of gender and sexuality studies. We will analyze the ways in which gender, as an object of study and as a lived experience, intersects with class, race, and ability, and will examine the relation between gender, sexuality and power in literary, philosophical, political and medical discourses. Instructed by: G. Salamon

GSS 203 Introduction to Global LGBTQ Studies (also
ANT 243
) Fall SA

This course provides an interdisciplinary and transnational introduction to the study of LGBTQ lives. We address the historical emergence of LGBTQ identities and survey how these identities are experienced among different communities around the world. Through global case studies, we examine key concepts and debates in the field, including intersectionality, human rights, homonationalism, normativity, and medicalization. We analyze how LGBTQ works as a meaningful social, political, and historical category and the ways class, race, gender, and nationality intersect with and disrupt it. Instructed by: Staff

GSS 204 Readings in Latin Literature (See LAT 204)

GSS 205 Women, Law and Public Policy (See SPI 373)

GSS 206 The Long 19th Amendment: Women and Voting Rights in the United States (also
POL 427
) Spring SA

2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave millions of women in the United States the right to vote. This seminar will examine the women's suffrage movement in all its complexity, assess its consequences, and situate the Nineteenth Amendment in the context of the broader struggle for voting rights for all women in the United States. Instructed by: L. Dodd

GSS 208 Media, Sex, and the Racialized Body (also
AAS 208
) Spring SA

This course explores the intellectual history of media, sex, and the racialized body. We will analyze the representation of the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in film, advertisements, the fashion industry, reality TV, animation, and music videos. This course will closely examine the predominance of white heteronormativity in media, the representation of gender in K-pop and K-dramas, the media conceptualization of the "intimacy of the Arab woman," and the sexualization of blackness and Latinx bodies in blaxploitation films and telenovelas. Instructed by: D. Gutarra Cordero

GSS 210 Power, Structure, and the Human Body (See DAN 210)

GSS 212 Classical Mythology (See CLA 212)

GSS 214 Wounded Beauty (See ENG 216)

GSS 221 Inequality: Class, Race, and Gender (See SOC 221)

GSS 222 American Identities in the 21st Century (See ENG 227)

GSS 225 Sex, Sexuality, and Gender (See SOC 225)

GSS 227 Approaches and Paradigms: Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa (See NES 227)

GSS 228 Latinx Musicals on Stage and Screen (See MTD 333)

GSS 237 Wildness, Whiteness, and Manliness in Colonial Latin America (See SPA 237)

GSS 242 Fashion and East Asia (See EAS 241)

GSS 245 Sex and Salvation in Early Christian Literature (See CLA 245)

GSS 253 Early Christian Women: From Mary Magdalene to Martyred Mothers (See REL 253)

GSS 275 Religion and Social Change in Early Latin America (See REL 275)

GSS 276 Saints and Sinners: Women and the Church in Colonial Spanish America (See REL 276)

GSS 278 Spirits on Fire: Mysticism in The Spanish Empire (See REL 259)

GSS 301 Literature, Food, and the American Racial Diet (See ENG 395)

GSS 302 Topics in the Study of Gender (also
LAS 314
) Spring SA

Advanced seminar; focus changes from year to year. In general the seminar uses contemporary and classic works of feminist theory to examine ideas about gender that have shaped modern culture. Topics have included feminism and liberalism, literature and ideology, and psychoanalysis and feminism. Instructed by: J. Delgado

GSS 303 Feminist Futures: Contemporary S. F. by Women (also
AMS 313
ENG 283
) Spring LA

Feminist Futures explores the way in which recent women writers have transformed science fiction into speculative fiction - an innovative literary form capable of introducing and exploring new kinds of feminist and multi-cultural perspectives. These books confront the limitations imposed on women and imagine transformative possibilities for thinking about gender roles and relationships, the body, forms of power, and political and social structures. Instructed by: A. Bendixen

GSS 304 Sex, Gender, and Desire in Francophone Africa (See FRE 355)

GSS 305 Feminist Approaches to Bioethics Spring EM

This course is divided into four units, each unit introducing varieties of feminist engagements with bioethics, key feminist arguments and concerns, as well as contemporary debates both within feminist bioethics and regarding feminist engagement in bioethics. This course will examine the history of bioethics, as feminist critiques of its core principles-most notably autonomy-before moving on to examine debates among feminist bioethicists regarding key issues in the field. These include the importance and value of care; abortion and reproductive rights; the importance of intersectionality to bioethical analyses; and the obesity epidemic. Instructed by: C. Clune-Taylor

GSS 306 Women and Film (also
VIS 341
) Not offered this year LA

An exploration of the relationships between the idea of "woman'' and the art of film. Issues addressed will include the role of woman as performer and director, questions of film genre, the identification of the female image as constitutive of the cinematic image, the historical and social dimensions of the female image projected in films of different times and different cultures. Film screenings, one three-hour seminar. Instructed by: G. Marrone-Puglia

GSS 308 A Gendered History of the Avant-Garde: Bodies, Objects, Emotions, Ideas (See ITA 305)

GSS 309 Topics in Judaic Studies (See JDS 301)

GSS 310 The Family in Jewish Tradition (See JDS 315)

GSS 312 Gender and Development in the Americas (See SOC 310)

GSS 314 Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression (See EAS 314)

GSS 315 Sex on Stage Spring LA

This course examines theatrical performance as a mode of theorizing about gender, sex, sexuality and embodiment. Through lecture, discussion and performance workshops, this course draws upon contemporary U.S. dramatic literature as it undertakes a multinational, historical survey of theories of performance. The course considers such topics as gender as performance, cross-gender performance, performances of sexual identity, and the explicit body in performance. Instructed by: B. Herrera

GSS 316 Queer Boyhoods (also
AMS 366
THR 358
) LA

This course examines enactments of youthful masculinity in U.S. popular performance with a particular eye toward accounts of variant or queer boyhoods. As we scrutinize the regimentation and valorization of specific boyish behaviors, we will explore the cultural impact of non-normative youthful masculinities (ie. sissies, tomboys, bois, punks, transguys, etcetera) as we also assess the place of queer boyhoods in American life. Course readings will be historical, literary and theoretical, with play scripts, films, memoirs and literature for young readers functioning as primary objects for the course's analytic project. Instructed by: B. Herrera

GSS 317 Sexuality, Public Culture and Medicine in East Asia (See EAS 306)

GSS 319 U.S. Women Writers (also
AMS 320
ENG 436
) Fall LA

An exploration of the literary works of women writers in the United States with an emphasis on the role gender has played and continues to play in the development of literary movements and genres. Our examination of both canonical and non-canonical writings will focus on the formation of feminist literary conventions in the 19th century and their transformations in the 20th and 21st centuries. Our reading will include romantic tales, ghost stories, realistic stories, novels of immigration, thrillers, works for children, autobiographical mythmaking, poetry, and graphic novels. Instructed by: A. Bendixen

GSS 320 Topics in Medieval Greek Literature (See CLA 320)

GSS 321 Topics in German Medieval Literature (See GER 321)

GSS 328 Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (See REL 328)

GSS 329 Psychology of Gender (See PSY 329)

GSS 330 Asian Americana: Theorizing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Across Difference (See ASA 361)

GSS 331 Sex and Gender in the Ancient World (See CLA 329)

GSS 332 Queer Sexualities: Biopsychosocial and LGBT Perspectives Spring SA

Queer Sexualities is an interdisciplinary course, which intertwines the study of human sexuality from scientific and public health perspectives with queer academic writing about sexual orientation and gender. Through the lenses of human sexuality theory, social science and medical perspectives, biological and sexual functioning, and LGBT history and subcultures, this course will explore the many ways in which queer sexualities, identities, and relationships are constructed, expressed, and regulated. Instructed by: D. Bazarsky

GSS 335 Gender and Performing Arts in South Asia (See SAS 335)

GSS 336 Crime, Gender, and American Culture (also
AMS 436
) Fall LA

An exploration of the ways in which gender and crime are intertwined in some of the most significant and popular works of American fiction. Our analysis of the aesthetic, cultural, and psychological dimensions of narratives based on crime and detection will focus on texts by both women and men with an emphasis on the capacity of gender studies to illuminate American crime fiction's recurring concern with questions of race and class, justice and power, violence and victimhood. Instructed by: A. Bendixen

GSS 337 Gender Crossings in American Musical Theater (also
MTD 302
THR 347
AMS 336
) Fall LA

This course offers an intensive survey of gender crossings on the American musical theater stage. The course's study of American musicals (in terms of form, content and context) will be anchored in a historical exploration of world theatrical traditions of cross-gender performance. The course will examine multiple modes of cross-gender performance, while also considering musicals that stage gender role reversals and those that open questions of gender expression and identity. Instructed by: B. Herrera

GSS 338 Love and Justice (See REL 364)

GSS 339 Black, Queer, Jewish Italy (See ITA 322)

GSS 340 Fashion Photography, 1890 to the Present: Sex, Lies, and the Construction of Desire (See ART 362)

GSS 341 Topics in African American Literature (See AAS 392)

GSS 343 Global Feminisms: Feminist Movements in the Middle East and Beyond (See NES 374)

GSS 344 Sex in Ancient Judaism and Christianity (See REL 344)

GSS 345 Pleasure, Power and Profit: Race and Sexualities in a Global Era (also
AAS 355
AMS 373
) Fall EM

Pleasure Power and Profit explores the intimate ways that sexualities and race are entwined in contemporary culture, historically, and in our own lives. Why are questions about sexuality and race some of the most controversial, compelling, yet often taboo issues of our time? Exploring films, popular culture, novels, social media, and theory, we engage themes like: race, gender and empire; fetishism, Barbie, vampires and zombies; sex work and pornography; marriage and monogamy; queer sexualities; and strategies for social empowerment such as: Black Lives Matter, the new campus feminism, and global movements against sexual and gender violence. Instructed by: A. McClintock

GSS 347 Gender and Illness Experience in the United States Today (See GHP 300)

GSS 348 Corporealities of Politics (also
AMS 448
) Spring SA

What do feminists of color have to say about how the social determinants of health affect our bodies? In this seminar, we will explore the ways in which feminists of color narrate the impact of multiple oppressions on their well/being. The readings begin with an overview of key concepts in women of color and transnational feminisms including but not limited to intersectionality and theory in the flesh, which we will draw on to think about the materiality of difference. Instructed by: T. Khanmalek

GSS 350 Topics in 19th-Century Art (See ART 343)

GSS 351 Law, Social Policy, and African American Women (See AAS 351)

GSS 352 Reproductive Technologies and the Politics of Life (See GHP 304)

GSS 353 Critical Intersections in South Asian American Studies (See ASA 336)

GSS 354 Mexico's Tenth Muse: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (See SPA 335)

GSS 355 Sappho: Her Work and Influence from 600 BCE to the Present (See CLA 357)

GSS 356 Caribbean Women's History (See AAS 319)

GSS 357 Empire of the Ark: The Animal Question in Film, Photography and Popular Culture (See ENV 357)

GSS 359 Sexuality and Religion in America (See AAS 358)

GSS 360 Women and American Religion (See REL 360)

GSS 361 Culture, Power, and Inequality (See SOC 361)

GSS 363 Gender, Sexuality, and Contemporary U.S. Theatre and Performance (also
THR 373
AMS 363
) Fall/Spring LA

Addresses contributions by women, LGBT people, feminists, and people of color to contemporary U.S. theatre and performance. Analyzes performance forms, contents, intents, contexts, and reception to ponder how people who straddle identity vectors influence American culture and help imagine our changing nation. Surveys significant U.S. human rights movements and the performance forms through which many were vitalized. Considers how some minority groups became central to theatre culture by the 21st century and whether or not forums like Broadway dilute the radical politics in which these struggles began. Instructed by: J. Dolan

GSS 366 Bioethics, Sex and Society in Muslim Communities (See NES 361)

GSS 367 Introduction to Radical Access: Disability Justice in the Arts (See DAN 306)

GSS 369 Writing the Body. Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Spring LA

The goal of this course is to help you find your unique, creative voice by writing the body. We devote each class to two things: work-shopping your stories or essays in an intimate, collaborate environment; and engaging some of the most exciting published writers of our time. Instructed by: A. McClintock

GSS 371 Gender and the Social History of the Pre-modern Middle East (See NES 371)

GSS 373 Graphic Memoir (also
AMS 383
) Spring SA

An exploration of the graphic memoir focusing on the ways specific works combine visual imagery and language to expand the possibilities of autobiographical narrative. Through our analysis of highly acclaimed graphic memoirs from the American, Franco-Belgian, and Japanese traditions, we analyze the visual and verbal constructions of identity with an emphasis on the representation of gender dynamics and cultural conflict. Instructed by: A. Bendixen

GSS 376 Gender, Bodies, and Sacraments: Penitence and Eucharist in Catholic Europe and the Americas (See REL 375)

GSS 380 Marriage and Monotheism: Men, Women, and God in Near Eastern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (See NES 379)

GSS 381 Black Radical Tradition (See AAS 345)

GSS 383 Special Topics in Creative Writing (See CWR 345)

GSS 384 Gender and Sexuality in Modern America (See HIS 384)

GSS 385 Theater and Society Now (See THR 385)

GSS 386 Islamic Family Law (See NES 347)

GSS 389 Women Writers of the African Diaspora (See ENG 389)

GSS 390 African American Women's History (See HIS 390)

GSS 391 The Ethics of Love and Sex (See CHV 390)

GSS 392 In Living Color: Performing the Black '90s (See THR 392)

GSS 393 Gender and Science Fall SA

An exploration of two aspects of the gender and science literature: the historical participation of women (and men) in scientific work and the feminist critique of scientific knowledge. The seminar will explore ways in which women have been systematically excluded from science and assess the problems with that thesis. One three-hour seminar. Instructed by: A. Creager

GSS 394 History and the Body Fall/Spring HA

This course introduces students to new scholarship on the history of the body and the shifting political and cultural contests over understandings of the "natural" or "normal" body. Through primary and secondary sources, we will explore changes in the ways in which human bodies have been conceived and represented, and will consider the work of historians and cultural theorists who move further to historicize the lived experience of the human body. Instructed by: R. Kunzel

GSS 396 Queer Theory (See ENG 396)

GSS 397 Feminist Media Studies /Media Representations of Feminism Spring SA

Feminist media studies are a rich field of inquiry, while feminism is a recurring object of media fascination. Media stories of feminism circulate as authoritative. Feminist arguments often become public spectacles where the media leers at and dismisses feminist speech. These spectacularly public representations reduce the multiplicity of feminist positions and voices. Instructed by: M. Deem

GSS 398 Ghosts, Zombies and Liminal Creatures in Film, Literature and Photography (See ENG 394)

GSS 399 The Female Literary Tradition (See ENG 388)

GSS 400 Contemporary Theories of Gender and Sexuality (also
ENG 264
) Spring SA

We will take as our primary text the new translation of Simone deBeauvoir"s landmark volume The Second Sex, one of the most significant origin points of current understandings of gender. In our sustained consideration of The Second Sex, we will explore Beauvoir's ideas about the influence of sex and gender on childhood, the family, sexuality, relationships, aging, work, the social order, and the philosophical imaginary. We will also consider contemporary writing alongside that text, taking Beauvoir as our tour guide as we encounter and interpret contemporary representations of gender. Instructed by: G. Salamon

GSS 401 Seminar. Types of Ideology and Literary Form (See COM 401)

GSS 403 The Disabled Body (See ENG 398)

GSS 405 Queens, Courtesans, Nuns, and Workers: Korean Women in History (See EAS 364)

GSS 406 Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity (See AAS 303)

GSS 407 Topics in the Renaissance (See ENG 328)

GSS 409 American Women's History (See HIS 401)

GSS 410 The English Drama to 1700 (See ENG 327)

GSS 411 Marginalized Groups in Ancient Philosophy: Women, Barbarians, and Slaves (See PHI 355)

GSS 413 Writing the I: Gender, Narration, and the German Literary Tradition (See GER 404)

GSS 416 Class, Desire, and the Novel (See COM 416)

GSS 417 21st Century Latinx Drama (See THR 353)

GSS 420 Born in the U.S.A.: Culture and Reproduction in Modern America (also
SOC 420
GHP 420
) Spring SA

Reproduction is a basic biological process, as well as a fundamental one for all societies. While the biology of human reproduction is universal across time and place, cultural norms and social institutions powerfully inflect and shape the experience of pregnancy and childbirth in every society. This course investigates the history and sociology of reproduction, focusing on the contemporary United States, but with an eye toward other societies for comparison. How, why, and for whom does birth matter? How do reproductive practices reflect gender, race, and class? The course examines the culture, politics, and economics of reproduction. Instructed by: E. Armstrong

GSS 421 Drag Kings: An Archeology of Spectacular Masculinities in Latinx America (See SPA 372)

GSS 422 Gender and American Politics (See POL 422)

GSS 424 Melodrama: From Uncle Tom's Cabin to Grey's Anatomy (See ENG 353)

GSS 429 Cosmopolitan Her: Writing in Late Capitalism (See EAS 332)

GSS 430 Desi Girl, Mother India: Gender, Sexuality, and History in Hindi Cinema (See HIS 420)

GSS 431 Indian Women's Writing: Issues and Perspectives (See SAS 305)

GSS 432 Fashioning the Self, Rendering Others: Literary and Visual Portraiture, 18th C to the Present (See ENG 432)

GSS 434 Gender and Sexuality in African History (See COM 434)

GSS 436 Law, Policy and the Black Lives Matter Movement (See SPI 395)

GSS 438 Topics in 18th-Century Literature (See ENG 339)

GSS 440 Curating Within Obscurity: Research as Exhibition Structure and Form (See VIS 373)

GSS 441 Staging Sex in the City of London: From Country Wives to Fleabags (See ENG 319)

GSS 443 Black and Indigenous Feminist Survival and Experimentation in the Americas (See AMS 351)

GSS 444 Reimagining the American Theatrical Canon (See THR 223)

GSS 445 Between Desire and Disgust: Victorian Beauty in the Pre-Raphaelite and Aestheticist Traditions (See ENG 445)

GSS 451 Sexuality in Global Contexts (See SOC 311)

GSS 452 Vital Signs: Writing On and About the Body (See CWR 312)

GSS 453 Storytellers - Building Community Through Art (See THR 313)

GSS 455 Women and Law in U.S. History (See HIS 409)

GSS 459 The History of Incarceration in the U.S. (See HIS 459)

GSS 460 Gendered Identities in Contemporary Korea (See EAS 460)

GSS 462 Race, Gender, and the Urban Environment (See AMS 312)

GSS 476 Crafting Freedom: Women and Liberation in the Americas (1960s to the present) (See COM 476)

GSS 491 Fertile Bodies: A Cultural History of Reproduction from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (See HIS 491)

GSS 499 Princeton Atelier (See ATL 499)