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Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate

  • GSS 8301 Gender and Sexuality: Feminist Approaches. Interdisciplinary introduction to the major debates, theoretical terms, and research methods in feminist, gender, sexuality, and queer studies.
  • GSS 8302 Gender and Pedagogy: Feminist theories of teaching and learning; gender and diversity in the classroom; critical pedagogy.
  • Three additional graduate-level courses on women, gender, and/or sexuality, appropriate to the student’s program of study. Courses must be approved for credit and include at least one course outside the student’s area. One course may be satisfied through an independent study with a faculty member affiliated with the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, with the approval of the Chair of Gender and Sexuality Studies.
  • A paper submitted to the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies for evaluation. The paper must demonstrate the application of a gender studies methodology to research, teaching, or fieldwork.

Graduate Courses

  • GSS 8303 Queer Theory: This course will explore the intellectual genealogies and emergent areas of inquiry in the interdisciplinary field of queer theory. We will begin by examining the field’s analytic predecessors through a close reading of Sigmund Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality and Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, Volume 1. We’ll then turn to the moment generally recognized as the birth of queer theory in the U.S. academy—1990—when the convergence of feminist theory with sexuality studies led to the publication of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble and Eve Sedgwick’s Epistemology of The Closet. Most of our time together will be spent investigating intersectional work within the field as well as promising recent developments. Specifically, the course aims to enable you to bring your discipline into productive – critical and/or constructive – conversation with queer theory through questions of particular interest to you. Taken as a whole, the course aims to (1) familiarize graduate students with the history and major areas of research of queer theory (2) provide a deep appreciation of the broad relevance of queer theory for approaching fundamental interdisciplinary questions, and (3) help you develop facility in promoting conversation about those matters across disciplines.
  • GSS 8304 Gender, Power, and Justice: Theoretical, historical, and cultural analysis of power structures and politics; analysis of activist and academic responses to contemporary political questions.
  • GSS 8305 Sexual Politics: Theory and Practice: What is the relationship between theory and practice? This is not a new question; still, as I write a course description in the midst of a global pandemic, it strikes me with new force. We invest much time and energy in the paradigms that comprise a vocabulary of sexual politics: theories of gender and sexuality, of discipline and ideology, of taxonomy and intersectionality, of separatism, interdependence, coalition, and community, of vulnerability, relationality, oppression, and resistance. What exactly is the return on these investments? At what points do theory and practice meet, not only to enhance intellectual understanding, but also to create conditions for effective action? How might theoretical insights facilitate the pursuit of social justice? Throughout the semester, we will engage thinkers who interweave experience and abstraction: feminists of color; queer activists; radical separatists; advocates for interrelation and coalition; cultural theorists in the arenas of law, medicine, policy, and history; writers of manifestoes on a range of urgent issues. We will also bring our own insights and experiences into conversation with one another. And we will approach ‘theory’ not only on its terms but on ours; with a degree of enthusiasm, a measure of skepticism, and at least a flicker of hope.