We offer interdisciplinary courses that explore the making and meaning of gender—femininity and masculinity—across cultures and social formations, past and present. We believe that gender and sexuality are fundamental categories of social and cultural inquiry.
Gender has a profound influence on human options, conditions, and experiences. Legal, political, economic, and cultural systems are all deeply gendered. An informed understanding of gender patterns, dynamics, and biases can enhance the accuracy and scope of work in many fields. Gender awareness benefits individuals, communities, and organizations.
Our professors are collectively engaged in original, cutting-edge research. The courses they teach cover subjects at the forefront of contemporary social engagement. Class discussions and assignments are relevant, timely, and designed to help you make connections across disciplines.
Questions investigated in Gender Studies include:
- What is ‘gender’?
- When and why was the concept first used?
- How is ‘gender’ different from ‘sex’?
- Are human gender divisions the product of biology, cultural construction, both, or neither?
- How does gender interact with other identity markers, such as ethnicity, sexuality, nation, religion, class, and culture?
- How does popular culture shape experiences of gender?
- How do gender concepts influence mass media?
- How has gender influenced the development of technology, science, research, and medicine?
- How are concepts of beauty, sexuality, and pornography shaped by gender prescriptions?
- How have debates about gender varied historically and cross-culturally?