This course is designed to introduce students to the burgeoning field of gender studies- a dynamic and interdisciplinary area of inquiry that brings together women's studies, feminist theory, studies in masculinity, and LGBTQ studies. Students will be introduced to a variety of critical works and complete a series of assignments that will allow them to better address several of the primary concerns in the field. These include social and cultural constructions of gender and identity, gender and mass media, gender and activism, violence against women, women and low wage work, and gender and public health.
The course pays special attention to how feminism has been challenged and diversified through interventions made by women of color and by writers focused on locations outside of the United States - scholarship that has revolutionized the field in central ways. We will also discuss how gender studies has been impacted by critical race theory, disability studies, scholarship surrounding sexuality, and other academic and activist developments and movements. Indeed, a guiding feature of this course is the concept of intersectionality. Each class period offers opportunities to examine how interlocking vectors of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and nationality can potentially create sites of both subordination and resistance, as well as privilege and transformation.