Gender and Sexuality Studies

Coordinator:    GWYNN KESSLER (Religion)
Anna Everetts (Administrative Assistant)

Committee:      Diane Downer Anderson (Educational Studies)
Farid Azfar (History)
Jean-Vincent Blanchard (Modern Languages and Literatures, French)
Sibelan Forrester (Modern Languages and Literatures, Russian) 3
Farha N. Ghannam (Sociology and Anthropology) 3
Amy Lisa Graves (Physics)
Alexandra Gueydan (Modern Languages and Literatures, French) 1
Tamsin Lorraine (Philosophy)
Bakirathi Mani (English Literature) 2
Maya Nadkarni (Sociology and Anthropology)
Patricia White (Film and Media Studies) 1

1 Absent on leave, fall 2013.
2 Absent on leave, spring 2014.
3 Absent on leave, 2013–2014.

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Program (GSST) foregrounds the study of social relations of power in a variety of cultural, historical and national contexts. The objective of gender and sexuality studies is to bring feminist and queer theory in conversation with new research methodologies in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The program emphasizes the interrelationship not only between gender and sexuality but also between race and class as well as local and global politics.

The GSST Program is distinguished by the courses it offers across the three academic divisions of the College–humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and engineering.

Students in any major, whether as course majors or in the Honors Program, may elect a minor in gender and sexuality studies by fulfilling the requirements below. Students may also design a special major in GSST in consultation with the program’s coordinator. Students who intend to pursue gender and sexuality studies should submit their proposed programs to the coordinator when they submit their sophomore papers. All proposals to minor or major in gender and sexuality studies must be approved by the GSST Committee.

The Jean Brosius Walton ’35 Fund and the Wendy S. Cheek Memorial Fund generously contribute toward activities sponsored by Gender and Sexuality Studies.

The Academic Program

Course Minor

  1. Course minors must take 5 courses and/or seminar offerings which must be selected from at least two different divisions. Seminars count as one course toward program requirements.
  2. Only one course counted for GSST may overlap with the student’s major or other minor.
  3. GSST minors are required to complete GSST 001: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies, and subsequently GSST 020: Theory and Methodology. During the senior year, minors are required to complete GSST 091: Seminar in GSST.
  4. With the approval of the GSST Coordinator, students may include courses offered by the Gender and Sexuality Studies program at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, and by the Women’s Studies program at UPenn in their program.
  5. Only one relevant course taken abroad may count toward fulfillment of the minor.
  6. With the approval of the GSST Coordinator, students may elect to write a 1-credit thesis (GSST 092) or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student’s major or other minor. Students must have adequate disciplinary background in gender and sexuality studies to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

Honors Minor

  1. Students must have a “B” average in GSST coursework at the College in order to be accepted into Honors.
  2. Honors minors must complete 6 credits and complete the written and oral external examinations at the end of the senior year.
  3. Honors minors must successfully complete the program requirements (GSST 001, 020, and 091).
  4. Honors minors must consult with the GSST Coordinator in spring of their junior year regarding their Honors preparations.
  5. The examination preparation for the Honors minor will consist of GSST 091: Seminar in GSST. In consultation with the seminar instructor, Honors minors will be required to assemble a Senior Honors Study Portfolio which may include materials such as independent essays, seminar papers, additional reading lists, research projects, etc.
  6. Honors minors may apply one GSST-related study abroad credit toward their minor.
  7. With the approval of the GSST Coordinator, minors may elect to write a one-credit thesis (GSST 092) or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student’s major or other minor. Students must have adequate disciplinary background in GSST to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

Special Major

Students have the option of designing an individualized special major (such as GSST and religion, GSST and sociology and anthropology, GSST and history, etc.). Students also have the option of pursuing the following curricular path:

  1. Special majors must successfully complete the program requirements (GSST 001, 020, and 091).
  2. Special majors must complete at least 10 credits and normally no more than 12 credits for a special major in GSST.
  3. Only two credits may overlap with the student’s major or other minor.
  4. Special majors may apply up to two GSST-related study abroad credits to their program.
  5. With approval of the GSST Coordinator, special majors may elect to write a one-credit thesis (GSST 092), or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student’s major or other minor. Students must have adequate GSST disciplinary background to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

Special Honors Major

  1. Special majors must have a “B” average in GSST coursework at the College in order to be accepted into Honors.
  2. Honors majors must successfully complete the program requirements (GSST 001, 020, and 091).
  3. Honors majors must complete at least 10 credits and complete the written and oral external examinations at the end of their senior year.
  4. Only two credits may overlap with the student’s major or other minor.
  5. Special Honors Majors may apply up to 2 GSST-related study abroad credits to their program.
  6. Honors majors must consult with the GSST Coordinator in spring of their junior year regarding their Honors preparations and Senior Honors Study Portfolio.
  7. One of the four Honors exam preparations must include GSST 091: Seminar in GSST.
  8. With approval of the GSST Coordinator, special majors may elect to write a one-credit thesis (GSST 092), or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student’s major or other minor. Students must have adequate GSST disciplinary background to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

Application Process Notes for the Minor

Students interested in pursuing a minor in GSST are required to complete a GSST application form to be submitted along with a copy of their sophomore application to the Programs Office, Trotter 107. Special major, honors, and transfer credit applications are also available at: www.swarthmore.edu/gsst.

Transfer Credit

To receive academic credit for women’s studies or gender and sexuality studies courses taken at other colleges and universities in the U.S., students must first apply for credit through the appropriate Swarthmore department, and then apply to the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program to have the course included in their program. If the institution that offers the course has a Women’s Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, or similar program the course in question must be part of that program in order to be approved as a gender and sexuality studies course at Swarthmore.

Off-Campus Study

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Program grants academic credit for course work relevant to the academic program taken while studying abroad. Minors may apply for no more than one credit of work done abroad to meet their GSST requirements. GSST special majors may apply up to two GSST-related study abroad credits to their program.

In order to receive credit, the GSST Coordinator must preapprove the course(s).
When the student returns to campus, the GSST Coordinator will evaluate the work (syllabus, exams, papers, and class notes) and assign the appropriate amount of credit.

Internship Support

The Summer Social Action Awards (S2A2) support students in the current sophomore and junior classes to spend ten weeks, full time (35 hours per week) performing advocacy and/or service through a host non-profit organization. Financial support includes a weekly stipend to offset modest living expenses, and the provision of the summer earnings requirement.

The Richard Sager Internship, administered through the S2A2 program, supports one student interested in working with a non-profit organizational host whose mission focuses on LGBTQ issues. While the Sager Internship funds can only provide support for one student per summer, please note that applications are evaluated on their own merits. Therefore, more than one student who has been offered a full-time placement with an LGBTQ organization may serve through a “general” S2A2 grant. Students applying as a result of their academic involvement in the GSST program may also be funded through a Nason grant.

Courses

The program offers the following courses and seminars:

GSST 001. Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies

This interdisciplinary core course is an introduction to key concepts, questions, and analytical tools developed by scholars of gender and sexuality studies. Through this course, you will become familiar with key contemporary debates in the field, as well as the historical formation of these debates. Substantial attention will be paid to the development and application of queer theory within the history of the field, including discussion of social construction of gender identities and expressions, as well as LGBTQ identities, texts, theories, and issues. Course materials will include "classic" and contemporary gender and sexuality studies scholarship from a variety of disciplines. We will explore gender and sexuality in relation to topics such as media representation, embodiment, economics, health and reproduction, technology, activism, social movements, and violence. 
Required course for GSST minors and special majors.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Surkan.

GSST 020. Theory and Methodology Special Topics: Transnational Feminist Theory

(Cross-listed as ENGL 082)
This course introduces perspectives in feminist theory from domestic U.S. and global contexts in order to ask: how do the contributions of women of color in the U.S. and of feminist movements in the “Third World” radically reshape the form and content of feminist politics? Through critical inquiry into major texts in transnational feminist and queer studies, this class dynamically reconceptualizes the relationship between women and nation; between gender, sexuality and globalization; and between feminist theory and practice.
Prerequisite: GSST 001 or permission of instructor.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Mani.

GSST 091. Seminar in Gender and Sexuality Studies: Queering North African Subjectivities

This capstone seminar will explore the ways in which literary and visual representations of sexual difference and gender roles disrupt the cultural imagination of everyday life in North Africa and its Diasporas. Special attention will be given to representations of Arab women and queer subjectivities as sites of resistance against dominant masculinity. We will analyze the ways in which representations of gender have allowed for a redeployment of power, a reconfiguration of politics of resistance, and the redrawing of boundaries between the self and the communities. From an interdisciplinary perspective, we will question naturalized notions of domesticity, gender performance and citizenship. Required for GSST minors and special majors, must be taken in the senior year and cannot be used to fulfill distribution requirements. Others may take the course by permission of the instructor.
Prerequisite: GSST 001 and 020, or permission of instructor.
2 credits.
Spring 2014. Gueydan-Turek.

GSST 092. Thesis

1 credit.
Each semester. Staff.

GSST 093. Directed Reading

1 credit.
Fall 2013 and spring 2014.

GSST 192A and GSST 192B. Thesis

For students completing a special major in honors (1 credit must be taken each semester of the senior year).
2 credits. Staff.

The following departmental courses have been approved for credit toward the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program:

Biology

BIOL 024. Developmental Biology*

Dance

DANC 025A. Dance and Diaspora
DANC 028. Politics and Aesthetics of Classical Indian Dance
DANC 035. Women Choreographers and Composers
DANC 036. Dancing Identities
DANC 079. Dancing Desire in Bollywood

Economics

ECON 073. Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Economics



Education

EDUC 045. Literacies and Social Identities*
EDUC 061. Gender and Education

English Literature

ENGL 009P. Women and Popular Culture
ENGL 009Y. Interrogating Gender: Centuries of Dramatic Cross-Dressing
ENGL 023. Renaissance Sexualities
ENGL 024. Witchcraft and Magic
ENGL 033. The Romantic Sublime
ENGL 036. The Age of Austen
ENGL 040B. The 19th-Century Novel
ENGL 048. Contemporary Women’s Poetry
ENGL 077. South Asians in Asian America
ENGL 082. Transnational Feminist Theory
ENGL 091. Feminist Film and Media Studies
ENGL 110. Romanticism
ENGL 112. Contemporary Women’s Poetry

Film and Media Studies

FMST 009. Women and Popular Culture
FMST 041. Fan Culture*
FMST 045. Feminist Film and Media Studies
FMST 046. Queer Media
FMST 054. German Cinema
FMST 059. Re-Envisioning Diasporas

French

FREN 037. Littératures Francophones
FREN 056. Ecritures au feminine
FREN 076. Contemporary Arab Women Writers
FREN 111. Le Désir Colonial
FREN 115. Paroles de Femmes

German Studies

GMST 052. The Gender of Modernity
GMST 056. Populärliteratur
GMST 108. Wien und Berlin

History

HIST 001B. Human Rights as History
HIST 001K. Engendering Culture
HIST 016. Sex, Sin, and Kin in Early Europe
HIST 021. London Beyond Control
HIST 023. Enlightenment Sexualities
HIST 029. Sexuality and Society in Modern Europe
HIST 052. The History of Manhood in America, 1750–1920
HIST 053. Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement
HIST 054. Women, Society, and Politics
HIST 055. Social Movements in the 20th Century
HIST 080. History of the Body   
HIST 131. Gender and Sexuality in America

Japanese

JPNS 026. Masculinities in Japanese Film and Fiction

Linguistics

LING 003. What “Gay” Sounds Like

Literatures

LITR 015R. East European Prose in Translation
LITR 017R. Love and Sex in Russian Literature
LITR 026J. Masculinities in Japanese Film and Fiction
LITR 059F. Re-Envisioning Diasporas
LITR 076AF. Contemporary Arab Women Writers
LITR 076S. Latino and Latin American Sexualities

Philosophy

PHIL 061. Philosophy of Race and Gender

Physics

PHYS 029. Seminar on Gender and (Physical) Science

Political Science

POLS 013. Feminist Political Theory
POLS 031. Difference, Dominance, and the Struggle for Equality
POLS 032. Gender, Politics, and Policy in America
POLS 046. Lesbians and Gays in American Politics

Psychology

PSYC 055. Family Systems Theory and Psychological Change*

Religion

RELG 003. The Bible: In the Beginning
RELG 007B. Women and Religion
RELG 025B. Black Women and Religion in the United States
RELG 032. Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theory
RELG 053. Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Islam
RELG 114. Love and Religion
RELG 128. Sex, Gender and the Hebrew Bible

Russian

RUSS 015. East European Prose in Translation
RUSS 017. Love and Sex in Russian Literature
RUSS 079. Russian Women Writers
RUSS 111. Tsvetaeva and Mayakovsky
RUSS 112. Akhmatova and Mandelstam

Sociology and Anthropology

ANTH 002D. Culture and Gender
ANTH 002F. Anthropology of Childhood and Family
ANTH 007C. Sociology Through African American Women’s Writing
ANTH 020J. Dance and Diaspora
ANTH 049B. Comparative Perspectives on the Body
SOAN 010J. War, Sport, and the Construction of Masculine Identity

Spanish

SPAN 066. Escritoras españolas: Una voz propia
SPAN 070. Género y sexualidad en Latinoamérica
SPAN 104. La voz de la mujer a través de los siglos

*All papers and projects must focus on gender and sexuality studies.