University of Notre Dame

Introduction to Gender Studies

GSC 10001: Introduction to Gender Studies

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, presenting current research and debates regarding differences among gender, sex, and sexuality through an intersectional lens, with attention paid to the cognates of race and ethnicity. Through careful consideration of historical developments in our understandings of gender, students will ask questions in a systematic way about how gender is constructed and how it impacts society and influences the creation and valuation of texts. We will explore issues in gender studies related to concepts of femininity, masculinity, heterosexuality, homosexuality, sexuality, identity, and more. Gender will be analyzed in contexts that bring out debates and differences related to race, national identity, globalization, and historical and ideological shifts.

Thus, rather than assume that masculinity or femininity or queer or straight or transgender are stable or static concepts, we will attempt to unpack and explore their changing meanings. This course will show how research on gender is done by taking up debates and discourses around gender from sociology, anthropology, film and visual culture, history, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, theology, and other fields which engage gender as a salient research topic. This course introduces students to social science methodologies, as well as close textual analysis; students will produce: an autoethnography, ethnographic participant observation and/or interviews, a survey questionnaire, data analysis, and content & textual analysis of a cultural artifact.