University of Notre Dame

Introduction to Gender Studies

Course Number: GSC 10001

This course provides students with an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of gender studies. It also serves as an introduction to gender itself—gender as identity, as a social/cultural formation, as a mode of self-expression, and as a critical lens through which to better understand the world.

We will explore how gender is experienced, produced, and performed at the intersection of culture, politics, and the body, always in conjunction with other factors of power and difference such as race, nation, sexuality, dis/ability, and socioeconomic class. We will ask how institutions like government, work, and family interact with gender in the U.S. and in local contexts around the world. We will think critically about how ideology (systems of ideas and knowledge) and representation (portrayals in media, political discourse, and everyday life) shape our understanding of gender.

The study of gender reaches into, across, and beyond academic disciplines. This course will explore how research on gender is done both within the interdisciplinary field of gender/women/sexuality studies and across many other fields, taking up debates and conversations about gender from history, sociology, anthropology, biology, literature, philosophy, political science, geography, and other disciplines that engage gender as a subject of knowledge.