About GSWS 1500 C

Introduction to the field of gender, sexuality, and women's studies. Topics include key theoretical approaches to conceptualizing gender, sexuality, and power; how gender and sexuality are policed; and the relationship between gender, sexuality, and other social categories. Credit not awarded for both GSWS 1500 and GSWS 1010.


Open to degree and PACE students

Section Description

This course introduces the basic vocabulary of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies through an exploration of central questions in the field. What is the difference between sex and gender and how are the two related? What are sexual and gender identities? How are sex, gender, and sexuality shaped by society, culture, and history? What is their relationship to politics? How do gender and sexuality intersect with each other as well as with other aspects of identity/experience like race and class? What is meant by terms like sexism, heterosexism, heteronormativity, homonormativity, transmisogyny, and cisgender privilege? How are sex, gender, and sexuality created and maintained in mainstream culture? How have social movements challenged and changed norms around gender and sexuality? We will explore these and other questions throughout this semester–long introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Course goals and objectives include enabling students to: 1. understand gender and sexualities as socially constructed: connected to systems of power and inequality; shifting and unstable; and historically and culturally situated. 2. explore how gender intersects with sexuality, as well as with other axes of identity and inequality including race and ethnicity, nationality, class, and dis/ability. 3. understand and apply core concepts and theoretical perspectives in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies to the world around them. 4. challenge taken-for-granted “truths” about sex, gender, and sexuality that they are confronted with in everyday life. 5. develop their reading, public speaking, and writing skills through work in and outside the classroom.

Section Expectation

This course is a seminar, not a lecture. Discussions on course materials and topics are a central feature of the class, and active engagement and participation is required from all members of the class.


Grades are based on attendance and participation, in-class writing and presentations, assignments, and a final project.

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw


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