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Gender Studies

Major in Gender Studies—B.A.
Minor in Gender Studies
Course Descriptions


Professor Judith Allen

Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities
Fedwa Malti-Douglas

Peg Zeglin Brand Chair in Gender Studies
Helen Gremillion

Judith Allen (Gender Studies, History), Carol Greenhouse (Gender Studies, Anthropology, Communication and Culture), M. Jeanne Peterson (Gender Studies, History)

Associate Professor
Laurel Cornell (Gender Studies, Sociology)

Associate Professor, Part-Time
Stephanie Sanders (Gender Studies, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction)

Assistant Professor
Peg Zeglin Brand (Gender Studies, Philosophy)

Clinical Assistant Professor
Cynthia Graham (Gender Studies),

Adjunct Professors
Maryellen Bieder (Spanish and Portuguese), Eva Cherniavsky (English, American Studies), Susan Gubar (Distinguished Professor of English), Karen Hanson (Philosophy), Stephanie Kane (Criminal Justice), Lauren Robel (School of Law), Anya Peterson-Royce (Anthropology), Darlene Sadlier (Spanish and Portuguese), Frances Stage (School of Education), Pamela Walters (Sociology), Mary Jo Weaver (Religious Studies), Susan Williams (School of Law), William Yarber (School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation), Enid Zimmerman (School of Education)

Adjunct Associate Professors
Ellen Dwyer (Criminal Justice), Catherine Larson (Spanish and Portuguese), Kathleen Myers (Spanish and Portuguese), Beverly Stoeltje (Folklore and Ethnomusicology)

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Radhika Parameswaran (Journalism)

Academic Advising
Memorial Hall East 130, 1021 East Third Street, (812) 855-0101

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The Department of Gender Studies (GNDR) offers interdisciplinary courses that explore the making and meaning of gender across cultures and social formations. Courses may undertake an analysis of gender in institutions, practices, representations, and knowledge across a range of cultural frameworks. They may also interrogate the intersections between gender and systemic forms of oppression and/or difference, including those based on race, aboriginality, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. Students have the opportunity to achieve a scholarly understanding of the options and situations of both women and men, in the past as well as the present; they are often encouraged to devise and execute original research projects.

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Major in Gender Studies—B.A.

The interdisciplinary major in gender studies offers students the opportunity to achieve an up-to-date, interdisciplinary, thematic, and problem-oriented understanding of gender. The major encourages students to ask critical questions about how gender operates within the cultures of the world. This program of study can complement minors or majors that students choose in other disciplines and area studies, and does enhance the existing teaching and research on gender taking place at Indiana University Bloomington.

Fundamental objectives of the major pursued through each of its interdisciplinary courses are to:

  1. train students to think critically about how gender—masculinity and femininity—has been formed and altered in different cultures, contexts, and historical eras;
  2. equip students to identify and analyze assumptions about gender built into the varying approaches of disciplines and areas of knowledge, and to evaluate the effects of such assumptions on research, teaching, and professional profiles of the disciplines;
  3. provide students with a solid understanding of ways in which "gender issues" involve not only the study of women, but as centrally, the study of men, families, workplaces, organizations, nations, economies, science, industry, laws, sexual behavior and identities, customs, mass media, sports, leisure, religion, and many other subject areas relevant to future careers of graduates;
  4. develop students' skills in undertaking research, critical analysis, and written and verbal presentations of their findings, and encourage a fully professional approach to the subject matter and content of the courses of the major.
Graduates will be prepared to enter the full range of graduate and professional education. Some will become specialized researchers and scholars. In addition, the gender studies major provides a sound background relevant to employment in a variety of occupations within the private sector, the professions, government, and the non-profit sector. Graduates can pursue occupations in human resources management, public relations, advertising, or the media. Others may become lawyers, doctors, journalists, social workers, or psychologists. Still others will work in law enforcement, education, welfare, the arts, public administration, and international aid organizations.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, all Gender Studies majors must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours, including the following:

  1. Required introductory course G101 Women, Gender, and Culture (3 cr.).
  2. Three additional credits in 100-level courses.
  3. Six credits in 200-level courses.
  4. Twelve credits in 300- and 400-level courses.
  5. Three additional credits in a 400-level seminar.
These credit hours are taken in gender studies courses, although students may, by applying to the departmental undergraduate advisor, also exercise the option of having up to 6 credit hours at the 200- and/or 300-level courses counted from among relevant courses, including topics courses, offered by other departments. Courses may be judged relevant if both title and content substantially address gender-related issues and/or analysis.

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Minor in Gender Studies

Students must complete 15 College of Arts and Sciences credit hours of gender studies courses, distributed as follows:

  1. 6 credit hours at the 100 level.
  2. 6 credit hours at the 200 and 300 levels.
  3. 3 credit hours at the 400 level.
By applying to the departmental undergraduate advisor, students may exercise the option of having up to 3 credit hours at the 200 and/or 300 levels counted from among relevant courses offered by other departments or programs. Courses may be judged relevant if, in both their title and their content, they substantially address gender-related issues or analysis.

Courses for the bachelor's degree major and the minor must be selected in consultation with Gender Studies staff and faculty.

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Course Descriptions

G101 Women, Gender, and Culture (3 cr.) A & H Examination of the international emergence of the field of women's studies; the achievements and limitations of scholarly work exploring oppression and discrimination based on sex and sex differences; the development of the category "gender" and its uses and abuses; and the relevance of changing understandings of the term "culture" for the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality across diverse historical periods, regions, nations, and societies. Exploration of a series of case studies. Particular attention devoted to the ways in which "gender" as practice, performance, and representation has differed for women and men according to race, class, and other divisions.
G102 Sexual Politics (3 cr.) S & H Investigation of cross-cultural meaning for the term "sexual politics," from Kate Millet's classic 1970 text to those offered by historians, social scientists, and other critics analyzing political structures, processes and mobilizations around sex, sex differences and sexual practices and statuses, including the inextricable links between sexual politics and "other/mainstream" politics.
G104 Topics in the Study of Gender (1-3 cr.) Analysis of selected ideas, trends, and problems in the study of gender across academic disciplines. Explores a particular theme or themes and also provides critical introduction to the challenges of analyzing gender within the framework of different disciplines of knowledge. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G105 Sex, Gender, and the Body (1-3 cr.) Examines the diverse and historically varying relationships forged between biological sex, culturally formulated discourses of masculinity and femininity, and the sexed body. With variable title and themes, the course may employ a range of different approaches, depending on the instructor. May be repeated once with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G205 Themes in the Study of Gender (1-3 cr.) Exploration of a theme or series of themes arising from the study of gender, generally from within a particular discipline or subfield. The course will provide some critical reflection upon the challenges of analyzing gender within the framework of different disciplines of knowledge. Focus on specific instances, topics, or case studies, depending on the instructor. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G215 Cross-Cultural Gender Formations (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Investigation of forms in which gender, gender markings, gender meanings, and gender relations are arranged in different cultures of the world. Assessment of debates concerning the global salience of feminist claims about women's "oppression," political mobilization around gender, body rituals marking masculinity and femininity, indigenous women, and resistance to gender formations beyond Euro-American borders.
G225 Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture (3 cr.) A & H, CSA Examination of popular cultural "makings" of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality through typical representation of gender within fiction, theater, cinema, radio, music, television, journalism, and other secular mass media. Analysis of the developing international telecommunications "superhighway" and struggles to secure increased representation of women and of feminist perspectives within existing culture industries.
G230 Gendered Relations (3 cr.) S & H Examines ways in which gender plays a role in relationships and how relationships may foster gendered behavior in these contexts: family/home, schools, sexual relationships, workplaces, and broader society. The course explores evolutionary, biological, and social-historical theories regarding female/male roles and their manifestations in divergent settings.
G235 Scientific Understandings of Sex and Gender (3 cr.) S & H Interrogates the evolution of scientific approaches to, and conceptualizations of, the terminology of sex and gender from the perspective of the behavioral, medical, and social sciences. Topics may include: femininity, masculinity, and androgyny; femaleness, maleness, intersex, and transgender; heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality.
G290 Two Centuries of Feminist Thought (3 cr.) A & H Introduction to historical and contemporary feminists. Critical focus is placed on criteria by which attributes of identifiable feminist discourses and their contexts may be evaluated. Disputes among feminist theorists with regard to the pertinence of differences ordained by sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, and other political and philosophical adherence emerge as central themes for appraisal.
G302 Topics in Gender Studies (1-3 cr.) This topical, variably titled seminar course addresses selected ideas, trends, and problems in the study of gender across academic disciplines. It explores a particular theme or themes and also provides critical reflection upon the challenges of analyzing gender within the framework of different disciplines of knowledge. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G303 Knowledge and Sex (3 cr.) S & H Exploration of debates about knowledge as cultural production or representation, implicated in contemporary understandings of gender and sexual difference. Feminist critiques of various disciplines and fields are interrogated, in terms of their justifiability and coherence. Significant differences in interpretations offered by such critics are identified, and their impact upon areas of knowledge during the twentieth century are assessed.
G310 Representation and the Body (3 cr.) A & H Analysis of scholarship concerned with "the body," "sexed bodies," "corporeality," "body politics," and the significance of worldwide bodily rituals used to mark sexual difference. Dualistic and disembodied categories through which the body is "culturally thought" receive scrutiny, including exteriority/interiority and sex/gender distinctions prevalent in discussions of the body.
G325 Technologies of Gender (1-3 cr.) S & H Investigates "gendered" ways that technological transformations reshape social life, physical space, built environments, or medical research. Familiarizes students with how feminist inquiry remaps such fields as computer technology, urban and development studies, geography, medicine, or health sciences. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G335 Explaining Sex/Gender Differences (3 cr.) S & H Compares biological, psychological, and social theories regarding the development and maintenance of gender differentiated behavior, gender and sexual identities, and the meaning of sexed bodies. The course scrutinizes the social and cultural forces that magnify, minimize, or subvert the expression of gender differences.
G399 Institutions, Policy, and Gender Relations (3 cr.) S & H Exploration of ways in which institutions intervene actively in gender relations. Directing attention to the gender-related policies of institutions. Evaluation of competing arguments as to the value of forming feminist theories of organizations and entities, including "the state," "patriarchy," "the law," and whether policy may transform existing patterns of gender domination and power.
G402 Seminar in Gender Studies (3 cr.) S & H Topical seminar in gender studies. Analysis of a particular issue or problem that has generated debate within gender-related scholarship in a particular discipline, or across several disciplines/fields of inquiry. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G410 International Feminist Debates (3 cr.) (CSA for "Black Feminism" topic only.) Investigation of debates among feminists as to whether aspirations towards global feminism are possible and desirable. The course compares concerns about the global situation of women, as articulated by international bodies such as the United Nations, with concerns articulated by feminists in different parts of the world.
G425 Gender and Science: The Sexual Politics of Truth (1-3 cr.) S & H Examination of interdisciplinary interaction of feminist perspectives on science. Perspectives are diverse and have implications for different scientific disciplines-medical, physical, natural, and social. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G485 Gender and Discourse (3 cr.) Advanced-level analysis of cultural constitutions of gender in different cultures. Emphasis on understanding how different discourses operate with respect to gender, and how they can have a range of effects, including endorsement, unsettling, and resisting prevailing gender relations. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
G495 Readings and Research in Gender Studies (1-3 cr., 6 cr. max.) P: consent of instructor and chair. Individual readings and research available for gender studies major and minor students. May, under unusual circumstances, be repeated twice for credit with a different topic.
G498 Critical Issues in Gender Studies (3 cr.) This course will highlight a particular problem, theme, or controversy confronting the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, situated in relation to the development of gender studies since the 1970s and its institutional and discursive setting.

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