Dec 01, 2023  

Gender and Sexuality Studies

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Interim Chair: Associate Professor Fackler

Core Faculty:

Professors: Dietz (History), Kaufman (Sociology),  McMillen (History), Mills (English), Serebrennikov (Art)

Associate Professors: Fackler (English), Roberts (Political Science), Tilburg (History)

Assistant Professors:  Boyer (Hispanic Studies), Good (Psychology), González (Hispanic Studies), Martinez (Communication Studies, Education and Sociology)

Visiting Assistant Professors: Erman (Russian Studies), Horowitz (GSS, Writing), Weaver (GSS)


Affiliated Faculty:

Professors: Campbell (English), Churchill (English), Fox (English), Green (Theatre), Hillard (Rhetoric), Maiz-Pena (Spanish), Stanback (Biology), Serebrennikov (Art), Shaw (Political Science), Slawy-Sutton (French and Francophone Studies)

Associate Professors:  Fache (French and Francophone Studies), Joubin (Arab Studies),  Kietrys (Hispanic Studies), Kruger (French and Francophone Studies), Mangan (History), McCarthy (German Studies), Pegelow Kaplan (History) Sample (Digital Studies), , Wills (Religion)

Assistant Professors: Bauer (Political Science), Bory (Dance), Botros (Arab Studies), Bowles (Anthropology), LaFleur (Art), Ruhlen (Anthropology), Park (History), Rios-Vega (Education)


Major Requirements

 (I) The Gender and Sexuality Studies major requires TEN courses, no more than five from one department, comprised of the following: 

(a) GSS 101 - Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies  

(b) Theory course: Majors must complete ONE but not BOTH of the following courses (only one of these may count toward the major)




(c) Methods Course: Majors must complete at least ONE course which involves training in methodology. This course should be completed by the end of the junior year, and must be selected from those courses related to the major track chosen. Courses that serve both as methods classes and fall within one of the tracks listed below can only count for one of the requirements within the major, either methods or one of the tracks. 

(d) Upper Level Courses: SIX additional elective courses, with at least four at the 300 or 400 level. Within these six courses, at least three should be within one of the following three tracks: Society & Politics; Literary & Cultural Representations; Histories & Genealogies. Students are required to take at least one course in each of the two remaining tracks. 

(e) Senior Capstone: This senior research project involves a self-designed gender and sexuality studies topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. The capstone is taught as an independent study with the close guidance of a GSS-affiliated faculty member. 

(f) GSS Honors: Students who qualify during their junior year with a minimum GPA and an approved research proposal will be eligible to complete a year-long thesis (GSS 498/499) by way of which honors in the major can be earned, and which serves as the capstone for those students. These courses are taught as independent studies. To qualify for honors at graduation, candidates must earn an average of 3.5 or above in the major, an overall average of 3.2 or above, and earn an A- or higher on their final thesis paper. 

(II)  Sexuality Studies Requirement: At least ONE of the ten courses taken by each GSS major should deal primarily with the study of sexuality. Examples of courses that count for this requirement are: BIO 263/ENG 285 Representations of HIV/AIDS; BIO 363 Biology of HIV/AIDS; DAN 282 Dance, Gender & Sexuality; ENG 360 Desire; GSS 220 Topics in Queer Studies; GSS 320 Sex Outside the City; GSS 431: Sciences of Sex; HIS 228 The Modern Body: Gender, Sex, and Politics in France; COM 390 U.S. Rhetorics of Sexuality; ENG 488 Modern Poetry: Queer America; SPA 403 Latino American Sexualities; MUS 221 Queer Perspectives on Popular Music.  Other courses may count with the chair’s approval. 

(III) Partial-Content Courses: Only ONE elective course (whether at the introductory or upper level) can be taken from a list of approved partial-content courses (courses that deal in a substantial way with questions related to gender and sexuality, but do not have Gender and Sexuality Studies as their primary focus). Some examples of partial-content courses are: ENG 231 Young Adult Literature; ENG 282 African American Literature; ENG 360B British Literature since 1945; FRE 223 Childhood and Adolescence; HIS 215 Magic and Witchcraft in Pre-Modern Europe; HIS 475 Drugs and Drink in East Asia.

Course Offerings

Note:  Courses other than those listed may count toward the major with the approval of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Chair.

Literary and Cultural Representations Track

Approved Methods Courses for Literary and Cultural Representations Track

Minor Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of six courses to include:


    2.    or   
      (Students may only take one of these courses for GSS minor or major credit.)
    3. three electives, one of which must be at the 300- or 400- level, from the list of approved GSS courses.  See the GSS Major Requirements.
    4. one 400-level GSS seminar or a department seminar to be designed by the GSS Advisory Board;
  2. A maximum of one elective may be an independent study, tutorial or practicum.
  3. No more than two courses in the minor may be in the student’s major field of study.
  4. A grade of C- or higher is required in all courses applied toward the minor.
  5. Courses taken pass/fail at Davidson College may not be counted toward the minor.
  6. At most two elective courses may be taken away from Davidson College.
  7. No more than three courses for the minor may be from the same department with the exception of courses with GSS designation.

Additional Information

The above list is not exhaustive.  Please check with the GSS Chair or visit the GSS web site for the most current, complete listing of approved electives when planning course selection.  If there is a course for which you would like to request GSS credit that is not listed, please check with the GSS Chair.  If there is a question about when a particular elective will next be offered, please consult the department offering that course.  If one of the proposed electives is an independent study, tutorial, practicum, or internship, the student shall provide to the GSS Chair for approval a complete description of that course prior to the term of enrollment.  Certification of completion of the requirements for the minor is made by the Registrar upon the recommendation of the GSS Chair.

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