May 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Fields

Chair: González

Core Faculty
Professors: Dietz (History), Kaufman (Sociology),  Roberts (Political Science), Serebrennikov (Art), Tilburg (History)
Associate Professors: Bory (Dance), Boyer (Hispanic Studies), Fackler (English), Good (Psychology), González (Hispanic Studies), Stremlau (History)
Assistant Professors: Horowitz (Gender and Sexuality Studies)
Visiting Assistant Professors: 

Affiliated Faculty
Professors: Campbell (English), Churchill (English), Fox (English), S. Green (Theatre), Hillard (Writing), Kruger (French and Francophone Studies), Maiz-Pena (Hispanic Studies), Stanback (Biology), Shaw (Political Science), Wills (Religious Studies)
Associate Professors:  Bowles (Anthropology), Fache (French and Francophone Studies), Joubin (Arab Studies), Kietrys (Hispanic Studies), Mangan (History), Martinez (Communication Studies and Sociology), McCarthy (German Studies), Sample (Digital Studies)
Assistant Professors: Crowder-Meyer (Political Science), Garcia Peacock (Environmental Studies), Sockol (Psychology), Wiemers (History)

Major Requirements (A.B. Degree)

 (I) The Gender and Sexuality Studies major requires 10 courses, no more than five from one department, comprised of the following: 

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

(b)  GSS 201 - Feminist and Queer Theories       
Students will become familiarized with the different theoretical traditions that inform contemporary gender analysis, and examine scholarly definitions of gender and sexuality. We discuss the means by which gender and sexuality are produced and reproduced at the individual and institutional levels, their intersection with other dimensions of social difference, as well as various related approaches to and interpretations of equality, justice, and freedom.

(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. At least one course must be an Upper-Level seminar.

(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 GSS 498. 

(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. GSS 499 will be taught as an Independent Study with the close guidance of a GSS-affiliated faculty member.  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.  In the case of an exceptional academic record, together with a thesis of exceptional quality, the department may confer high honors.

(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: AFR 270;Racial Capitalism and Reproduction; 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 340 Transnational Sexualities; GSS 350 Sex Radicals; GSS 431: Sciences of Sex; GSS 435 Brown, Black, and Blue; GSS440 Matters of Life and Death; HIS 228 The Modern Body: Gender, Sex, and Politics in France; HIS 389: Women, Gender & Sexuality in Japan; 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 360 British Literature since 1945; FRE 223 Childhood and Adolescence; GER 341 Performance, Sex and Gender (this course only), GSS 390 Rhetoric and Law (this course only); 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.

Society and Politics Track

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. 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.

Year-Long Capstone and Honors

We encourage any GSS major interested in pursuing an idea or question through sustained, year-long study to pursue the year-long capstone process, which may culminate in Honors.

All GSS majors must take the GSS 498 capstone seminar, which includes a one-semester research project of each major’s choosing and design. In addition, any GSS major may elect to extend this project into a year-long thesis or creative project, taking both the GSS 498 seminar in the Fall with fellow senior majors, as well as the independent study GSS 499 in the Spring with the project advisor. Honors will be determined once the project is complete.

Receiving Honors in GSS requires the following:

  1. a public presentation of the project attended by Core GSS faculty;
  2. approval of both the project advisor and second reader (usually the GSS 498 instructor); and
  3. meeting the GPA requirements by the end of senior year, factoring in any P/F grades (overall GPA of 3.2 or higher and GSS major GPA of 3.5 or higher).

Because of GSS’ multi-disciplinary nature, year-long projects may take many forms besides a traditional thesis project, though all require research and writing.  Examples of projects that are not traditional theses include: a final performance supplemented by an artist’s statement and literature review; a documentary film; a critically informed auto-ethnography; a digital archive. 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Fields