Gender and Sexuality Studies (BA)

Department Website

Program Description

Housed in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, the program in gender and sexuality studies (GSS) fosters broad interdisciplinary investigation of gender and sexuality as key aspects of human experience both past and present, paying particular attention to how they shape social roles and identities in various cultural contexts. Its curriculum makes gender and sexuality central rather than peripheral terms of analysis, while also considering their significance both vis-à-vis each other and in relation to race, ethnicity, locality, nation, and geographic circulation. Most fundamentally, the program encourages students to question gender and sexual norms wherever they are in effect, and thus to complicate what in many other settings—both academic and non- academic—is often presented as “natural.” In this way, GSS contests the privileging of some categories (e.g., male or heterosexual) over others, and thereby challenges the social and political implications of such hierarchies.

Honors Program

Majors who have completed 48 credits of graded work in CAS and have a 3.65 GPA or higher (both overall and in the major) are encouraged to register for SCA-UA 92 Senior Honors Seminar in the fall semester of their senior year. Upon successful completion of the seminar requirement, students will be eligible to register for SCA-UA 93 Senior Honors Thesis in the spring. Information about the honors program can be found at

Language and Linguistic Competency

The type of rigorous intercultural study promoted within the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis requires students to recognize the complex modes of communication at work both within and across different social groups. The department therefore strongly encourages its students to develop advanced skills in language and linguistics by any of the following means: taking elective courses in sociolinguistics; studying a language other than English beyond the minimum level required by the College of Arts and Science; studying languages especially germane to the department’s fields of study; pursuing community-based internship fieldwork necessitating the development and use of specific language skills; or undertaking study or research abroad in contexts entailing the exercise of key language or linguistic capabilities.


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