Course: Introduction to Gender Studies

This course is designed to introduce students to social, cultural, historical, and political perspectives on gender and its construction, with a particular attention to performance as a method of analysis. Through discussion, writing, and performance-making, we will explore the intersections among gender, race, class, and sexuality in multiple settings and contexts. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to a variety of questions, we will consider the distinctions between and constructions of sex and gender, the relationship between individual identities and state power, the making of masculinity and femininity, queer movements, racism, state violence, and the possibilities for social change through performance and other modes of activist engagement. We will also examine the development of feminist theory, including its promises and challenges.