Gender and Sexuality Studies

Trees and Door

In 2016 the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) celebrated its twentieth anniversary, marking two decades of research, coursework, and programming dedicated to studying the conceptual categories of women, gender, and sexuality across disciplinary boundaries. MAPH students can choose to take courses entirely in Gender and Sexuality, but many also pursue classes in subject areas like Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, Comparative Literature, English, Philosophy, and Romance Languages and Literatures.

Selected Faculty

Portrait of Chelsea Foxwell

Chelsea Foxwell

Japanese Art (with a focus on 20th and 21st c.), history of art display and exhibition, kabuki theater
Portrait of Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Critical Theory| Gender and Sexuality| Medieval Literature| Literature and Philosophy
Portrait of Anna Elena Torres

Anna Elena Torres

Jewish Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Anarchism and Labor History, Disability, Diaspora Studies, Religion, Translation, Yiddish

Sample Courses

GNSE 36210 - Witches, Sinners and Saints (Larissa Brewer-Garcia)
This course examines representations of women's bodies and sexualities in colonial Latin American writings through a variety of lenses, including: the witch’s body as a site of sexual excess, the tortured body as a site of knowledge production, and the mystic’s body as a double of the possessed body.

GNSE 25000 - Modern Korean Women’s Fiction (Kyeong-Hee Choi)
Students will read selected poetic and prose works by Korean female writers, focusing upon gendered aspects of the development of modern Korean literature. The class also examines a selection of relevant nonfictional sources and documents that help us understand the literary stakes facing the writers.

GNSE 48700 - Colloquium: Social Movements in Chicago, 1950-2010 (Adam Green)
This class will introduce students to four social movements in twentieth-century Chicago through archival materials, scholarship, and memory: Puerto Rican empowerment, radical feminism, gay rights, and police accountability to Black communities.

GNSE 23400 - Virginia Woolf (Lisa Ruddick)
Along with a number of Woolf’s major works (fiction and intellectual prose), students read short fiction by other modernists and theoretical and critical texts that give a sense of the range of contemporary approaches to Woolf.

GNSE 27013 - Woman/Native (Sonali Thakkar)
This course reads works of postcolonial literature and theory in order to consider the entanglements of the figures of “women” and “natives” in colonial as well as postcolonial discourse.

Visit the Center’s course page for an extended listing of classes and descriptions.

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Option

Students who would like a more directed course of study may want to complete the MAPH Gender and Sexuality Studies Option. Students who complete the following requirements will receive a Gender and Sexuality Studies notation on their MAPH transcript:

  • The MAPH Core Course (Foundations of Interpretive Theory)
  • Three Gender and Sexuality Studies courses, one of which is strongly preferred to be  Advanced Theories in Gender and Sexuality or another approved theories course
  • An MA thesis in gender and/or sexuality studies under the supervision of a GSS-affiliated faculty member

Recent Gender and Sexuality Thesis Projects

"The Still Carnival: Queer Time, Being, and Potential in Orlando and Freak Orlando"
Yi Ying Luo, MAPH '21
Advisor: David Levin

"“Down Came the Rock”: The Intertwined Performances of Gender, Empathy, and Violence in George Saunders’s “Victory Lap”"
Ellie Winthrop, MAPH '21
Advisor: Tristan Schweiger

"Identification at Play: Gender Identification and Media Enjoyment in Digital Games"
Yining Wu, MAPH '21
Advisor: Daniel Morgan

"About Face: Female Frontality in the Khorsabad Ivories"
Rafaela Brosnan, MAPH '19
Advisor: Seth Estrin

"The Fragmented Body: Female Body in Tang Yin’s Painting"
Xuanlin Ye, MAPH '21
Advisor: Wu Hung