Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies Curriculum Structure
Criteria and Goals for Courses
(REV. Feb. 2011)
I. GATEWAY COURSES
GSFS majors are required to take at least one gateway course in the first or second year of study. No more than two 100-level courses can count toward the major. For a course to be designated “gateway,” it is not enough, for example, merely to “add” women’s or gay and lesbian voices. Gateway courses must:
- Expose students to critical theories and analyses of gender, sexuality, and/or feminism as these relate to the particular course subject matter; this should be explicitly stated as one of the objectives of the course.
- Cultivate in students an awareness of the historical progression and/or diversity of developments in gender, sexuality, and/or feminist studies; this usually requires assigning some range of theoretical readings.
- Introduce students to how gender, sexuality, and/or feminist studies complicate the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, nationality, or other relevant elements; this usually requires using or referencing secondary source material from the 1990s or later.
The GSFS Institute has lists of suggested readings and hosts workshops to assist faculty members who would like to deepen the gender, sexuality, and/or feminist components of their courses.
II. ELECTIVE COURSES
Elective courses are intended to build depth and breadth in areas of the GSFS major’s interest while maintaining the visibility of gender, sexuality, and/or feminist issues to a significant degree. This can be achieved by either:
- making these issues a recurring and sustained topic in lectures and/or course readings (amounting to approximately one quarter of the total course material); or
- devoting one unit of inquiry to gender, sexuality, and/or feminist issues such that they are the primary focus of lectures, discussions, and readings (amounting to approximately one quarter of the total course material).
III. GSFS FEMINIST RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES (GSFS 305)
This course is required for all GSFS majors and is optimally fulfilled by each major in the fall term of the third year of study. This course helps students develop a feasible individual research proposal that
- is informed by interdisciplinary feminist approaches;
- is attentive to research ethics;
- is cognizant of identity, positionality, and subjectivity;
- recognizes the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, nation, or other relevant identities;
- demonstrates analytical depth, creative or original thinking, clarity and polish in writing, and correct citation/bibliographic style.
The instructor of GSFS 305 will submit an assessment rubric to the GSFS Institute for every student’s final prospectus.
IV. GSFS CAPSTONE PROJECT
This requirement is optimally fulfilled by each GSFS major no earlier than the spring term of the third year and preferably in the senior year to assure curricular depth and intellectual and creative growth (“verticality”) in gender, sexuality, and/or feminist studies. Each major is required to complete an original senior-level research, creative, or artistic project that engages gender, sexuality, and feminism as appropriate to the topic and discipline or disciplines.
The capstone project may be completed in two ways:
- as the final project in a GSFS 300- or 400-level course or a departmental tutorial or capstone course; or
- as a GSFS honors project taken in the senior year (8 credits).
Majors must receive approval in advance from the faculty member and the GSFS Committee on Majors and must request to be enrolled in GSFS 400 by the Director of GSFS. GSFS final projects are expected to:
- be significantly informed by gender, sexuality, and/or feminist theories, methods, and scholarship;
- be alert to methodological, representational, and epistemological issues within gender, sexuality, and/or feminist scholarship;
- attend to (and complicate, if necessary) issues of identity, positionality, and intersectionality;
- be interdisciplinary in approach;
- demonstrate analytical depth, creative or original thinking, clarity and polish in writing, and correct citation/bibliographic style.
The instructor of the capstone course or honors project will submit an assessment rubric to the GSFS Institute for every student’s final project.