May 3, 2013

New Gender Studies Civ sequence to begin next year

A new, two-quarter civilizations sequence, titled “Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations” will be offered by the interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality Studies (CSGS) beginning next fall. The sequence will fulfill the Core’s civilizations requirement.

Political Science Professor and CSGS director Linda Zerilli said the decision to offer a sequence was motivated in part by the popularity of two introductory courses in the Gender and Sexuality Studies department.

“The two sections of Problems in the Study of Gender and Problems in the Study of Sexuality were always oversubscribed,” Zerilli said. “And, in speaking with students, many of them said they wished they had taken these types of classes earlier on in their careers.”

English Professor Sonali Thakkar said the sequence will be distinguished from those courses by the types of texts used.

“The texts taught in [the introductory courses] are mostly theoretical,” she said. “The Core allows for a rigorous study of primary sources across different time periods and places, and then some theory.”

Thakkar and French literature professor Daisy Delogu will be teaching the two sections of the first course in the sequence. Anthropology professor Susan Gal and Comparative Human Development Professor Don Kulick will each be teaching a section of the second course in the sequence, according to CSGS student affairs administrator Sarah Tuohey.

The first quarter of the course will explore themes of personal relationships, creativity, and culture, while the second will center on gender and sexuality in politics, religion, and economics.

Two sections of the sequence will be offered each quarter. The third quarter, once it is added to the sequence, will consist of multiple sections with different topics based on the instructor’s interest, similar to the third quarter of the Greek Thought and Literature and Readings in World Literature humanities classes. Zerilli said that the third quarter could be introduced to the sequence as early as the 2014–2015 academic year.

“We decided to go with Civilizations because of the very interdisciplinary and diverse nature of gender and sexuality,” Zerilli said. “They are a fundamental part of existence, and without them, there would be no civilization whatsoever.”