Gender and Society

Graffiti on a wall reading Gender: queer

University of Pennsylvania

Spring 2013

Course website + syllabus

This course offers an introduction to the critical study of gender in a transnational world, emphasizing gender’s imbrications with sexuality, race, class, and ability. We will investigate constructions of gender in the context of histories of science; the invention of the modern nation-state; nationalism, colonialism and imperialism; activism within and beyond identity politics; visual culture, technology, and media representation; and contemporary processes of globalization, war, and displacement. The course will provide students with methods for critiquing a binary and ahistorical conception of gender, as they will learn how gender is produced in historically and culturally specific ways. Further, the course emphasizes a transnational approach to gender and society, insisting that gender cannot be understood alone but is rather part of a larger constellation that includes histories of colonialism, contemporary globalization, transnational mobilities, and capitalist production and consumption. Students will learn the skills to become critical participants in their contemporary world, and critical readers of the variety of legal, medical, cultural, activist, and political texts they engage with everyday. Students will also learn production skills and familiarity with digital video production, digital mapping software, blogs, and microblogging.