GSF Studies Fall 2024 Selected Courses


Pig on green background

Critters: Intro to Critical Animal Studies

Gabriel Rosenberg

Some scientists contend that the Earth has entered a new geological age in which human actions and effects are the dominant force shaping the planet, a so-called  “anthropocene.” Such a planet offers diminishing possibilities for other creatures to live beyond the influence of Homo sapiens. How do animals fit into human societies when human society is now so inescapable? Do animals still exert agency and shape how we live? And how can humans maintain ethical relationships to nonhuman critters? Can we share landscapes and ecosystems, much less an entire planet? This course explores these questions, surveying different approaches to the critical study of animals from the humanities as well as the natural, environmental, and social sciences. We will pursue these questions through scientific papers, philosophical essays, literature, films, and experiential learning activities. Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.

18th century illustration of man doctor standing and woman siting






Gender and Science   

GSF 89S 
Ara Wilson

Feminist Studies of Science and Medicine.

How does inequality affect scientific practice and knowledge?

Do colonial, racist, or sexist contexts matter for the science produced?

Does the identity of the scientist matter?

This seminar provides an overview of research that puts scientists under the lens, studying medicine & science in relation to gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism.

Illustration of woman in tank top and nice shorts long dark hair walking







Pop Feminism   

GSF 190S 
Nikki Lane

In this class, we think deeply about feminism within today's American pop cultural landscape. We engage a variety of contemporary cultural texts such as film, TV, social media, and books. These texts are illustrative of the ways that both feminism and forms of “post-feminism” (the idea that society no longer needs feminism) have become common within American popular life. We will consider the differences and similarities in the ways that feminism takes shape in the academy and outside it, asking how political debates about women, gender more broadly, and sexuality play out in contemporary American pop culture in the midst of these sometimes competing frameworks. We will work toward developing a way of spotting mass-meditated, depoliticized forms of feminism alongside radical forms of feminist thought which actively seeks to disrupt sexism.


Shadows kissing in front of pride flag

LGBTQ Studies

GSF 202S

What is sexuality and what is its power in the current world? What do we desire and why do we desire it? What is the relationship between love and desire, or love and sex? If we wanted to change our sexuality, could we? These questions, and others, are often on the tips of tongues. This course surveys a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches to these questions. Drawing from literature, anthropology, biology and medicine, sociology, history, and feminist and queer theory, we will investigate the role that sexuality plays in structuring identity, gender and race, everyday life, popular culture, and national and geopolitical controversies. In addition to scholarly readings, students will draw from popular media and their own experiences to explore topics that include: the politics of sexual identities; representations of sexuality in media and film; pornography and erotica; technologies of pleasure; reproductive rights; erotic labor; sexual violence; sexuality, state violence, and mass incarceration; and the geopolitics of sexuality.

Black woman being sworn in standing with photographers taking her picture






Women in the Political Process

GSF 225S

This course is a systematic analysis of the U.S. political system, electoral politics, platform implications, and leadership trends in the context of women's role in political life, as voters, leaders, and citizens.

A print of Jo Spence's The Final Project; a splotchy image of a girl frowning and looking upwards







Representing Breast Cancer: Feminist Literature, Art, and Film

GSF 263S
Kimberly Lamm

This course introduces students to artistic texts that represent breast cancer and make feminist arguments about the material conditions that shape women’s lives and determine their access to health care.

By focusing on art, literature, and film, we’ll have an opportunity to think about imaginative alternatives to the portrayal of bodies in medical institutions and their connections to the histories of sexism, racism, colonialism, the hyper-sexualization of breasts in global capitalism, and the well-meaning spectacles of breast cancer activism.


A multicolored line drawing of a brain against a yellow background








Feminist Theory

GSF 299S
Kathi Weeks

Introduction to foundational concepts in feminist thought on sex and gender. Survey of core concepts in the field of Women's Studies and introduction to the fundamental debates within the history of feminist thinking.

Women working in factory

Money, Sex, Power

GSF 361
Kathi Weeks

Feminist research on gender dynamics in markets, economies, and capitalism. Includes empirical studies (e.g., historical, cross-cultural, and sociological research) and theoretical approaches to political-economic critique. Covered topics may include the gender, racial and transnational divisions of labor, the relation between work and family, waged household labor, sex work, sweatshop labor.

An image of a cardboard sign with text reading, in Spanish, "In the plaza, at home, and in bed, we demand a life without violence"






Transnational Feminism

GSF 369
Frances Hasso

Explore feminist projects and approaches that cross a variety of borders. Under what conditions is solidarity across difference and inequality possible? This seminar examines this and other questions using theories, film, and scholarship. Topics include capitalism, war/militarism, racism, embodiment, and feminist science and technology studies through the IUD.

A collage of Black women hip hop artists








Black Women in Hip Hop

GSF 390S
Nikki Lane

Using the body of work created by Black women in hip-hop--music, lyrics, images, and video--as a set of “texts,” students are challenged to critically engage with issues that these texts present including representations of black femininity/masculinity in hip-hop, black sexual politics, and the racialized and gendered experiences of life in the US south. Students will learn and apply key theories in cultural studies related to race, gender, and sexuality as well as their intersections. Further, students will examine black women’s representations since hip-hop’s founding the mid-20th century, placing contemporary Black women rappers like Flo Milli, Megan Thee Stallion, Sexxy Red, Nicki Minaj, and Cardi B within a broader frame of American popular culture and its expectations of black women.