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Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration that examines the construction of gender and sexuality in social, cultural, political, economic, or scientific contexts. Each concentrator focuses on a well-defined topic or question and works closely with a concentration advisor to develop a program that investigates this focus area rigorously and supplements it with foundational courses in the relevant disciplines. Typical areas of focus include the acculturation of gender, sexuality and race in American politics or activism, the construction of sexual and gendered identities in educational institutions or in various forms of visual media, a contrast between different cultural understandings of sexual identity, a particular national literature and history. Such topics will frequently bring questions of gender and sexuality together; however students may also organize their concentrations to emphasize questions specifically related to gender or to sexuality. Introductory and methodology courses in the disciplines appropriate to students' focus will help them understand the principles grounding such practices as historical research, literary interpretation, and sociological analysis.


The concentration requires 10 courses, 12 for honors concentrators.  No more than two courses may count for multiple concentrations.

  1. GNSS 0120. Introductory course on gender and sexuality across the disciplines
  2. Four–course focus on some thematic, theoretical, or historical aspect of gender and sexuality
  3. Two introductory or methodology courses in disciplines pertinent to the focus
  4. One course in gender history, women's history, or history of sexuality
  5. One course in feminist theory or theory of sexuality
  6. GNSS 1990.  A senior seminar which counts as your capstone course. Senior seminar participants are expected to write a research essay.  The senior seminar fulfills the second half of Brown's writing requirement.
  7. Prior to Commencement, all graduating senior concentrators are required to give a short presentation of either their senior essay or thesis project.


Candidates for honors must apply to the program's director at the beginning of their seventh semester. Honors concentrators fulfill the regular requirements plus completing a two–semester thesis as their capstone project.

For more information, including current cross-listed courses and sample concentration plans, please consult the GNSS concentration webpage at