Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness: An Interdisciplinary Approach

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Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
June 21, 2021 - July 21, 20216/21 - 7/214 WeeksOnlineWaitlistedOnlineYifeng Cai

Course Description

Do you know what gender, sexuality, and queerness mean? These three concepts are increasingly important, not only for analysis in a wide variety of academic disciplines but also for how these constructs impact lived experiences. For example, in your future undergraduate studies, you will find discussions and applications of these concepts in not only the Humanities (literature, philosophy, history, queer theory), social sciences (such as anthropology, sociology, political science), but also life sciences (such as biology and public health). In real life, #MeToo movements, LGBTQ activism, diverse expressions of masculinities and femininities, etc. have also led to long-lasting social impacts in the U.S. and elsewhere, such as China, India, Latin America, the Middle East, and so on.

It is crucial and timely to learn more about these concepts, all of which will help you build a foundation for future discussions and research in a wide range of academic disciplines. This course will also help you to gain a deeper understanding about our own identities and the and the social issues related to gender, sexuality, and queerness. To achieve these goals, this course is specifically designed to be interdisciplinary and cross-cultural. The course materials come from a wide range of sources, both within and beyond academia, including, but not limited to, academic papers/chapters/books as well as non-academic blog posts, documentaries, and literature. Students will learn about real-world events in not only the U.S., but in regions such as Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

In this course, you can expect to learn about some of the most influential theories related to gender, sexuality, and queerness which impacting a wide array of disciplines. You will also read about fascinating and concrete case studies across cultures and historical moments. At the end of this course, students will be able to articulate the definitions of gender, sexuality, and queerness as differently defined in various academic disciplines. Not only will students be prepared for further learning and study in college, they will be able to apply theories from multiple disciplines to real-life examples and their own experiences with a global perspective—an advanced skill all students are expected to master in college. This course, then, aims to help high school students to smoothly transition into more challenging undergraduate studies, with a topic that is relevant for all of us.

By the end of the semester, you will be able to:

  1. List the major theories about gender, sexuality, and queerness from multiple disciplines, including, but not limited to, anthropology, sociology, history, biology, philosophy, public health, queer theory, and so on;
  2. Compare and contrast the similarities and differences among these different schools of thoughts about gender, sexuality, and queerness;
  3. Point out the strengths and limitations of these theories;
  4. Produce your own approach to gender, sexuality, and/or queerness with elements adopted and adapted from other disciplines.

Prerequisites: None.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEAN0942

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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